Friday, December 28, 2007

DeKlarit 4.5 for VS2008 (RC)

Fernando has just announced the release of DeKlarit 4.5 for Visual Studio 2008. It is a release candidate version but I'd say it's pretty stable so go ahead, download it and start working with it.

Keep in mind that the version Fernando uploaded here is just for VS2008, we will release a DeKlarit 4.5 for VS2005 with the same functionality the one for 2008 has in a few days. DeKlarit 4.5 will probably be the last version for VS2005 we will ship, we'll keep updating the VS2008 version so start planning your migration.

If you have DeKlarit 4.3 or prior on your machine you can install 4.5 for VS2008 without the need to uninstall 4.3. The whole idea is to have your VS2005 with DK 4.3 now (4.5 for VS2005 in a few days) and DK 4.5 for VS2008 in the same box.

To migrate to VS2008 just install DeKlarit 4.5 for VS2008, create a new DeKlarit project and import your components from your model. The import and export process are the same to previous versions so you can export from VS2005 and import in VS2008 and vice versa with no problems.

Read Full Post

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mac vs Windows

Today I read an interesting article comparing Mac and Windows's flaws in 2007 and I wanted to share it. I don't trust these comparisons that much cause I really don't know the guy. Also, I don't know the place where the stats are taken from, even though he says they are impartial, maybe is well know Mac center and not so known for Window users.

All I know is that Alejandro bought a Mac and he's happy as kid with his new toy. The only problems he found (that I know of) are related with the Windows partition, which he got rid of.

Read the full article here:

Read Full Post

Saturday, December 15, 2007

WCF Membership Provider sample

I worked so hard on this that I thought I might share the final product with everybody.

Start here and download Michele's book's Appendix A, I know you want to start right away, but you need to read the whole chapter before you do. This chapter will help you install the security database and setting up your certificates. After reading that you can go ahead and download the projects I worked on. Here's the web application where the services are hosted and here's the client. Make sure you load them with VS in the same solution (these are for VS2005).

Keep in mind you'll have to change all the endpoint's url.

The web application also has a web service and an aspx page to test your credentials, so when you run the client you'll set up credentials you know are correct. If you can't log in using the aspx page, do not try to run the WCF client... it won't work.

Read Full Post

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You know who's coming to town...

No, it's not Santa. I mean Santa is coming but he's not who I'm talking about... I'm talking about DeKlarit 4.5 for Visual Studio 2008. We are in our latest tests so expect it in a couple of weeks.

DeKlarit 4.5 has a few fixed bugs, many improvements our customers asked us for and a fully functional WCF addin letting you choose where to host your services and integrating the DeKlarit Security Database for authentication and authorization.

Here's a little preview :)


Read Full Post

Sunday, December 09, 2007

WCF Security with DeKlarit's Membership Provider

I've been working in the DeKlarit's WCF addin for a long time now, and lately I've been trying to implement the security features. Security in WCF is "pretty easy", first of all cause by default, everything is secured. The problem comes when you want to move things around.

DeKlarit uses ASP.Net Membership Provider to implement security in its addin's generated applications. So I needed to bind WCF Security with our Membership Provider implementation in order to secure the communication between applications (client and services). Once I'd set everything up I got an error on the client side saying: "An unsecured or incorrectly secured fault was received from the other party. See the inner FaultException for the fault code and detail." and the inner exception had the message: "At least one security token in the message could not be validated." :(

I googled around about these issues with no luck. I also opened many threads at the Indigo forum about it but nobody seemed to know what was it about. And I can't blame them, cause the problem was that I was missing the  applicationName attribute in the membership provider configuration. It had nothing to do with WCF but the message I got was not clear enough. According to some people at the Indigo forum that was done on purpose, so an attacker wouldn't get much information about what's going on at the server side. The problem comes when the attacker is the developer trying to get in :)

So there!, if you come to those messages check everything in your config files cause it could be anything.

Read Full Post

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reach me from here!

live I've just read the announcement that Microsoft launched two new features for Live Messenger.
The first one tells everybody that visits your site whether you are online or not... just to let them know. But the second one, is a chat like app which will let people everywhere reach you at your own Live Messenger if you are online. People can log in with a valid MSN account or just as anonymous. They have to type of of those messy words you see now a days everywhere and that's it.

