Archive for April, 2009

It’s been almost a year since I last talked about Microsoft’s Hosted Deep Zoom project. It then was a simple Ajax – silverlight enabled web application that enabled you to dynamically deepzoom and share your images.

A lot have changed since then as I discovered today. To begin with, the project has been renamed to Deepzoompix and a lot of cool new features have been added making it a great way to show off your photos in a new and interactive way. Get started by importing your own photos and prepare to be amazed…

Jellyfish Deep Zoom framework. This is a framework created by 2nd Factory in Japan to enable designers and developers to easily take advantage of the Deep Zoom capabilities of Silverlight. The server component of this framework is used as a basis for DeepZoomPix.

If you want to learn more about how the project was made be sure to visit

Back on February 2007 I blogged about a prototype project of Human Productivity Lab, code named Bumptop and was claiming that we’re really not that far from seeing something like that becoming available for end-users.

Well today I found out that I wasn’t wrong. Bumptop is officially released and available in two versions a free one as well as a Pro one for a small fee. Check it out in the following video.

Now imagine that desktop running on Windows 7 at a multitouch screen 😉

Unfortunately I’m using the default windows 7 beta graphics card drivers so I wasn’t able to run it 🙁 but I’m going to try it tomorrow on a vista machine. Can’t wait….

Most of the large control suite vendors have already started releasing their offerings for the Silverlight platform. One of those, namely divelements, has put together a couple of samples on what you can do with their controls. So if you are interested in building line of business applications in Silverlight such as an mail client, word processing, or something similar, check out

divelements_SampleFurthermore divelements is offering a free set of simple but commonly-requested tools, including an HTML display control. This control allows you to embed HTML anywhere in a Silverlight application by simply specifying raw HTML to display or, if you prefer, the URL to a web page.

The control works by asking the host browser to create a DIV tag in which to display the HTML, and positioning it cleverly to match up with the Silverlight layout system. You should find that this “just works” as the HtmlHost control is dynamically moved or shown (on a tab page, for example) or even if the Silverlight plugin itself is moved. You must be using the Silverlight plugin in windowless mode to use this control

Good news, the 3rd community technology preview of Microsoft’s offering on Caching is out. You can download it here. If you haven’t looked at it yet, now is a good time to start. If on the other hand you’ve already played with it (like me) here’s what’s new in this version.

Cache Notifications
Using cache notifications, the object in the local cache automatically invalidates as soon as it is notified that the object has changed. Get notified when a cached object is added, replaced, or removed, a region is added, cleared, or removed from the cache. Specifying an event-triggered task is now possible with cache notifications.

Performance Improvements
Throughput, latency, and memory usage have been further optimized to improve performance of applications.

Security Enhancements
The cache host Windows service now runs under a lower-privileged account: Network Service. To simplify deployment, the installation program now helps to configure the permissions of installation folders and the cluster configuration storage location. You still need to be an administrator on the cache servers and cluster configuration storage location in order to install “Velocity.”

New Cluster Management Options
Previously, only lead hosts could manage the cache cluster operations. Now, when using SQL Server to store the cluster configuration information, you have the option to let SQL Server perform the cluster management role instead of the lead hosts. This option improves supportability and availability of the cluster, eliminating the possibility of the cluster going down due to an insufficient number of (running) lead hosts.

Updates to the Installation Program
To streamline deployment, the installation program now supports automated installation for the cache host.

Cluster Configuration Editing Options Decoupled from Storage Options
Previously, how you chose to store your cluster configuration settings in the cluster configuration storage location dictated the options available to you for editing those configuration settings. Now, regardless of where you store your cluster settings, you can change those settings with the PowerShell-based cache administration tool or by directly editing an XML representation of the cluster configuration.

Along with this paradigm shift, the option to store the cluster configuration settings in XML (the cluster’s “working copy”) has been removed. Now you can use XML to edit the configuration settings when you choose to store your cluster configuration settings in a SQL Server database or a SQL Server Compact data file in a shared network folder. For more information, see Configuring the Cache Cluster (Velocity).

With this change, your decision for the cluster configuration storage location can be based on application availability requirements and the resources available to your application (that is, how challenging it would be to procure an instance of SQL Server that your distributed cache cluster could use).

To minimize changes in the following release, the “Velocity” API has been changed to enhance usability and more closely resemble the naming conventions of other Microsoft namespaces. The namespace of “Velocity” has been changed to Microsoft.Data.Caching. Additionally, all class and delegate names have been renamed to include the prefix DataCache. Along with the name changes, many overloads have also been changed.

Get more info

Microsoft MVP again

Categories: MVP
Comments: 3

mvp_logo Great news arrived this week. Didn’t have time to blog about it as I also had a Community presentation about windows Azure. So Microsoft has given me the MVP title, once again! This my third year in a row as an MVP, and hopefully not my last.

Last year I promised that I would try to engage more in the community through my blogging, speaking, and writing on Software and web development. Hope that I met everyone’s expectations :D.

Stay tuned… more is coming…

P.S. For those that don’t know what an MVP really means, check out the MVP Program site and then read my interview at Alessandro’s (my MVP lead) blog.