.NET on the ‘Net April 17-23 : Putting it all online

Ian Muir

This post is offically quite late. A combination of hackers and the first nice weather in 6 months can be quite distracting.

Microsoft has made some big announcements this week around their web strategy. Microsoft’s Salesforce.com competitor, Dynamics CRM Online, launched this week. With this launch and plans to add more services under the Dynamics umbrella, this could mean that many of us will be integrating elements of these tools into our web applications soon. While I haven’t read any responses from salesforce.com, I have noticed that they’ve already purchased Google AdWords related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It will be interesting to see if this new Microsoft toolset will catch on.

In addition to releasing Dynamics CRM, Microsoft announced details about the upcoming Live Mesh service. Live Mesh represents Microsoft’s next step in moving away from a desktop-centric model to a more web integrated software plus service model. Like the Dynamics Platform, Live Mesh could provide some interesting opportunities for integrating some office style features into you apps. It remains to be seen what developer tools will be available surrounding these services. I was hoping to post a quick first impression here, but my account is still pending.

The Visit Mix site has posted an interesting series of videos called Startup – a – Week. The videos are a kind of web-based reality show about a group of developers given one week to turn a startup concept into a reality. The series has 5 episodes posted so far which provide a few code examples and demonstrations about building a Facebook app with Visual Studio.

In the land of tutorials and code examples, there were a few items worth pointing out. Phil Haack has been posting some solid articles about working with the Microsoft MVC framework in IronRuby. While I don’t use IronRuby, it’s nice to see some alternatives to Rails. Brad Abrams posted two solid tutorials for SilverLight. The first is a step-by-step tutorial for building a data-centric SilverLight UI, and the second focuses on communicating with Flickr via REST APIs. While the code in the tutorials is good, please disregard the horrible red to blue gradient that has become a staple of SilverLight tutorials.

Finally, if you live in New York, San Francisco, San Antonio, or Atlanta, you should head down to your local AT&T store and play with their new Surface computer. I had a chance to play around with Surface at MIX and it’s pretty darn cool. Hopefully this pilot program with AT&T will lead to more computers evolving into big-ass tables.