Michael OssouAs you probably know, for the past decade we have been sponsoring, championing, visiting, & speaking at Conferences, Code Camps,  and User Groups around the country. Some are large like the upcoming Dallas Day of Dot Net, and some consist of just a small group of passionate people.

Yesterday, Calvin Wong posted this about our most recent trip where I was presenting on the topic of ASP.NET SignalR. Every time I return to the office from one of these trips, I can’t help but think about how much the developers that don’t attend these events are missing out on.

Since the early days of microcomputers, User Groups have played a huge role in our industry. They are a fantastic environment to learn new things, meet like minded people, exchange and promote new ideas, and see what direction the local community is moving in. Now I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I’m just hoping to convince some of you to start attending.

Oh – and as for Calvin’s claims about my driving…you can clearly see from the video there was no zig-zagging or any other such Dukes-of-Hazzard type maneuvers going on!

What you can also see around the 2 minute mark is Calvin framing the Sony building where one of the talks was being held. Once he found his framing, he shut off the camera and tried to convince me to jump out the window and parachute down. He rambled on about his “Vision” and the YouTube course on “Getting Started with Pyrotechnics” that he just finished.

Then he showed me the storyboard he was working on:



Top 3 Things January Brought Developers

On January 30, 2014, in Miscellaneous, by Michael

Michael OssouI usually don’t do ‘lists’ – well unless it’s an IList<T> – but that’s another story. The purpose of this list is for me to share with you 3 things from this month that I feel you really should take the time to be aware of, read, or watch.

In no particular order:

1MVC 5.1, WebAPI 2.1, & Web Pages 3.1 were released. You can see the full details in the link, but MongoDB guys will be happy to hear about the BSON media-type formatter in WebAPI 2.1.

2Visual Studio Update 1 was released. This is primarily related to bug fixes. Word on the street is that an upcoming Update 2 will contain some new features. If you are planning to to use MVC 5.1 however, make sure to perform this update as it’s needed for the Razor views. There are also reports that this update can take a really long time. So it’s probably best to run it when your done working.

3The ng-conf Conference videos have been made available on YouTube. Those who are new to AngularJS, can watch Dan Wahlin’s intro with me here or his ‘AngularJS Fundamentals In 60-ish Minutes’ video here.


Michael OssouI have been playing with PhoneGap recently and I have to say I’m really impressed. For those of you who may not know, PhoneGap allows you to make Smart Phone Applications using just HTML, CSS, & JavaScript.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, it’s works on multiple mobile platforms. Meaning you can build your Application using the Web Technologies you already know, and run them on Android, IOS, Windows, and several other mobile platforms.



So whats involved exactly? PhoneGap is based on the Apache Cordova Project. It’s essentially a build system. You put your Web Application in one side and mobile application for each platform pops out the other side.

No weirdo Dev environment to use or any other funny business. You can use whatever tools you want to author your HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. You also get access to the device(s) hardware via the PhoneGap API by way of a JavaScript library.

What’s the downside? It’s not as fast as writing a native application. I wan’t to be clear here however, It’s fantastic for the types of applications Web Developers would build. The performance concerns are really related to game development. Even then, there are many examples of games built using PhoneGap.

To sweeten things even more, Adobe is involved in the way of offering PhoneGap Build as a service. Rather than downloading the bits yourself and running PhoneGap locally, you can use the Adobe PhoneGap Build Service. In this scenario, you build your app, upload it in ZIP format or point to a GitHub repository and they take care of the rest.

The Adobe service is just awesome and executed very well. There is even a debug feature that allows you to get debug information from an application running on your phone in real time. It’s pretty amazing. The service cost ranges from free to cheap and is well worth it.

I will be talking a lot more about working with PhoneGap in the weeks to come. If you can’t wait, hit the links above.

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Michael OssouThere are only a handful of blog posts that I truly get excited about writing and they are always related to the same thing. The next version of ASP.NET.

It’s that time again and Microsoft recently announced ASP.NET 4.5.1. We all know the release cadences for various products that revolve around ASP.NET are starting to change and come more often, but this is the one everybody waits for.

Well it’s here and we are excited to offer a free Beta sandbox for everyone to try. Most of you know we are a fan of doing these open Beta programs because we want to support the ASP.NET community. So there is no need to wait for the mound of good-ness that is ASP.NET 4.5.1 because we have a Windows 2012 R2 sandbox waiting for you.

