Category: Technical Documents

New content for my Microsoft book

The Microsoft’s book I have published few months ago: “Building Enterprise Applications with WPF and MVVM” has been a success but I still got some negative feedbacks that me and my editor we want to get rid off.

This book is my first real book and of course it was my first experience on writing a book (for this reason we kept the price of the book very low). Anyway .. I got some bad feedbacks about missing parts, parts not explained as expected and a misunderstanding of the book audience and target.

I personally believe that the biggest problem is in the title of book, it drives you a little bit out of the topic of the book, if you buy this book you will believe to get the “bible to LOB applications with MVVM”, which is not.

For this reasons and also to keep high the audience of the book, we have decided to deliver for free new additional content for the book! Open-mouthed smile

The list of the new content is still under discussion with my editor but this is a rough list of the topics I will touch or expand in this new context that should be composed by 3 additional chapters!

  • Design patterns
    I am planning to add 20/30 additional pages on the second chapter in order to exhaustively cover everything related to the most known design patterns
  • Advanced MVVM
    I will add a new chapter where I will explain some “well known” problems you may find when the adoption of the MVVM pattern starts to get tricky!
  • Composite Frameworks for MVVM in practice
    In this chapter we will build the same Master-Detail UI logic using the three most famous frameworks for WPF/Silverlight: PRISM, Caliburn and Light Toolkit

If you believe that the book is still missing other information, feel free to send me an e-mail and I will be glad to discuss this with my editor.

Note: Remember also that we are planning to distribute the source code of the book as an Open Source project on Codeplex.com before the end of the year.

Hope this will help!

Applied WPF in context is out.

During the last two months I have been away from Bermuda and I didn’t have a lot of time to write or post any news on this blog.

In the meantime, I didn’t realize that my new book from APRESS: “Applied WPF 4 in context” has been published so it is time to post some info about it.

The cover of the book is following the APRESS new style and it is the following one:

APRESS_cover

The new series “applied in context” of APRESS deliver content by example and practical code, so in this book you will realize a full working WPF 4 application using all the available tools of Microsoft like: Visual Studio 2010, Expression Blend 4 and SQL Server 2008 R2.

Who this book is for?

This book is for Windows application developers who want to understand the context in which WPF sits and the standards and best practices that can be employed to improve the efficiency and maintainability of their projects. This book can be used by a junior developer to learn WPF and understand how to architect a layered application, and it can be used also by a senior developer as a reference for developing scalable WPF applications.

Table of content.

Following is the table of content of the book:

  1. Introducing WPF and XAML
  2. Sample Application: Overview and Getting Started
  3. Microsoft Expression Blend
  4. Creating the Views
  5. Adding Controls to the Views
  6. The Entity Framework
  7. Data Binding
  8. Command Handling and Event Routing
  9. Testing with TDD   
  10. Reports with Microsoft Reporting Services
  11. Deploying the Application Using ClickOnce
  12. Design Patterns in WPF
  13. WPF and Multi-Threading
  14. Interacting with WCF

Distributors.

The book is released and published by APRESS so in this case the book can be bought from the APRESS web site or from one of their distributors. Right now, Amazon has already run out of copies so you should expect the next distribution starting the 7th of June for the Paperback copy. You can still download the e-book from Amazon.com or APRESS. I am not sure I will distribute this book also with Kindle as I had some issues with the previous one so for now it won’t be available directly in the Kindle web site or in the iBook application for iPad.

Right now you can buy the book here:

The are also other distributors that I do not personally follow but I believe that buying the book directly from APRESS will give you the best price/availability options.

Prices.

This is the list of the official prices, if you find the book with a different price from a different distributor than the one listed in the previous section I am not aware about it, so please let me know if you believe someone is distributing the book with a non fair price.

Print version with shipment from APRESS including TAX: 49.99 USD

E-book version from APRESS including TAX: 34.99 USD

Enjoy and as usual, let me know what you think about it! Hot smile

VSDocMan review–Auto generate VS Help

In these days I have been busy in the office by implementing a mechanism of C.I. (Continuous Integration) by releasing some facilities assemblies so that the developers that are working with me will be able to work always with the latest version of a specific .dll.

One of the most important thing I noticed when you work with a third-party or a legacy .dll is the documentation needed within the code. If you think for a moment on what you do when you work with .NET Framework, every time you do not know how to use a specific component or a specific class, you simply type www.msdn.com and you start to search in the help directory for some sample code or for a documentation.

