Joseph Michael Pesch
VP Programming

Visual Studio Error Loading TFS - Unexpected End of File

by 21. September 2016 17:08

When changing connections between different TFS servers, my Visual Studio seemed to get stuck with an issue where it would always error out with a message "unexpected end of file." and TFS could not load.  The solution was to delete all folders and files from this directory: C:\Users\USERID_HERE\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation


TFS | Visual Studio

VBA Script for Visio 2013 to Retrieve User Contact Information from SharePoint 2013 MySites

by 11. September 2016 13:03

Created a VBA code script (included below) to run in Visio and look for objects that have a custom property named "UserRef", taking the corresponding value entered into that custom property (assumed to be a Windows AD user account id) to lookup the users contact information (Name, Title, Department, Email, Phone, Office Location) from the users SharePoint "MySite".  Also, adds a hyperlink to the object that points to the users SharePoint MySite.  In my case I was using Visio 2013 and SharePoint 2013.

Sub PopulateUserInfoObjects()

    Dim page As Integer, pages As Integer, shape As Integer, shapes As Integer
    page = 1
    pages = Application.ActiveDocument.pages.Count
    While page <= pages = Application.ActiveDocument.pages(page)
        page = page + 1
        shape = 1
        shapes =
        Debug.Print & " has " & shapes & " shapes"
        While shape <= shapes
            Dim visioShape As Visio.shape
            Set visioShape =
            Dim userRef As String
            userRef = GetCustomPropertyValue(visioShape, "UserRef")
            If userRef <> "" Then
                Dim chars As Visio.Characters
                Set chars = visioShape.Characters
                chars.Text = GetUserInfoFromIntranet(userRef, visioShape)
            End If
            shape = shape + 1

End Sub

Function GetUserInfoFromIntranet(userId As String, addHyperlink As Visio.shape)
    ' Required references:
    '   Microsoft Internet Controls
    '   Microsoft Shell Controls and Automation
    ' The InternetExplorerMedium object is required instead of InternetExplorer object 
    ' to avoid the following exception:
    '   Run-time error '-21474178848 (80010108)':
    '   Automation Error
    '   The object invoked has disconnected form its clients.
    Dim IE As InternetExplorerMedium
    Dim targetURL As String
    Dim webContent As String
    Dim sh
    Dim eachIE
    targetURL = "http://SHAREPOINT_MYSITES_URL_HERE/Person.aspx?accountname=DOMAIN_NAME_HERE%5C" & userId
    Set IE = New InternetExplorerMedium
    IE.Visible = False
    IE.Navigate targetURL
    While IE.Busy
      Set sh = New Shell32.Shell
      For Each eachIE In sh.Windows
        If InStr(1, eachIE.LocationURL, targetURL) Then
          Set IE = eachIE
            'In some environments, the new process defaults to Visible.
            IE.Visible = False  
          Exit Do
          End If
        Next eachIE
    Set eachIE = Nothing
    Set sh = Nothing
    While IE.Busy  ' The new process may still be busy even after you find it
    Dim name As String
    name = IE.Document.getElementById("ctl00_PictureUrlImage_NameOverlay").innerHTML
    Dim title As String
    title = IE.Document.getElementById("ProfileViewer_ValueTitle").innerHTML
    Dim dept As String
    dept = IE.Document.getElementById("ProfileViewer_ValueDepartment").innerHTML
    Dim email As String
    email = IE.Document.getElementById("ProfileViewer_ValueWorkEmail").innerHTML
    Dim phone As String
    phone = IE.Document.getElementById("ProfileViewer_ValueWorkPhone").innerHTML
    Dim office As String
    office = IE.Document.getElementById("ProfileViewer_ValueOffice").innerHTML

    On Error Resume Next
    DeleteHyperlinks addHyperlink
    AddHyperlinkToShape addHyperlink, targetURL
    name = name & Chr(10) & title & Chr(10) & phone & Chr(10) & email 
    name = name & Chr(10) & dept & Chr(10) & "Location: " & office
    GetUserInfoFromIntranet = name 

