Showing posts from 2005

IT Jobs with FBI

For those in the IT job market and want something a little different and a little challenging, the FBI maybe the place for you! Beginning next month, the FBI will begin interviewing for a variety of positions. To apply, go to Although many of these jobs have salaries well into the 6-figure range, they do involve relocating to the DC area. With the change in the cost of living, the 6 figure salary may not be that much. For a city-city comparison of cost-of-living, vist For those interested in IT jobs in NE Ohio, please visit

Visual Studio 2005 Questions

Q: Does VS2005 support source code control and editing of both .NET and Java code?
A: Yes, VS2005 does support Javascript code within web pages, with some intellisense.

Q: Does source code control come with VS2005 or is it part of “Team Suite”?
A: VS doesn’t handle source code control directly. Instead, it integrates with Visual Source Safe (VSS) for source code control. VSS could store any file type, so Javascript code should not be a problem. VS Team Suites come with Visual Source Safe 2005. VS standard and Pro don’t come with it but can integrate with it, if purchased separately. For more information, please go to

Microsoft Events (more of...)

Per my previous blog entry, the 2 major Microsoft events for developers that come to town are TechNet and MSDN. However, Microsoft also has additional seminars that cater more towards product sales and technology providers. These additional seminars are Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Business Solutions Seminar, and TS2. Although these are less technical than TechNet and MSDN, some of the presentations are still informative to developers, demonstrating new products, capabilities, and possible integration with other products and SDKs. For a complete description of all events, go to

Local Microsoft Events

Microsoft will be sponsoring 2 events tomorrow in the Cleveland area. TechNet will take place in the moring, 8:00 AM - Noon, and will cover SQL Server 2005. The MSDN event will take place 1:00 PM- 5:00 PM, and will cover Visual Studio 205. The demonstrations are very informative and the DVDs distributed contain manyweb casts, tutorials and trial software. All this, free of charge.

To register for these events, visit the following links: and

Worm Attack Set for 1/5/2006

A new variant of the Sober worm has been detected recently by Verisign's cyber intelligence center. The worm is expected to launch an email attack on January 5th, 2006 (the 87th anniversary of the Nazi party). Emails launched during the attack are expected to have subject lines that relate to FBI or CIA.

The obvious remedy to this worm, as well as others, is to make sure the Antivirus programs and security patches are updated on all systems. In addition, creating a contact in each address book with "!!!!!!!!!!!" as the email address might prevent the worm from spreading. Some worms/viruses don't have the proper error handling when an invalid email address is encountered. By having the first email address in an address book be invalid, it may generate an error and prevent the worm from spreading. Although this is not a guarantee, it's definitely cheap insurance.

For more info on the worm, visit,10801,10684…

ASP.Net Providers

Q: Are there any ASP.Net providers that you recommend?

A: I had good experiences with for web hosting and their plans are very reasonable ( Also, ( offers 6 mos free service when you sign up before 12/31/2005.

By using an ASP.Net provider, you can create an ASP.Net site and let the provider worry about server maintainence. This is also a great way for a new .Net programmer to gain some experience in .Net development. By paying a small fee for web hosting, you can create your own public web site. This will allow you to showcase and demonstrate your skill set to potential employers before you walk into an interview.

Microsoft IE Bug resurfaces

This has been a tough week for the Microsoft security team. Four security related bugs were announced earlier this week, one of which was originally announced in May of this year. This causes alot of fingerpointing between cyber security experts and the software giant. Analysts claim the bug should've been fixed but was ignored by Microsoft. However, Microsoft claims the bug was not reported to them appropriately in the correct fashion and therefore did not gain the adequate attention it required.

The bug is exposed when a call to the Windows() function occurs from within the Javascript of a web page. Hackers would trick users into clicking a link that would launch a web page containing the malicous code and eventually give the hacker access to the system. Win2003 machines with SP1, having the default Enhanced Security Configuration activated are exempt from this vulnerability.

For more information, please go to,4814,106638,00.html

Bug Tracking Software

Q: What bug-tracking system would you recommend?

