The blogs of Black Marble staff

Speaking at Microsoft UK next week

I will be speaking at Microsoft UK’s ‘Application Lifecycle Management for Independent Software Vendors’ event next Monday. I am one of four speakers, between us well all address a variety of subjects within ALM

  • Modern Software Delivery: The continuous delivery of high quality software - Colin Bird
  • Driving Quality Throughout the Application Lifecycle - Richard Erwin
  • Extending Testing into the Lab - Richard Fennell
  • The Secrets of Repeatable Success - Adam Gilmore

I believe there are still spaces available

More from the ALM Rangers - Lab Management Guide

The Build Customisation project was not the only ALM Rangers release over the weekend. The Lab Management Guide was also shipped. This provides scenario based and hands-on guidance for the planning, setup, configuration and usage of Visual Studio Lab Management, backed by custom VM Template automation for reference environments.

If you work with Lab Management, or would like, this is well worth a read





ALM Ranger’s Build Customization Guidance has shipped

I am really please to say that the first ALM Rangers project I have been involved with, the Build Customization Guidance, has shipped.

The project had the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on lab guidance for the customization and deployment of Team Foundation Build 2010 activities such as versioning, code signing, and branching. You can find details at the Rangers blog,the project table of content or the codeplex site

I have certainly learnt a good deal working on this projects, thanks to everyone who made it such a interesting experience. Hope anyone reading the materials find them as useful.






Using Azure Storage SDK outside of Azure

When trying to access the Azure Storage SDK in a non-Azure application I kept getting the following error:


“The type or namespace name 'WindowsAzure' does not exist in the namespace 'Microsoft' (are you missing an assembly reference?)    “


References to Microsoft.WindowsAzure.ServiceRuntime and Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient were both already included as references to the assembly that was trying to store data in a table. After a bit of investigation the reason for the error was that the assembly was set to have the target framework of “.Net Framework 4 Client Profile”. Changing to “.Net Framework 4” solved the problem.

My first serious problem with my WP7 device

My WP7 LG-E900 decided to do a factory reset last night. It locked while playing the XBox Live GEODefense game on a particular busy level I had just lost (so lots of graphic processing). The phone paused for a while then restarted and ran the first use wizard, in German. This is because it is one of the PDC units that seem, given the packaging, to have been sourced from Vodafone German.

This is the first failure I have had on the phone, not a real pain as once the phone was back running in English it was quick to setup and sync, but 15 minutes I would rather have not spent.

[Update 17 Jun 20011] What I had fogotten to setup

  1. I had to set the APN for mobile data (just the name 'internet' with no UID or PWD for Vodafone UK, but I had forgotten that too and of course could not chekc them on the internet). When I first got this phone I am sure mobile data just worked. Anyway I only found it was not working when stuck in a huge traffic jam and I could not use the maps on my phone to get an alternative route. At home data had worked as I had setup WiFi
  2. Pair my bluetooth headset, again only found this out when tried to make a call from the huge traffic jam to say I would be late. Turns out it is hard to pair a headset in a traffic jam full of bluetooth devices.
  3. And I keep finding I am missing application and I can't remember what they are called......

Changing the interface mode of a StarTech InfoSafe 4-bay external hard drive enclosure

We’ve seen a couple of issues with a StarTech InfoSave 4-bay external hard drive enclosure (model SAT3540U2E) when trying to change the connection mode from USB to eSATA. Specifically, when following the instructions (which appear to state for example that when an eSATA connection is detected, the eSATA LED will light) to change the connection mode, pressing the interface button appeared to do absolutely nothing…

A quick live chat with one of StarTech’s support engineers provided the answer, which is to push and hold the interface button to change between USB and eSATA connections and vice-versa.

To summarise our findings so far:

  • The default connection interface seems to be USB. Plugging the device into a computer using a USB cable allows the disks to be seen immediately.
  • Plugging in the device using a eSATA cable does not result in the eSATA LED lighting.
  • Pushing and holding the interface button for a couple of seconds allows the interface connection to be changed from USB to eSATA and back again.
  • Plugging the device in using an eSATA cable without plugging in a USB cable does not automatically switch to using the eSATA interface.
  • The sync button works in the same way as the interface button, i.e. push and hold for a couple of seconds to change the mode.

Changing CRM 2011 URL after installation

Modifying the URL used for CRM 2011 after installation can be achieved using the following steps:

  • Update the IIS bindings for the CRM 2011 website on the server running CRM to the new value you want to use
    • Open IIS Manager
    • Select the Microsoft Dynamics CRM website
    • Click ‘Bindings’ in the action panel at the right of the screen
    • Select the binding to modify
    • Click ‘Edit’ and modify the host name and port to the new value.
    • Close the dialog and IIS Manager.
  • Update the ServerURL registry entry with the new URL you want to use. The registry entry can be found at KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSCRM. Note that the key value should be of the form http(s)://<New URL>:<Port Number>/MSCRMServices
  • Modify the global settings for CRM from within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager*:
    • Start the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager
    • Right-click on the ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM’ entry at the top of the left pane of the window shown
    • Click ‘Properties’
    • Select the ‘Web Address’ tab on the dialog which is shown
    • Modify the addresses shown appropriately. Note that if the binding type is modified from HTTP to HTTPS you will need to install the appropriate certificate into IIS as well.
    • Click OK to close the dialog and close Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment Manager
  • Restart the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Asynchronous Processing Service, or restart the server

* Note: This step replaces the use of the Microsoft CRM Deployment Configuration Tool used to make these changes for CRM 4.0.