The same important thing has to be done when you work with a third-party component or simply when you are in charge of releasing a facility assembly/framework like I do in my office.

Before showing you what I have found over the internet to solve the problem of generating the documentation, I want to explain you a little bit how the Visual Studio documentation system works.

Visual Studio documentation mechanism

One of the features included in Visual Studio, since one of the first version (maybe 2003/2005?) is the XML embedded documentation that allows you to write documentation in an XML format like the following example:

Sample documented Class
  1. /// <summary>
  2. /// Class level summary documentation goes here.</summary>
  3. /// <remarks>
  4. /// Longer comments can be associated with a type or member
  5. /// through the remarks tag</remarks>
  6. public class TestClass
  7. {
  8.     /// <summary>
  9.     /// Store for the name property</summary>
  10.     private string _name = null;
  11.  
  12.     /// <summary>
  13.     /// The class constructor. </summary>
  14.     public TestClass()
  15.     {
  16.         // TODO: Add Constructor Logic here
  17.     }
  18.  
  19.     /// <summary>
  20.     /// Name property </summary>
  21.     /// <value>
  22.     /// A value tag is used to describe the property value</value>
  23.     public string Name
  24.     {
  25.         get
  26.         {
  27.             if (_name == null)
  28.             {
  29.                 throw new System.Exception(“Name is null”);
  30.             }
  31.             return _name;
  32.         }
  33.     }
  34.  
  35.     /// <summary>
  36.     /// Description for SomeMethod.</summary>
  37.     /// <param name=”s”> Parameter description for s goes here</param>
  38.     /// <seealso cref=”System.String”>
  39.     /// You can use the cref attribute on any tag to reference a type or member
  40.     /// and the compiler will check that the reference exists. </seealso>
  41.     public void SomeMethod(string s)
  42.     {
  43.     }
  44.  
  45.     /// <summary>
  46.     /// Some other method. </summary>
  47.     /// <returns>
  48.     /// Return results are described through the returns tag.</returns>
  49.     /// <seealso cref=”SomeMethod(string)”>
  50.     /// Notice the use of the cref attribute to reference a specific method </seealso>
  51.     public int SomeOtherMethod()
  52.     {
  53.         return 0;
  54.     }
  55.  
  56.     /// <summary>
  57.     /// The entry point for the application.
  58.     /// </summary>
  59.     /// <param name=”args”> A list of command line arguments</param>
  60.     static int Main(System.String[] args)
  61.     {
  62.         // TODO: Add code to start application here
  63.         return 0;
  64.     }
  65. }

By using this documentation technique you are giving to your code an additional immeasurable value; especially if you work with some Visual Studio plugin like Resharper, for example, you will come up with a nice and well formatted intellisense suggestion if you decorate the code in this way.

parameter_info_csharp

If you want to learn more about it, MSDN offers a great section about the XML documentation in Visual Studio 2010 and how it should be used.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/b2s063f7.aspx

This is a great article that gives you a full overview of this technology: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc302121.aspx

Documentation with VSDocMan

Last week, after I started working on this C.I. project I just realized that now, more than everything, the other guys that will use my code will need tons of documentation in order to understand how to use my toolkits an facilities. Well I do not want to “blown my own trumpet” but I can easily say that I usually document whatever I write and that I use a lot Resharper and StyleCop to make my code readable and uniform. Unfortunately I am very allergic to .chm files in general.

I have this tool that is called VsDocMan my lifeline and I want to show you how it works; trust me it is simply AWESOME! Hot smile

First of all you can generate VS documentation with a simple Click on the toolbar or in the context menu; in fact VSDocMan allows you to self-document your classes with some pre-defined XML schemas

Automatic insertion of XML comments

Another interesting feature is the Comment Editor command, with this command VSDocMan will show you an interactive MSDN style documentation of how the final doc will look like so that you can easily change your documentation structure in a WYSIWYG editor without the need of struggling with the ugly XML

Editor for XML documentation comments

Plus it allows you to generate a dynamic class diagram that is clickable and that points to the corresponding documentation file!

VSDOCMan generates a lot of different documentations: .chm, MSDN style, MSDN V2, HTML, a full MSDN HTML web site and much more. It is very cheap in my opinion for what it does and if you are looking for a professional and fully working solution to generate documentation from your code, you should seriously consider to spend some time and money on this AWESOME product.

