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  • Blog Post: Using standard icons in a rehosted Workflow Designer

    In this post I’ll show how you can easily use appropriate icons within the Workflow Designer toolbox. There are a number of posts out on the web that show varying ways to do this, however the method I’m proposing is most probably the easiest and most flexible. In days of yore you would...
  • Blog Post: Reading summary results from the VS2010 load test database

    I’m with a customer in the labs this week doing some performance work and one of the tasks we wanted to do was to programmatically read the load test database in order to retrieve a table of summary data from a test run. My customer has instrumented their application well, and came prepared with...
  • Blog Post: VS2010: Could not read result repository, Named Pipes etc

    I've just come across a problem with load testing on Visual Studio 2010 (which probably amounts to a RTFM issue, but who does that anyway?) When installing the load test controller I specified the machine name as '.'. Nothing in the setup told me this would be a problem, but it was. When I then ran...
  • Blog Post: Workflow Activities and Data Templates

    A.K.A. “Why won’t the workflow designer use my data template?” I was on site with a customer today writing some custom activities and found a problem that wasn’t immediately obvious how I could get around it (and indeed it’s taken me some hours of head scratching and...
  • Blog Post: Bug: Goal Based load test generates a LoadTestGoalCounterNotFoundException

    I’m in the scalability labs with a customer this week and we’ve encountered an exception when setting up a goal based load test. We have a bunch of machines, and my customer has created a set of custom performance counters that report appropriate data. The goal based test was setup to...
  • Blog Post: Adding a Context Menu item to a Workflow 4 designer

    I’m in a curious time-warp this week, as I’ve just been asked how to do something in WF4 that I wrote about for WF3 in September 2005 . Anyhow, a customer of mine asked how to add an item to the context menu for an activity within the design surface, and so here goes… Firstly you...
  • Blog Post: Simplifying commands in MVVM and WPF

    I’ve been using MVVM since I started WPF (I was a latecomer to the beauty that is WPF) and one of the things that’s always irked me is the amount of code you need to write in order to expose a command. I’ll typically write something like the following in order to create a command that...
  • Blog Post: A practical State Machine example

    Now that the State Machine Activity Pack has been released on Codeplex (see http://wf.codeplex.com for details) I thought I should resurrect one of the samples I regularly used in the 3.x days to show a state machine example. The point of this example is to show how the state machine activities could...
  • Blog Post: Creating multiple activities from the toolbox

    This blog post will show you how you can add a custom tool to the toolbox which, when selected, will drop a custom activity onto the designer surface. In addition I’ll also show how to get non-activity classes onto the toolbox. There are many times when you might want to do this – a couple...
  • Blog Post: Designers for custom activities

    When writing a custom activity you’ll typically want to provide a custom designer which is used when rendering your activity on the design surface. Visual Studio will look for designers using a couple of methods – one old, one new. In this post I’ll show how to use both methods and...
  • Blog Post: How much is that logging in the Window(s)

    Sorry for the awful pun, but now you’re probably thinking I’m mad, either that or you now have the lyrics of “How much is that doggy in the window” racing around in your head. Anyhow, the point of this post is to show something that I’ve carped on about for some time and that is logging – or more...
  • Blog Post: How to define and host workflow services with multiple receives

    Note – this article is based on Workflow 4 Beta 1, some things will change for Beta 2] First off let me apologise for the length of this post. If you just want the code, skip to the bottom. I don’t know about you but some words just don’t seem to make their way into my skull very easily, and correlation...
  • Blog Post: New .NET Attributes

    The very first talk I gave on .NET was on custom attributes – some time way back in late 2000 or early 2001. At the time I was espousing the benefits of using custom attributes to add on details of unit tests and bug fixes. There have been many additions to .NET since then and I spied a couple of...
  • Blog Post: Polymorphism in WCF

    Polymorphism in any OO language is taken as a given – and people would be shouting about it a lot if a language didn’t support it. However, when you’re writing a service interface with WCF you might also want to permit some form of polymorphic behaviour at runtime. I was working with a customer yesterday...
  • Blog Post: The following requested processes are not executing – error in adplus.vbs

    I was doing some investigation on a customer site and needed to use adplus.vbs to take process dumps, however I was forever getting the above error and couldn’t for a while work it out. I thought I must have typed in the wrong process id, but after checking and double checking I wasn’t, so I headed off...
  • Blog Post: Differentiating process instances in Perfmon

    If you’re running in a terminal services environment, or have multiple instances of a given application running on your machine, this tip will help you to work out which process is which in Perfmon. To see the issue, I’ve created a simple Windows Forms application and run up three instances of it on...
  • Blog Post: Developing .NET applications for deployment on Terminal Services or Citrix

    If you develop .NET client applications that are deployed to users over Terminal Services (TS) or Citrix then this is the post for you. Why? – well, there’s a bit of an issue that not a lot of people know about, and it can really ruin your day. First off some preamble about how we got here and why it...
  • Blog Post: BigIP can save the day

    In my role as an ADC I often get to run customer labs – this is where we take a customers application, install it on the hardware we have in Reading, and then exercise a number of load tests against it to see what opportunities there are for performance and scalability tweaking. Just before Christmas...
  • Blog Post: Meet 'Morgan Skinner', he's an ADC.

    Continuing on the theme of things here is the second post in the Meet an ADC series, meet Morgan Skinner. 1 - Hello Morgan, who are you? I’m Morgan Skinner, originally from Cornwall but have been living in and around Manchester for the past 20 years. I’m married and have one son, Sam. ...
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