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Dylan Smith ALM / Architecture / TFS June 2006 Entries
Convoluted Check-In Process
We have a rather convoluted check-in process that we have implemented here. I would definately appreciate any advice anybody could give me how to simplify this for my developers. We wish to avoid having the developers make merge decisions. The primary reason being that some of our devs are junior and may not posess the skills necessary to make intelligent merge decisions. So we use the exclusive check-in option in TFS. There is still the problem of them starting to edit a document without doing a ......

Posted On Friday, June 30, 2006 10:48 AM

Authentication Solution
I had to come up with a solution to provide Authentication for our ERP applications. There were two major use case scenario's. Either the user would be logged into Windows/Network using a domain account, and we could authenticate them by using Impersonation on our Web Server, or the user would be a shop floor operator who don't have domain accounts, primarily because multiple operators share the same computer. The operators would have to authenticate themselves at the application level using a fingerprint ......

Posted On Friday, June 30, 2006 6:56 AM

Concurrency Solution
A while ago I had to deal with the issue of concurrency in our application. We are developing an in-house ERP solution here (well not all parts of an ERP, but specifically the shop floor control and production scheduling portions right now). We have alot of different pieces of data and associated maintenance forms. We wanted to address the problem where if person A starts editing a record, then person B starts editing the same record, person B saves their changes, then person A saves their changes. ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:36 PM

Books Books Books
I just finished reading Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System by Sam Guckenheimer. A really excellent book. He talks about software engineering principles at a high enough level to make it interesting, and contrasts the “value-up” agile approach against the “work-down” approach typically used (ie Waterfall). But he then includes just the right amount of detail of how to realize those strategies using Team System. He goes through different scenario's ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:46 AM

Tech Ed Summary
So I just got way too busy at Tech-Ed to blog every day. The whole thing was a great experience. It turned out that Joel was right about the sessions, I didn't really find them all that valuable, and ended up skipping most of them towards the end. I can catch them all on the DVD's in a few weeks anyways. I found sitting down and talking with the Microsoft guys, or just the other people I met there to be way more valuable to me. I had quite a few conversations with the patterns and practices guys ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:18 PM

Tech-Ed Monday
In the morning I went to “Incorporating Agile Development into Your Organization”, given by Peter Provost ( and Adam Riddlehoover ( This was an awesome lecture about the techniques you can use to introduce Agile concepts into your dev process, and the benefits you can expect to receive. They talked about things such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Daily Standup meetings, customer involvement, etc. They ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:18 PM

First day of Tech-Ed
Headed over to the Boston Convention Center today for the pre-conference session, and the keynote. I was booked for the pre-conference talk on Software Architecture. The thing ran from 10am - 6pm, with a bunch of breaks in between. So it was pretty long. It was hosted by Ron Jacobs, and he is an amazing speaker. The content was kind of hit and miss, I found some of it really interesting, but half of it was just kind of “blah”. The lecture was interspersed with a bunch of live interviews ......

Posted On Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:52 PM

RD Session
Something I thought was pretty cool was what the 50 or so Regional Directors get to do on the first couple days of Tech-Ed. I guess the way it works is all the RD's submit the list of Tech-Ed sessions/topics they're interested in, then based on those lists they schedule a different presenter to come in and talk to the RD's every 30 mins. This way they get a very condensed version of Tech-Ed and are free the rest of the time to do some serious schmoozing. The amount of information coming at them during ......

Posted On Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:26 PM

Arrived in Boston
So I'm finally here in Boston. Had a pretty easygoing day. Left Winnipeg around noon to fly down to Chicago. On the flight I was sitting next to a guy who up until a year or so ago owned a company that produced the electronic voting technology used for the elections in the states (his company was bought by Diebold). Pretty interesting conversation, we were chatting about all the technology that goes into those machines to satisfy the anal american voting public. Lots of checks and balances, the stuff ......

Posted On Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:55 PM

First Post
This is my first blog post ever. D'Arcy convinced me that I should start a blog to talk about all the good times at Tech-Ed. So here we go. I'm headed down to Boston for Tech-Ed 2006 in a couple days. Should be a great time. This is my first Tech-Ed and I've been looking through the list of sessions available and it's pretty overwhelming. Out of the 700 or sessions available, I picked out about 50 or so I might be interested in attending. I'll probably only have time for about a dozen or so, so I ......

Posted On Thursday, June 8, 2006 8:12 PM

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