Tag Archives: .NET

Visual Studio 2010: Console App, Where is my System.Web?

If you create a new Console App in Visual Studio 2010, and you want to reference System.Web, you might start scratching you head. Why?

Looks like Visual Studio 2010 creates new Console Apps targeting the .NET Framework 4 Client Profile instead of the .NET Framework 4. Why? No idea, but you can change it and then reference System.Web

You can change the setting by going to Properties on your project, then the Application tab, and changing the drop down of the Target Framework to .NET Framework 4



Looking to Hire…

I have been managing two different groups @ Trek -  (Business Intelligence and .NET Software Development) for a while now, and we have some openings we are trying to file, so that is why I am putting this out here.

First role, looking to hire a Microsoft .NET Windows Forms developer, or someone with web experience looking to get into Windows Forms and eventually WPF/Silverlight, and also Windows Services. C# is the language.

Second role, looking for a Microsoft Business Intelligence Developer/DBA – SSAS/SSIS/SSRS, DBA experience preferred. Working on cubes, and ETL’s and reports and DBA stuff.

Shoot me an email at steve_novoselac@trekbikes.com with your resume and info.

SQL Schema Source Control (CodePlex)

Source Control. In my eyes, one of the best inventions of development.

Software Developers have used it for years, and it allows them to easily develop in a team environment, and be less scared they will lose a change or not be able to see things they did historically.

I have blogged a few times about source control before..

SQL Server Schema Automatic Revision History using DDL Triggers and SVN
MSFT BI In a Team Environment
Visual Source Safe Sucks/
Source Control at Home with Subversion

But this was mostly for code. Developers. The SQL Community has kind of been shafted with source control. Yea you can tie in VSS to Management studio, and others. I have never found one that works, and just wanted something to work in the background.

I originally started doing this with DDL triggers as my <a href="“>post in November kind of outlined. It worked, but wasn’t reliable enough for what I wanted and was too much setup.

So I did what developers usually do, I wrote an app. SQL Schema Source Control http://sqlschemasourcectrl.codeplex.com/

At first it worked with one database, one server, everything was hardcoded. And then it progressed, and now it is all configurable for multi server/multi database, etc. I decided to put it up on CodePlex because I think it can be improved and made to work with other source control providers, like TFS.

The code itself isn’t anything crazy, some file operations and SMO operations to get the DDL and then some functions to add/update/delete and commit to source control.

For info on how to get it working, check out the documentation page on CodePlex, I can also answer any questions here, or on CodePlex.

I have been using the app for a few months now and it has saved headaches, accidental deletes, wanting to see changes over time by developers, etc.

The feature I like the most is that it logs the SQL Agent job changes, so if someone changes a job, you can see the history…

Now, there are competitiros out there. Redgate (http://www.red-gate.com/products/solutions_for_sql/database_version_control.htm) and others. But I wanted something free and open, so that is why I am putting this out there. I would be perfectly fine not putting anything out and just using it, but I think (and hope) others could benefit from using this app

So if you are looking for semi-easy way to get revision control on your SQL Schemas and SQL Agent jobs, check out the app. There is minimal setup, but once you have it working, it just runs.

Note at this time it works with SVN and SQL 2008. Also the solutions is VS2010. I originally had it working with 2005, but no need on my end anymore for that, someone could easily make a version for SQL 2005. VS2008 solution could be created pretty easily as well. Have fun!

.NET and Oracle – Match Made in Hell (Data provider internal error(-3000) [System.String])

At my new gig, I am working on a project that is ASP.NET with an Oracle Database backend. Today I ran into an error.

Data provider internal error(-3000) [System.String]

What does this error mean? Heck if I know, its a generic error basically telling you that something is wrong with your connection to the database more than likely.

After troubleshooting code, the CSLA framework, more code, stored procs, queries, more code and testing everything I could think of, I decided it had to be something with the Oracle driver on my machine. I remembered back in the day when I worked for SCWH using Oracle 8 and having a hell of a time getting it to work if the driver was even a .1 release off, or if you were using the wrong driver.

Reinstalled the 10g client and Oracle Data Provider for .NET stuff and it worked. What a waste of time. Just another reason why I hate Oracle, and SQL Server is the way to go. No stupid dot releases of drivers that cause headaches. Granted MSFT used to have MDAC which was a major pain, but with .NET it just connects, and works.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Quick way to get 10 digit year (all the zero’s) using String.Format

Dates are fun. See, by default most dates come out like 5/6/2008. But computers, and programs like them formatted as 05/06/2008. That way, all the dates, no matter what month or day, are all the same length, cool huh?

Well, in Reporting Services, if you have a date field coming back in a dataset, and you want to format it as a 10 digit string, there are about 50 different ways to do it. You can use old VBA Left and Mid etc, or you can use String.Format like..


Hacking Microsoft Pro Photo Tools – Using Reflector to use MapPoint Lat Long Lookup (for free!) in C#

The other day, Microsoft came out with “Microsoft Pro Photo Tools” which allows you to geocode your photos. It is a pretty cool app, but there are some things that I wonder, like why didn’t they just build this functionality into Windows Live Photo Gallery?

Anyway’s, with any new thing I download and play around with, I started digging into stuff. I looked in the install directory, C:Program FilesMicrosoft Pro Photo Tools and noticed that there are some Interop assemblies and other assemblies, etc. I fired up Reflector and started disassembling the assemblies and exe. Pretty cool stuff, you can see what they are doing. Using xaml forms, etc. The cool stuff is the Location based stuff.

Microsoft has MapPoint web services which you can use/sign up for, but they cost a pretty penny. I have used some of these web services in the past and they have a ton of functionality.

