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Showing posts from 2003

Master Pages in ASP.NET "Whidbey"

Just casually browsing through ASP.NET website and I was reading some content on Whidbey, the next version of Visual Studio .NET and ASP.NET. Web Application development in Classic ASP used include files to define common layouts and templates.

Moving a step towards ASP.NET, we had Register TagPrefix Templates and Web User Controls to achieve the same. Or we could also define a common BasePage, which defines the layout shared for the entire application, giving a placeholder to the actual control at Runtime. But then, the BasePage concept lacked support in Visual Studio .NET Designer.

Coming up next, in ASP.NET next version, is Master Pages, which defines a page designed as a Base Layout master, with an extension .master, that dictates the overall layout of the page itself.

Other pages use the Page Directive and link to this Master page via a Master attribute of the Page directive. Sections marked with <asp:ContentPlaceHolder> in Master Page are overridden in the child Web Pages.

Free LiveSupport for Websites

Having a cyber presence or a personal homepage now is a breeze nowadays with lots of free webhosts. I came across a website sometime back called Get1on1. This site offers a unique Live Support Service for websites that too free. Perhaps, personal websites with unique content in technology and articles relating to the same can have this, to further get closer to its visitors. Check it out...

Standardizing JavaScript Validations

Almost any web application we develop has a bit of JavaScript validations that we code into it. But it would really be a re-inventing of the same wheel putting the same logic over and over again. Also, it brings along with it, the difficulties of maintaining multiple code sets, consistency and a lot of problems. I was searching for some JavaScript validations and came across a JavaScript Validation library called fValidate which we can download for free from http://www.peterbailey.net/fValidate/
The Validation Library is very customizable and you can also precisely say how do you want the error messages to be displayed like Scripting Alert Popup, inline DHTML Message (similar to ASP.NET RequiredFieldValidator and ValidationSummary for Microsoft Internet Explorer and uplevel browsers) etc.

Since this library is also a freeware downloadable and quite easy to configure, I hope it would be very useful for development fraternity of web-based applications worldwide.

Quick, Easy and Free Link Checker

The other day, I was searching for a Free Link Checking tool, which could navigate through all the links in the website and give me a summary of broken links, slow redirections etc. There are online services like NetMechanic, which do it for a free trial, but the number of pages that it serves in its free trial is relatively less and also is bit costly.
Just came across this free tool called Xenu, which is downloadable from http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

I hope that this tool would really be useful for web developers to check the links in thier applications and status of the external links, before releasing websites that they are developing. The tool has a nice provision to FTP the status reports to a particular server and store it there. Besides this, it also generates a well-formatted report, which also contains SiteMap for pages with valid titles.

MyIE2 -- Customized Web Browser

Just was casually surfing the web and I came across this web browser called 'MyIE2'. The About dialog says 'The Way We Surf the Web'. It really augments and enhances the way we surf the web as it says. It is really a cool Web Browser, quite similar to Avant Browser, which I was discussing with you, in this blog sometime back. Even this one is a freeware download and you can try the same from http://www.myie2.com/ I  in fact have only the Lite version running in my system and even this is really cool. Check it out...

Refactoring Code

Refactoring is a technique to restructure code in a disciplined way. Perhaps Refactoring has a lot of WebLogs and articles published over the Web that your Search Engine should be able to take you around a tour of the same. Perhaps last week, I needed a tool to automatically maintain namespace organizations and other stuff. Perhaps I felt, that an automated tool would really serve the purpose, other than me doing it manually, which is error-prone.
I just came across the following site: http://www.dotnetrefactoring.com/ 

It really has lots of information to be researched in depth. What's Cool. It adds itself as a Visual Studio .NET Addin, so that a separate program invocation is not required.
Well! While I was doing this research on Refactoring Tools, I came across Eclipse -- The Open Source J2EE Application Framework IDE.  Perhaps a study of Refactoring Concepts in Eclipse really helps one in understanding the concepts with more depth.

