Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Killer Free [Free as in free from nag's, calls, whines, free] SQL Tools" from ApexSQL. Includes ApexSQL [Auto] Complete, ApexSQL Refactor and ApexSQL Search

Dirk Strauss - ApexSQL Provides Excellent SQL Tools For Free

"ApexSQL has a few free tools on their site. Before I carry on, I was in no way compensated for this blog post at all. Now that is out of the way, check out ApexSQL tools. I was amazed by the feature richness of these tools. I would be amiss if I didn’t share this with the developer community out there. If you are a developer using SSMS, you definitely must download their free tools and give them a try.

...

These tools are:

  • ApexSQL Complete
    • SSMS and VS integration
    • SQL syntax checking
    • SQL object descriptions
    • SQL code completion
    • SQL code visualization
    • Snippet management
  • ApexSQL Refactor
    • SQL parameter management
    • SQL formatting
    • Consistent code layout
    • Database object refactoring
    • Batch formatting
    • One-to-many relationship replacement
  • ApexSQL Search
    • Smart renaming
    • Text search
    • Database object search
    • Easy SSMS tab navigation
    • SQL code cleaning
    • Graphical dependencies

..."

ApexSQL - Killer Free SQL Tools

"...

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Why choose ApexSQL free tools?

Great software

We strive to ensure that even though these tools are Free, we still strive for a "Best of Class" product, including, performance, usability, and quality in its respective product class. If you think we can improve our Free tools please contact us to let us know how!

Feature rich

Our free tools implement all the features you need for FREE, including SQL formatting, Database object and Text search, Smart renaming, SSMS and Visual Studio integration, SQL refactoring, and much more. These are features that you would actually have to pay for … but don’t have to!

Continuous development

Just like all of our other tools, we strive to release updates to our Free SQL tools regularly, fix problems, improve performance, and add features. We look to maintain host integration with new versions of SSMS and Visual Studio when they come out. See What's next, to check out our product roadmap

Killer support

Don’t think that because these tools are free that they are unsupported! We still offer Full support via bundle subscriptions including email, phone, and WebEx for all of our Free tools. Even without a subscription to a bundle we are happy to answer questions via our forum and attempt to address any and all issues quickly

Yes, these tools are really FREE

  • No crippleware, time bombs, or bait and switch
  • No annoying embedded ads or nag screens
  • No additional costs to upgrade to newer versions of SQL Server e.g. 2012, 2014
  • No professional version or non-free features you must pay for
  • No mandatory re-installs
  • No requirement to install additional, non-free software
  • No phone calls from sales people

..."

I'd recently seen, and have been meaning to blog about, ApexSQL Complete being free, but I didn't know about the other tools being available. Kudo's to Dirk for making it really clear what was free and how "free" they were!

FiddlerCore [Yes, that Fiddler]Core - A .Net Library that lets you add a little Fiddler to your apps

Rick Strahl's Web Log - Using FiddlerCore to capture HTTP Requests with .NET

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my Web load testing utility West Wind WebSurge. One of the key components of a load testing tool is the ability to capture URLs effectively so that you can play them back later under load. One of the options in WebSurge for capturing URLs is to use its built-in capture tool which acts as an HTTP proxy to capture any HTTP and HTTPS traffic from most Windows HTTP clients, including Web Browsers as well as standalone Windows applications and services.

To make this happen, I used Eric Lawrence’s awesome FiddlerCore library, which provides most of the functionality of his desktop Fiddler application, all rolled into an easy to use library that you can plug into your own applications. FiddlerCore makes it almost too easy to capture HTTP content!

For WebSurge I needed to capture all HTTP traffic in order to capture the full HTTP request – URL, headers and any content posted by the client. The result of what I ended up creating is this semi-generic capture form:

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In this post I’m going to demonstrate how easy it is to use FiddlerCore to build this HTTP Capture Form. 

If you want to jump right in here are the links to get Telerik’s Fiddler Core and the code for the demo provided here.

Note that FiddlerCore is bound by a license for commercial usage – see license.txt in the FiddlerCore distribution for details.

...

[A whole bunch cut out]

Summary

FiddlerCore is a pretty sweet tool, and it’s absolutely awesome that we get to plug in most of the functionality of Fiddler right into our own applications. A few years back I tried to build this sort of functionality myself for an app and ended up giving up because it’s a big job to get HTTP right – especially if you need to support SSL. FiddlerCore now provides that functionality as a turnkey solution that can be plugged into your own apps easily.

The only downside is FiddlerCore’s documentation for more advanced features like certificate installation which is pretty sketchy. While for the most part FiddlerCore’s feature set is easy to work with without any documentation, advanced features are often not intuitive to gleam by just using Intellisense or the FiddlerCore help file reference (which is not terribly useful). While Eric Lawrence is very responsive on his forum and on Twitter, there simply isn’t much useful documentation on Fiddler/FiddlerCore available online. If you run into trouble the forum is probably the first place to look and then ask a question if you can’t find the answer.

The best documentation you can find is Eric’s Fiddler Book which covers a ton of functionality of Fiddler and FiddlerCore. The book is a great reference to Fiddler’s feature set as well as providing great insights into the HTTP protocol. The second half of the book that gets into the innards of HTTP is an excellent read for anybody who wants to know more about some of the more arcane aspects and special behaviors of HTTP – it’s well worth the read. While the book has tons of information in a very readable format, it’s unfortunately not a great reference as it’s hard to find things in the book and because it’s not available online you can’t electronically search for the great content in it.

But it’s hard to complain about any of this given the obvious effort and love that’s gone into this awesome product for all of these years. A mighty big thanks to Eric Lawrence  for having created this useful tool that so many of us use all the time, and also to Telerik for picking up Fiddler/FiddlerCore and providing Eric the resources to support and improve this wonderful tool full time and keeping it free for all. Kudos!

Resources

...

" [Click through for the rest... yes, you'll want too... oh just click already... ;]

I was first going to ask "When did Telerik buy Fiddler?" but then saw I already blogged about that almost two years ago. sigh... darn old brain.

