Archive for September, 2007

Russ’ Toolshed makes a (limited) return to New England

My Buddy Russ is Visiting New England – It’s All About The Tools





Did you ever feel inundated with developer tools? Did you ever feel you are missing something that could make your life easier as a developer and as a power user? There are so many tools available to choose from and it keeps getting tougher to keep up with. Tool familiarity continues to be one of the top developer challenges. This series of seminars is all about tools for developers, by developers. Join Microsoft Florida Developer Evangelist Russ Fustino and MVP Stan Schultes (via Live Meeting) as they bring you demos and discussion about their favorite developer tools. Attend this session and see tools including but not limited to: Fiddler, Web Stress tool, IE Developer Toolbar, Visual Studio IDE Tools, Live Services, and Community tool web sites. There’s something here for everyone, from beginners to experts. Don’t miss this event. It’s where “It’s AATT”!

Presenter Bio

Russ Fustino ( wisely shelved dreams of rock and roll stardom in order to share his vast knowledge with developers nationwide. Given that he can’t sing or play an instrument, we’re all very grateful. Russ has more than 25 years of software development experience and he’s the creator of the Russ’ Tool Shed developer seminar series and has donned his trademark suspenders, hardhat and tool belt in presentations for over 70,000 developers at 1,500 events. Russ also has expertise in developing Visual Basic and Web-based solutions using Microsoft tools. Before joining Microsoft ten years ago, Russ worked as a VB instructor, headed up a development department, and created several client/server applications and system software products. His specialties include development with VB.NET, WCF, WPF, ASP.NET, and debugging. But make no mistake Russ is not all brains. His big heart led him to establish Take a Swing at Cancer, Inc., a non-profit organization that holds softball and golf-based fundraisers to battle cancer. You have to know the code to get in the shed. KNOW THE CODE!


10/24 – Waltham, Mass Microsoft Office MPR, 6:30-8:30 pm (Pizza, Beverages & Giveaways.)

Topic: It’s All About The Tools – Episode 1

Organized by Ronald Thibeau, John Ross, Dan Stolts MVP and Microsoft’s Neal Wadhwani

Registration Link:

Location: Microsoft

201 Jones Road, 6th floor

Waltham, MA 02451

Also, don’t forget MSDN event (VS 2008, Silverlight/AJAX, Astoria) in Boston the next day on 10/25


10/23    Connecticut .NET Developers Group, Farmington, CT Microsoft Office MPR,

Topic: It’s All About The Tools – Episode 1

Organized by SB Chatterjee and Microsoft’s own Allan Da Costa Pinto

Registration Link forthcoming, Web Site: to be updated

Location, Microsoft Framingham, CT Office, MPR


Also, don’t forget MSDN event (VS 2008, Silverlight/AJAX, Astoria) in Hartford earlier that same day on 10/23


Brought to you by: Boston User Groups and Bay State Integrated Technology, Inc.

Moving to BlogEngine.NET

Cool details on my experience coming soon !

Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests

A number of folks at Microsoft like Bertrand Le Roy have been working for some time to insure interop with our AJAX technologies.

Read about their successes here.,1895,2187997,00.asp,1895,2105689,00.asp

Resources from my AJAX World Talks

Thanks to everyone who attended my Keynot and breakout sessions at AJAX World and for all the kind worlds.

As promised, here are all th epowerpoint.

Keynote: AJAX In the Ballance.

Breakout: Doing AJAX with the Microsoft AJAX Development Platform

Breakout: Microsoft AJAX Programming on the Client

FastCGI for IIS Goes LIVE !!!

HUGE KUDOS to the IIS team for their hard work and innovation (technical and political) for making FastCGI a reality.)

If your a developer that needs to use a CGI based platform (Like PHP) and work on Windows – then this is a godsend.


They guys went into over-drive to get this ready before the upcoming Zend-Con. 

Here are the official particulars.

Since early 2006, Microsoft and Zend have been working together on a technical collaboration with the PHP community to significantly enhance the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.  As part of this collaboration, the IIS product group has been working on a new component for IIS6 and IIS7 called FastCGI Extension which will enable IIS to much more effectively host PHP applications.  


