Blog - Title

Visual Studio 2013 Current Status

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    World of Warcraft Install on Vista


    Okay, so I bit the bullet and installed WOW on Vista last night.  I am going to install the patches tonight and see how it works.  If anyone has had issues, lemme know.  BTW, feel free to catch up with me on Eredar (70 NE Priest -- SQLVarChar).  I don't play as often as I used to but still try to get in  a couple of instance runs on weekends.


  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    For My Hardcore Readers...


    Who wants a copy of Visual Studio 2008 Pro?  Just put a comment on this post before midnight tonight CST and I will pick someone to receive it.  Good luck!

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Turn Off the Uppercase Menu in Visual Studio 2012


    I’ve been seeing a ton of posts lately on this feature so thought I would share here as well.  I also like to give credit where credit is due so I did a search and it looks like the earliest mention of this ability is by Richard Banks in his post 6\1\2012 here:  If anyone knows of an earlier one done by someone else let me know but this looks like the first mention of it.  If I were a betting man I would say he most likely used Process Explorer to make this discovery which is my favorite tool for finding things like this.



    Mixed Case is Your Friend

    Okay so you really, really don’t like the Uppercase menu in VS2012 because you feel like it is shouting at you:




    You would rather go back to mixed case for your menu:





    Not a problem! Let’s see how:

    WARNING:  Making changes to the registry can cause unexpected results so do any changes at your own risk!


    Manual Registry Change

    Open the registry editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\General\
    (For Windows 8 Desktop Express go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\WDExpress\11.0\General) //special thanks to msm8bball for the update
    (For Web Express go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VSWDExpress\11.0\General)

    1. Create a new DWORD value called SuppressUppercaseConversion set to 1
    2. Restart Visual Studio and you should see the change

    NOTE: Watch your spelling if you are typing this manually.



    PowerShell Goodness

    If you like to “simplify” this a bit you can use PowerShell to run a nice script to make this happen.  However, if you haven’t used PowerShell before this may not be faster for you.

    1. Go to the Start button and type powershell and select the Windows PowerShell Entry:
    2. In the PowerShell window copy the script below and paste it in then press Enter:
      Set-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\General -Name SuppressUppercaseConversion -Type DWord -Value 1

    3. Restart Visual Studio and enjoy!
  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Party Unity My Ass -- Awesome!


    I try not to get political but this is just too good to pass up.  I caught this on the news the other day.  Talk about no bs I think even i could learn something from these folks.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Proposed Book Title


    The new book is entering its final stages before we start work in earnest.  After much discussion internally we have finally come up with a potential title for the new book and I wanted to get your thoughts.  Let me preface this with the following:  We wanted to depart from the “tips and tricks” moniker for the book as we feel it doesn’t adequately portray what the book does (or should do at least).  With that said, the current thought on a title is (drum roll, please):


    Microsoft Visual Studio Productivity Handbook


    I really want your feedback on this one.  Does it suck?  Do you like it?  Tell me your thoughts…



  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Visual Studio 2013 Preview: CodeLens aka Code Information Indicators


    [Updated: 7/12/2013: Thanks to John Gardner for the updated info.]


    There is only one way to describe this next feature: IT ROCKS!


    To use this feature you will need Visual Studio 2013 Preview and Team Foundation Server 2013 Preview as some information comes from TFS.



    Presenting the Problem

    For me, this is the signature feature in Visual Studio 2013. It’s well thought out and solves multiple issues we face as developers. But what IS it exactly? The best way to demonstrate it is to remind you what life was like before we had it. Here is a method (from the TailSpin toys sample code) the way we have seen it in the past:

    5-16-2012 6-04-11 PM


    What if I need to find all the references to this method? I can press SHIFT+F12 and get results in the Find Symbol Results window:

    5-16-2012 6-09-48 PM


    How about the tests associated with this method? I’d either dig through the references above or dig into the Test Explorer window and see what I can find. But what if I want to know who last changed this method? How about the number of times this code has changed? Now I have to dig into other windows to locate the data. In short, I can get all the information I need but have to go to several different places to get it.