Perhaps sometime later, I would publish an arti…

Quick Dictionary for your Applications

Just came across this site http://www.loresoft.com/Applications/NetSpell/default.aspx, and it gives Free Dictionary files and Dictionary Component, in full source code form. It can be integrated seemlessly into any application, whether WinForms or WebForms.
Perhaps the sample applications like TraySpell etc are useful for our day to day activities and spell checking from any application also. Check it out...

Easy To Use Package and Deployment Systems

Elegant Package and Deployment of applications has been the concern of people for long time. With the advent of Visual Studio, there was an easy 'Package and Deployment Wizard' with Microsoft Visual Basic. Then with Visual Studio .NET, there came, 'Setup and Deployment Wizard' project, which makes Package and Deployment a breeze.
But whilst searching in Google, I just came across this simple tool called NSIS -- NullSoft Scriptable Installation System, available from http://nsis.sourceforge.net/site/index.php?id=2&backPID=2&tt_news=4

Well! This comes under Open Source license. The beauty is an EXEcutable is made by simply writing a script file, which is so simple like our Windows/DOS batch files or Unix Shell Scripts. I was just browsing through NSIS website and it seems it also supports a wide spectrum of User Interfaces.

Perhaps, if someone was looking for a Scriptable Installation System, where one needs to put custom Scripting, than application supplied wizard…

Leadership Qualities for Personnel in Technical Domains

I was quite in tensed and depressed mood perhaps sometime last week. One of my friend sent me some URL and articles on leadership to keep me motivated and keep up the spirits. I really loved the Leadership Qualities for Personnel in Technical Domains that I almost spent that night till about 3:30 trying to understand it. It is really a very excellent piece of article. In fact, my heart-felt thanks to the author.  Perhaps this ten points on leadership, which I got via mail, I would like to share with the readers of my blog. Perhaps I would consider this as a kind of Ten Commandments for a Leader in Software Industry.   Out of my own interest and curiosity, I just went to google andput the the first line to find out where this content actually came from. It was from this URL: http://www.isoquantic.com/RandRs/SWLeadership.html

1. BUSINESS LITERACYSoftware operations leaders who are now technology-oriented must increasingly see themselves as business leaders. To be business literate, leader…

Playing around with WebServices

Web Services have been a real useful and innovative stuff to bring in seamless integration of applications. With .NET Framework, WebServices are not just tools to implement and integrate heterogeneous and diversified applications, but also WebServices trigger more interest and tempt us to explore more on them, and assures us a definite promising solution to our business problems related to application integrations.
Well! That describes the usual bla bla! Don't worry! I am not going to bore you with that.  Perhaps you would have encountered a situation that .NET 1.1 now disables Web Service Post testing via Sample Forms generated for Internet Explorer. Of course, if we need, we can enable them back using Web.Config settings for the WebService application, but it not normally recommended on production servers.

But I just got hold of the following tool called Web Service Studio from GotDotNet.com, which provides an interactive GUI to manage with WebServices and also invoke WebMethod…

Avant Browser

I just came across this Free Web Browser Avant Browser which runs on top of Microsoft Internet Explorer and provides a compact interface to Web Browser. Instead of multiple windows of Internet Explorer, it has multi-tabbed interface and is really cool. Moreover, it has Google Search Engine builtin, which provides an additional advantage to the tool.
What's more? Avant Browser is a free tool too. Avant Browser is a free download from http://www.avantbrowser.com/

BaseLine Security Analyzer

Just came across this tool called Microsoft BaseLine Security Analyzer which scans the PCs of choice (either the local system) or the PC that you are intending to scan on the network. Of course, you must have privileges to scan the destination PC.
It scans the systems for SQLServer, Windows Security Updates etc. It further analyzes Window User Manager and gives you hint whether the passwords are strong and number of administrators for the system etc.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tools/Tools/MBSAhome.asp?frame=true

This would be a handy tool to keep the system secure, since the Slammer and similar viruses used the blank and weak passwords of the SA account. Is'nt it? Perhaps a definite tool that must be with any system administrator or helpdesk personnel. Perhaps common users intending to keep their PCs secure, if they want to test and keep thier PCs secure and for them it is really a valuable tool.

