Showing posts from 2007

Silverlight Christmas Cards

Keeping in the spirit of the Holiday, here are some Christmas wishes with a silverlight twist.

Online Spotlight, Norway
Happy Holidays from ObjectSharp
FranksWorld Special Presentation

If you have any cool Silverlight Christmas greetings, please email them to

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

.Net Framework 3.5 Source Code to be released soon

Now that VS2008 is released, one of its accompanying features is the ability to debug and step-into the actual source code used in .Net Framework 3.5. They will begin by offering the source code for the following Base Class Libraries

System.Web (ASP.Net)
System.Windows.Forms (Windows Forms)
System.Data (ADO.NET)
System.Xml (XML)
System.Windows (WPF)

The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL). The final release of VS 2008 will support the ability to configure the debugger to dynamically download the .NET Framework debugger symbols (and corresponding source code) from a web server hosted by Microsoft. You'll be able to configure the .NET Framework symbols to be downloaded all in one shot, or manually retrieved on demand. Although this capability is not yet available, it soon will be. Microsoft developers have had some issues wit…

MCTS Study Resources

The MOSS MCTS track consists of 4 exams, each providing a level of certification:
Exam 70-630: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – ConfigurationExam 70-631: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – ConfigurationExam 70-541: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Application DevelopmentExam 70-542: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 ― Application DevelopmentMore information on Microsoft MCTS exams can be found at For those wishing to pursue any of the abover certifcations, listed below are a few resources to help achieve your goal.

Transcender Practice Exams - Transcender has long been a reputable source for providing accurate exams in Microsoft certification. The tradition continues as they offer practice exams for 70-630 and 70-631 (released earlier today). With each question, it offers an explanation of why that choice is correct and why the others are wrong. It also offers references to help expand your knowledge in that area. T…

December .Net Events

Listed below is a summary of the .Net events scheduled for this month. Attend a few and increase your .Net knowledge!

Dec 11th:
ONSQL User Group Meeting - This will be a "No content" meeting intended to celebrate the holiday season via high tech entertainment.

Dec 13th:
TechNet Event - Windows Deployment Services, VoIPMSDN Event - VS2008, Web Based Data Services, Silverlight.Net User Group Meeting - This will be a "No content" meeting intended to celebrate the holiday season via high tech entertainment
Dec 18th:
C#/VB.Net User Group Meeting - "Visual Studio 2008" by Mark Harr, MCSD

Adding a user to a MOSS Site

Adding a user to a MOSS Site
Before a user can be added in a SharePoint site, he/she must first exist in a directory service (i.e. Active Directory, Local server user). If not, that user cannot be given access to a SharePoint site.
From the main page, click “Site Actions”
Click “Site Settings”
Click “People and Groups”

Click “New”
Click “Add User”. This will navigate you to the following page.

All users entered must be validated against the directory service (i.e. Active Directory, Local Server), as indicated by the “Check Names” and “Browse” icons located below the “Users/Groups” entry box. At this point, you can either enter a known user name and validate them by clicking the “Check Names” icon, or clicking the “Browse” icon to search for the desired user. Clicking the “Browse” icon will produce the following pop-up window.

After the correct user is selected, select the desired persmissions and click “OK”. The new user can now login into the SharePoint site.

To view all permissions assigned…

Free Second Shot

Microsoft is offering a free Second Shot on certification exams through Prometric. To register for a free second shot, go to After registering, you will receive an e-mail with a link providing a voucher #. Please note this link will produce a unique voucher # every time it's clicked. This offer is valid through January 30, 2008.

Wi-Fi T-Shirt

I normally wouldn't blog anything about T-Shirts, but this is just over the top that it leaves me speechless. Thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding Wi-Fi signal strength fluctuates.

For more info or to order, go to

Cool Articles

Listed below are a few articles that I thought were very interesting, courtesy of CodeProject.