To sign up head on over to our DiscountASP.NET Labs Site at http://labs.discountasp.net

You can see the complete feature list in the link above and its a home run. The two things I’m personally most excited about are Async Aware Debugging and App Suspension.


Michael OssouWhen I woke up at 5:45 am this past Saturday, I had two thoughts. The first was relief from the fact that I didn’t immediately die from waking up that early. The second was my concern that the light drizzle would affect the SoCal Code Camp attendance.

Well I didn’t die, it didn’t rain, and the devs came out in full force. Over 100 sessions were given. That’s right. Over 100. Every topic relevant to people who craft code was covered. There were some awesome sponsors including some guys from redgate who, incidentally, have an office just a few blocks from us.


If you haven’t attended a code camp or user group meet, you really should. The speakers are fantastic. What really makes these events special though is the attendees. Everyone with an interest in a particular topic huddles together and starts talking.

What makes these conversations so interesting is the fact that no one works for the same company. There is a lot of insight to be gained and shared from these exchanges because everybody comes to the conversation having looked at things through a different lens.

I only managed to attend 3 sessions as my primary purpose for being there was to meet with some of our customers and talk to them. I was also there to answer any questions people may have had about our services.

I really enjoyed all 3 sessions so it’s really hard to pick a stand out, but Chander Dhall‘s “10 things Every Developer Must Know” was fantastic. This isn’t a checklist gimmick, it’s very useful content. If you ever have the opportunity to attend his talk, it’s an absolute must.

I also really enjoyed Daniel Lewis’ introduction to NancyFX. He created a collaborative session with everyone in attendance sharing. Ben Moro from Neudesic also did a fantastic job during his Google Glass & node.js session. It was a lot of fun and great way to end the day.

I’m sorry I couldn’t attend any of the others. Hopefully next time I can and hopefully more people will join us at http://www.socalcodecamp.com



Michael OssouWe are holding our first Google+ Hangout on Thursday, July 18th at 2:30 Pacific time (technically this is our second hangout, though the first one was rather anticlimactic and sort of fail-y, so I can understand why Mr. Ossou chooses to pretend that it never happened – Editor).

Come watch us make fools of ourselves as we discuss all things ASP.NET and Web Dev.

Admission is free, valet parking will be provided, and you are all on the list.


Michael OssouEarlier this week, jQuery 2.0 was released.

I’ll save you the rehash, you can look to their site for information regarding the updates. The interesting thing I wanted to mention was that as of  2.0, they dropped support for IE 6, 7, & 8. This means everybody else is going to start following suit.

I often see developers on social networks asking if they really need to still support these browsers. I always take it as code for “If you guys stop, I finally can too.” So unless you have a strong user base stuck in a time-warp, I think this clearly marks the end of a very painful era – kind of.

CodeProject recently put out a poll that stated only 25% of developers are committed to still supporting the older versions of IE. Frankly, I think that number is going to get smaller really quickly. But again, it all depends on your user base and your needs. I also want to share one more statistic that I think you have to see.

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RavenDB And Shared Hosting

On March 22, 2013, in How-to, Miscellaneous, Technical, by Michael

Michael OssouNoSQL databases have gotten a lot of attention recently. This is primarily due to them being seen as scalable, great for working with documents, and generally a good option for people that have a huge amount of non-relational data. Think Twitter. Twitter is a great example of a service where a NoSQL solution can really shine. They have an enormous amount of data that isn’t very relational.

In the ASP.NET world, RavenDB is a popular option. For those of you brave enough to take the NoSQL plunge, I wanted to guide you through getting started and mention a few things. RavenDB can run in many modes.

The one we are concerned with when it comes to running it on a shared hosting account is Embedded Mode. This essentially embeds the RavenDB goodness into your application and will work on a shared hosting account. In fact, there is even a nuget package that you can use to drop it into your project.

Embedded mode even contains an HTTP server. However, this option will not work in a shared hosting account. So do not set:

UseEmbeddedHttpServer = true

Your best option would probably be to add something like this to your code:

UseEmbeddedHttpServer = true;

That way you could change your build type for either working locally or for production when you publish. For those looking for a fantastic tutorial and sample application, look no further than here.

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