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North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs






June 2002 Meeting

June's theme will be the Top Ten Issues. We will cover The Top Ten Issues for Application Developers.

May 2002 Meeting

May's theme will be the Creating and Using User Controls. We will have a presentation on User Controls in Microsoft Office.

April 2002 Meeting

April's theme will be Building the User Interface. While Visual Basic and Access are the Microsoft developer tools most closely associated with user interfaces, Excel also has the capability of building a user interface by the use of VBA forms  Stephen Johnson, Advanced Visual Basic SIG Leader, will present Constructing Excel Forms with VBA.

March 2002 Meeting

We will temporarily depart from the monthly theme (Common Dialog) to focus on VB.NET The changes that VB.NET makes in Visual Basic are extremely significant for the Visual Basic language and development environment, particularly for VB developers that focus on single user and client-server applications. A Microsoft-produced video that highlights these changes, What's New with VB.NET, will be shown.

February 2002 Meeting

Tom Davis, Senior Managing Consultant with Software Architects, Inc., will present How to Write Efficient SQL and Stored Procedures. SQL is a powerful relational database development language that all serious database application developers should become familiar with.

January 2002 Meeting

Tuc Goodwin, Beginning VB SIG Leader, discussed Microsoft Office Automation. Among other things, Tuc demonstrated using VBA code to automate Microsoft Excel, including, for example, the formatting of Excel worksheets. Tuc's presentation ably displayed both the power and practicability of using Automation in Microsoft Office application development..

December 2001 Meeting

North Texas Microsoft Developer SIG Leaders Daniel Ogden, Larry Linson, Stephen Johnson, and Tuc Goodwin led a discussion on the new direction that the four SIGs would be taking in the year 2002. Various other topics were also discussed including the ever ubiquitous VB.NET. The four SIG Leaders also discussed the new North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs Survey and strongly encouraged everyone present to participate in the survey. Beginning VB SIG Leader Tuc Goodwin also gave a brief presentation on Writing Visual Basic Code. Tuc's presentation was the conclusion to the presentation he gave to the Beginning VB SIG in November.

November 2001 Meeting

Robert MacIntyre and Zain Nabousi, both holders of several certifications, including Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, discussed the various training plans and courses offered by New Horizons. They also discussed the benefits of Microsoft certification and the challenges posed to developers by the upcoming .NET platfom.

October 2001 Meeting

Toby Atherton, Distributed Systems Account Manager, Matt Jones, Systems Engineer, and Zac Childress, all of Compuware Corporation, presented DevPartner Studio. In addition, Compuware also provided continental breakfast and several prizes for a drawing, including copies of DevPartner for C++ or VB, DBPartner for SQL Server (at the end of the Access SIG), and several other 'consolation prizes'.

September 2001 Meeting

Thomas Dawkins of Microsoft Corporation led a discussion on Microsoft Product Activation. Other miscellaneous topics of interest to develops were also addressed.

August 2001 Meeting

Toi Beveridge Wright, President of Metroplex Access Developers, presented Introduction to N-Tier applications Using Access, Visual Basic, and Active Server Pages. Toi's presentation spanned the both Application Developer Issues SIG and the Microsoft Access SIG, The N-Tier approach is used on web based database applications, from somewhat small to very large. The user interface is "thin-client" using the web browser with Active Server Pages executing on the server, business rules and data access components that are created with Visual Basic, and an Access database (although it could well be a server database if you need the capacity).

July 2001 Meeting

Co-SIG Leader Larry Linson discussed the Video Training Corporation Visual Basic for Applications CD. The NTPCUG is now an official distributor for these self-study courses, and offers a substantial discount to members. The NTPCUG also has a library of the courses, which members can check out on payment of a deposit. The VBA CD covered basic event programming, variables & constants, control structures, bookmarks and navigation, responding to keyboard events, and other. Larry pointed out that, while the author used and recommended a naming convention, it was not the most-commonly used, Reddick Naming Convention for Access.