Windows Presentation Foundation
A Simple WPF Explorer Tree - Sacha Barber
A Simple WPF Explorer TreeC# (C# 3.0); Windows (WinXP, Vista), .NET (.NET 3.0); Win32, VS (VS2005, VS2008), WPF; Dev

C# Database
SQL Server Network Instance Detector - Syed Mujtaba Hassan
A simple, ready-to-use control for C# beginners to detect all SQL Server instances in a network and then list all the databases hosted on the selected serverC#; Windows, .NET (.NET 2.0); Win32, VS, ADO; DB, Dev

Silverlight Alien Sokoban - Daniel Vaughan
A fun Silverlight implementation of the game Sokoban. Contrasting Silverlight 1.1 and WPF, while showcasing some new features of C# 3.0, Expression Design, Expression Blend, and Visual Studio 2008.C# (C# 3.0); Windows, .NET (.NET 3.5); ASP.NET, Win32, VS (VS2008), XAML, WebForms; Dev, Design

C# Programming
Simple Vector Shapes - acontoli
A 2D vector shapes and RTFcontrol editorC# (C# 2…

Microsoft Search Server 2008 Software Development Kit (SDK)

Yesterday, I made a blog entry on Microsoft's recent release of Search Server 2008. To go along with that release, an SDK is also available. The Microsoft Search Server 2008 Software Development Kit (SDK) includes documentation for Microsoft Search Server 2008. Its object models are based on the Enterprise Search object model in Office SharePoint Server 2007 with some additional members in the search-related namespaces for federated search.

To read more about the SDK or download it, go to

Search Server 2008

Microsoft recently released a product called "Search Server 2008". The list of features include:

Search Center
No Pre-Set Document Limits
Extensible Search Experience
Relevance Tuning
Continuous Propagation Indexing
Federated Search Connectors
Indexing Connectors
Security-Trimmed Results
Unified Administration Dashboard
Query and Results Reporting
Streamlined Installation
High Availability and Load Balancing

This list of features represents features included with the Enterprise Client Access License version of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Some features will shortly be released as part of an Enterprise Search feature pack. Essentially, Search Server 2008 uses the same search engine used in SharePoint 2007. However, with SharePoint 2007 you also get the following features:
People and Expertise Searching
Business Data Catalog
SharePoint Productivity InfrastructureThe Express version and a trial version of the Enterprise version are available as free downloads from http://www.mic…

Microsoft Presence Sample for Smart Client Applications

Microsoft recently released an updated version of it's presence controls. It includes two managed code user controls to display presence status and provide real-time collaboration options in .NET applications.

One control presents an interactive presence icon next to a control on a form that contains a name. The second control is derived from a ListView control to display the presence status icon next to names in a list. Both controls provide tooltips, a context menu, and events for contact status changes.

To download samples of the presence controls, go to

November .Net Events

Listed below is a summary of the .Net events scheduled for this month. Attend a few and increase your .Net knowledge!

Nov 8th: SQL User Group Meeting

Nov 13th: .Net User Group Meeting

Nov 27th: C#/VB.Net User Group Meeting - "Configuring MOSS 2007"

Brulant Games & Brains Event

You're invited for our Brulant Game Night & Information Session, a chance for us to meet you (or get to know you better!), and for you to learn a little more about Brulant, all while enjoying the latest video games, free food and shooting hoops! Games will include:
- Playstation 3: "The Bigs"
- Nintendo Wii: WiiSports- Indoor Basketball Chess, Foose Ball, Cornhole and...
- Xbox 360: Halo 3, released just two days before the event!

Topics will include a variety of presenters from Brulant experts in Microsoft and Java. Food and Drinks will be provided, and all attendees will be entered to WIN AN XBOX360 and copy of HALO3!!

When: Thursday, September 27, 5:30-8:30PM

Where: Brulant HQ, 3700 Park East Drive, Suite 300, Beachwood, OH 44122

Cost: Free, just bring your "A" game! Look forward to seeing you there!

To sign-up, click REGISTER

Using VB Script to display part of an IP address

Q: How can I use VB Script to display the first 3 octets in a TCP/IP address?

