Here are a couple of nifty resources that you should bookmark.
Join the conversation as a community leader through a new, fast-growing Microsoft site called Microsoft Answers.
The site currently focuses on Microsoft’s consumer products starting
with Windows Vista. Throughout the fall (actually, starting on
September 28th), Microsoft began to add forums for Windows XP, Windows
7 and Windows Live Services (in English, with other languages to follow
starting back in October). Forums for Office will also be added later,
with more consumer products to be added as the Microsoft Answers
Microsoft Answers is already live in the English language– go to http://answers.microsoft.com
to view the existing forums. On September 28 (PST), Microsoft Answers
will also offer community forums around Windows 7, Windows XP and
Windows Live Services.
You'll need to register, but if you are
currently registered with MSDN and/or TechNet, your credentials and
user profile will automatically be recognized by the Microsoft Answers
site via your Windows Live ID). If you want to tweet about this, use
the #MSAnswers hashtag.
WebSite Spark and Web Application Tool Kits
Microsoft has also announced WebsiteSpark
featuring a number of Web Application Toolkits to the Web. Web
Application Toolkits are designed to enable Web Developers to extend
their web application capabilities simply and easily by providing them
with a packaged set of running samples, templates and documentation -
all in a consistent packaged format that is easy to download and run in
a very short period of time.
One of the key criteria that I
really like about the Web Application Toolkits is that they're designed
to enable Web Developers to get to an F5 (Run) experience very quickly
and ensure that this is the right solution for their problem. I've
always felt that coders are much more like artists than they are like
engineers. And every good artists knows that they key to a great piece
of art is the initial sketch. Unfortunately, our application
development tools frequently constrain us from making a sketch in code,
running it, and then refining it. After all, how many times have you
heard about or been the developer who spent hours getting a sample to
work, only to find it does not do the expected?
Microsoft WebsiteSpark includes 7 Web Application Toolkits (at the time of launch, maybe there are more now?), together with an introduction to the Web Application Toolkits
on Channel9 by James Senior and Jonathan Carter. Me likey the
Channel9. The example scenarios were selected based on feedback from
community developers with the first 7 being detailed below:
- Web Application Toolkit for Internet Explorer 8 Extensibility. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for Bing Search. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for REST Services. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for Mobile Web Applications. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for Template-Driven Email. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for making Your Web Site Social. Check out the accompanying screencast.
- Web Application Toolkit for FAQs. Check out the accompanying screencast.
You can find the complete list of Web Application Toolkits here.
Microsoft plans for several more and are exploring additional ways to
make it easier for Web Developers to find and reuse this content.