Monthly Archives: May 2009

Royal Institute 0f Information and Technology


I have received an admission letter from KTH, The Royal Institute of Information and Technology, Kista, Stockholm. I have admission in “Software Engineering of distributed Systems”, and I’m planning to go there by this August. I have applied for Sweden Visa, in fact Schengen States Visa. I’m from Lahore, Pakistan, and finding some prospective students at KTH this year for shared Accommodation, right now we are two students, both enrolled in KTH.

Interested should contact me at their earliest. You can get my contact information here

Good Luck all of you.

Usman Afzal
+92 321 405 9065


C# 3.0 Language Features

While Talking about .Net Framework, there are lots of many new things in every version, but I normally keep an eye on mostly used features from the perspective of re usability and easy of Code.

While Exploring, I crossed through some really usable features of .Net 3.0 & 3.5, and for the discussion here I would be covering Automatic Properties, Object Initiation, Extraction Methods, and Automatic Type Casting.

Automatic Properties

Normally, In every sort of project, specifically in every class most the time is eaten by the writing the class members and their setter and getter (properties or Indexers). Although, many third party tools like Visual Assist come up with the power of .Net Extensibility ( I will be writing some useful tips about it Soon), and easy the developer by provider Intellisense to a greater extend, but what If I tell you something built in .Net framework without spending any extra money for any third party Add In. Following is one of my Code Snip that I will use to explain the power and re usability of Automatic Properties.
I’m Omitting any required using statements to make it simpler and shorter.

namespace MyBlogApplication
public class PersonClass
//Person Class’s Properties
private String _name;
public System.String Name
get { return _name; }
set { _name = value; }

private String _addess;
public System.String Addess
get { return _addess; }
set { _addess = value; }

private String _personId;
public System.String PersonId
get { return _personId; }
set { _personId = value; }

Although the above code may be generated using the Reflector tools of .net, but it still requires me to write Class members and then reflect them as Public Properties, and of course it requires more lines of code then the one I wrote in .Net c# 3.5 as below

namespace MyBlogApplication
public class PersonClass
//Person Class’s Properties
public String Name { get; set; }
public String _addess { get; set; }
public String _personId { get; set; }

What i did just wrote “prop” (this is also available in .net 2.0), and press tab twice, so what I came with is the above snip, now what I need to do is just to give name to my property, and compiler will automatically generate the data member and deals with adding and retrieving from memory.

It’s not a rocket science, but imagine if you have more than 20 properties per class and for each one you have to create and manipulate data members, it’s a hell of coding job, but the above technique reduces and manages you code with beauty.

In the above code, you may put your properties as Read-Only Or Write-Only as follows

//Person Class’s Properties
public int Name { get; set; }
public int _addess { private get; set; } //Write-Only
public int _personId { get; } //Read-Only

Happy Coding with .Net 3.5 🙂

Understanding the differences between SharePoint Portal Server and the Windows SharePoint Services

This is not a fresh post, I found goggling on this topic, just throwing here to give proper and more easy searched tags. You will find the original link below.

Lately, Microsoft has been placing a much heavier emphasis on its SharePoint line of products. SharePoint will eventually take over the public folder functionality currently found in Exchange Server and Microsoft is also pushing to make SharePoint the file server technology of choice. Unfortunately, many of the people that I have talked to say that they find SharePoint to be confusing. What makes SharePoint even more confusing though is that it comes in two different flavors; the Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server. In this article, I will discuss the differences and the similarities of these two products.

If you are shopping for SharePoint products, the first difference that you are likely to notice between the two versions of SharePoint is the cost. SharePoint Portal Server tends to be a bit pricey. The retail price of SharePoint Portal Server with five client access licenses is $5,619. This price is the tip of the iceberg though. You must also figure in the cost of a Windows Server 2003 license, the Windows Server client access licenses, and the cost of the hardware that SharePoint will run on. SharePoint Portal Server also requires SQL Server. The software comes with MSDE (Microsoft Database Engine), which is a watered down version of SQL Server, but most organizations will have to use a full blown SQL Server deployment.