June 2001 Meeting

Greg Nicholson of Microsoft Corporation discussed Office XPData Access Pages, SmartTags, and SharePoint Team Services.. In his presentation, Greg covered several of the new features in Office XP that are of interest to developers, namely SmartTags, SharePoint Team Services, and Data Access Pages (DAP).  In particular, Greg illustrated how DAP in Access 2002 has improved greatly from DAP in Access 2000. One major improvement is that the requirement to have Office Server extensions (and thus a licensed copy of Office) installed on every computer that wants to view DAPs has been eliminated. DAPs can now be used, as Greg pointed out, as a front end client for Access applications with nearly as rich capabilities as using Access itself as the front end client, but having several advantages such as being able to access Access applications from the web, not having to have an Office license on the client side, and not having to worry about end user security issues. Greg also discussed how developers can program SmartTags via VB 6.0 that can be used in Office XP applications. Greg's presentation covered both the Application Developer Issues and Access SIGs. Following the Access SIG, numerous t-shirts and other goodies from the Microsoft Extreme Office XP event that was held on June 2 were given away to everyone who attended, along with copies of Visio 2000 to three lucky winners. Fortunately for him, but unfortunately for all of the North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs, Greg has been promoted to the national channel sales group with Microsoft and thus we are losing him as our chief contact for our meetings at Microsoft's facilities. More than anyone, Greg is responsible for us being able to meet at Microsoft for over the past year and we are very appreciative to him for all of his efforts at supporting our SIGs. Three cheers for Greg Nicholsonwe wish you the best in your new endeavors at Microsoft. 

May 2001 Meeting

Matt Hester of Microsoft Corporation spoke on Using UML in Microsoft Visio 2000 for Database Development. Matt, whose presentation spanned both the Application Developer Issues and Access SIGs, discussed the nature of UML (Unified Modeling Language) and using modeling in general to generate the structure of database code. He also examined how Visio 2000 is able to utilize UML to generate code that can be used in Access or Visual Basic database development. Finally, Matt also gave us a brief preview of Visio 2002 and the changes it incorporates. As he stated, Microsoft has consolidated the Technical and Standard Editions of Visio into the base version of Visio 2002, and has made the features that were previously available in the Enterprise Edition as a separate add-on. Unfortunately, Microsoft has also taken the database modeling code-generation features out of Visio 2002 and instead put those features into VB.NET, which somewhat diminishes Visio 2002's value as a database development tool. Visio 2002, however, does retain the backward database engineering modeling feature of Visio 2000, which provides developers an ongoing tool in Visio 2002, albeit incomplete, for modeling database development. For more information on the developer features of Visio 2002, go to msdn.microsoft.com/library/techart/NewInVis2K.htm and msdn.microsoft.com/library/techart/autovis2k.htm.

April 2001 Meeting

In a joint meeting with the Microsoft Access SIG, Tom Browning, Assistant SIG leader of the Access SIG, discussed Generic Report Writing in Microsoft Access. Tom had originally planned to discuss discussed Using Active Data Objects (ADO) in Microsoft Access, but decided to shelve that presentation for a later date. The April 2001 Meeting was our initial meeting at the Microsoft Las Colinas campus. There is no doubt that the facilities there are first class and offers an excellent location for our SIG and the other North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs to meet. This facility is the permanent location for these SIGs and we are grateful to Microsoft for the opportunity to meet there.

March 2001 Meeting

Gerry Burns and John Harbaugh of Motient Corporation (formerly ARDIS) presented the Motient wireless data network and its wireless integration into Microsoft Exchange. Included in their discussion, which spanned both the Application Developer Issues SIG and the Microsoft Access SIG, was be a background of Motient's wireless data network (which is the largest in the country) and the BlackBerry email service, the wireless extension of the Outlook desktop. Also, issues surrounding the wireless enablement of other software applications were discussed. Unfortunately, due to our inability to meet in the Microsoft Addison MPR Room, the meeting was held in the lobby. Thanks to Gerry and John for their forbearance in a difficult situation!

