Win 7 Live Messenger Task Bar Fix

For those of you ‘lucky’ enough to have already updated to the new Windows 7 then you have probably already noticed the major changes to the task bar. Good or bad, you decide. Personally, I like some of the new functionality that it provides but I also enjoy a slim taskbar — similar to that of Vista. Fortunately, Microsoft provided a “Use small icons” option in the taskbar properties (right-click the taskbar and select properties) which makes the task bar a similar size to that of Vista.

Changing the taskbar to use small icons, however, does not fix the fact that Windows Live Messenger likes to constantly take up space in the taskbar even when the window is not open. Since there does not currently appear to be an option in Windows Live Messenger to display the program in the system tray, instead of on the taskbar, we need to use a simple work around.

First, close any current Windows Live Messenger instances. Then open your start menu and locate the Windows Live Messenger shortcut. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. Switch to the Compatibility tab and check “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select Window Vista (Service Pack 2)”. Now start Windows Live Messenger and problem solved. You should now see the Windows Live Messenger icon in the system tray. As you would on Vista, XP, etc.

Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module

ONE of the best features built-into the HTC Touch HD would have to be the weather module. This module allows you to view the current weather conditions, as well as a four-day forecast and all in a pretty cool looking interface. However; for some unknown reason Telstra decided to disable the weather module by default, instead opting to include a bunch of somewhat completely useless modules of its own.

There is good news… through a bit of editing you are able to re-enable the weather module and, if you desire, remove the unnecessary Telstra modules. First thing is first; we need to find the file which contains the HTC Touch Flow configuration. The file we are after is 26948339_manila.xml which is located in the Windows directory. Back this original file up. Copy this file on to your storage card, or somewhere you can access it from your computer (alternative you could use an application such as Total Commander to edit the file from your mobile device).

Continue reading “Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module”

Firefox 3 And Colour Management

I recently came across an article by Datacolor (the company who make the Spyder range of monitor/printer calibrators) which explains how to enable ICC profiles in Firefox 3. It is a very simple boolean (true/false) property which you need to change in the ‘hidden’ Firefox configuration.

In Firefox enter about:config into the address bar and press Enter. A warning message will show up saying “This might void your warranty!” ignore this and click “I’ll be careful, I promise” (don’t worry you don’t have any warranty anyway ;-). Next, in the filter bar type in gfx.color_management.enabled. There should now only be one option in the list of configuration options, and it should be set to false by default. Simply double click this option to change it to true (it should now be bold, indicating it is no longer the default value). Restart Firefox and you should be up and running with ICC profiles.

Check out the original post by Datacolor for more information and for two images which will indicate if your browser supports ICC profiles.

InfoPath Roles And Views

One useful feature of InfoPath is its built in support for user Roles. While it is not an overly powerful (and it should not be used for security purposes as all data can be viewed and edited in XML format via notepad or a similar) it can be handy for automatically switching views based on AD users or groups.

To add a role simply go to Tools -> User Roles (alt + t + e) and click Add (alt + a). You can then specify which users, groups or user names from the form should belong to the new role.

One thing to note is that when you are designing an InfoPath form and click “Preview Form” it shows the form based on the default role. If you wish to preview the form under a different role you need to go to File -> Preview Form -> With User Role… (alt + f + r + r). The form will then be launched in preview mode under the select role.

There is also the option to set a role as either the default role or the initiator role (only one role can occupy either or both of these options). The default setting specifies that this role is the default role for all users, should they not meet the requirements of another role. The initiator setting is the role assigned to a user when they open the InfoPath form for the first time.

Another point of interest is that roles are assessed on a top-down approach, however, you can not change the ordering of roles from within the InfoPath IDE. In order to change the ordering of roles, should you be required to, you must open the manifest.xsf and manually reorder the <xsf:role /> elements.

Creating A Simple SharePoint Workflow In SharePoint Designer

This one is a quick and easy one but is the basis for creating some very useful workflows in for use in SharePoint lists. Firstly you will need a SharePoint website and a copy of SharePoint Designer (a 60-day trial version is available from Microsoft) and a list in SharePoint which you can apply the workflow to – for this example, I am using a fairly simple Travel Requisition list which is a document library which contains InfoPath documents.

