North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland

Join North East Bytes for our thirteenth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!  Due to problems with speaker availability and the prevailing weather conditions we've had to change one of the sessions we were planning for this month.

Ba-da-Bing! Using the IIS SEO Toolkit to improve your site's ranking with Andrew Westgarth

Do you have sleepless nights worrying about the ranking of your site on Bing and Google? Do you spend hours trawling through SEO guides and implementing changes to your site to grab an extra ranking place? Constantly hounded by SEO experts offering their services?

The IIS Team has released the IIS SEO Toolkit, building on the great extensibility model built into IIS 7/7.5, to help you improve your site's search engine rankings. In this session we'll look at how to generate reports highlighting issues with your sites based on SEO Best Practices, use built-in tools to generate Robots.txt and Sitemap files.

Also as the toolkit takes advantage of the Extensibility of IIS 7/7.5 the toolkit can also be extended. We'll take a look at the options available and how to extend the toolkit.

Andrew Westgarth is a co-founder of NEBytes and Senior Consultant for an IT Consultancy in the North East of England. 

Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups.  Andrew was involved with VBUG for over 5 years, indeed he ran the North East region for over 4 years and was National Chairman for two of those.  In the past twelve months he has spoken at VBUG's National Two Day Conference; Developer Developer Developer Day 5 and local User Group meetings.  

Andrew has experience in VB6/.NET; C#; ASP.NET; MCMS 2002 and Internet Information Services.  Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 7.0/7.5; ASP.NET MVC, VSTS, Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS Media Services

mvp[1] Blog:

Get yourself Kinected!!!

Microsoft's latest addition to the Xbox 360 is the Kinect, this controller less method of interacting game system has to be seen and experienced to believe.  As a fun way to end the year, NEBytes have secured a Kinect for all attendees to witness and have a go with to see what it's all about.  We're looking forward to seeing our members bust some shapes and have some fun and laughs as they take part in this unique method of gaming.


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

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Due to the prevailing weather conditions please keep an eye on your email accounts and  our Twitter account for updates in case this meeting has to be cancelled.  Currently we are able to host the event and will continue to aim to do so but that will depend on the safety of our attendees and the quality of transport links throughout the region.

Register for NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland! in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

NEBytes and SUGUK November 2010 - Making a Mockery of SharePoint 2010!

Join North East Bytes as we partner with the SharePoint User Group for our twelth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Using Typemock Isolator to Enable Testing of Both Well Designed Code and Nasty Legacy Systems with Richard Fennell

Test DrivenDevelopment means there is a constant need to be able to fake out sub systemswithin your code to allow testing e.g. fake the calls to a data store so the business logic can be tested. This is all well and good if you are in a greenfield project, or the code is well designed, however most of us are on legacy code bases where is this not that easy. In addition, some technologies such as SharePoint make the faking of sub systems very hard. In this session, using C#, Richard shows how Typemock Isolator can be used to address many of these issues.

Richard Fennell is the Engineering Director of the Black Marble Ltd a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in BizTalk & SharePoint based business automation.

As Engineering Director Richard is responsible for the delivery of systems and tools to allow my company, and our clients, to deliver solutions efficiently. All Black Mable's development activity is underpinned by Visual Studio Team System an agile process model. Richard is a MVP for Visual Studio ALM (nee Team System), a Typemock MVP and a Certified Scrum Master

Richard is a regular presenter at community events in the UK and Ireland (and the rest of the world given a chance) where his most common subject is software testing and the development process.

If you want to get in touch please use the contact form on his blog or follow Richard's Twitter feed @RichardFennell

Using SharePoint 2010 for Content Publishing with Rik Hepworth

See the kind of site that can be delivered using SharePoint 2010 for either internet or intranet-facing publishing sites. Using a recent project delivered by Black Marble, Rik will run through the problems they had to solve and point out pitfalls and good practice they have learned along the way.

Rik is the IT Director of Black Marble, a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in Biztalk and SharePoint-based business automation.
In addition to making sure Black Marble's own systems deliver, Rik leads the IT side of our SharePoint practice. Rik has been delivering SharePoint solutions since Black Marble’s involvement in the beta of SharePoint 2007 and presents regularly for Black Marble and their partners on this and other topics.

If you want to get in touch please use the contact form on his blog or follow Richard's Twitter feed @RikHepworth


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

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Wednesday 20th October 2010–NEBytes October 2010: The Live Essentials to Security Anti-Patterns in ASP.Net

Join North East Bytes for our tenth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Windows Live Online and Windows Live Essentials 2011 with Jonathan Noble

Following on from the launch of the "wave 4" cloud based Windows Live services a few weeks ago, Microsoft released the new version of it's free desktop suite, Windows Live Essentials 2011, at the end of September. This collection of utilities adds some basic functionality to Windows, but also contains some little-known gems, such as some of the former Microsoft Research projects build into Windows Live Photo Gallery, and the critically acclaimed Windows Live Writer.