Personal Time Manager

How much time you have said 'I forgot', to any of your schedules? How much time you have got delayed? Perhaps here is a simple tool to keep yourself reminded of your schedules right over your desktop.  That too, without nagging you of your schedules and to remind yourself in most friendly ways.
Check out:http://www.turbonote.com/ Perhaps it a is Free Program too. Also the website says you can also send the setup program to your friends etc. The website itself supports 'Mail It' functionality of the Setup Application. Perhaps a nice and elegant tool to keep yourself reminded of schedules.

Protect yourself from W32.Swen.A@mm

A new virus/worm seems to be spreading W32.Swen.A@mm I just checked the Symantec URL and here are the details:
http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.swen.a@mm.html

Perhaps SpamPal is a savior in these cases with its HtmlModify Plugin since all bad attachments are renamed as plain text files that only Notepad can open. The worm seems be bit powerful, since it also deactivates Network Firewalls from being functional, as the Symantec WebPage claims. While SpamPal cordons off one way for the worm spreading (the 70% communication medium), the worm also seems to spread via Network shares. Perhaps care should be taken in exercising logon attempts at remote workstations using logon credentials with administrative privileges like accessing network shares using administrative shares, since if the system used to access administrative share is infected, then the worm may drop a copy of the same onto the target subsystem. I am not sure whether the worm does this, so if you hav…

Yukon -- New and Cute SQL Server

YUKON, the next version of SQL Server seems to be more promising. I just had came across this from a newsgroup and visited the Microsoft SQL Server homepage.:
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/yukon.asp


Perhaps one of the features like using VB.NET or C# for the database applications, since CLR is now embedded in the database engine, it is taking the SQL Server far beyond all other databases in the world. That is a significant feature of Yukon.
Yukon -- You have become a sweetheart even before you release. See yourself how many WebLogs and Reviews that you have generated. We have become your foremost fans, waiting to welcome you.

LoveDotNet is now DotNetEmpire -- The little empire grows in mighty tender love

Our community workspace which was erstwhile known as LoveDotNet is now known as DotNetEmpire. Perhaps to start with, the in famous generic ADO connectivity tool called QueryExpress has been published for other users to download and use. 
Since any db-driven project needs a generic and robust tool to connect to datasource, the most latest and customized version our most revered QueryExpress has been checked into the SourceControl. Along with that, the WebServicesStudio application, another free download to manage and invoke WebMethods in any WebService has also been published.

Perhaps members can check out the files and start using them. If you would like to be a part of DotNetEmpire, why not consider visiting DotNetEmpire and applying for the membership in our team.  The membership in the group is entirely upto the moderators decision. So please try to convince why to join and perhaps your homepage or previous contribution to .net community would be helpful in getting the membership.…

Making effective use of BITS Windows Service

Windows XP and its successors have a Windows Service called Background Intelligent Transfer Service, shortly known as BITS. The purpose of this Windows Service is to make use of idle network bandwidth for making large transfers, instead of clogging the network and processor time, during effective user interactive session.
I was quite interested in knowing how to use this Windows Service. This will be of significant use while deploying Windows Forms since we can configure the Windows Forms application to automatically updates its data files from a preconfigured datasource. I was just searching for some nice resource, as I mentioned in the start of this paragraph. And just came across this one:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=874CDE91-E95F-47DF-9C75-778F63A4F5CF&displaylang=en


