Building software for Special Olympics - 3

by Van 23. January 2011 15:04

My first task for Prince William Special Olympics (PWSO) is to create a Silverlight application to manage their Class A volunteers. Class A volunteers in Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) are persons who have access to the athletes and have passed a background check. They can be coaches, chaperones, etc. Because the term of the Class A volunteer expires every 3 years, the first concern for PWSO is to determine which volunteers need a current background check.

This will be the first task of this new application. A couple of months ago I did some work with SketchFlow to determine some of the requirements. For the remainder of this project (still in search of a code name), I will try to use a Scrum Methodology and Test Driven Development (TDD).

The technologies I will be using are C#, Ado.Net Entity Framework 4.0, Silverlight and WCF RIA Services. I will also be using MVVM pattern and maybe the repository pattern. Keep following my blog to see how this project progresses.




Richmond Code Camp X code samples

by Van 4. November 2010 18:12
Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Building a Data driven app in Silverlight 4” at the Richmond Code Camp X. It was a joy for me and I hope it was informative for you. Sorry I took so long to get my sample code to my blog. But here it is: (2.73 mb) (2.73 mb) (4.78 mb) (4.78 mb) (4.79 mb) (5.19 mb)

Code form Session on WCF RIA Services

by Van 15. June 2010 17:49

Upcoming Presentations on Silverlight 4 with WCF RIA Services

by Van 2. June 2010 03:16

I have two upcoming presentations on Silverlight 4 with WCF RIA Services. The First is at Nova Code Camp on June 12, 2010  The next one will be on June 15, 2010 at the Capital Area .Net User Group Silverlight Special Interest Group

MIX10 – Day Two

by Van 17. March 2010 15:10

The second day of MIX10 started with a Keynote. The day two keynote stated with the IE team. One of the main things they demonstrated is IE9 working with HTML5. Showing how IE9 with the new Window7 hardware can take advantage to it for better performance especially with video.  

The Gu was back again for the second day taking about The improvements in ASP.NET 4.0, ASP.NET MVC 2.0.

We then saw great demos with Odata using the new Netflix feed.

To finish up the keynote was Bill Buxton who did a great talk on Natural User Interfaces.

My first session of the day was “OData: There's a Feed for That”. This session talked about how “OData” started at MIX07 with a session on Project Astoria, It then became ADO.NET Data Services with Visual Studio 2008. This session show using “Odata” in Excel 2010 with the power pivot plug-in. They also demonstrated converting Sharepoint 2010 List into an OData feed.

My next session was “Developing with WCF RIA Services Quickly and Effectively”. This was favorite session of the day. They showed some very good real world examples for using RIA services. Show how to use the MVVM pattern; demonstrated using authorization; doing validations. The best part for me was when he demonstrated RIA service on the windows phone.


My last session of the data was “Implementing OData: How to Create a Feed for That”. He started off showing Pivot on top of “Odata”. The demonstration how you control your data that you expose as an “Odata” feed.

Preparing for MIX10

by Van 9. March 2010 02:49

It has been a while since I blogged. My life has been such a whirlwind since PDC09. I took 2 family vacations, one to Disney World and another to Vero Beach, and of course, there was Thanksgiving and Christmas.  To top it off, we had a lot of snow in Northern Virginia. For now,  I am trying to blog regularly again.


This week, I will be preparing for MIX10 in Vegas. This is the 5th MIX conference (I missed the first one). At my first MIX conference, MIX07, they introduced Silverlight 1.0. At MIX08 they introduced Silverlight 2.0. At MIX09 they introduced Silverlight 3.0. Last year after MIX09, I would have thought that at MIX10 they would introduce Silverlight 4.0; however they did that at PDC09 (which I consider the highlight of PDC).


This year, there seems to be a lot more buzz on twitter about MIX than last year, which I believe has to do with Windows Phone. My focus this year will be Silverlight 4, WCF RIA services, OData, MVVM, and of course, Windows Phone. The Windows Phone sessions include programing with Silverlight and the XNA framework which should be interesting (The XNA framework is used for programing games on the Xbox). To prepare myself for the conference I have been following “Countdown to MIX10” on channel 9 along with Silverlight TV and getting up to speed on WCF RIA Services.


While I am at MIX10, I will be tweeting from the keynotes and blogging my day like I did at PDC09. You can follow me on twitter at . MIX10 should be very exciting.

PDC09 – Day Three

by Van 20. November 2009 21:18

This is the last day of PDC09. There is no keynote today and I have nothing schedule for the first session (this is the only time slot for this conference I had nothing planned). I decided this would be a good time to start playing with the new technologies I have been seeing the last couple of days. I have downloaded Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio (November 2009) before I left my hotel room. I was planning to work with it in Windows Virtual PC. Then I realize I have not created one with Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010, this will take me a while to set up; so Azure will have to wait until I get home. I had also downloaded everything for Silverlight 4 development. I have an XP virtual image with Visual Studio 2010 which I started installing on the software on. Once that was completed the Silverlight 4 setup, it was time for the next session.

For the second session of the day I had scheduled “What’s New for Windows Communication Foundation 4”. I decided not to go to that session, but to do some HOL (hands-on-labs) instead. While on way to the HOL’s, I saw a great demonstration at the Live Labs product team’s booth on Pivot. I got information on how to start using this technology; another thing to try when I get home. I then started working on the “Develop Visually Engaging Applications with Bing Maps Silverlight Control” (HOL). This was a great lab it showed me that it is easy to incorporate this technology in a silverlight page. It did have some trouble with the developer code, but it told me how to get one I will do this when I get home. I am planning to do a talk on Silverlight with DotNetNuke (DNN) for the C-DUG, I believe I will incorporate this in to my presentation.