Furthermore, if you need additional SharePoint client access licenses, those licenses cost $71 per device or user. Since SharePoint is a Web based technology, it is conceivable that some organizations may make a SharePoint site available to external users or non employees over the Internet. In order to do so, you must purchase an external connector license. An external connector license sells for $30,000 per server.

As you can see, SharePoint Portal Server can be very pricey to deploy. In contrast though, the Windows SharePoint Services are free! Actually, they aren’t completely free. You still need a Windows Server 2003 license and the Windows Server client access licenses. Even so, Microsoft offers the Windows SharePoint Services as a downloadable feature pack for Windows Server 2003.

To put it into prospective, both SharePoint products require you to buy a Windows Server 2003 license and the necessary Windows Server client access licenses. After doing so though, you could deploy the Windows SharePoint Services at no additional cost, whereas deploying SharePoint Portal Server will cost you thousands of additional dollars in software licenses.
Windows SharePoint Services

Since the Windows SharePoint Services are so much less expensive than SharePoint Portal Server, I will talk about it first. As I mentioned earlier, the Windows SharePoint Services are downloadable as a free feature pack for Windows Server 2003. You can download the Windows SharePoint Services at Microsoft’s Web site.

The Windows SharePoint Services are primarily focused around workgroup level collaboration. The idea is that the Windows SharePoint Services can be easily deployed in a matter of minutes. Once the Windows SharePoint Services are up and running, it is simple to set up a workspace for a small group of users, with minimal effort. This allows a group of users to share a small collection of documents among themselves.

Even though small seems to be the operative word here, don’t be fooled. The Windows SharePoint Services can be scaled to support thousands of users and multiple terabytes of data. In fact, SharePoint Portal Server (an enterprise class product) is built on top of the Windows SharePoint Services.

The truth is that even though the Windows SharePoint Services are free, the Windows SharePoint Services are no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. While it’s true that SharePoint Portal Server offers features and capabilities that the Windows SharePoint Services don’t offer, the Windows SharePoint Services is a very powerful application.

When you install the Windows SharePoint Services, there is next to no configuration that has to be done. I have to admit that when I installed the Windows SharePoint Services on my test server, I didn’t take notes regarding the installation process, but I honestly can’t remember having to do anything other than accepting an end user license agreement. Once the installation was complete, Windows opened Internet Explorer and displayed the Windows SharePoint Services Web site, shown in Figure A.

This is what the Windows SharePoint Services Web Site looks like.

As I mentioned earlier, SharePoint Portal Server costs thousands of dollars while the Windows SharePoint Services are free. In order to understand what you are really getting for your money if you decide to invest in SharePoint Portal Server, you need to have a good idea of what you can and can’t do with the Windows SharePoint Services. Unfortunately, there is no way that I can talk about all of the Windows SharePoint Service features in a single article, but I will give you a brief tour so that you can see how SharePoint Portal Server differs.

If you look at Figure A, you will see that the Home page contains a list of announcements, events, and links. Each of these sections is made up of a separate Web part. A Web part is nothing more than a block of HTML or ASP code. In a SharePoint environment, multiple Web parts can be joined together to create a Web page like the one that you see in Figure A. In fact, you will notice in Figure A that there is a Modify Shared Page link directly above the Windows SharePoint Services logo. You can use this link to add additional Web Parts, remove unwanted Web Parts, or to rearrange the position of the Web parts on the screen.

What this means is that the SharePoint Web site is completely customizable. The reason why this is important is because the default Web site is usually only used in the smallest organizations. As you will recall, earlier, I mentioned that the Windows SharePoint Services were designed to allow small groups of users to share small groups of documents.

If a user were to click the Create link, they would be able to create a dedicated Web site for the group or the project that they are working with. The fact that SharePoint sites are nothing more than a collection of pre-defined Web parts means that when users create dedicated Web sites, they can custom tailor the new site to fit their specific needs. Furthermore, they can accomplish this without having to do any coding.

