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Archive for June, 2006

Hanging out the shingle (consulting availability)

Hanging out the shingle (consulting availability)

We have some consulting time available! We are primarily a consulting / training / mentoring / content development group. We took a bit of a hiatus to build Church Radius (church management software) but it has launched so we’re available again. Our primary focus is Microsoft technologies including .NET, SQL Server, and related technologies. The past 2+ years we have done a lot of ASP.NET-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) work but our experience and skill set is certainly broader than that.

We have a few services available:

Consulting and Contract Development

Software development is not quite as easy as falling off a bike. We can help get it done right and on time. We can provide various levels of service from high-level guidance on architecture and design right down to pumping out the code.

Mentoring and Training

If you are more of a we-do-it-all-in-house type of development shop, that’s great. We can help keep your development utility belt up-to-date with customized training and mentoring. We have a great mentoring program called On Tap – read more at http://www.ardentdev.com/OnTap/.

New Offering: Process Improvement / Project Governance / Crisis Intervention

Ron Smith, a PMI-certified project manager with experience in crisis project intervention, is now offering help to companies with struggling projects or looking to optimize their process. Here’s a breakdown of what Ron’s doing:

Why is it that a horror story project gets so out of control before management knows about it? Projects gone bad are expensive to fix and they destroy morale, causing high staff turnover and re-training costs. And then there’s the damage to your company’s reputation in the eyes of the customer. Well-run projects have clear escalation paths and good communication up and down the ladder. If that doesn’t sound like your company or project, keep reading.

Ron has helped dozens of troubled projects for companies of all sizes. He can help your team make simplified plans to tackle complex situations and start dealing with issues one at a time. A finely tuned team can overcome drastic changes in scope or direction and overcome hurdles without breaking stride. And team members will be happier because the project no longer appears unmanageable.

Ron has run Root Cause Analysis and Problem Resolution for Fortune 500 companies. He has helped turn around projects with demoralized teams facing million dollar penalties.

If you find yourself constantly in firefighting mode and going from one tornado project to the next, call Ron.

We’d love to help out with your projects. Give me a shout at 1-877-672-3487 (ext. 111) or email me at derek@ardentdev.com to discuss.

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June 14, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
New laptop battery

New laptop battery

TOSHIBA Portege M200 series Main battery

On Friday I did something new: I ordered a new battery for my laptop (it arrived today). I’ve never had a primary laptop long enough to get really bothered by reduced battery life. It’s been more than 1.5 years since I got my Toshiba M200 Tablet PC and I still love it. In that time the battery life has gone from 3.5 to 4.5 hours to about 1 hour or so. I’m flying to LA next week and that trip is just too long to only have an hour of battery life.

TOSHIBA Portege M200 series Main battery


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.NET 2.0 + WinFX is now .NET 3.0

.NET 2.0 + WinFX is now .NET 3.0

In case you’ve missed all the noise about this, Microsoft is rebranding WinFX as .NET 3.0. More accurately, .NET 3.0 is .NET 2.0 plus WinFX, which includes WPF, WCF, WF (Workflow), and WCS (CardSpace, formerly InfoCard). Overall I think this is a great idea. There is bound to be some confusion given that .NET Framework 3.0 includes the same compilers and runtime from .NET Framework 2.0. But hopefully it will clear up the confusion that was building about the relationship between .NET 2.0 and WinFX.

The announcement came a few days ago (just before TechEd) from the corporate VP of the Developer Division of Microsoft: http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2006/06/09/624300.aspx.

At first glance I didn’t think it was a great idea but I warmed to it quickly. Rumblings I’ve seen have been that this is not a big enough change to warrant a full version number jump but that’s nonsense. WinFX encompasses a lot of new stuff in the form of managed APIs. .NET Framework 3.0 is really just the branded name of the distribution for marketing anyway – nothing changes technically.

Of course there will still be things to complain about. For example, if you ask me to build an ASP.NET 2.0 application, we have to then talk about whether we are targeting .NET 2.0 or .NET 3.0 so I know if I can use Indigo and Workflow.

Ultimately what is great about this change is that it positions the .NET Framework as the replacement brand for Win32 rather than WinFX. We all love .NET but WinFX is new and strange.

Some more info on naming versus versioning of .NET: http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonz/archive/2006/06/13/630066.aspx.


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Church Radius Featured at ITBusiness.ca

Church Radius Featured at ITBusiness.ca

churchradius was featured in an article at ITBusiness.ca:

Parishioner converts his church to software as a service model


June 6, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
Team System for Database Professionals

Team System for Database Professionals

I have been waiting anxiously for this: Microsoft has announced Team System for Database Professionals. Among the coming features are:

  • rename refactoring,
  • a new T-SQL editor,
  • a schema compare tool that will generate scripts to sync the schemas of two databases,
  • a data compare tool that will generate scripts to sync the data in two databases, and
  • a database unit testing infrastructure.

More info here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/products/dbpro/default.aspx


June 1, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More