As usual, my two cents. Just kidding

VMWare Fusion 3 or Parallels 5? My two cents.

It has been a month now since my last post. Unfortunately I have been very busy in the office and more than that I also lost my old PC.

Now, I bought a nice MacBookPro 13” with an SD disk and I can’t complain at all about performances and robustness of my new laptop.

As many of you already know, I am a Windows Developer, or better, I use .NET as my primary development tool. As you can understand this requirement doesn’t fit at all with my new Laptop, a Steve Jobs’ “PC”.

Also I want to let you know that I didn’t have any intention to buy an MBP and use Windows on it, it doesn’t make any sense. Also I am not afraid saying that Snow Leopard is an awesome operating system, really well done. So for these reasons here we come with the virtualization solution I have tried in the latest month.

There are two major software for virtualize Windows on a MAC. The first is VMWare Fusion 3, a product of the famous software house specialized in virtualization, VMWare; the second is Parallels Desktop for MAC.

I tried both software for the evaluation period and I want to be honest, after I tried parallels (it was the second one) I pointed my choice to it without any reserve.

But let’s just review what you can do with Fusion and what you can do with Parallels.

Comparison.

The first thing that everyone of you will notice is the price. Pretty cheap for what the software does and pretty close one to the other one. VMWare Fusion is sold now for 79 USD without assistance or subscription and 99 with 12 months subscription. Parallels is sold for 79 USD and you can add 6 USD if you want to be able to get the software download available for 12 months.

Trial version. Both trials are full for 30 days is Fusion and for 15 is Parallels. The big difference is that for Fusion you need to register an account on their web site and I got an answer from then with the serial key, only the next day. With parallels you get everything you need in the same time you download the trial. Very quick.

Windows Installation. For both system I did a full customized installation in a new expandable virtual disk. Here there is nothing to say more than Parallels was much faster. Maybe 10 minutes to get Windows 7 ready to go? Fusion spent more time … and then you need to install this and that. With parallels my machine was ready to go after the installation.

Modality. If you ever worked in the past with another VMWare product, you know that they provide 2 way to integrate the guest system with the host. You can use the VM Player or you can use Unity. With Unity you will have the active program running in windows, integrated into your MAC OS. And here we come with the huge difference. Parallels has 5 different ways to integrate windows inside your MAC. The best is the crystal mode. Here is a small summary of the parallels display futures:

  • New! MacLook Theme — Transform Windows applications by making them look like native Mac applications
  • New! Crystal Mode — Pull the shades on Windows altogether. Access Windows and Mac apps from the Mac Dock
  • Coherence — Run Windows and Mac apps side-by-side as if both operating systems have melted together into one.
  • Window — Choose to run your Virtual Machine as a separate window alongside your Mac apps.
  • Modality — View all your Virtual Machines and programs running in transparent windows working in Mac OS X.
    Full Screen — Don’t give up the familiarity of Windows. Replace your Mac desktop with Windows 7, Vista, or XP

Visual Studio 2010. I tried different approaches with both systems but if you try to use Windows Aero on Fusion running VS, the system is slow and also the screen has a strange refresh. I also enabled the 3D acceleration but nothing changed. With Parallels I am doing this: VS2010 + Windows Live Writer + Photoshop CS4 on MAC + iTunes on MAC in the same time and I can’t complain at all. Look at this screenshot:

parallels.png

Shared spaces. If you use the integration on Fusion “Unity” or one of the various integration in Parallels you can share the data from Win to MAC OS. This is pretty cool especially if you are working with Live Writer on Windows and Photoshop on MAC. Unfortunately if you plan to share a VS Solution, due to permissions problems and wrong setup, with Fusion it can be a pain in the neck.
I can’t complain at all about Parallels, I can simply copy something from my MAC desktop and paste it directly inside Live Writer or vice-versa.

I don’t know what you think about having a MAC OS and working on VS 2010 but now that I am working on a MAC, thanks to Parallels, I won’t move anymore back to a PC, trust me!

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Books review: Scrum techniques.

Today it seems to be, for me, the day of the books review. The reason is because I am at home, for the Christmas holiday, and my wife is working. tongue-out This means “I have time to read my tech books and write some posts on my blog”.

What is scrum?

