Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tips & Tricks: Start-Up Options and Instances of ASP.Net Development Server in a Multi-project Solution

If you have more than one project in your solution you can use following options of solution properties to set your start up actions...  You can get the below dialog by right clicking your solution and going to its properties:


If you have more than one Web project (either Web Site, WAPs or both) in your solution and choose to start only one of it, you can do so by setting "Single startup project" above (or also via  Project context menu "Set as StartUp Project" in solution explorer)...  Although, even after doing so when you start debugging your application using ASP.Net Development Server you will see multiple instances of ASP.Net Development Servers in your system tray as shown below:


There is an important point to note here that a single instance of ASP.NET Development Server cannot handle more than one Web Application/Site...  Ideally if you need this kind of functionality you should be using IIS for your debugging instead of ASP.NET Development server...

There are instances when you might have many web applications or web sites in the same solution and you may be actually debugging only one of them...  In such scenario it might not be desirable to have multiple instances of ASP.NET Development Server running...  VS provides an explicit setting in the property grid of web application/site called Development Web Server - "Always Start When Debugging" which is set to True by default...  If you set this Property to be False only one web server instance will be created for the start up web project...

You might want note that in that same debug run, you will not be able to debug any other non-IIS based Web Application/Site in the solution who has this property set to "False"; but if you really want to debug just one application at a time you may not have to worry about it anyway...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Edit & Continue feature for Web Application Projects (WAPs)


There is Edit & Continue functionality available for WAPs... Although we have disabled it by default as it may potentially have debug performance impact due to the fact that we have to recycle the ASP.NEt Web Server process every time for this functionality to work...


Although I think the performance hit is not as big to let go of not using the feature...  I would recommend that you go and try it out by checking the Edit & Continue checkbox in your Web section of Property Pages as below:


But also do note that this property in addition to your tools options Edit & Continue should be checked otherwise the feature won't work...


Also note that if you are in web development profile you will have to check "Show all settings" in the bottom of the Tools--> Options windows within Visual Studio...

Workaround: Debugging Global.aspx.cs with ASP.Net Web Server within Visual Studio


When you add a global.asax file to your "Web Application Projects (WAPs like below:


and then write code in Application_Start event and try to debug it like below using Visual Studio inbuilt Web Server


Then during your first debug the breakpoint is hit but during your subsequent debug runs the breakpoint is not hit.

The reason behind this is that we do not kill the ASP.Net Web Server process after your every debug run and hence Application_Start() is not fired every time.  There is a good reason why we do so...  Starting ASP.Net Web Server process is an expensive task and in most of the scenarios recycling this process after every debug would adversely impact your performance...  If you do not want to debug your Application_Start() method then probably you do not need to have the process restart and save performance most of the time... 

However if you would like to have the breakpoint hit you have few easy workarounds... One of the workaround is that you stop the web server from your system tray as in the figure below:


Alternatively you can go to your property pages of your web application and enable Edit & Continue like shown below:


When you choose Edit and Continue then we recycle the ASP.Net Web Server process on every debug run (it is needed for the Edit & Continue functionality to work)...  This way although you will see very marginal degrade in your performance you will still be able to debug your Application_Start() methods...

Hope this helps...

Our team Visual Web Developer is hiring...

The Visual Web Developer team is looking for a few talented and experienced invididuals to join our team.  We have opportunities in development, testing, and program management.  Our team builds Visual Studio features that enable creating applications for ASP.NET, IIS, Silverlight and Sharepoint.

Here are links to our current openings:

To submit your interest in any of these positions, please email -- vijoshi-at-microsoft-dot-com -- with an attached resume.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions just released


We just released ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions on Microsoft Download Center... This release includes preview of following technologies:

  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
  • Silverlight controls for ASP.NET
  • ADO.NET Data Services
  • Entity Framework runtime, and
  • New features for ASP.NET AJAX.

You can download ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions from below:

I will blog about many of these technologies in time to come...
you can also find more interesting links on the release on Brad Abrams blog @

Thursday, December 06, 2007

PDC 2008 is announced

PDC which was earlier slotted for Oct 2007 was moved to Oct 2008 and is planned in LA Convention Center from Oct 27th to Oct 30th 2008... More information can be found below:

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Web Deployment Projects for VS 2008 Dec 07 CTP Released

Today after more than two months of effort our team released the Dec 07 CTP of Web Deployment Projects (WDP)... We were receiving one or more requests nearly every week since last few months to have WDP out for Orcas so I am sure that this release will enable a tons of web developers to adopt VS 2008 and use the latest and greatest features that come along with...