Anyway, this is the first I'd heard of FiddlerCore (I think, lol) and Rick does a great job of introducing it and running it through its paces. If you need to packet/network sniff in your apps (i.e. you've said to your self, "Self, I wish I could build something like Fiddler into my app," well you can! (and stop talking to yourself, it's a little creepy ;)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Fiddler (yes, that Fiddler) has been acquired by Telerik... [Updated with snips from Chris and Eric, Fiddler = Free++]

What do Fiddler, LinqPad, Excel and SharePoint have in common? Testing and consuming OData of course!
Fiddling as the web burns (or how to find out why it's burning) - “Debugging with Fiddler" book now available
eXpert Web Performance Analysis via Fiddler - Microsoft neXpert Performance Analysis Plugin [For Fiddler]
15 Second Introduction to Fiddler
Fiddler 2.1 Released...
Fiddler2 (Fiddler + HTTPS) Alpha Released
Microsoft Fiddler 1.2 Released and now Officially Out of Beta
Fiddler PowerToy - Part 1: HTTP Debugging
Fiddler HTTP Debugger - Fiddler

[Only in Los Angeles] "Restaurant Discounts Customers Who Order in the Voice [or dress] of Iconic Characters"

psfk - Los Angeles Restaurant Discounts Customers Who Order in the Voice of Iconic Characters

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Not a Burger Stand features offers on its changing chalkboard for those good at impressions

The Los Angeles restaurant Not a Burger Stand located on Riverside Drive in Burbank features some unique offers for its customers. Every Tuesday, one of their artists draws something on their chalkboard, usually requiring diners to order food in the voice of a particular character in exchange for a discount.

image

...

Not a Burger Stand’s idea makes ordering food more fun and offers an added incentive for dining at the restaurant. At the start of the year, their board featured The Dude from The Big Lebowski and offered customers 10% off if they turned up wearing a bathrobe. In honor of May the 4th, they offered 10% for those who ordered in the voice of Jabba the Hutt and those who went in dressed in a Star Wars costume could eat free.

...

...Not a Burger Stand features a “Free Little Library” that allows people to take a book to keep and donate their own. There are also some cute Star Wars, Star Trek and The Hobbit-themed coloring pages for their kids menu that give youngsters the chance to color in drawings of baby Han and Chewie, Spock and Kirk, and Thorin and Bilbo.

...[Click through for the original post]

Burbank is a little far for lunch. I wonder if I can talk my better half into going on the weekend? [LMAO, not a chance in hell... Guess I'll have to wait for my Son to come back from Afghanistan... ]

Bringing some Unity to Visual Studio - "Visual Studio Tools for Unity 1.9" now available for free for VS 2010/12/13

The Visual Studio Blog - Visual Studio Tools for Unity 1.9

Today we released the Visual Studio Tools for Unity add-on (formerly known as UnityVS). It is now available for download on the Visual Studio Gallery at the following links:

VSTU is Microsoft’s free Visual Studio add-on that enables a rich programming and debugging experience for working with the Unity gaming tools and platform. This is our first release since the acquisition of SyntaxTree, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to reach to the Unity community with Visual Studio.

image

Here are the highlights in today’s 1.9 release:

  • Faster debugger. Attaching and detaching the debugger as well as expanding local variables is now faster.
  • Faster startup. Opening VSTU projects is now faster.
  • Better handling of C# constructs. The local variables window is now properly populated when debugging iterators or when variables are accessed inside closures.
  • Start your game and your debugging session in one click. This feature is one of our most-requested: you can now attach the debugger and start the game by simply changing the debug target. This is only available in Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.

And many more new features and bug fixes as you can see in our changelog. ...

If you're doing Unity dev, this free tool looks like an important to have one.

Funny, before Build I WAG'd that Microsoft would buy Unity. Guess I was sort of right... kind of... :P

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Make your Debugger feel Pretty, with help from DotNet Pretty your Debugger*Attribute helper

<gordon's blog/> - Introduction to DotNet Pretty

Some Background on why

Another thing that come out of last weeks training was Visual Studio Debuggers. This lead to me finding the coolest visualizer ever called TPL Dataflow Debugger Visualizer which allows you to easily visualize your TPL Dataflow

image

Because I found this awesome visualizer I decided that everything while debugging could be awesome if there were more of these so I have created a GitHub project called DotNet Pretty where I plan on creating many visualizers to really try light up the debugging experience.

What is DebuggerDisplayAttribute?

In case you don't know DebuggerDisplayAttribute is used when you want to have a "pretty" representation of the properties in your class when seeing it in the debugger.

...

It doesn't seem like such a big deal with 1 object but think of how easy it would be to know stuff about objects when they in a list if they each implemented this attribute. Now obviously to use the attribute like this you need to own the object so you can add the attribute and release it.

DotNet Pretty's first contribution

The first contribution to DotNet Pretty is one that was used in the training which allows you to use the DebuggerDisplay Attribute in a different way.

Code

This time you specify the target in the attribute like below...

image

...

How is the TDL Dataflow visualizer done?

In short the TPL Dataflow visualizer uses the DebuggerVisualizerAttribute which looks something like below

image

I will do a in detail post on DebuggerVisualizer Attribute when I add one to DotNet Pretty. For now though you can browse the source code of the TPL Dataflow Debugger Visualizer on CodePlex.

So what's the plan?

My plan at the moment is to find the .net types that I use most and implement visualizers for them. I'm planning on trying to get some nice ones in for TFS objects like Work Items. I'm hoping that others will use this library of visualizers and fork the code and help grow it.

...

We, well I, really don't much action, press, chatter about Debugger*Attribute usage. That's why when I saw TPL Dataflow Debugger Visualizer I had to queue it up for a Coding4Fun Blog post. Now Gordon's post. Looks like it's time for a little Debugger*Attribute resurgence doesn't it?

OneNote for * (in this case, the Podcaster)

Office Blogs - Podcasting with OneNote

I’ve been podcasting for nearly six years and recorded over 200 episodes. Along the way, I’ve gone through dozens of equipment configurations, including different microphones, PCs, and recording software. But one thing has remained the same since the beginning: OneNote. My fellow hosts and I rely heavily on OneNote, thanks to its sharing and real-time collaboration features.

...

Before you can start recording, someone has to actually write the show notes. One of my favorite little-known features in OneNote 2013 is the ability to set a default template for the section [GD: Emphasis added]. Since each episode of the show follows the same basic format, we created a template for the outline with placeholders for the stuff that changes, such as the episode title, the name of our guest, and of course the announcements and discussion topics. The default template is stored in the notebook, so it’s automatically applied to any page we create in the section, regardless of which client we’re on. This saves us from having to rewrite everything from scratch or delete information from older episodes.

Of course, we use OneNote for more than just the show notes. The podcast notebook contains everything from guest lists, episode schedules, and brainstorming to a full-fledged guide to podcasting with tips, how-tos, and best practices.

...