To create the workflow open SharePoint Designer and connect to your SharePoint website. Once connected, go to File -> New and select the SharePoint Content tab and select Workflow (blank workflow). You should now be presented with a form similar to the following. Here you can specify a name for your workflow (each workflow in a site must have a unique name) which list the workflow is attached (associated) to and when the workflow should be triggered. In this case, we want to trigger the workflow whenever a list item is added or updated.

Continue reading “Creating A Simple SharePoint Workflow In SharePoint Designer”

Getting SharePoint Users In InfoPath 2003

Recently I have been doing some work with SharePoint and InfoPath 2003 and one of my tasks was to get a list of SharePoint users into a drop-down list box in an InfoPath form – sound simple right? Wrong! What should be an easy task is made more complicated due to that fact that the SharePoint web services which return user information do not provide complete definitions of their return types, so InfoPath does not know what it can do with the result.

User / Group information can be retrieved from SharePoint via the UserGroup web service located at http://yourserver/_vti_bin/UserGroup.asmx – the web method I am going to be using is GetUserCollectionFromSite, but of course you can use whichever method you require.

In order to be able to get the information and use it in InfoPath 2003 we are going to need to create a new InfoPath Form Template in Visual Studio 2005. Before we can do this we need to install the Office InfoPath 2003 Toolkit For Visual Studio 2005, which can be found in your MSDN subscription – or alternatively you can download the InfoPath 2003 Toolkit For Visual Studio .NET (2003) although I have not tested this. Once you have installed the toolkit and created a new project you will be presented with a wizard which will guide you through the processes of setting up the project and you can either base the project an existing InfoPath form or create a new one, either is OK.

The first thing to do now is to set up our reference to the SharePoint web service; In InfoPath go to Tools -> Data Connections and click Add. Select Receive data, on the next page select Web Service, and on the following page enter in the URI to your UserGroup web service (E.G. http://yourserver/_vti_bin/UserGroup.asmx). On the next page you should be able to select your desired web methods, in this case we want GetUserCollectionFromSite. You can now enter a name for the data connection, I am just going leave it as the default name “GetUserCollectionFromSite“. Underneath the textbox where you can enter in the name there is a checkbox option “Automatically retrieve data when form is opened“, ensure this is ticked (if you do not tick this you can retrieve the manually retrieve the data later by calling the Query() method on the data connection).

Now that we have a connection the SharePoint we need to create a data connection which we can easily use in SharePoint, which will allow us to bind default values or in this example populate a drop-down list box. To do this we are going to create an XML file containing the same format as the return type of the SharePoint web service. In notepad, or your preferred text editor, enter the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<SiteUsersAndGroups>
  <Users xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/">
    <User ID="" Sid="" Name="" LoginName="" Email="" Notes="" IsSiteAdmin="" IsDomainGroup=""/>
    <User ID="" Sid="" Name="" LoginName="" Email="" Notes="" IsSiteAdmin="" IsDomainGroup=""/>
  </Users>
</SiteUsersAndGroups>

Save the file as SiteUsersAndGroups.xml. Back in InfoPath create a new receiving data connection, but this time instead selecting Web service select XML document. On the next page click Resource Files… and click Add… -> select theSiteUsersAndGroups.xml file we just saved earlier and click OK twice. On the next page, once again we are going to leave the data connection name as the default “SiteUsersAndGroups“.

To populate the drop-down list box all we have to do now is double-click on the drop-down list box we want to populate and under List box entreis select the option “Look up values in a data connection to a database, Web service, file or SharePoint library or list“. In the Data Connection drop-down select SiteUsersAndGroups. Next to the Entries textbox click the Select XPath button and select the User node. You can now select the attributes we want to display in the Value and Display name fields (the Display name attribute will be the text presented to the user – typically this should be @Name to display the users name). After saving the form we now need to switch back to Visual Studio in order to transfer the data from the web service data connection to the xml data connection.

In Visual Studio open FormCode.cs – by default there should be two methods and two properties: _Startup(…)_Shutdown()thisXDocument and thisApplication. Although we will not need to use the startup or shutdown methods we will need to use the thisXDocument property.

