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Blogger Holiday Charity Challenge: All 2008 Ad Revenue to Charity

Folks typically aren't clicking on Google Ad links when traveling to my blog. That's ok. It's not a revenue experiment. As a result, there's not much (if any) revenue generated on Effective Thoughts. My other blog, generates a bit more...but not much more.

Regardless, I convinced my blog partner to participate in the Blogger Holiday Charity Challenge and donate our entire ad revenue for 2008 to charity. Here's a snippet of the post I wrote for my other blog, The Freestyle Entrepreneur (TFE):
...As an alternative, TFE will donate 100% of its ad revenue for 2008 to the V Foundation for cancer research. Folks aren’t able to focus on business-let alone their lives and families-if they’re fighting cancer. This nasty character affects people of all ages, socioeconomic statuses, and geographies. It’s past time we knock cancer down for the count. The V Foundation is a 4-star rated charity on Charity Navigator and uses very little of its funds for administrative costs.We chal…

TFS Overview to OSU Student Life

On Tuesday of this week, I traveled down to campus with Jeff Blankenburg and delivered a TFS 2008 overview to the fine folks at OSU Student Life. Some follow-ups: TFS Branching GuidanceSCM primersMicrosoft-related training and seminar schedule(s) CONDG, COALMG, ColArc, MOSDUGMicrosoft LearningMicrosoft Learning ManagerMicrosoft EventsCodeMashMSDN Developer Conference (Detroit)MSDN Academic AllianceHow are unit tests tied to source assets and work items in TFS? Unit test projects should load up within the same solution file as the library (or web site) they're testing. Test class files should also posses the same Work Item relationships as feature assets (class libraries). Finally, within the build operation, the Team Build wizard automatically detects test metadata files(.vsmdi) enabling one to execute these test lists. Further, one can automatically execute any unit test harness assemblies according to a file mask (e.g. *Test.dll or Test*.dll).

TFS SLG Deep Dive

Thanks for everyone who came out to our State and Local Government (SLG) deep dive on TFS 2008 today. Alexei and I enjoyed the great conversations that ensued. A few follow-ups from the meeting: We're following up with the federal folks on SLG customers using Project Server coupled with TFS. TFS to TFS Migration UtilityTFS Project Server 2007 ConnectorConchango Scrum TFS process templateeScrum for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System
Team LookTeam System Web Access (TSWA) Work Item Web Access (WIWA)PDC Online Videos highlighting Visual Studio / TFS 2010 (Rosario)CodeMash Conference January 7-9 in SanduskyMSDN Developer Conference (MDC) January 22 in DetroitGated Check-ins utility for TFS 2008: Buddy BuildCentral Ohio Application Lifecycle Management Group (COALMG)Looking forward to hosting a full SDLC in a Box on February 4-5 at the Microsoft MPR at Polaris!

Code Analysis Invalid Settings Error When Invoked from within VSTS

This issue plagued me for several hours today so I'm posting my resolution. Executing Code Analysis from within Visual Studio Team System - Team Suite kept reporting:
"Invalid settings passed to CodeAnalysis task. See output window for details."
MSBuild is unable to locate the correct binaries to perform Code Analysis on managed binaries. Make sure that either Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition or Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite is installed with the Code Analysis feature. If MSBuild is being run from within the "Visual Studio Command Prompt", specify the path to your analysis binaries by setting the FXCOPDIR environment variable. At first, after a search, I thought it was an Environment Variable issue regarding the path to FxCopCmd.exe. Very helpful post here. However, after adding the Environment Variable FxCopDir, I was closer but still getting an error.