Like I said, digging through the disassembled stuff in Reflector, I saw a method “GetLatitudeLongitude()” which takes in country, state, city, address, zip and returns a lat long object. But, you need a “MapPointWrapper” object to use it.

I fired up Visual Studio 2008, and then referenced the assemblies in the Pro Photo Tools directory so I could use them in code. I created a test WinForms app, and started hacking away.

Looking at the MapPointWrapper class constructor in Reflector, I noticed that it needs a username, password, URL, and timeout, the first three I don’t have – but I bet I could find!!

Here you can see the constructor as it looks in Reflector. The thing I noticed right away is that they have the username and password embedded in the function, although its all “encoded”, then blend the strings together to create default credentials. Their blend method is using some bitwise operators, etc, if you are interested, you can just click on the Blend method and it browses to that (did I mention Reflector is cool??) – anyway’s, I still need a URL…


Reflector lets you click on a class and “analyze” it, which gives you what classed depend on it, which classes use it etc. Just going through the list for MapPointWrapper, I found one that showed how they call the constructor.


That’s the ticket! You can see they are passing in empty strings for user/pass (which then gets converted to the correct user/pass by the constructor) and then the URL is right there!!! nice! We can use this!!

Now, on to using this functionality in our own app!!


Now, this will give you the lat/long back from MapPoint! Sweet. Now we can start digging into everything else – what else do these assemblies expose?? Can I get routes? directions? Maps? etc, etc, etc. There is a plethora of things to dig into. It looks like they are just using Virtual Earth though to get maps, not MapPoint (from what I can tell anyways).

I know there are a ton of other ways to get this info, but this was basically a test to reverse engineer their assemblies and use the functionality. I don’t recommend or condone hacking/reverse engineering assemblies like this for profit, more for fun , in other words – don’t use this in a production app as Microsoft would probably find out and come hunt you down.

This post is also just an example of how .NET code can be disassembled easily and re-used, for good, or evil :)

There are some basic things that every developer should do with .NET desktop apps – use Dotfuscator (which just obfuscates your code, making it harder/not feasible to reverse engineer, and also encrypt any strings/values you don’t want anyone else using or reading. That being said, Reflector is a great way to see how other applications are coded, and learn how they work. Happy Coding Hacking!

OAuth: Getting Started with OAuth in C#, .NET

I have been playing around with Pownce and their API. They offer HTTP Basic Authentication and OAuth authentication. I decided to give a go with OAuth since BASIC auth just seems, dirty insecure to me. I started digging around, and http://oauth.net/ has some good info. Under code there is a C# (CSharp) version – http://oauth.googlecode.com/svn/code/csharp/  but, I couldn’t find any good examples of getting started implementing this in your app, so…

I downloaded the OAuthBase.cs class and added it to a sample project so I could get going. Now, how to use this OAuth thing…

Well, first you need a “request token” server/url that you can use, something that takes your request and gives back a token (You can use http://term.ie/oauth/example/ to test, instead of Pownce  or some other utility)

As the “consumer” of the service, you have a key and a secret. The hardest part of the OAuth request is generating the signature, which the OAuthBase.cs does for you. I did run into some small issue with generating a timestamp though, seems that the OAuthBase.cs class had/has a bug in the timestamp function. it was returning back a timestamp like 12393923423.134  instead of just 12393923423 – which the first one, with the .134 will cause an invalid signature in your requests.

I sent a comment/message to the creator of OAuthBase.cs about it, not sure what else to do there, I am pretty sure I had the latest version (it was linked off oauth.net)

here is the function I changed:

public virtual string GenerateTimeStamp() {
    // Default implementation of UNIX time of the current UTC time
    TimeSpan ts = DateTime.UtcNow – new DateTime(1970, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0);
    string timeStamp = ts.TotalSeconds.ToString();
    timeStamp = timeStamp.Substring(0, timeStamp.IndexOf(“.”));
    return timeStamp;           

Now, you want to test this out, create a test .NET app (C#), and add OAuthBase.cs to your project. I created a test Windows Form app. I had to add a reference to System.Web as well., then the basic code (I am using the test OAuth server)

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Web;
using OAuth;

namespace PownceTest
    public partial class Form1 : Form
        public Form1()

            string consumerKey = “key”;
            string consumerSecret = “secret”;
            Uri uri = new Uri(“http://term.ie/oauth/example/request_token.php”);

            OAuthBase oAuth = new OAuthBase();
            string nonce = oAuth.GenerateNonce();
            string timeStamp = oAuth.GenerateTimeStamp();
            string sig = oAuth.GenerateSignature(uri,
                consumerKey, consumerSecret, 
                string.Empty, string.Empty,
                “GET”, timeStamp, nonce,

            sig = HttpUtility.UrlEncode(sig);

            StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(uri.ToString());
            sb.AppendFormat(“?oauth_consumer_key={0}&”, consumerKey);
            sb.AppendFormat(“oauth_nonce={0}&”, nonce);
            sb.AppendFormat(“oauth_timestamp={0}&”, timeStamp);
            sb.AppendFormat(“oauth_signature_method={0}&”, “HMAC-SHA1”);
            sb.AppendFormat(“oauth_version={0}&”, “1.0”);
            sb.AppendFormat(“oauth_signature={0}”, sig);




If you run that app, you will get a debug line like..


One thing that had me scratching my head of a second was my signature was good like 80% of the time, I noticed I wasn’t URLEncoding it, so spaces were getting sent as ( ) instead of (+) – doh!

If you click on the link that is generated, you will get a response like


We are good to go! This is just the first step. We need to use those tokens now to move on, but we got past the first step of authenticating to the OAuth server to get tokens! Yay! (Ex: your app has to actually request that url, use the tokens, have the user authorize your app, then go from there..)

This maybe the first in a few blog posts on OAuth – happy coding!