The Next three sessions of the day are for me the most interesting ones of PDC09, since my area of focus currently is developing business applications with Silverlight. These sessions are “Building Amazing Business Applications with Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft .NET RIA Services”, “Developing Testable Silverlight Applications” and “Mastering Microsoft .NET RIA Services” will help me do this. .Net RIA service was introduced at MIX09. At MIX09,  I missed Brad Abrams session but went to Nikhil Kothari session. For me “.NET RIA Services” was highlight of MIX09.

Therefore next session I went to was “Building Amazing Business Applications with Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft .NET RIA Services” presented by Brad Abrams. Since MIX09, I have watch Brad’s presentation many times and follow his blog, These resources has helped the most with the web application I am developing for Prince Williams Special Olympics. He covered some of the new features on what now is called WCF RIA Services and Silverlight4; such as the data binding picker, increase support for converters, “connect-the-dots’ data binding, improved validation support.

Today, I decided to go to a lunch session on “Developing Testable Silverlight Applications”. I arrived late, because I decided to eat lunch first. This was a good talk, will have to see this session again online. They demonstrated using the MVVM pattern and the Silverlight Unit Test Framework which will be very helpful to me with the application I am developing.

My next session of the day was “Mastering Microsoft .NET RIA Services” which was great follow-up to the Brad Abram session. They talk about that while “RIA services” is now for Silverlight, but there are future plans for it to be use with ASP.NET AJAX and ASP.NET Web Forms among other technologies.  This session demonstrated how the “unit of work” gets done in “RIA services”. This session also demonstrated how to do authorization. This was my last session of PDC09,

I decided not to go to “Unleashing the Power of Excel on the Web” session which was on my schedule for the last timeslot at PDC09.  This was a great PDC.



PDC09 – Day Two

by Van 19. November 2009 14:01

At the keynote; Steven Sinofsky talked about delivering Windows 7 to the marketplace. Then he talked about what’s coming next in IE9 and how IE is working on improving their ACID test scores. He then announce that all a PDC09 attendees will be receiving a brand new Acer laptop with Windows 7 64 bit; 2 gb of memory; with touch hardware (set up for developers).

Now Scott Guthrie, takes the stage. He announces Silverlight 4 beta is available for download. He shows some of the new features. They also added new sessions to show off the new features in Silverlight 4(there goes my perfectly planned schedule). Also .Net RIA Services (one of my favorite technologies) has been renamed WCF RIA Services.

Kurt DelBene then takes the stage and announces Office 2010 public beta and Sharepoint 2010 public beta is available for download.

As I planned I went to the Microsoft Silverlight 4 Overview; it was renamed because of the Silverlight 4 announcement.  They demonstrated the new features in Silverlight 4 such as Webcam support; printing support; the ability to build context menus and the addition of Rich TextBlock.


I was planning to go to a lunch session today; however it was canceled. In fact, I had planned two sessions on office today both have been canceled. It was just as well since there are 3 new Silverlight 4 sessions I now need to consider. Picked up t-shirts for the product teams and again looked at the HOL (Hands-on-labs).


For the next session I had 3 sessions on my schedule; the canceled office session; “ADO.NET Data Services: What’s New with the RESTful Data Services Framework”; “What’s New in Microsoft ASP.NET 4 Web Forms and Dynamic Data”. I choose the new session “Building Line of Business Applications with Microsoft Silverlight 4”. I saw demonstrated the data source window for the datagrid; VS2010 increase XMAL support including binding UI;  setting string formatting in the XMAL binding; binding to a command and a new interface for validation. There was more.


For the next timeslot; I had two sessions on my schedule “Microsoft AJAX Library, jQuery, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010” and “Networking and Web Services in Microsoft Silverlight”. They had also added the new session “Improving and Extending the Sandbox with Microsoft Silverlight 4’. I decided to go to the networking session, because it is more in line with the application I am working on. I saw demonstrations on the improvements in RIA services; the new ClientHTTP networking stack and the TCP support now in Silverlight. Also the client policy files now have a template in VS2010.


For the last session I had “Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 2: The New Stuff” on my schedule; I however decided to go to the (HOL).  But before I went to the HOL; I picked up my new laptop. I then went to the HOL on Entity Framework 4; I will be using this stuff on my next project. I did not finish it, but it was great.


This was a great day. (new free laptop)

About Van

Van, a Senior Web Developer for Innervisions Software, Inc. since 1996, started programming Mainframes using COBOL, JCL for AT&T in 1979. While at AT&T, Van was part of many development teams that produced enterprise level applications and systems using CICS, IMS and other mainframe technologies. 

Van bought his first personal computer in 1982, an Apple II+, and started to write programs for home use in Applesoft (Basic Microsoft created for the Apple II) . 

Van first started working with Microsoft technologies using Access 1.0 and Visual Basic 3.0. In 2000, Van attended VS Live in Orlando where he was first exposed to .Net. He started programming .Net with Visual Studio .Net Beta 2. He became an Independent Consultant in 1996 and started Innervisions Software, Inc. 

In 2003 he wrote his first professional ASP.Net app. Since 2004 Van has been subcontracting on an IRS project using ASP.Net, VB.Net, and SQL Server.

He spends his spare time working on the web site for Prince William Special Olympics which was created using Dot Net Nuke.   Van is currently working on a Silverlight app for Prince William Special Olympics to manage their volunteers.

Van has a BA in Mathematics from Lehman College in New York City and a MS in Computer Science from George Washington University. Van holds MCP certifications in Visual Basic, Access, ASP.Net and SQL Server.

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