lundi, février 7 2011

Limits of not having Visual Studio when developing

Until now I was focusing on all the things who worked well for development even if you don’t have Visual Studio installed but have only a “standard” Windows machine – which for me means a Windows 7 Starter Edition with Notepad++.

My issue started when I wanted to use LINQ on my SQLite database. I downloaded the whole package for the SQLite compatibility from and ran the installation process which installed the dlls and the examples on my machine. As I don’t have an IDE, the integration step with the IDE was obviously missed out but I could easily access what I was looking for – the examples and the help files.

The issue arose later, when I tried to use the command line tool who replaced SQLMetal to generate my LINQ compatible entities:
EdmGen.exe /mode:FullGeneration /project:vsvEntities /provider:System.Data.Sqlite
/connectionstring:"Data Source=[MyPathTo]\Viewstate.sqlite"

EdmGen cannot find the database provider and fails. According to a forum post, this is only initialised properly (dlls are GACed and registered propertly) when the integration with an IDE is done.

Instead of spending time GACing the relevant dlls and finding out the various needed settings for data providers, I decided to focus on the current code using old-fashioned SQL queries. Sorry for all the LINQ addicts, hope I’ll get some time later to address this :)

mercredi, février 2 2011

Access the .Net framework help files offline

As described in a previous article, you can start develop C# programs without anything else than a standard Windows computer. What if you don’t remember exactly all the arguments of a method or the exact name of a namespace?

Again, say thanks to Microsoft who ships a basic help within all installation of .NET! All you need is to search for your keyword in all the .xml files within the %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework subfolders (usually C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework).

This can be easily done in Notepad++ by using the “Find in all files of a folder” option ([Ctrl] + [Shift] + F). Just make sure the subfolder option is ticked.

jeudi, janvier 20 2011

How to get an ASP.NET development web server without Visual Studio

Getting bored during the holidays because of rainy days? Want to write a few ASP.NET pages and test them even if you don't have Visual Studio or whatever IDE on your computer?

Fortunately, you don’t need an IDE to run Casini, the ASP.NET development web server because it’s shipped with the standard .NET Framework (even on Windows 7 Starter Edition). All you need to do is:

Open a command line and go to %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727 (usually C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727) Run the following command, where <WWWROOT> is your path to the ASP.NET web pages: WebDev.WebServer.EXE /path:<WWWROOT> Another optional argument is /port to specify the TCP port the web server should listen on. Especially if you have Skype running, you should use an alternative port like 8080.

And as final comment from a security perspective, you should be safe as this web server – unlike IIS in its default configuration – only listens for local connexions (bound to<PORT>) and cannot be accessed remotely.

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