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Showing posts from October, 2011

OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010 - v1

A few months ago Microsoft released the beta of the OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010. Last week they finally  announced that v1 of this service is now available and you can download it here . What is it? The purpose of this project is to help developers work with data from Team Foundation Server on multiple device types (such as smartphones and tablets) and operating systems. OData provides a great solution for this goal, and has been embraced by numerous developers for building great device-specific applications. OData is accessible from any device and application stack which supports HTTP requests. This OData service interacts directly with the TFS client object model . Check out Brian Keller’s post for more information.

Visual Studio Troubles: The project file has been moved, renamed or is not on your computer

After doing a rename and merging a solution inside Visual Studio(one tip: never try to combine these two things at the same time), one project don’t want to load anymore. Instead I always got the following error: “The project file has been moved, renamed or is not on your computer.” I tried a lot of stuff but in the end the following solution worked: Close Visual Studio. Browse to the solution folder of the project which is giving you problems. Find the .suo file and delete it. Reopen your solution. Visual Studio will recreate the .suo file and everything worked.

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2

Between all the fuzz about Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11, you should almost forget that we still have a long way to go with Visual Studio 2010. Microsoft extended the rich feature set of VS by releasing the second Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack . This Feature Pack has following features :- Testing features: Playback tests using the Mozilla Firefox browser. You can use Windows Internet Explorer 7 (or later versions) to record UI actions on a website or a Web-based application and then play back the tests using the Mozilla Firefox browser version 3.5 and 3.6. Edit coded UI tests using the Coded UI Test Editor. The editor lets you easily modify your coded UI tests. You can locate, view, and edit your test methods, UI actions and their associated controls in the UI control map. You can create coded UI tests or action recordings for Silverlight 4 applications. Action recordings enable you to fast forward through steps in a manual

Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview Training Kit October 2011 Release

Microsoft released their first Training Kit for the upcoming Visual Studio 11. “The Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview Training Kit includes hands-on labs to help you understand how to take advantage of the variety of enhancements in Visual Studio 11 and the .NET Framework 4.5, how to support and manage the entire application lifecycle and how to build Windows Metro style apps.” Instructions There are two files you can download to install this Training Kit: The file VS11TrainingKitOctober2011.Setup.exe will install the entire training kit, After downloading this file, you do not need an Internet connection to install the files. Download and launch the self-extracting package. The Training Kit will uncompress to the selected folder and launch a HTML browser for the content. The file VS11TK_WebInstaller_Preview.exe provides you with the ability to install all or only some of the training kit. Download and launch the self-extracting package. Then select the labs you wis

Compiler as a service: Project Roslyn

Microsoft announced the availability of the Roslyn CTP last week. This release marks a significant step to the new way of thinking of compilers, and the agility that is now possible with language innovation, IDE tooling, and powering the ecosystem. The C# and VB compilers are no longer black boxes – something we put source text into, do some magic on, and get an assembly out. All that rich information about code is no longer thrown away, but is now exposed as a full-fidelity object model that can be easily consumed by all. In addition, it was released a preview of the first-ever Interactive window for C# that contains full IDE support – including IntelliSense and even automatically detecting missing using directives. How to get started: Download the CTP . The CTP installs on Visual Studio 2010 SP1 and can be safely installed side-by-side with Visual Studio 11. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Codename Roslyn CTP -> Getting Started to la

Downloading an old version of a NuGet package

By default NuGet will always download the latest version of a package. But what if you don’t want the most reason version? Luckily there is a way to specify the package version by using the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio. First bring up the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio. Go to Tools|Library Package Manager|Package Manager Console . You can install a package by using the ‘Install-Package’ powershell command. This command has a Version argument that can be used to specify a specific version. Install-Package PackageName -Version 1.3.1 See the command reference for details. If you use the Intellisense feature inside the Package Manager Console(by using the TAB key), you even get the list of available versions. The same thing works if you want to update an existing package, this time by using the ‘Update-Package’ powershell command. Update-Package PackageName -Version 1.3.2

The power of HTML 5 and Javascript: Rendering PDF’s in your browser

Today I was once again amazed about the power that HTML5 and Javascript can offer when I discovered PDF.js. This Javascript library is written by a couple of clever guys over at Mozilla and allows you to display PDFs inside your browser using Javascript and HTML5 . The code is available for download on Github . Benefits The traditional approach to rendering PDFs in a browser is to use a native-code plugin, either Adobe’s own PDF Reader or other commercial renderers, or some open source alternative. From a security perspective, this enlarges the trusted code base and increases the risk of code based injection attacks. An HTML5-based implementation is completely immune to this class of problems. If you want to see a demo of pdf.js , click on this link . There are still glitches and rendering artifacts but it already shows the potential of this library. A quick sample Download the latest code required from Github to start developing. Create a web page and embed the following Ja

