Monday, January 11, 2010

LINQPad supports SQL Azure

Some time back, I put in a request to LINQPad's feature request page to support SQL Azure.  I love using LINQPad for basically all my quick demo programs and prototypes.  Since all I work with these days is the Windows Azure platform, it was killing me to have to go to SSMS to do anything with SQL Azure.

Well, my request was granted!  Today, you can use the beta version of LINQPad against SQL Azure and get the full LINQ experience.  Behold:


In this case, I am querying the firewall rules on my database using LINQ.  Hot damn.  Nice work Joe!  If you pay a few bucks, you get the intellisense version of the tool too, which is well worth it.  This tool has completely replaced SnippetCompiler for me and continues to get better and better.  Now, if Joe would add F# support.

LINQPad Beta

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LINQPad - not just for LINQ

I officially love LINQPad.  Joe Albahari has done a great job of introducing a light weight tool that is great for learning and prototyping LINQ queries.  From what I gather, Joe and Ben Albahari built this tool as part of their book offering.  It was so useful, it has taken on a life of its own.

It may not be entirely obvious, but it turns out don't have to use LINQPad solely for LINQ queries.  You can actually prototype any type of snippet of code.  I have been using it now instead of SnippetCompiler (another great quick snippet tool).

As an example, here is how to use System.DirectoryServices snippets inside of LINQPad:

Hit F4 to bring up the Advanced Query Properties Window


Add the System.DirectoryServices.dll reference in the Additional References window, and then add "System.DirectoryServices" in the Additional Namespace Imports window.

Now, just type your code normally and hit F5 when you are done:


This is a great little tool to have as you can query databases, build LINQ expressions, and visually inspect the results that come back pretty easily.  Now, as you can see you can also execute arbitrary code snippets as well.  Highly recommended.

Monday, December 3, 2007

.NET 3.5 VPC and Resources Available

If you are interested in learning more about Visual Studio 2008, make sure you check out the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit.  Weighing in at roughly 120MB compressed, it contains, "a full 5-days of technical content including 20 hands-on labs, 28 presentations, and 20 scripted demos.   The technologies covered in the kit include:  LINQ, C# 3.0, VB 9, WCF, WF, WPF, Windows CardSpace, Silverlight, ASP.NET Ajax, .NET Compact Framework 3.5, VSTO 3.0, Visual Studio Team System, and Team Foundation Server".

Naturally, you will want to have a machine setup to run all these labs and samples... so, thanks to the hard work of David and James, you can now download a VPC with Vista, Visual Studio 2008 (trial), and the .NET 3.5 framework pre-loaded and ready to run.  Get it here.

You want more?  Ok, how about 17 training videos describing the technologies and running through a number of demos?  Get those here.

These are truly some great resources to get you jumpstarted!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Using SQLDependency objects with LINQ

A question came up the other day on how to get LINQ to SQL to participate in using the SQL Notification Services.  Of course, I didn't know, but Mike Pizzo from the ADO.NET team was kind enough to answer.  I figured it must be possible, and sure enough, it is.  Essentially, you have to create a SQL dependency context, which is very similar to a transaction context.  Any code that participates within that context will automatically be associated with the SQLDependency.  Create the dependency first, before any LINQ (or other data access technology).  Here is the relevant code (note: this code is not optimized, so you might want to do things like change the SQLDependency to static or pass it in so it won't be garbage collected).

    static class GlobalNotifications


        public static event OnChangeEventHandler OnChange;


        public static void InitializeNotifications(string connectString)


            // Initialize notifications


            // Create and register a new dependency

            SqlDependency dependency = new SqlDependency();

            dependency.OnChange += new OnChangeEventHandler(NotificationCallback);

            System.Runtime.Remoting.Messaging.CallContext.SetData("MS.SqlDependencyCookie", dependency.Id);



        internal static void NotificationCallback(object o, SqlNotificationEventArgs args)


            OnChange.Invoke(o, args);



There is also one major caveat to using this with LINQ: Beware of complex queries that can be easily generated using LINQ.  The Query Processor will invalidate the command and fire an error event saying it was too complex.  Since you can easily generate lots of complex queries using LINQ (part of its power really), you need to really be cognizant of this limitation.