A: Since IP addresses are not fixed length, you will have to count the number of separators before you can extract the octets. With that said, listed below is the sample VB Script code.

strIP = inputbox("Enter an IP Address for testing to extract the first 3 Octets:")

intLastDecimal = 1

For intCounter = 1 to 3
intLastDecimal = InStr(intLastDecimal, strIP, ".") + 1

iNewLength = intLastDecimal-2
strNewIP = Left(strIP, iNewLength )
MsgBox "strNewIP=" & strNewIP

To run this code, simply copy and paste it into a flat file and name it with a .VBS extension.

For more resources on VB Scripting, please visit the following links:

Silverlight 1.0 Released

Yesterday Microsoft announced the release of Silverlight 1.0, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in to help you deliver the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. In addition, Microsoft will work with Novell Inc. to deliver Silverlight support for Linux, called Moonlight, and based on the project started on

Silverlight essentially creates JavaScript that is stored on the server but executed entirely on the client. To help expedite this process, Microsoft Expressions can be used to create the graphics and animation. Although SilverLight version 1.0 does not include .Net APIs, version 1.1 is expected to have it.

To learn more about Silverlight, check out the following links:

XML Schema Designer

Microsoft recently released XML Schema Designer Community Technology Preview (CTP). This is the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the XML Schema Designer. It is a graphical tool for working with XML Schemas. This CTP introduces XML Schema Explorer - a tool that helps you navigate, search and work with schema sets. XML Schema Explorer will automatically come up when you open or create an xsd file in Visual Studio. It is docked with the Solution Explorer tool.

To download v1(beta) of this new tool, go to

SharePoint Server 2007 SDK Released

Recently Microsoft released the SharePoint Server 2007 SDK. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SDK contains conceptual overviews, “How Do I…?” programming tasks, developer tools, code samples, references, and an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) starter kit to guide you in developing solutions based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. To learn more about this, or to download the SDK, go to

Description of the "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet"

If you ever accessed the help features in Word and came across the phrase "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" and wondered what it meant, you've come to the right place.

Although the phrase is nonsense, it does have a long history. The phrase has been used for several centuries by typographers to show the most distinctive features of their fonts. It is used because the letters involved and the letter spacing in those combinations reveal, at their best, the weight, design, and other important features of the typeface. A 1994 issue of "Before & After" magazine traces "Lorem ipsum ..." to a jumbled Latin version of a passage from de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, a treatise on the theory of ethics written by Cicero in 45 B.C. The passage "Lorem ipsum ..." is taken from text that reads, "Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit ...," which translates as, "There is no one who loves pain i…

Using Word 2007 Templates

Q: How do I use templates in Word 2007?

A: Using Templates in Office 2007 is one of the easiest tasks you will ever use. Basically a template document contains all the specifications for font, color, and the overall appearance of the document. To create and use a template, simply follow the procedure below.

Creating a Word Template
1. Open Microsoft Word 2007. By default, Word will open a blank document (.docx).
2. Modify the document so it contains all the cosmetic elements you want to appear in all future documents that will use this template.
3. Click the Office button (located in the upper left corner of the Window) and select “Save As”. After specifying the “File name”, change the “Save as type” to “Word Template (*.dotx)”.

Using a Word Template
1. When you need to create a document that reflects all the elements created in the template, simply open the template.
2. The next time you click “Save”, Word 2007 will automatically save the changes to a new document (.docx), leaving the templa…

Setting Trusted Locations in MOSS 2007

Listed below are click-by-click instructions for creating a document library, making it a trusted location, and using it to display an Excel 2007 spreadsheet via Excel 2007 web part.