End Function

Function GetCustomPropertyValue(TheShape As Visio.shape, ThePropertyName As String) As String
    Dim value As String
    If TheShape.CellExistsU("Prop." & ThePropertyName, 0) Then
        GetCustomPropertyValue = TheShape.CellsU("Prop." & ThePropertyName).ResultStr(visNone)
        GetCustomPropertyValue = ""
    End If
End Function

Sub AddHyperlinkToShape(shape As Visio.shape, url As String)
    Dim link As Visio.Hyperlink
    Set link = shape.Hyperlinks.Add
    link.IsDefaultLink = False
    link.Description = ""
    link.Address = url
    link.SubAddress = ""
End Sub

Sub DeleteHyperlinks(shape As Visio.shape)
    Dim i As Integer
    i = 1
    While i < shape.Hyperlinks.Count
End Sub


Sharepoint | VBA Script | Visio

Extract PDF File(s) from Adobe PDF Portfolio File Using iTextSharp Open Source PDF Library

by 28. August 2016 07:23

Using iTextSharp open source PDF library, the below console application illustrates opening one or more PDF files (based on file path and file mask inputs) and extracting a desired single PDF file from each.

using iTextSharp.text.pdf;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.IO;

namespace PdfPortfolioSample
  class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
      Console.Write("Enter source path: ");
      string sourcePath = Console.ReadLine();
      Console.Write("Enter file mask (e.g. *.pdf): ");
      string fileMask = Console.ReadLine();
      Console.Write("Recursive (y/n): ");
      bool recursive = Console.ReadLine().ToUpper() == "Y";
      Console.Write("Enter target path: ");
      string targetPath = Console.ReadLine();
      Console.Write("Enter document name to extract (e.g. MLPA.PDF): ");
      string docName = Console.ReadLine();
      List<string> files = GetFiles(sourcePath, fileMask, recursive);
      foreach (string file in files)
        GetPdfFromPortfolio(file, targetPath, docName);
    private static void GetPdfFromPortfolio(string filePath, string targetPath, string docName)
      PdfReader reader = new PdfReader(filePath);
      PdfDictionary root = reader.Catalog;
      PdfDictionary documentnames = root.GetAsDict(PdfName.NAMES);
      PdfDictionary embeddedfiles =
      PdfArray filespecs = embeddedfiles.GetAsArray(PdfName.NAMES);
      for (int i = 0; i < filespecs.Size;)
        PdfDictionary filespec = filespecs.GetAsDict(i++);
        PdfDictionary refs = filespec.GetAsDict(PdfName.EF);
        foreach (PdfName key in refs.Keys)
          PRStream stream = (PRStream)PdfReader.GetPdfObject(

          if (filespec.GetAsString(key).ToString().ToUpper() == docName.ToUpper())
            using (FileStream fs = new FileStream(
              targetPath + @"\" + Path.GetFileName(filePath).Substring(0, 10) + filespec.GetAsString(key).ToString(), FileMode.OpenOrCreate
              byte[] attachment = PdfReader.GetStreamBytes(stream);
              fs.Write(attachment, 0, attachment.Length);

    private static List<string> GetFiles(string path, string fileMask = "", bool recursive = false, List<string> files = null)
      if (files == null) files = new List<string>();
        foreach (var file in Directory.GetFiles(path, fileMask))
        if (recursive)
          foreach (string dir in Directory.GetDirectories(path))
            GetFiles(dir, fileMask, recursive, files);
      catch (System.Exception e)
      return files;


C# | iTextSharp | PDF

Configuring and Running Azure Powershell (for Azure Classic and Azure Resource Manager) on Windows Using Nuget

by 22. August 2016 07:57

Run Windows Powershell ISE as Administrator:
PS > Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
PS > Import-Module PowerShellGet
PS > Install-Module Azure (Classic)
PS > Install-Module AzureRM (Resource Manager)