Enterprise Library: Windows Azure Autoscaling application block

Last week Microsoft released a beta version of the  Windows Azure Autoscaling Application Block .To learn more about this application block watch the video walkthrough: The easiest way to download the block is via NuGet . There are two packages – one with binaries and one containing the source. The beta includes a sample application for hosting the block and for exploratory testing. This version offers a lot of new features as well as bug fixes. Check this page for the change log. Getting Started Please follow the instructions in the included Readme file to learn how to use the block binaries and about the pre-requisites if you want to build the block from source. They also released a first draft set of documentation, which includes the reference documentation and an early preview of the Developer’s Guide . Both are available via Codeplex . There is also a sample app that showcases various usages of the Autoscaling Application Block. Therefore they expanded the scope of

Team Foundation Server Source Control Explorer VS 2010 Extension

TFSSCExplorerExtension is a Visual Studio 2010 Extension Package that adds new functionality to the TFS Source Control Explorer window. Most important features are Drag & Drop support, Move and Branch functions even for multiple files selection and Merge from Sources feature. There is a version available both for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview: VS 2010 version VS2011 DP version

Telerik MVC Extensions: Using a more recent jQuery version

If you are looking for custom ASP.NET MVC controls, the Telerik MVC Extensions are one of the options. If you are using them you probably included them in your ASP.NET MVC web application by using NuGet. These extension are jQuery based and jQuery 1.5.1 is included out of the box. Including the required Javascript files is easy. Just at the following code to the bottom of your Razor page(your Telerik controls should be placed BEFORE the scripts). @(Html.Telerik().ScriptRegistrar()) This will include jQuery and all other required Javascript files automatically. But what if you are using a more recent jQuery version? I first removed the jQuery script from the Scripts\2011.2.712\ folder but this resulted in errors. Instead what you need to do is change your script as follows: @(Html.Telerik().ScriptRegistrar() .jQuery(false) ) The ScriptRegistrar will no longer complain and you can reference the jQuery version of your choice. I tried it with jQuery 1.6.2 and everything w

Running your build server on Azure

With the first preview of TFS Services(read: Team Foundation Server on Azure), you’re ALM environment in the cloud get’s a lot closer. But what about my build server? Do I still need to host some servers myself or is their an alternative available? Although not an official solution (yet), one of the options you have is using an Azure VM Role with a build service, and configure it against your TFS Services instance. What’s needed to get this working? First of all you need a Windows Azure account of course. Login to the Windows Azure portal( ) and sign up for the VM role beta program(yes it’s still in beta). It can take some time before your subscription is approved so be patient(it took a few weeks before our subscription was activated). While you are waiting for your subscription approval you can already create the VHD required for your VM role. Follow the steps as described in the following post:

TFS Build Error: The process cannot access the file 'data.coverage' because it is being used by another process

Last week we had a situation on our build server where the build was running indefinitely. After stopping the build, the following error was thrown: The process cannot access the file 'data.coverage' because it is being used by another process. As the problem only happened when code coverage was enabled, I guessed that it had to do something with the test runner. One thing I noticed on the build machine that the VSPerfmon.exe kept running. After killing this process, the build completed and the issue was gone.

Customizing TFS Build 2010

If you are looking into TFS Build customizations, I can recommend starting with the following blog series by Ewald Hofman: Part 1: Introduction Part 2: Add arguments and variables Part 3: Use more complex arguments Part 4: Create your own activity Part 5: Increase AssemblyVersion Part 6: Use custom type for an argument Part 7: How is the custom assembly found Part 8: Send information to the build log Part 9: Impersonate activities (run under other credentials) Part 10: Include Version Number in the Build Number Part 11: Speed up opening my build process template Part 12: How to debug my custom activities Part 13: Get control over the Build Output Part 14: Execute a PowerShell script Part 15: Fail a build based on the exit code of a console application Part 16: Specify the relative reference path Afterwards you can get into more detail by browsing through Jason Prickett’s blog at .

