The blogs of Black Marble staff

How to fix extra Quickstart help menu items when installing Typemock Isolator

I recently noticed that I had a few too many ‘Typemock Isolator Quickstart’ help menu items in Visual Studio 2010


After a quick check with Typemock it seems this was a known issue with previous versions of Isolator, you should not see it on a new installation (6.0.10). If you do have the problem do as I was advised, run the VS macro, created by Travis Illig, to remove the extra items.

Recording Silverlight actions on Microsoft Test Manager

Whilst try to record some manual tests in MTM for a new Silverlight application I found I was not getting any actions recorded, just loads of “Fail to record the object corresponding to this action” warnings in the actions window.

Turns out to fix this you have to do three things

  1. Install the Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 (MSDN Subscribers Only) – this adds Silverlight support to MTM (this I had already done)
  2. In your SIlverlLight application you need to reference the Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Extension.SilverlightUIAutomationHelper.dll  from the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\VSTT\10.0\UITestExtensionPackages\SilverlightUIAutomationHelper
  3. Finally if using IE9 you need to run IE in IE8 mode. To do this in IE9 press F12 and select the browser mode


Once this was done I got the actions I would expect


Windows Azure Announcements


Microsoft have announced two new Azure AppFabric CTPs.


May 2011 CTP will include Service bus enhancements including

  • A more comprehensive pub/sub messaging
  • Integration with the Access Control Service V2
  • Queues based upon a new messaging infrastructure backed by a replicated, durable store.

See here for more details.

June 2011 CTP will include tooling to help with building, deploying and managing Windows Azure Applications including:

  • AppFabric Developer Tools
  • AppFabric Application Manager
  • Composition Model

See here for more details

SQL Azure

The SQL May 2011 update contains the following:

  • SQL Azure Management REST API – a web API for managing SQL Azure servers.
  • Multiple servers per subscription – create multiple SQL Azure servers per subscription.
  • JDBC Driver – updated database driver for Java applications to access SQL Server and SQL Azure.
  • DAC Framework 1.1 – making it easier to deploy databases and in-place upgrades on SQL Azure.

See here for more details

Announcements at TechEd USA 2011 about TFS vNext and a Java API available now

Watching the keynote of TechEd 2011 there were some interesting announcements on the vNext for TFS (the TFS section starts about 1:20 into the keynote).

  • Storyboarding Assistant – A new product using PowerPoint as the core tools to gather requirements
  • New web based dashboard to help manage requirement work items, with loads of drag and drop and pulling much of the functionality of the current Excel planning workbooks into the browser.
  • A new web based taskboard (that was demo’d using a huge touch screen monitor)
  • Giving the developer a task oriented means to say what work they are working on, and behind the scenes setting their workspace appropriately
  • New tooling to allow users to provide feedback on the release in an MTM like style
  • Also mentioned was code review tooling, intellitrace in production and much more…

Have a look at the keynote (the video is available now) and breakout session video streams when they appear. Also there is more detail on Jason Zanders blog

Also announced today was that the Java version of for TFS has been released, so you can now port all the home grown tools you have development for TFS in .NET to Java, so they can be enjoyed irrespective of your development platform.

Deploying Access Control Service enabled web application in Windows Azure

When deploying an Access Control Service enabled web application from my development environment to Windows Azure I got the following error:

“Unable to find assembly ‘Microsoft.IdentityModel, Version= . .”


This had worked well when running in the development fabric on my machine so it was strange that it failed when deployed to Windows Azure. The reason why this file cannot be found is because on my machine it is installed in the GAC and it is not in the GAC when deployed in Azure. There is a simple way to fix this and it is by configuring a Start-up task in your ServiceDefinition.csdef file to install the Microsoft.IdentityModel assembly in the GAC. When a new instance is created within Windows Azure the start up task will be run to allow things to be installed into the virtual machine prior to running your application.

Steve Marx has written an introduction to Start-up tasks as well as a Tips, Tricks and Gotchas list.


This post explains how to create a Start-up task to add an assembly to the GAC.

Error calling Azure Access Control Management Service

I’ve been developing a web application that adds rules to the access control service when a user registers with my website. This was working well using the ACS in AppFabricLabs. When I ported across to ACS V2 in the live environment I kept getting an exception thrown whenever I tried to retrieve information via the management service api.

The exception details are

The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request.

Status = protocol error

After investigation by looking at the latest ACS code samples on MSDN I noticed that the protocol has actually changed in the Common assembly ManagementServiceHelper.cs class. Comparing the code and copying the changes across to mine fixed the problems.

I also noticed that today that AppfabricLabs was updated last night and now uses the same protocol as V2 Live so you will need to make these changes anyway.

