Bye, bye 2013

2013 was a interesting year. I'm just doing the last corretions for an update of my most important Wrox book: Professional C# 5 and .NET 4.5.1. This edition includes updates for the Windows Runtime 2 (Windows Store apps with Windows 8.1), Entity Framework 6, ASP.NET Web API 2, and more.

What have been my other important activities in 2013? This blog post is about conferences, workshops, Windows Store apps, and more :-)

Conferences: after several years I had a talk again at TechEd - in New Orleans and in Madrid - speaking about Tiles, Toasts, and Notifications with Windows Store apps. Other conferences I've been engaged with: Basta! in Darmstadt and Mainz, and Microsoft Big Day and Advanced Developers Conference in Vienna talking about C# Async, Windows Store Apps, WPF 4.5, Entity Framework 6...

Customer workshops and coaching mainly have been about C#, WPF, ASP.NET MVC, Entity Framework, Parallel Programming, HTML5, Web API, Windows Azure, and Windows Store Apps.

I've some new apps in the Windows Store. My first Windows Store app was already released in 2012: Kantine. This app shows the menus and information about the restaurant in Vienna. It's only available in Austria, but in 2014 it will be available in other markets as well. Tourists might be interested in information about the restaurant as well.

A complete new app is the Menu Card app. This app - currently available in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, helps restaurants to create their menu cards, and use a JSON service to directly integrate them with a Website. The Kantine app will use a JSON feed created from the Menu Card app in the next version.


Picture Search that not only allows searching for pictures but also showing them endlessly full-screen (also with PlayTo to the X-Box), got a major update for Windows 8.1. This app is available worldwide. As searches with this app increase, I'm hoping to have the costs for Bing searches covered by the ads, or by users switching to the paid version of this app. Let's see... Having the ads in the app at least helped understanding users still don't find the appbar. This influenced the UI of the latest update that is just available in the store.

  Picture Search 1

Hardware: I'm happy with my Surface 2 and Surface Pro. The Surface 2 replaced my Surface RT. I'm usually using this device without a keyboard (although a touch cover is attached, but this is mainly used instead of a sleeve). The Surface Pro usually is connected to multiple monitors, external keyboards and mouse. When I'm in the hotel, multiple monitors are connected as well. In the hotel just the size of the external monitor is smaller. I'm running Visual Studio 2013 on the Surface Pro to develop all kind of different apps. I still need to get a new Surface Pro 2 in 2014. I'm waiting for the edition with 8 GB memory that is not yet available in Austria.

The next blog article will be about 2014. See you there :-)



Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight

It took some time until I received my newest book, but now it’s here - Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight – Indispensable Experiences from 15 MVPs:

Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight: Indispensible Experiences from 15 MVPs (1118021967) cover image

With this book I’ve written just one chapter – as all the other authors did. Great content fairly partitioned across different topics from 15 MVPs. I’m giving you my summary what I’ve seen covered in this book.

ASP.NET and jQuery gives from David Giard gives some Information on new features from ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0, an introduction to ASP.NET MVC, and a glimpse into jQuery.

ASP.NET Performance from Bill Evjen is about state management, caching, performance counters, content delivery networks, compressions to get performance out of ASP.NET Web Form applications.

Ethical Hacking of ASP.NET from György Balássy is a chapter you should read to secure your Web site. With this chapter you get Information about tools such as Fiddler, Firebug, IE9 Developer Toolbar, Lens, how session management works, attacking ASP.NET authentication, CSRF attacks, attacking the ASP.NET session, view state hacking… and what you need to protect against attacks.

How to Build a Real World Silverlight 5 Application from Gill Cleeren gives a good introduction to SketchFlow before showing data binding features of Silverlight, using WCF RIA services, applying MVVM, and customizing of controls.

Silverlight – The Silver Lining for Line-of-Business Applications - Jeremy Likeness takes a different route to Silverlight.  He starts by giving an overview of the different Silverlight project types and explains the Interfaces  IApplicationService and IApplicationLifetimeAware to hook into startup, shutdown, and exception handling events. Next he compares MVC, MVP, and MVVM patterns, explains dependency injection and demonstrates how MEF can be used. In this chapter you can also read a comparision of MVVM Frameworks such as Prism, MVVM Light, nRoute, Calburn.Micro, and Jounce.

Tips and Tricks for Designers and Developers is a very short chapter from Daron Yöndem just covering 9 pages. This chapter mentions “importing assets from Photoshop”, “Using sample data for a better design experience”, “using behaviors to make things easier”. I just would hope to read more Information about importing from Photoshop, what are the issues, how can it be solved; sample data not only created from code with DesignerProperties.GetIsInDesignMode, but also Information about designer specifications in XAML, and much more Information on behaviors and not only two pages.