A: Visual Studio Team Systems offers it’s own bug tracking software. Supposedly, this is the same software used internally at Microsoft. For more information see

Microsoft snags Cray's chief scientist

The chief scientist at supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc. is leaving to take a job at Microsoft Corp. Burton Smith will leave the company on Dec. 7 to take the Microsoft job, he informed Cray last Sunday. He will also cease to be a director at Cray on Dec. 7, the company said.
Microsoft has started to show a keen interest in high-performance computing. At the Supercomputing 05 show in Seattle earlier this month, it unveiled the Beta 2 version of Windows Compute Cluster 2003, a version of its server operating system with additional job-scheduling tools for computing clusters.

Smith was one of the founders of Tera Computer Co., where he served as chief scientist since 1988. Tera bought Cray Research from Silicon Graphics Inc. in 2000, and renamed itself Cray Inc. On its Web site, Cray credits Smith as the chief architect of its Multithreaded Architecture system.

Cray was once synonymous with the world's most powerful computers. Now, though, Cray's proprietary CPU designs are inc…


What is it?
W32Sober@MM!M681 is a newly introduced medium risk virus. It's a variant of W32/Sober.gen@MM, W32/Sober@MM!M681 is another mass-mailing worm hiding inside a spam email attachment. When run, the virus displays a fake error message, infects the host computer then sends itself to stolen email addresses. Note: VirusScan users with the latest DAT file are protected from this threat.

What should I look for?
FROM: Varies
Examples: Registration Confirmation; Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie; hi, ive a new mail address BODY: Example: hey its me, my old address dont work at time. i dont know why?! in the last days ive got some mails. i' think thaz your mails but im not sure! How do I know if I've been infected?
Fake error message ("Error in packed Header") displayed. Outgoing messages as noted above. Note: Receiving an email alert stating that the virus came from your email address is not necessarily an indication you are infected. Mass-mailing viruses oft…

SP2 for Exchange, Office, SharePoint, and Windows

Exchange 2003 SP2
Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) enhances your messaging environment by adding improved mobile e-mail, better protection from spam, and advanced mailbox fundamentals. To download Exchange 2003 SP2, go to

Office 2003 SP2
Provides the latest updates for Office 2003 and is required to take advantage of the enhanced performance of the Offline Address Book 4.0. To download Office 2003 SP2, go to

SharePoint2003 SP2
Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains significant security enhancements, in addition to stability and performance improvements. Some of the fixes included with SP2 have been previously released as separate updates. This service pack combines them into one update. To download SharePoint2003 SP2, go to…

What is Application Verifier?

What is Application Verifier?
Application Verifier is a Visual Studio tool that exposes instrumentation already present in the Windows operating system. The instrumentation performs runtime verification of running executables in selected areas like memory allocation, critical section usage, and handle usage.

What does Application Verifier detect?
Application Verifier detects runtime problems in the area of memory allocation, detects overrun or heap-allocated blocks, reuse-after-delete, double-delete, and heap contamination. In the area of critical section usage it detects operations that may lead to deadlocks or resource leaks. In the area of handle usage, it detects attempts to reuse handles after they are no longer valid.

How does Application Verifier work?
The Application Verifier tool enables the OS instrumentation for the given executable image for the duration of a debug session. The OS changes the API layer towards the application and intercepts calls, redirecting them to a validati…

Visual Source Safe 2005

November 7th, 2005 was the official release date for the Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and the less talked about BizTalk. Combined within the VS suite is the latest release of source safe, Visual Source Safe 2005, used to manager source code versions. The new release of VSS has not been talked about much, not even by the MS team that developed the product. So in an effort to do the new VSS release some justice, listed below is a brief summary of the new features.
Remote access using HTTPImproved LAN speeds, especially when used with Visual StudioData storage has increased to 4GBView file history date/time, with respect to local time zoneAllows third party plug-ins/editors for comparing source code and document differences.Managed Code Extensibility that allows better integration with Visual Studio 2005Unicode and XML supportProject Enhancements that allow synchronizing renamed or deleted files within VS.
For more information, visit the VSS home page at…

Recovering data from a failed hard drive

The following is not .net related, however, it's information that can come in handy to all PC users.

Q: The Hard Drive on my PC stooped working and I have no backup. What data recovery services can I use to retrieve the lost data.

A: There are several services, each with a slightly different twist, but all can help recover data from a failed drive.

Thanks to the Berbee team for their help with this.

