Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have recently left Hitachi Consulting and joined a similar Microsoft and Oracle Gold Partner consultancy company named Smart421 where I work as a Technical Architect in the Microsoft space.

Smart421 offer Consultancy, Service Management, Data Management and Business Integration and is part of a larger public company called KCOM.

KCOM were originally a large telecommunication company but now they consist of: KC, eclipse, KCOM and Smart421.

Smart421 specializes in complex enterprise integration projects but more recently full system design the implementation. We have a lot of expertise in SOA Governance and PCI DSS.

I form part of the Microsoft practice but we also have a fairly large Java practice with particular focus on IBM WebSphere, DataPower and many other IBM tools/technologies. Smart421 prides itself in Enterprise Architecture as we are active members of the Open Group and have many TOGAF practitioners.

So far I'm liking it a lot as I get to be involved in lot of different things and hope soon to be a certified TOGAF practitioner.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Smartphone Essentials WP7 Article - not completely true...

I was in a local newsagent the other day waiting for my train and noticed a magazine "Smartphone Essentials" (UK magazine) as it had a spread on the newly released Windows Phone 7 device. I only had a couple of minutes, so I skipped to the Windows Phone 7 bits.

I have to say the authors for this magazine need to do more research before they publish this stuff. Windows Phone 7 Series is not "Brand new from the ground up". The magazine was suggesting that WP7 is a completely new OS built from scratch. This is simply not true. When people read this, they generally assume 1 thing, it's brand new so it will be full of bugs and issues so I'm going to wait for v.NEXT.

Windows Phone 7 series has a new shell and application framework that is fully managed code that sits on Windows CE 7 OS. Windows CE is the same OS used in Windows Mobile except in Windows Mobile the latest version used is Windows CE 5.2.

The other thing that is not true was that fact they mentioned Windows Mobile is dead. Windows Mobile is still being sold and is still supported by Microsoft today. It will be renamed soon to Windows Embedded Handheld which is essentially still the same Windows Mobile shell OS.

There is still a fairly large enterprise market with investments in Windows Mobile that are being used for mission critical applications today and will continue to do so. Windows Embeded Handheld will be geard towards business users. Some Windows Mobile devices such as the MC65 and ES400 will port over to the new OS.

Smartphone Essentials: just because Windows Mobile is not competing too well against platforms such as Android and the iPhone in the consumer markets, doesn't make it a dead platform. There is another world out there.

Friday, November 05, 2010

SELECT TOP (n) in Entity Framework or LINQ to SQL

I have recently inherited a project that makes use of WCF Data Services with the Entity Framework being used as the ORM to facilitate this with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.

I had a requirement to only ever retrieve a maximum of 100 items no matter the query. In SQL this is easy and can be achieved using the SELECT TOP (N).. syntax.

Using a lambda expression to return a collection of IQueryable objects can be achieved simply as the following:
IQueryable<MyObject> resultSet =
service.MyObjects.Where(c => c.Name.Contains(searchText))
.OrderBy(x => x.Name)
Remember here that the actual REST call is not made until you call ToList() on the collection. This query simply creates the REST URL as a string.

But using the extension method Take(n) will translate to TOP in SQL.