The first thing we need to do is capture the load event of the InfoPath form. In order to handle InfoPath events methods need to have the InfoPathEventHandler attribute specified. For example our OnLoad event handler is going to look like the following:

[InfoPathEventHandler(EventType = InfoPathEventType.OnLoad)]
public void OnLoad(DocReturnEvent e)
{
  // ... code goes here ...
}

To test if the method is being executed a dialog prompt can be triggered by calling thisXDocument.UI.Alert(”Hello World”);. When the InfoPath form loads a standard dialog box should be displayed saying “Hello World“.

Now that we have an entry point for our code we need to read the data returned from the SharePoint web service, stored in the GetUserCollectionFromSite data connection, and copy it into our SiteUsersAndGroups data connection which we are binding to the drop-down list. As all of the data is returned in XML format, as is the case with all InfoPath data sources, we are going to need to use XPath to retrieve the data. The first step is to get an XPathNavigator we can use to perform out XPath query, in order to do this we first need to take the DataObject from thisXDocument and place it into an XmlDocument and from the XmlDocument create a navigator.

XmlDocument userCollectionFromSite = new XmlDocument();
userCollectionFromSite.LoadXml(_thisXDocument.DataObjects["GetUserCollectionFromSite"].DOM.xml);
XPathNavigator siteUsers = userCollectionFromSite.CreateNavigator();

If you look back at the xml file we created earlier you will notice that the Users node is under the http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/ namespace. Along with this namespace InfoPath data connections are placed under thehttp://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/dataFormSolution namespace. In order to access these namespaces in our XPath query we need to create an XmlNamespaceManager.

XmlNamespaceManager manager = new XmlNamespaceManager(siteUsers.NameTable);
manager.AddNamespace("dfs", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/dataFormSolution");
manager.AddNamespace("tns", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/");

Our actual XPath query, to get the nodes we are interested in, is going to look similar to the follow:

XPathNavigator allUsers = siteUsers.SelectSingleNode("/dfs:myFields/dfs:dataFields/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSiteResponse/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSiteResult/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSite/tns:Users", manager);

Now that we have the all of the users (and groups) returned from the SharePoint web service we simply need to load the xml in to the SiteUsersAndGroups data connection as follows:

thisXDocument.DataObjects["SiteUsersAndGroups"].DOM.loadXML("<SiteUsersAndGroups>" + allUsers.OuterXml + "</SiteUsersAndGroups>");

That’s it! When the form is opened the drop-down list should not be populated with the users and groups from SharePoint. The final class should look similar to the following:

#region Using Statement
using System;
using System.Xml;
using System.Xml.XPath;
using Microsoft.Office.Interop.InfoPath.SemiTrust;
#endregion

[assembly: System.ComponentModel.DescriptionAttribute("InfoPathStartupClass, Version=1.0, Class=TravelRequisitionForm.TravelRequisitionForm")]
namespace TravelRequisitionForm
{
    [InfoPathNamespace("xmlns:msxsl="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xslt" xmlns:xsf="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/solutionDefinition" xmlns:xhtml="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:xd="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:tr="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/sample/TravelRequest" xmlns:my="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/myXSD" xmlns:xdUtil="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/xslt/Util" xmlns:xdXDocument="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/xslt/xDocument" xmlns:xdMath="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/xslt/Math" xmlns:xdDate="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/xslt/Date" xmlns:dfs="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/dataFormSolution" xmlns:tns="http://www.tarongenergy.com.au/activedirectory" xmlns:http="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/http/" xmlns:soap12="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap12/" xmlns:mime="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/mime/" xmlns:soapenc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/" xmlns:tm="http://microsoft.com/wsdl/mime/textMatching/" xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/" xmlns:wsdl="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/" xmlns:ns1="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/" xmlns:s1="http://microsoft.com/wsdl/types/" xmlns:ns2="http://www.tarongenergy.com.au/SharePoint" xmlns:ns3="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/" xmlns:ns4="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"")]
    public class TravelRequisitionForm
    {
        #region Member Variables
        private XDocument thisXDocument;
        private Application thisXApplication;
        #endregion

        #region StartUp / ShutDown

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the startup procedure.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="app">The application.</param>
        /// <param name="doc">The Document.</param>
        public void _Startup(Application app, XDocument doc)
        {
            thisXDocument = doc;
            thisXApplication = app;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the shut down procedure.
        /// </summary>
        public void _Shutdown()
        {
            // Do nothing
        }