Making SharePoint 2010 search pages work with a proper master page

If you talk to those who know me about my pet hates in SharePoint, the search pages will come up every time. It’s not that I hate search itself – that’s great, but the minimal.master is just plain annoying. It makes the search centre a black hole into which you can fall but not navigate out of – there’s no navigation and the portal site connection doesn’t work.

I’ve been meaning to get search working with a real master page (step forwards, v4.master) for a while and never got around to it. However, I needed to fix it for a demo and having done so I thought I’d document the steps involved for the world.

To set the scene, here are some screenshots of the default Enterprise Search Centre pages:

default searchcentredefault searchresultsdefault peopleresults

If you climb into site settings and change the Site Master Page to v4.master, this is what you get:

v4 master search page

That’s not very usable, is it. Moreover, if you click the breadcrumbs/portal site connection icon in the top bar you see the following:

v4 master search page with search box

That’s just barking mad, frankly. However, it does give us a solid clue as to how we go about fixing the page.

Step 1: Fix the layout pages

I had a rummage around the search centre’s masterpage folder and found the cause of our problems. Some bright spark decided to use the PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb as the content area to put the search box in. That speaks more about the structure of the minimal.master page than the search layout pages, to be fair. It is most definitely not where it should be, however.

Using SharePoint Designer, open your Search Centre SharePoint site and look in the _catalogs\masterpage folder. In there you will see three page layouts: SearchMain.aspx, SearchResults.aspx and ReopleSearchResults.aspx.

sharepoint designer masterpages highlighted

Let’s do SearchMain first – the site landing page. Right-click the file and choose Edit File in Advanced Mode

Step 1a: Move the search box to the right place

Find the line that reads:

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb" runat="server">

You want to cut the markup that is inside that content placeholder:

<SharePoint:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="3" runat="server">
<div style="height:100%; width:100%;padding-left: 18px; padding-top: 50px; padding-bottom: 10px;">
<div style="width: 510px">
<SPSWC:ListBoundTabStrip ID="Tab" runat="server" PersistQueryString="true" CSSClassNamePrefix="ms-sctab" ListName="<%$Resources:Microsoft.Office.Server.Search,SearchCenterOnet_SearchCenterListName%>" ResourceIdforListName="$Resources:Microsoft.Office.Server.Search,SearchCenterOnet_SearchCenterListName" UnselectedTabTrimLength="-1"></SPSWC:ListBoundTabStrip>
<div style="padding-top: 0px">
<SharePoint:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="4" runat="server">
<div class="srch-sb-main">
<div class="srch-sb-results4">
<SPSWC:ListBoundTabStrip ID="Tab1" runat="server" CSSFileName="Themable/search.css" PersistQueryString="true" CSSClassNamePrefix="ms-sctab" ListName="<%$Resources:Microsoft.Office.Server.Search,SearchCenterOnet_SearchCenterListName%>" ResourceIdforListName="$Resources:Microsoft.Office.Server.Search,SearchCenterOnet_SearchCenterListName" UnselectedTabTrimLength="-1"></SPSWC:ListBoundTabStrip>
<div class="srch-sb-results6">
<WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" AllowPersonalization="false" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" Title="<%$Resources:Microsoft.Office.Server.Search,LayoutPageZone_TopZone%>" ID="TopZone" Orientation="Vertical" QuickAdd-GroupNames="Search" QuickAdd-ShowListsAndLibraries="false"><ZoneTemplate>
<WpNs0:SearchBoxEx runat="server" __MarkupType="xmlmarkup" WebPart="true" __WebPartId="{C00D0719-CF8A-47A2-9E31-FA3F6A38948F}" >
<WebPart xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns="">
  <Title>Search Box</Title>
  <Description>Displays a search box that allows users to search for information.</Description>
  <Height />
  <DetailLink />
  <HelpLink />
  <PartImageSmall />
  <MissingAssembly>Cannot import this Web Part.</MissingAssembly>
  <PartImageLarge />
  <IsIncludedFilter />
  <GoImageUrl xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">/_layouts/images/gosearch30.png</GoImageUrl>
  <GoImageUrlRTL xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">/_layouts/images/gosearchrtl30.png</GoImageUrlRTL>
  <GoImageActiveUrl xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">/_layouts/images/gosearchhover30.png</GoImageActiveUrl>
  <GoImageActiveUrlRTL xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">/_layouts/images/gosearchrtlhover30.png</GoImageActiveUrlRTL>
  <ShowAdvancedSearch xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">true</ShowAdvancedSearch>
  <DropDownModeEx xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">HideScopeDD</DropDownModeEx>
  <IsMysiteSearchBox xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">false</IsMysiteSearchBox>
  <TextBoxWidth xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">368</TextBoxWidth>
  <ShowPerferenceLink xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">true</ShowPerferenceLink>
  <ShowQuerySuggestions xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">true</ShowQuerySuggestions>
  <SearchBoxVisual xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">SearchCenterDefault</SearchBoxVisual>
  <AdvancedSearchPageURL xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">/searchcentre/Pages/advanced.aspx</AdvancedSearchPageURL>
  <SearchResultPageURL xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">results.aspx</SearchResultPageURL>
  <RegisterStyles xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">true</RegisterStyles>
  <ShouldTakeFocusIfEmpty xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:SearchBoxEx">true</ShouldTakeFocusIfEmpty>
<SharePoint:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="3" runat="server">

