Irregular expressions regularly

November 2004 - Posts

Best Practices Analyzer Tool for Microsoft SQL Server 2000

Not terribly sure why I only just came across this:

Microsoft SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer is a database management tool that lets you verify the implementation of common Best Practices. These best practices typically relate to the usage and administration aspects of SQL Server databases and ensure that your SQL Servers are managed and operated well.

Posted: Nov 22 2004, 06:07 AM by digory | with no comments
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Restricted access to Hotmail

Today when I attempted to connect to my Hotmail account through Outlook and Outlook Express I received the following exception message:

    Task 'Hotmail: Folder:Inbox Synchronizing headers.' reported error (0x800CCCF6) :
    'The server responded 'Payment Required'. '

A wee bit of Googl'ing led me to this post:

Interesting to see it determined that WebDav poses a security risk unless you pay the $19 annually! 

Posted: Nov 22 2004, 04:58 AM by digory | with 2 comment(s)
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WebMessenger enhancements

I noticed some nice useability improvements in webmessenger today, at first glance I noticed:

  • New look-n-feel graphics
  • Better authentication integration with Hotmail
  • Ability to start webmessenger in a pre-determined mode

It's still missing the ability to maintain your messenger icon.

One thing that I did discover this week was that you can change your messenger display name in the web client by clicking on your name to make it become editable.

Go take a look....

Posted: Nov 19 2004, 12:45 PM by digory | with no comments
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Your company has moved Mt Fuji eh? Tell me something interesting about that.

I've been meaning to blog some thoughts about how to manage the interview process from the point-of-view of the employee.  I think that it's an important topic because, when I've read other people's writings about it in the past I think that they tackle it from all the wrong angles.  I think that too many people will tell you how to play up to an interviewer but not how to extract useful information from them.

Adjacent to this topic is a todays musings on the "JobsBlog" about the "How Would You Move Mount Fuji?" book.  Worth a read.

Posted: Nov 19 2004, 10:01 AM by digory | with no comments
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Canberra User Group meeting tonight

On the topic of User Groups, I just noticed that my future "home" User Group are meeting tonight:

This should be an excellent chance to learn more about DNN as a ready-to-go portal and should also be useful ahead of a potential User Group move to a central portal next year.

It seems that the Canberra guys are very organized and post resources from meetings on their site so, if, like me you are unable to make it you can check back later to view the slide deck!

Evangelism Rhythms, "know the score"

Yesterday Dave Glover - from the Microsoft Developer Platform Group - gave a special lunchtime presentation in Adelaide titled: "What is new in VS 2005 and ASP.NET". This presentation will serve as a forerunner to the Whidbey "ASCEND" day in January.

Dave is a slick presenter who really knows - and loves - his stuff.  It seems that we might have Dave available to do more of these lunchtime sessions which is great.

This session was a grab-bag of details which did a nice job of filling in some of the details from Dave's last, high-level, talk here in early October. 

This talk covered off on 3 topics: ClickOnce, Team Services and Whidbey ASP.NET.

The ClickOnce demo was a quick 5 minute demo showing how simple it is to configure and publish a project using ClickOnce.

In VSTS we saw some of the awesome new modelling tools which we'll soon have at our disposal.  Dave spent a good 30 minutes on this and was able to show us how to model the Application and Application Hosting layers using the designers.  This included 3 demo's:

  • Creating a Distributed System project
  • Creating a Data Centre project
  • Define the Trial Deployment of a system and validate constraints.

Lastly, we took a look at the new features in ASP.NET from the perspective of: new controls, changes at the Page Framework layer and Services and API changes.  Dave wound this part of the session up with a partially successful demo.  I say "partially" because that was about the time that his Virtual Server decided that it had no longer wanted to host beta software :).