[Insert "damn, I seem to feel dumber every day" snip here]. I've been using the Copy-n-Paste method for my OneNote "template" pages for forever. This default template feature is now my favorite OneNote feature of the day.

Took me a bit to find it though...

Insert Tab, Page Templates

image

This opens the Template pane

image

To set the default template for new pages for the given section

image

To create the my templates, I used the "Save current page as a template" (yeah, I know, imagine that). And yes, each section in each Notebook can have their own and different templates.

My OneNote Story...

I've been using OneNote to help me manage my Coding4Fun Blog, Kinect Gallery, This Week on Channel 9 cast and RadioTFS now for years and couldn't be happier.

When the team gathers via Skype for RadioTFS, we all open the RadioTFS Notebook, hack show page with the possible stories (which I've been gathering for the past weeks), pick the stores for the show, organize who's taking what story,  etc. all interactively (but yeah, sometimes we do step on each other, in short, don't edit the same line at the same time, OneNote will whine at the next sync). After the show, we then gather the show notes from it too.

I know other casters use OneNote too (like TWiT's Windows Weekly, etc.). It really is an under appreciated by the masses Office app. If you're not OneNoting, you are missing out (i.e. Once you OneNote you never go back... ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Using OpenXML to load an Excel Worksheet into a DataTable (or just how different OpenXML is from the old Excel API we're used too)

dotnet thoughts - Read Excel as DataTable using OpenXML and C#

In the current project we were using OpenXML extensively for reading Excel files. Here is the code snippet, which will help you to read / convert Excel files to DataTable.

image

..."

You've heard me whine about how, while OpenXML is cool and how nice it is that we can access Office 2007+ files without Office or third party apps, yet the API is pretty darn different for traditional Office Object Model users? This screenshot shows why... Parts, SharedStringTables, oh my... It's not hard, just takes a while to wrap your head around.

Why does CTRL-F in Outlook Forward and not Find?

The Old New Thing - Why does Outlook map Ctrl+F to Forward instead of Find, like all right-thinking programs?

It's a widespread convention that the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut initiates a Find operation. Word does it, Excel does it, Wordpad does it, Notepad does it, Internet Explorer does it. But Outlook doesn't. Why doesn't Outlook get with the program?

Rewind to 1995.

The mail team was hard at work on their mail client, known as Exchange...

And then a bug report came in from a beta tester who wanted Ctrl+F to forward ...

That beta tester was.. [Click through I don't want to steal all his thunder... sorry ;]

So now I know who to blame! Man, I hate that CTRL-F doesn't Find in the main Outlook shell. Boy, if I ever chat with him (LMAO, Like THAT'S ever going to happen... lol)

One Commander - The Windows File Explorer we've been waiting for?

Next of Windows - One Commander – A Slick Reimagined File Explorer For Windows

One Commander, previously called bitCommander, a Kickstarter funded project, is a re-imagined slick-looking File Explorer for Windows with improved functionality and new ways of folder navigation and file manipulation.

There are a lot of new eye-opening features included in this Windows Explorer alternative. And here are a few of them I like the most.

The nested tab on folder structure

image

Intelligent use of screen space ...

Quick filtering ...

“To Do” tasks in any folder ...

Smart Drag & Drop ...

One Commander

About One Commander

"One Commander" is a file manager for Windows OS with improved functionality, re-imagined user interface and experience of navigating and manipulating file-system. Previously it was known as "bitCommander".

Development of bitCommander beta version has been successfully funded on Kickstarter in January 2014 thanks to these backers. You can download it at the bottom of the page.

....

image

bitcommander-eyetrack

..."

You know what this reminds me of? The new Azure portal, with it's new Info Panes. This allows you to keep in context, use the much larger screens we have, is touch friendly out of the box and just looks cool...

Unified Windows Dev Portal, Documentation (and more)

Building Apps for Windows - New Opportunity: Kinect for Windows + Unified Windows developer portal and documentation and 21 additional payout markets

Earlier this week Microsoft released the Kinect for Windows Public Preview which represents a new opportunity for Windows developers, as apps created with the new SDK may be published to the Window Store later this year. We’re making plans to prominently feature Kinect-enabled apps to provide customers with an exciting new Windows experience. I’d like to encourage you to download the preview today and be one of the first to publish a Windows app integrating the Kinect experience.

Today we are also taking the next step in the journey to a single unified Windows platform which began last November with unified developer registration, and continued at Build with universal Windows apps. With this release, we are bringing together Windows Phone and Windows Store online developer resources including education materials, guidance, code samples and reference documentation. We now have a single Windows Dev Center website – dev.windows.com – to aid those of you developing apps and games across phone, tablet and PC.

Finally, this week we’re also expanding the number of payout markets to include 21 new markets from which you can submit paid apps. This includes apps with in-app purchase, the fastest growing Store revenue model, representing nearly 50% of Windows Phone developer payout and over 30% of Windows payout – and growing.

New opportunity: Kinect for Windows

[GD: Check out my Channel 9 Coding4Fun Kinect Gallery post, It's Kinect for Windows v2 Day!]

...

dev.windows.com, the one place to learn about Windows app development

image

In the unified site you will find the content and guidance for both Windows Phone and Windows Dev Centers consolidated in to a single location. Learn about design, find the tools you need for development, and understand the steps to publish universal Windows apps. We’ve also combined code samples and forums into a single, convenient location.

Unified documentation: You will now see a comprehensive, combined documentation set to help you learn how to build apps for Windows devices (phone, tablet and PC), with API and feature distinctions clearly called out. Documentation is now available in 11 languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Single location for code samples: The code samples for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps, as well as for universal Windows apps, continue to be published in the MSDN code gallery. The difference is that they are now easily accessible directly from one Dev Center page.

Single location for developer forums: The Windows Store apps and Windows Phone developer forums have been merged into one streamlined set of forums. The dashboard forums have been combined so that they appear together in one location, while the technical forums remain specialized for each form factor.

The dashboards will remain separate for Windows Phone and Windows. When you first click the Dashboard link in the Dev Center, you’ll be able to choose which one to start with. After that, switching between the two is simple. Just use the link in the left-hand navigation pane.

...

Nice to see the Windows/Phone unification continue. It's investments in things like this that gives me hope (you know, how the doc's are always last'ish? So if doc's are being updated, then it looks like this might stick... :)

BRICKNADO, The Brothers Brick Sharknado building contest...

The Brothers Brick - The Brothers Brick present BRICKNADO, a Sharknado building contest!

