Archives / 2006 / March
  • Caching Birds of a Feather at TechEd -- VOTE FOR ME PLEASE

    I'm trying to organize a Birds of a Feather session on one of my favorite topics, Caching, at Tech Ed 2006 in Boston.  Whether you're going to TechEd or not you can vote for BOF sessions here: If you're so inclined, I'd appreciate any votes I can get for my session: Caching Patterns and Best Practices Come share your experience with using Caching in Microsoft applications. Experts, be prepared to answer questions and talk about pitfalls you've encountered. Others, come with questions and learn how to improve your application performance through the proper use of caching techniques.Intended Audience: DeveloperSubmitted By: Steven Smith, ASP … more

  • Get Date From DateTime In SQL

    Something I need to do from time to time is get just the date part of a datetime value in SQL.  I found a cool way to do it on SQLJunkies today. select convert(varchar,DateColumn,101) The 101 means “mm/dd/yyyy” format, but there are a bunch of other codes you can use.  108 will return just the time “hh:mm:ss” for instance. Update: 101 includes 4 digit year 'yyyy'.  A code of 1 would apparently be "mm/dd/yy", according to user comments.  Thanks! more

  • Mini Microsoft Blog

    Just found the Mini-Microsoft blog – definitely a good read.  I’ll be back. more

  • Speaking in Greenville Spartanburg on Caching Best Practices

    Tomorrow I'm going to give a presentation on Caching Best Practices in ASP.NET 2.0 at the Greenville Spartanburg Enterprise Developer Guild.  If you're in the area, please come by.  I'll put the slides and samples up on the ASPAlliance Resource Directory's Presentations File Gallery after the presentation. Update: Slides and demos available now. more

  • Microsoft Atlas Update Released

    This week Microsoft has updated the latest version of Microsoft Atlas.  You can download the March CTP from  You'll find step-by-step installation instructions, documentation, and sample applications here.  And of course if you do build something cool, don't forget to enter it in the Mash It Up With Atlas Contest. I've heard it rumored there's a Go Live license with this version but I'm not seeing any reference to that on the website -- perhaps it's in the installer.  I'll update this post once I confirm. Update: Confirmed by Nikhil.  Atlas M2 = Atlas March CTP.  And yes, you can use it in live sites. more

  • Microsoft Atlas Contest

    I only mentioned the Made In Express Contest a few minutes ago and now I see there is a contest for Microsoft Atlas, their new AJAX / Web 2.0 framework. You have a chance to win an XBOX 360 premium and Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphones! What is it? This contest is all about creating awesome Mash-up applications using “Atlas” technology. Nothing fancy about it. Download “Atlas” and build a rockin’ cool mash-up application. Be creative. Think outside the box. Do something amazing. This is your chance to get recognize by the ASP.NET team here at Microsoft, to show-off to your peers, to be recognized for excellence..  Oh yea, and win some cool prizes too! Learn more at the Mash It Up With … more

  • Team Hanselman Diabetes Walk

    Scott Hanselman is one of my heroes.  His .NET knowledge is tremendous and he's just a really good guy.  He has diabetes, on May 6th he's going to be walking to fight diabetes with Team Hanselman.  The goal is to raise $10,000 for the cause.  If you want to learn more, or learn how you might help, see Scott's post: Team Hanselman and Diabetes Walk 2006 more

  • Made In Express Contest

    Want $10,000?  Microsoft is hosting a contest to promote its Express product set.  Sign up at You can also download flair to put on your blog if you're interested: more

  • Visual Studio 2005 ASP.NET Web Deployment Projects

    ASP.NET now supports something called Web Deployment Projects, which are an add-in for Visual Studio 2005 that is currently still in beta.  You can download the installer from here: I recently took them for a spin with a site of mine.  The key benefit I was after was the ability to swap out web.config sections as part of the deployment process.  This would let me automatically deploy my production web.config with its production database connection strings, etc. without having to manually swap out the file or remember not to copy the web.config file.  Basically, I want to have a single config file and have the … more

  • Does Microsoft Buy In To .NET?

    Every now and then some high profile personality, perhaps one who once had close ties to Microsoft, about how .NET is really a total failure.  How it's clear that it isn't going anywhere.  That, as proof of these assertions, Microsoft cannot even manage to use it for its own products, so why should we?  Personally I think these kinds of articles are rather easy to debunk, and show that their author is either ignorant of the facts (which is unlikely) or has a personal agenda that is coloring his or her opinion (which is pretty much a given - yes, I have one too). Here is some information I have gathered on approximate numbers of managed code in a few Microsoft products.  … more