        #endregion

        #region Event Handlers

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the Load event.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="e">Event Arguments.</param>
        [InfoPathEventHandler(EventType = InfoPathEventType.OnLoad)]
        public void OnLoad(DocReturnEvent e)
        {
            // Get all of the Users and Groups from the SharePoint web service connection.
            XmlDocument userCollectionFromSite = new XmlDocument();
            userCollectionFromSite.LoadXml(thisXDocument.DataObjects["GetUserCollectionFromSite"].DOM.xml);
            XPathNavigator siteUsers = userCollectionFromSite.CreateNavigator();

            // Add support for the required namespaces
            XmlNamespaceManager manager = new XmlNamespaceManager(siteUsers.NameTable);
            manager.AddNamespace("dfs", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/dataFormSolution");
            manager.AddNamespace("tns", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/");

            // Query the user nodes
            XPathNavigator allUsers = siteUsers.SelectSingleNode("/dfs:myFields/dfs:dataFields/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSiteResponse/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSiteResult/tns:GetUserCollectionFromSite/tns:Users", manager);

            // Load the users into the SiteUsersAndGroups connection
            thisXDocument.DataObjects["SiteUsersAndGroups"].DOM.loadXML("<SiteUsersAndGroups>" + allUsers.OuterXml + "</SiteUsersAndGroups>");
        }

        #endregion
    }
}

Note: Instead of writing managed code behind the InfoPath form you could write a proxy web service which contains a complete return type in the WSDL, which InfoPath can then use directly; However, note that the SharePoint web services require windows authentication so you will either need to set up a service account to access the web services, or more preferably set up Kerberos to allow authentication to be delegated to your proxy web service.

Incrementing The Project Version Number Using NAnt

The following code depends on getVersion.

<target name="incrementBuildNumber" description="Increments The Build Number" depends="getVersion">
    <script language="C#">
        <references>
            <include name="System.dll"/>
            <include name="System.Xml.dll"/>
        </references>
        <imports>
            <import namespace="System"/>
            <import namespace="System.IO"/>
            <import namespace="System.Text"/>
            <import namespace="System.Text.RegularExpressions"/>
        </imports>
        <code><![CDATA[
        public static void ScriptMain(Project project)
        {
            string file;

            using (StreamReader reader = File.OpenText(project.Properties["project.version.file"]))
            {
                file = reader.ReadToEnd();
            }

            string version = project.Properties["project.version"];
            string[] versions = version.Split('.');
            int buildNumber = int.Parse(versions[3]);
            string newVersion = string.Format("{0}.{1}.{2}.{3}", versions[0], versions[1], versions[2], ++buildNumber);

            project.Properties["project.version"] = newVersion;
            file = file.Replace(version, newVersion);

            using (StreamWriter writer = new StreamWriter(project.Properties["project.version.file"]))
            {
                writer.Write(file);
            }
        }
        ]]></code>
    </script>
    <call target="commitAssemblyInfo"/>
</target>

The script works simply by getting the current version number and then replacing it with the build number incremented (it assumes you use all four version number sections). It will also replace any other references to the version number in the file, keeping them consistent.

The script could be enhanced using regex trickery to target a specific instance of the version number (e.g. those between AssemblyVersion(”…”) etc), allow for use of only the first few number sections, or be self-dependent if desired.

Committing the changes to subversion:

<target name="commitAssemblyInfo" description="Commits the assembly information file to subversion">
    <exec program="${subversion.exe}" workingdir="./">
        <arg value="commit"/>
        <arg value="${project.version.file}"/>
        <arg value='-m "Incremented Version Number To ${project.version}"'/>
    </exec>
</target>

The ${subversion.exe} property should reference your tortoise subversion.exe file. Note: the user account calling the script will be the user account used to submit the file to the subversion repository – this means if you have a build server automating this process the service account must have access to commit changes.

