MSDN Magazine March 2012 - What Do You Want to Read?
Written by I Programmer Team   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012

I Programmer's regular review of the contents of the latest issue of the online magazine for Microsoft developers.

MSDN Magazine for March contains some interesting insights. For example it is revealed that the the most read MSDN article in the past year is on WPF. Hmmm, that bodes well for interest in Windows 8!

Of course MSDN Mag hasn't really published very much on the subject on Windows 8 yet, so it might be that readers are clamoring to read about it but have to go and read about WPF because that's all there is.

 

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In this issue the editor asks for your input. Email mmeditor@microsoft.com with suggestions about what technology issues you would like to see covered. As MSDN is supposed to be cutting edge Microsoft technology, I would suggest Windows 8 would be a good start.

So before we get started - guess how many articles there are on Windows 8 development in this issue?

Answer: Zero.

What the issue has plenty of are articles on HTML5 and Web apps in general and mostly how Microsoft technologies can interface with the standards. This is at least pragmatic.

The issue opens with an article on Building the Internet of Things, which you might not expect to be a big Microsoft technology, but if you throw StreamInsight, part of SQL Server, into the mix it might be. After an intro to the idea of the IoT, the article goes on to show how StreamInsight can be used to collect and display data generated by devices.

 

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Building HTML5 Applications is all about using HTML5 with SharePoint, which isn't quite a general a topic as the title might suggest. Specifically it is about using HTML5 drag-and-drop with SharePoint lists.

New Concurrency Features in Visual C++ 11 deals with the new standards based approach to concurrency that is making its way into Visual C++.

Create a Continuous Client Using Portable Class Libraries puts a good argument for creating apps that keep their state across different devices and of course the simplest way to do this is to use Azure for the backend and a number of different clients. The Portable Class Library is a way of being able to write a single code base for all of the diverse platforms the client has to run on. At the moment it targets .NET, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, .NET for Metro and Xbox 360. This is impressive and if there is on article you read - make it this one. 

Windows Phone Data Binding on the other hand might be one you want to skip. If you know a little about binding as its is basically just a very long example without much explanation and no principles.

 

Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps is the first I've seen on an idea that lots of programmers have had independently. To create a mobile app that is a cross between an HTML5 and a native app all you have to do is write a native app that wraps a browser control and load the content. In this case the server side is handled by ASP.NET MVC and the clients are Windows Phone, Android and iOS. This is a clever idea that deserves to be more widely known.

The online only features are as useful as the ones that made it into the paper magazine:

And the article on Optimizing C# for XAML is particularly recommended as it deals with making dependency properties work faster.

 

MSDNwaves

 

Of the regular columns Touch and Go:Streaming Audio in Windows Phone is worth a read and  Build a Progress Bar with SignalR is an interesting introduction to SignalR which might become part of ASP.NET at some point in the future. If you are still persevering with Entity Framework you might find Entity Framework Code First and DbContext FAQs helpful.  Talk to Me, Part 2: ELIZA is an implementation of that well worn chatbot in F#.  Finally we have a waffly look at the cloud in Exploring Cloud Architecture and Knockout's Built-in Bindings for HTML and JavaScript which once again takes us far from anything Microsoft.

 

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More Information

MSDN Magazine

Related Articles

MSDN Magazine February 2012 - Asynchronous Programming, WP7 and MVC

MSDN Magazine January 2011 - Windows Phone 7

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