# To make sure the Azure PowerShell module is available after you install
Get-Module –ListAvailable 

# To login to Azure Resource Manager

# You can also use a specific Tenant if you would like a faster login experience
# Login-AzureRmAccount -TenantId xxxx

# To view all subscriptions for your account

# To select a default subscription for your current session
Get-AzureRmSubscription –SubscriptionName “your sub” | Select-AzureRmSubscription

# View your current Azure PowerShell session context
# This session state is only applicable to the current session and will not affect other sessions

# To select the default storage context for your current session
Set-AzureRmCurrentStorageAccount –ResourceGroupName “your resource group” –StorageAccountName “your storage account name”

# View your current Azure PowerShell session context
# Note: the CurrentStorageAccount is now set in your session context

# To list all of the blobs in all of your containers in all of your accounts
Get-AzureRmStorageAccount | Get-AzureStorageContainer | Get-AzureStorageBlob



Restart IIS Web Site from C# Code

by 24. April 2016 04:58

In some cases I have setup caching on the website for items such as menus, header, footer, etc.  However, when there is a CMS in place on the site and a user changes any of that relevant content there needs to be a way to reset the web cache.  One easy way is to force the IIS web site to restart by making a benign change in the web.config file, which will automatically force the restart.  Below is a sample version of code to do this, where I update an otherwise unused entry in the web.config that just indicates the last date/time of restart request by the user.  In the case of an MVC application I put this into a controller with some specific route provided to the CMS users so they can navigate to that route after making CMS changes that need to be updated in the cache.  As a side note, using this method will require granting write access to the web.config file for the IIS application pool user (by default "IIS AppPool\WebSiteName" user).

    public static void RestartWeb()
      var configuration = WebConfigurationManager.OpenWebConfiguration("~");
      var section = (AppSettingsSection)configuration.GetSection("appSettings");
      section.Settings["LastRestart"].Value = 
        DateTime.Now.ToShortDateString() + " " + DateTime.Now.ToLongTimeString();


ASP.Net | C#

Change the "SharePoint" Text in the Ttop Left Corner of SharePoint 2013 Site

by 20. April 2016 11:04

To change the text you can use PowerShell with the sample code snippet shown below.  NOTE: To use PowerShell for SharePoint make sure add the snapin (Add-PSSnapIn Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell).

PowerShell Script Sample:

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://MySiteUrlHere; $webApp.SuiteBarBrandingElementHtml = "<a href='/'>My Site Title Here</>"; $webApp.Update(); 



BlogEngine.Net Using TinyMCE Allow User to Paste Image Directly Onto Page

by 2. April 2016 09:18

By default the TinyMCE configuration in a standard BlogEngine.Net implementation may not be setup to allow users to paste images directly from their clipboard onto the page.  To make sure this feature is enabled, go to the "admin/editors/tinymce/editor.js" and add the two lines listed below into the tinymce.init method (sample of a full view of the method also shown below):

browser_spellcheck: true,
paste_data_images: true,

For any editor customization, check TinyMce website for plugins:

    selector: '#txtContent',
    plugins: [
        "advlist autolink lists link image charmap print preview anchor",
        "searchreplace visualblocks code fullscreen textcolor imagetools",
        "insertdatetime media table contextmenu paste sh4tinymce filemanager"
    toolbar: "styleselect | bold underline italic | alignleft aligncenter alignright | bullist numlist | forecolor backcolor | link media sh4tinymce | fullscreen code | filemanager",
    autosave_ask_before_unload: false,
    max_height: 1000,
    min_height: 300,
    height: 500,
	browser_spellcheck: true,
	paste_data_images: true,
    menubar: false,
    relative_urls: false,
    browser_spellcheck: true,
    setup: function (editor) {
        editor.on('init', function (e) {
            if (htmlContent) {



Setup Git Repo on Digital Ocean Droplet

by 2. April 2016 06:38

This tutorial will show you how to set up a fully fledged Git server using SSH keys for authentication. It will not have a web interface, this will just cover getting Git installed and your access to it set up. We'll use the host "" in place of the domain you will use for your VPS.

