MSDN Microsoft Developer Network
the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)
MSDN Web portals and Web sites
MSDN Online is the primary portal to an assortment of portals and Web sites that have sprouted organically around the developer community. MSDN Web sites have been created by both Microsoft and by the developer community itself. The main purpose of the sites is to provide access to developers within Microsoft, discussion among peers, documentation, and product and usage information. MSDN is evolving from an autocratic, top-down distribution network to an interactive, peer-to-peer network, thus benefitting both Microsoft and the developer community. This is being accomplished through the implementations of various Web applications, e.g., blogs, forums, library annotations, social bookmarking services, and wikis. Many MSDN Web sites are available in languages other than English.
MSDN runs their own blogging platform called MSDN Blogs for Microsoft employees. Monitoring their blogging is a great way to get some inside information from knowledgeable Microsoft employees.
MSDN Code Gallery
The MSDN Code Gallery is an online repository of source code projects and examples created by the developer community. The projects cover various Micosoft platforms, in various .NET languages, using various versions of Visual Studio .NET, and incorporating various related technologies, e.g. ADO.NET.
Also, there is an open source project site hosted by Microsoft—but not under the aegis of MSDN—called CodePlex. It's a bit like SourceForge, but wholly owned by Microsoft.
MSDN Community Center
MSDN Community Center provides links to help stay connected to the MSDN community. Read about Community activity: what people are saying about MSDN and what people are doing with Microsoft technologies. Find links to Mirosft and MVP bloggers, forums, VS Gallery, and videos.
Also, see what's happening on delicious and Twitter and other user group support sites.
MSDN Developer Centers
MSDN Developer Centers and Resource Centers aggregate content and resources around specific Microsoft products and technologies. There you can find community sites, code samples, documentation, technical articles, upcoming events, and more. Each Developer Center gives you a road map to understanding and working with your technology of choice. Developer Centers are really handy MSDN site maps organized by functional areas.
Consult the list of Developer Centers to locate the functional areas of interest to you.
MSDN Events and MSDN Webcasts
The MSDN event portal lets you meet your local Architect Evangelists and Microsoft Developer by connecting with them through their blogs. And, you can view MSDN videos from your local teams covering digital recordings of recent events as well as technical topics.
Conveniently, MSDNEvents.com allows you to find MSDN events scheduled in your area. |}
MSDN Flash Newsletter
MSDN Flash delivers developer news in a compact newsletter. The latest development news from Microsoft includes the latest downloads, partner offers, resources, SDKs, security news, and national and local developer events. The MSDN Flash newsletter is delivered every other week via e-mail. The e-mails contain links to new articles, samples, and headlines from Developer Centers, Knowledge Base, MSDN Library, MSDN Online, and other Microsoft Web sites. Additional news includes announcements of Microsoft and industry events, training opportunities, chats, and Webcasts.
You can sign up free with a Windows Live ID.
MSDN Forums are the Web-based community forums for the discussion of a wide variety of Microsoft software development topics. MSDN Forums are a great interactive resource for developers.
The MSDN Library is a centralized repository for developers using Microsoft products, services, technologies, and tools. The MSDN Library includes how-to and reference documentation, sample code, technical articles, and more. The documentation is published by various customer relations organizations within Microsoft.
Plus, the developer and user communities have the opportunity to add their own annotations to many pages. Community Content contributions are editable by all.
The MSDN Library includes information on the following functional areas:
- Design Tools
- Development Tools and Languages
- Mobile and Embedded Development
- .NET Development
- Office Development
- Online Services
- Open Specifications
- patterns & practices
- Servers and Enterprise Development
- Speech Technologies
- Web Development
- Windows Development
MSDN Virtual Labs
MSDN Virtual Labs are a series of guided, hands-on labs showing how to build great Windows applications and Web applications. Each lab is available free, online, requires no installation, and can be completed in less than 90 minutes.
MSDN information services
The MSDN division operates information services provided by Microsoft—primarily— for software developers. Today, MSDN concentrates on the Microsoft .NET platform. But, MSDN, also, offers articles on topics such as best practices, design patterns, and programming techniques. MSDN offers various developer resources for free downloading.
MSDN subscribers may receive pre-release editions of Windows operating systems or Microsoft application software, e.g., Microsoft Office, Visual Studio. However, such downloads are available only to MSDN subscribers of a certain minimum subscription level.
MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA)
The MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) is the easiest and least expensive way for academic departments to offer the latest Microsoft software in their classrooms, labs, and on student PCs. Universities and high schools can enroll in MSDNAA.
Note: An MSDNAA account is not an MSDN account: Thus, it cannot be used to access the subscriber section of the MSDN Web site or the associated downloads.
MSDN Magazine, a monthly publication, is created from Microsoft editorial content. The e-magazine called MSDN Magazine is available free, online in some 11 languages. Also, MSDN Magazine back issues are available free, online.
In the United States, 'MSDN Magazine is available as a real, printed magazine.
MSDN Magazine was born of the merger of Microsoft Internet Developer (MIND) and Microsoft Systems Journal (MSJ). Back issues of MSJ are available online.
MSDN Online on Facebook
If you are already a Facebook user, use MSDN Online Facebook to keep abreast of MSDN announcements.
MSDN Online on Twitter
Use MSDN Online Twitter to get early notice of MSDN blog posts, MSDN news, Microsoft software updates, Webcasts and more from the MSDN site team. If you have an account, just click the Follow button.
MSDN Subscriptions afford access to Visual Studio 2010 and the latest Microsoft platforms for development and testing.
MSDN subscriber benefits include:
- Free software for development and testing
- Free installation and use of software on as many machines as you need
- 11+ terabytes of software to download free
- Access to the newest Microsoft products
- Access to older versions for migrating legacy apps
- Ability to develop and deploy applications to the Windows Azure platform
- Microsoft E-Learning online coursware
- Priority Support in MSDN Forums
- Professional-level Microsoft technical support
- MSDN Flash e-mail newsletter
- MSDN Magazine
- Online Concierge: a chat-based service to help you find things on MSDN
Subscription prices range from US $700 to $12,000. There are many options and tiers available.