Tip on Error Handling

When developing class libraries, it's best to develop those routines without error handling. By doing so, any errors encountered will be sent to the calling function, where they should be handled there. By handling errors in commonly used routines, the calling routine will receive a success since the error was handled by the routine called. This could result in multiple subsequent errors and the error messages will not clearly indicate the cause of the error.

December TechNet

I want to encourage you to attend the upcoming TechNet event on December 15th. Go to for more information, and look at Brooklyn for the local event. This is the best event for SQL 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 you’re going to find in the immediate area and it’s free! Each attendee will receive:
Visual Studio 2005 standardSQL Server 2005 standardBiztalk Server 2006 Enterprise (or a download)Coupon for a free certification exam.

What is WOW64?

Q: What is WOW64?

A: WOW 64, short for Windows on Windows 64-bit, enables you to run 32-bit applications on x64 Edition. It translates applications to 64-bit, provides higher performance for 32-bit applications, and features 4GB virtual memory space for each process. WOW64 launches and runs 32-bit applications seamlessly by isolating32-bit applications from 64-bit applications. This includes preventing file and registry collisions. Console, GUI, and service applications are also supported. The system provides interoperability across the 32/64 applications for scenarios such as cut and paste and COM. However, 32-bit processes cannot load 64-bit DLLs, and 64-bit processes cannot load 32-bit DLLs.
For more information, visit and

Fuzzy Lookup/Matching in SQL Server 2005

One of the new features of SQL Server 2005 is Fuzzy Lookup/Matching. This allows a query to return results that may not be an exact match, but close enough. Many people began to wonder how does this feature work. Microsoft published an article that explains this feature in detail,

Microsoft Windows Defender

Microsoft anounced last week that the infamous Antispyware, currenly in Beta 1 testing, will be renamed to "Windows Defender" when completed and released in 2006. The RTM (Release To Market) product will not only scan a system for spyware but will also look for malicous code like keystroke loggers. Defender will be part of Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system scheduled for release next year. It will also be available for download for users with Windows 2000, XP, and 2003.

For more information, please visit the TechNet blog at or ComputerWorld at,10801,106048,00.html?from=story%5Fkc.

New Microsoft Patches

Microsoft recently released two new patches/updates.
Security update for Windows XP (KB896424)Size: 0.9 MB - 2.5 MB
A remote code execution security issue has been identified in the Graphics Rendering Engine that could allow an attacker to remotely compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
More information for this update can be found at ComputerWorld has also published an article that explains it in more detail,,10801,106063,00.html?source=NLT_PM&nid=106063.Windows Malicous Software Removal Tool - Novemeber 2005 (KB890830)Size: 198 KB
After the download, this tool runs once to check your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove any …

Code Generator

Our last meeting was about code generators. Afterwards, I saw a link on the Microsoft site for a free generator that takes an XSD schema as input and generates sample code showing how to mark up C# and VB.Net classes so that when serialized with the XML serializer, the resulting XML will be valid according to the original schema. For more info and to download the code generator, visit

Microsoft Desktop Deployment

Microsoft offers a desktop deployment package that provides many capabilities, including desktop imaging. This is especially usefull when trying to duplicate a production environment in test. Afterall, the testing environment is an important factor to achieving correct results. For more information on Microsoft's Desktop Deployment, see

Using FrontPage Search and Replace to Modify Infopath Data

One of the SIG attendees emailed me the following link for using FrontPage to modify an InfoPath form (

Thanks to Mark H. for sending the link.

InfoPath Date Display

Q: While working on an InfoPath form the other day, I created a text box for the sole purpose of displaying date/time. When I set the text of the field to Now(), the date appeared as "2005-10-21T13:48:51".

A: To get rid of the "T" in the middle and make the date more readable, I changed the data field type of the text box from Text to Date/Time. The date then appeared as "10/21/2005 1:48:51 PM".

.Net Framework 2.0 RTM (Release To Market)

The .Net framework 2.0 was released to market yesterday (10/27/2005) and is available for download from Microsoft (

How to Ask a Question?

Ever post a question to an online forum but got an answer that didn't quite hit the spot? I found an article on MSDN that discusses how to avoid such problems

Combining C# and VB.Net projects in VS2005

Q: Can a C# project be combined with a VB.Net project in VS 2005?