Use Fiddler to validate version problems with Javascript libraries

I’m a big fan of Fiddler for a long time. Last week I had to test some jQuery compatibility issues with a new web application we were building. At first I was replacing all the Javascript files with newer versions, updating all the references and so on… Although this approach worked it was cumbersome and error-prone. Isn’t there a better alternative? Fiddler to the rescue! I found the following post by Eric Law where he uses Fiddler to load a different version of jQuery without updating any reference: .  Exactly where I was looking for! So how can you do this? First, download the (newer) version of the library you want to test. Start Fiddler and go to the AutoResponder tab. Use the Add… button to create a new rule to map requests for your Javascript library to the newly downloaded file. Also set the Unmatched requests passthrough option to e

Developer cheat sheet

As a developer there are so many things you need to remember: keyboard shortcuts, programming language syntax, code snippets, … and the list keeps growing. So make your life as a developer a little bit easier and use this ultimate cheat sheet at . “ is a directory of free cheat sheets and quick reference cards for developers, programmers, engineers, and nerds”  

NServiceBus Modeling Tools

If you are still not convinced that NServiceBus could make your message based architecture a lot simpler, maybe this new feature can convince you: NServiceBus Modeling “Visual Studio integrated modeling tools for NServiceBus allow you to graphically design your distributed solution and have all of your projects created, appropriate references set up, configuration of queues and routing made to "just work", on top of all the regular NServiceBus goodness.” This first version includes Visual Studio integration and really makes developing with NServiceBus much more productive and enjoyable. NServiceBus Modeling Tools for Visual Studio from NServiceBus Ltd. on Vimeo . You can get this tool on the NServiceBus download page or via the Visual Studio Gallery here .

WPF is still alive!

With all the fuzz about the dead of Silverlight, we should almost forget that it still has a big brother WPF. After the announcements at Build it looks like that WPF isn’t dead either. It even has some very useful new and enhanced features Ribbon control: WPF 4.5 ships with a Ribbon control that hosts a Quick Access Toolbar, Application Menu, and tabs. Improved performance when displaying large sets of grouped data New features for the VirtualizingPanel Binding to static properties: You can use static properties as the source of a data binding. The data binding engine recognizes when the property's value changes if a static event is raised. Accessing collections on non-UI Threads: WPF enables you to access and modify data collections on threads other than the one that created the collection. This enables you to use a background thread to receive data from an external source, such as a database, and display the data on the UI thread. By using another thread t

JBOWS: Just a Bunch of Web Services

Sometimes you know that something is an anti-pattern but you don’t find a good name for it. Last week I discovered the following old blog post about JBOWS . I immediately recognized this as something I had seen before in a lot of so called ‘SOA’ architectures. Unfortunately this anti-pattern still applies today. JBOWS stands for J ust a B unch o f W eb S ervices and indicates a service oriented architecture that focuses on tooling and technology rather than architecture and analysis. Most of the time this happens because IT is leading the SOA initiative(instead of the business).  And SOA with little or no cooperation from the business is meant to fail. Therefore most JBOWS architectures deliver little or no value to the business. If anything, overall business agility will decrease over time as more and more disorganized services spring up with considerably more complex and brittle dependencies that need to be maintained. So if you recognize this inside your own organization, know

Brain meltdown: Practical Foundations for Programming Languages

Last week I found the following free programming book at   on "Practical Foundations for Programming Languages". As the title states it focuses on the foundations of programming languages. The idea is that most  programming language features start from the concept of a type structure that governs its syntax and semantics. Although very interesting to read, it almost cost me a brain meltdown. Read at your own risk!

Scrum for Team System became Open Source

Crispin Parker, the original creater of the great Scrum for Team System template has left his company. Luckily for us he took the Scrum for Team System template with him and turned it into an open source initiative.  Let’s hope that this will bring the template to the next level. So from now on if you are looking for a new version of the template, go to . BTW: Old versions are still available at

Windows Azure Platform Training Kit – September 2011 Update

Earlier this month Microsoft released an updated version of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit. The September 2011 update of the training kit includes updated hands-on labs for the Windows Azure SDK/Tools version 1.5 (September 2011.) The September update also includes a new hands-on lab for Service Bus Messaging, which demonstrates how to send and receive messages using the new Service Bus Message Queues and Topics that were just released. You can download the full training kit including the hands-on labs, demo scripts, and presentations from the Microsoft download center here: . If you don’t want to download the complete training kit, you can try the new Windows Azure Platform Training Kit – Web Installer . This new training kit web installer is a very small application weighing in at 2MB. It enables you to select and download just the hands-on labs, demos, and presentations that you want instead of downloading the entire training kit. As new or u