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DevConnections Tour--The Conference Comes to You

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(below DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES)

SPONSOR: DEVCONNECTIONS: WIN A HARLEY-DAVIDSON

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April 29, 2003--In this issue:

1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES

  • Visual Studio .NET and Windows 2003 Features, Part 4

2. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!

3. RESOURCE

  • Featured Thread: Running CLR on a SQL Server Box

4. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Add Media to Web Applications Dynamically

5. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES

(contributed by Bill Sheldon, bills@interknowlogy.com)

  • VISUAL STUDIO .NET AND WINDOWS 2003 FEATURES, PART 4
  • Over the past few weeks, I've been going through many of the new features in Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Windows Server 2003. This week I want to discuss the introduction of Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services in Windows 2003. I also want to discuss Web services, one of the key architecture elements enhanced in Visual Studio .NET 2003. Visual Studio .NET 2003 makes Web services easy to reference, and Windows 2003's UDDI Services makes sharing those Web services in an organization simple.

    UDDI is a public standard that has recently been updated to version 3.0. This standard lets companies develop their own implementation of a UDDI server. Windows 2003 ships with UDDI 2.0. (For information about UDDI 2.0 and UDDI 3.0, go to http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/uddi-spec/doc/tcspecs.htm#uddiv2.) UDDI Services is an optional component in Windows 2003 that needs Microsoft IIS and a SQL database to run. When you install UDDI Services, you have the option of connecting it to a remote Microsoft SQL Server database or a local Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) database. The installation program prompts you to select the location in which you want to create the database and enter the name you want to assign to your new site.

    After you have your UDDI server set up, you can begin to register the Web services you want to publish on your UDDI server. You can use a Web UI to register them, or you can programmatically register them with the UDDI software development kit (SDK) for Visual Studio .NET 2003. The UDDI SDK requires Windows 2003. With this SDK, you can access all the features in the Windows 2003 UDDI implementation.

    Publishing Web services on a UDDI server has several advantages. First, when a development team is working on a project, the team members can post completed services to the UDDI server for integration and testing. Instead of needing to copy and install every element of the shared project on the local development box, they can have a central resource on which they can post the current location of Web services under development. Second, as the team moves from distributed development to a central integration server, the team members can have their applications automatically look to the new location for the integrated code.

    The Microsoft UDDI Web site is at http://uddi.microsoft.com. However, the best documentation for developing a UDDI server is in the Microsoft Platform SDK Web site at the following URL:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/uddi/uddi/portal.asp

    Just as a UDDI server makes working with Web services across multiple machines easy, Visual Studio .NET 2003 makes working with Web services on your local machine easy. When you add a reference to a Web service in Visual Studio .NET 2002, you must manually enter the full URL to the Web service in the Add Web Reference dialog box. Knowing this URL can be challenging, especially as the number of Web services increases. Microsoft enhanced the Add Web Reference dialog box in Visual Studio .NET 2003. The dialog box now automatically scans your local machine and generates a list of Web service URLs. The Add Web Reference dialog box also lets you retrieve Web service URLs from UDDI servers with three predefined options:

    • You can use the UDDI Services site. You can search the UDDI Services site at http://uddi.microsoft.com/visualstudio for Web service URLs.
    • You can use the Test.UDDI site. If you need to test the Web service URL that you want to register before you go public, Microsoft provides a UDDI test server at http://test.uddi.microsoft.com/visualstudio. (Although this Web page looks the same as the UDDI Services Web page, the data behind each page differs.)
    • You can use Visual Studio .NET 2003 to scan your local network. Although the UDDI test server is an effective tool, it doesn't take advantage of your custom UDDI Services in Windows 2003. Fortunately, Microsoft thought of this situation. Just as you can use the Add Web Reference dialog box to search your local machine for Web service URLs, you can use the Add Web Reference dialog box to search the local network for custom UDDI servers and query those servers.