We at The Brothers Brick love predatory fish and extreme weather. So we’re huge fans of SyFy’s high-brow political thriller and romantic comedy Sharknado. But we also love ridiculous New York movie stereotypes, such as rude cabbies and the pointless destruction of famous landmarks. Not surprisingly then, we’re positively shark-static about the new follow-up movie Sharknado 2: The Second One which airs July 30th on the SyFy channel. We’ll be glued to our TV’s, popcorn in one hand, bucket of chum in the other, for 2 hours of deeply thought-provoking chainsaw-tastic aquatic mayhem.

SyFy is planning Sharknado Week in celebration of its new movie. But we felt that LEGO fans deserved to be a part of that experience too. Our solution…

image

The Rules of Bricknado

Build an original LEGO model inspired by the Sharknado movies. We wanna see sharks, nados, and all things NYC. And don’t forget those celebrity cameos! Anything goes, the funnier and sillier the better. But try to do more than just posing collectible minifigs – we know you’re capable of more than that!

Then ...

'nuff said I think. [Now where did I put all those LEGOs...hum... ;]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The WebBrowser in VS making you crazy with its IE7 emulation mode? Here's how you can IE 8/9/10/11 it and more... (Think "WebBrowser Control Emulation Mode" post of the day)

Robert MacLean - Improve the embedded browser in Visual Studio

Visual Studio has an embedded browser, but it uses the IE 7 render path?! Really, that is pretty messed up.

image

Thankfully, you can fix this yourself with a quick registry addition. Note: Fiddling with the registry can break your device, so be careful and this carries the usual “this works on my machine” and it is your own risk for doing this. The key you need to care about is:

... [Click through to see the reg hack... I didn't want to steal his secret sauce... ;]

I set the value to (HEX) 2af9 – since I have IE 11 on my Windows 8.1 machine, but you can pick from the list of options to best suit your needs and now it just works! No issues on GitHub

image

..."

Internet Explorer Dev Center - Internet Feature Controls (B..C)

...

Browser Emulation

Windows Internet Explorer 8 and later. The FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION feature defines the default emulation mode for Internet Explorer and supports the following values.

image

...

I know you're thinking, "VS just embed's the WebBrowser control, which I like to do to, sometimes. Can I make this magic happen for me too?" Or "I'd like a little more detail and depth!"

Funny you should ask that...

Cyotek Blog - Configuring the emulation mode of an Internet Explorer WebBrowser control

Occasionally I need to embed HTML in my applications. If it is just to display some simple layout with basic interactions, I might use a component such as HtmlRenderer. In most cases however, I need a more complex layout, JavaScript or I might want to display real pages from the internet - in which case I'm lumbered with the WebBrowser control.

I'm aware other embeddable browsers exist, but the idea of shipping additional multi-MB dependencies doesn't make sense unless an application makes heavy use of HTML interfaces

The WebBrowser control annoys me in myriad ways, but it does get the job done. One of the things that occasionally frustrates me is that by default it is essentially an embedded version of Internet Explorer 7 - or enabling Compatibility Mode in a modern IE session. Not so good as more and more sites use HTML5 and other goodies.

Rather fortunately however, Microsoft provide the ability to configure the emulation mode your application will use. It's not as simple as setting some properties on a control as it involves setting some registry values and other caveats, but it is still a reasonable process.

...

image

There you go! Just about everything you've every wanted to know about this (or not)

Five Free Icon Packs for the Dev in your Cube...

Dean Hume's, Coding Tips & Tricks - Free icon packs for developers

Over the years, I have started to hoard a collection of links to various free icons that I find on the net. Often, I use these icons to spruce up simple prototypes or just make my web pages look livelier. Unfortunately, I've been collecting these links to icon packs and never get the chance to use half of them! If you are a web developer that has need for free icons, then this might be for you.

This article will hopefully provide you with a list of free icons that you can use in your day to day development. This list features five great icons packs that are available to download today.

IconMonstr ...

IcoMoon ...

Simple Icons ...

The Entypo Pictogram Suite ...

Typicons ...

image...

Can't have enough of these kinds of resources cached. What's great is that all but one of these are new to me. :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
I HAZ ICONZ MONSTRZ- 1309+ Free icons from iconmonstr (PNG, SVG)

A community created GuidGen, GuidGen 2.0 (a replacement for Guid tool you love to hate, hate to love)

Visual Studio Gallery - GuidGen 2.0

Provides a new Create GUID command in the Tools menu with a new WPF surface, and featuring code tailored for C# and VB.NET developers to define Guid fields. Also provides editor inline code completions for adding GUIDs, guid fields and guid attributes for C# and VB.NET!

Let's face it. The Create Guid (guidgen.exe) tool that ships with VS is over a decade old and is old Win32 GDI based. It also doesn't produce any code snippets useful for C#/VB developers.

GuidGen 2.0 is a new face to creating GUIDs. And includes C#/VB code snippets!

image

But a separate app to copy GUIDs from into the editor is still old school. Why not have inline editor completions for GUIDs? Just type "guid" in your C# or VB code files, then click on "Guids" or press Alt+. to select the Guids tab with the keyboard.

image

..."

A new face for the tool I'm sure we've all used at one time or another (or not...)

I love the addition of the code snips. :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Visual Studio Add-In of the Day - Inline Guid Generator

Two days, "one milliiiioooonnnnn" downloads, the Largest Free Microsoft eBook Collection... ever

Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman - Over 1 Million FREE Microsoft eBooks Given Away in 2 days! (and soon to be 2 MILLION!)

When I put my first free eBook post on my blog a couple years ago, people thought I was crazy for wanting to give away one million total books. Sure enough, we did it. Then last year I issued the statement I wanted to give away one million more in ONE WEEK. People thought I had completely lost it then, but you showed them and we achieved our goal. Well, when I put up my “Largest Collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks Ever!” post here on my blog on Monday morning, I once again said “wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again?” and sure enough, people questioned my ambition.

I am absolutely THRILLED to see the overwhelming response you have had to the FREE eBook giveaway again this year and I am happy to announce that not only did you hit the ONE MILLION free eBooks downloaded in a week, but you did it in just TWO DAYS! That’s right, you surpassed the ONE MILLION mark within 48 hours of my post first going live! (and what’s even more amazing is that looking at the current download trends, we’ll surpass TWO MILLION free eBooks given away so far this week during the day today!) So not only will you have achieved the original goal of ONE MILLION given away in a week, you’ll have doubled it to TWO MILLION, and there are still several days left in the week since the post first went live on Monday morning. So thank you to all of you for taking advantage of this offer and getting your free Microsoft eBooks! I hope you all find them of value and they are able to help you achieve your learning goals around these topics.