I don't know how good this could be, I mean, I like my contacts to know whether I'm online or not... but everybody? I don't know... I'll give it a try though and let you know... hey! maybe you can be first person to reach me :)

Also, could somebody from a Linux box reach me and let me know his experience, I promise I'll post the comments here.

One important thing I forgot to mention before... whoever is reaching you from your site can not tell your MSN account, that means they won't know your email account associated with MSN, thus, they can't add you as a friend or send you spam. I just thought that would be an important point.

To find out more and put any of these features in your site/blog, go here.

(First post with the new Windows Live Writer using the spell checker, cool)

Read Full Post

Monday, October 29, 2007

No more Acropolis!

Don't worry! nothing happened to the monument in Athens, Greece (beautiful place by the way).

I just read Acropolis is dead. The Acropolis team will be joining the Patterns & Prectices team and they'll release WPF Composite Client. We can't say we didn't see it coming... no seriously, we can't say it. But for some reason it wasn't a big surprise. As I got interested in Acropolis I was also picking on what the P&P team was doing and something didn't sound right. I got the feeling Microsoft didn't know exactly what they were doing since two teams were working on very "similar" solutions, or at least the purpose of them were very similar. And of course, Acropolis was new, P&P has been around for a while and lots of people are using the CAB today so, IMHO, it's a good call!

I guess that's it for the Acropolis Addin ;)

Read Full Post

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I joined facebook!

... and so far it's pretty cool. The most exciting thing was finding friends from high school that I have not talked to in 10 years!

It has some pretty good features like entering your Google, Live or Yahoo credentials among others, and it goes thru your contacts and tells you who signed up in facebook, so you can add them as friends right away. It has microblogging, photos, and some other cool apps you can use. It's also a good place to use as a forum,  cause you can find people who shares your interests. I joined a .net Framework group and created, of course, the DeKlarit group.

So go ahead and sign up, reach me, and join the DeKlarit group :)

Read Full Post

Great customer support

I don't know if that's customer support. If you go back to one my latest post I was very pissed about not finding what I was looking for regarding Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) security features. I had read tons of articles, papers, blogs, and forum threads and I still couldn't figured it out (I still haven't). But then, after my post, somebody made a comment (you can go ahead and read it). This guy, Michael Green, told me he was from the WCF documentation team and he would be happy to hear what I had to say regarding the WCF documentation, so he left his email address for me to reach him.

So I did, I wrote an email telling him the articles I read and how incomplete those were. I told him that those articles were assuming some knowledge or tips of some kind that obviously I didn't know, that could be my fault but the articles did not mention them or have links to that info.

After a few days I got an answer, which I didn't expect. We discussed about one article in particular and exchange a couple of email. Bottom line: he appreciated my feedback, told me he was going to add the missing info in the docs and also told me to feel free to reach him anytime.

That's what I call great customer support... I'm still lost, I haven't achieved what I wanted to, but in some way, I feel good! :(

P.S: I checked and the article has not changed yet... I'll wait

Read Full Post

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's ALIVE!!!

Just a short notice to let everybody know that the DeKlarit Knowledge Base was brought back to life.
The idea is to have a place where you could find all the fixes of a version. Until now, whenever we fixed a bug o something we posted the fix in our forum in the thread where the bug was found. But now, we'll be updating our knowledge base so people can go there and download every fix for a particular version.

Keep in mind that we will be updating the KB from now on so previous fixes will not be there.

Read Full Post

Sunday, October 14, 2007

SQL2005 Import/Export wizard sucks!

And it's not just me saying it!

The thing is, I have a database with many tables and I created in a new database the exact same tables (at least some of them). Then, for testing purposes, I wanted to populate these tables with the data from the previous database. In SQL2000 I did this hundreads of times with no problems but "now" they replaced DTS for SSIS, and it's just stupid what it is doing. Eventhough there's no identity fields in the tables I have to set "Enable identity insert" to true, otherwise the wizard will try to create the table and since they're already there the script fails saying it could not complete the create table statement :(

  While searching for this issue I found quite a few, so I suggest if you're trying to transfer data, use the DTS Import/Export wizard from SQL2000. It just works!

