Thursday, July 28, 2005
Master Pages and Themes Event Pictures

Thanks to sir Saqib Ilyas and Faisal Nasim for taking some pictures during my event on "Master Pages and Themes in ASP.NET 2.0." Here you will find the thumbnails of the images. Just click on the images for the full view.

Images will be cracky at full viewing. However I will try to reload the images with higher resolution.


Monday, July 25, 2005
Page.Request in Master Pages

I have been trying access Page.Request property in master pages and it didn't work at all. But after spending a few minutes at I found my answer. There is a little trick involved in actually getting the request from the webform if you want to get value from a certain server control from the page. You actually have to go through the PageRequest Handler which looks something like this:

Brock Allen has got a solution with sample code to start your work with. ASP.NET Forums is a place to be. If you are working on any part of ASP.NET 2 and you are having troubles with some functions or controls then you should post the error in the forums. Remember ASP.NET team is watching the posts and they will not only answer your queries but will certainly improve the product before the final release.


No more Grid Layout in ASP.NET 2.0 Beta 2

I remember someone asked me during the presentation about how to enable Grid Layout in webforms in 2. Well the support for the grid layout is dropped by them Team and you have to work in the flow layout. But it also supports the Grid view for your controls, this is the trick :)... You just have to position your controls by giving absolute positioning. Goto the Layout Menu (at the top where you see File, Edit, View etc) and select Position-->Absolute layout. Then
you can more your controls anywhere in the form with absolute positioning.

For more information visit here and here too.


Sunday, July 24, 2005
My first shot towards becoming an INETA Speaker

I spend a wonderful time during my presentation for on "Master Pages and Themes in ASP.NET 2.0." This is the first time that I am not going to say that "the speaker was absolutely amazing and the presentation was just awesome." I am not being too modest, this is what usally happens when you are speaking for the first time. This was just the beginning and I have to walk a long way to become a good speaker.

I started by giving a very brief introduction about ASP.NET 2.0. Talked about the Visual Studio enhancements, new compilation and code-beside model, new deployment methods etc. Then I moved toward the main topic of presentation "Themes in the new version of ASP.NET." I have shown demos all along the slides to give the audience a better look at how to use these new technologies that are introduced in ASP.NET 2.0 for the first time. I really like the concept of applying themes to the sites which really ease the burden of giving "CSSClass" or "Class" refrences to all the contents of your site. You just have to include <% @ Page Theme="SmokeAndGlass" %> and thats all. All your controls will give a consistent look to your site.

Then we moved on towards the Master Pages. Master Pages are introduced for the first time in ASP.NET 2.0 and its all about giving a consistent layout to your website yet with almost no line of code at all. You just have to define the looks of your site in the master page with <% @ Mater %> tag, define the layout of your pages in just one file and throw some contentplaceholders which will be used to pass contents from content pages <% @ Page MasterPageFile="Master.master" %>. No more usercontrols for defining the layout of the site and placing the controls in all of you pages one at a time. You can also nest 2 or more master pages together to make the figure a bit more complex yet recommended for big project and portal style websites.

It was a nice start for me today and I have learned one thing. Never throw a bad joke during your presentation, you will loose some pretty looking audiences :) . The audience were amazing, they throwed some really good questions and have rated my 3.5 out of 5 which is not bad for my first attempt. I want to thank Usman especially for working with me in the lab and helping me in setting up the machine for my ugly demos, Sir Saqib Ilyas for allowing me to use his laptop and helping me during the arrangements, Faisal Nasim, Muhammad Yahya, Sarfaraz Soomro, Fahad Majeed for doing all the nasty work behind the scene and arranging the foods and drinks and the feedbacks offcourse. Last but certainly not the least, I would like to thank Hammad and Adnan bhai for being there for my support and helping me in the Q&A session. You guys just are just awesome and this event wouldn't have been possible without your help.

Thank you once again!

You can download the slides from here. I have also included some Theme files along with the slides. You just have to copy them in the Global Themes folder which I mentioned during the presentation and you are all set to go. All previous presentations can also be download from here.


Saturday, July 23, 2005
Another Free XAML Designer

Aurora XAML Designer is another free designer after XAM3D available for developers to get their hands dirty with XAML for Visual Studio 2005. It can also work in a stand-alone environment) .

