Sunday, August 28, 2011

App_Browsers fix for .Net 2.0 and .Net 4.0

If you have not yet verified your ASP.Net website for compatibility with the latest versions of several browsers including Firefox 5 or Firefox 6 (and perhaps even Internet Explorer 10), you may want to do so now.

As it turns out, there is a defect in both the .Net 2.0 and .Net 4.0 Framework which does not support the latest releases of these browsers in their current browser definitions.

Fortunately, Microsoft has released a fix in the form of NuGet Packages that you can apply to your website now to remedy the situation.

You can read more about the issue here:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Useful Team Foundation Server Tools

Now that Team Foundation Server 2010 has increased in popularity, there have been a number of newly released tools to support common tasks within Team Foundation Server.  Some of the free tools available from Microsoft are the following:

  1. Team Foundation Server Power Tools:
  2. Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider 2010:
  3. Team Foundation Server Build Extensions Power Tool:
  4. Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 MOSS Configuration Tool:
  5. Versioned TFS 2010 Build:
  6. TFS Auto Shelve:
  7. TFS Rollback User Interface:
  8. Team Foundation Server Integration Tools:

Slipstreaming updates and service packs into SharePoint 2010

Now that Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2010 has been released, you are probably anxious to be able to install a "fresh" installation of SharePoint 2010 with SP1 so that you can avoid the installation hassle of first installing the RTM release and then subsequently installing SP1 and any other cumulative updates.

Fortunately, there is a relatively easy method to be able to slipstream SP1 and other cumulative updates into SharePoint Server which closely follows the Updates method followed by Office 2010.

You can read more about the process of slipstreaming updates into SharePoint 2010 here:

SelfSTS Tool

If you have used the Windows Identity Foundation SDK, you have probably seen how easy it is to develop an STS project from within Visual Studio.

However, if you want to set up an STS rather easily and you do not have Visual Studio readily available, the SelfSTS tool makes it rather quick and simple to create an STS for your ASP.Net or SharePoint application.

You can download the SelfSTS tool from here:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Creating an ERD Commander Bootable CD/DVD

If you have ever been locked out of your computer and you need to get back into your system, you will need a tool such as LockSmith.

Fortunately, that tool ships with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.  If you are a Microsoft Partner or Volume License customer, you should have access to download this through your MSDN Subscription Downloads.

Once you have downloaded and installed the latest version of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, you will need to proceed with installing it.

  1. To get the functionality to create the ERD Commander media, you will need to install the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
  2. Select the appropriate platform for the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset that you wish to recover such as Windows XP, Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2.  In addition, you will have to choose which processor specific platform you wish to utilize such as 32-bit or 64-bit.
  3. Once you have installed the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, you will get a Programs menu option for ERD Commander Boot Media Wizard
  4. Once you select that option, you will be prompted for a copy of the appropriate platform media.
  5. Once you enter the path to the appropriate media, it will begin extracting the files to create the boot media.
  6. On the following screen, it will ask for the program features that you wish to include in the bootable media.  
  7. If you include the Crash Analyzer, you will additionally be prompted for the location of the Debugging Tools for Windows which can be obtained from the Windows SDK.  The home page for the Debugging Tools for Windows can be found here:
  8. If you do not wish to include the Crash Analyzer (for example, you are just using the LockSmith functionality), you can remove it and you will not be prompted for the location of the Debugging Tools for Windows.
  9. It will then proceed to create the bootable media.
  10. Once the bootable media is created, it will prompt for a location to store the ISO image.
  11. Once the ISO image has been created, it will also provide you with the option to burn the ISO image to either CD or DVD media.
  12. If you simply need to use the ERD Commander Boot Media for a virtual machine, you can skip this step.
  13. After you Finish the wizard, the temporary files will be removed and you will be left with your ERD Commander Bootable media that you can then use for booting the target system!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Building a SharePoint 2010 Development Virtual Machine

If you are planning on installing SharePoint 2010 on a Virtual Machine to be used for development, you will want to install numerous things inside of the Virtual Machine in order to be able to utilize all of the various features and functionality within the SharePoint environment.