    Solving the Problem

    The Visual Studio team has come up with an elegant solution to the problem: show information about the code WITH the code. It’s a great addition to the development experience. Originally called Code Information Indicators, the marketing folks have now dubbed this CodeLens.


    Turning It On

    CodeLens is on by default but I want to point out the information you can choose to view. Go to Tools | Options | Text Editor | All Languages | Code Information Indicators:

    5-16-2012 6-29-59 PM

    (NOTE: a faster way to get here is to press CTRL+Q for QuickLaunch and type the word “information” into the search area then select the Code Information Indicators entry)


    I’ll show these in the order you will most likely see them when you begin using this feature.




    Show References

    5-16-2012 6-38-10 PM

    The first indicator you will typically notice is the references. This is just like using Find All References but instead of presenting the information in another window a summary of references is shown with the code. With any of the CodeLens indicators you can access the details in a couple of ways.



    Mouse Access

    You can click on any indicator to see the results:

    5-16-2012 6-56-14 PM


    Also there is a scroll bar (if needed) to allow moving through multiple entries:

    5-16-2012 6-57-02 PM



    Keyboard Access

    If you don’t want to take your hands off the keyboard, you can simply hold down your ALT key on your keyboard and each indicator will show a number above it:

    5-16-2012 7-02-04 PM


    Pressing ALT + [indicator number] will show the information within. In this example, ALT+2 will open the references. These numbers are static so you can always depend on them. Regardless of where you are, ALT+2 will always show the references.




    Show Tested By

    With any method we often want to know what tests are associated with it. The Show Tested By option will show what tests are associated with your code and an overall status indicator:

    5-16-2012 7-35-20 PM


    As you can see in this example, the tests haven’t been run yet as shown by the icon to the left of the test summary. If I click on the Show Tested By section or press ALT+3:

    5-16-2012 7-42-07 PM


    Then I get the information window:

    5-16-2012 7-49-55 PM


    Notice we can run the currently selected test or run all tests. To access the Run All or Run links with just your keyboard just use your TAB key. If you want to examine an individual test method you can press Enter (or Double Click) any entry in the information window and the editor will show the test method details:

    5-16-2012 8-02-04 PM


    Let’s jump back to our original code. Looking at the Show Tested By indicator we can see that if all the tests have passed this is the result:

    5-16-2012 8-06-05 PM


    If any tests fail, then we will see something like this:

    5-16-2012 8-10-03 PM


    You can see any tests that failed by opening the Show Tested By area:

    5-16-2012 8-11-33 PM




    Show Test Status

    Now let’s discuss the Show Test Status indicator. Normally, when we look at a test method this is what we see:

    5-16-2012 8-22-36 PM


    However, once we run our tests, it would be nice to see the status of the run with the test method itself. This is where Show Test Status comes in. By turning this on we can see the status of the last run represented as an icon (to the left of the references information):

    5-16-2012 8-27-31 PM


    If you want to see the latest test result, you can Click the icon or press ALT+1:

    5-16-2012 8-29-33 PM


    And see the test result window:

    5-16-2012 8-34-24 PM




    Show Authors and Show Changes

    The Show Authors and Show Changes options actually show the same information but filter it in two ways. Both are updated when you Get Latest from source control. Show Authors will show the name of the last person to make a change plus a count of any other unique individuals who have worked with the same code:

    5-16-2012 9-04-43 PM


    Whereas Show Changes will show the total number of changes in the code’s history:

    5-16-2012 9-14-16 PM


    Selecting either of these by using your mouse or by pressing ALT+4 and ALT+5 respectively:

    5-16-2012 9-17-18 PM


    Opening either one of these indicators will reveal the following:

    5-16-2012 9-19-59 PM


    This is where things get interesting. You can Right Click any entry in this window to be presented with three options that we will examine in detail:

    5-16-2012 9-24-40 PM



    View Diff Of Changeset[Number]

    This will show the difference between the selected changeset and the one prior for comparison:

    5-16-2012 9-29-10 PM



    Changeset Details

    This choice will show the details of the changeset in Team Explorer:

    5-16-2012 9-30-39 PM



    Send Email To [Author]

    Pretty self-explanatory, this option will open up your default email program and allow you to begin crafting an email to the author of the changeset with a link to remind the author of the code changed:

    5-16-2012 9-34-22 PM 





    In this section I’ll show some additional items that may be of interest to you as you discover more about CodeLens.