February 2001 Meeting

The leaders of the Advanced Visual Basic and Microsoft Access SIGs, Stephen Johnson and Larry Linson, presented a panel discussion on Visual Basic vs. Access - Which One Should I Use for Database Application Development? Larry and Stephen discussed what they each considered to be the strengths and weaknesses of using Visual Basic and Access to develop database applications as well as those instances where it is preferable to use VB, Access, or both, as the case may be. Their presentation was very enlightening on this issue and helped to clarify how both of these two Microsoft development tools can be useful in differing applications. It also reinforced the general view that most developers use one or the other tool because of their familiarity with that tool and because of the marketplace demand for it. Larry's presentation in particular had an excellent chart that illustrates the database continuum of Access and VB.

January 2001 Meeting

Brian Moore, Developer Tools Specialist from Microsoft's South Central District Office (and the local Microsoft developer guru replacement for Thomas Lewis), presented an overview of the Microsoft.NET Framework and Services. Brian discussed the conceptual framework of .NET, particularly the Common Runtime Language (CRL), the use of XML and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). He also demonstrated Visual Basic.NET and how it fits in Microsoft's .NET strategy. Following his presentation, which spanned both the Application Developer Issues and the Microsoft Access SIGs, Brian answered several questions from concerned developers regarding the direction of Visual Basic in the .NET world. All attendees also received the Visual Studio.NET beta. To view more information on some of the changes that Visual Basic.NET makes from Visual Basic 6.0, go to msdn.microsoft.com/library/techart/vb6tovbdotnet.htm.

December 2000 Meeting

SIG Co-Leaders Larry Linson and Daniel Ogden led a discussion of general issues of current interest to developers. Some of the topics discussed were trends in the Microsoft developer's platforms, Access and VB development issues, and Microsoft's plans for Visio. Our Microsoft host, Greg Nicholson, also assisted in leading the discussion on several of these issues. Once again, we are grateful to Microsoft, and particularly to Greg, for continuing to enthusiastically support the North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs and our meeting at their South Central District facilities.

November 2000 Meeting

As a follow up to our September meeting's focus on Using Windows 2000 as an Application Development Platform, Gil Brand, SIG Leader of the Microsoft Networking SIG, spoke to us on Setting Up a Small Developer LAN for Business or Home Use. He gave an overview of the evolution of a small network from sharing files and printers using a crossover cable to installation of a network hub. Gil also discussed integrating Internet connection sharing on a LAN and implementing Internet security using both software and hardware router firewalls. Gil’s presentation also generated some lively discussion as several attendees discussed their experiences with networking and Internet security.

October 2000 Meeting

Adam Cogan of Superior Software, Sydney, Australia, who was in town to attend the Microsoft Exchange Server Conference in Dallas, gave a presentation on Building e-Business Applications Using XML. XML has rapidly become a subject that no one can afford to ignore these days as it is central to just about every new development for the Internet (and is certainly also usable and useful in some non-Internet situations). Adam, whose presentation carried over into the Microsoft Access SIG, also demonstrated SSW's performance analyzer for Access applications. You can find some sample code and downloadable trial copies of SSW applications at the Superior Software website. Adam is also President of the Sydney Microsoft Access/SQL/ASP User Group.

September 2000 Meeting

SIG Co-Leader Daniel Ogden gave a presentation on Using Windows 2000 as an Application Development Platform. Dan discussed the many benefits Windows 2000 offers to the developer compared to Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 including reliability, robustness, preemptive multitasking, security, the Win98 interface, plug and play drivers, laptop power management and networking enhancements. Dan also touched on such features as system file protection, kernel driver memory protection, Kerberos security, Active Directory, COM+, disk quotas, file encryption and performance enhancements to support his conclusion that Windows 2000 is the superior platform, Microsoft or otherwise, for application development. Following Dan's presentation, which spilled over into the Microsoft Access SIG, the attendees were treated, through the courtesy of Microsoft, to a drawing for several Microsoft products including two copies each of Windows 2000 Server and Visual Studio Enterprise 6.0. September's attendance at all of the North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs was the largest yet of any month since our move to Microsoft. While we will miss our sponsor at Microsoft, Thomas Lewis (who have moved on to bigger and better things in Redmond), Microsoft continues to enthusiastically support our use of their facilities.