We’re  eager to announce availability of the Go Live release of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 (FastCGI Extension) as a free download from the IIS community site,  The Go Live release is the last step in the Microsoft beta process and represents the highest level of quality and reliability.  For the first time, customers have a license that permits them to deploy the FastCGI Extension on their production Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6) Web servers. “


This release could not have come at a more exciting time for the technology: previous beta releases on IIS.NET have had over 14,000 downloads and no less than six hosting partners have already begun offering PHP hosting on IIS 6 with the FastCGI Extension.  In addition to the downloads, the community site also has a very active forum of users exchanging ideas and providing feedback about the FastCGI Extension. “


With Microsoft’s implementation of the FastCGI open standard, IT Professionals will be able to host PHP applications on Windows Server® 2003 and IIS 6 with increased reliability, scalability, and security.    Customers also know that they will be able to count on Microsoft to stand by and service the Microsoft FastCGI Extension.  By supporting the open standard, Microsoft has made it possible for PHP and other CGI compliant languages to be hosted efficiently and effectively on Windows Server 2003 and IIS.  With the addition of FastCGI, IIS reliably and performantly hosts ASP.NET; classic ASP and PHP Web applications, making it easy for IT Professionals to standardize on IIS and Windows Server as their Web platform of choice.


This FastCGI Extension release is supported on IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003 for a fully scalable production environment and on IIS 5.1 on Windows XP in order to support developers who build their Web applications on Windows client machines.  This provides developers easy access to build and deploy a broader range of Web applications on the Microsoft platform.   To further facilitate application support, the IIS product group is working with the community to test and optimize popular PHP applications on this platform.  The IIS product group will make available ‘getting started’ guides for the most popular PHP applications as part of the release to help developers and Web hosters evaluate.


Looking ahead, betas of Windows Server 2008, already include the FastCGI Extension as a completely integrated feature of Internet Information Services IIS 7.0 (IIS7).   The new modular architecture introduced in IIS 7 will provide additional functionality to PHP applications by enabling them to take advantage of new managed code services.   In fact, Hostway has already deployed a PHP offer on Windows Server 2008 and Senior Architect, Matthew Baldwin, claims ‘IIS7’s integrated PHP support lets us offer our customers a host of new application options, with the same IIS infrastructure so there is no increase in support costs.’


These results demonstrate how Microsoft is embracing PHP hosting on Windows.  As a result of these efforts, the PHP community will be able to take advantage of the increased reliability of PHP on Windows and simplified administration available on the Windows platform.  Furthermore, this work multiplies the opportunities available on the Windows platform to partners and developers.  Regardless of the development or licensing model, today’s successful companies are choosing Windows.




·         FastCGI is now available for IIS6 as a Go Live release, meaning customers have a free license to deploy this production-quality release on Windows Server 2003 today.

·         Microsoft embraces PHP hosting on Windows by building the enabling technology but also by working with the PHP community to ensure that popular PHP applications will run performantly on the Windows platform.

·         FastCGI will ship in Windows Server 2008 as a built-in IIS component for the first time, sparing customers the hassle of downloading, installing and patching 3rd party products.


·         FastCGI allows IIS to reuse CGI processes for multiple requests to PHP applications; this alone dramatically improves the performance of PHP on Windows without any drop in reliability whatsoever.

·         The IIS Team expects all PHP applications built to run on Windows through CGI/ISAPI to work flawlessly with the FastCGI Extension for IIS6/7. 

·         To help bootstrap early adopters of PHP on Windows, the IIS team will be publishing “how to” articles that give step by step instructions on how to setup and install the most popular PHP apps on top of FastCGI and IIS/Windows.




Themes & Master Pages – Are they enough ?

I’m not a graphics designer, not even close.

In fact, I’m what you might refer to as esthetically challenged.

So lately I’ve been toying with the idea of building an ASP.NET based CMS, mostly due to my frustration about the lack of .NET based options when compared to PHP.

So I’ve been working on application architecture and ASP.NET offers lots of great synergies, but one place I’m stuck is in the area of UI abstraction for the purpose of themeing.

I understand how themes and Master Pages work technically, but my lack of design acumen leaves me struggling when evaluating them for complex UI design.

So, to get me started I picked up a copy of Jacob Sanford’s new book….

ASP.NET 2.0 Design – CSS, Themes and master Pages


I’ll blog a review and probably do some videos from what I learn, but in the mean time…..

What are YOUR thoughts about Themes and Master pages ?

What are the issues, tips, tricks, gotchas ?

Are Themes & master Pages flexible enough to serve as a templating engine for an application like Joomla or am I better off building an HTML/CSS skinning system from scratch ?