That code needs to be pasted into the PlaceHolderMain content area, just after the markup to open the content area:

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="PlaceHolderMain" runat="server">

Save the file and take a look, and you should see this:

edited search centre 1

It’s not quite right – everything’s shifted to the left. We’ll come back to that because it’s not fixable by editing the layout pages.

You’ll also notice that there are no breadcrumbs at all so no portal connection.

Step 1b: Fix the breadcrumbs

We’ll need to get the correct code for the breadcrumbs from another layout page. I grabbed it from the article page layout. It needs to go inside the PlacholderTitleBreadcrumb content area markup.

<SharePointWebControls:VersionedPlaceHolder UIVersion="3" runat="server">
<asp:SiteMapPath ID="siteMapPath" runat="server" SiteMapProvider="CurrentNavigation" RenderCurrentNodeAsLink="false" SkipLinkText="" CurrentNodeStyle-CssClass="current" NodeStyle-CssClass="ms-sitemapdirectional"/>
<SharePointWebControls:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="4" runat="server">
<SharePointWebControls:ListSiteMapPath runat="server" SiteMapProviders="CurrentNavigation" RenderCurrentNodeAsLink="false" PathSeparator="" CssClass="s4-breadcrumb" NodeStyle-CssClass="s4-breadcrumbNode" CurrentNodeStyle-CssClass="s4-breadcrumbCurrentNode" RootNodeStyle-CssClass="s4-breadcrumbRootNode" NodeImageOffsetX=0 NodeImageOffsetY=353 NodeImageWidth=16 NodeImageHeight=16 NodeImageUrl="/_layouts/images/fgimg.png" HideInteriorRootNodes="true" SkipLinkText="" />

However, if you save the page and view it now you’ll get an error, because that markup references controls that the page doesn’t know about. In order to register them, we need to add a line into the section at the top of the page code that registers tag prefixes:

<%@ Register Tagprefix="SharePointWebControls" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

The SearchMain.aspx layout page will  now work with the v4.master selected.

You’ll notice, however, that the ribbon isn’t quite right. That’s because it’s actually in twice – one in the v4.master and once in SearchMain.

Step 1c: Fix the ribbon

Find the following markup:

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="SPNavigation" runat="server">

After that line you’ll see another that reads:

<SharePoint:UIVersionedContent UIVersion="4" runat="server">

Right-click the tag and choose ‘select Tag’ from the context menu. Remove the highlighted code and you should be left with an empty SPNavigation content area. If you look at the page now, the ribbon works as it should.

Run through the same steps with the other search pages. I’m a bit paranoid, so whilst I’m pretty sure the content of the PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb is the same for all the layout pages, I always copy and paste the code within the page itself, then add the breadcrumb code afterwards.

You should now have a Search Centre that looks like this:

edited search centre 2edited searchresultsedited peopleresults

Step 2: Fix the master page

I said that the annoying shift to the right couldn’t be fixed in the layout pages. We need to edit the master page for that (and/or the styles if you like, but the master page is quicker for just one site).

Remember: Editing the v4.master page will prevent it being updated if Microsoft release SharePoint patches that include a new version, as we’ve modified the local copy in the site. If you want to be a good SharePoint admin, create a new master page for the search site!

This bit’s easy. Search for the line:

<div class="s4-ca s4-ca-dlgNoRibbon" id="MSO_ContentTable">

Edit it to read:

<div class="s4-ca s4-ca-dlgNoRibbon" id="MSO_ContentTable"  style="margin-left:0;">

All we’ve done is added a local styling rule to override the ones in the main stylesheets and set the left margin on that element to zero.

Save the master page and you should now get pages that look like this:

edited search centre 3edited searchresults 2edited peopleresults 2

Still to do…

Before you all shout at me, I know that the breadcrumbs don’t display like they ought to. I need to look into that – I remember reading somewhere that they work differently on pages in a page library than elsewhere. I need to do some research and see if I can fix that. Hey – isn’t ditching the minimal.master enough for you?

Next on the hit list – Access Services sites using minimal.master!