I have created a blog post on our team blog which talks more about this release... You can click here to view the post (

I want to mention that we have a great team in Visual Studio Web Developer... Honestly, the team rocks, often time we never know who make these technologies happen and so to name a few those people are Wendy Wei, Alison Lu, John Dundon, Tim McBride, Bill Hiebert, Anna Lidman, Bradley Millington, Bradley Bartz, Omar Khan and others...  Hope you enjoy the release...

I will keep posting other tips and tricks around WDP on this blog in the weeks to come so do visit once in a while...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WDP does not publish empty folders


If you have an empty folder in your website then WDP will not publish it, this is by design... If you add any files to this folder then you can see it in the pre-compiled web folder that WDP produces...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Active Directory users of Seattle Area - Invited!!


Microsoft Learning is looking for Puget Sound based volunteers who know Active Directory to participate in a pilot of our new, innovative MCP emulation lab exam technology. During this pilot, you will take an exam in which you will perform a variety of tasks using Active Directory, answer multiple choice questions, and provide feedback about your experience with this new technology. The purposes of this pilot are to: 1) understand how emulation lab-based items function in relation to multiple choice items, 2) determine how much time is needed to complete each lab, and 3) evaluate our scoring strategy.

As an incentive, all participants will receive a thank you gift after completing the exam as well as breakfast or lunch. To encourage you to do your best on the exam, the top 5 highest scorers on the exam will receive a 100 GB USB 2.0 external hard drive.

We will be conducting this pilot project through November 16 on Microsoft’s main Redmond campus. To ensure that all participants have sufficient time to complete both sections of the exam and provide feedback, each slot is scheduled for 4 hours. However, most participants have finished in less than 2 hours. Two time slots are available per weekday (Monday – Friday from 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm). To register:

1) Go to:

2) Create a ‘’ account if you do not have one. This information is used solely to send you a confirmation and reminder email.

3) Select the location where you want to take the exam.

a. Microsoft employees should register for sessions at Building 25 unless all slots for your desired date and time are filled.

b. Non-Microsoft employees must register for sessions in Building 40.

4) Select a day and time for your appointment.

5) Click “Confirm.” A confirmation message containing specific details about the location of the exam and other relevant information will be sent to the email provided when you created your account.

Walk-ins are welcome as long as we have available testing machines. To ensure a seat, we encourage you to register prior to the session that you would like to attend.

Your participation is critical to the successful implementation of our emulation lab exam technology. Thank you, in advance, for your assistance with this project.

Microsoft’s MCP Emulation Exam Team

Monday, November 05, 2007

Microsoft declared to be "Best Employer to work for" in India


Business Today declared Microsoft India to be the best company to work for in India... You can read the complete story here

Friday, October 19, 2007

WDP Project does not show in "Add Existing Project" Dialog

If you remove an existing Web Deployment Project from the solution by mistake and then try adding it to the solution back again (or to new solution) then WDProj won't show up in the "Add Existing Project" dialog box...

As wdproj is an out of band addition to the Visual Studio, it is not by default recognized as a project when you try to add a project to the solution... The easy way to work around this is by putting *.* in the File Name box and clicking Open, this will display wdproj file which can then be loaded into the VS in same way if it showed up at the first place...

The current limitation is by-design but we will looking at integrating deployment solution to VS in future releases... Hope this work around will help in the meantime...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Web Deployment Project (WDP) do not support Remote web

WDP is not designed to work on a remote web site so it you are using FTP to connect to a remote location and are trying to use WDP for pre-compiling your web site then you will realize that you will see no WDP command in either the build or the solution explorer.   Some times users are confused whether their WDP installation or Visual Studio installation has some issues hence thought it would be worth clarifying...

The work around for the same is to copy the web site locally pre-compile it using WDP and then publish it using "Copy Web Site" to the remote location.

Fig1. WDP available on local web site in both solution explorer and Build command

WDP-SolutionExplorer WDP-BuildMenu

Fig 2. WDP not  available on remote web site in both solution explorer and Build command

FTP-WebSite-noWDP FTP-WebSite-Build-noWDP

Friday, October 05, 2007

.Net Framework Libraries Source Code will be released...