Below I have provided a checklist of the items you will want to install within this development virtual machine:
  1. Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1
  2. SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition with SP1
  3. SQL Server 2008 SP2
  4. SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Tools
  5. Office 2010 x64 with SP1 (include InfoPath Visual Studio for Applications)
  6. SharePoint Designer x64 with SP1
  7. Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with SP1
  8. Windows Identity Foundation SDK v. 4.0
  9. Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Power Tools
  10. LINQ to SharePoint DSL Extension for VS2010
  11. SpDisposeCheck - VS Addin for validating Sharepoint 2007/2010 dispose objects
  12. FxCop-Code Quality scanning tool
  13. Microsoft Pex and Moles-tool for creating Mock libraries (similar to Moq, NMocks, RhinoMocks etc.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Submitting suggestions for Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft recently modified their website to provide a separate forum for making suggestions and providing feedback on feature sets for Visual Studio.

The new website is called Visual Studio UserVoice.  You can check it out here:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sitefinity Template Builder

In order to assist Sitefinity developed in creating templates for Sitefinity v. 4.x and v. 5.x, you can now use the online template builder to create and later export these templates for use within Sitefinity v. 4.x and v. 5.x.

You can use the online Template Builder here:

Here is some documentation on how to use Sitefinity templates created with Template Builder:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SQL Server Developer Tools

SQL Server Developer Tools has been released as CTP3 for a while now, but if you have not tried them out yet, you should definitely give it a whirl. 

It brings a whole host of features to the Visual Studio development environment that provides an overall much better experience while working with SQL Server including features previously only available through SQL Server Management Studio as well as features uniquely suited to Visual Studio.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sitefinity v. 4.2 Released Today

Sitefinity v. 4.2 was just released today.  It includes several performance improvements as well as integration of the Migration Module from Sitefinity v. 3.7 SP4. 

You can read the full release notes here:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Changing the database connection string in Sitefinity v. 4.x

In Sitefinity v. 4.x, the database connection string is no longer stored beneath the <connectionStrings> element in the Web.config file.  Instead, the connection string information is stored in a new configuration file called DataConfig.config.

Fortunately, with some minor changes you can also modify the connection string information to once again utilize it from the Web.config file.

You can find detailed instructions about the new database connection string format here:

Configuring IIS for Sitefinity v. 4.x

If you have not installed Sitefinity v. 4.x before, you may not know that there are some specific configuration IIS settings that need to be configured prior to deployment that differ from the original IIS configuration requirements in Sitefinity v. 3.7x.  If you do not configure them, you will experience numerous error messages preventing you from accessing and using Sitefinity.

  1. Make sure you configure the Sitefinity Web Site/Application to point to a .Net 4.0 Application Pool
  2. Make sure that you configure the Authentication settings for only a single authentication method.  The recommended authentication method is "Anonymous access".  If you have more than one authentication method configured in IIS, you will experience a pop-up dialog preventing you from accessing the Sitefinity administrative backend.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cool features I like in Sitefinity v. 4.x

Sitefinity v. 4.x introduces a whole new host of features and I am just getting to learn about all of the new features that are either immediately apparent or others that are tucked away somewhat like "hidden gems".

  1. I  can finally create layouts for my pages without having to resort to creating Master Pages
  2. I can easily create expiration dates for publishing and unpublishing my pages
  3. I can now add a subset of the RadControls to my Sitefinity toolbox
  4. I can easily add JavaScript blocks to my Pages using the Script blocks
  5. I do not have to deal with the quirks of Classic vs. Overlay when dragging my toolbox items to my Pages as was present in Sitefinity v. 3.7x
  6. I can finally re-order images in my Image Gallery for display.

Getting to know ApplicationPoolIdentity

If you have not used Windows Server 2008 R2 much, you may not have noticed that there is a new account available for IIS called ApplicationPoolIdentity

If you have been working with IIS for any length of time, you are probably most familiar with the Network Service account.  Well, there were some limitations and issues that were encountered when multiple applications were utilizing the Network Service account, particularly 3rd party applications running in IIS such as Perl, PHP etc.  Therefore, the Microsoft team introduced the ApplicationPoolIdentity account to address these needs.

You can read more about the ApplicationPoolIdentity account here:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Online tool to generate machine keys

If you need to generate a machineKey element for your ASP.Net application's web.config file, you can now use this online tool to easily generate this element:

If you are using an ASP.Net-based CMS such as Sitefinity 4, you may encounter issues where you are constantly being logged out after performing some content management operations.  Adding this element to your web.config file can correct this frequent "log out" behavior.