That being the case, you might be wondering what users can use these Web sites for. Well, if you go back to Figure A, you can get a bit of a preview. If you look in the menu bar on the left portion of the screen, you will see links for shared documents, contacts, tasks, discussions, and surveys. There is actually a lot more that users can do with the Windows SharePoint Services, but I don’t really have the space to talk about everything, so let’s pretend that these were the only options available.

To see how these particular Web parts are useful, imagine that you are working as a part of a team that’s assigned to develop a new product for your company. In such a case, you could start out by creating a contacts list containing contact information for everyone on the team. You could then go on to add contact information for parts suppliers and other non-employees that you might interact with as a part of the project.

You could then use the task list to assign tasks related to the project to various members of the team. The Discussion area is basically a message board that can be used to discuss specific issues related to the project. You could use the Pictures library to store blueprints or design ideas, while the document library can be used to store text documents.

The document library is one of the key pieces of SharePoint and is worth discussing for a moment. The idea behind the document library is that users can check documents in and out of the library. Essentially, what this means is that a user can check out a document, make changes, and check the document back in. This prevents users from making simultaneous, possibly contradictory changes to a document, but it does something else too. The document library allows you to retain multiple versions of documents. This way you can see who has made changes to a document and when. If necessary, you can even revert to a previous version of the document.

Another thing that the document library does is that it allows users to be alerted to changes. Users can be alerted immediately if a new document is added to the library or if an existing document is modified. If users don’t want to be bothered by constant change notifications, they can receive a daily or a weekly change summary message.

In case you are wondering, the Windows SharePoint Services does have built in user management. You can easily specify which users are allowed to create Web sites. When a user does create a site, they can decide who can access the site, and what level of access various users should receive to the document library and to other areas of the site.
SharePoint Portal Server

It’s impossible for me to talk about all of the capabilities of the Windows SharePoint Services because the application is so intricate. Hopefully by now though, you have a pretty good idea of what the Windows SharePoint Services are and what they are used for. Now, I want to move on and talk about SharePoint Portal Server. As I mentioned earlier, SharePoint Portal Server was built on top of the Windows SharePoint Services. This means that anything that the Windows SharePoint Services can do, SharePoint Portal Server can also do.

The main difference between the two applications is their focus and intended usage. As I have said numerous times in this article, the Windows SharePoint Service’s primary focus is to create workspaces that small groups of users can use to collaborate on projects by sharing a small collection of documents and other data. Certainly, SharePoint Portal Server can be used for this as well, but why spend thousands to do something that you can do for free with the Windows SharePoint Services?

The main purpose for SharePoint Portal Server is to act as an enterprise level portal. One of the areas where this is the most obvious is in SharePoint Portal Server’s ability to manage documents. SharePoint Portal Server’s document library is very similar to the one found in the Windows SharePoint Services. The main difference is that SharePoint Portal Server is designed to index huge numbers of documents that exist across multiple locations.

For example, you could start out by indexing all of the documents that exist on your company’s file servers. You don’t have to stop there though. You could also index the public folders on your Exchange Servers. If there are Web sites that your company frequently references, you could even index pages on those sites. It doesn’t even matter if the Web page is in secured by SSL. SharePoint can use the HTTPS protocol to index secure Web content.

The point is that large companies typically have huge amounts of information on file, and that information often exists in many different formats (Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, public folders, HTML, text files, etc.). What SharePoint Portal Server does is to make it possible for users to use a single search engine to search for information regardless of where the information is located and what format the information is in.

SharePoint Portal Server also differs from the Windows SharePoint Services in its ability to search document indexes. SharePoint Portal Server offers some very rich search capabilities. For example, users can search for specific key words and tell the search engine that they only want to search for items that have been added since their last search. The results of the search can then be arranged by document author, site, date, and category. SharePoint Portal Server also offers hierarchical search scopes that allow users to perform searches from within specific topics, categories, or content sources.
Similar names, but different

As you can see, there are many similarities between the Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server. Where the two products really differ is in that SharePoint Portal Server allows you to index the contents of huge numbers of documents, in a variety of formats, both inside and outside of your company. SharePoint Portal Server also offers advanced query tools that make it easier to locate specific content within a vast store of indexed content.

