Month: January 2014

OwinStartup red herring


So I tried a build a few days ago and got this message:

The following errors occurred while attempting to load the app.
– The OwinStartup attribute discovered in assembly ‘PCS2’ referencing startup type ‘PCS2.Startup’ conflicts with the attribute in assembly ‘PCS’ referencing startup type ‘PCS.Startup’ because they have the same FriendlyName ”. Remove or rename one of the attributes, or reference the desired type directly.

You can get freaked out about this message and start yanking Owin and trying to debug the FriendlyName error message, or – simply put – understand that this is happening because you’re doing a build to the same destination point on a QA webserver from a project with a different name. (In this case, I’d cut over from an older project PCS2 to a new project, new assembly called PCS). And, WebDeploy’s Publish doesn’t clear out everything in the target folder in IIS – and artifacts there are interfering with your post-publish IIS settings. Just remote desktop onto the server and blow away the contents of that web app and re-publish, and that should do the trick.


Give me the drama!

There’s two reasons why we watch sports – drama and humor. I remember the time I watched John Elway’s legendary helicopter spin to give Denver a critical first down against Green Bay. I’d never taken the NFL seriously before that, but the sight of a 37-year old John Elway putting his health on the line like that sucked me in. There’s been a lot of great NFL moments since then – and a lot of boring moments too. He may be a genius, but I’ve got a real grudge against Bill Belicheck for turning the postgame and pregame interviews into a droning recital of meaningless clichés (It is what it is, blech).

Anyway, I’m still hoarse this morning from screaming after that NFC championship game between the 49ers and the Seahawks. That was a great contest between two very evenly matched teams, where it really came down to the final play – and it felt like the 49ers, driving effortlessly against the most feared defense in the NFL, had it in their hands. Then, the tipped pass by Sherman in the endzone on a fade route to Crabtree.

That game had it all – drama, strategy, everything you’d ever want. And the crazy postgame interview with Richard Sherman? “I’m better at life than you” Richard Sherman? Eyes bugging out, spittle flying, venting raw emotion all over a deer-in-the-headlights Erin Andrews? Classic Mean Gene. I mean, it was epic – after spending the previous five minutes jumping up and down and screaming, now I was laughing until I choked. Watching it, I knew it was a classic – right alongside the Elway game. You can say it was classless, and that he was being a bad winner – both are true. But if you watched that game, and understood how violent and emotional that ending was – and then have a microphone thrust in your face – it makes perfect sense.

Everyone is piling on Richard Sherman today, because that’s the media. But I remember thinking at the time, this is what sports is about. It’s a game, and it’s supposed to be fun. He’ll take a beating this week and be cast as the bad guy … but from my standpoint, thanks for keeping it real.



Web Deploy hijinks

I always used to do a file system x-deploy to copy a web app from local out to QA/PROD. But that involved manually changing the web.config and is fraught with manual steps (i.e. errors). So, if you’re getting errors on running deployments, try the following to access Web Deploy 2.0

  1. Remote desktop onto the target IIS webserver
  2. Go into IIS Manager
  3. Right click on the site, and select Deploy, “Configure Web Deploy Publishing”
  4. Click on Setup – > it will create a PublishSettings file locally on the desktop. Copy this to your local system and use this in Visual Studio (manage publish settings in Publish)

Web deployment notes:

From this article – find out if your settings are correct:

  • Click on the Web Site in IIS – select Features tab.
  • IIS Manager permissions icon.
  • IIS Manager Permissions, Action, Allow User – and add your user name.



Messing around with ListViews

I do like this simple walkthrough here on ListViews. Note it’s much easier to scaffold this stuff without sprocs – MSFT seems to be (esp with innovations in EF, Code-First and POCO) moving away from old-school procedural logic in our business layer. (there’s an accompanying article showing inserts/updates).

Notice how easy VS makes it for us to scaffold out ListViews as we would a Controller/View in MVC using EF. Basically it’s a three step process:

  1. Drag on a ListView, and view it in Design Mode. click on the SmartTag on the right, and select Choose a data source. Fill in a SELECT statement.
  2. Select Advanced and generate Insert, Update, and Delete statements.
  3. Go back to Configure Listview in the smart tag and select the Enable Editing, Inserting, and Deleting checkboxes, and pagination if you swing that way.
  4. Treat yourself to a Banquet Beer. (added this last one)

VS adds in a TON of coding here without you having to lift a finger, or slave away over a hot stove writing sprocs. And, you can replace this down the road with sprocs if you so desire and use it as a template. Super groovy…

So, that’s good for generating plain vanilla listviews like the below. What if, shudder, you want to extend it a little?

I’m embarrassed to say, it took me a few hours yesterday to figure out which events I should hook into – and ListView has a TON of them – to update/save rows on my listview. I’m attaching the code below – suffice to say, the _DataBound, _ItemInserting and _ItemUpdating are your friends here. See the following code…. the main page is here.

More details – another halfway decent post:

jQuery Explorations

According to this posting and this one, it’s faster to use a CDN than host it internally. (Redundancy, geolocation, more servers/bandwidth, etc). (love the snarky “So I assume you’re shipping a deprecated browser as well” comment). The redoubtable Scott H did a great writeup on having a backup for a CDN so you can fall back to local… should I find that necessary. However, for my purposes, it’s enough to note that using this:




instead of local sources (href=”~/Content/jquery-ui.css”) will not slow down my code execution and in fact offers significant caching advantages.

Anyway, the long story short is, this little nugget of code is all I needed – in the end – to use the jquery datepicker.





$(document).ready(function () {

$(function () {

$(“#<%= DateStartText.ClientID %>).datepicker();

$(“#<%= DateEndText.ClientID %>).datepicker();





I’m messing around with Accordions and tabbed panels now. From a design standpoint it couldn’t be easier to drag on these controls and limit what users see. From a UI perspective, it’s not great practice to stuff hundreds of fields and master/detail views on a form and show/reveal in tabs… There’s a reason why MVC encourages us to think in terms of very simple View logic (Edit/Index/List/Delete/Insert) instead of old-school VB6-type parent/child views. (Yes you CAN do this in MVC with little trouble, but IMHO it’s easier to create and especially scaffold your views in atomic pieces.)

Postings to look at in reference:… and from jquery –