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Visual Studio 2008 labs, training materials abundant

Labs and other training tools are now available for Visual Studio 2008 developers.

On December 3, Microsoft released a set of downloads to help developers use Visual Studio 2008 to learn more about its Language Inegrated Query (LINQ) facilities. More specifically, these labs are written for use with Visual Basic 2008, but they illustrate LINQ capabilities in a way that should ultimately prove portable to other Visual Studio languages as well.

These labs stress developing competency with basic LINQ features, including Standard Query Operators, and their proper use on in-memory data collections, connected databases, and XML documents. A separate set labs teaches you how to access relational data using LINQ, care of a facility called LINQ to SQL. For links to both sets of labs, visit the Visual Basic LINQ Hands On Labs for Visual Studio 2008 page.

These labs work with Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Access to Microsoft Word 97 or newer versions is required to read the accompany documentation. To follow through and complete the labs, users must install Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Basic 2008 Express. (Ninety-day trial versions of the former are available for download, as are free versions of the latter as well; links are included in our recent tip, Visual Studio 2008 released to manufacturing -- so get started. Microsoft also provides links to these items on the download page linked in the preceding paragraph).

Interested developers will probably also want to grab the Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit, which was released on November 30. It includes a collection of presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. Together, these materials are intended to help developers learn how to make the most of Visual Studio 2008 features and framework technologies.

Topics covered include the following, among many others:

More Visual Studio 2008 resources

Visual Studio 2008 Learning Guide

More Visual Studio 2008 goodies show up 

Book excerpt: Murach's VB 2008

  • LINQ
  • C# 3.0
  • Visual Basic 2008
  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)
  • Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO)
  • Windows CardSpace
  • Silverlight

You'll also get insight into and examples of mobile and application lifecycle management tools and techniques.

With Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 now released to manufacturing, and full-blown commercial release slated for late February 2008, Microsoft is clearly gearing up to train and support developers on the new tools and technologies involved. They have put a super package of information together here that should help developers understand how the new environment works, what it can do, and how they can put it to work themselves in short order. This material is definitely worth downloading and digging into.

Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!

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