DavidOverton.com
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Want to make life easier developing databases apps against SQL, XML and other databases (Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) - look at the Beginning LINQ development articles

    LINQ looks like another amazingly simple move for app developers (I've written a few DB apps myself over the years). While Microsoft provides support for Objects, SQL and XML, others provide for other platforms such as Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL ( http://code2code.net/DB_Linq/ ). The reason why it is so nice is because the gap between the process of writing SQL queries and then programming them into your code is considerably removed. For example, a query might now look like: var q = from p in db.Products where p.ProductName == "Pen" select p.ProductID; I think that looks very much like a SQL query, which is really good for developers and database peeps alike, especially since the underlying execution is very efficient. To make understanding all this easier there has been a number of articles written including... Beginning LINQ development, Part 1 Brian Eastwood, Site Editor The Language Integrated Query, or LINQ, is one of the most important of the new features afoot in VB 9.0 and C# 3.0.Developers...
  • Lots of OneNote PowerToys (file and data importers, Outlook tools, table sums, word count, tools to subpage a page or merge pages, copy to mobile device, template maker, favourites, table of contents and even CRM)

    Many people out there love OneNote. Lots of people have it and don't use it - shame on you - try it, but also try the tutorial so you stand a better chance of "getting" this note taking tool. Anyway, I saw a mail by John listing some of the items posted about by him. It is an impressive list. Here's the list, broken down by area: Migrating to OneNote: 1. Journal import https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/21/journal-to-onenote-importer.aspx 2. Text File Importer: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/04/30/customer-feedback-results-in-another-powertoy.aspx 3. Export Outlook Notes to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/14/export-your-outlook-notes-to-onenote.aspx 4. Import books from Project Gutenberg: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/05/31/a-tool-to-import-texts-from-project-gutenberg.aspx Outlook Addins: 5. Outlook Email to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/06/powertoy-outlook-to-onenote-addin.aspx 6. Task Request https...
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to...
  • More on how to use / develop with Silverlight 1.0 and the fact that users are itching for Silverlight 2.0

    I love content produced in Silverlight, in fact, not enough is happening with this technology in my personal opinion inside Microsoft (or at least, inside and coming out), however I have found a few resources worth mentioning. 1st up we have information on Silverlight 1.0 development by Dan Wahlin - My Latest Silverlight Articles - Dan Wahlin's WebLog : My Latest Silverlight Articles Over the past few months I've been writing articles for the .NET Insight insight newsletter covering various ASP.NET AJAX concepts. You can read those article here . I've wrapped up that series and have started writing about Silverlight 1.0. Each week a new article will be published and I'll update them here so check back. The articles are designed to be focused and concise and get straight to the topic without a lot of fluff. Getting Started with Silverlight Using Microsoft's Silverlight Control in a Web Site Understanding Silverlight's createObject and createObjectEx Methods Silverlight XAML Primer 1: Exploring...
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Windows platform news (Hyper-V pricing, Technet Edge, HPC 2008)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Microsoft outlines pricing, packaging and licensing for Windows Server 2008, Including the new Microsoft Hyper-V Server product. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12HyperVPR.mspx Microsoft announces new virtualization offerings, Windows Server 2008 details, System Center product availability at TechEd IT Forum 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12ITForumPR.mspx Solution Accelerators Take the guesswork out of your deployments. Use these tested and proven automation tools and guides to assess your network and confidently roll out new services employing architectures with baked-in security and manageability. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/default.aspx The TechNet Team have launched Technet Edge, a new community site where IT professionals can go to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest technologies. http://edge.technet.com/Default.aspx Introducing Microsoft...
  • SQL Server Web casts (Preparing for SQL Server 2008, New T-SQL features, migrating from Access, Policy based management framework, BI, certifications, reducing hardware and maintenance costs)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL SQL 2005 Webcasts and Virtual Labs SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that delivers enhanced security, availability, and scalability to mission-critical data applications—while making them easier to develop, deploy, and manage. Choose from a wide range of live and on-demand webcasts. Or take part in a virtual lab, which allows you to cut your teeth on the new platform by experimenting with its different capabilities. SQL Server 2005 Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) – Monday, December 03, 2007 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this first session of our series, we discuss how Windows Server 2008 addresses key deployment scenarios for customers. We start with an overview of the key product workload scenarios for Windows Server 2008. We cover as many as 10 different scenarios, and we discuss how each scenario can be categorized into one...
  • SQL Server Downloads (CTPs - Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, VS 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Configuration Manager config packs, Assessment packs for HIPPA, European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD), SOX, GLBA, FSMA, ReportViewer samples,