    Navigating Between Information Windows

    Once you have opened any information window:

    5-16-2012 12-04-12 PM


    You can use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move between the other information windows.

    (NOTE: The team that works on this let me know that the official keyboard shortcut for moving between these windows is ALT+RIGHT ARROW and ALT+LEFT ARROW. Be aware that just plain ARROW keys may stop working in future iterations of the build and you will need to use the official keys to move between windows here.)



    Skipping Lines

    I began this article saying that this feature is well thought out. Nothing emphasizes my point more than the way the indicator are treated in the editor. Rather than being intrusive and even throwing off your line counts by treating the indicators as a line of code the indicators are simply decorations added in the editor and are not counted as an actual line:

    5-16-2012 10-14-49 PM


    The concept of being non-intrusive is so ingrained into this feature that even the cursor will skip over it when you are using your keyboard to move between lines in the editor.



    Changing Indicator Fonts and Colors

    If you want to modify the font and/or color of the indicators you can go to Tools | Options | Environment | Fonts and Colors then select Show Settings For the Code Information Indicators:

    5-16-2012 9-54-27 PM


    Experiment with these to find settings that are appealing to you.



    Turning It Off

    If, for some reason, you don’t like this feature then you can always turn it off by going to Tools | Options | Text Editor | All Languages | Code Information Indicators and disable the feature.





    CodeLens is truly an epic addition to the Visual Studio world. I am a huge fan of this feature. Try it yourself and tell me what you think! :)

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog



    Menu:  Tools -> Options -> Environment -> AutoRecover
    Versions:  2008,2010,2012,2013
    Published:  6/30/2010
    Code:  vstipEnv0019



    WARNING: Read the comments associated with this post as there are multiple complaints that this features doesn't work as expected. Read this thread from the engineering folks about usage with versions VS2010 and older.



    Perhaps your best friend is the AutoRecover feature.  It can be a real life saver if the dev environment crashes or there is a power outage or a meteor hits your cube (okay, maybe not that last one).  It's very simple to use, just go to Tools -> Options -> Environment -> AutoRecover:



    If you want to turn this feature off you can deselect the "Save AutoRecover information every" checkbox.  Of course, if you do this we will all laugh at you when you lose important work because you didn't have it and I will personally blog about it so everyone knows--you might want to leave it on--just saying.  Here is what the other options do:


    X minutes - determines how often files have AutoRecover information saved.  The default is 5 minutes but you can adjust up or down depending on usage.  There is an inverse relationship between this value and the frequency of your updates to code.  If you make more frequent updates to code then have a lower number here.  Fewer updates to code mean you can increase this number if you desire.  If you are going to make a mistake here make it on the side of a number that is too low rather than too high.  It's better to take any performance hit from file I/O than to lose a ton of work.


    X days - used to decide how long AutoRecover files are kept in the Backup Files directory.  The default is 7 days which is usually adequate for most situations.  If you work with a lot of projects over a short period of time then you may want to decrease this number to keep the Backup Files directory more clear.  If you are going to guess on this value then it's better to guess high and lower the number as needed. 




    Let's be clear on what a is exactly saved and where it is saved.  First, recovered files are stored at \...\My Documents\Visual Studio <version>\Backup Files\<projectname>.  Not every file is saved here.  Let me show you an example:


    Here is the backup folder for one of my solutions when I create it in Visual Studio:



    Obviously the folder is empty.  Now let me make a change to a file and save the change.  Then I'll wait 5 minutes to see the result:



    Still nothing because there is no need to recover a saved file.  But let me make a change to a file without saving it and wait another 5 minutes:



    NOW we have AutoRecover information because if there is crash we will have to make a decision to recover the unsaved changes or keep the last saved version.  This is essentially the function of AutoRecover.




    When you do finally have to recover a file, this is the dialog you will get:






    Recovered files - lists the file(s) that can be recovered with a a checkbox to select/deselect the file as well as basic information.