A: You can compile each project separately then combine them together into a single assembly file using the assembly linker (AL.exe). This is a Microsoft utility that installs in the .Net framework folder (C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322).

Another option is to compile one project into a DLL or EXE then reference it from the other project.

MSN Virtual Earth (using ATLAS)

For those who attended PDC 2005, there was a discussion of ATLAS and how powerful of a tool it is. To further demonstrate its capabilities, Microsoft created, a very cool map site. To further explain how the site was put together, check out The ATLAS add-on toolkit will be available for Visual Studio.Net 2005 sometime in 2006.

Career Eye for the IT Guy (or Gal)

The Greater Cleveland PC Users' Group will be hosting a roundtable meeting about IT careers in Cleveland, featuring local industry leaders and developers. Some of the topics discussed include the future of IT in Cleveland, the value of certification, and many more.

Last year over 100 people attended our discussion about the state of IT careers in Northeast Ohio. This year the GCPCUG is pulling out all the stops. On Saturday, October 8th, we’re having four roundtable discussions to talk about what technologies and skills are in the greatest demand. And what you can do to get those skills.

As always, our meetings are free and open to the public. For more info, visit

Is there a benign virus I can use to test the AV scanner?

Q: Is there a benign virus I can use to test the AV scanner?

A: offers a benignvirus used for testing purposes. Although they don't offer support for any specific Anti-virus scanning tool, they can provide a simple virus that would help test your AV application. For more information and to download the virus, visit

Thanks to Andrew H. for providing an answer to this question.

How to search multiple columns, in 1 or more tables, for a single string?

Q: How can I search all varchar columns in a given table for a specific string, without building the where clause for every field?

A: select * from table1 where val1 + val2 like '%xyz%'
/* where val1 and val2 are varchar columns */

Also, if you have full text indexes defined on the columns of a table you can use the contains clause to examine each column that is indexed. If all of the varchar columns in mytable are are included in the fulltext index, then following will return any row that has the string abc :

select * from mytable where contains(*, '"*abc*" )

Thanks to Pete F. for helping with this question.

IE Tab browsing

For those who enjoy using FireFox because of its ability to browse within tabs, IE is now offering a similar solution. With the help of the MSN toolbar, IE6 is now capable of tab browsing. To download the MSN toolbar, go to This is toolbar is a production release, and is free of charge. In addition, several other tools are available on the same page (i.e. Windows Desktop Search, Internet Search tools, etc).

IE Developer Toolbar

In keeping up with FireFox and it's development toolbar, Microsoft released a similar developer toolbar for Internet Explorer. For more information and to download the toolbar, go to

Please note that this IE toolbar is still a Beta!

Why is "Save" grayed out on MS-Word 2003?

Q: I'm able to open a document in MS-Word 2003, but not able to make changes or save it. Why is "Save" grayed out on MS-Word 2003?

A: After some digging, it appeared that a virus had infected the user's system and de-activated Office 2003. After retrieving the registration number and re-activating MS-Office, everything should work fine as expected.

Invalid path for child request

Q: I call another web page from the application and pass it an argument (see sample below), but I receive the error "Invalid path for child request".

Dim strPath As String = "Error.aspx?Msg=" & strMsg
Server.Transfer(strPath, True)

A: Since the argument passed is not URL encoded, it causes the path of the web page being called to be incorrect. To correct the problem simply URL encode the argument being passed to the new page.

Dim strPath As String = "Error.aspx?Msg=" & Server.UrlEncode(strMsg)
Server.Transfer(strPath, True)

How do you throw an exception?

Q: How do you throw an exception?

A: The Throw() method is used to induce an error into the error handling routine. To generate an error, simply declare an object of type "Exception" with the desired message. Then call the Throw() method to send this error message to the error handling routine ("Catch" block). Once Throw() is called, all intermediate code will be skipped and execution will transfer to the "Catch" block, where Ex.Message="Something wrong happened!" See the code example listed below:

Private Sub btnSave_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnSave.Click

'Some code logic here...

Dim ex As New Exception("Something wrong happened!")
Throw ex

'Some code logic here...

