3 Cool things from Microsoft now in my toolbox
- LINQ - I wrote my first LINQ query last week. My normal web app works with heterogeneous data sources ( xml/object/sql ), and I *know* I'm going to love moving up the LINQ learning curve. This is a no-brainer, but it's going to take a long time before clients are ready to move from .NET 2.0, so I'm grateful for any chance I get to obtain LINQ-fu
- LogParser - a command line tool with knowledge of various log formats, supporting a sql dialect. The size and scope of the tool might tempt you to pass for something simpler: don't. Think of it as LINQ for logs, packaged into a neat executable.
- Powershell - I love reducing data integration challenges to a batch script. It makes it so much easier to troubleshoot when moving scripts around between environments ( big tools and compiled code have their place, but they tend to be the enemy of getting done on time.) I've done a ton of vbscript/jscript and plain old DOS batch scripting, and occasionally I've had to resort to activeperl. But now it's time to retire all of these approaches.
Powershell's pipeline has thoroughly baked into it my favorite perl idioms : map and grep, but these are now object-aware, shell,file system, Win32 and CLR integrated. It is fantastic.
There's a fourth cool thing that kind of belongs on the list above, but it's only CTP right now:
Code Name Velocity - Microsoft's version of memcached.
I tried out the Windows version of the original memcached for a client recently, and it's one of the only server-based pieces of software I can recall where deployment of the software took less time than deployment of the virtual machine:
Unzip, double click ... deployed.
Copy/paste, have ASP.NET code writing to a pool of 2 memcached instances.
After Velocity gets through paying the Microsoft tax, supporting integrated authentication/ad, Live Mesh/Sync Framework, MS Cluster, dcom/XA transactions, etc will it still be MS's answer to memcached? Or just another reason to use memcached?