(BTW: I have SQL2005 SP2)

Read Full Post

Saturday, October 06, 2007

NOT California

In his last post, Joel mentioned a few things from California and I just HAVE to say the Blue Angels are not from California. They are from Pensacola Florida, my home town in the US.

There! I said it

View Larger Map

Read Full Post

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Banana Security

From the name it does not sound like a serious security company. As a matter of fact, it sounds more like a joke than a real security company. I can't tell you exactly how serious they are and how secure is their software, but, what I can tell you is how cool it is and how good it works. And that pretty much does it for me :)

As I mentioned before, I got myself a new computer. It came with a lot of cool features like wifi, firewire, 4 usb ports, integrated web cam and what I thought was the coolest feature until today, the finger print reader. I've been using it from day one and I love it. I love not to writing a password anymore, just swipe the finger and that's it.

But today I discovered what was only seeing (at least for me) in movies. Banana Security has a software that using your notebook's web cam takes a picture of you and associates it with your Windows account. After setting that up I can lock my computer and only my face will unlock it. How cool is that? I've just installed so it does not have cons, yet. I tested with my wife in works just fine. When she was sitting in front of the computer it wouldn't unlock, but as soon as I popped in my Windows session was up again.

Read Full Post

Friday, September 14, 2007

Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to a failure in starting the process for the user instance. The connection will be closed.

Same reason to previous post.
I got this error while working with my WCF client app trying to reach my services. If you Google around you'll notice it's related to SQLEXPRESS and probably, you have it installed but your not using it (at least that's my case).
Anyways, the thing is a bug kinda reported by Microsoft here (it's not my the exact behavior) and you can ask them for the hotfix (I have but they haven't sent it yet) or you can follow these dude's steps to fix it.

I know there's a comment about not fixing it but it worked for me.

Edit: Microsoft has sent the fix. I won't install it yet since I already fixed and they scraed me with that mail :(

Read Full Post

Thursday, September 13, 2007 page default button

It won't be a long post. I just want to add one more post to the internet about this issue.
I'd looked for it it some time ago and at the time found a solution which seemed just perfect, at least it worked perfect, or so I thought. But a few days ago, a coworker was using one my apps (Goomez) and showed some strange behavior. The default button was not working as it was supposed to, and when I tested on my machine it did. Of course, he was using Firefox, don't ask me why, I don't get people using Firefox :)

Bottom line is I found a very useful post by Scott Guthire about this issue, and pretty easy to implement. Just put your controls inside a panel. This panel has an attribute called defaultButton where as the value you have to write your button's name. And that's it.

  <asp:panel defaultbutton="btnSearch" runat="server">
<asp:Image ID="imageLogo" runat="server" ImageUrl="~/images/GoomezLogo2.gif" />
<asp:TextBox ID="txtSearch" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
<asp:Button ID="btnSearch" runat="server" Text="<%$ Resources:StringResources,search %>" OnClick="btnSearch_Click" />

Check out the original post for some other useful tips

P.S: I'm trying the "Insert from Visual Studio" plugin for Windows Live Writer

Read Full Post

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WCF timeout exception

I know I said WCF is not well documented, and I still believe it but I must say that when I posted about this issue I got a guy from Microsoft (named Richie) who really stuck with me to help me solve the problem. Even though I solved it, I still don't understand why. Now I'll post about it (and the solution) so hopefully I will help somebody with it and maybe some one can explain to me why the generated code with svcutil does not have what I want.

It all started implementing security features in the DeKlarit WCF Addin. When I finally got it working I started testing, and at some point the server did not respond and the client exited with a TimeoutException. I added trace log and message log and noticed that it always felt on the 15th communication.

After going thru the Indigo forum and Googled around I found the problem is due to the amount of concurrent connections opened and the timeout the have by default. What?!. Well, that's exactly what I thought, at least the NetTcpBinding (the one I'm using right now) has a default configuration that works in some limited cases.

How did I solve it? Closing the base channel every time so the connections won't add up. Even though it's been fixed I still don't understand why the generated code by the svcutil does not have those "close" calls.

Somebody? Anybody?

Read Full Post

Monday, September 10, 2007

WCF not well documented!

I know it's a pretty new technology, but I believe Microsoft should have done a better job with it's documentation. If you take a look at Microsoft's WCF forum you'll notice for the kind of questions people is doing that something is missing. There's of course the WCF for Dummies example where you host your services in your IIS and create a win app as the client. Everything goes smooth there. But what if you want your services to run as a Windows Service? what if you want to test it as a ConsoleApp?