Finally, I took the FxCopCmd.exe command line string into a command window and…

TFS Reports Out of Date

You may have noticed it takes a while for Team Foundation Server (TFS) reports to reflect changes you've made to work items or builds. Let me guess...about an hour, right? Out of the box, TFS is set to refresh the data warehouse from its transactional store every 60 minutes. How do I change the frequency of the data warehouse refresh?Browse to the TFS Controller Web Service on your TFS application tier server within IE at: http://localhost:8080/Warehouse/v1.0/warehousecontroller.asmxSelect the ChangeSetting optionEnter RunIntervalSeconds for the settingId and the desired number of seconds for newValue (300 for 5 minutes...5*60)Select InvokeHow do I force a data warehouse refresh?Two methods here: either via the above web service or using SQL Server Management Studio. Via the web service: Browse to the TFS Controller Web Service within IE at: http://localhost:8080/Warehouse/v1.0/warehousecontroller.asmxSelect the Run optionClick InvokeYou should expect a new browser window opening …

Software Configuration Management for Developers

Coming out of my post on locking down merges, Tim Wingfield provided the following intriguing inquiry (paraphrased): First, most of our clients don't delve into what our dev practices are, what source control we use, how we use it, or any of the specifics below feature/deliverable level. Am I being sheltered from a bigger problem out there?
Secondly, how can we as developers alleviate that issue? Source control, like the language something is written in, really shouldn't matter beyond that of a maintenance issue. A competent dev team is going to make use of all tools available. Removing merging from that list is like telling us to develop in Notepad!These are great questions. First off, if your team is developing a product or a deliverable but not source, I feel the process and tools your team is using shouldn't be of much concern to the client. We should be leveraging 100% of our best practices and the optimal tools to deliver high quality software in the most efficient m…

Verified by Visa: Everything We Tell Folks to Avoid

Phishing is defined by F-Secure as: "Fraudulent e-mail or website claiming to be legitimate seeking indentifiable information. Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal data."When I recently attempted an online purchase from WalMart using my VISA card, being a security wanta-be, I immediately thought phishing when redirected to verifiedbyvisa.com and saw this dialog:

Seriously, these folks have to be kidding. You're asking for my personal data during a transaction and claim that's its a service "...at no additional cost." Wow! Thanks...but absolutely not, you jokers. As a malicious thief, I can go a long way with this data.

This is exactly the type of experience which aids malfeasance and the folks trying to steal personal data / identities. How long have we been working to educate folks to avoid providing this type of data under these type of circumstances? Years. And we're just now starting to turn the corner.

VISA, get rid of this! When folks submi…

TFS VirtualPC Refresh Planned

Update 12/25/2008: Refreshes are out...here!

Update 12/10/2008: Apparently, there's a way to edit the VPC config file (.VMC) to disable time synchronization with the host operating system. Might make demos relying on a sprint/iteration interesting but it's very helpful.

------------------
We rely on the TFS / VSTS 2008 VirtualPC instances Microsoft pumps out for demos, presentations, and even some training. Yes, I can kit out a VPC on my own but it takes at least a day or two, it lacks the scenarios and test users, and sharing 20+GB files across the team can be challenging.

I'm excited to announce the TFS team will be refreshing the 12/31 expiring VPC instances soon...with SQL 2008 and all the latest bits! Thanks, Jeff Beehler for this insight.

TFS: TF.exe Workspace Maps $/ by Default

Team Foundation Server's (TFS) command-line interface tf.exe workspace option maps a working folder to the server root $/ by default. That I can find, there's no way to turn this off. To combat this behavior, you'll want to unmap the default after adding in your desired folder mapping(s).

>tf workspace /new /noprompt /s:http://TFSRTM08:8080 MyWorkspace

>tf workfold $/SampleProject c:\src\SampleProject /workspace:MyWorkspace /s:http://TFSRTM08:8080

>tf workfold /unmap $/

MSB4019: "...targets not found" during TFS Build

Recently creating a TFS 2008 build for VS.Net 2005 projects, I kept receiving the following:

...error MSB4019: The imported project "C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v8.0\WebApplications\Microsoft.WebApplication.targets" was not found. Confirm that the path in the declaration is correct, and that the file exists on disk.

I discovered the v8.0 hive didn't even exist on the file system. At first, I thought I was missing something like the .Net 2.0 SDK. Unfortunately, installing that didn't add the files to v8.0. Eventually, I simply copied the v8.0 hive off a VS.Net 2005 developer machine and onto the build server. Maybe not the prettiest but it solved my build problem.