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET v2.0 CTP1 Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. Rather than simply replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as laptops and devices, that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is crucial for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API, which is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs, gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data...
  • Things that have fixed peoples problem running Office on Vista

    From the blog entry I published on How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows I still get people e-mailing me with problems. While I have not been able to solve them all, but here are some solutions that I have seen success with: Problem: POP3 e-mail starts sending then gets stuck/hangs/stops: I have seen your blog at uksbsguy.com and it seems you are my only hope. Brand new laptop, small sized PST file, Vista Home Premium, Outlook 2007 Ultimate. I set up an account in Outlook 2007 to my bog standard POP3 account that has always worked. It starts to download my first email and slowly reaches 3 or 4KB then just hangs . Surprisingly I can sent (SMTP) absolutely fine. If I use another internet connection (dial up modem) instead of LAN then I can receive POP3 as well. But the same LAN connection works for my old laptop (XP/Outlook 2003) all settings same. I also tried the netsh command and the result is...
  • How to turn on e-mail logging in Office 2007 and ensure that your ports are open

    I was asked about this a while back and thought I would share. This person has e-mail receiving problems, so I wanted to turn on logging and check that the network ports were really open on his PC: To get a mail log for more details – go to Tools/Options – then the advanced tab/Other button/Enable logging. (mine is not checked – put a tick in yours). The location of the log file can be found at: MAPI (Exchange), POP3, and SMTP transports - The log file has the name OPMLog.log and is located in one of the following locations: c:\Users\ user name \AppData\Local\Temp\Outlook Logging - note this is the location on Windows VISTA You might also want to look at http://www.webpipe.net/howto/Outlook_0x800CCC0E . You will need to install at telnet, but this is documented as: By default, Telnet is not installed with Windows, but you can install it by following the steps below. To install Telnet Client 1. Click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off. If you are...
  • Download the "How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2" now

    I have been asked about this loads of times, but for those of you who want to know more about using WSS v3 and SBS 2003, the guide is finally here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=59acc518-023e-43c3-b8f3-378c5e387461 . How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 Partner tool to create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. File Name: Selling_WSS_and_SBS_Kit.zip Date Published: 11/15/2007 Overview A new partner enablement tool helps you create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. Access the toolkit’s resources—including a process cookbook, technical documentation and marketing materials—to learn how to build your business by selling and deploying customized solutions. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , WSS v3 , WSS , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services
  • MSDN Evaluation Center for Office system, Biztalk, SQL Server 2005/2008 and Windows Server 2008

    I just found the MSDN Evaluation Center online today to give you evaluation resources that you might develop against. These include BizTalk Server, Office Communication Server, Office Enterprise , SharePoint Server, SharePoint Designer, SQL Server 2005, 2008, Express 2005 SP2, Windows Server 2008. I've pasted much of the content, but all the download links etc are country specific, so I have removed those. Click on the link above to get to download this stuff! MSDN Evaluation Centre Welcome to the MSDN Evaluation Centre, the central location for all Microsoft developer product trials and beta evaluations. Try a product before you buy it or test the latest beta to see what is in store for the next release. Start at the beginning of the evaluation process and follow the new products as they go through to the final releases. Remember to check back often as new products will be added as they become available. As you evaluate your software, we'll provide you with comprehensive and relevant insights and information...
  • How to start a VPN automatically on boot with Windows