I believe there's still some critical parts missing. If you come from Remoting you had an easy way to startup all your services with the RemotingConfiguration class, but in WCF there's nothing like it so if you have 10 or 20 services, as I have, you have the write two lines of code to create the service and open it to each and everyone of them... not cool! I've been trying to avoid it but I guess I'll have to run create that class myself. For some magical reason when you host your services in IIS, IIS starts them up. What about the rest of us?

It seems to me Microsoft was urged to release WCF and some critical parts are missing and other not well documented or not documented at all (it's real hard to find good info).

Read Full Post

Friday, August 31, 2007

Been there done that!

I just wanted to say that with Alejandro we finished the PS3 Resistance.

Next stop, Warhawk

Read Full Post

Monday, August 27, 2007

Downgrade from Vista to XP

I recently read on Fake Steve's blog about Lenovo offering downgrades on their notebooks form Vista to XP. It took a while for some people to realize Vista is a pain in the ass. Hp is also doing it cause even Microsoft itself is simplifying the way to do it.

I don't whant to brag (much) but don't say you didn't see that coming :)

Read Full Post

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Microsoft Tafiti

Google has proved that a good search engine has nothing to do with looks(1). They came out of nowhere with the simplest UI ever, no adds, no categories, nothing (at least at first sight) and rule the Internet. Suddenly being at the top of the Google result page was what everyone wanted and page rank became an obsession for some people.

But now, there's a new search engine called tafiti (Swahili for "do research") that has a very appealing UI (done with Silverlight). Obviously Microsoft or any other company couldn't compete with Google's simple yet efective design so they went a little further and tried a new thing.
At first look Tafiti is a cool web search site. It also has a simple way to show the results, so far with no adds, but it also has a more complex way (see it yourself).
Another cool feature is the possibility of saving and tagging results right away. Yes, I know Google does that, but Google saves every little search you did (some of them you probably wish it didn't). Tafiti lets you drag your result to the right to save them and tag them. It also shows you results from feeds, news, images and books.

One more thing, if you tafiti my name I'm at the top of the results so it looks the index engine is working just fine ;)

(1): Goomez has proved that too, but that's for another post :)

Read Full Post

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Simpson Avatar

I read about this page in Karen's blog (she's one of the ladies behind Acropolis, more coming on that soon), and I found it pretty cool.

If you know me personally you will know I don't look anything like it. But in my defense the other guys were either too fat or too skinny. The thing is I don't know what my eyes, nose or mouth look like. I should have asked my wife Vivi to create my avatar. I will do so, and if it looks more like myself I'll change the pic. Until then, this is what I got.

So, go to the Simpson's movie site, create your own avatar and drop a line so I can see what you would look like in Springfield.

P.S: I'm using Windows Live writer now to write my posts.

P.S2: Last nite I went to the movies with my wife, my sister and her boyfriend to watch The Simpson Movie. It was excelent!!!

Edit: I Simpsonized myself and this is what I got, I think it looks more like me

Read Full Post

Thursday, July 19, 2007

DeKlarit 4.3 will be released with WCF support!

That's what's been keeping me busy for the last couple of months, Windows Communication Foundation.
Originally started by Andres, the WCF addin is a great tool for quickly implement your own WCF architecture, or if your new to it, is a pretty good way get things working right away and see how it all works.

Basically you will have, as you did in the Remoting or the WSE addin, your own client where you change the data provider from SimpleDataAdapterFactory to WCFDataAdapterFactory and change the DataAdpaters reference in your module project for a reference to the WCFGenerator client dll where all the proxies are hosted. By doing that your app will no longer reach the DataAdapters in order to get to the data, instead it will try to reach some services. But where are these services? At the moment you have only one option, Internet Information Services, but you will have more options in the future. Also, right now only BasicHttpBinding and WSHttpBinding is supported.

So when you run the addin you'll get:
Service Client: the project you have to reference in your client application
Server web application: where the services are hosted
Service Implementation: that's the actual place were the services are implemented, so if you want to host your services in a console application or as a Windows Service the implementation is already done and it will be the same for all three kinds of project.
Service Contracts: that's where all the interfaces used as contracts are.