    <File Name> Summary - shows detailed information about the currently selected file including date/time info, location of the backup file, and destination location where the file will be recovered to.


    Recover Selected Files - performs a recovery action on the file(s) selected copying the recovered source file to the previously indicated destination.


    Do Not Recover - closes the dialog box without recovering any of the files listed.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    AJAX fun with the dreaded 'sys is undefined' error


    If you have started to play with AJAX then you have most likely come across the dreaded 'sys is undefined' error.  I found numerous articles on how to get this working but the best ones all point to making sure you have the correct entries in your web.config.   So to summarize what I have read:

    1)  Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft ASP.NET\ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions\{your version of AJAX}

    2)  Open the sample web.config file and make sure you have the same entries in your web.config

    3)  If you don't then copy and paste is your friend :)

    4)  See if the app works now

     Here are a couple of articles to assist if you are still having issues:

    Chris Riccio's blog

    Lorin Thwaits's blog


  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Heroes Happen Here Launch in Second Life -- April 26th, 2008


    Once again we are poised to make history for Microsoft by holding the first ever full-fledged Launch event in Second Life.  With less than two weeks to go I wanted to post again about the event and provide more details on what is going on the day of the event.


    Things You Will Need to Attend the Launch

    In order to attend this event you will first need to do the following things:

    1. Join Second Life, if you haven't already, at  It is FREE to join so come on in and hang with us.
    2. Download and install LiveMeeting for the demos we will be showing during the event:
    3. After you have joined Second Life and played around a little, then click on this link to go to the Microsoft User Group Island and register at one of the kiosks at this location by clicking on any of the orange triangles:



    Update:  LiveMeeting Links for Each Track

    SQL Server 2008 Track

    Windows Server 2008 Track

    Visual Studio 2008 Track


    Registration Kiosks

    Snapshot_002 (2)



    Agenda (Times are Pacific Time Zone)

    9:00 -
    Meet Your Peers / Social Time Meet Your Peers / Social Time Meet Your Peers / Social Time
    9:30 -
    Keynote in Main Auditorium Keynote in Main Auditorium Keynote in Main Auditorium

    10:15 - 10:30







    10:30 - 11:30


    What’s new in Windows Server 2008


    Simplify Management of your Data Infrastructure  

    Breakthrough Challenges with Visual Studio 2008


    11:30 – 12:45








    12:45 – 1:45


    Virtualization and your Infrastructure


    Mission Critical Applications on SQL Server 2008


    Reach End-Users with Next Generation Web Applications


    1:45 – 2:00








    2:00 – 3:00


    Securing your IT Infrastructure with Windows Server 2008


    Exploring Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2008


    Creating instantly familiar applications with the Microsoft Office System


    3:00 – 4:00


    Exploring Windows Server 2008 Web and Application technologies


    Next Generation Data Applications


    Defy Occasionally Connected Challenges with Smart Client Applications


    Session Descriptions

    Windows Server 2008

    What’s New In Windows Server 2008

    Windows Server 2008--in addition to incorporating new capabilities and enhancements to existing features--includes a number of improvements in the core OS that enhance the Operating System’s capabilities; such as features aimed at increasing the ability of Windows Server 2008 to support highly critical workloads by improving operational reliability, reducing system failures, and easing management. We will also discuss improvements in other related elements of the platform that help Windows based systems and services move an organization's IT Department forward.


    Virtualization and your Infrastructure

    The new Windows Server Virtualization technology, Hyper-V, and Presentation Virtualization technologies like Terminal Services RemoteApp are core features in Windows Server 2008. This session will provide you with an overview of virtualization in Windows Server 2008: the scenarios, features, and benefits that make server virtualization important. Virtualization management is becoming a critical tool for improving overall manageability for the IT environment; join us in this session to learn how Hyper-V and our management technologies build a strong flexible platform and improve overall manageability.


    Securing your IT Infrastructure with Windows Server 2008

    Windows Server 2008 offers rich capabilities for securing your IT Infrastructure and proving tools to ease with compliance mandates. This session will discuss the Windows security and compliance features such as Network Access Protection, Right Management Services, Active Directory Federation Service subsystem, why auditing is important and how to configure an audit policy in the updated Windows Server 2008 event subsystem.