This session will cover all of the desktop and cloud components of Windows Live; highlighting some of the new features of the latest releases, showing why those receiving the suite pre-installed on a PC shouldn't just ignore it, and why everyone else will likely find something worth downloading.

Jonathan Noble started his career in IT early, being kept out of primary school assemblies in order to show teachers how to use BBC Model Bs. After watching Top Gun too many times, and a less than fun part-time job in PC World, he nearly gave up computing and became a fighter pilot, but was somehow drawn back to the keyboard and has spent the last decade managing Windows systems at Newcastle University. He's dragging himself away from Medal of Honor and NBA 2K11 on the Xbox to deliver this session.  Jonathan blogs at and tweets at

Security Anti-Patterns in ASP.Net with Ross Dargan

Microsoft have done a pretty good job of allowing developers to produce secure applications by default, but pesky developers always find a way around! Here I will be showing some of the most common mistakes developers make (including Sql Injection, XSS, Data Leakage, CSRF) and how simple changes can make an application significantly more secure.

Ross has over 6 years experience working for a local IT consultancy based in Durham. He has developed and architected several large scale applications used globally. When he is not working on applications he is typically playing with an Arduino/Netduino trying to make an Internet of things.

He can often be found on Twitter here:


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

Register for NEBytes October 2010: The Live Essentials to Security Anti-Patterns in ASP.Net in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Wednesday 15th September 2010 – NEBytes September 2010: It's All About Phones and Infrastructure Management

North East Bytes now steamrolls into autumn with our 10th event of the year. Why not register, come along and enjoy the show!

Managing an Enterprise Infrastructure Using SCOM 2007 R2 with Mark Robson

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) is Microsoft’s enterprise monitoring and alerting tool. SCOM gathers server performance and status information using software agents; it then collates this information using pre-determined rules (Management packs) and produces a “health” report for the environment. SCOM can be a very complicated product to implement and needs to be handled carefully to ensure the information it is producing is accurate & relevant.

In this session Mark Robson will draw from his real world experiences implementing SCOM to show how it can be used as much more than just a server monitoring tool.

image Mark, a NEBytes local, is an IS Systems Manager for a Newcastle based housing association. In 2009 Mark was key in the managing the first UK implementation of a companywide SCOM 2007 R2 deployment that has since been used as case study by Microsoft (

You can follow Mark on twitter at:

Introducing Windows Phone 7 with Matt Lacey

In this session Matt will give us a view of overview of Windows Phone 7 and an introduction to developing applications for it.

We'll look at functionality and features of the phone highlighting what's new and what's different in the interface, architecture and development experience.

Matt has been paid to develop software for the last twelve years. In that time he has worked with multiple languages & platforms and for companies of all types and sizes. He currently works for a company specialising in mobile and digital content solutions. He is particularly interested in developer productivity, mobile computing and providing excellent user experiences.

He also organises DevEvening ( and the Windows Phone User Group


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -


NEBytes August 2010–Technical Debt and It’s Over to You!

We held our first ever August event last night and we were more than pleasantly surprised with the numbers despite being well into the holidays!  Thanks to all those who attended and to those who didn’t – well you missed one hell of an event!

We had three presentations from members of the NEBytes community – Peter Bull, Tim Mather and Justin Souter.  Interesting content covering Windows Phone 7, Cloud Computing and Open Source.Net primarily Umbraco.  Well done to the guys for their informative presentations – all in the space of 15 minutes too!  It takes bottle to get up from the chair and get in front of people and deliver so well done!

We were extremely delighted to also welcome Gary Short, to give us a great presentation on Technical Debt – a hugely important topic for all developers and managers alike!  I’d personally been looking forward to seeing this session for quite a while and was not disappointed!  Gary’s a great speaker, very eloquent and has an excellent delivery style, if he’s speaking at a user group or conference near you I very much recommend listening to what he has to say!  His talk went down very well and received great comments on Twitter.

We will post the slides for each of the presentations on this post so feel free to take a look at the content delivered.

August Event: Gary Short and an open mic session

For this month’s event on Wednesday 18th, we’ve got C# MVP Gary Short coming to talk about “technical debt” – the cost of not following good practice in development. I’m not a developer personally, by I’ve still inherited code and had to further develop on stuff that has been basically a mess, and putting it right is certainly costly in terms of time and stress levels! Gary’s presentation will cover how to put a financial cost on this and cover some measures to identify problem areas in a code base.

In the other half of the evening, we’re doing something that we’ve planned since forming NEBytes – opening up the floor to the attendees. This month we’ve got four short talks planned, covering Windows Phone 7, Cloud Computing, Open Source .Net and ASP.Net MVC.

More details are available on the events page, or head straight over to Eventbrite to register.