VSTS Tester 2010 Mark Mydland Heartland Tour (CONDG)

Jennifer Marsman, one of our beloved Heartland District Developer Evangelists, arranged for Mark Mydland, Principle Group Manager with Microsoft in Redmond for the VSTS Tester Edition to tour our area and deliver a presentation on VSTS Tester 2010. This also doubled as the November Central Ohio .Net User Group (CONDG) meeting. Thanks, Microsoft for the food and swag. Along with some great product development stories, Mark highlighted the following: Playback - often, the written repro scenario provided along with the defect isn't clear (if it even exists). This feature enables developers and other roles to watch a video of the functional / UI test from the Tester live, in action. Test Case vs. Actual Capture - for manual tests, a list of steps involved with the test can be compared to what steps the tester actually took. Work Item Categories - classify a work item type into categories with one work item serving as the default.Cut/paste screen shots - easy to [Alt]+[Prnt Scrn] and p…

Re-creating my TFS 2008 VirtualPC Instance

After lots of demos leveraging the TFS 2008 VirtualPC (VPC) trial instance released last April, I decided it was time to clean out the garbage and start from scratch. I realized, however, a lot had changed in those few short months. Now, this will be moot for this image on 12/31/2008 when it expires (and I hope replaced...please?) but here are the steps I followed (still a lot easier than starting from scratch):
Update/upgrade Virtual PC client software to SP1.
Apply TFS 2008 SP1Apply TSWA 2008 SP1 (uninstall TSWA 2008 first)Apply TFS Power Tools October 2008 (uninstall Dec 2007 first)Apply any custom process templates: Scrum for Team System 2.2Install the latest FxCop (v1.36) to %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop

Using Windows Media Encoder for Screen Captures

My primary tools of choice for screen captures are Camtasia and Captivate. However, sometimes clients don't want to pay for these or you just need something quick and dirty. Windows Media Encoder (WME) provides a great, free alternative. You won't be editing or producing SWF files as robustly as the high-end tools but you'll get the capture. Steps:

1. Download and install Windows Media Encoder x86/x64.
2. Start up WME and choose "Capture screen"













3. Indicate what you'd like to capture: window, region, or screen.

















4. Choose the output file: Windows Media is the only option (wmv, wma)
5. Select the quality: low, medium, or high
6. Click "Start Encoding" to begin the screen capture.
7. When complete, switch back to the WME icon in your toolbar and click "Stop"

Easy blue-cheesy.

Central Ohio Technology Community Resources

As co-lead for a user group and a frequent presenter, it suddenly occurred to me, in a way, I posses the moniker of "community organizer". Yikes...not something I pursued. Well, as such, I'm very plugged into the central Ohio technology community and wanted to share a few resources I've discovered to assist our community groups:

Microsoft - Say what you will but Microsoft and the local evangelists step up to the plate every single time. Whether it's use of their Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) up at Polaris Parkway, co-sponsoring an event, or joint marketing, Microsoft supports the community in a huge way.

Platform Lab / Tech Columbus - Serving as a high-end testing lab and technology incubator facilities, respectively, these entities provide large, functional meeting facilities and access to a wealth of start-up and entrepreneurial assistance. They both produce event calendars which reach several thousand Ohioans you may use to promote your events. (Just contact them...w…

BPM, Collaboration, and Workflow using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

Cardinal Solutions is presenting a free seminar titled "BPM, Collaboration, and Workflow using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server", Thursday November 6th.

Many organizations already own pieces of SharePoint, but struggle to leverage the tool to solve real business problems outside of team workspaces. In this Lunch and Learn, we will cover the various feature areas of MOSS and the business problems that each of them solve. We will discuss the different versions of SharePoint and compare / contrast what is included in each. Finally, we will take a deeper dive into Business Process Management to demonstrate the various options when implementing workflow-based solutions with MOSS.

