Andrew Connell

Latest Development topics

All the latest Development pages on this site.

This category is for general client-side & server-side development topics.

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    Blog: So what's on your SharePoint development machine?

    Occasionally I get a comment from someone who hit an old page on my blog called What’s on My PC… an oldie that others were doing at the time. In the last few weeks I’ve been hit by a higher than normal amount of these in part due to my Setting up your SharePoint development environment post at the end of August. After migrating my virtualization rig to Hyper-V last week , I build out a brand new clean SharePoint development machine.
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    Blog: Trouble installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1? A simple solution...

    While I had no problem installing VS2008 SP1 on my virtual machines, I’ve been having a heck of a time installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 on my host OS ever since it came out. Since it shipped as an ISO, I simply mounted it using a virtual DVD drive. However every time I tried to install it, it would error out. I dug into the log file and found the following:
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 3

    In part 1 of this series I explained the reasoning and background on why I’m building a virtualization rig. In that post I included my experience with trying to get an OOTB Dell PowerEdge 2900 III . In part 2 I discussed the parts, buildout and price list. In this post I want to talk about the setup, install and performance testing. Burnin: Testing power & heat (and fans) Setup of the vRig was a piece of cake.
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 2

    In part 1 of this series I explained the reasoning and background on why I’m building a virtualization rig. In that post I included my experience with trying to get an OOTB Dell PowerEdge 2900 III . In this post I want to cover parts. The next part will be more about setup and installation of the virtualization software. Before electing to build a new machine, I did consider getting a MacPro and installing VMWare Fusion on it.
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 1

    Early last year Scott Hanselman & Jeff Atwood set out to build the “Ultimate Developer PC” for Scott. It was an entertaining series of posts on both blogs ( check out this post for links to all the other posts ). As someone who works exclusively out of a home office (except when onsite or teaching obviously) I’ve been eyeing doing something similar over the last two years. But as a SharePoint developer who doesn’t do so much gaming, I was more interested in a virtualization rig rather than a dev rig… things like graphics are of zero importance to me.
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    Blog: SharePoint Debugging and Logging Tips and Tricks

    I’ve long needed a single source to point people to when it comes to debugging and logging in SharePoint. I’m sure someone will say “oh look at my post” in a comment when this is read… please feel free to add comments to this post pointing to your debugging tricks.
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    Blog: Hands on Labs from the Intro to SharePoint for .NET Developers are now available... and so is the main site!

    If you’ve been following the Introduction to SharePoint for .NET Developers webcast series Rob and I are doing with Paul , you might be interested to know what we now have hands-on-labs that correspond to the same topics we’ve been discussing in the webcasts. Microsoft just posted the downloads here . But why go there when there’s an easy to remember URL? You can get everything from a brand new site that just went live: http://www.
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    Blog: PDC2008 Registration Open... and I finally get to go!

    The Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) 2008 registration is now open. It’s in Los Angeles, CA from OCT 27-30, 2008. Register before August 15 and get $200 knocked off the price. I’ve always wanted to hit PDC… when its held I always crawl the blogs and CNET looking for the news to trickle out. Never have I had a chance as I haven’t been able to make a case to a boss to go.
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    Blog: Introduction to SharePoint for .NET Developers Webcast Series - Demos and Slide Decks now available

    If you’ve been keeping up with the Introduction to SharePoint for .NET Developers series, you can now download the slide decks and associated demos Rob and I have been doing the last two weeks. So far we’ve talked about Web Parts , Data Lists , Silverlight and Event Handlers . » MSFT Download Center: PPTs and Demos for Introductory SharePoint Developer Modules Need a virtual machine that’s got everything you need installed and ready to go with these demos?
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    Blog: AC's VS SharePoint Project Utility Tool Window for SharePoint Developers

    This page serves as the portal for all information related to the SharePoint Project Utility Visual Studio tool window I’ve created for developers using Visual Studio 2005 / 2008 with DevExpress’ DXCore. Overview Background Like many other SharePoint developers I’ve adopted a similar approach to building SharePoint projects and solution (*.wsp) files. My process is not unlike many others where I mimic the SharePoint “12” folder structure in my Visual Studio projects (only the folders that I’m using).
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    Blog: Using ASP.NET 2.0 Code Behind Files in SharePoint v3 Sites

    In this post, explain not only how it can be done, but also to explain what is different between the native ASP.NET 2.0 and SharePoint development experience.
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    Blog: AC's VS CodeRush/Refactor Tools for SharePoint Developers