    My dad was asking me about a branch office solution where clients connected to the AD controller, but needed to VPN to get to the AD. My preferred option is to either have a VPN on the router or a DC in the branch office, but failing both of those, perhaps this is the answer? Starting a VPN automatically on boot with Windows XP I recently needed to figure out how to make a Windows XP machine connect to a particular VPN automatically on reboot, before anyone logged into the machine. I eventually managed to assemble bits and pieces of information floating around the net into a working solution to the problem, but it wasn’t completely addressed in any single location, so I thought I’d stick the details in my blog for other people to Google and use (if you found this blog entry useful, please add a comment and let me know!). The first thing I tried was to look for a property I could set on the VPN network connection to tell Windows that I wanted this connection to start automatically when the machine boots. I couldn...
  • Whitepaper on Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware

    It is funny how things happen. I was debating with my dad which was better - building a new server and re-joining the clients, migrating via AD in a VPC to give the server the same name or adding the server and dealing with the fact that the "server" has a name change. I then told my dad that I had blogged about this and he should have read the document, only to discover that I had not. I've seen it covered in a few places. I'm always open to feedback on this sort of information. I am pro-VM based migrations but people seem to think they are too hard, so more on that would be really good. The Official SBS Blog : Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 ... Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware - E-Bitz ... Whitepaper - Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware Microsoft has released a new whitepaper and set of worksheets entitled: ” Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware “ Sections include: Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware...
  • Fixing the last 2 problems with my Search Server Express - DCOM error 10016 (application settings do not grant Activation Permission form COM) and Gather warning 2436 for Search Services on my home server

    Obviously when I wrote the last blog entry on installing search server , not quite everything was working, although I did not realise it until a few errors appeared in the event log. The errors appear below - one is a DCOM permissions error and the other is a Gather error. The DCOM error Event Type: Error Event Source: DCOM Event Category: None Event ID: 10016 Date: 09/11/2007 Time: 06:35:26 User: NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE Computer: HOMESERVER Description: The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-1-5-20). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. Fixing the DCOM error is all about setting permissions in the DCOM system. The magical application was IIS WAMREG admin Service. I worked this out by...
  • Windows Home Server - Do I need a static IP address to use the "access my photos / music from anywhere on the internet" functionality and how do I set it up anyway?

    I saw this question recently and thought I would publish the answer: "NO, nothing special is needed, although your ISP must allow web port access" Windows Home Server uses a dynamic DNS service to enable access to http://<servername>.homeserver.com , can configure your router to open the appropriate ports (80, 443, and those needed for remote access) and if you share a guest password to your friend/relatives, they will be able to browse your pictures. More information on the domain can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/archive/2007/08/08/homeserver-com.aspx To do it, open the Home Server Console Open the settings page Go to the remote access page Select the change or configure option to get to the main wizard Type in your Windows Live ID details (only 1 domain per ID / server) Choose the domain name you want Confirm the domain is available and press go that is it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Tips , homeserver.com
  • SQL Server 2008 new documentation (Overviews, development, OLTP, tuning for 2000/2005, SOA, Oracle and Sybase migration) and downloads (JDBC, PHP)

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too Documents SQL Server 2008 Product Overview For organizations to be successful and thrive in today’s world of data, they need a vision that addresses key data trends. The data platform vision of Microsoft helps organizations meet these data explosion needs and the next generation of data-driven applications. Microsoft will continue to invest in and evolve the following key areas to support their data platform vision: mission-critical enterprise data platform, dynamic development, relational data, and business intelligence. Read this paper to learn about the Microsoft Data Platform Vision and how SQL Server 2008 meets the needs of the next generation of data-driven applications. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql2008Overview.mspx...
  • Microsoft Windows security tools, Server 2008 readiness, step-by-step guides, virtualisation updates, synctoy beta, VHDs and LOTS on the new Terminal Services

