GETTING STARTED in Word

Encoding Data Matrix in Word GETTING STARTED

CHAPTER 2 GETTING STARTED
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Virtual machine technology is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that Internet fad we all keep talking about. Why Because it is, trust me. For our purposes, it allows us developers to have a separate environment for every project we work on. We can configure a base environment with all of our usual tools and make a copy of this every time we need to start a new project. We can then customize each separate environment exactly as we need to for that project. Customized environments is only the tip of the iceberg. Also of tremendous value is the ability to stop a project in the middle, save everything exactly how you need it, and pick it up again months later with everything unchanged. A quick list of other benefits to virtual machines for development includes Sandboxing: The ability to quickly set up a test environment completely independent of your standard environment. Testing: Using a virtual environment allows you to simulate multiple operating systems/software version combinations all on one physical machine. Rollback: If you re about to press the button on a potentially risky piece of code that could bring your entire machine to its knees, you can do so without fear in a virtual environment. If things go south in the proverbial handbasket, a quick file copy gets you back up and running in very little time even less time if you use undo disks. That s a very tiny look into the benefits. There are many more, but those are the biggest ones to me. All it costs is a little performance (virtual machines are generally a little slower than their physical counterparts) and disk space, but that s pretty cheap these days anyway. There are licensing implications to this, naturally, but MSDN Universal and a Microsoft Gold Partnership help there. Not having the intelligence of Einstein, the wisdom of Solomon, and the patience of Job, I generally don t try to understand Microsoft s licensing plans. I periodically check with a Microsoft rep or someone from a license reseller to make sure I m OK. You ll each need to wade through your own licensing situation and make sure you re covered. As a general rule, you ll need a valid license for every piece of software you install and, in the case of server products, at least one Client Access License. Microsoft typically has trial versions available for most of their products so that is worth looking into it gets you typically 4 6 months of coverage. Different virtual machine products have different features and you ll need to find the one that works best for you, your style, and your company. Personally, I ve always used Microsoft s Virtual PC product, but I have heard people rave about VMware as well. You can choose whichever product suits you best. The benefits of a virtual environment remain, regardless of which product you use.
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As promised, I m not going to lead you through each and every step of each and every installation that would just be too painful. I will, however, point out a few caveats and other important things to take into consideration as you go through the setup process. Table 2-2 lists this information.
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CHAPTER 2 GETTING STARTED
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Table 2-2. Information and Recommendations for Setting Up Your Workflow Development Environment
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More is better especially memory. You re going to be running some heavy-duty server applications, so the most hardware you can afford to throw at this, the better. Memory is critical. I do all development in a virtual machine on my laptop, which has 2GB of RAM. I typically allocate about 1200 1500MB to the guest OS and things move along pretty well. A nice, fast hard drive is also important. Also, if you re using a virtual environment and have multiple hard drives available, store your virtual hard drives on a different physical hard drive from your host OS s system files to avoid contention. You must be using the NTFS file system. Use the Convert utility rather than reinstalling if you need to fix this. You ll need IIS and ASP.NET 2.0 installed. Configure IIS 6.0 to run in worker process isolation mode, which is the default unless you ve upgraded from IIS 5.0. Enable ASP.NET 2.0 in IIS (from a command line: aspnet_regiis i). We are going to be using Outlook 2007 and email notifications, so I suggest you install the POP3 and SMTP components of Windows Server 2003. You could connect to external providers, but then you are tied to them. Running it all locally makes you completely independent and mobile. This is the part that will make your security and network administrators cringe. My advice is to violate every password requirement known to man use a short, simple password that is easy to remember and type, and use the same password for every account. This is a development machine and it shouldn t be on your production domain anyway so the risk is minimal. After installing each component (OS, Office, WF, etc.), check for and install any updates. Create several user accounts ahead of time. As you configure SharePoint you can assign them various levels of access. This makes it easy to test various users as you try out the different scenarios in the book. I usually give my users clever names like Admin, Reader1, Reader2, Author1, and Author2, but those may be too esoteric so feel free to use whatever names you want. Don t install SQL Express. Select to install on a single server.
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