Aurora for Visual Studio 2005 integrates seamlessly into the Visual Studio environment to provide a visual designer for XAML content. Developers no longer have to spend countless hours manually coding simple XAML content. Now the equivalent content can be created visually in minutes within the Visual Studio environment using the integrated Aurora XAML Designer. Aurora for Visual Studio 2005 improves developer workflow by allowing the developer to maintain their XAML documents visually within the Visual Studio 2005
environment; an integrated development environment that is familiar to millions of developers worldwide.

Recap of important features:

1. Aurora integrates into Visual Studio 2005
2. XAML content created visually within Visual Studio 2005
3. Content created in one environment improves developer workflow

Mobiform is the first company to provide visual designer software for maintaining XAML documents. Now Mobiform is the first company to provide a visual designer that integrates directly into the Visual Studio 2005 environment.

Downlaod the free designer from here.


Sunday, July 17, 2005
Don't screw up your user group

Jim Holmes has some really good tips and nice suggestions if you are thinking of starting your own user group. I must recommend all current as well as new community leaders to check out his blog so you never screw up your user group.

Link : Jim Holmes blog


Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Rolling With Longhorn Beta

Screenshots of Longhorn Beta build 5303 have been posted online and include several shots of Internet Explorer 7, the Start Menu, Windows Media Player, and several explorer views. From the screenshots you can see that Microsoft is leaning heavily on transparency in the new OS.

Among the flash of the new screen images you may notice a plus sign on the IE 7 Toolbar. This will be the link to subscribe to an RSS feed. RSS information however is not stored in IE, but rather is supported natively by the Longhorn OS including a centralized RSS data store and built-in synchronization engine.

Download screenshots from here (Size 4.17 MB, ZIP format)


Source : TheServerSide.NET


Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Seminar on Master Pages and Themes in ASP.NET 2.0

International .NET Association Pakistan Chapter and User Group invites you to attend an hour long seminar on Master Pages and Themes in ASP.NET 2.0 by Zeeshan Muhammad on July 23, 2005.


CIS Lecture Hall, NED University of Enigneering and Technology, Karachi.

Date and Time:

Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 2pm.

Seminar Details:

Almost all websites use a similar graphical layout for all their pages. This doesn't happen by chance, it grows out of accepted guidelines for design and usability. For some websites, the layout consists of the header, body and footer; for others, it is a more sophisticated aggregation of menus, buttons and panels that contain and render the actual content. The question is, how can you effectively build such Web sites? Both classic ASP and ASP.NET 1.x provide good workarounds for this type of issue, but neither tackles such a scenario openly and provides a definitive, optimal solution. ASP.NET 2.0 faces up to the task through a new technology "Master Pages" and basically exploits the ASP.NET Framework's ability to merge a "supertemplate" with user-defined content replacements.

In our seminar we will discuss how ASP.NET 2.0 aids in the design and consistency of sites. From the development perspective, generating a site that is consistent isn’t so hard, and there are plenty of ways it can be achieved. However, these are all custom solutions, not part of the underlying .NET Framework. ASP.NET 2.0 brings a solution that not only improves ways of providing UI reuse but also aids in maintenance of the site.

  • Registration is necessary for you to avoid enterance issues at our campus. Current NED Students and Faculty members do not need to register for this event.
  • Registration closes on July 18, 2005.
  • Give-aways for audience.
  • Visit our blog :

Looking forward to welcoming you at our event.


Saturday, July 02, 2005
From Web Services to SOA and Everything in Between

As underlying Web services standards congeal and the technology matures, more and more companies will be moving more deeply into Web services, and ultimately, service-oriented architectures (SOAs). Many hope to solve integration headaches, while others want to make better use of their current information technology resources.

In order to gauge the state of Web services and SOA, Webservices.Org recently conducted a comprehensive survey of almost 1,000 developers and managers representing a wide variety of business sizes and industries. Respondents were asked to describe their current infrastructure, future plans, and opinions on Web services and SOA in general.

The survey found that while there are relatively few advanced Web services sites – and even fewer bona fide SOA implementations – managers and executives clearly understand the value proposition this new architecture has to offer. A large number of respondents are currently either deploying simple interfaces, or have new projects under development, the survey finds. Most businesses that do have efforts underway report they are seeing tangible benefits in terms of reuse, developer productivity, and cost savings.

Read full story here.