August 2000 Meeting 

SIG Co-Leader Larry Linson led a discussion on VBA Add-Ins for Microsoft Office 2000 Developers, including the Code Librarian, Code Commenter, Error Handler, Multi-Code Import/Export, and String Editor, which are included in the Office 2000 Developer Edition (for more on this topic, see the article by Ken Getz, Increase Office 2000 Programming Productivity in the July 2000 issue of Access - VB - SQL Advisor). Larry's presentation demonstrated the value of VBA to application developers as these add-ins can be used across the entire spectrum of VBA-enabled applications and also demonstrated the value of using Microsoft tools and technologies in application development. Once again, Microsoft provided several valuable prizes including various Microsoft games including Monster Truck Rally. Attendance at all of the North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs meetings continues to be strong and is sure to increase once the summer vacation season is over.

July 2000 Meeting

SIG Co-Leader Larry Linson gave a presentation on Developing Multi-User Microsoft Access Database Applications. Due to the scope and subject matter of this topic, Larry's presentation spanned not only the Application Developer Issues SIG, but also the Microsoft Access SIG. Larry covered some of the common pitfalls encountered in developing multi-user Access databases applications and provided some pointers on when to use each of the several configurations possible when using Access in a networked environment. While the July meeting of the North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs did not feature any Microsoft-sponsored drawings, several valuable prizes contributed by attendees were given away after the conclusion of the Access SIG.

June 2000 Meeting

SIG Co-Leader Daniel Ogden, Esq. gave a presentation on Current Trends in Intellectual Property and Internet Law. The attendees present peppered Dan with many questions throughout his presentation and probably learned more about this important area of law for developers than they have ever cared too. In particular, attendees quizzed Dan regarding such things as the patentability of Internet ''one-click shopping'' and ''basket'' checkout, protection against ''cybersquatting'', and copyright protection for software code. Since this area of law is constantly changing, this topic will probably be revisited in the future as events warrant. Once again Microsoft, in our June meeting, generously provided us with some terrific prizes for our grand drawing after the conclusion of the Access SIG, including a copy of Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server. Based upon the trend at the first three North Texas Microsoft Developer SIGs monthly meetings at Microsoft, it is safe to say that in future meetings we will be provided with equally valuable prizes. 

May 2000 Meeting

Thomas Lewis of Microsoft Corporation provided us with an overview of the next version of Visual Studio. After viewing Steve Ballmer’s video presentation of Visual Studio 7.0 in April, and the May presentation by Thomas, there is no question that the next version of Visual Studio will be one of the most significant products for developers that Microsoft has ever released. Not only will Visual Basic become fully object oriented in the next release, Visual Studio 7.0 will feature a unified IDE and will automatically generate XML code. In addition to an as always excellent presentation, Thomas, through the courtesy of Microsoft, also provided several Microsoft products and books for our mega-drawing held after the conclusion of the Access SIG. While we can not guarantee that such valuable Microsoft prizes will always be given away, it is not at all unlikely that there will be similar drawings in the future.

May meeting picture

April 2000 Meeting

For our first meeting at our new location at Microsoft, we enjoyed viewing the video of Steve Ballmer’s keynote presentation to the February 2000 Vbits Conference on the next version of Visual Studio (version 7.0) to be released by Microsoft. While Dan had a few technical issues to overcome and had to lug his not-very-mobile desktop computer to the meeting to play the video (in asf format), the attendees all agreed that the 120 MB file that Dan downloaded from Microsoft’s web site (over the course of 12 hours overnight) actually displayed very well on Microsoft’s display equipment and was well worth the effort. In addition to getting a chance to listen to and view one of Microsoft’s most dynamic speakers in Steve Ballmer, we also learned quite a bit about the changes that are coming to Microsoft’s premier development suite. The positive experience in viewing this video has encouraged co-SIG leaders Dan Ogden and Larry Linson to scout out other worthwhile similar videos for future presentations.


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Last modified: February 17, 2003