Posted by: Spacehamster74 | 12/18/2009

Visual Studio 2010 – A .NET Odyssey?

When I'm on holiday I normally spend the entire time either sleeping, watching movies and television, or playing computer games. However, after several discussions with my work colleagues I've decided to brush up my programming skills in my spare time. To paraphrase my colleague Daniel – "Pick a programming language you like and stick with it.". So I've decided to choose the .NET Development platform.

Why .NET? Because I use it extensively at work, and because there are certain areas in .NET that interest me –

  • LINQ: I've already had a go at LINQ, which essentially turns database transactions into a first-order query programming language.
  • EDM: I had an unpleasant learning experience with Entity Data Modelling in .NET 3.5, but I have heard rumors that EDM in .NET 4.0 may have improved.
  • Silverlight: I also want to take a much closer look at Silverlight (Microsoft's equivalent of Flash), which seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment. 
  • Web Services: I think this area is one of the most important to look at, as it seems every man and his dog is using web service SOAP/REQUEST calls nowadays.

I've also tried looking at some third-party applications – Entity Spaces and VistaDB. Unfortunately, it didn't go well – apparently the Trial versions of Entity Spaces and VistaDB don't play well together. Needless to say I'll be sticking with EDM/LINQ and SQL Server 2008 for the foreseeable future.

My goal is to develop an application that a user can use to search for a title they own (either a book, DVD or software) on Amazon.com, and then store the information in a database. It's a pretty simple application that can potentially covers several areas –

  • Web Services: Use SOAP/REQUEST calls to the Product Advertising API.
  • EDM/LINQ: Saves and retrieves titles to and from the database.
  • Silverlight(?): Used to design the GUI

Okay, so this has probably been done many times before by many developers. The point is that I've never done it before, and I'll never become a good Developer unless I'm prepared get my hands dirty and learn from my mistakes as well as my successes.

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