Who should attend?
IT Managers who are involved in application development and enterprise integration Enterprise Architects who drive the technical vision for the organization Senior Leadership who wants more flexibility and agility out of existing IT assets
Click Here to Register Or Call 877-673-8368 Eve…

Meet the Principal Group Manager of VSTS Test!

"Mark Mydland is the Principal Group Manager of the Visual Studio Team System Test Edition team (that means that all program managers, developers, and testers on VSTS Test in Redmond report up to him)." See Jennifer's post.

We'll be hosting Mark on November 14th during the day at a client but I'm also excited to announce he'll also be delivering a technical talk that evening in conjunction with CONDG and COALMG at the Microsoft Polaris offices.

Enabling Unit Test Harnesses Against Internal Methods

Being a purist, I like to lock down my classes and methods with private and internal so as not to expose functionality unnecessarily as public. This presents a problem with unit testing. The test harness cannot see internal methods...even on a public class. I had been editing the code to mark the method public, executing tests in debug mode, and then re-editing the method back to internal. Hokey...at best.

As a far more optimal and usable alternative, add an InternalsVisibleTo directive to your AssemblyInfo.cs file. It opens the door to test harnesses to internal methods.

<br />[assembly: System.Runtime.CompilerServices.InternalsVisibleTo("[Namespace of test harness here without brackets]")]<br />

"I'm a PC"...Come Again?

So I'm over at the local Microsoft office this morning for a meeting. I get there a little early to chat with my peeps and everyone keeps saying, "I'm a PC". Huh? Is this some new addition to the mountain of acronyms out of Redmond? Crap. I need wireless. Save me Google. Even the admin (whom I've befriended over the years...) is busting this out along with a sly, knowing smile. (Me returning the smile with a forced gesture likely resembling The Joker in Dark Knight). "Oh, how lovely. My 1-year-old threw up on me yesterday", was the response brewing in my head.

As this scenario keeps repeating itself, that old I-forgot-to-wear-pants-today-but-don't-realize-it nightmare sets in and I'm all freaked out. I have this deep-seated fear of calling someone by the wrong name (I'm terrible with names...sorry, I really do care about you) and I'm getting that clammy, can't-believe-I-just-called-Chuck-the-name-Ralph feeling of idiocy.

Finally, someo…

SQL Server 2008 Express Installation Prerequisites

Attempting to install SQL Server 2008 Express recently, I kept receiving "...must install Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 SP2". Huh? There was no SP2, AFAIK. Turns out there was but it's only wrapped into the .Net 3.5 SP1 redistributable. Leveraging this helpful MSDN forums post, I installed the following and successfully brought SQL Server 2008 Express up on a Win2k3 SP1 box.
.Net Framework 3.5 SP1Windows Installer 4.5SQL Server 2008 ExpressWhy does everything need to be so damn complicated?

HOWTO: TFS: Can I Prohibit Merging?

Recently a client inquired if it were possible within the Team Foundation Server (TFS) Source Control authorization capabilities to prohibit merging. Having a long week, I brainlessly looked at the authorization options within Source Control Explorer (right-mouse Properties >> Security tab): Nothing there. Then I knocked my forehead and realized one would configure this authorization as part of the branching mechanism. Duh. Merging is a client-side activity. If you can access the TFS server, you can merge. However, committing changes to server source repository requires Check In authorization. My personal preference is to empower and entrust developers with a fair amount of responsibility. Thus, I like to enable merging into the integration branch for developers. However, this client wanted to restrict developers from merging and reserve this responsibility for accounts belonging to a TFS group (created by default) named "Project Administrators". These are folks playin…

Team System Web Access 2008 SP1

Amidst all the .Net 3.5 SP1 and VSTS 2008 SP1 excitement, Team System Web Access (TSWA) got pushed aside. Not to be left behind, the TSWA team announced their SP1 recently.