The whole thing took a shade under 90 minutes and held the attention of the 30 strong crowd the whole way through.  In fact, it was great to be able to witness - audibly - several "aha" moments from within the crowd as Dave showed this stuff off.  A feature point was that many of the crowd were different to the 40+ people that we get regularly attending our monthly .NET User Group meeting at nights.

By the way Dave, I loved the new look and feel you have for your slide deck; a lively mixture of Yellow and Orange colours with the words "Evangelism Rhythms 'know the score'" written into a footer bar.

Member boards at UserGroup meetings; photo's, stories, etc.

One of the major problems that I find at User Group meetings is that it can be difficult to meet new people.  An example of this is that, prior to our last User Group meeting I had some e-mail correspondence with a fellow developer who was planning on attending; we both agreed that we should meet up at the meeting.  Once you are at the meeting though, it becomes very difficult to shout-out for the person with whom you wish to meet.  I noticed that sentiment is kind of echoed in this blog entry:

I think that User Groups should have a board where members are able to upload details about themselves such as: bio's, photo's, work experiences, etc.

This would be an ideal tool to help connect members and also for new members to view when they are joining groups.

One book; One CD

I'll have some time in the coming months to fill in some of my weaker areas in .NET. Remoting, WSE and Compact Framework are the 3 that could use with a refresher. Of course, whenever you are about to "go dark" you must take some good tunes with you so... I finally got around to purchasing a couple of things that I've been after for a while today :-)

Posted: Nov 12 2004, 01:08 PM by digory | with no comments
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One of my new vows...

I've steered away from Visio - apart from designing databases - in the past because I've not had the time to work out how to create something of use with it.  Last week I ordered a Visio book because I've decided that I need to find new ways of communicating plans and ideas with other team members.

This week I stumbled upon what seems to be a blog which could become a rich source of knowledge - and pointers to knowledge - about Visio -

[ Nothing Playing. ]

COM+ registration and permission errors

If you are using EnterpriseServices (COM+) from a web application you need to make sure that you manually register your components with COM+ when deploying your app. 

If you don't register your services with COM+ then, when you run your application for the first time and attempt to run code which uses EnterpriseServices, the asp worker process will attempt to auto-register your COM+ application.  This registration requires administration privellages - which, obviously you wouldn't want your asp process to have.  In this instance, asp will throw an exception stating that the Class "X" cannot be found as a COM+ application and you will see the following message displayed:

Server Error in '/ComPlusTests' Application.

Access to the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ComPlusLibraries.Worlds is denied.

The answer is to use Regsvcs.exe to register your component.  There's an excellent article which describes the entire this stuff in amazing detail titled: Understanding Enterprise Services (COM+) in .NET

Here is an excerpt from that article which describes what goes on under the hood when you run Regsvcs:

Conceptually, RegistrationHelper performs the following steps:

  • Uses RegistrationServices.RegisterAssembly to register the assembly in the registry. Therefore, classes appear in the registry as COM components written in managed code and have the InprocServer32 key pointing to mscoree.dll. If a managed class does not implement any interfaces, the class's public methods do not appear in the COM+ catalog, unless the ClassInterfaceAttribute is used. This means that service configuration associated with the method level cannot be stored in the catalog. However, some COM+ services can be configured at the method level and require the component to expose an interface as viewed in the COM+ catalog. For example, COM+ role-based security on the method level requires a component to implement an interface in order to configure the service. More is discussed about this issue in the security section.
  • Generates a COM type library from the assembly using TypeLibConverter. ConvertAssemblyToTypeLib.
  • Registers the type library. So far, this is very much the same as RegAsm.exe /tlb.
  • Finds or creates a COM+ application. The name is extracted from the ApplicationName attribute, the assembly name or the supplied application name/GUID.
  • Uses the type library to configure the COM+ application using the COM+ admin APIs.
  • Goes through all the custom attributes and uses IConfigurationAttribute to write configuration data for the particular service to the COM+ catalog.
Posted: Nov 10 2004, 02:36 PM by digory | with no comments
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