    Providing a list of URLs is only the first enhancement in the Add Web Reference dialog box. Microsoft also changed how the Add Web Reference dialog box displays individual Web services. Rather than displaying the raw Web Services Description Language (WSDL), the dialog box now displays the default page associated with your service. Unfortunately, this helpful change is accompanied by a dumbing down of the UI. When you click the link to open the WSDL for the Web service, the UI attempts to interpret the WSDL code for you instead of displaying it. Although the XML code that makes up WSDL file can be difficult to read, the file often contains useful information. The result is that you have to move from Visual Studio .NET 2003 to a browser window to review the WSDL file.

    The final advantage of the enhanced Add Web Reference dialog box is the ability to modify the name that's associated with the Web service in your project. When you added Web services from your local machine in the past, the Web services were consistently assigned the default namespace "localhost". This naming convention made little sense because you were creating code that had a meaningless term as part of its name--in most cases, you changed the underlying references of the Web service to go somewhere other than the local machine before you deployed the application consuming the Web service. With the ability to modify the name in the enhanced Add Web Reference dialog box, you can now give your Web references meaningful names.

    Web services are at the core of successful distributed applications. In Visual Studio .NET 2003, Web services are becoming easier to work with. Even without looking at some of the Web service extensions, you can see that Microsoft has enhanced developers' ability to leverage Web services in their applications.


    DEVCONNECTIONS TOUR--THE CONFERENCE COMES TO YOU

    Can't make it to one of our major conferences? We will bring the conference to you. Join Paul Litwin and Carl Franklin for 2 days of solid, in-depth training in ASP.NET and VB .NET. Special keynote by Microsoft's Rob Howard.

    Attend either the ASP or VB track for the entire two days or move from one track to the other as you desire. Don't miss this chance to get in-depth training from the experts in a highly interactive environment. Bring your questions and get the answers you need, plus discover new tips and insights.

    Coming to a city near you. Get ready for the transition in development by learning from the best and keep your competitive edge.

    Register today so you don't miss the early bird discount:

    http://www.devconnections.com/tour

    2. ANNOUNCEMENT
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • SAMPLE OUR SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR NEWSLETTER!

  • If you spend the better part of your day dealing with security concerns such as controlling user access, avoiding viruses, and tightening your network's permeability, then you can benefit from the type of information we publish each month in Security Administrator. Every issue shows you how to protect your enterprise with informative, in-depth articles, timely tips, and practical advice. Sample our most recent issue today!

    http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

    3. RESOURCE

  • FEATURED THREAD: RUNNING CLR ON A SQL SERVER BOX
  • Forum junior member Mike Lykam is wondering whether any known problems exist with installing the Windows .NET Framework's Common Language Runtime (CLR) on a Microsoft SQL Server production box. To join this discussion, go to the following URL:

    http://www.sqlmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=3&tid=14914

    4. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Sue Cooper, products@winnetmag.com)

  • ADD MEDIA TO WEB APPLICATIONS DYNAMICALLY
  • Platte Canyon Multimedia Software released Web Player, a Windows .NET Framework control to dynamically embed Microsoft's Windows Media Player (WMP), Macromedia's Macromedia Flash Player, or RealNetwork's RealOne Player (formerly known as RealPlayer) in your Web applications. You can specify the player and version to use, or you can tell the Web Player to automatically adjust to the extension assigned to the MediaUrl property. Based on the users' preferences, the same ASP.NET page can load different players or load a text version. Web Player is priced at $145 per license. Contact Platte Canyon Multimedia Software at 888-866-5251, 719-548-1110, or sales@plattecanyon.com.

    http://www.plattecanyon.com

    5. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT DEVELOPER .NET PERSPECTIVES -- bills@interknowlogy.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- kbemowski@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DEVELOPER .NET UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Email Customer Support -- Developer_dot_NET_update@winnetmag.com
    • WANT TO SPONSOR DEVELOPER .NET UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com
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