Installing it this morning, I encountered this error:
"Another version of this product is already installed. Installation of this version cannot continue. To configure or remove the existing version of this product, use Add/Remove Programs on the Control Panel."I posted to the forums about this and it turns out one must uninstall first and then re-install. Maybe I'm the odd one out but I can't recall ever uninstalling to apply a service pack. Regardless, here are the steps I followed:

1. Note IIS settings/configuration:


2. From Add/Remove Programs, remove Visual Studio Team System Web Access. Keep all your settings:



3. Kick off the TSWA MSI installer.

4. When you encounter the existing site conflict, configure to leverage/use the existing site and application pool:





5. I chose Windows authentication but c…

COALMG: MSBuild 3.5 and Team Build 2008 Continuous Integration

Session Details:
Did you know that .csproj and .vbproj files are really MSBuild files? More than build processes though, MSBuild is a full-featured automation language. It includes structured control flow, variables, refactorability, error handling, logging, and powerful extensibility. You can easily integrate MSBuild into your own enterprise processes and start adding value right away. We'll also look at how Team Foundation Build extends on MSBuild and adds robust integration with Team Foundation Server.

Speakers Bio:
Steve Andrews is a Team System MVP, and has been working as a developer for more than 9 years. During this time, he has designed and developed applications in such widely varying areas as trust accounting, medical information management, supply chain management, and retail systems. He is currently employed at RDA Corporation in Philadelphia, PA, as a Software Engineer and a team member in their Architectural Guidance evangelism team. Steve is also an MCP, ICSOO, Speake…

Microsoft Server vs. Services

Learned something new listening to a RadioTFS podcast yesterday. I believe it was Martin Woodward who identified the meme that Microsoft products entitled "Services" are free but those entitled "Server" cost. Examples:

Windows Sharepoint Services: free
SQL Reporting Services: free
Windows Server: cost
SQL Server: cost
MOSS (Server): cost

And there's your odd tidbit of the day. I'm wasting precious brain cycles trying to find an exception to this rule. ;-)

TFS Installation and Port 8080

By default, Team Foundation Server (TFS) wants to expose services on port 8080. Installing for a client recently, I kept receiving a conflict during the pre-installation checks regarding 8080. There is an option to modify the port using an INI file associated with the installation but I didn't want to introduce a non-standard port for my client.

Running a netstat -a command from the command line revealed something running on port 8080 but failed to identify the process ID. Next, I downloaded TCPView from SysInternals (Microsoft), ran it, and "bam" there was: miniwinagent.exe. Excuse you? A quick search yielded this IBM KB posting. The EXE is a file copying agent for the IBM RAID hardware/software. Fortunately, I'm an admin on the box. I simply disabled the "ServeRAID FlashCopy Agent" service and let the hardware folks know what I had done.

Other helpful posts here and here.

Visual Studio / .Net Framework Service Pack O'Rama

Get Your Team Foundation Server Hate On!

[Google ranking skyrockets... ;-)]

I'm a big fan of TFS/VSTS. However, there are a good pocket of folks who take issue with the way TFS handles or implements a certain feature. Well this is your chance to vent!

I'm planning a presentation around the "Top 10 TFS/VSTS Hates and How to Alleviate Them"...or something along those lines. But I need your help. Post a comment below detailing your dislike. If it's legitimate, I'll highlight it in the presentation and [hopefully] provide an alternative, resolution, or work-around.

Thanks in advance!

Update 7/19/2008: Version Control and Microsoft

Contribupendence Day

I'm a day late here but read more about Contribupendence Day on Jeff Blankenburg's blog. Our community here in central Ohio runs strong and it's 100% attributable to individual contributions. Thank you to all these folks for the contributions they've made in helping others (especially me) achieve their goals. My props: Josh Holmes - When first reaching out to the community, Josh went out of his way to provide great advice and some seriously cool opportunities for me to get involved. He regularly writes and presents on topics which help community leaders improve themselves. Additionally, he helped organize CodeMash and the Ann Arbor Give Camp--regional events which often exceed the quality of national, professional, thousands-of-dollars events. Carey Payette - There isn't a Heartland/Ohio event I don't see Carey attend. She took over the reigns for CONDG and is one of the most selfless people I know. How she manages 3 kids of her own, internal company user group…

VSTS / TFS 2008 VirtualPC User Roles

I use the Visual Studio Team System / Team Foundation Server VirtualPC trial frequently for demos. However, I can never remember the users and their roles presented in the various scenarios / labs. (and they don't appear to be documented anywhere) For the record: Darren - Administrator
Nicole - User
Andrew - CIO
Art - Architect
Grzegorz - Developer
Jacqui - PM
Larry - BA
Renee - Tester
Sonia - DBA
TFSSetup - Administrator

Software Development Meme

Called out by Jeff Blankenburg (isn't this like a chain letter from the 80's? ;-)...

