Visual Studio Lightswitch

I am starting to hear about a new tool from Microsoft called Visual Studio Lightswitch. At first I had trouble figuring out who the heck this tool was aimed at. Now it seems it is for lightweight developers who want to create a database app. Specifically it seems to work with SQL Server.

Lightswitch apps are built on Silverlight. You can extend them using Visual Basic or C#. If you know technologies such as WCF or Entity Framework, then you are going to be at home with Lightswitch. Personally I am a C++ developer. I do not currently do Silverlight. So this one does not seem to be for me.

Corrupt Visual Studio

I needed to quickly roll out a prototype app for my new idea. So I coded up the app using my Visual Studio 2005 Professional. Something weird happened. The linker would bomb every other time I ran it.

After a while, it did not happen every single other time. However it aborted on the average once every two runs. This was very strange. I needed a version of Visual Studio with Installshield anyway. To solve this, I decided to install Visual Studio 2010 Professional. It looks like the linker problem has gone away.

What the heck was that all about? I don't know. If it happpens again, I will have to consult Microsoft support.


If you app does not handle an exception, a dump file will be generated. This gets done automatically by Windows Error Reporting. You are going to want some custom tools to work with this dump file.

You should start with Debugging Tools for Windows. This is a part of the Windows SDK. It is also part in parcel of the Windows Driver Kit, which you use compile additions to the tools.

Once you get into the WDK, the world is at your fingertips. I want to get to creating my own extension to the WDK. Unfortunately we have app crashes too frequently on our system. Time to investigate them and figure out what we need to do to eliminate them.

Nokia Partnership

Nokia has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft. Nokia will use Windows Phone 7 for its smart phones. It will also use Bing for search on its phones.

Nokia has a 31% market share in the mobile phone market. They previously partnered with Intel to produce the MeeGo open source mobile operating system.

The Windows Mobile operating system is being phased out. It is being replaced by Windows Phone 7. This o/s targets the consumer market. Other phone manufacturers using Windows Phone 7 include Samsung, LG, and Ericsson.

Visual Studio Plugins

Visual Studio 2010 has a lot of plugins that can make your IDE work easier. First off there is Wordlight. It will highlight all occurrences of some text in your code. Next there is the Color Theme Editor which can modify the color of everything in Visual Studio.

There are some package plugins that give you must bang for your buck. Powercommands is a bunch of tools wrapper into one. Power Tools by Microsoft is also multiple features bundles into one plugin.

Don't count out writing your own extensions to Visual Studio. Be reminded that you can't use these plugins in the free Visual Studio Express version. They work with the other versions of Visual Studio 10 though. Get cracking.