Toronto Code Camp - Saturday 2006-01-14

The Toronto Code Camp is a great event for developers to learn new tricks for .NET. I'm delivering a session (January 14, 1:00 to 2:15) on one of my favourite new features -- MSBuild and Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio.

After years of juggling multiple versions of web.config for local dev, testing, staging and production environments, these are finally complete, clean solutions to automate the grunt work. New options provided by MS Build include pre-compilation, whether to compile html source as well as code, control over output assemblies (naming, whether to produce a single assembly, one-per-folder, or one-per-page), and what source file to use to customize web.config with for the target environment. We'll also look at manually editing the MSBuild file to exclude certain files for certain builds (e.g. don't dpeloy .\App_Data\myTestDb.mdf to production). And in an improvement over XCOPY deployment, you can easily wrap these builds in an MSI to hand off to your IT Ops team for deployment.

The Code Camp schedule lists plenty of great sessions, here are a few that caught my eye: Introduction to the .NET Enterprise Library (what's new for 2.0 in the application block space), v2 Data Binding (Bruce always manages to address some detail I hadn't thought of, always interesting), Configuring Projects using Team System (JL David already has deep experience with Team System, one of my favourite MS topics). An if you haven't heard about Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) or Generics, check out the LINQ and VB Language Futures sessions as well. These are important new concepts that are guaranteed to save you days or weeks of development, but they will take some time to wrap your head around. And there's no better way to get started than to come down to the Code Camp.

Note: Code Camp is apparently filled to capacity, but there's a waiting list, get on it!

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