Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Using a custom dictionary for FxCop in Visual Studio 2008

A colleague of mine has spotted an excellent post on how to use Custom Dictionaries with FxCop in Visual Studio 2008.

The post is here: http://duncanjasmith.blogspot.com/2008/07/creating-custom-dictionary-for-code.html

The short story is that in VS2008 there is a "BuildAction" of "CodeAnalysisDictionary" that you can apply to Project Items. Copy and edit the built-in Custom Dictionary from "%systemdrive%\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Team Tools\Static Analysis Tools\FxCop\CustomDictionary.xml" and away you go. Read his post for details on how to have an FxCop Custom Dictionary applied Solution wide.

Professional Developer Conference 2008 - Day One Summary

Key Note - Azure Services Platform

During the key note, Ray Ozzie announced Microsoft's Azure Services Platform (code name "Red Dog"). This is a "services platform" for the cloud. This platform has been used to build Live Services and will be the building blocks for .NET Services, SQL Services, SharePoint Services and Dynamics CRM Services.Service Level Agreements (with financial guarantees) are scheduled for 2009. It should be noted that it's unlikely there will be an explicit Version 1 - these services will constantly evolve.

Details and analysis here:

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP

The PDC kicked off with Microsoft releasing a CTP of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0. Please note this does not include any Oslo features, Oslo integration with Visual Studio will come in a later CTP.

Details here:

Silverlight 2.0

Microsoft released Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac. This is an important release as it includes a cross platform implementation of the .NET Framework. The original moniker for this project was WPF/E "Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere" and was originally announced by Jim Allchin at the last PDC in 2005.

Details here:


Microsoft Federation Gateway

The Microsoft Federation Gateway is an identity hub that brokers identities across disparate applications and services. For seamless integration with Active Directory, Microsoft has released a server component called the Microsoft Services Connector. It should be noted that this is implemented using open standards. This appears to be an implementation of Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).

Details here:


Windows Live & OpenID

Windows Live publicly committed support for the OpenID platform enabling users to use their Windows Live ID to sign into any OpenID site.

Details here:


More information on OpenID here:


Oslo Developer Centre

Microsoft announced the Oslo Developer Centre. You can download an Oslo CTP now from this site. This CTP includes documents and tools for working with the “M” language.

Main site:


Oslo SDK direct link:


WCF REST Starter Kit

This is a preview of the REST features for WCF 4.0. Find it at the WCF Developer Centre.

Main site:


WCF REST Starter Kit direct link:


Day One Summaries and Digests

S. Somasegar, Senior Vice Preseident of the Developer Division sums things up here:


Steve Martin, Director of Product Management for Microsoft's Connected Systems Division talks about where the Azure Services Platform is going and what is available now:


Matt Milner from Pluralsight talks about the Azure Services Platform in more depth:


Friday, 17 October 2008

Windows Server 2008 as a workstation (Part 3)

Most people will want to use Windows Live Messenger, unfortunately the installer from the "Get Live" site (http://get.live.com/) does not work with Windows Server 2008.

One way around this is to download Windows Live Messenger Version 8.1 from Microsoft.com. You can find it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=d78f2ff1-79ea-4066-8ba0-ddbed94864fc&displaylang=en

This works fine for Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 as a workstation (Part 2)

Continuing from my last post about using Windows Server 2008 as a workstation there are some changes to make to Internet Explorer to make it more usable.

As per Windows 2003 Server, the operating system employs the "Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration" component to lock down IE. This makes total sense when Windows Server 2008 is being used as a server but when using it for general use its not user friendly.

In Windows 2003 Server you were able to completely un-install the "Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration" component from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. That is not possible in Windows Server 2008 as the component is baked into the OS. You can't remove it but you can disable it.

To do this open Server Manager (Start --> Administrative Tools --> Server Manager). On the right hand side under the "Security" section, click on "Configure IE ESC". This opens a new dialog box where you can disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration for Admins and/or Users.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Windows Server 2008 as a workstation

I have been using Windows Server 2008 as a my main workstation lately and my experiences have been wholly positive but there are two niggling issues. Fortunately both are easily resolvable.

The first is that by default, the use of MSIs is prohibited (okay, this is more than a niggle). To be able to install additional programs you need to change the Local Group Policy. To do this run "gpedit.msc" and navigate to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Temaplates\Windows Components\Windows Installer". Change the "Disable Windows Installer" state to "Enabled".

The second issue is the annoying "Shut Down Windows" dialog that appears everytime you want to shutdown your box. This dialog box requires that you enter a reason everytime you shutdown or restart your box. I have found multiple articles and blogs that suggest you need to change the Local Group Policy. Done by running "gpedit.msc" again, navigating to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Temaplates\System" and changing the "Display Shutdown Event Tracker" state to "Disabled". But this does not appear to work, at least it didn't for me. What did work was editing a registry value. Open regedit.exe and go to "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsNT". Create a new Key called "Reliability" and add a DWORD value at that location. The name should be "ShutdownReasonOn" and the value should be "0".

Repairing the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

I had a problem recently with some files from the .NET Framework 2.0 being corrupt. I think the root cause of the problem was use of Virtual Machines. Anyway, I needed to repair the .NET Framework 2.0, specifically aspnet_regiis.exe.

The problem is that under Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 these components are part of the operating system so you can't do a repair with the MSI like you normally can with installed programs. After doing some digging I found the answer here:


The short story is to run "sfc /scannow" with elevated privileges.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Visual Studio Team System Developer & Database Editions are merged

Microsoft has recently announced that the Visual Studio Team System Developer & Database Editions are to be merged, details are here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vsts2008/products/cc990295.aspx

Essentially MSDN Subscribers with a "Visual Studio Team System Developer" or "Visual Studio Team System Database" (or relevant Partner Programs) will be given access to the alternative SKU. Please note that these products are not a single installation, you need to install both products. This results in you having both SKUs installed which means you will get additional features/menus in Visual Studio. This affects the current toolset in addition to Rosario (VS2010).

This is a great move by Microsoft, the features of the Database Edition are incredibly useful to a
developer. There is a new Database Project type that supports MSBuild, this means you can build/rebuild you database schema from the IDE or from the command line. The schema compare facilities give you functionality broadly equivalent to RedGate's fantastic SQL Compare product (http://www.red-gate.com/products/SQL_Compare/index.htm).

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