Now one question I get quite a bit is, “What are the most popular eBooks being downloaded?” For fun, I thought I’d pull the stats last night and see where we were....

If you want to see the full list of almost 300 FREE Microsoft eBooks, click here for my original post; otherwise, I give you the Top 60 eBooks being downloaded so far (as of last night):

image..."

Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more

FREE Microsoft eBooks! Who doesn’t love FREE Microsoft eBooks? Well, for the past few years, I’ve provided posts containing almost 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks and my readers, new and existing, have loved these posts so much that they downloaded over 3.5 Million free eBooks as of last June, including over 1,000,000 in a single week last year (and many, many more since then).

Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! ...

..."

I've highlighted Eric's posts a number of times in the past, he's been sharing ebooks for a while, but 1+ million downloads in 2 days is a major milestone. Sure every tech news blog has mentioned his post, still it's a pretty darn impressive stat...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf
Eric Ligman's List of "Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses..."
Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy
Eric triple downs on his Free Microsoft eBook List... (Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office, Azure and More)
Eric's done it again... ANOTHER large collection of free eBooks and Resource Kits
A Microsoft eBook Bonanza - Office, SQL Server, Development, WinPhone, Career and more
Microsoft Technologies E-Book Gallery (TechNet Wiki)

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Team Foundation Server "Work Item Web Access" is getting a work over (i.e. your users can access more of TFS free soon'ish)

Brian Harry’s blog - Upcoming VS Online Licensing Changes

...We’ve been working closely with customers to understand where the friction is and what we can do to make adopting VS Online as easy as possible.  This is a continuing process and includes discussions about product functionality, compliance and privacy, pricing and licensing, etc.  This is a journey and we’ll keep taking feedback and adjusting.

Today I want to talk about one set of adjustments that we want to make to licensing.

As we ended the early adopter period, we got a lot of questions from customers about how to apply the licensing to their situation.  We also watched as people assigned licenses to their users: What kind of licenses did they choose?  How many people did they choose to remove from their account?  Etc.

From all of this learning, we’ve decided to roll out 2 licensing changes in the next couple of months:

Stakeholders

A common question we saw was “What do I do with all of the stakeholders in my organization?”  While the early adopter program was in effect and all users were free, customers were liberal with adding people to their account.  People who just wanted to track progress or file a bug or a suggestion occasionally, were included.  As the early adopter period ended, customers had to decide – Is this really worth $20/user/month (minus appropriate Azure discounts)?  The result was that many of these “stakeholders” were removed from the VS Online accounts in the transition, just adding more friction for the development teams.

As a result of all this feedback we proposed a new “Stakeholder” license for VS Online.  Based on the scenarios we wanted to address, we designed a set of features that matched the needs most customers have.  These include:

    • Full read/write/create on all work items
    • Create, run and save (to “My Queries”) work item queries
    • View project and team home pages
    • Access to the backlog, including add and update (but no ability to reprioritize the work)
    • Ability to receive work item alerts

Some of the explicitly excluded items are:

...

As a result, any VS Online  account will be able to have an unlimited number of “Stakeholder” users with access to the functionality listed above, at no charge.

Access to the Test Hub

Another point of friction that emerged in the transition was access to the Test hub.  ...

Because of this, we’ve decided to include access to all of the Test hub functionality in the Visual Studio Online Advanced plan.

...

What about Team Foundation Server?

In general, our goal is to keep the licensing for VS Online and Team Foundation Server as “parallel” as we can – to limit how confusing it could be.  As a result, we will be evolving the current “Work Item Web Access” TFS CAL exemption (currently known as “Limited” users in TFS) to match the “Stakeholder” capabilities.  That will result in significantly more functionality available to TFS users without CALs.  My hope is to get that change made for Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4.  It’s too early yet to be sure that’s going to be possible but I’m hopeful.  We do not, currently, plan to provide an alternate license for the Test Hub functionality in TFS, though it’s certainly something we’re looking at and may have a solution in a future TFS version.

..."

In short, Nice! This will greatly increase the value of on-prem TFS and the number of usage and scope of communication. Not bad for free... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
TFS Work Item Web Access (WIWA) Released as part of VSTS Web Access 2008 SP1
Work Item Web Access (WIWA) CTP (fka Codename TFS Bug Submission Portal)
Coming soon to TFS Power Tool near you - Codename TFS Bug Submission Portal
Team System Web Access 2008 Available for Download
Team System Web Access Power Tool Now Available (Think TeamPlain v2.0 but with added Microsoft Sauce)
Visual Studio Team System Web Access (formally known as TeamPlain Web Access) now Free

Sign up for the "Windows Developer Program for IoT"

Windows on Devices

The next big thing is small

We’re bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices. Build a smart coffee mug, build a talking bear, build a robot, or build something else entirely. All this using a platform and tools you already know and love.

What will you create?

Development hardware like the Intel Galileo board allows you to read temperature sensors, power robot servos, check for intruders, blink a bunch of LED lights, or even make a little music. Whether you are an experienced Windows developer looking to jump into the Internet of Things or you are new to Windows development and want to build the next big thing—we’re excited to see what you can do.

Early and often

Our first SDK release in the spring of 2014 will give you a chance to look at our new software, including an incomplete prerelease of our software and API surface. We’ll provide samples and documentation and we’ll show you how to create your own fun projects such as the life-size piano we demonstrated at Build 2014. And we’ll continue to release software updates throughout 2014 including a more complete API surface and integrated cloud services.

Connections are everything

Your Windows device can connect to the cloud to enable interesting new scenarios. Use Azure data services, build a new mashup, analyze your data, connect your devices together, or update your devices remotely. Once your device is in the cloud, the sky’s the limit.

More on:

image

..."

One report on this stated they are not only providing the software SDK but also a hardware too, Microsoft is Giving Away Intel Galileo Arduino Compatible Boards to Developers. Looking at the site and and the emails I got when signing up (where are different than what Jean-Luc reports), it's a little unclear, to me at least...

My emails;

First:

Hello Greg Duncan,
We want to thank you for your interest on windowsondevices.com, and we are super excited to have you participate in the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

We would like to share our SDK and a hardware development kit with you. In order to consider you for the program and mail you the kit, please click on the link below to provide your address and a bit more information.

[Confirmation URL Removed]

We’re happy to be able to share this early preview with you, and can’t wait to see what you can make with it!

