Using the Windows Credential Manager from MsBuild

Today I needed to make a web service call with authentication from MsBuild. Of course storing the credentials in plain text is not an option.The Windows Credential Manager User Interface can be opened by running the command:control /name Microsoft.CredentialManagerThere is also a command line interface:cmdkey.exeAs the Windows APIs are not provided as wrapper through the BCL a NuGet package comes to help:nuget.exe install CredentialManagementFinally everything wrapped up in a MsBuild Task:

Make a WebApplication project automatically publish on build

If you want to publish a Web Application project you can call MsBuild with parameters. Having a publish happen on each and every build - there is work to do. Visual Studio project files are MsBuild files since Version 2005. There is a way to force MsBuild and Visual Studio behave as requested. The project file needs to be edited slightly: <PropertyGroup> <PublishDestination>..\..\..\out\YourPublishDirectory</PublishDestination> </PropertyGroup> <Target Name="PublishToFileSystem" DependsOnTargets="PipelinePreDeployCopyAllFilesToOneFolder" AfterTargets="Build"> <MakeDir Condition="!Exists($(PublishDestination))" Directories="$(PublishDestination)" /> <ItemGroup> <PublishFiles Include="$(_PackageTempDir)\**\*.*" /> </ItemGroup> <Copy SourceFiles="@(PublishFiles)" DestinationFiles="@(PublishFiles->'$(PublishDestination)\%(RecursiveDir)%(Filename)%(Extension)')" SkipUnchangedFiles="True" /> </Target>

Updating the .NET target framework for many projects

I do component based development. Meaning I have 30+ repos, builds and each of them has 1-10 projects – The main library project, tests, samples and so on. The news about the support end for the .NET Framework 4, 4.5 and 4.5.1 was the motivation to update ALL of my projects. I know this is not neccessary because… .NET 4.5.2, 4.6 and 4.6.1 are compatible, in-place updates on top of .NET 4, .NET 4.5, and .NET 4.5.1. This means that applications built to target any of these previous .NET 4.x versions will continue running on .NET 4.5.2 without change. No recompiling of apps is necessary. ... but I wanted to update them from version 4 to since a long time now. To do the job I wrote a small powershell script. Beside the path command set-frameworkVersion there is CommitAndPush-GitRepositories which commits and pushes all repositories found underneath the path variable.

.NET Framework 4.6 Release

The new framework version is out. As with every new release it seems to me that the search indexes on Microsoft downloads have not been rebuilt yet. So I abuse this blog post and note the download links to myself…Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 (Offline Installer) for Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 SP2 Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft Build Tools 2015Windows 10 and .NET Framework 4.6 SDKIntelliTrace Collector for Visual Studio 2015 (Just replace the Version number in the Installation Path)

Enable or disable FxCop Code Analysis solution wide in Visual Studio Package Manager Console

I really like FxCop. But in a debugging session it can be useful to save time by temporarily disabling the code analysis. Sadly there is no *global switch* to turn it off and on again. So here is my approach: Create a new text file in the directory "C:\Users\{your user}\Documents\WindowsPowerShell" named "NuGet_profile.ps1" and add the following code: Restart Visual Studio. Click the menu "View" | "Other Windows" | "Package Manager Console". Now you can execute the following commands: > Enable-CodeAnalysis > Disable-CodeAnalysis

.NET Licensing - ode to monolithic applications?

The Microsoft .NET Framework has a built in licensing technology. It can be found in the namespace System.ComponentModel and System.ComponentModel.Design. Here is a small sample implementation of the minimal required classes: A lot of component producers use this licensing model – so does Tx Text Control – the component that I wanted to use. As a user you just create a *.licx-file, include it into the project as “embedded resource” and add the components that should be licensed by their fully qualified type names – one per line: During the build the LC-Task executes the license compiler (LC.exe). The license compiler is part of the .NET SDK that is part of the Windows SDK. If you have the Windows SDK 8.1 or Visual Studio 2013 installed it can be found at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.1A\bin\NETFX 4.5.1 Tools\”. The result is the “Licensing.dll.licenses” file that is embedded by the C#-Compiler (Csc.exe) in the next step. During runtime the LicenseProvider-attribute is evaluated and the defined license provider is handed over to the System.ComponentModel.LicenseManager’s Validate method. This call forwards to the internal method ValidateInternalRecursive which then calls the GetLicense method of the LicenseProvider. The first argument of the GetLicenseCall is of type LicenseContext and at runtime filled with the static held instance of the internal class RuntimeLicenseContext. To resolve the license key the method GetSavedLicenseKey is called on the LicenseContext. The implemention offers two options to resolve the key: Resolve from URI: new Uri(new Uri(AppDomain.CurrentDomain.SetupInformation.ApplicationBase), AppDomain.CurrentDomain.SetupInformation.LicenseFile) Resolve from Embedded Resource: The lookup on references/loaded assemblies is only processed, if there is NO entry assembly - for instance within ASP.NET that is the case. But my intend was to create a build task for MsBuild that converts Microsoft Word’s DOCX files into PDF documents. So I have an entry assembly (MsBuild.exe). The entry assembly knows nothing about TX TextControl – and that is a good thing! I have no control over the entry assembly (MsBuild.exe). A situation I guess to find in every composite UI/modular desktop application. No wonder the monolith is often the preferred architecture especially on the desktop! After an intense debugging session through the framework sources (supported by red gate’s Reflector) I wrote a small helper class. WARNING: I use reflection to access internal types and private fields and modify their values – this means: If Microsoft decides to change their internal implementation it might not work anymore. But as we as can see the code was written for .NET 1.0 and has not been updated in the last 10 years: It’s not very likely that changes will happen. Now I just need to call LicenseLoader.LoadLicensesFromCallingAssembly() before the Tx Text Control component is instantiated the first time and everything works as expected. HTH