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too. News Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is a risk-assessment application designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623431 Start your Microsoft Windows 2008 Readiness Right Here Focus on readiness for Windows Server 2008 now, and you can be the one who stands out when initiatives happen - and when promotion decisions are made. Let Microsoft Learning resources give you the head start you need to transition your skills and credentials to the latest Windows Server technologies - from free elearning clinics and free ebook downloads. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623432...
  • How to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in Office 2007 (using OneNote or a small tool)

    As you know I have been away on holiday and I fly away again tomorrow. While I was traveling I asked my dad to send me a recipe for some scones. He was unable to find the OCR tool in Office 2007, but with the help of OneNote 2007 it was very easy. Paste the image you wish to OCR into OneNote and let it do the rest. I found the answer at OneNote 2007: OCR Rocks this researcher's world | Techwillow where there is more information, but in summary: This is how it works: Take any image of text, paste it into OneNote, right-click on it and select Copy Text from Picture . That's it, you can then paste it anywhere as text. What's more OneNote will automatically OCR and index all your images (if you enable this in the settings) so you can search through your clippings. Now, of course you might not have OneNote, but that does not mean you don't get scanning. As the project at http://www.codeproject.com/office/modi.asp points out, you can use their code and the Office 2007 scanning tools to make it work too...
  • From the Official SBS Blog - SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer!

    You have seen the Exchange, SQL, Security and Windows best practice scanners, well now we have all that SBS expertise wrapped up into an SBS scanner - enjoy!! SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review. The Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer examines the server and collects configuration information from many sources including: Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Registry Metabase After collecting information about server configuration, the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer verifies that the information is correct and then presents administrators with a list of issues sorted by severity. The list describes each issue and provides a recommendation or possible solution. System Requirements Supported Operating Systems: Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Any version...
  • How to give a user the ability to send mail 'on behalf of' a Public Folder

    I have been asked several times how someone can have an e-mail alias, such as "[email protected]" which not only receives into a public folder, but also has the ability to send e-mails. Obviously the setting up of the public folder, e-mail etc is well documented, but since I have been asked this again I thought I would share my source of knowledge - How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder To give a user the ability to send mail on behalf of a public folder, perform the following procedure. In Exchange System Manager, under Folders , right-click the public folder for which you want to give a user the ability to send mail, and then click Properties . Click Exchange General , and then click Delivery Options . Click Add to specify a user. You may have to make additional modifications if the following conditions are true: The user's mailbox resides in a domain that is different from the public...
  • How I do my webcast videos - using SnagIt Screen Capture and Sharing tools

    You may have seen a number of videos that I have recorded that were screen captures and my voice. To do this I use the tools from Techsmith - Snagit. For £24 I was able to buy the tools to record my screen and put it all together. Overall I think it was a great investment which you can also get from http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp . I have stored my videos on Windows Live Storage - more details of all the videos at Videos on Office usage - Document Inspector, Excel Templates and formatting, Outlook on the go and enhancing word documents for Office and Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files for Vista. While SnagIt produces .AVI files, good of Windows Movie Maker did the last little conversion to WMV files. If you want output to many other formats, Nick has some pointers to more locations at Techsmith release new SnagIt Accessories - Nick Whittome - The Naked MVP . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Snagit
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  • Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files

    I have documented some of these before, but now all of them are here. - How to backup information in Vista using Restore Previous Versions, writing to DVDs and the built in backup tools - How to use Windows Updates to get patches for the system - How Internet Explorer 7 and Vista protect you - just remember to say no!! - How to take files offline in Vista and Outlook (for SharePoint files) - Sharing files using Windows Messenger ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista
  • Videos on Office usage - Document Inspector, Excel Templates and formatting, Outlook on the go and enhancing word documents

    I have documented some of these videos before, but I thought I would document them all now - How to use the document inspector - How to find a template for Excel and then customise it for UK dates and currency, change the formatting and more - How to use conditional formatting in Excel - How to use Outlook Web Access and Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) - How to enhance a document using various things - cover pages, table of contents, pictures, smart art, formatting ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007

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