The blogs of Black Marble staff

WCF Champ ( Round 3 now up )

The ever lovely people at the Microsoft CSD have launched a site to promote learning WCF. The site has a couple of overview videos to help you understand why WCF takes producing quality connected services easier and faster. The site also collects a great bunch of material to get you started or improve your existing WCF skills.

Look at the champ web site

Although I have been trying to contact them to complain about using the designs for our remodelled developer pits for the video.


Architect Insight Conference 2009

I will be speaking at the AIC on the 8th of May on Modelling with Oslo for Architects. There are some truly great speakers at the event however I have just head that it is already full.

I hope to see some of you there



Brain Burps for the Tech Savvy

Oliver Sturm and Gary Short have recently started their new podcast, called “Sod This”. Only the surface it is Oliver and Gary randomly talking, but underneath is some in depth solid information and insights in interviews from some interesting people. They promise to deliver the podcasts on a fixed timetable of whenever they finish one.

From their own blurb they describe themselves as

  • not equally sized

  • lazy

  • extremely handsome

I would add 1/3 deluded but very tech savvy, my advice is to listen to them.


Licensing exception with Ivonna the Typemock add-in (and any other add-ins I suspect)

Like a good developer I have been trying to run Visual Studio with least privilege; with Windows 7 this seems to work well. My main account is not an administrator, but Windows prompts me for elevated rights when needed. I have been developing happily with Visual Studio and Typemock without any need for extra rights.

However, when I have been doing some testing using Ivonna, the Typemock add-in, I hit a problem. When I tried to create an Ivonna.Framework.TestSession() I got a Licensing.LicenseException: This copy has expired. Which it hadn’t as I have a fully licensed product.

I had got so use to not needing elevated privilege I did not consider it to be the problem; so I contacted Sm-Art and Typemock support. The answer was simply to run Visual Studio with administrator privileges (right click on the short cut). Once this is done the licensing exception goes away as Typemock has enough rights to look in the right bit of the registry to access the add-in license. I have suggested that if possible this requirement needs to be addressed.

The other alternative is to grant your non administrator account more rights in the registry. On a 64bit development box it seems you need to a Read-Write access to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TypeMock and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\TypeMock

System.Web.Abstractions missing on a ASP.NET web site

I recently re-enabled feature on a ASP.NET site. This feature (a set of pages) had been running OK about six months ago for an initial pilot project but was disabled until now until a decision was made to develop the feature fully. In intervening time the web site had other modification and had been rebuilt (it was targeted at .NET 3.5) without issue.

When I re-enabled the feature (renamed a .ASPX file) I got the error

Could not load file or assembly 'System.Web.Abstractions, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Now this surprised me, I had not change the .NET version targeting or changed development environment. In the end I fixed it by copying up the missing DLL to the bin directory. I had tried adding the following to the web.config to no effect

  <assemblyBinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">
    <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.Abstractions" publicKeyToken="31BF3856AD364E35"/>
    <bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion=""/>

On think a bit more I think the issue must have been caused by:

  • I may have upgraded to .NET to 3.5. SP1 in the time frame (but I thought I did it earlier)
  • I have installed MVC on my development PC, and most other posts that mention this issue also mention MVC, usually beta versions.

EIther way it is fixed now

Don’t forget … Series of Great Free Events starts next week!

In the next few weeks, Black Marble are hosting a great series of FREE events from SharePoint to Business Process Management through to Windows 7.

First, on 30 April, Think Small to Win Big with SharePoint is an informative workshop focusing on the gains to be made from working with Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 to solve your collaboration needs. This event takes place at our usual venue, The Holiday Inn.

The 12 May brings you an Introduction to Business Process Management, with PNMSoft, established experts in human workflow processes.  This event takes place at Black Marble HQ in Bradford.

The 13 May returns to The Holiday Inn, with a trio of events for your education, information and contemplation … we start with How your Business will Benefit from Windows Server 2008 R2, follow it up after a great lunch with How Windows 7 Builds upon Windows Server 2008 R2 to Improve Business IT and finishing during the early evening with a presentation from IIS MVP Andy Westgarth on Deploying and Synchronising Websites Using the Web Deployment Tool.

Follow up to my session yesterday at VBug Newcatsle on DataDude GDR

Thanks to everyone who attended my session at VBug Newcastle last night, hope you enjoyed.

As I mentioned in my session, to celebrate my talking at VBug, Microsoft chose to release the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition GDR R2 yesterday. If you are using DataDude you do need to get this installed, it addresses many know issues.

Slides virtually identical to yesterdays, as used at SQLBits, are on the Black Marble site