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// Visual Studio 2010

Missing Drive Space? Check IntelliTrace Files

by Steve Syfuhs / January 13, 2011 04:00 PM

My laptop has a relatively old SSD, so it only has about 128 GB of space.  This works out nicely because I like to keep projects and extraneous files on an external drive.  However, when you’ve got Visual Studio 2005-2010 installed, 2 instances of SQL Server installed, and god knows what else installed, space gets a little tight with 128 GB.  As a result I tend to keep an eye on space.  It came as a surprise to find out I lost 20 GB over the course of a week or two without downloading or installing anything substantial.

To find out where my space went, I turned to a simple little tool called Disk Space Finder by IntelliConcepts.  There are probably a million applications like this, but this is the one I always seems to remember.  It scans through your hard drive checking file sizes and breaks down usage as necessary.

I was able to dig into the ProgramData folder, and then further into the data folder for Visual Studio IntelliTrace:

image

If you leave IntelliTrace enabled for all debugging you could potentially end up with a couple hundred *.itrace files like I did (not actually pictured).  It looks like an itrace file is created every time the debugger is attached to a process, so effectively every time you hit F5 a file is created.  Doubly so if you are debugging multiple launchable projects at once.

You can find the folder containing these files at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft Visual Studio\10.0\TraceDebugging.

The quick fix is to just delete the files and/or stop using IntelliTrace.  I recommend just deleting the files because I think IntelliTrace is an amazing—if not a little undercooked – tool.  It’s a v1 product.  Considering what it’s capable of, this is a minor blemish.

The long term fix is to install Visual Studio 2010 SP1, as there is apparently a fix for this issue.  The downside of course is that SP1 is still in beta.  Hence long term.

Visual Studio 2010 Desktop Background Images

by Steve Syfuhs / November 10, 2010 04:00 PM

Last night a couple people asked where I got all the neat VS2010 desktop backgrounds.  I couldn’t remember the URL off the top of my head last night, but the website is http://vs2010wallpapers.com/.  There are a lot of great backgrounds.  My favorite though is the ducky. Smile

tumblr_l1yklpszeM1qbkusho1_1280

Visual Studio TFS Lab Management

by Steve Syfuhs / October 04, 2010 04:00 PM

One of my ongoing projects is to dive deeply into Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010.  TFS is pretty easy to get up and running, but as you get into some of the advanced features like Build Services and Lab Management, it gets kind of tricky.  Luckily there’s a fair bit of guidance from our favorite blue badged company.

On the Lab Management Team Blog there is a 4 part walkthrough on Getting Started with Lab Manager in TFS.  Since they are using the RC build of TFS, the walkthrough was pretty spot on to the RTM build.  Here is the walkthrough:

  1. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/02/16/getting-started-with-lab-management-vs2010-rc-part-1.aspx
  2. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/02/16/getting-started-with-lab-management-vs2010-rc-part-2.aspx
  3. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/02/16/getting-started-with-lab-management-vs2010-rc-part-3.aspx
  4. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/02/16/getting-started-with-lab-management-vs2010-rc-part-4.aspx

If you are looking for test code to try out deployments and testing check out part 3, as it contains a working project.

Techdays 2010 Presentation: Build Websites Fast with Visual Studio 2010

by Steve Syfuhs / September 12, 2010 04:00 PM

Joey Devilla has graciously offered me the opportunity to present at Techdays in Toronto this year!  The Toronto event is October 27th-28th.

Here is the session abstract:

DEV355: Build Web Sites Fast with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (click for more information)

Day 1 - 1:00pm - 2:05pm

Learn about the new Web developer innovations in Visual Studio 2010. Visual Studio 2010 makes development of standards-based Web sites better than ever with new support for CSS 2, HTML code snippets, powerful dynamic Intellisense for Javascript, and more! Visual Studio 2010 also makes it easy to deploy applications from development to test and production environments with new support for Web Configuration Transforms and integration with the IIS Web Deployment Tool.

For more details:

*Early Bird discount ($349.99 + taxes) expires on September 16, 2010.
Toronto October 27-28, 2010
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front Street West
Toronto ON M5V 2W6

Show Map

Get Directions
Register Now!

Modifying and Securing the ADFS 2 Web Application

by Steve Syfuhs / September 12, 2010 04:00 PM

When you install an instance of Active Directory Federation Services v2, amongst other things it will create a website within IIS to use as it’s Secure Token Service.  This is sort of fundamental to the whole design.  There are some interesting things to note about the situation though.

When Microsoft (or any ISV really) releases a new application or server that has a website attached to it, they usually deliver it in a precompiled form, so all we do is point IIS to the binaries and config files and we go from there.  This serves a number of purposes usually along the lines of performance, Intellectual Property protection, defense in depth protection, etc.  Interestingly though, when the installer creates the application for us in IIS, it drops source code instead of a bunch of assemblies.

There is a valid reason for this.

It gives us the opportunity to do a couple things.  First, we can inspect the code.  Second, we can easily modify the code.  Annoyingly, they don’t give us a Visual Studio project to do so.  Let’s create one then.

First off, lets take a look at what was created by the installer.  By default it drops the files in c:\inetpub\adfs\ls.  We are given a few files and folders:

image

There isn’t much to it.  These files only contain a few lines of code.  Next we create the actual project.

DISCLAIMER:  I will not be held responsible if things break or the server steals your soul.  Please do NOT (I REPEAT) do NOT do this with production servers please!  (Notice I said please twice?)

