March2003March 2003

Visual Studio .NET: What You Need to Know Today About the New and Upgraded Features in Visual Studio .NET 2003

Any time an upgrade of a favorite tool is released, questions about compatibility, versioning, and changes in methodology abound. The release of Visual Studio .NET 2003 is no exception. Developers will be relieved to learn that breaking changes have been kept to a minimum, and delighted to learn that important new features, like Visual J#, have been added. These and other new features of the .NET Framework 1.1 and Visual Studio .NET 2003, including mobile support and improved debugging, are discussed here. Carl Franklin

Visual C++ .NET: Language Enhancements and Simplified GUI Development Enrich Your C++ Apps

Managed Extensions for C++ is the preferred programming language for developing Windows Services. Visual Studio .NET 2003 introduces C++ support for designers, providing all the RAD facilities that were available to other languages for developing forms, controls, components, and DataSets. Furthermore, support has been added for the creation of verifiable assemblies with C++.In this article, the author reviews these additions as well as the new compiler and linker switches, demonstrating how C++ remains the premier systems language while becoming a powerful tool for .NET GUI development as well. Richard Grimes

Windows Forms: .NET Framework 1.1 Provides Expanded Namespace, Security, and Language Support for Your Projects

With the much-anticipated release of the .NET Framework 1.1, developers are eager to know what's been added to their programming bag of tricks. In this article, the author focuses on new developments in Windows Forms, such as namespace additions, support for hosting managed controls in unmanaged clients, and designer support for C++ and J#. Integrated access to the Compact Framework and new mobile code security settings also make this release noteworthy. Along with these features, the author reviews the best ways to handle multiple versions of the common language runtime and highlights some potential pitfalls. Chris Sells

Smartphones: Design Robust Apps that Take Advantage of Windows CE-powered Smartphone Devices

Smartphone applications promise to be at the crest of a new wave of cell phone advances as the familiar process of using Microsoft dev tools can produce cutting-edge mobile phone applications. Because Smartphones are Windows-powered devices, developers can easily and inexpensively extend both new and time-tested business applications to mobile users. These applications will possess the necessary levels of enterprise functionality while integrating mobile phone features through the use of several easy to use APIs. This article looks at the basics of building a real-world business application for the Smartphone. Chris Dellinger

Site Skinning: Rich XML Classes Let Users Personalize Their Visual Experience on Your ASP.NET Site

One way that Web sites and applications become better able to meet the needs of customers is by allowing them to personalize their experience. For Web sites, this means displaying the content as the user wants to see it. For rich-client applications, this often means allowing the user to choose the user interface through a technique known as skinning, which is similar to themes in Windows XP. This article shows how you can apply skinning to Web sites, wrapping their functionality in a new user interface. The technique uses the rich XML classes in the .NET Framework and the built-in extensibility of ASP.NET. Harry Pierson

Contexts in .NET: Decouple Components by Injecting Custom Services into Your Object's Interception Chain

The .NET Framework can use contexts as an object's execution scope and intercept calls going to and from the object, similar to the way COM+ provides component services. What is new with this mechanism is that the runtime allows developers to take part in the interception chain and add powerful services, thus extending existing component services. This in turn decouples the business logic from the system plumbing and simplifies long-term maintenance. Presently, .NET contexts and interception are undocumented aspects of .NET. This article presents the underlying interception architecture and message processing, explains custom context attributes, and walks through a custom interception-based component service. Juval Lowy

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Editor's Note: Patterns Patterns Everywhere

As loyal readers of MSDN Magazine know, each month's Editor's Note starts out with a tepid, last-minute stab at humorous content. The formula's pretty tried-and-true by now, and you could probably fill in the details in your sleep.

New Stuff: Resources for Your Developer Toolbox

StarPrint Limited has released VS. NETcodePrint, a Visual Studio® . NET Add-in that allows you to produce printouts of source code in Visual Basic® . NET. You can preview the printouts before printing and exporting to RTF, HTML, and PDF formats.Theresa W. Carey

Web Q&A: IDs as Anchors, Preventing Search, and More

Edited by Nancy Michell

The XML Files: Merging XML Files, Schema Validation, and More

Aaron Skonnard

Cutting Edge: Customize Your Open File Dialog

Displaying an Open File dialog is certainly easy in the Microsoft® . NET Framework with Windows® Forms, but the resulting window is not as customizable as when you create it through the Win32® API. With Windows 2000, Microsoft added a nice feature—the places bar, which is the vertical toolbar that appears on the left side of the window to let you select a frequently visited folder.Dino Esposito

Design Patterns: Creating Dynamic Factories in .NET Using Reflection

Design patterns are a powerful tool for designing flexible soft-ware. They provide well-tested solutions to recurring software design problems. One such widely used pattern is the Concrete Factory.Romi Kovacs

Advanced Basics: Handling Null Values with Controls

Ken Spencer

House of Web Services: Accessing Raw SOAP Messages in ASP.NET Web Services

Web Services exchange XML messages. Most of today's Web Service toolkits do their best to hide this fact from developers, by exposing a Web Service's behavior as method invocations against objects instead.Tim Ewald

Basic Instincts: Static Event Binding Using WithEvents

This month's Basic Instincts column builds upon my last three columns in which I introduced and explained the fundamental concepts and syntax associated with delegates and events. Last month I showed you how to design and write a simple class that defines and raises events.Ted Pattison

C++ Q&A: Find Icons, Launch an App from List Control, and More

Paul DiLascia

Talking To…: Michael Howard Discusses the Secure Windows Initiative

The growth of interconnected computers in recent years has pushed security concerns to the forefront of development and application design. The Microsoft effort, dubbed the Secure Windows Initiative (SWI), focuses on securing new and legacy code.