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.


Web Developers at DiscountASP.NET

On January 29, 2014, in Research, by Dr. S. Hadi

Stefanus HadiWhile some website hosting companies may claim that they host many sites for web developers, DiscountASP.NET has always maintained a large majority of developers in our customer base.

This post is based on our customer survey conducted in October 2013 and focuses on our U.S.-based customers. For the survey, we received a total of 644 responses, representing about 5% of total U.S. clients.

In the survey, we asked our customers to best describe their web development skill level and select from five options, including “I’m an advanced web designer/developer,” “I’m an intermediate web designer/developer,” “I’m a beginner web designer/developer,” “I’m the owner of this hosting account and I have others who develop my web site,” and “Other.”

The results showed that of 76% of our customers in the US are intermediate to advanced web designers/developers. Eight percent of our customers described themselves as beginner web developers. The remaining 15% identified themselves as the owner of the hosting account and 1% answered with the “other” option.

Web-development-skill-levelWhen we segment our U.S. customers by their web development skill level and hosting age, we find that a higher percentage of our younger customers tend to be advanced developers. The survey results show that 43% of the  customers who have been with us for five years or more described themselves as advanced developers, compared to 58% of customers who opened an account with us in 2012.

Web-development-skill-level-by-hosting-ageThe study found that the majority of recently acquired customers are advanced web developers. This result also supports some of our previous findings where we observed that our recently acquired customers intend to spend more time focusing on developing mobile applications for example.

It is great to see that all of our efforts to stay on top of new technologies as they are released is attracting developers to DiscountASP.NET.

Managed TFS 2013 Now Available

On January 27, 2014, in Announcements, Team Foundation Server, by Takeshi Eto

Takeshi Etotfs 2013Last year we launched Shared TFS 2013 hosting, and today we are announcing that Managed TFS 2013 Hosting is available in our U.S. and U.K.-based data centers.

Managed TFS is our premium TFS hosting solution; your own instance of Team Foundation Server on a dedicated VM all to yourself. No sharing involved.  Because you’re on your own server, we can offer server-side customization that is not available with shared TFS – for example, we can install special software on the server for you. More information on hosted TFS features here.

For our Managed TFS 2013 service we offer both the TFS Basic and TFS Full configurations. TFS Basic includes source control and work item tracking (our Shared TFS Hosting service is TFS Basic). The TFS Full option adds SharePoint and Reporting.

If you are interested a Managed TFS Hosting solution, please contact us for a quote.

If you are considering a Managed TFS solution but are not 100% sure if it’s right for you or your team, you can always try the 30 day free offer for our Shared TFS hosting solution (for up to 5 users) and test it to see if the hosted TFS ALM system works for you before you commit to a managed TFS solution.


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.

Tagged with:  
Dino Dogan

Dino Dogan at New Media Expo 2014

Michael PhillipsDino Dogan claims that the first Tweet was sent 30,000 years ago when someone blew a plant-based dye out of their mouth and made an outline of their hand on a cave wall.

He compared cave paintings to social media during a panel discussion at the New Media Expo a little more than a week ago, and I think he happens to be spot on.

Though I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not a message that a lot of people who make their livings through social media would necessarily be comfortable with. Because in order to sell a service (or sell yourself providing a service) these days, it’s important to appear to be on the bleeding edge of everything that comes down the line to someone’s computer, tablet or phone.

But if you take a step back and look at what we’re doing on all those computers, it’s not substantially different than what we’ve been doing for centuries:

Having conversations
Looking at pictures
Listening to music
Getting the latest news

Of course none of those things are “new,” by anyone’s definition of new. So what is “New Media”? We’re dealing with new delivery methods, for sure, but what are those new methods delivering?

Pictures (some of them moving pictures on YouTube)


We humans haven’t evolved much in the past few centuries, even if our technology has. We still want to do the same things we have always wanted to do; talk, find out what’s going on in the world, hear some music and look at some art. It’s just easier to do all of those things now, and we have technology to thank for that.

This social media stuff changes rapidly – at least the tools we use to engage in it do – which is why I continue to go to the New Media Expo. When you attend a conference like that you’re one short, fragile step ahead of the curve, and you get yourself involved with a lot of new things (maybe even before you want to be involved with them). In our business that’s important, because you guys talk to us using half a dozen different platforms, tools and methods. We stay on top of the technology because we value our communication with you.

NMX exhibition floorBut technology aside, I think a lot of what is discussed at conferences like NMX could have been discussed at a television or radio conference in 1965. How do we better communicate with our users? How do we get our message across to them without being boring or worse, not recognizing what they want and need? Those are questions we’re always asking.

The point Dogan was making when he called a cave painting “the first Tweet,” was that cave painting and social media have the same essence, and that is one human communicating with another. The same desires and skills are at work, as is the same fundamental need to connect. We can dress it up in new technology, but the result is the same.

NMX keynoteSo talk to us! On our forum, on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and whatever else you’ve got up your sleeve. We’re here.

Images: Photos by Trav Williams, Broken Banjo Photography;
iBlog by PageLines