This has complete sourcecode on making large chunks of data transfer using BITS Windows Service.  The following URL also gives a complete description of the sourcecode:

http://msdn.micro…

Automated Builds in a typical .NET development

A typical .NET development involves regular builds taking latest versions from the respective SourceControl system. To ensure that each build is unique in itself and ensure cross verification of the same, when the build is made, a labelling of the same would be useful on the Source Control level. Perhaps this labelling concept is easy to describe and use as far as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe  is considered. 
Though there may be Build Managers in the Team, to assist in daily builds and sending reports to the team, it would be an effective way to have regular builds moved to an Automated Scheduled Task, so that the system itself would automatically take care of getting the latest versions of the files from the Source Control, make the build and generate appropriate reports. The advantage is that an automated tool ensures accuracy of the sequence of operations, as this would have gone through an exhaustive testing stage, removes monotony that is a bane with human interventions and operat…

Keeping mailbox SpamFree

The mailboxes getting swamped by junk messages these days is not an uncommon scene. We put our email addresses while registering or filling up the Contact Forms of so many websites. Spammers use more sophisticated email harvesting tools that catch these addresses, catalog them into database, perhaps regionwise, Countrywise etc and sell them on CDs too. Perhaps sometimes junk mails keep coming like 'Get CD of 1 Million Addresses'.
The email clients nowadays also come with MessageRules that aide us in filtering out unwanted mails. However, the amount of filtering capability is restricted to the Internet Headers and a limited set of previously stored details regarding the particular sender in question.  Fortunately, we have a few Internet Spam Prevention softwares too. The unfortunate thing is that not all are free and some are bulky and some are too tedious to configure.

Of late, I came across a free software called SpamPal, a free Spam Detection software from http://www.spampal…

Dangers Lurking for Innocent Websites Due to Cross Site Scripting

Often this Cross Site Scripting has been talked during some site updates and been forgotten. Perhaps if you have installed .NET Framework 1.1, then Scripting and HTML tags via QueryStrings or HTML form tags are just stopped by the framework with the message similar to the following one: A potentially dangerous Request.QueryString value was detected from the client (DocLinkUrl_Begin="javascript:window.opener...").Description: Request Validation has detected a potentially dangerous client input value, and processing of the request has been aborted. This value may indicate an attempt to compromise the security of your application, such as a cross-site scripting attack. You can disable request validation by setting validateRequest=false in the Page directive or in the configuration section. However, it is strongly recommended that your application explicitly check all inputs in this case.


Exception Details: System.Web.HttpRequestValidationException: A potentially dangerous Reques…

Updates to my WebKennel (Personal Homepage Network)

There has been significant updates to the WebKennel Personal Website today. Of late, if you have observed the website for the past three days, you should have been experiencing problems with certain links were not able to navigate fast, since the Scripting itself was designed for an earlier version of Zend Engine.
Thanks to Portland Communications, since now NetCraft WebServer Survey shows that Portland Servers run with the current version of PHP, which has faster Zend Engine rendering. Perhaps, features like register_globals being turned off, add an extra Security Feature to the website, like preventing the infamous Cross Site Scripting attacks.

WebKennel prepares to welcome you, with more love and affection...

Welcome to WebKennel!

Online Books @Vijay Mukhi's Technology Cornucopia

Just came across this website http://www.vijaymukhi.com/. Perhaps most of us know Vijay Mukhi, who has been the most popular author of Books on C++ etc. The site has really exhaustive collection of documentation and online tutorials on ASP.NET, ASP, VB.NET, C#, C# and MSIL. The website also covers J2EE topics like J2EE on Mobile etc.
Perhaps you can bookmark this site and visit it often as your reference.

The more elegant and cool feature of this website is the simple and easier to navigate Tree Navigation System, which facilitates quicker access to any of the pages, that we intend to reach.

I can also observe a couple of Sample Projects (with sourcecode).

A surestop reference to all sections of developers, whether J2EE or Microsoft Technology (start or advanced).