How old were you when you started programming?
Trying to remember...I think about 11. Somehow, my Dad had this premonition prediction that computers would become important and bought a Timex-Sinclair 1000 for me--with a whopping 2KB of memory. Reviewing the manual on how to program with BASIC (not sure about those semi-colons...):

10 Print "Hello";
20 Goto 10;
Run

I had written my first program! I tried saving it to the cassette tape (huh?) drive but that never seemed to work quite right.

About the same time, my neighbor acquired a Commodore 64--with a 5 1/4" floppy! (they were loaded ;-). He also subscribed to some Commodore magazine where they listed (yes, this was before the Internet...and before including disks with magazines) 1,000+ line programs which one could type in. Well, we actually did this. That's where I learned to type without looking and when I first "learned&q…

CONDG Entity Framework Presentation Follow-ups

Thanks to everyone who came out last night (73...a great showing considering the start of Memorial Day weekend and the Indiana Jones IV opening) to CONDG for my Entity Framework presentation. We had some great questions I didn't know the answers to which I'll investigate and respond to soon.
Is there a caching mechanism for ObjectContext? Thinking of this in a web (ASP.NET), disconnected between request/response environment.
Is the conceptual, mapping, and schema XML loaded up all at once or is the XML representing entities loaded up individually upon instantiation / use?
The EF wizard interrogates the physical data store and produces the 1:1, Type per Table initial EDM. Is it possible to model the EDM first leveraging it to generate the physical schema?Referring to this performance comparison between the traditional Sql Client, Entity SQL, and LINQ to Entities, what's the break-down of time consumed?
The ADO.NET team posted a follow-up with the break-down here. Granted, it…

I'm Presenting the Entity Framework at CONDG Next Thursday

Come see my Entity Framework presentation on Thursday the 22nd at CONDG

When: Thursday, 5/22/2008, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Microsoft Office - Columbus (scroll down for directions)

Sponsorship
This meeting is being sponsored by Cardinal Solutions (www.cardinalsolutions.com), food and beverages will be provided.

Topic
Decomposing the ADO.NET Entity Framework

Abstract
As Microsoft continues to evolve the data access stack, the outlook continues to improve for developers. This presentation explores Microsoft's latest offering: ADO.NET Entity Framework. We'll cover what the Entity Framework promises and what it delivers v1.0 as well as how it compares with other data access frameworks. Learn how you can transpose the physical database model into a more developer-friendly, application-centric model.

Speaker
Jeff Hunsaker (www.jeffreyhunsaker.com)

Jeff is a managing consultant and team lead in the Microsoft and ALM practices for Cardinal Solutions Group in Columbus. Working for a var…

Installing VS2008 / .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 BETA1

I've been awaiting an improved Entity Framework EDM designer tool since the CTP released in December. Well, with an Entity Framework presentation looming (May 22nd), the Redmond gods responded: VS2008 and .NET Framework SP1 BETA1.I uninstalled all sorts of CTPs and now am the proud owner of a laptop with VS2008 and .NET 3.5 SP1 BETA1. Below find the steps I followed. Please heed the warnings and directions within the readme (.NET 3.5 Framework SP1 BETA1, VS2008 SP1 BETA1) explicitly. Also, this is BETA software...expect minor issues and don't install on production equipment. Scott Gu Braindump
Brian Harry Post
Uninstalled:
Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions CTP
Microsoft ASP.NET Futures (July 2007)
ADO.NET Entity Framework Beta3
ADO.NET Entity Framework Tools CTP
Silverlight Tools Beta for Visual Studio 2008
KB949325 Did *not* uninstall:
Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Preview 2
Microsoft SilverlightInstalled:
.NET 3.5 Framework SP1 BETA1
VS2008 SP1 BETA1
Of note:
After the .NET 3.5 Framework SP1 BETA1…

VS 2008 / .NET 3.5 SP1 BETA Released

Update (5/12/2008): And...we're back!

Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta
Scott Gu
Somasegar

Remarkably, they delivered M:M conceptual modeling in the Entity Framework designer. Thank you! (Stayed up 'til 3AM a while back trying to get it working...yeah, it wasn't supported then. Super.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update (5/10/2008): Looks like the Elegant Code post was pulled. Sigh. We'll have to wait for the official announcement.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It doesn't appear to be all that pronounced just yet but Service Pack 1 for both Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 is out! This should give much relief to the eight steps and MSIs now required. (Hey, it's beta/CTP, right?) Credit to Elegant Code for providing the links.

How to get VS2008 SP1
Download links from Elegant Code

Copy/Paste VS Error Message Pop-ups: Thank you VS Team!

You've been there: big long error message within a pop-up...need to copy/paste it into a search dialog...blast, can't copy!

The fine folks on the Visual Studio team have changed all that. Thank you! (It's the little things in life...)

Inaugural COALMG Meeting: Tuesday April 29th

Announcing the first meeting of the Central Ohio Application Lifecycle Managment Group (COALMG). First, check this post to discover more about Application Lifecycle Managment (ALM).

To accommodate the schedule of our speaker, we've moved our meeting this month to Tuesday April 29th from 5:30-7:30pm at the Polaris Microsoft office. (Normally, we meet every other month on the 1st Thursday, opposite the MOCSDUG.org user group.) Our web site is www.COALMG.org. Look forward to seeing you there!
Writing Maintainable and Robust Applications with Visual Studio Team SystemMeeting Date & Time: 4/29/2008 5:30PMSession Description:
Microsoft Visual Studio Team System is an extensible, life-cycle tools platform that helps software teams collaborate to deliver modern, service-oriented solutions. Visual Studio Team System is designed so every role in the development team has an integrated, seamless experience with the tools they are most comfortable with. Code Analysis, Code Metrics, Code Pr…

What is ALM?

I'm asked this frequently. What is ALM? First off, the acronym stands for Application Lifecycle Management. Here's the WikiPedia write-up on ALM but essentially, it's the process and tools your team uses to construct software. Kind of like SDLC but a whole lot more.

The best explanation of ALM (I think) comes from Eric Sink who asks and answers "What is ALM? Traceability." Yes, it's long but worth the read.

We hope to answer this and lots of other questions about software development with the new group we formed called the Central Ohio Application Lifecycle Management Group (COALMG). Check it out. We hope to see you there!

CODODN: What's New in the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions: Resources

Thanks for attending my presentation. Resources I referenced:

.Net 3.5 Enhancements Training KitDownload
Overview of ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Preview
ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Preview
(unrelated) Central Ohio Application Lifecycle Management Group: COALMG


Update 4/22/2008: Props to Dan Hounshell for finding this CODODN video. I'm in there 2-3 times. Nice!

Sinus Relief: My Approach

Quick off-topic post about allergy relief...

I've been plagued by allergies since childhood: trees, cats, dogs, ragweed, you name it. I've been on every drug on the list. I can remember being sick every Easter and every birthday (end of September) for...well ever. A few years ago, I consulted an allergist who ran me through a series of tests, determined my exact allergies, and gave me some solid guidance.

Following my allergist's advice, I've not been 100% allergy/cold-free but I've noticed a significant improvement. His recommendations:
Exam from an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. I have a slightly deviated septum and some nasal dollops but otherwise, nothing horrid. He checked my jaw, my hearing...all kinds of stuff. Fortunately, nothing major is/was wrong. He did recommend I wear a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding (which may cause eustachian tube clogging).
Take a daily Loratadine (generic Claritin).
Daily Fluticasone steroid nasal spray (generic Fl…

Upgrading TFS Beta 2 to RTM

I have a client migrating to TFS 2008 who was leveraging an old version: 2008 Beta 2. We had difficulty getting the RTM software bits so I ended up extending the license for 30-days. (previous post) Well, it expired yesterday. Arg.