The scrum is an agile methodology used in software development. This is the description provided on Wikipedia:

“Scrum is an iterative incremental framework for managing complex work (such as new product development) commonly used with agile software development. Although the word is not an acronym, some companies implementing the process have been known to spell it with capital letters as SCRUM. This may be due to one of Ken Schwaber’s early papers, which capitalized SCRUM in the title.[1]

Although Scrum was intended for management of software development projects, it can be used to run software maintenance teams, or as a general project/program management approach.”

There are a lot of resources over the network and I can’t explain what is scrum and how it should be implemented in one post, for sure! But I have found a couple of really interesting books that you should read if you plan to adopt this technique in your IT Department.

Agile Software Development with Scrum.

Prentice Hall – Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle (45.99 USD)

image

Thanks to my boss, I had in my hands this book that is the first book written by Ken Schwaber, the author and founder of the Scrum technique.

The book is easy to read and distill both, practice and theory on how the Scrum methodology should be used and implemented.

A must to have for a software architect and for a project manager.

Agile Project Management with Scrum.

Microsoft – Ken Schwaber (39.99 USD)

image

This is the second book written by Ken Schwaber and in my opinion is another must to have! It is pretty clear, if you have already read the previous book, that in this book Ken will share all his experience in mentoring Scrum.

Easy to read and very well done, with samples and pictures (flowcharts) that will guide you through the process of learning and applying the Scrum technique in your daily routine.

Additional resources.

I am not going to enumerate the thousands of blogs and web sites that talk about Scrum but I have a friend of mine, that is not living anymore in Italy, that is a great Scrum master and has a blog where he talks only about Scrum, you can have a look at his blog here: Luca Minudel.

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Book review: Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0

A dear friend of mine, Simone Chiaretta, ASP.NET MVP wrote an interesting book about ASP.NET MVC in collaboration with Keyvan Nayyeri.

image

The book is Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0, edited by Wrox, available on Amazon.com at this address for the price of 31.49 USD.

I am going to write a review of this book because, first of all, I know Simone and his professionalism. Second, because I am working now on an ASP.NET MVC project in my company, and this book was really helpful for me, so I am pretty sure that it will be the same for you guys.

Summary and structure of the book.

The book has 19 chapters plus a couple of appendixes. Each chapter covers a specific argument. At the end of each chapter there is always a section for the exercises and a summary section. The first thing you will like about this book is the huge amount of sample code!

At the end of the book there is the appendix B that contains all the solutions related to each exercise, so you won’t get lost.

The appendix A has a lot of useful links that you can follow, resources, links, books and more.

Finally there is the index that is done for a “dev” reader. It’s not a normal index but an index divided by alphabetic order that includes also all those components and “code” that you will find in the book. So you will find, for example, the page that talks about “NHibernate”.

Case studies.

What I really liked about this book is the 2 case studies that you will find at the end. Simone has created these 2 case studies that will reflect 2 real solutions, one is a blog and the second one is … a surprise. I am not going to tell you everything because you must buy it. Wink

This is something really well done as you will apply all the knowledge you got through the book into 2 real solutions!

Chapters.

Of course I am not going to describe each chapter, but this is the list of chapters so you can understand why this book is so well done, IMHO:

  1. MVC pattern
  2. WebForm VS MVC
  3. Getting started
  4. The model
  5. The controller
  6. The view
  7. Routing
  8. Unite test concepts
  9. Testing ASP.NET MVC
  10. Components
  11. Action filters
  12. AJAX
  13. Deployment
  14. Leveraging ASP.NET WebForm futures
  15. Authentication and authorization
  16. Extend ASP.NET MVC
  17. Migrating from ASP.NET
  18. Case studies
  19. Resources
  20. Exercises solutions

Final Considerations.

I am a NET developer, most of time I develop Silverlight/WPF or WinForm applications. For fun I did a couple of ASP.NET MVC applications in the bank where I was working before, but my knowledge about ASP.NET MVC was relative to those projects.

Now that I got this book, I was able to read all the aspect of MVC pattern applied to ASP.NET and I feel comfortable to build a real application with this framework.

I did a real ASP.NET MVC application for the Company where I am working now, and I was able to do everything is less than 1 week, including the use of JQuery and AJAX.

I am really satisfied of this book and I hope that you will buy it as it is a very nice and well written book that will drive you inside this pretty cool framework.

Thanks Simone and Keyyvan for your effort!

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Virtualizing SQL Server, some tips.

I just got these considerations about virtualizing SQL Server on VMWare from my Boss and I would like to share them with you.

