The blogs of Black Marble staff

System Center Operations Manager Database Location

System Center Operations Manager doesn’t seem to provide an easy way (correct me if I’m wrong here) to find out what database server and database name it is using. Should you ever need to find out, log onto your Management Server, start regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Operations Manager\3.0\Setup and examine the DatabaseServerName and DatabaseName entries.

Interesting news on test SharePoint

Typemock announced today a new product Isolator for Sharepoint – which allows unit testing of Sharepoint code without needing Sharepoint installed. Now this is something I have been using the full version of Isolator for of late, and there are more blog posts on the way from me, so watch this space.

So if you are a Sharepoint developer this is an important product you should a least have a look at.

It is also interesting to see the promotion mechanism being used to get the word out onto the blogs, free license to the first 50 bloggers. So I would like to state my position here, I already have a Typemock Isolator license so this post has been written without the carrot of a free license, just written by an very impressed user.

DDD7, OSLO Microsoft’s Vision for the future of Modelling

On Saturday I was pleased to have been chosen to present on Microsoft “Oslo” at Developer Developer Developer 7. The event was a runaway success and there will be more.

I would like to thank everybody who attended my talk and especially those who were kind enough to provide feedback ( good and bad ). The only downside was my Quadrant demo did not work too well as it was running especially slow and I did not demonstrate half of what I had intended but it turned out that my laptop had decided to run in extra slow power saving mode!!!

As promised I will be maintaining a canonical list of Oslo resources , papers , links and videos to help everybody move over to Oslo and I have promised to get some videos up within the next few weeks to a month on some of the key areas ( including the demo’s ).

The good feedback was mainly from people who are working in similar fields to DSL’s etc and could see the potential of the DSL side. from the other side it seemed to be mainly why was Oslo not Object Orientated, I had been quite careful in preparing the talk to try to cover this in some detail and so I will be posting soon a “Why Oslo is Relational” post.

I must thank Alan Smith from bloggersguides for a couple of slides and concepts that helped me shape how I presented Oslo (including but not limited to the 3 Dubs) and the ever enigmatic Doug Purdy, whom I have been fortunate to see present on Oslo several times over the last few months, for some good solid inspiration.

And finally I would like to thank Marjan Kalantar who provided the giveaways for the talk, which were gratefully received by the audience.

last of all the important links

The video I streamed was from

I would highly recommend a visit to the site of the ever wonderful Alan Smith

The Oslo Developers Centre

all of the links and more will be in the following post


thanks again to everybody who attended and if you have questions please feel free to ask



Back From a Long Few Weeks of sitting in a flying bus

I am back from a few long weeks away both at the PDC in Los Angles and TechED IT in Barcelona, it was been great fun out at the PDC finally seeing “Oslo” out in the wild but the week at TechED talking to lots of great people about the joy of BizTalk brought me firmly back to reality.

Microsoft has started to put information out about some ground breaking technologies , Azure, Oslo and of course Windows 7. Now I am back and in one place I will be putting time aside to keep a solid set of Oslo information coming your way.

I wanted to share a few final bits from the last few weeks



I saw my good friend Nigel during the week at PDC and it was so nice to catch up with one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

IMG_0994 IMG_0993 IMG_1004

dodging the electro prod wielding event staff took some time to adjust to but after a bit of time we won ;)

seeing chainsaw wielding clowns


and ending up with the Simpsons just made the week a bit strange



Back from DDD7

Another long day over the weekend at DDD7, but worth it. An excellent selection of sessions; I particularly liked Ben Hall’s on Pex and Jon Skeet’s on Linq.

A big thank you to the organisers for putting on such a successful event. It was noticeably fuller than past events, as we know DDD7 filled up in about four hours. Maybe time for a bigger venue, but would we lose the atmosphere?

The other option is for DDD style events around the country and to this end there were a few announcements yesterday. We already know about DD Scotland in May 2009, the new ones announced for Q2 2009 were

Look out for more details was the organiser‘s call for speakers

An Event to Remember

On Wednesday, we ran another of our triple-event days; great range of products covered and a lot of positive feedback.  We started with m’learned colleagues Rik and John demonstrating all you need to know about Microsoft CRM 4.0.  A hearty lunch readied the room for MSDN’s Eric Nelson and Mike Taulty from Microsoft and their exploration of Visual Studio 2008.  The day culminated with Oliver Sturm from DevExpress explaining Refactor Pro! A lot of positive feedback, with many developers going home happy – in particular the gentleman who walked away with a full license from DevExpress!

Our events our free, and if you’re interested in the current state … and future impact … of Architecture then come along to our next event – visit our website for more details.


[Resource]Developer and Architecture Guides (Updated 26th April)

With the slew of great Developer and Architecture Guides appearing I have decided that a central list of them all is in order. I am now marking my resource lists to help people find them in the slew of “interesting” comments in my blog.


Enterprise Library is up to 4.1 get it HERE

Windows 7 Developer Guide – A guide for developing Windows 7 - get it here

Acceptance Test Engineering Guidance Guidance book - get it here

Application Architecture Book 2.0  – get it here

WPF/Silverlight Composite Application guide – get it here

TFS Branching Guide (2) – get it here

Web Performance and Testing guide – get it here


A new set of rather snazzy Pocket Guides are out with overview sections which most people should read

  • Rich Client Architecture Pocket Guide  Rich Client Application Architecture

    Architecture and Design Guidelines ,Presentation Layer Guidelines , Business Layer Guidelines ,Data Access Layer Guidelines ,Service Layer Guidelines , Communication Guidelines ,Deployment Patterns

  • RIA Architecture Pocket Guide

    RIA Architecture ,

    Design Guidelines  Presentation Layer Guidelines , Business Layer Guidelines ,Access Layer Guidelines,  Service Layer Guidelines ,Communication Guidelines , Deployment Patterns

  • Web Application Architecture Pocket Guide

    Web Application Architecture  Design Guidelines , Presentation Layer Guidelines , Business Layer Guidelines,  Data Access Layer Guidelines,  Service Layer Guidelines, Communication Guidelines , Deployment Patterns

  • Service Architecture Pocket Guide

    Service Architecture , Designing Services ,Service Layer Guidelines ,Communication Guidelines, Service Layer Checklist

  • Agile Architecture Method Pocket Guide

    Agile Architecture Method , Step 1 - Identify Objectives , Step 2 - Identify Key Scenarios ,Step 3 - Application Overview, Step 4 - Key Hot Spots , Step 5 - Candidate Solutions , Reviewing Your Architecture ,Communicating Your Architecture

  • Mobile Architecture Pocket Guide

    Mobile Application Architecture , Architecture and Design Guidelines , Presentation Layer Guidelines ,Business Layer Guidelines , Data Access Layer Guidelines , Service Layer Guidelines ,Communication Guidelines , Deployment Patterns