MVVM Patterns in Silverlight by Kevin Grossnicklaus is a big chapter again. It comes back to MVVM and explains how an MVVM Framework can be created. This chapter goes that far to build composite screens, displaying dialogs, and communication between views. In the last part of the chapter exisiting MVVM Frameworks Prism, MVVM Light, and Caliburn Micro are compared to each other.

Windows Phone “Mango” for Silverlight Developers from Alex Golesh goes into specific Windows Phone 7.5 issues and covers the Camera API, Sensors API, Silverlight/XNA Hybrid applications, using a local database, fast application switching (FAS), Background agents, notifications, contacts/appointments data access – things a Siverlight developer needs to now creating apps for the phone.

Pragmatic Services Communication with WCF is from Christian Weyer, a thinktecture colleague. As expected from Christian, this is a chapter of 63 pages (and this without security – this is in the next chapter). At the first page of this chapter Christian explains that this is not a beginner’s introduction – and not a full reference as well. It still starts with basics of WCF (ABC), but already adds some real world experience to the introduction (e.g barely using message contracts nowadays). Soon Christian steps into several topics such as validation, mapping, tracing, hosting services, sharing contracts, async calls, the Web programming model, and much more.

The next chapter is from another colleague at thinktecture: Dominick Baier – Securing WCF Services Using the Windows Identity Foundation (WIF). Dominick is the security specialist from thinktecture and gives a whirlwind tour through WCF security, claims-based identity, and federation. If you are knowledgeable of traditional security models like principals, identities, and roles, you should read this chapter to get the idea of security Tokens and claims. Dominick goes into the Windows Identity Foundation and explains the WCF security stack.

Chapter 11 from Jeffrey Juday is about Applied .NET Task Parallel Library. Jeffrey covers the .NET 4 library within 38 pages, both data parallelism as well as task parallelism using the Task class, showing exceptions, cancellation, and concurrent collection classes of .NET 4.

Vishwas Lele goes into Windows Workflow Foundation with the chapter The WF Programming Language. This chapter starts with a simple workflow, explains XAML in the focus of WF, explains several activities for control flow, exception handling, Transactions and compensation, parallel execution, and also explains how custom activities can be implemented. Hosting workflows and using persistence is explained as well.

My chapter has number 13 and is about Practical WPF Data Binding. Back to MVVM from previous chapters, but here I’m just using MVVM with a lot of data binding aspects. This chapter goes into various data binding concepts, showing multibinding, using the CollectionViewSource, implementing data templates, grouping, hierarchical data binding, virtualization, editing data, validation, error display…

Chapter 14 is the longest chapter over 79 pages. Driving Development with User Stories and BDD by Scott Millett. Scott gives a short introduction to user stories, explains the shortcomings of Test-Driven Development (TDD), and gets into the advantages of Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). Next, Scott introduces some BDD Frameworks before going into an application that is done with BDD in mind. User Stories are captured for the Tic-Tac-Toe game, and then BDD is used to until all behaviors of the application are implemented. Showing all the BDD aspects within a full application should be the best Approach to learn BDD.

The last chapter of the book is from Caleb Jenkins about Automated Unit Testing. Caleb introduces unit testing with the three A’s Assign, Act, Assert, covers various testing frameworks, explains Continuation Integration (CI) servers, talks about fakes and mocks, covers testing on using MVC, MVP, and MVVM…

As you can see, there is a lot what’s covered by this book. Silverlight, WPF, parallel programming, BDD, unit testing, security, WCF, WF, ASP.NET, hacking… Of course this is not a beginner’s book. However, I think nearly every .NET developer will find interesting Topics within this book – this is a must-read.


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Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight from

Real World .NET, C#, and Silvelright von

Real World .NET 4 and C#

While I’m already working on the next edition of Professional C#, my next book will be released in November: Real World .NET 4 and C# – Indispensable Experiences from 15 .NET and C# MVPs:


This book contains great information from 15 MVP’s. A lot of stuff is covered: ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, WCF, WF, User Stories, and Unit Testing.

On ASP.NET you can read about ethical hacking, getting the best performance out, and integration with JQuery. Silverligjht is shown in the light of writing real-world applications, MVVM patterns, and using Silverlight with the Windows Phone. Development driven by User Stories and Unit Testing is covered as well.

From the 15 MVPs, three of the book-MVPs are from thinktecture consultants. Christian Weyer covers pragmatic WCF, Dominick Baier gets into securing WCF services by using the Windows Identity Foundation (claims! claims! claims!), and I’m doing all aspects of WPF data binding.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book! Links to Amazon can be found on my new Webpage:

Real World .NET 4 and C#, get it from

Real World .NET 4 and C#, get it from


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