Thank you,
The Microsoft IoT Team

Second:

Hello Greg Duncan,

Thank you for signing up for the Windows Developer Program for IoT.  We’ll let you know when we have more to share.

Thank you,
The Microsoft IoT Team

So I guess we'll see...

eBook of the Day: "Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight" (aka Hadoop on Azure eBook @ 367 pages...)

Microsoft Downloads - Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight – eBook Download

This guide explores the use of HDInsight in a range of use cases and scenarios such as iterative exploration, as a data warehouse, for ETL processes, and integration into existing BI systems. The guide is divided into three sections:

  • “Understanding Microsoft big data solutions,” provides an overview of the principles and benefits of big data solutions.
  • “Designing big data solutions using HDInsight,” contains guidance for designing solutions to meet the typical batch processing use cases inherent in big data processing.
  • “Implementing big data solutions using HDInsight,” explores a range of topics such as the options and techniques for loading data into an HDInsight cluster, the tools you can use in HDInsight to process data in a cluster, and the ways you can transfer the results from HDInsight into analytical and visualization tools to generate reports and charts, or export the results into existing data stores such as databases, data warehouses, and enterprise BI systems.

Version: 1.0

File Name:

Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight.pdf

DevelopingBigDataSolutionsOnMicrosoftAzureHDInsight.epub

DevelopingBigDataSolutionsOnMicrosoftAzureHDInsight.mobi

Date Published: 7/8/2014

..."

imageimage

Only 346 pages from patterns and practices group on HDInsight (aka Hadoop)... :/

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Do your 3D prints look a little like your printing (i.e. a little fugly?) Check out the Microsoft 3D Model Repair Service!

robmiles.com - Microsoft 3D Model Repair Service

..one of the problems with making 3D models is that sometimes you get bits of data in there that just don't make sense from a 3D point of view. Elements can intersect in odd ways or you might get tiny holes in meshes. These imperfections can cause all kinds of problems when you try to move from a model to a physical artifact.

Normally you need a person to go through and tidy the model it up, but Microsoft have a free, cloud based, service that will just accept your models and tidy them up for you. It's all free, and very useful. You can find it here.

Microsoft Model Repair Service

image

Use the Microsoft 3D Model Repair service powered by netfabb to repair STL, OBJ, or 3MF files automatically. Like a spellchecker, this service will save you time by taking care of the many common errors in 3D models that otherwise would require manual repair by a dedicated designer. The service closes holes in the model, fixes face normals, removes self-intersections, and more. You'll be more productive and be on your way to more reliable 3D manufacturing in minutes!

Just upload your STL, OBJ, or 3MF file. We'll check and fix the model and return you a new file, ready to print. Enjoy!

...

About this service

The Model Repair Service is a solution tailored for the business process of 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. It is designed to automate and manage large volumes of 3D-model data to let you focus on the value adding processes and applications of your business.

The Model Repair Service can automatically address a large amount of tasks that normally would be handled manually and will reduce your costs while improving your speed of handling, quality and review of the data.

Analysis

The Model Repair Service can import and export files on a number of 3D formats including STL, OBJ, 3MF and others. The server software evaluates incoming files for errors and determines main properties of the files.

File analysis:

  • Main dimensions, volume, surface area, outbox volume
  • Number of triangles, border edges, shells and holes
  • Degenerate faces and self-intersections

Repair

If desired, Microsoft-netfabb Cloud Services will automatically repair the files with a success rate of >95%.

Repair functions include:

  • Stitching triangles
  • Closing gaps
  • Close holes
  • Repair invalid orientations
  • Remove self-intersections
  • Remove shells with negative volume
  • Remove double triangles
  • Remove tiny shells
  • Triangle reduction

API Connection

The API Connection enables the Model Repair Service to import and export files and file data to and from a user defined database. This is an essential function for production management, pricing, and quoting.

Use for business

Commercial use of the 3D Model Repair service

The Microsoft 3D Model Repair service has a suite of offerings for commercial customers to help you save time and money when preparing digital designs for 3D printing. As a commercial customer you can reserve space on our Azure cloud platform for fast and reliable processing of your 3D models. You can provide your designers and engineers with a web portal for inspecting and preparing their models for 3D printing (e.g. repairing holes, intersections, multiple shells, and more).

API Connection

The API Connection enables the Model Repair Service to import and export files and file data to and from a user defined database. This is an essential function for production management, pricing, and quoting.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about the commercial offerings of the 3D model repair service, pricing and availability, please send email to ask3dprint@microsoft.com — we look forward to hearing from you.

...

You totally know this is going to be a coming Coding4Fun Hardware Friday post don't you? (You all follow me there too, right?  ;) But until then I thought this more than cool enough to highlight here too... 

Jump into WAP with this two day Windows Azure Pack: IaaS Jump Start July 16, 17 (Online and Free)

Jeff Alexander's Weblog - Jump Start: Windows Azure Pack Infrastructure as a Service!

Learn how Windows Azure Pack brings the benefit of the cloud to your data center

Enterprises today desire the flexibility and affordability that cloud environments offer, while service providers want the ability to support more enterprise customers. Windows Azure Pack (WAP) builds on the power of Windows Server and System Center to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and application services that run in your data center on your hardware, giving you the benefit of the cloud, with the customization and control you desire.

WAP brings Microsoft Azure technologies to the data center, addressing a number of key requirements for those who want to embrace the service provider model for delivering IT services. Microsoft Azure and WAP tie into the Microsoft vision for the Cloud OS, a hybrid cloud solution that helps enterprises transform their current infrastructure to deliver agility and cost effectiveness. With the Cloud OS, companies can quickly and flexibly build and manage modern applications across platforms, locations, and devices, unlock insights from volumes of existing and new data, and support user productivity wherever they are and on whatever device they choose.

This free course, “Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service” Jump Start, on July 16 and 17, focuses on WAP’s IaaS, including self-service and automation of virtual machine roles, virtual networking, clouds, and SQL Server, along with System Center and third-party integration.

...

Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service Jump Start

IT Pros, you know that enterprises desire the flexibility and affordability of the cloud, and service providers want the ability to support more enterprise customers. Join us for an exploration of Windows Azure Pack's (WAP's) infrastructure services (IaaS), which bring Microsoft Azure technologies to your data center (on your hardware) and build on the power of Windows Server and System Center to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multitenant cloud infrastructure and application services.

Join Microsoft’s leading experts as they focus on the infrastructure services from WAP, including self-service and automation of virtual machine roles, virtual networking, clouds, plans, and more. See helpful demos, and hear examples that will help speed up your journey to the cloud. Bring your questions for the live Q&A!