Getting The Project Version Number Using NAnt

Specifying the file containing the global assembly information:

<property name="project.version.file" value="./AssemblyInfo.cs"/>

Retrieving the version information:

<target name="getVersion" description="Gets the project version number from the assembly information file">
    <script language="C#">
        <references>
            <include name="System.dll"/>
            <include name="System.Xml.dll"/>
        </references>
        <imports>
            <import namespace="System"/>
            <import namespace="System.IO"/>
            <import namespace="System.Text"/>
            <import namespace="System.Text.RegularExpressions"/>
        </imports>
        <code><![CDATA[
            public static void ScriptMain(Project project)
            {
                Regex expression = new Regex("\[assembly: AssemblyVersion\("(.*)"\)\]");

                using (StreamReader reader = File.OpenText(project.Properties["project.version.file"]))
                {
                    string file = reader.ReadToEnd();
                    Match match = expression.Match(file);
                    project.Properties["project.version"] = match.Groups[1].Captures[0].Value;
                }
            }
        ]]></code>
    </script>
</target>

Usage: ${project.version}

Prior to using the project.version property the getVersion target must be called or the target using the property must be directly or indirectly dependent on the getVersion target.

Note: The previous code applies to C# assembly version information only. A simple alteration of the Regex value will allow the code to work with vb assembly version information.

Fixing Your Boot.INI

Using Recovery Console

The standard and recommended way to repair your boot.ini is to boot to your Windows installation CD and through the recovery console perform a repair on the boot config. This can be done by calling bootcfg /rebuild, however, this requires you to have administrative privileges for the Windows installation that you are attempting to fix. As I recently discovered this may not always be the case, luckily I remembered my good friend Knoppix.

Knoppix is a free Linux bootable Live CD. It allows you to boot to a fully functional Linux system, without having to perform an install or without any other permanent effects.

Using Knoppix

This workaround allows you to fix the boot.ini file, without requiring administrative privileges, however in order to be able to boot to Knoppix you will need to be able to boot from your CD drive.

  1. Download the latest version of Knoppix. *The version I used was 5.1.1
  2. Burn the ISO to a bootable CD.
  3. Insert the Knoppix CD into the problematic computer and boot from CD.
  4. Once the boot screen is presented press Enter to start loading or press F2 or F3 for more boot options.
  5. After Knoppix has finished loading you should see an HDD image (you may see multiple images, depending on the number of fixed drives on your machine).
  6. Right-click your Windows drive and press “mount”.
  7. Right-click the drive again and press “change read/write mode” in order to be able to edit the boot.ini file.
  8. Open the drive and navigate to the boot.ini file.
  9. Open boot.ini and edit as required.
  10. Save the file and restart to windows, be sure to remove the Knoppix CD.

Adding Custom Toolbar Buttons To VS2008

So you’re a smart cookie and you’ve written yourself some scripts to build your DAL or perhaps to deploy or package for a different environment; However, when you want to run said scripts you have to open up a command window, navigate to the working folder and run the scripts. Not only is this a pain and waste of valuable time, it also inevitably results in a taskbar full of command prompt windows! Well, there is a quick and easy way to add custom buttons to your Visual Studio 2008 toolbar which will fire off your scripts and display the results in the output window.

The first step is to ensure you have a consistent approach to how your projects are set up in order to run your scripts. After all, you don’t want to have to create a unique toolbar button for every single application you’re developing. One simple approach to this is to create a batch file of the same name (e.g. GenerateDAL.bat) for each application which can then call of to project specific actions. Once you have a consistent pattern to your projects your custom toolbar buttons will become much more useful and save you lots of time.

Steps for creating a custom toolbar button:

  1. In Visual Studio 2008 go to Tools -> External Tools…
  2. Click Add -> (Complete the form)
    Title: (Name of the script e.g. Generate)
    Command: (Location of script e.g. $(SolutionDir)CodeSmithCode.Generate.cmd if your script is in the folder ‘CodeSmith’ of all your project)
    Arguments: (Leave this one empty if you wish)
    Initial directory: (Location of script or the folder level from which you would usually call your script e.g. $(SolutionDir)CodeSmith)
    (Check Use output window to display results in the output window)
  3. Click Ok.
  4. Right-Click on the toolbar -> Click Customize…
  5. Select the Toolbars tab -> Click New -> (Enter a suitable name e.g. Scripts)
  6. Select the Commands tab.
  7. Under Categories scroll down and select Tools -> Under Commands scroll down to External Command 3 (this assumes you only have to default 2 commands in Visual Studio — if you have more than the external command number will match the order of your external commands list)
  8. Drag-and-Drop “External Command 3″ and/or any other external commands you created previously.
  9. Click Close (At this point the button should automatically be renamed to the title of the external command they are linked to).
  10. Drag the new toolbar group to where you want it on the toolbar and enjoy 🙂