    Exploring Windows Server 2008 Web and Application Technologies

    Windows Server 2008 includes Internet Information Server 7 perhaps the most important upgrade to IIS since its inception; aimed at creating a seamless environment where administrators and developers can create, maintain, and modify web assets.. We will also discuss improvements in other related elements of the web platform that help Windows based systems and services move an organization's IT Department forward.




    SQL Server 2008 / Data Platform

    Mission Critical Applications on SQL Server 2008

    Attend this session to learn how newly enhanced SQL Server 2008 provides you with the highest levels of availability, protects your business critical data and scales across growing data volumes and mixed workloads. This session provides an overview of the new security, scalability, performance and availability features in SQL Server 2008.


    Simplify Management of your Data Infrastructure

    Attend this session to learn about the new manageability improvements in SQL Server 2008 that enable you to administer, monitor and maintain your data platform infrastructure while reducing the time and cost of management. This session provides an overview of the new manageability improvements that enable you to manage the infrastructure with policies, monitor and optimize your platform with insights and relevant information, and scale your management across multiple servers.


    Exploring Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2008

    Attend this session to learn how the new enhancements in SQL Server 2008 provide a comprehensive and scalable Business Intelligence platform that enables you to integrate and manage your growing data volumes, comprehensive analysis and enterprise reporting, and deliver insights through the Microsoft Office System. This session provides an overview of the new data warehousing, reporting, analysis and integration features in SQL Server 2008.


    Next Generation Data Applications

    Attend this session to learn about the enhancements in the Microsoft Data platform that enable developers and administrators to build and deploy the next generation data applications. This session provides you with an overview of how SQL Server 2008, the .NET platform and Visual Studio enable you to build data logic faster with the new T-SQL enhancements, deploy applications on any type of data from spatial to documents and on any device, and while accessing the data easily with LINQ, ADO.Net Entity framework and Data Services.




    Visual Studio 2008 / Developer

    Breakthrough Challenges with Visual Studio 2008

    Explore all the new Visual Studio 2008 features, from language enhancements, improved designers, Web and smart-client development tools; to Visual Studio Team System, a suite of software lifecycle management tools poised to transform how you deliver software for Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and the Web.


    Reach End-Users with Next Generation Web Applications

    Visual Studio 2008 enables developers and IT operators to dramatically reduce the amount of time, effort and code required to develop and deploy real-world Web applications. ASP.NET 3.5, Visual Studio 2008 and IIS 7 each provide much improved administration and management support, on top of dramatically improved performance. Also covered are support for ASP.NET AJAX, JavaScript enhancements, rich support for CSS standards and rapid development of data-bound Web pages.


    Create Instantly Familiar Applications with the Microsoft Office System

    The 2007 Microsoft Office system has evolved into a business application platform that developers can use to build and deploy Office Business Applications (OBAs), an emerging class of applications that address critical business problems. This session demonstrates how developers can use Visual Studio 2008 to build OBAs, customize Microsoft Office applications, and utilize the Microsoft Office platform to build scalable line-of-business solutions based on Microsoft Office.


    Defy Occasionally Connected Challenges with Smart Client Applications

    This session introduces the new features and improvements incorporated into Visual Studio 2008 for smart client development. This session also introduces new client services that allow your applications to authenticate users providing role-based UI, and be occasionally connected with offline data storage. We demonstrate how you can leverage both Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Forms in a single application to build the right experience for your customer. Finally, we show feedback-driven improvements to existing features in Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, and ClickOnce.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Vista SP1


    I get a lot of question as to when Vista Service Pack 1 will be out.  Here is the answer I received today:


    March 18, 2008

    SP1 available on Windows Update, Download Center, MSDN & TechNet


    April 18, 2008

    SP1 pushed via automatic download



    Also, many of you know I am a no bullshit kinda guy so I believe there are things that need to be fixed with Vista and, thankfully, SP1 seems to address most of these issues.  That notwithstanding I KNOW that Vista is certainly the most secure OS I have ever used and hella lot easier to use than older versions of Windows. Just my .02.

Page 1 of 135 (1,345 items) 12345»