CodeReview -- Now along with Visual Studio .NET

A CodeReview Phase always is not that welcome step among developers. Most of us do not want to have faults to be found at us. Is'nt it? But there is a gentle way of indicating faults, so that we can take corrective actions and make our programs more user-friendly (developer-friendly). 
Check out the following URL for a friendly CodeReview Checklist that should be helpful, even from during the development stage. The website also gives a 30 day Trial Edition of the CodeReview AddIn, but not many of us can afford it, to be frank.

http://www.macadamian.com/codereview.htm

There are simple Compiler options that can also make us enforce some discipline like Compiling under 'Type 4 Warning Level'  and 'Treat Warnings As Errors'. A Warning is just not a warning. The dumb and innocent compiler is really helping us to smell something wrong or out of normal sequence. Hence it would be wiser, to have the warnings corrected too.

Perhaps these are simple and trivial things. But in…

Help Networks

Searching for manuals or help information? Perhaps the following site has lots of information on the same, under diversified category set.
http://www.geocities.com/crmail2000/

But if you want to know some technology and how it works, without delving into details, perhaps HowStuffWorks™  should be able to help you. Check out HowStuffWorks™ at:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/

The Definitive COM and ActiveX Reference

Are you searching for in-depth COM and ActiveX fundamentals references? Perhaps the following URL would be helpful to you:

http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009899899/


The pages are fast, since they don't have advertisements or shockwave or flash movies. It has quite indepth coverage. Perhaps while reading, it may be like reading the Control Systems Book, during the fifth Semester of Computer Science and Engineering degree course. Perhaps you can bookmark this URL and keep for your COM and ActiveX references.

AccuFlow -- Document Management Solution

AccuFlow -- Document Management Solution


I was just searching for some tool that uses Microsoft Indexing Service API in our programs and got hold of this FREE Tool. I just downloaded this code and am trying to understand the same.  This product has similar look and feel to MSN Hotmail Tab Panel, so naturally, I think, Ease of User Interface should'nt be a problem to the normal user. I have'nt done much of changes to my system other than unpacking the downloaded file and WebSharing the folder.


The URL is: http://www.fulcrumweb.com/accuflow.shtmlIt uses Microsoft SQL Server. I think that should'nt be a problem though. Microsoft Desktop Edition, which is freely downloadable from http://www.asp.net/ along with WebMatrix should answer this step.


So what are you waiting for.... MSDE and AccuFlow are waiting for you... :) :)

Get Saved from Blaster Worm

Get Saved from Blaster WormThe BlasterWorm that exploits certain API of DCOM in Windows seems to be very devastating. I can personally observe more than dozens of my close friends complaining of thier Windows systems being infected. I just made a small research on Blaster Worm and thought the following article would help in saving ourselves from the BlasterWorm menace. Check out this step-by-step link from Microsoft: What You Should Know About the Blaster Worm and Its Variants

I would suggest the following tools too, which are from the freeware (for personal/home use) domain, which can help you get saved from BlasterWorm menace.

Kerio Personal Firewall

Kerio Personal Firewall is quite easy to install and configure, according to what I have observed. Since it sits near the TCP layer, it catches almost all packets that sniffs in or tries to sneak out of Windows and barks at bad packets and warns the user that some packets are going crazy. The help pages are also very informative.

Perhap…

Crystal Reports under .NET

VB Developers should be more familiar in interacting with Crystal Reports right? Crystal Reports had been the choicest Reporting Tool for many enterprises worldwide. Starting VB.NET and C#, with its most feature-rich Windows Forms, Crystal Reports for .NET again, no doubt, becomes the choice of most enterprises. 
Here is a simple Tutorial URL, that helps a novice developer in Crystal Reports for .NET to walk through the same.

http://www.crystalreportsbook.com/

The pages are plain-vanilla and load almost fast, since there are'nt much graphics, flash or shockwave movies to slow down the pages. The language is pretty simple too.  Perhaps starting crystal reports developers would be benefitted by this tutorial.