    This page serves as the portal for all information related to the productivity enhancements I’ve created for developers using Visual Studio 2005 / 2008 with DevExpress’ CodeRush & Refactor! Pro. Requirements Visual Studio 2005 / 2008 CodeRush by DevExpress Refactor! Pro by DevExpress These tools have been tested with the latest releases of CodeRush & Refactor! Pro: v3.0.5 in both Visual Studio 2005 & 2008.
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    Blog: Stuff I wouldn't wanna live without

    Generally I’m not much of a fan of these tag-you’re-it-blogs because they seem so corny, but I did like this one. Sahil tagged me to come up with a list of things I just can’t do without… so here we go. Here’s my list of things I simply wouldn’t want to live without (in no particular order): Laptop: I seriously couldn’t imaging life without a laptop. Today that’s a Dell D820 widescreen with a 4GB RAM and a 2nd modular HDD for VM’s.
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    Blog: Using Visual Studio 2005, MakeCab.exe and MSBuild to Create Window SharePoint Services v3 Solution Files (*.WSP's)

    In this post, I’ll explain how to create WSP’s in Visual Studio 2005 with MakeCab.exe and MSBuild… something VS2005 can’t do by default.
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    Blog: Jacksonville Code Camp Recap (Part Deux) - More Tools and Blogging

    I’ve already posted my recap from last weekend’s Code Camp and there are already a few things I wish I could have included in my talks. First, the blogging talk… John-Daniel Trask posted his list of his Top 10 ways to build your blog traffic … all very good points. A few were some I hammered home during my talk at last weekend’s code camp, specifically: Be a thought-leader Participate in the online community Make commenting easy Solve a problem Post often Pimp it!
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    Blog: Using MSBuild to generate assembly version info at build time (including SubVersion fix)

    One thing I’ve never really been fond of in Visual Studio is the fact you can’t specify a custom format for your assembly version numbers when you build your projects. Sure, you could use the asterisk to tell MSBuild to increment the number, but what if you wanted to have the date of the build in the assembly version? I like the way Microsoft does their assembly version format: Major.Minor.BuildDate.Revision. So, you can tell that the .
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    Blog: Jacksonville Code Camp 2006 Recap

    Saturday’s second annual Jacksonville Code Camp was a lot of fun. It was held at the FCCJ Advanced Technology Center (wow, NICE digs!) in downtown Jacksonville. As always, one of the best parts about Code Camp is seeing all the regional developers who you usually only get to see at these things. There are too many people to mention, but I do want to say thanks to David McNamee , John Holliday , Duray Akar , and Stacy Draper for submitting and presenting sessions related to SharePoint 2007… we had a whole track dedicated to SharePoint 2007!
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    Blog: More DevExpress DXCore goodness!

    Yesterday, Julian of DevExpress, posted an interview with a developer who recently wrote a slick new plug-in for DXCore. Basically his plugin enforces your coding style WHILE you code … cool idea! Oh, what’s DXCore? For review, DXCore is… DXCore, the base software that both our CodeRush and Refactor! Pro products use, available as a free download. Essentially, DXCore wraps the somewhat-difficult-to-use VSIP interfaces in a neat .NET package with extensibility points, and also provides some extra functionality for Visual Studio available nowhere else.
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    Blog: ASP.NET 2.0 Tips and Tricks.... Setting up Subversion at home... Centrino & VPC fix

    Two cool links for Wednesday morning… Scott Guthrie has created a page that contains all his ASP.NET 2.0 Tips, Tricks, Recipes and Gotchas… very nice! » ASP.NET Tips, Tricks, Recipes and Gotchas The Lifehacker has posted a nice howto step-by-step on setting up Subversion for your personal use. I didn’t follow his instructions for setting up my install, instead I used one from the “VSTS: tips, tricks, and techniques” blog for setting it up under Windows… with no Apache.
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    Blog: On open source and naming conventions...

    **First on naming conventions…**Recently a series of posts caught my eye ( via Bil ) on Coding in an Igloo that went on and on about code naming conventions. This guy looked at the various naming options and conventions most of us use and then gave his $.02 on what he used and why. he covered SQL Server objects, UI controls, classes, interfaces, properties, fields, local variables, methods, etc… quite a good read.
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    Blog: RECAP: Tampa Code Camp - July 15, 2006

    Yesterday I attended the Tampa Code Camp 2006 with two local friends who rode down from Jacksonville with me Friday night: Vinay , and Greg Y. The Tampa crew did a fantastic job putting on the event and it was filled with some great regional speakers including Jim Zimmerman , Jay Kimble , Vinay Ahuja , Brian Knight , Bayer White , Stan Schultes , Tom Fuller , and David Silverlight .
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    Blog: Changes to my virtualization/dev tools Tampa Code Camp talk this weekend...