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May Event: A Developer’s Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric and Making Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0

On Wednesday 19th May we have another two great speakers lined up for our May event.  We have Phil Pursglove visiting to give us A Developer’s Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric and we have our very own Jonathan Noble showing us how to make Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0

For full details check out the Events Page or go straight to Eventbrite and register now!

Register for NEBytes May 2010 - The Need for Speed: A Developer's Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric And Making Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0 Easily in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Three Great Events in The North East in April!!


As part of the Microsoft Tech Days UK 2010, a week of free events for Developers and IT Professionals, there are three great events of note running in the North East.  The Sharepoint User Group are hosting a great night at the Cinema in Stockton, and then NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty for a special evening of Silverlight in addition to the Monthly meeting covering Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  Best of all- all three events are FREE!!!!

Monday 13th April 2010 – SUGUK – Sharepoint 2010 and Free Screening of Clash Of the Titans at Stockton-on-Tees Showcase Cinema

sugukMicrosoft and Combined Knowledge have funded a great evening to celebrate the launch of Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2010.  Join the Sharepoint User Group at the Showcase Cinema in Stockton-on-Tees to see a short presentation on the new features in Office and Sharepoint 2010, followed by an Open Mic “Ask the Experts” session on general SharePoint topics such as business adoption, Sharepoint designer, VS 2010 and Office focussed development in general, before settling down with Popcorn to watch a free screening of the new blockbuster – Clash Of The Titans!

For more information and to register -

Friday 16th April 2010 – NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-final On Friday 16th April 2010, We are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty, the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft, to Newcastle as he makes his way round the UK as part of his UK Tour .  Jesse will be delivering the following session:

Building A Highly Extensible, Decoupled Silverlight Open Source Application with MEF and RIA Services using Lean, Test Driven Development, An International Team of Volunteer Programmers,  and lots of Advil.

This talk will use the Silverlight HyperVideo Platform open-source project on CodePlex as a case study in building highly extensible Silverlight applications. Among the topics we will focus on are:

  • New features in Silverlight 4 and how they made life easier
  • The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) added to Silverlight 4
  • WCF RIA Services for connection to a back-end db
  • Handling inter-module communication when the requirements are that modules cannot assume which other modules will be created, there can be no dependencies on order-of creation and unanticipated modules must be able to communicate with existing modules.
  • Using Markers, Injected Markers and polling to trigger events while viewing a video.
  • A Quick introduction to Lean, TDD and Kanban.

NEBytes are also looking at putting on a Geek Dinner afterwards, so if you’d be interested in attending let us know when you register for the NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek Event

Wednesday 21st April 2010 – NEBytes -  “Office 2010” and “Preventing SQL Injection Attacks” – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-finalOn Wednesday 21st April 2010 NEBytes will be holding their regular monthly event and will be covering the topics of Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  We are pleased to welcome Colin Mackay to cover Preventing SQL Injection attacks and we are very pleased to have NEByte’s very own Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee covering Office 2010 at the event:

Office 2010 - Ben Lee and Jonathan Noble

This summer Microsoft will release Office 2010. While this is more of an evolution from Office 2007 rather than the revolutionary jump from Office 2003 into the world of the Ribbon UI, there are still a number of new features in the desktop applications that make this release interesting. In addition, 2010 sees Office head into the cloud with the all-new Office Web Apps. In this session, NEBytes' own Ben Lee (@Bibbleq) and Jonathan Noble (@jonoble) will highlight their favourite new features across the whole suite and also demonstrate how to manage, secure and deploy Office 2010 to the desktop, including delivery using App-V.

SQL Injection Attacks and Tips on How To Prevent Them - Colin Angus Mackay

In light of some recent events, such as the man who was convicted of stealing 130 million credit card details through a SQL Injection attack, it is imperative that developers understand what a SQL Injection Attack is, how they are carried out, and most importantly, how to defend your code against attack.

In this talk Colin Mackay will demonstrate a SQL Injection Attack on an application in a controlled environment*. He’ll show you where the vulnerable code lies and what you can do to harden it.

Although this talk uses C# as the application language and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as the database engine many of the concepts and prevention mechanisms will apply to any application that accesses a database through SQL.

* Demonstrating an attack on a system without the owner’s consent is a breach of the 1990 Misuse of Computers Act, hence the controlled environment.

Colin Angus Mackay is a Software Developer living in Glasgow. He has been programming since the age of 9 starting with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He became a professional software developer in 1994, using a Smalltalk based language called Magik. In 1996 he started using C++ commercially and in 2002 migrated to the emerging language of C#.

Colin has received a number of awards including Code Project MVP (for 5 years) and Microsoft MVP (for 3 years). He is a member of the British Computer Society and a Member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers. He is currently the chairman of Scottish Developers and has organised the last two Developer Day Scotland conferences (with a third in the works).

You can find out more on his blog at:

Go to the NEBytes April Event Registration Page and sign up now!