General comments on problems encountered and why people not virtualizing SQL

  1. Storage ( most people just do not have enough spindles to start with and then when people consolidate they use less spindles not more, error in design and understanding of basic i/o principles )
  2. Queue lengths are a problem so add as many paths to storage as possible.
    Using vmware makes sequential reads look more like random reads due to interleaving of traffic across vm’s
  3. Ensure all dbs ( data, temp, log etc ) are on separate vmdks or preferably rdms, improves i/o queue throughput
  4. Memory ( ensure you set min, max reservations per vm to avoid swapping )
  5. 1 database instance per vmhost ( to allowing you to tweak memory / priorities as required )
  6. Use the latest intel chips, as provide biggest reduction in latencies for vm tasks

Following a thru 6 results in linear performance until the cpu saturates around 90%.

Basically they said VMware is never the bottleneck …

Assuming the rules above are followed you should then consider tweaking the following:

  1. Tweak the o/s first to allow large pages and ensure alignment with storage ( gives +6% improvement )
  2. Turn on sql priority boost in SQL and ensure correct O/S drivers installed in host ( gives +14% when used with 1. )
  3. Turn on static transmit coalescing in ESX networking ( gives +1%, so they advise don’t bother )

They are interesting considerations. Honestly, I know there are some “how to” and some “best practices” when you prepare a SQL environment. Using separate HD for separate files (mdf, ldf), keep system database separate from user database in different disks, split big tables in different location, maintain the indexes and so on … Unfortunately when you reflect this to a Virtual Environment, everything changes.

I didn’t find yet a good documentation about virtualizing SQL but I just tried to build a Clustered environment with Windows 2008 R2 x64 and SQL 08 x64 SP1 and the Quad Core I used for my experiments was not enough …

Smile

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BizTalk 2009, cannot create project.

In the last days we have received an update for Visual Studio 2008 SP1. The update is 365 MB and it’s called the “Security Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (KB971092)”.

After you install this update, when you try to create a new project on BizTalk 2009, you receive in the bottom bar, a notification that says “Unable to create the Project”.

The first solution is:

  1. Open BizTalk 2009 DVD > Select Install BizTalk
  2. Choose the option Repair
  3. Reboot the server

If you are lucky now you are able to work again with BizTalk 09. If you are not lucky (like me … Smile) there is an additional step:

  1. REBOOT!!

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Real guide, configure Exchange 2003 SP2 and iPhone 3.0 OS.

Hi guys, as I told you in the previous post, I bought a new iPhone 3GS with the new OS 3.1. The phone is pretty cool, it works great and it has tons of software, utilities and services that I didn’t find in any smart phone, including the BlackBerry.

The only big problem was to configure my business exchange email. Simply, it was not working until today. So in this small guide I am going to explain step by step what you have to do in order to have a full functional and working iPhone!

Configure ActiveSync on Exchange Server 2003.

Before starting you must successful enable ActiveSync and OMA (Outlook mobile access) into your Exchange Server. If this step will not be successful, do not go ahead!!

In order to use ActiveSync on your exchange 2003 you must have:

  1. Windows Server (standard or enterprise) with the latest updates and the Service Pack 2 working.
  2. Exchange 2003 with latest updates and Service Pack 2 installed and working.
  3. Outlook Web Access working and accessible from outside your Network.
  4. Firewall ports (443, 80) opened for OWA.

If you cannot satisfy one of these prerequisites, please Google and search for a solution. I am not going to explain here how to enable a port into your firewall or how to install OWA in Exchange Server 2003, as in my opinion, out of topic.

After you have successfully installed ActiveSync, you will have this additional option inside your server, you have to right click on global settings>mobile services and choose properties :

image

You have to enable everything in order to have full access to the OMA service.
After that, you should now download and install the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool, and handful tool that allows web administration of your smart phones.

After you will install the tool, you will have this web application in Exchange local host:

image

The address is https://localhost/mobileadmin and for default is SSL enabled.

Troubleshoot OMA installation.

This step is fundamental. If you cannot access the OMA web site, you will not be able to use your iPhone or any other smart phone.

Give it a try, inside Exchange, by typing the address https://localhost/OMA and insert your Exchange credentials. If you will see a text page with your mail folders, you are fine, otherwise you need to troubleshoot the problem … If it’s working go directly to the iPhone Configuration step.

