Tech Ed 2009 - Tuesday - Neil Bostrom

Microsoft Web Platform Overview

This talk was a nice overview of the features of the web platform installer. The web platform installer is an easy way to install all the standard components required for web development. The tool allows quick installation of mvc, asp.net, IIS (and optional components), SQL Server and loads of third party plugins like DotNetNuke and Umbraco. The tool is always up to date with the latest components by reading an RSS feed during load.

The tool is extremely handy for setting up new servers. You can choose all the components required by your application and get them all installed at once. This reducing setting up new servers to a simple job of just running the web platform installer.

Source Control Management with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010

This was the second talk I went to by Brian Harry. The talk first covered the chnages coming in branching and history for TFS 2010.

Loads of work has been done in this area to make branching a first class citazen. You can now fully control permissions of branches allowing you to have private branches.

They have also stepped up the history support, allowing you to see history across branches. This drill down support will be extremely handy as I always want to see the full history of an item.

Another sexy feature introduced are some graphs to show where are changesets are in the branch structure. With these graphs we can easily see where a changeset has been merged to and when. These aren't just charts, you can drag a change set to another branch and it will pop up the merge window with the information preloaded.

Brian also spoke about the version changes to TFS, with the introduction of a basic, standard and advanced wizard. Basic just has the source control items, not including any sharepoint documents or reports. Standard contains the usual install and advanced is a fully customization version allowing you to easily put your sql into an existing clustor, or you a web farm if you already have one.

The second half of this talk covered a new product that Microsoft have just purchased which gives full TFS support in Eclipse. Eclipse is an open source Java IDE. This is a great move forward for Microsoft as it extends to use of TFS to all developers. The plugin has all the features of the VS version of TFS. Even including support for building your java code in team build and even more interesting, full support for junit to feedback into the build status. I spoke to the speaker after the session to ask about xcode support. Currently apple has no provider model for xcode but if that changes they will hop on that.

Tips and Tricks for building high performance web applications and sites

This session was little bitty, some interesting nuggets. The first area was CSS. Giorgio went into details about the performance of CSS in browsers. The key advice here was to keep your selectors simple and targetted.

Javacript was the next topic. A whole bunch of javacript samples were shown that demostrated what to avoid. DOM access is very expensive in javascript. An interesting point that was raised during one of the samples was that if you miss out the var on assigning a new vairable, it will become a global variable. Thats bad news!

Cracking Open Kerberos: Understanding how active directory knows who you are

An excellent session on the ins and outs of how Kerbours does its job. Kerberous is a ticket based authenication system. It has two types of tickets, a ticket granting ticket and a service ticket. First thing that happens is that the client computer encrypts the time using your password. Sends that to the key to AD, which verifies the password by decrypting the time using the known password. Once that passes, the server creates a ticket granting ticket encrypted using the built in password of the server. This ticket only lasts 10 hours but allows you access to the TGS (Ticket Granting Service). The client computer then asks the TGS for a service ticket for a service (i.e printer service). The AD will return a new ticket to the client and the service. Now the client computer can use that service ticket to talk to the service.