  • Annoying Visual Studio Add Existing Project Behavior Solved

    Using Visual Studio 2005, I set up a new solution the other day with a bunch of projects.  The folder structure looks something like this: /Solution/Solution/Project1/Solution/Project2/Solution/Project3 However, one of the projects was originally in another folder under My Documents/Other Projects/Project4 let's say.  I don't recall if I originally added it from this location and then removed it, moved it, and re-added it, or if I simply added it from /Solution/Project4 to begin with, but every time I would exit and resume Visual Studio 2005, it would using the old location for the project (e.g. My Documents/Other Projects/Project4/Project4.csproj). I tried everything to get this … more

  • Continuous Integration Using Team System

    I'd like to get continuous integration (CI) working for my TFS server here at the office as my next step.  A little googling led to Khushboo's post on doing just this with the RC bits that I'm using at the moment.  The instructions were pretty simple to follow and with minimal headache (aside from the need to install VS on the build box in order to run tests, a stupid requirement but one I already knew about) I got things working. My next goal is to create some kind of visual status board that shows the current state of the build.  Knut Hamang has a nice implementation using an LCD-TV that would pretty well suit my needs.  I've also seen the ambient orb and lava lamp … more

  • KBAlertz TextPayMe Promotion for Charity

    KBAlertz is giving away XBox 360s to two Arizona Children's centers and could use your help.  Basically if you sign up for a TextPayMe account through their promotion page, you'll get $5 and they'll get 1/36 of an XBox 360.  The promotion ends March 18th. KBAlertz XBox Giveaway Page more

  • Team System Delete Project

    If you need to delete a Team System Project you need to do it through a command line utility that is installed with Team Explorer.  In my case, I created a test project but wanted to also test project deletion.  There is no way to delete a project from Team System except through the command line tool, TFSDeleteProject.exe.  This utility is in the c:\program files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\ folder by default.  To delete a project, use the following syntax: TFSDeleteProject /server:ServerName ProjectName Optionally, you can use /force to force the removal even if some pieces are locked, but this is not recommended except as a last resort since any locked … more

  • VSTS TFS Install Notes

    As I wrote yesterday, I've just gone through my first real install of VSTS Team Foundation Server.  For the most part it went without a hitch.  A big part of that was due to the excellent documentation, which really must be followed step by step.  Even trying to do so, I ran into a couple of minor hitches, but I was able to get back on track in each case.  Here's a basic log of what I did. I'm installing on a Dell Dimension E510 with a P4 630 w/HT 3.0GHz 800FSB processor and 3GB of RAM.  This exceeds the required 2.2 GHz P4 w/1GB RAM for a single server configuration.  Incidentally, these machines are dirt cheap.  The box came with Windows XP Media Center … more

  • VSTS Team Suite Product Key From MSDN

    I noticed that my Visual Studio Team Suite install on my dev machine was down to less than 60 days for its trial.  I'd completely forgotten that I'd installed it as a trial back in October or whatever when it was not quite RTM'd, so I threw in my MSDN Visual Studio Team Suite DVD and went into the Repair option, where it prompted me for a key to upgrade it to a "real" license.  No problem - I went out to my MSDN Subscriptions page and went to Product Keys, but no dice.  VSTS is not listed.  Once again, Rob Caron saves the day.  If you are upgrading a trial edition using your MSDN subscription, you will find your key on the VSTS install DVD, in the \vs\setup folder, … more

  • Installing TFS RC

    I had to buy a new box to install Team Foundation Server -- apparently it just won't work on my old Dell Inspiron laptop from around 2001 (P3, 866Mhz).  Seems it requires at least a P4 2.2GHz.  The complete system requirements can be found in the latest Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Installation Guide.  I also found this TFS success story, which I hope to duplicate myself (though I'm installing on a real machine, not a Virtual PC).  I'm planning on keeping a log of my activities (and time spent) as I build this machine, which I'll post once the install is complete. Finally, let me just take this opportunity to express my extreme disapointment over the news that TFS … more

  • IE6 Flash Eolas Patch Workaround

    I’ve been dealing with the IE6 Eolas Patch that was released last week (February 28) via Windows Update as an optional download.  This patch affects IE by forcing the user to click on any active content (Flash being the one I’m concerned with here) to activate it before the use can interact with the content.  Since I don’t want my Flash movies to alter their behavior in response to this patch, I’m interested in a workaround.  The official KB article from Microsoft on this topic can be found at  In it, you’ll learn that you can work around this issue if you use an … more

  • Another Viral Marketing Buzz Campaign Almost Over

    Ron McDaniel who is into Buzz Marketing posted about the TextPayMe marketing effort that I’m participating in.  When I last checked, they’d given away 11 $300 XBox 360 systems (5 of which appear to be to the same CP from Washington).  That works out to about $3300 assuming they’re paying retail, which is unlikely.  Considering the amount of buzz they’ve generated through this contest, and the number of people who have signed up and referred a dozen or two of their friends (who do not get XBoxes), I’m betting their campaign has been a massive success, in terms of ROI.  This, to me, is a classic example of building up buzz about a product through the use of grassroots viral … more