    As I previously posted , I’m presenting two sessions at the Tampa Code Camp this weekend… one on WCM (mostly one long demo) and one called “ Don’t be a Tool, Be a Better Developer Through Tools & Virtualization! ” The virtualization/dev tools talk is a semi-repeat of a talk I did last night at the Jacksonville User Group which ran long and eventually got cut short as I mentioned in the recap post earlier today .
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    Blog: RECAP: JAXDUG July 12 Talk on Virtualization and Developer Tools

    First, thank you to everyone who attended my talk at the JAXDUG meeting last night . I was quite surprised at the turnout with a last minute change in venue (what’s up with that Merrill Lynch security? Damn.. that’s some tight stuff!). Second, I’d like to apologize for not getting to spend as much time on the development tools like I had planned. I noticed the virtualization part of the talk was longer than expected, but I decided to wrap up the virtualization best practices piece and then we’d just run late and those not interested in dev tools could leave.
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    Blog: JAXDUG talk reminder, blog subscription cleaning, and musings

    JAXDUG Talk - July 12, 2006 @ 6p Tomorrow night I’m giving a talk at the Jacksonville Developer User Group ( JAXDUG ) on virtualization & developer tools at 6p at the Bank of America campus off Southside Blvd… get more info on it here (including the talk abstract & detailed location information). Blog subscription cleaning After a very untimely database corruption of my RSS aggregator ( Omea Reader ) last week which resulted in numerous subscriptions being delivered to the wrong feed (very annoying to get CLR debugging posts in a SharePoint UI blog), I finally reverted back to an old backup from before TechEd.
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    Blog: MSDN Documentation wiki

    Now if this isn’t just damn cool!!! On this site you can add content to VS 2005 documentation topics and edit contributions from other users. Our goal is to extend the documentation with code examples, tips and tricks, and other information that you add. And they’ve even added RSS feeds! MSDN Wiki Blog MSDN Wiki – Fresh Content » MSDN Documentation Wiki
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    Blog: Application Versions post updated

    Just added the MS SQL 2005 SP1 & post-SP1 hotfix 918222 to my Application Versions page (listing of all major version numbers (RTM, service packs, major hotfixes) for the .NET Framework, SQL Server, MCMS, WSS, and SharePoint Portal Server. MOSS versions will be added at RTM. » Application Versions
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    Blog: Random valuable finds...

    Over the last month or two, I’ve been under a rock with work or had problems with my blog that I’ve been unable to post. During this time there were things I wanted to post but never had the time or the ability to post them… this post will serve as my catchall of things worth noting… ok… they are things that were big news to me… Development Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Project v1 Released (via ScottGu ): Basically this VS2005 add-on gives you the ability to have web projects that don’t use the VS2005 models but rather the VS2003 model where everything is compiled into a single DLL.
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    Blog: Florida developer community scores another MVP! Congrats Tom!

    Congrats to Tom Fuller , the man behind SOAPitStop . Tom was awarded Solution Architect MVP. If you frequent any of the Code Camps on the Florida circuit, you’ve probably sat through one of Tom’s sessions. He was one of the folks on the recent ASP.NET Podcast roundtable at the Orlando Code Camp . Congrats Tom!
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    Blog: HOWTO: Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs

    In my last article on virtualization with Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 SP1, I covered how you can use Differencing Disks to your advantage . However, in retrospect, this article was posted a bit out of order. The article below should have been posted first. Before you start building out your Virtual PC’s, you should first be aware of how to squeeze out every last drop of performance. After all you’re running a machine within a machine, so it’s going to be a bit slower than the host, and thus, why not make it as fast as possible!
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    Blog: HOWTO: Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs

    In my last article, I documented how you can use Virtual PC’s differencing disks to your advantage , not only to safe space, but administrative tasks. That article briefly touched on the subject of performance (see section: “Extra tips on using VPCs”). Only a few items were mentioned in that post, but in reality, there’s so much more you can do to make your VPC’s run as fast as possible on your machine.
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    Blog: DXCore & a combo solution explorer - class viewer tool window

    Last week I posted a little testimonial about DevExpress’ DXCore addin for Visual Studio. In the post I mentioned that I was working with Mark Miller on a little tool window plugin built using the DXCore. Today Jon Skeet posted an article that shows exactly what I was working on (although this is in Eclipse and not in Visual Studio). His article compares Eclipse & Visual Studio (BTW: a great read).
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    Blog: DevExpress' DXCore, CodeRush, Refactor!, and Mark Miller

    You’ve probably seen others rant & rave about two development productivity utilities offered by DevExpress : CodeRush & Refactor! I first got my paws on these two utilities in April of 2005… right away I was hooked. Since then, I’ve been meaning to post my $.02 on these two VS2003 add-ins but I kept putting it off again and again. DXCore Building add-ins for VS requires an in-depth knowledge of VSIP.
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    Blog: Launch 2005 v.Orlando & the Florida developer Community ROCKS!