Catch ex As Exception 'Catch a generic exception.
Dim strMsg As String
strMsg = "Error: " & Ex.Message & ControlChars.CrLf
strMsg &= "Stack Trace: " & Ex.StackTrace & ControlChars.…

How do you force a user to always login to web app?

Q: How do you force a user to always login?

A: In the Login.aspx page, the following code would be placed in the btnLogin_Click():

If wsAuth.Auth(strUID, strPWD) = True Then
'Successful Login

FormsAuthentication.SetAuthCookie(txtUserID.Text, False)
ErrorLabel.Text = "Authentication did not succeed. Check user name and password."
End If

In each subsequent web page, check for authentication before loading the page. The following code would be placed in the Page_load event handler:

If Not IsPostBack Then
If Not (Request.IsAuthenticated) Then

End If
End If

Forcing a Login and redirecting to the user's requested URL.
Q: If a user opens a browser and enters a URL to a specific page within a web application without loggin in first, how do you force him to login then redirect him to the page requested?

A: If you use the statement Respo…

.Net Events

Listed below are several .Net events to note on your calendar:

1. SharePoint SIG: September 12, 2005 @ 6:30 PM. For more info see

2. C#/VB.NET SIG: September 27, 2005 @ 6:30 PM. For more info see

3. MSDN Event: October 04, 2005 @ 1:00 PM, Regal Severance Town Center. For more info, see

4. SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 & BizTalk Server 2006 Launch, Tuesday, November 08, 2005 @ 9:00 AM in Detroit, MI. For
more info, see

SQL Server & .Net Encryption

Q: I would like to encrypt credit card numbers and ssn numbers in the SQL database. The data will be submitted to the database from a .NET application and will be retrieved from a .NET application. Is there anything within .NET that can encrypt and decrypt the fields?

A: There is a System.Security.Cryptography class within .Net that supports various forms of encryption. Also, SQL Server 2000 has a built-in Encrypt() function that can be used. In addition, you should consider encrypting the data crossing the wire from the browser to the server, that's where many security attacks occur.

What is System.DBNull.Value used for?

Q: What is System.DBNull.Value used for?

A: System.DBNull.Value is the value of NULL retrieved from a DB. Before assigning a database field to a variable, you should always check to see if the value returned from the DB is NOT null. Otherwise, an exception could be thrown.

If Not drPkgRec("MeetDate") Is System.DBNull.Value Then
Dim strMeetingPlace = drPkgRec("MeetPlace")
End If

Note: The Keyword "Is" is used, not "=".

Database Mirroring in SQL Server 2005

I came across an article on TechNet about Database Mirroring. This is an in-depth article that should cover all the details (i.e. what is it, how to use it, etc).

The identifier that starts with "SELECT * FROM ...." is too long. Maximum length is 128.

This morning as I was working on a project, I tested a SQL statement in Query Analyzer, but got the following error:

Server: Msg 103, Level 15, State 7, Line 1The identifier that starts with "SELECT * FROM ...." is too long. Maximum length is 128.

After searching on the internet, I found a solution at;EN-US;294839. Microsoft recommends installing SP1 to resolve this and it worked.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Discovery Kit

The SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Discovery Kit includes a series of discovery labs that go beyond learning about a particular component of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to understanding how to build a divisional portal site solution, how to deploy Web applications that integrate tightly with the portal site environment, how to use SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services to track and analyze portal site usage, and lastly, how to customize the portal site user interface.

There are 6 labs in the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Discovery Kit. The lab manuals includes a description of the business scenario that is addressed by the lab, the teaching objectives of the lab, step-by-step instructions, dependencies for each lab and the expected amount of time needed for the lab assuming a basic familiarity with Windows SharePoint Services and limited SharePoint Portal Server 2003 experience.

Questions from the August 2005 SIG Meeting

Listed below are the answers to some of the questions posed at the August SIG meeting about SharePoint 2003.

Q: For a web part that displays Outlook contacts in a SharePoint site, will it require Exchange?
A: If you use "My Inbox" and tweak it a bit to point to any mail folder in your Exchange mailbox. (e.g. In this case,
it does require Exchange. On the other hand, there are special list types called Contacts Lists built-in to SharePoint. These are not integrated directly with Outlook. The data sits in the SharePoint SQL database. However, there is an option to "Link to Outlook". This gives you a link to the SharePoint Contacts list from your Outlook client. You can also import contacts from Outlook into the SharePoint contact list. In both cases, Exchange is probably not required, but this has not been tested.