Since we want to create a Visual Studio project, and since ADFS cannot be installed on a workstation, we have two options:

  1. Install Visual Studio on the server running ADFS
  2. Copy the files to your local machine

Each options have their tradeoffs.  The first requires a bit of a major overhaul of your development environment.  It’s very similar to SharePoint 2007 development.  The second option makes developing a lot easier, but testing is a pain because the thing won’t actually work properly without the Windows Services running.  You would need to deploy the code to a test server with ADFS installed.

Since I have little interest in rebuilding my development box, I went with the second option.

Okay, back to Visual Studio.  The assemblies referenced were all built on Framework 3.5, so for the sake of simplicity lets create a 3.5 Web Application:

image

I haven’t tested 4.0 yet.

Since this is a Web Application and not a Web Site within Visual Studio, we need to generate the *.designer.cs files for all the *.aspx pages.  Right-click your project and select Convert to Web Application:

image

At this point if you tried to compile the application it wouldn’t work.  We are missing a few assembly references.  First, add Microsoft.IdentityModel.  This should be in the GAC or the Reference Assemblies folder in Program Files.  Next, go back to the ADFS server and navigate to C:\Program Files\Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 and copy the following files:

  • Microsoft.IdentityServer.dll
  • Microsoft.IdentityServer.Compression.dll

Add these assemblies as references.  The web application should compile successfully.

Next we need to sign the web application’s assemblies.  If you have internal policies on assembly signing, follow those.  Otherwise double-click the properties section in Solution Explorer and navigate to Signing:

image

Choose a key file or create a new one.  Rebuild the web application.

So far we haven’t touched a line of code.  This is all general deployment stuff.  You can deploy the web application back to the ADFS server and it should work as if nothing had changed.  You have a few options for this.  The Publishing Features in Visual Studio 2010 are awesome.  Right click the project and Publish it:

image

Since I set up a test box for ADFS development, I’m just going to overwrite the files on the server:

image

Pro Tip: If you do something terrible and need to revert back to original code (what part of don’t do this on a production box didn’t make sense? Winking smile) you can access the original files from C:\Program Files\Active Directory Federation Services 2.0\WSFederationPassive.Web.

At this point we haven’t done much, but we now have a stepping point to modify the default behavior of ADFS.  This could range from simple theme changes to better suit corporate policy, or to completely redefine the authentication workflow.

This also gives us the ability to better protect our code in the event that IIS craps out and shows contents of files, not to mention the (albeit minor) performance boost we get because the website doesn’t need to be recompiled.

Have fun!

Getting the Data to the Phone

by Steve Syfuhs / July 31, 2010 04:00 PM

A few posts back I started talking about what it would take to create a new application for the new Windows Phone 7.  I’m not a fan of learning from trivial applications that don’t touch on the same technologies that I would be using in the real world, so I thought I would build a real application that someone can use.

Since this application uses a well known dataset I kind of get lucky because I already have my database schema, which is in a reasonably well designed way.  My first step is to get it to the Phone, so I will use WCF Data Services and an Entity Model.  I created the model and just imported the necessary tables.  I called this model RaceInfoModel.edmx.  The entities name is RaceInfoEntities  This is ridiculously simple to do.

The following step is to expose the model to the outside world through an XML format in a Data Service.  I created a WCF Data Service and made a few config changes:

using System.Data.Services;
using System.Data.Services.Common;
using System;

namespace RaceInfoDataService
{
    public class RaceInfo : DataService
{ public static void InitializeService(DataServiceConfiguration config) { if (config
== null) throw new ArgumentNullException("config"); config.UseVerboseErrors
= true; config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("*", EntitySetRights.AllRead); //config.SetEntitySetPageSize("*",
25); config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V2;
} } }

This too is reasonably simple.  Since it’s a web service, I can hit it from a web browser and I get a list of available datasets:

image

This isn’t a complete list of available items, just a subset.

At this point I can package everything up and stick it on a web server.  It could technically be ready for production if you were satisfied with not having any Access Control’s on reading the data.  In this case, lets say for arguments sake that I was able to convince the powers that be that everyone should be able to access it.  There isn’t anything confidential in the data, and we provide the data in other services anyway, so all is well.  Actually, that’s kind of how I would prefer it anyway.  Give me Data or Give me Death!

Now we create the Phone project.  You need to install the latest build of the dev tools, and you can get that here http://developer.windowsphone.com/windows-phone-7/.  Install it.  Then create the project.  You should see:

image

The next step is to make the Phone application actually able to use the data.  Here it gets tricky.  Or really, here it gets stupid.  (It better he fixed by RTM or else *shakes fist*)

For some reason, the Visual Studio 2010 Phone 7 project type doesn’t allow you to automatically import services.  You have to generate the service class manually.  It’s not that big a deal since my service won’t be changing all that much, but nevertheless it’s still a pain to regenerate it manually every time a change comes down the pipeline.  To generate the necessary class run this at a command prompt:

cd C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319
DataSvcutil.exe
     /uri:http://localhost:60141/RaceInfo.svc/
     /DataServiceCollection
     /Version:2.0
     /out:"PATH.TO.PROJECT\RaceInfoService.cs"

(Formatted to fit my site layout)

Include that file in the project and compile.

UPDATE: My bad, I had already installed the reference, so this won’t compile for most people.  The Windows Phone 7 runtime doesn’t have the System.Data namespace available that we need.  Therefore we need to install them…  They are still in development, so here is the CTP build http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=b251b247-70ca-4887-bab6-dccdec192f8d.

You should now have a compile-able project with service references that looks something like:

image

We have just connected our phone application to our database!  All told, it took me 10 minutes to do this.  Next up we start playing with the data.

// About

Steve is a renaissance kid when it comes to technology. He spends his time in the security stack.