.Net Framework libraries source will be released along with .Net 3.5 and VS 2008... It will supported to be debugged with VS 2008 as well which will take Debugging your application to entirely new level...

You should check out Scott Guthrie's blog for the complete story... Click here

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Go Daddy customer service


Thought this would be interesting... I opened up a new hosting account on last week and this week I received a call (actually voice mail coz I was not in my office) from a REAL HUMAN BEING from thanking me for my business with them and also asking me if they could do anything which could make my experience better... Am I really living in 2007?... Does everyone who opens an account with godaddy gets a call like this?

Hat's Off to their customer service... Now I need to figure out if they will support IIS7, ASP.NET Ajax and .Net 3.5... If they give me that too I will sing praises for them like everywhere... :-)

My Learning is cool


Go visit

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Windows Live Writer


I just installed Windows Liver Writer and this post is being created from Windows Live Writer... It is an awesome tool which makes your blogging experience amazing... I believe it works with most of the blogging providers so most likely your blog should be included...

I recommend that you should try the beta by downloading the Windows Live Writer from below url:

Just to give you an idea of how the experience is below is a screenshot of the screen while I am writing this post:


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Joining Visual Studio Web Team

It has been a while since I wrote and hence it is a little strange to write... It seems like past 1.5 years of my work life has been hidden somewhere and that is kind of true as well... Hopefully I will be able to write about it in next 2-3 months, but anyways the reason for today's post is a little different...

I wanted to let you folks know that I am joining Visual Studio Web Developer team from Sept 10th 2007 (Monday) onwards... It is an exciting move for me coz I have always loved the web world and working on the team which help shapes the future of the web is super exciting to me... Hopefully in time to come I will be able to write a lot more and provide some useful info to you all...

Q. So what will I be doing in Visual Studio Web Developer team...?
A. I will be the Program Manager for Visual Studio Project System for Web... Ofcouse that is very vague right!! So let me give some more details... Visual Studio Project System for Web comprises of creation, compilation and deployment of Web based XXX from Visual Studio...
The reason I said XXX is coz XXX can include Web Site, Web Applications and any other web properties that you may want to create from Visual Studio...

Q. So what can you expect from me?
A. Well, as usual feel free to contact me whenever and however way you want... If you have any thoughts, issues, suggestions, concerns or feedback about Web Development with Visual Studio then do not think twice before writing... I promise I will conciously spend time and energy in taking the feedback in the most positive way in the most positive direction...

Q. So what kind of things can you reach out to me for?
A. Practically anything to do with Visual Studio Web Development... If it falls under the area that I am responsible for I will work on it myself, if it is beyond my area then I will send it across to the right people...

Some Random thoughts:
I feel, lot of time we take Visual Studio for granted... Many times we think that whatever is available within Visual Studio or via available add-ins is what you can do with the technology !! But Visual Studio is a product for us developers and you can say out loud the things that you love or hate about it... At Microsoft we will love to take your thoughts and suggestions and try to turn them into reality... It does not mean everything that everyone hopes will become Visual Studio feature, honestly not everything that I will hope will also become Visual Studio feature but the laundry list will be something which can become the base for discussion for the Visual Studio team... Your thoughts and suggestions will be something that will be debated and then probably the top requests will be taken up...

I am intending to talk to as many developers as possible and try to find out what features would they expect in the next version of Visual Studio that would make their life easier, their experience enjoyable and their productivity higher and higher... I will be more than willing to have a phone calls set up with you to talk about your expectations and feedbacks so if you are interested in doing so do not hesitate to let me know... If you think you would like to join the discussion along with your team then that is great too...

In anycase, to know more about the area that my team is responsible for visit our team blog below... It will provide you a lot of context on the things that we can talk about more...

I will internalize our team motto and end by saying "Your websites will be my passion!!"

Looking forward to writing more often in the future...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Numbers of Bloggers in Microsoft

From a recent Wired magazine article about Microsoft:"In fact, the 71,000-employee company now has more than 4,800 bloggers posting on every imaginable tech topic, from startups to SQL."

PS: Thanks to my colleague Gus who provided the pointer to this article...

Disclaimer: This is probably a very conservative estimate coz there might be many many more employees who might have blogs on other private blog site and also on live spaces etc... I guess the above number is TechNet and MSDN blogs (exludes me too :-))...