Create Document Library (with Excel as the default type)
1. Open the Home page to your site collection (i.e. http://moss101/Pages/Default.aspx)
2. Click “View All Site Content”
3. Click "Create"
4. Click "Document Library"
5. Specify all the settings for the library, using Excel 2003 as the default type. For the sake of this example, the document library will be called “Warehouse Documents”.
6. A document library called "Warehouse Documents" is now created, accessible at http://moss101/Warehouse%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx

Make it a trusted location
1. Click "Central Administration"
2. Click "Shared Services Administration"
3. Click the Shared Service (i.e. "SharedServices1(Default)" )
4. Click "open Shared Service Administration"
5. Click "…

SQL Server 2000 End-of-Life Support

For those with projects utilizing SQL Server 2000, Microsoft issued End of Life dates for support.Mainstream Support End of Life - April 8, 2008Extended Support End of Life - April 9, 2013
End of "free" support
Hot fixes (non-security related) will require an extended hot fix support agreement to be purchased
Microsoft will not support warranty support, new features, or design changes
Security updates will continue to be provided

Microsoft Support Lifecycle:
MS SQL 2000 Lifecycle:

With the retirement of SQL Server 2000 around the corner, this brings up an interesting question for MCAD/MCSD candidates: Will this impact certification Exam 70–229: Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition? When will the exam be retired?

Given Microsoft is still promoting the MCDBA certification on their site, I'm guessing 70-229 is safe f…

Classic UI Tabs for Office 2007

Office 2007 presented users with a new easy to UI, utilizing the new ribbon interface. However, not all users are comfortable with the new UI. A new ribbon customizer tool is available for Office 2007 providing a similar look and feel as previous versions of Office. To preview the ribbon customizer, go to A trial download version is also available.

Debugging Stored Procedure in Visual Studio 2005

This is an interesting article on debugging stored procedures, showing click-by-click directions. To view the full article, click here. In addition, another link was posted on this blog previously at

Working with double quotes (") in VB.Net

String manipulation in VB2005 is fairly simple. However, things can get a little tricky with the double quote character. How do you look for it in a string? How can you insert into a string? How do you remove it from a string? These are questions that may lead to confusion if you don't know what you're looking for.

Ironically enough, in VB the double quote can also be used as an escape character when searching for it in a string. For example:

Dim strTest As String
strTest = """123""" 'Displays "123" (double quotes appear in the final result)
strTest = """""123""" 'Displays ""123" (double quotes appear in the final result)
strTest = "test\""test" 'Displays test\"test
strTest = "test""test" 'Displays test"test

In cases where you want to insert a double quote character, simply reference it unicode character designation, chr(34).…

Follow-up questions

Listed below are some questions and answers from the last user group meeting.

Q: I have alot of VBA experience and would like to learn VB.Net. What resources are available that can help with this?
A: There are several sites available online to assist with this. For starters, check out the following links:

Q: I created an application as a web site. Is there difference in deploying it between a web site application and a web
project application? Is there any way to deploy it as a web site application?
A: ASP.Net 2.0 "web sites" are different from the "web projects" you worked with in VS2003. Deploying a web site in VS2005
requires a different procedure (see for more information). If you want to build
and deploy web applications in VS2005 the same way you did in VS2003, yo…

DotNetNuke Follow-up Questions

Listed below are follow-up questions from our last user group meeting on DotNetNuke.

Q: What are the System Requirements for DNN?
A: Win2003 server, IIS, ASP.Net 2.0

Q: Does DNN install as a "web-site" or does it take over IIS?
A: DNN installs as a simple web site application. Installation in simple, and by Default it installs with SQL Server Express.

Q: Can DNN sites be crawled by internet search engines?
A: DNN sites can be crawled. The menu actually checks the HTTP user agent string to see if a spider is hitting the site and presents an alternative menu to make it easier for the spider to crawl the site.

Q: Is everything stored in the DB, much like SharePoint?
A: Most items are in the DB, much like SharePoint. Some organizations do DB migrations to move all content. There are some .JPG files or other resource files that are not stored in the DB directly. For the most part, everything is stored in the DB.

Q: Can SharePoint or ASP.Net 2.0 web parts be incorporated into DNN wit…

Password Resilience

In January I blogged an entry on creating strong passwords ( As a follow-up, I found some data to help justify the need for a strong password. Listed below is a chart (courtesy of LastBit Corp) that details how well a password can withstand a "crack attack" from a hacker.

Web Services Resources

As a follow-up to our last user group meeting, listed below are some resources that can be used for creating and debugging web services.