Q: How do you deploy an application from QA to production?
A: First, build a CAB file to contain assem…

Visual Studio .Net has detected that the specified web server is not running version 1.1, You will be unable to run ASP.Net Web Applications

Problem: If you start Visual Studio .Net 2003 and get the following error:

"Visual Studio .Net has detected that the specified web server is not running version 1.1, You will be unable to run ASP.Net Web Applications or services"

There are several ways to go about fixing this error.

From "C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322", run "aspnet_regiis.exe -r". The following messages will appear

Start replacing ASP.NET DLL in all Scriptmaps with current version (1.1.4322.0).
Finished replacing ASP.NET DLL in all Scriptmaps with current version (1.1.4322.0).

When execution has completed, you can start VS.Net and load a web application without any problems.

Passing variables to a web page in .Net

To pass a variable from one web page to another page, use Response.Redirect() method(Response.Redirect("newpage.aspx?variablex=newvalue")) to pass a variable to a newpage.aspx.

In the receiving page (newpage.aspx), use the Request.QueryString() function to extract the variable desired (Dim strPassed As String = Request.QueryString("variablex")). When executed, the value of strPassed will be "newvalue".

Authenticating web app users against Active Directory

I found a great article ( on that provides click-by-click instructions on how to authenticate users logging into a web application against Active Directory.

The article is complete and easy to understand, but misses to mention 2 crucial points. Within Login.aspx, you need to specify "Imports MyApp.FormsAuth". This will import the FormsAuthAD Namespace, otherwise declaring a variable of type "LDAPAuthentication" will result in a compile time error.

Also, if you cut & paste the code, be sure that any references to "FormsAuthAD" are changed to the name of your project. This will ensure you import the correct class from the correct assembly. Aside from these points, the article is nicely written and easy to understand.

Storing a time zone value in SQL Server's datetime field

Q: Is there a way to store the time zone value in a datetime field in SQL Server? I receive the value of ‘12/1/2005 12:31:23 -5:00’ and when I try to store it in SQL it fails. Do I need to format the date/time differently, or I am forced to create a separate time zone field?

A: SQL Server does not support storing a timezone in a datetime field. However, to overcome that issue, you can convert all date/time values to the UTC timezone so you have a standard timezone to work with. When displaying the data to the user, you would then convert the time to the client’s timezone.

In regards to storing the value ‘12/1/2005 12:31:23 -5:00’ into SQL Server, try using the format '2005-08-09 00:00:00.000'.


LibCheck.exe is a free utility from Microsoft that allows you to compare two versions of an assembly, and determine the differences. The tool reports the differences as a combination of 'removed' and 'added' APIs. This can be useful in resolving versioning issues and determining which libraries are needed for a particular application.

For more information or to download LibCheck, go to

Building a Smarter Home with .Net

I came across an interesting article on MSDN ( that turns an ordinary home into a smart home. Using an X10 device, one can turn on/off lights and devices remotely. In addition the X10 device can be interfaced with a PC and controlled using PERL script or .Net code. This also means you can control devices in your home through a VPN connection or a simple email. The MSDN article also contains a 15 mintue how-to video that shows the X10 in action.

To take it a step further and interface with .Net code, Tony Northrup wrote "Home Hacking Projects for Geeks" ( This book discusses coding .Net projects for home control. Links to sample chapters are available on the left margin of the page.

30 New SharePoint Applications

Microsoft has recently published 30 new SharePoint applications, available for download. This is a testament to how versatile SharePoint is and how well it applies to every business. All applications and templates are available for download at

This month's SIG meeting will be discussing SharePoint 2003 and it's many uses. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. It will be held at Cuyahoga Community College (Corporate College Campus - 25425 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, OH 44145) room 211.

Make your web site talk !

I came across the SitePal web site and thought it was very cool. Once you subscribe to the service, you can choose an animated character that would read your web site or portions of it to your users. This helps to hold the attention of users so you eventually get more increased traffic to your site.

The speech is very fluid and character movement is very realistic. Absolutely no programming knowledge is required to use SitePal. However, SitePal does interface with various programming languages for those who are technically inclined.