    Yesterday the Launch 2005 roadshow hit Florida, the Orlando edition. I headed down from Jacksonville to Orlando with some co-workers and other dev-friends in the JAX community. Other than missing the keynote (JAX is 2.5hrs away from Orlando, the event was held at the OCCC which is on the west side of the city, and we had rush hour traffic to deal with), it was a great event. Without doing a recap of the Orlando edition, which I’m sure was almost identical in content to the other Launch 2005 events, I wanted to mention that we have one kick-ass development community in Florida.
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    Blog: Managed Debugging : Part 1

    This will be the first of a few posts on managed debugging… just too much to discuss in one post. Ever had one of those moments (maye not a single moment, but in general an experience) where you learn something and think to yourself “wow, this is a big eye opener… this is something I need to investigate?” My latest one was this past August. I was in the second of two sessions by Tim Walton (MSFT PSS) at the Jacksonville Code Camp .
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    Blog: Visual Studio 2005 PowerToys updated for RTM

    If you’re using the Class Designer in VS 2005, these PowerToys are a must. This set of add-ins augments existing functionality in the Visual Studio 2005 Class Designer and the Distributed Systems Designers. The Design Tools Enhancements add-in provides a common set of features that can be used by both the Class Designer and the Distributed System Designers, such as pan/zoom window and rich formatting commands. The Class Designer Enhancements add-in provides additional functionality for the Visual Studio 2005 Class Designer, such as HTML export and nested type creation commands.
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    Blog: WWF API usability study videos on C9

    Here’s something I’d never thought of: doing a usability study on an API. Two videos were posted to Channel 9 earlier in the week that show an intro & an actual usability study lab. Here’s the kicker: the lab participant isn’t allowed to use VS .NET, intellisense, help, or the workflow designer… they can only use notepad! Why? Because if the WinFX/WWF team built a killer designer/intellisense/help system, it could be because he API flat out sucked.
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    Blog: Application Versions

    After hunting around for the umteenth time trying to find yet another Microsoft server product version number, I decided to throw the list I keep in OneNote into an article and post on my site. Now it will be easier to find, and maybe it will help someone else along the line. This will be an organic list and I plan to update it as I find new build numbers for existing products.
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    Blog: SQL 2005 Service Manager

    Ironic I was just discussing this subject with one of our DBA’s earlier this week… I was a bit miffed when I realized there was no longer a SQL Service Manager in SQL 2005 like we had in SQL 2000. I had grown acustomed to having my laptop boot without the SQL service loaded to save resources. When I needed the DB to be fired up, I could just right-click the SQL Service Manager in my system tray and start the service.
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    Blog: Nikhil's Web Development Helper ROCKS... a MUST HAVE for any web developer or designer!

    In the beta days of .NET 2.0, I saw Nikhil Kothari’s Web Development Helper . It’s an IE AddIn that displays a ton of extra information about a webpage. I didn’t install it because it (1) was developed with .NET 2.0 (something I wasn’t going to put on my primary machine because it was beta) and (2) I wasn’t working on any .NET 2.0 projects so there was nothing to show.
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    Blog: HOWTO: Use Virtual PCs Differencing Disks to your Advantage

    Ever since Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 (VPC) was released, I’ve been using it for development tasks… specifically SharePoint related projects since it requires Windows 2003 and all my desktops have WinXP Pro installed. I also used a VPC for all my work my recent book (running MCMS and SharePoint require some specific configurations). If you’ve used it and you’re a SharePoint developer, or someone who works with server software quite a bit, you probably share my experiences and opinions related to management and installations.
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    Blog: Use VirtualPC's differencing disks to your advantage

    Recently I’ve had a few discussions with some coworkers about some optimization & management tips/tricks/techniques in using Virtual PC 2004. After explaining what I do a few times, I thought “document this for future reference and for others to learn from it.” I’ve documented in a new article my process & strategy for using Virtual PC and how I optimize and manage my disks to (1) maximize my disk space and (2) facilitate rapid creation of new Virtual PC ’s when needed for testing/kicking the tires.
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    Blog: Fix VS .NET debugger when unable to debug by manually attaching to a process

    The following steps helps me resolve a nasty VS.NET debugging issue I was having. When you launch the VS .NET debugger automatically by pressing the PLAY button or F5, debugging works just fine. However, if you try to manually attach to a process (like w3wp.exe in Windows Server 2003), the debugger is never able to load the debug symbols and it won’t stop on your breakpoints. I finally threw in the towel and used one of my MSDN Universal subscription PSS tickets to resole this issue:
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