Thursday, November 27, 2014

Connecting to LocalDB using SQL Server Management Studio

If you have an application (such as a sample Visual Studio application) that uses LocalDB and you want to move the application to IIS for scalability reasons, odds are, you will need to connect to the LocalDB instance, create a backup and then move it to the full version of SQL Server.

So, how do you connect to your LocalDB instance using SQL Server Management Studio?

Well, actually, the answer is very simple!

You can simply connect to LocalDB using the following path in SQL Server Management Studio: 

Of course, when you take a backup of the LocalDB database, you will only be able to specify the original User Profile location such as Users\<username>\<database name>.bak

However, once you have the database backup, you can readily move it over to the full version of SQL Server!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4

I recently had to update my installations of Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server to Update 4 and I found it surprisingly difficult to get the right search results on the 1st or 2nd hit by searching on Google.  In addition, it is not readily apparent whether the TFS 2013 Update 4 installation package is different from the Visual Studio 2013 Update 4.

For your reference, I am including the direct links to Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4 respectively:

Visual Studio 2013 Update 4:

Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Setting up Team Foundation Server 2013 in the Windows Azure Cloud

If you have a need to use on-premise Team Foundation Server (rather than Visual Studio Online) and lack the internal hardware to host it yourself, hosting it in the Windows Azure cloud is a great option.

However, there are numerous caveats and stumbling blocks to hosting it in the Windows Azure cloud.  The biggest of which, of course, is making all of the facets of your Team Foundation Server 2013 installation available over the Internet.

Without introducing SharePoint into the mix, these are the steps that you will need to follow in order to make your TFS instance available in the Windows Azure cloud:

  1. From the Team Foundation Server Administration Console, you will need to change the Urls to be externally facing Urls (ex:
  2. In SQL Server Reporting Services Manager, you will need to add additional Report Urls to point to the externally facing Urls (ex:
  3. In the Team Foundation Server Administration, Console, in the Reporting section, you will need to Edit the Reporting Urls to point to the externally facing Report Server Urls (ex:
  4. If you are having difficulty getting the servers to recognize the external DNS name, you will probably have to add the BackConnectionHostNames registry key to get around this problem: or 

This should resolve your major issues with setting up a TFS 2013 instance in the Windows Azure cloud!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Visual Studio 2015 now available for download!

Visual Studio 2015 has just been made available for download:

There are numerous welcome enhancements but the one that intrigues me the most is the introduction of the Lightbulb icon to be used while Refactoring code.  I have seen the Lightbulb icon for years and years since I started using Resharper for Visual Studio and it seems that Microsoft is now taking a page out of the Resharper playbook to offer a similar set (but probably a reduced set) of features. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Configure SMTP SendGrid for applications that do not support SMTP Authentication

If you are using SMTP SendGrid to send e-mails from within your Windows Azure VMs, you may encounter numerous applications that do not natively support configuring authentication for sending out SMTP e-mail messages.  One such application is SharePoint 2013.

Fortunately, the folks at SMTP SendGrid have created a nice little article for us to configure IIS to allow sending authenticated e-mail mesages through SMTP SendGrid as well as testing out the e-mail functionality through a nice little set of telnet commands.

You can find the article on how to configure IIS SMTP to use in conjunction with SMTP SendGrid here:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Configuring SharePoint 2013 with Team Foundation Server 2013

I recently had a requirement to set up a SharePoint 2013 Server AFTER I had already set up and installed my Team Foundation Server 2013 installation.  Normally, I have been using the built-in installation capabilities of installing SharePoint Foundation 2013 as part of the TFS installation and have not messed with setting up a separate instance of SharePoint 2013 to integrate with TFS 2013 on a completely different server, so this was a new experience to say the least.

Fortunately, I found this article which guided me through most of the difficult parts of setting up and configuring the SharePoint installation to integrate with TFS 2013:

Of course, if you read through the MSDN documentation, there are lots of things to consider when installing SharePoint 2013 in order to ensure that everything properly integrates with TFS 2013:

Of course, I used AutoSPInstaller ( to install SharePoint 2013 for me, so many of the manual steps for setting up my SharePoint installation were already taken care of for me. 

I then followed the steps for installing the TFS Extensions on my SharePoint installation:

After doing this, I was ready to go into my TFS Server and complete all of the remaining integration points to get my SharePoint installation up and running with all of the necessary TFS features!