For more information, check out

What is Linked Server?

Linked Server is a feature in SQL Server that allows access to other databases, similar to accessing a SQL Server DB. As the name suggests it "links" to other servers, either other SQL Servers or other DBs on non-windows Servers (i.e. Oracle, DB2, etc.).

The easiest way to create a Linked Server is through Enterprise Manager.
In the left pane, expand the objects down to the desired server, where the Linked Server will be created.Expand Databases of the desired server and click on the "Security" FolderRight Click on "Linked Servers" and select "New Linked Server". Specify all the parameters for the server to be linked to.After a Linked Server has been created, it should be accessed using a four-part name syntax (see for more information.)

What is DPM?

DMP (Data Protection Manager) is a new Microsoft product to aid with data backup and restore operations. The latest beta version for the 2006 version was recently released to the public. To read more about DPM and download the beta, go to

Intel’s Early Access Program (EAP)

Intel’s Early Access Program (EAP) was designed to support independent software vendors (ISV’s). If you are not an ISV, the Intel Software Developer Network will be a good resource for you.

Listed below are the benefits of EAP.

The Early Access Program is Intel Developer Service's comprehensive web-based resource, helping developer’s take advantage of the processing power available from cutting-edge Intel processors. Some of the highlights include the use of a next generation development system, software optimization tools, training courses, technical support, business development, marketing and promotional activities. Please look over the website as it goes into greater detail about the opportunities, as well as the advantages of being in the program.

Costs associated with the Early Access Program: There is an annual membership fee of $500.00.

ISV’s can register for EAP by following these steps below:


Can SharePoint be used to authenticate users for a web app?

Q: I’m developing a web application for a client. I wanted to ask if it’s possible to integrate with SharePoint to authenticate users through the SharePoint site and then link to the web app with those credentials?

A: Yes, it's definitely possible. Usually SharePoint is setup with Integrated authentication in IIS. If your web app uses the same login/password to access the app, then these credentials can be "passed through" to the app from SharePoint. Just setup your app virtual directory to have integrated security.

Also, here are some things to consider:
1. Do you want the "application" to run within a SharePoint page? Maybe consider writing a .NET web part then.

2. Do you want the "application to run within the context of SharePoint (access to the SharePoint object model)? Then you have to put the app in a specific vdir location (_layouts folder) in order for it to work with SharePoint. This is documented in the SharePoint SDK.
3. Is the app running on t…

Virtual CD/DVD-ROM Emulator

Daemon Tools offers a virtual CD/DVD-ROM emulator that is able to emulate nearly all known copy protections on the market today. The product can be downloaded from

After installing the emulator, simply access the .ISO image of the CD/DVD, and you're done. This is especially useful when doing a remote software install. Although there are other similar products on the market, also free of charge, the advantages of Daemon tools are :

1. Small footprint on the HD
2. Easy to use
3. Less problematic than other products.

ComponentOne 10% Discount

ComponentOne is offering a special summer promotion for the C#/VB.Net SIG members. For those interested, a 10% discount is available off of any ComponentOne Development tools. The Promo code for this offer is "devten". This Promo is valid up until September 30, 2005. For more information, please feel free to e-mail Karen Dansak (

What is Vista?

"Vista" is the official name for Microsoft's new client operating system, formerly known as Longhorn. Currently Beta 1 is scheduled for release on August 3, 2005, with the production release due in 2006. Why the name change? Microsoft has not yet officially stated the reason for the name change. However, some think it's a marketing strategy that will allow Microsoft to distance itself from the "Longhorn" name and the delays associated with it.

Although not much has been said by the software maker, 2 links can be found on Microsoft's web site.

Visual Studio .NET IDE for Linux!

It's true...well sort of! A new product from Mainsoft allows applications to be built using Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net to run in the Linux environment. Listed below is the link with more information and a free 30-day evaluation download.

Debugging is not supported under current trust level settings.

If you're attempting to debug a web application/service and you encounter the following error:

Debugging is not supported under current trust level settings.

What can you do to resolve it? Simply increase the trust level by placing the following line (in XML format) in the web.config file of the application:

trust level="Full" originUrl=""

This line should be inserted inside the system.web tags. This will increase the trust level of the app and allow interactive debugging.