There's a pre-release version of DeKlarit 4.3 in the forum.

P.S: Windows Presentation Foundation will also be available in future DeKlarit versions, sorry, no 4.3

Read Full Post

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why I uninstalled Windows Vista

First of all let me tell you I got me a new computer. It's a Toshiba A205-S4617 with 2GB RAM, Core 2 Duo, 250GB HD, and so on.
It came with Vista preloaded which I like (by then).
I bought it on vacations so I started using it to download my pictures from my digital camera and uploaded them to my picassa web albums. So far so good.
When I got back home I started to install the programs I need.
First of all, I noticed an extremely annoying pop up a little too often asking me if I was sure about running the setups.
Including setups digitally signed by Microsoft, "what, don't you trust each other?" :)

The first piece of software I installed was Visual Studio 2003, I still have some clients with applications in .net 2.0, and when I tried to run it I got a message telling me that VS2003 is not supported by Vista, and recommending me to go online to find a solution. Well, I went, but got no solution. Instead, I found the confirmation that VS2003 does not run in Vista. At first I got pissed, why would Microsoft do such a thing!. Then I thought, well it's a good time to migrate my old clients to C# 2.0, but then I found that SQL 2005 needs SP2 to run in Vista and SQL 2000 won't run, no matter what, just like VS2003. Now, I'm really pissed... I really can't think of one good thing of not allowing SQL 2000 in Vista.
I tried to create a Virtual PC with the software I need but the I found out that I can't have SQL 2000 in a virtual PC which databases’ file are in the actual PC's drive... so that's it... I formatted my hard drive and installed a fresh copy of WindowsXP Pro wich is great, runs faster, allows me to do everything I need, and I'm used to it.
I believe this is the first time Microsoft creates an OS that does not allows software that ran in previous versions run in the new one.

I know I'll have to move to Vista some day, but it won't be anytime soon.

Read Full Post

Monday, June 04, 2007

Microsoft Surface

As Don Box said,"Wow, I want one"
Microsoft unveiled a new technology called Microsoft Surface. If you haven't seen it let me give you a hint... Imagine Star Trek, Minority Report and every scifi movie you've seen.
Well, that's Microsoft Surface... watch the videos from the Microsoft Surface site but also take a look at some videos of what it's doing right now... (check this one out)
Keep in mind they are actual videos, that's what Surface is doing today.

Read Full Post

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Windows Presentation Foundation

It's been a while since my last post. I guess I figured out I won't make a living out of this... he he, just kidding. Anyways, you know the holiday season and all, it's hard to sit down and write, so now, as I wait for the "Doble San Antonio" to come. I thought I'd write something.

Since .net Framework 3.0 (formerly winfx) was released I've been reading about it and now I'll post a little Hello World WPF application. There are tons of papers about WPF and XAML (Zamel) so I won't dig into it.

After I installed the .net 3.0 extensions for VS2005 I wanted to create my first Hello World application consisting in a simple form with a button that once clicked a MessageBox would appear with the catchy phrase, "Hello World". Simple right? Not as simple as it sounds, or at least, not as simple as it used to be.

When you start a WPF application you get the main form in the designer. There are a few improvements there like a rule for aligning controls and stuff. Then I went to my toolbox (many new controls) and drag a button into the form.

While doing this you can see what the designer is writing in XAML in a little window below the designer view. You can work either with the designer and the property page or writing the XAML code yourself.

So, once I had my button on the form I did the obvious thing to do, double clicked on it to write the handler for the OnClick event, right? WRONG!!! you can double click, triple click, and do as many clicks as you want and nothing will happen. After a few tries I discovered the Click attribute on the button tag (XAML) so I went and wrote the name of the function I wanted the button to fire up. After doing that I went to the code behind file and implemented that function (you can also write it in the XAML document). Keep in mind that this method uses the ClickEventHandler, sou you'll have to write it with a matching signature (object sender, CleickEventArgs e).
Finally, write the code to execute the MessageBox (like in 2.0) and voila!, your first WPF XAML app is working.

I added some other controls and stuff in my example, so feel free to download it and take a look at it. Any comments about it are welcome.

It's been a few days since I started to write the post, I did well in the "Doble San Antonio", thank you, and I also added some interesting functionality to the example like binding.

Read Full Post