Live Event Detail

When: July 16–17, 2014, 9:00am–1:00pm

What: Fast-paced live virtual session

Cost: Free

Audience: IT Pros

Prerequisites: This course is open to anyone interested in establishing cloud-style architecture in the data center.

Day One

  • Introduction to the Windows Azure Pack
  • Install and Configure WAP
  • Integrate the Fabric
  • Deliver Self-Service

Day Two

  • Automate Services
  • Extend Services with Third Parties
  • Create Tenant Experiences
  • Real-World WAP Deployments

..."

A boy can wish to have his own little slice of Azure inside his firewall (um... that sounds... um... a little weird... anyway...)

If a private cloud sounds interesting but you'd rather buy it as an appliance'ish, Mary Jo Foley has a few sources that say we might see Azure In A Box coming back, Microsoft to try again to deliver an Azure 'cloud in a box' appliance

 

Related Past Post XRef:
"Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series
Step-by-Step into your own private cloud, with the Windows Azure Pack and System Center
Deploying your own little cloud... "Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series
Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Visual Studio "14" CTP 2 is now available. There's many more CTP's coming, ALL CAPS are not, no TFS "14" CTP's, don't side-by-side this CTP and more...

Brian Harry has the quote of the day for this release...

Brian Harry’s blog - Visual Studio “14” CTP 2 Available

I’m not going to make too big a deal about this because there’s going to be tons of them between now and when VS “14” ships.  But we shipped another CTP today and you can learn more about it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/archive/2014/07/08/visual-studio-14-ctp-2-available.aspx

We’re continuing the practice of making Azure VM templates available to make it really easy to try out the CTPs....

...

For reasons I explained in my last post on the subject, we are not releasing TFS “14” CTPs at this time and, quite honestly, won’t for a while.  We will start releasing CTPs of TFS well before the release but there’s just not a good enough cost benefit analysis to it right now.  You can see the majority of the work we are doing on VS Online as we do it.

The Visual Studio Blog - Visual Studio “14” CTP 2 Available

Today we released CTP 2 of Visual Studio “14”, which is the codename for the next version of Visual Studio. To get started, you can download the bits (also available on MSDN subscriber downloads), or use the VM in Azure we’re making available (see the note below). In addition to the new features we added in CTP 1, this CTP also includes:

  • Save and Apply Custom IDE Layouts. You can now save and apply custom layouts for tool windows in the IDE. The Save Window Layout and Apply Window Layout commands are under the Window Menu and you can also rename, reorder, and delete layouts from Manage Window Layouts.
  • Light Bulb Editor Adornment. Light Bulbs are an extensible editor adornment to identify and help you fix issues in your code. To use them, place the caret on a line with an issue or hover over an issue and you’ll see a light bulb that lists actions you can take to resolve the problem and even a preview of proposed solutions.
  • Editor Touch Support. The Visual Studio Editor now supports touch gestures for scrolling, pinch-to-zoom, tap-and-hold for context menus, double-tap for word selection, and line selection by tapping in the margin.
  • VC++ Property Pages and Editor Enhancements. We updated the Configuration and Platform dropdown values for VC++ Property Page dialog to remember the last user selection when the dialog is closed. We also added Move Function Definition (move the body of a function definition to source or header/in-class definition) and Implement Pure Virtuals (quickly create definitions for a class that inherits constructs ([abstract] class, struct, etc.) containing pure virtuals). We also updated Create Declaration/Definition to include Code Peek and improved Find in Files to enable subsequent results to be appended to previous results ("append mode"). Checkout the VC Blog for details on these enhancements.
  • ALL CAPS. Last week with the RC for Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 we added an option to sentence case menus; in this VS “14” CTP we changed Menu Bar styling to Title Case for everyone to help us get feedback on the change. We’ll use the feedback we get to help determine if we keep it as it is in this preview, make it an option under the Tools/Options menu, or take some other path.

...

Visual Studio "14" CTP release notes

...

Notes:

  • CTPs are English only.
  • CTPs are unsupported and are intended to be used for testing, trial, and feedback purposes only.
  • CTPs have not been subject to final validation. They are not meant to be run on production workstations or servers, or used to create production code. Installing a CTP on a production server will put the server in an unsupported state.
  • Although these CTPs are intended to be installed side-by-side with earlier versions of Visual Studio, complete compatibility on every CTP is not guaranteed.

...

    Visual Studio "14" CTP 2 (version 14.0.21901.1.DP) details
    Technology improvements

    The following technology improvements have been made in this release.
    ASP.NET and web development

    • ASP.NET vNext: This release of Visual Studio supports creating and developing ASP.NET vNext applications. ASP.NET vNext is a lean and composable .NET stack for building modern web applications for both cloud and on-premises servers. It includes the following features:
      • ASP.NET MVC and Web API have been unified into a single programming model.
      • A no-compile developer experience.
      • Environment-based configuration for a seamless transition to the cloud.
      • Dependency injection out-of-the-box.
      • New cloud-optimized runtime supports true side-by-side versioning. 
      • NuGet everything, even the runtime itself.
      • Run in IIS, or self-hosted in your own process.
      • All open source through the .NET Foundation

        (http://www.dotnetfoundation.org/)

        , and takes contributions.

      For more information about ASP.NET vNext in Visual Studio, go to the ASP.NET vNext

      (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=400692)

      website.

    • This release of Visual Studio also includes all the current ASP.NET and web development features that are released as parts of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. Learn more here

      (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=400693)

      .

    Visual C++

    • Find in Files has been updated to enable subsequent results to be added to previous results ("append mode"). Results can now also be edited or deleted.
    • Implement Pure Virtuals enables a user to quickly create definitions for a class that inherits constructs (such as abstract class, struct) containing pure virtuals. Both multiple and recursive inheritances are supported. Activate the feature through right-clicking a class definition (implement all pure virtuals) or an inherited base construct (implement pure virtuals in that base only). Double-slash comments (//) are used to delimit groups of functions implemented from individual bases.
    • Move Function Definition enables a user to move the body of a function definition to source or header/in-class definition. It must be activated through the right-click context menu on a function's signature.