This utility allows you to inspect all HTTP Traffic, set breakpoints, and "fiddle" with incoming or outgoing data. To learn more about Fiddler or to download it, go to

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar Beta 3
The Microsoft Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar provides a variety of tools for quickly creating, understanding, and troubleshooting Web pages. This version is a preview release and behavior may change in the final release. To download the IE toolbar, go to

XML Developer Center
The Microsoft XML Developer Center offers resources on editing, validating, and using XML data. This includes utilities, articles, and blogs. To visit the Developer Center, go to http://msdn.micros…

Resolvoing the error "The file could not be uploaded into the Web Forms designer."

Q: I received the following error ("The file could not be uploaded into the Web Forms designer.") when I opened a VS project, but I don't remember making any changes to the form design or the HTML?

A: Try to compile the project and see if there's an error in the code behind file (i.e. .CS or .VB file). If there are errors resolve them, and you should be able to view the file.

Zune Giveaway

During our March meeting, we will have a drawing for a Zune, courtesy of Microsoft. To enter the drawing, simply attend the C#/VB.Net user group meetings. For each meeting you attend between now and the end of March, you will be entered into the drawing. In addition, your name will be entered into the drawing an additional time for each new person you bring to the meeting. To find out more about upcoming meetings, go to

February .Net Events

Listed below is a summary of the .Net events scheduled for this month. Attend a few and increase your .Net knowledge!

Feb 8th: SQL User Group - "Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals"

Feb 13th: .Net User Group - "Building ASP.NET AJAX Enabled Websites"

Feb 20th: Presentation - "Mobilize Your Business: Using Microsoft Solutions to Keep Your Business on the Move"

Feb 27th: C#/VB.Net User Group - "XML Web Services"

You’re invited to attend a Berbee and Microsoft Seminar on Mobile Solutions

Mobilize Your Business: Using Microsoft Solutions to Keep Your Business on the Move

You’re invited to attend a Berbee and Microsoft Seminar
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Berbee is pleased to invite you to the special event "Mobilize Your Business: Using Microsoft Mobile Solutions to Keep Your Business on the Move." Attend this two-hour session and discover how Microsoft® supported mobile solutions can make your mobile workforce more productive.Advanced Technology in Action to Solve Today’s Business ProblemsDoes your team need to stay in the know while on the go? Mobile solutions can help your people get to work without being at work. Through business scenarios, case studies, and product demos, this event will show how Microsoft technologies can help your business to:* Enable productivity away from the office* Provide on-the-go access to corporate data* Respond more quickly to customers, partners, and colleaguesAttend This Unique Event for a First-Hand View Don’t miss …

Strong Password

Listed below are the requirments for making a password strong and more difficult to comprimise.

8 characters minimum
No repeating characters
Embedded numbers and special characters
Avoid common dictionary words
Avoid using login name within the password
Force users to change passwords every 3-6 months
Old passwords should be avoided when changing a current password
Users should be repeatedly warned never to share passwords with anyone, including System Administrators.

Users can check their own password at This is a non-recording web site used to simply check the strength of a password and it’s resilience for being compromised.

For more information on strong passwords, go to

January .Net Events

Listed below is a summary of the .Net events scheduled for this month. Attend a few and increase your .Net knowledge!

Jan 9: Windows Workflow Foundation

Jan 11: Reporting Services – Level 300

Jan 23: Microsoft Launch Event (office 2007/Vista)

Jan 23: Multi-tier Application Development

Microsoft Exam Insurance

Microsoft is now offering Exam Insurance for certification tests. For $175, a candidate can purchase an exam with insurance. This allows for either a free re-take if the candidate fails, or 25% off the next exam if the candidate passes. In addition, when you purchase Exam Insurance and take your initial exam by January 31, 2007, you get a one-year subscription to Microsoft TechNet Plus Direct (US$349 value). Please note you must register and take your first exam by January 31.

This is considered a very reasonable deal, considering certification exams are $125 each. Exam insurance can be purchased from local Microsoft certified testing centers. To find a local center, go to To learn more about Exam Insurance, go to