Original Link:Understanding the differences between SharePoint Portal Server and the Windows SharePoint Services

Happy Mother’s Day

She is not highly educated, but to make me a good human being, she never needed that, Yes I’m talking about my mother, God’s biggest blessing to me. On this day, like a child of age 10 years, I want to wish my Ami a very happy mother’s day.

It’s really emotional to say that i wouldn’t be what I’m without her efforts, but it’s a fact.

“Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible” ~Marion C. Garretty
I can still remember those day of grief in my life, whatever the reason were, I found my mother giving me
her shadow or sometimes just standing out there silently as a guard. My mother is special, although, she is a kind of woman, who never takes step forward, who never initiate things, but she always do what I need the most, and she continuously pray from me.

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

“I think my mother enjoyed her life just before my birth, afterward, she made my Life” ~ Usman Afzal

In short, I love you Ami (Razia Sultana), please do remember me In Your prayers.

Usman Afzal

LUMS MBA Interview Question/Suggestions

Well there are few post regarding LUMS Interview question and pattern.

First of I would Like to share few question that I supposed to be asked by the panel, these are few of those told by LUMS Alums.

Personal Value Added Questions

  • About You Questions
  • What value added in your personality by you previous studies
  • What value in your personality Expected by MBA
  • Your Professional growth to date
  • Professional Questions
    Don’t be among those, who say they won’t ask such question, be prepared for questions from your BS, at
    least 30% of your interview constitutes this part; get prepared about your current activities at Job, and
    expect some actual definitions out there.

    MBA Questions

  • Why MBA after Technical education
  • Why MBA Now, why not before this time
  • What value do u expect from MBA
  • After MBA Plan
  • About Your Aim
  • Reasons of your appearing for MBA
  • Why MBA from Pakistan
  • whom you are Inspired in business
  • MBA at LUMS

  • Why MBA from LUMS, why not somewhere else
  • What you know about MBA at LUMS
  • What you know about LUMS
  • What Value you would add after MBA from LUMS
  • and some more, but keep in mind to manipulate the things
  • These are some tips and general question that you will find by goggling a little bit.

    Now I would like to share some questions like those asked to me

    1. They started from my previous studies and remained there till end 🙂 (very strange)
    2. Read that day’s newspaper, at least go through the headlines
    3. Read some about the causes of crises these days
    4. Look at that day’s celebration if any, they asked me about the Allama Iqbal’s death Anniversary
    5. IPL remained hot during my Interview, but they asked simple questions regarding this

    This is it. Above are some questions they asked me during my Interview. Good Luck !

    I will also blog about some stuff that I goggled before my Interview, You will find in Next Post.

    Rate If You find above Information helpful.

    Usman Afzal

    Happy Teacher’s day

    When I turned the leaves of my life, I found my teacher’s efforts on each page; helping, guiding, teaching, and tutoring  me and making me Go after my dreams.

    I want to take this opportunity to wish all my teachers specially Rashid Kaleem, Shehzad Afzal, Adam Muhyudin, Syed Ahsan, Anwar Alam, my father Muhammad Afzal, and above all Mr. Rizwan Ahmed a very happy teacher’s day.

    With the help of these guys, I’m able to see beyond others. They added lots of things to my personality and forced me to think out of the box.

    Rashid Kaleem, Shehzad Afzal:
    I really feel myself very lucky to have such a nice pair of teacher in my life, they opened my doors for me, but most of all, they always discourage me going through windows during my study life at UET, Lahore.
    Happy Teacher’s day.

    Rizwan Ahmed:
    I should say, whatever I’m today is just because of my elder brother Rizwan, where my teahcer teach me about values and others, he gave me an opportunity to implement those in reality. Thank you bahi for everything you did in my life. Happy Teacher’s day.

    Remember Me In Your Prayers
    Usman Afzal