    Visual Studio IDE

    • Menu Bars will show in Title Case style instead of All Caps style.
    • Support for touch in the Visual Studio Editor is now available. This includes touch for scrolling, pinch-to-zoom, tap-and-hold for context menus, double-tap for word selection, and line selection by tapping in the margin. 
    • The Configuration and Platform dropdown values for the VC Property Page dialog have been changed to remember the last user selection when closed and reopened. 
    • Users can save custom layouts by clicking Save Window Layout from the Window menu. Users can apply a custom layout by clicking Apply Window Layout from the Window menu, and users can delete, rename, or reorder layouts by clicking Manage Window Layout from the Window menu. The first nine layouts also have keyboard shortcuts from Ctrl+Alt+1 to Ctrl+Alt+9.
    • In this CTP, we are rounding out Light Bulbs that are the quick and easy way to obtain helpful fixes for known issues in your code inside the Visual Studio Editor. If you have an issue in your code, placing your editor caret on the line where the issue is shown or hovering over the issue will present a light bulb that shows helpful actions you can take to resolve the problem together with a preview of the results of each action. 
      This feature is publicly extensible, so Visual Studio extenders can provide their own suggested actions.
    • After you apply this CTP, you can create an empty C# and JavaScript shared project from the File > New Project menu. Phone Projects, Store Projects, and Universal Projects that are written in JavaScript and C# can consume one or many of these shared projects. Shared project references can be managed (added or removed) by using the Reference Manager. Shared Project referencing is also available for some classic desktop C# projects. The project types and languages that support Shared Projects will continue to expand in future CTPs.
    • In this CTP, Visual Studio now supports high-resolution icons in the Error List.
    Known issues
    Installation
    Installing Visual Studio "14" CTP side-by-side with Visual Studio 2013
    • There are known issues when you install Visual Studio "14" CTP 14.0.21901.1 DP on the same computer as Visual Studio 2013. While we expect that an uninstallation of Visual Studio "14" and then a repair of Visual Studio 2013 should fix these issues, our safest recommendation is to install Visual Studio "14" in a virtual machine, a virtual hard disk (VHD), a fresh computer, or another non-production test-only computer that does not have Visual Studio 2013 on it. These Visual Studio side-by-side issues are expected to be fixed soon.

    Client Platform

    • Uninstalling Visual Studio "14" CTP removes TypeScript from Visual Studio 2013.

    Upgrading

    • Because of a known issue, when you install Visual Studio "14" CTP 14.0.21901.1 DP on the same computer that has Visual Studio "14" CTP 14.0.21730.1 DP installed, your Windows Store projects may fail to launch. 
      To work around this issue, repair the installation of Visual Studio "14" CTP 14.0.21901.1 DP after the upgrade. To avoid this issue, our safest recommendation is to uninstall Visual Studio "14" CTP 14.0.21730.1 DP before you install the new CTP version. This build-to-build upgrade issue has been fixed for future upgrades from Visual Studio "14" 14.0.21901.1 DP.

    Visual C++

    • The native "Memory Usage" tool does not work when targeting Win32 (x86).  Targeting x64 works as expected.

    ...

    In short, it's a CTP. Don't install it on a production box. Use the Azure VM!

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    Being open to opening OpenXML documents in Visual Studio with the now open source Open XML Package Editor for VS 2012/2013

    OpenXML Developer - Open XML Package Editor Released for VS2012 and VS2013

    image

    Chris Rae recently announced on his blog that we have released a new version of the Open XML Package Editor, which now works on Visual Studio 2012 and 2013!

    As anyone knows who has seen any of my screen-casts, the Open XML Package Editor is my go-to tool for opening and editing Open XML documents. It is a vital tool for Open XML Developers. After installing, you can drag and drop Open XML documents onto Visual Studio, navigate through the various parts, open parts for editing in the very excellent XML editor that is in Visual Studio, and modify any relationship in the package. Unfortunately, until this release, you had to keep a copy of Visual Studio 2010 around in order to use the tool, a pain to say the least. Well, no more. Now it works with the latest versions of Visual Studio, and furthermore, we will never get into the situation again where it only works for previous versions of Visual Studio. Since it is open source, you, I, or anyone else can quickly do the port to new versions of VS. It now supports Visio's new VSDX format and has some other minor fixes and enhancements.

    We have published the code on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license. If you just want to download the new version of the Package Editor, it's here on the Visual Studio Gallery. [GD: Post Leached in Full]

    We all know that OpenXML documents (DocX, XlxX, PptX, *X, etc, etc) are really just zip file containers with standardize manifests, contents and packaging right? (Don't believe me? Rename a .DocX to .zip and see).
    And sure, you can open and spelunk the unzipped contents of the document, it's not the easiest. Instead you've got to use an OpenXML explorer, one like this one, the Open XML Package Editor. And hey you can even stay in your favorite tool of choice (Visual Studio of course!). And now that it's open source, it's even cooler!

     

    Related Past Post XRef:
    Open Sesame - Open XML SDK is now open source

    Using OpenXML SDK to generate Word documents via templates (and without Word being installed)
    Checking for Microsoft Word DocX/DocM Revisions/Track Changes without using Word... (via OpenXML SDK, LINQ to XML or XML DOM)
    LINQ to XlsX... Using VB.Net, LINQ, the OpenXML SDK and a little C# helper, to query an Excel XlsX
    Using native OpenXML to create an XlsX (Which provides an example of why I highlight tools that make OpenXML easier...)
    Generating Xlsx's on the Server? You're using OpenXML, right? With help from the PowerTools for OpenXML?

    Official boat-load, as in supertanker, sized OpenXML content list (Insert "One OpenXML content list to rule them all" here)
    So how do I get from here to OpenXML? Got a map for you, an Open XML SDK Blog Map…
    Where to go to scratch your OpenXML dev info itch…
    "Open XML Explained" Free eBook (PDF)
    The Noob's Guide to Open XML Dev (If you know how to spell OpenXML but that's about it, this is your Getting Started guide...)

    Reusing the PowerShell PowerTools for Open XML in your C# or VB.Net world
    PowerShell, OpenXML, WMI and the PowerTools for OpenXML = Doc generation for our inner geek
    Because it’s a PowerShell kind of day… PowerTools for Open XML V1.1 Released
    OpenXML PowerTools updated – Cell your Excel via PowerShell
    Powering into OpenXML with PowerShell

    Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office Released – Automate Office documents without Office

    Open XML 2.0 Code Snippets for VS2010 (and VS2008 too)
    Open XML Format SDK 2.0 Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2008 – 52 C#/VB Code Snippets to help ease your Open XML coding
    Open XML File Format Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2005 (Office 2007 NOT required)

    Open XML SDK v1 Released

    OpenXML Viewer 1.0 Released – Open source DocX to HTML conversion, with IE, Firefox and Opera (and/or command line) support