What is a Four-part name in SQL Server?

When accessing a linked server in SQL Server, a four-part name should be used. This naming convention requires the 4 fields (linkserver, catalog, schema, and table) to be specified in a hierarchal format, such as:


Please note the field names should be specified in UPPERCASE, especially when accessing a DB2 Database, otherwise the following error will occur:

Server: Msg 7314, Level 16, State 1, Line 1OLE DB provider 'LINKSERVER_NAME' does not contain table '"CATALOG_NAME"."SCHEMA_NAME"."TABLE_NAME"'. The table either does not exist or the current user does not have permissions on that table.OLE DB error trace [Non-interface error: OLE DB provider does not contain the table: ProviderName='LINKSERVER_NAME', TableName='"CATALOG_NAME"."SCHEMA_NAME"."TABLE_NAME"'].

Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts

[SHIFT ]+ [ALT] + [ENTER] = Toggle Full Screen Mode; I'm sure this works in all versions, but I haven't tested it, as I'm running the 1.1 framework. I'm told it also continues to work in Whidbey.

[CTRL]+[i] = Incremental Search. I've stopped using [CTRL]+[F] to find. Incremental search works without a dialog box, and searches as you type. So you're in a class, and you want to find the word public.

[CTRL]+[i] puts you into Incremental Search Mode, now just start typing. When you've found what you're looking for press [ESC] to get out of incremental search mode. Remember the famous [F3] is find again, and works with this incremental search also.

[CTRL] + [-] = Move cursor back to it's last position. This works great when working with large pages. I commonly will [CTRL]+[Home] to enter a Using statement, then [CTRL]+[-] brings me rights back to my previous edit point.

[CTRL] + [}] = Toggle to Open/Close { }. This is great. If you're working with nested…

Official Microsoft Release Dates

It's official, Monday, November 7, 2005 is the day when the much talked about Whidbey and Yukon will become production versions and available for sale.,10801,102962,00.html?source=NLT_PM&nid=102962

Future of VB.Net

For some reason VB.Net seems to be surrounded by many myths. The latest rumor is that its days are numbered and will soon be gone after VS.Net 2.0 is released. Nothing could be further from the truth! For years Microsoft has been supporting VB as a RAD (Rapid Application Development) Tool, and this is still true.

My experience from attending Microsoft training seminars and talking to other professionals in the field is that VB is here to stay and will not be replaced by C#. The only speculations I have heard were on blogs, but nothing official from Microsoft. Besides, both C# and VB.Net are very similar in most aspects with very few differences. In Whidbey, these differences are even less. It is true that more companies are looking for C# experience over VB by 60/40 margin. This is not to say that VB is dying. To further make my case, I went straight to the source for confirmation. Listed below is an email from Rick Brewis, a Microsoft employee, and previous speaker at the last SIG …

TechEd 2005

For those that missed TechEd 2005, here's the next best thing to being there ( You can select the specific track and speaker, then just back and watch. PowerPoint files are also available for download free of charge.

.Net Events for June 2005

June 9: Ohio North SQL Server SIG: Yukon Install-Fest, contact for infoJune 14: MSDN Event in Akron, OH ( 16: SQL Server SIG: "SQL Server 2005 from a Developer's standpoint", 28: C#/VB.Net SIG: Yukon Beta 3 Reporting Services (http://www.ClevelandDotNet.Info).

File Extensions

For a comprehensive list of file extensions and their representation, visit The site contains more extensions then you shake a mouse at!

Upcoming .Net Events

Listed below are a few upcoming .Net events in Cleveland:

May 12: MSDN Event ( 17: Microsoft SQL Server Summit ( 19: SQL Server SIG (using XML in SQL Server; )

Detecting Shockwave Files

Q: I'm deploying a .net application to a variety of users and want to detect if a PC already has Shockwave installed on it or not?

A: Search for the file "Shockwave Flash Object" in "C:\windows\Downloaded Program Files" (Windows XP) or "C:\winnt\Downloaded Program Files" (Windows 2000.)

Hello ClevelandDotNet'ers

Hello ClevelandDotNet'ers,

Welcome to the ClevelandDotNet Blog! Feel free to post your questions and comments regarding the C#/VB.Net SIG (Special Interest Group).

Sam Nasr