First of all open exchange active directory inside exchange and click exchange tasks over your user account. You have to enable all the futures, like this screenshot:

image

If it’s not working yet … like in my situation, you have to configure a new virtual directory for OMA. In order to configure the virtual directory, follow, step by step this Microsoft TechNet article or the HTTP error codes. It solved my problem.

Remember: until you get the OMA web site working, do not try to configure the iPhone!

Configure your iPhone.

I have an iPhone 3GS with OS 3.1, so probably if you have an older version, the screenshot below, will not be the same as mine.

Open the iPhone menu, click over Settings and then the menu Mail, Contacts and Calendars.

Insert a new account, choose an Exchange account.

image

Server: I typed my web mail address, like webmail.mydomain.com, without https. Then I choose the SSL enabled communication. You if you have a public URL for OMA then you have to type that address.
Do not type something like mymachinename.domain.whatever of course it will not work because your iPhone is not in your Office Network.

Username: it’s my Windows username I use in the office.

Domain: it’s my Active directory domain.

After that, you will be prompted for which objects you want to keep sync. I choose all of them like this screenshot:

image

After this step, after 5 minutes, you will be able to open your email and work with push technology, this means that you will be able to work directly inside your mail box from your iPhone. For example, if you add an event in the iPhone calendar, this will be added also into your mailbox in the office, and so on …

This will be the final result, pretty cool!!

image

Enjoy and please beware about the iPhones screenshots, for each version of the OS (2, 2.1, 3, 3.1) they change a little bit, but the information are always the same.

Personal Considerations from BlackBerry to iPhone.

  • Advantages
    • IPhone is more useful, the usability is better than BlackBerry and the screen more clear.
    • The contacts search, merge and copy options are awesome. BB is not so awesome …
    • The emails can be zoomed just with a finger, with the BB you cannot.
    • You can read Office, Acrobat, Images and Video in the mails, BB cannot.
  • Disadvantages
    • The most important is the battery life. My iPhone in a production environment doesn’t live more then 10 hours. The BB has a battery life of 3/4 days, always on.

Finally, Microsoft Exchange is the best as an Email server and the activesync service is very good, but the best match for me is Exchange server with IPhone, very impressive!!

Additional Resources:

http://support.apple.com

http://www.petri.co.il/configure_oma.htm

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Managing-Mobile-Access-Exchange-Server-2003.html

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Microsoft Office 2010 preview.

Today I have received an email from Microsoft Connect. Office 2010 suite is available for download. Of course is not a RC or RTM but just a beta preview of the final product. Available for download there are:

  • Office Professional x32 and x64
  • Visio, SharePoint Designer, InfoPath and the new SharePoint Workspace x32 and x64

The first thing you will notice is that now we have a real x64 office installation, so you can use a real x64 office system on your Windows 7 x64 (today is the official release of the RTM of Win 7 on MSDN).

Now, let’s have a fast overview of this new office.

As you can see the setup page is not changed from the 2007 version. It’s the same and also the options are the same.

image

Also the icons and the file extensions are not changed at all.
The splash screen is changed as you can see for Microsoft Word:

image

And it seems to be faster in the load process.
The interface has now a new design for the ribbons. The logic is pretty the same but the layout respects more the Windows 7 layout.

image

Outlook 2010 is changed a little bit. As always, in order to use your hotmail account Outlook will prompt you to install the Outlook 2010 connector. Nothing is changed for exchange.

You can now view the history of a mail message and follow up answers inside a tree-view:

image

Finally the additional change is in the start menu of each application. For example if you press the start button into outlook you will be prompted with this new ribbon menu, very intuitive:

image

Finally I had a first look at Microsoft Access 2010, that seems to be more flexible and reliable as a office small business database. There are now 2 different type of database: normal and web database as you can see here:

image
but the Office online template is still not working. I suppose because this is still a beta preview so the web site for office 2010 is still not ready. Also I have noticed that the title bar says “Office Access 2007 database” after I have created a new one.

I have also found this new option:
image
This option helps you a lot in creating a new master-details form, just in few steps. But I am still receiving some bugs notify …

This is the option page available for access:

image

Final consideration

In my opinion Microsoft is doing a great job. They provide for free a complete software like Office and trough our feedbacks, they will then release the final RTM version.

Like they did with Windows 7, the beta of Office is already stable and fast and I am really curious to have in my hand a final system with:

Windows 7 x64, Office 2010 x64 and Visual Studio 2010 x64. A real stable, fast and productive environment.