We finally got the RTM bits and I'm upgrading now. My steps:
Follow the uninstall steps to the letter. Get rid of all that old stuff!Backup your existing TFS databases.Kick off the TFS 2008 installation and follow instructionsRestartInstall everything else you need: Build, Proxy, Explorer, etc. Oddly, the installation utility must be re-executed and these services installed individually.
Execute the TFS Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) found within the TFS 2008 Power Tools.
(Good how to here on BPA from Richard Hundhausen.)Resolve issues discovered with the BPA tool.
My experience (pretty darn good):

The databases were updated automatically.


I received a "Processor type and speed do not meet recommendations." warning but pushed on...this is a proof-of-…

PowerShell Directory Clean Up Script

Just a quick post of a PowerShell script I leveraged to clear out a directory of files older than 7 days. Props to Jeffery Hicks.
powershell.exe -command "Get-ChildItem 'C:\Temp\' -recurse | where {$_.LastWriteTime -le (Get-Date).AddDays(-7)} | remove-item -recurse" Tack on a -whatif to the end of the script to see what would be affected without actually executing the action. Very powerful. PowerShell. Solid PowerShell cheat sheet here.

Silverlight 2.0 Beta1 CrossDomain Issues

Preparing for my upcoming "What's New with ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions" presentation at the Central Ohio Day of .Net, I ran into a roadblock with my simple Silverlight demo. I have a Silverlight application calling an ASP.Net Web Service (traditional ASMX). The Silverlight application is hosted on an ASPX page served up in an ASP.Net Web Application.I kept receiving a mix of the following two errors: An exception of type 'System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException' occurred in System.ServiceModel.dll but was not handled in user code Additional information: [CrossDomainError]---------------------------------------------------------------An exception of type 'System.ServiceModel.ProtocolException' occurred in System.ServiceModel.dll but was not handled in user code Additional information: [UnexpectedHttpResponseCode]
Arguments:Not FoundEssentially, this is saying, "hey this control/page you're browsing on safesite.com is trying to interact with some…

Shrinking WSS (Sharepoint) SQL Server Log Files

Yesterday, while migrating a source repository from StarTeam to TFS, I received the following error:
"TF30042: The database is full. Contact your Team Foundation Server administrator."Excuse you? Sure enough, my 100+ GB drive was full on the server. But I'd only migrated around 1000 items. Surely SQL wasn't consuming 100MB per file.

Turns out (yes, there was a lot of crud on the drive but...) the majority of the space, almost 40GB was being consumed by the Windows Sharepoint Services WSS Content data and log SQL Server files. Huh? I still need to investigate and understand why this portal, which is 100% unused, grew so large. Regardless, here's what I did to resolve:

Since this is not yet a production database, I flipped the SQL recovery option from Full to Simple for WSS Content and several other databases. Detail here and here.
Executed the maintenance plan for all the databases to get backups and clear out some of these files. That didn't help much. The Auto_…

Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group - Delbert Murphy

Man, I'm pissed to miss this. (I'll be at CINNUG Thursday watching Randy Pagels speak on ALM.)

Monish announced the inaugural MOCSDUG meeting--and they landed Delbert Murphy! I've not seen him speak but he's well known and carries a very positive reputation. Hopefully, I'll catch the live meeting. Details below.



Introducing MOCSDUG (Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group (MOCSDUG) has formed to facilitate education and knowledge exchange around topics of Business Process and Enterprise Integration. The group will specifically focus on the Microsoft Connected Systems product stack which includes: BizTalk Server, WF, WCF and other related technologies. The MOCSDUG seeks to connect developers, architects, and IT decision makers in the Mid-Ohio region with best practices, architectural concepts, and case studies. The group will work…