Rick Schummer opens the keynote with an overview of the Sedna and SP2 CTPs.
The Sedna enhancements include a whole bunch of stuff, let’s go through some of them.
First up Rick demonstrated the enhancements in the data Explorer. Beginning with the new optuins form, he highlighted the showplan option. You can picj the location of the upsizing wizard, which allows you to interchange and use your own version of the wizard. Things like button styles are now optional, and there is a new backup option.
There were some tips like the F5 run command in the Query form (it was there previously, but no one knew about it ). The query form now presents errors if they occur. Very handy.
NET4Com is the updated library for accessing .NET framework classes. Rick makes a good point about this wrapper class, in that it is a method for giving you access to all of the framework, not just the trivial examples that are included in the current release. And it will work for future .Net frameworks aswell – this is an approach, not a limited set of trivial examples. This is important to remember – I have to say I had previously been a little critical of the release, thinking it was limited to what came with the examples.
Next up an overview of the components coming from DBi Technologies. Microsoft has arrived at a relationshop with DBi that means that some of their ActiveX controls will be shipped for free with the Sedna release.
Rick then handed over to Doug who picked up with the My namespace.
The great thing about My is how easy it is to use. Whilst many of the My functionality can be called using API calls, here all the programmer needs is a single line of code. And making things easier is always a good thing right?
Next, onto the Upsizing Wizard. Besides the performance enhancements (more than an order of magnitude better can you believe it?) are some nice options for handling NULLs, and upsizing dates as NULL, plus a whole bunch more (eg more support for different connection methods).
But then the big bonus – unattended upsizing. Doug went through the code for programming an upsize of data, without having to go through the wizard approach. And even cooler, as it runs it fires events that you can bind to. Awesome. And it is even faster (can this be possible!) than the Wizard. Amazing.
Next, the Vista Toolkit. This was probably what I was most interested to see, since it is the newest component to be added to Sedna CTP.
Doug outlined the main parts of the Vista Toolkit. This includes some things that can be installed on XP (such as MSFeeds and Desktop Search) and then others that are Vista only. The main one is the Vista Common Dialogs. There is also the new XAML features and the XPS provider.
The new common dialogs have two main enhancements. First ofcourse is their nicer cleaner look. But the real bang is in the enhanced functionality.
Craig Boyd’s test bed form shows some of the cool features.
Having the Show details functionality is really cool. Footer information is also very nice. Having the progress bar built in to the dialog is really nice. And you can hook into the events so that you can control the progress bar. I love it.
The open dialog gives acces to things like Search built into the dialog. And it captures the events that the user performed on the dialog. This is really nice.
Having the desktop search abilities available is really nice. Set filters and order by clauses and click Execute. Very nice.
Hooking into the Search features is very powerful. The speed at which the search completes is astounding. Searching files, outlook properties and even RSS feeds is extremely easy and very fast.
Next, Doug showed the XAML capabilities now possible. This was very impressive. I hope this ships, but as Doug explained, it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
VFPx is a community project for extending VFP, with a number of projects all being maintained and built by community members. doug went through a few of the projects such as the GDIPlusX project.
Rick took over from Doug and demoed a few of the demos from VFPx. First up was Kevin Ragsdale’s Desktop alerts project. Rick showed the ‘toaster’ popup. Very nice.
Rick also called for more help with the projects. The community members seemed to have a common charateristic of over-committing themselves (I can relate to this one). So, guys like Kevin or Carlos or Cesar have made huge starts to the projects, but now we need help pushing the projects along. You can play a part.
Next was the ctl32 balloon tips demo. Sweet. And the coolest thing I liked was the Long Text ability. You can replace some of your longer tool tips with this very nice balloon.
Next was the ctl32 Status bar. Very nice.
And the thing that Rick mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised by was how stable the code base is on some of these things already. Rick is confident enought with the ctl32 and Desktop alerts projects that he is using some of the components in his production systems already.
The session ended with a call to action to be involved. Join a user group, join an online forum, become part of the VFPx initiative (even if just as a tester), create a blog (if you don’t have one already), and keep supporting the product.
The future of VFP is very bright.