This can be a great option if you want to keep your code private while you work. While open-souce tends to be the status quo, there are some times when you don't want to have your code freely available. An example would be if you are developing a mobile app, especially a paid one. Keep in mind this code can be read by anyone if they know the URL address to use for a clone, but that is only if they know it.

There is one major concern for many and that is a web interface to your repositories. GitHub accomplishes this amazingly well. There are applications that you can install such as Gitosis (, GitList (, and Goblet ( We don't go over those in this tutorial, but if you rely heavily on a graphic interface then you may want to look over those and think about installing one of them as soon as you done installing your Git server.

Next, the VPS will need a user specifically for Git. Most people will simply create a user called "Git", and that is what we'll do for this tutorial but feel free to name this user whatever you'd like.


Setup a Git User and Install Git on your VPS

Log into your VPS, and gain root*:


su -

*Some people feel uncomfortable using root in this manner. If your VPS is set up to use sudo, then do so.


Add the Unix user (not necessarily Git user names) to handle the repositories:


useradd git

Then give your Git user a password:


passwd git

Now it's as easy as:


CentOS/Fedora: yum install git

Ubuntu/Debian: apt-get install git

Add your SSH Key to the Access List

At this point, you'll want to be logged in as the Git user. If you haven't already logged in to that user, use this command to switch to it:


su git

Now you need to upload your file to your Git user's home directory. Once you have done that, we need let the SSH daemon know what SSH keys to accept. This is done using the authorized keys file, and it resides in the dot folder "ssh". To create this, input:


mkdir ~/.ssh && touch ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

Note: Using the double '&' in your command chains them, so it tells the system to execute the first command and then the second. Using the 'tilde' at the beginning of the path will tell the system to use your home directory, so '~' becomes /home/git/ to your VPS.


We are going to use the 'cat' command, which will take the contents of a file and return them to the command line. We then use the '>>' modifier to do something with that output rather than just print it in your console. Be careful with this, as a single '>' will overwrite all the contents of the second file you specify. A double '>' will append it, so make sure you know what you want to do and in most cases it will be easier to just use ">>" so that you can always delete what you append rather than looking to restore what you mashed over.


Each line in this file is an entry for a key that you wish to have access to this account. To add the key that you just uploaded, type the following, replacing :


cat .ssh/ | ssh user@ "cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

Now you can see the key there if you use cat on the authorized key file:


cat ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

If you want to add others to your access list, they simply need to give you their key and you append it to the authorized keys file.


Setup a Local Repository

This is a pretty simple process, you just call the Git command and initialize a bare repository in whichever directory you'd like. Let's say I want to use "My Project" as the project title. When creating the folder, I'd use all lower case, replace any spaces with hyphens, and append ".git" to the name. So "My Project" becomes "my-project.git".


To create that folder as an empty Git repository:


git init --bare my-project.git

Thats it! You now have a Git repository set up on your VPS. Let's move on to how to use it with your local computer.


Using your Git Server from your Local Computer

On Linux or Mac OS, you need to change the remote origin to your newly created server. If you already have a local repo that you want to push to the server, change the remote using this command:


git remote set-url origin

If this is a new repository you are setting up, use this:


git init && git remote add origin

Now you may add, push, pull, and even clone away knowing that your code is only accessible to yourself.


But what if you want a few trusted people to have access to this server and you want to keep things simple by sorting them by the names of your users? A simple and effective way to do that is to create a folder named after each person, so in the home folder for your Git user list, input:


mkdir user1 user2

Now when you specify the remote repository, it would look like this:


git remote add origin 

Step 1: Create SSH Public/Private Key Using PuTTY 

1. Download and start the puttygen.exe generator (download location:

2. In the "Parameters" section choose SSH2 DSA and press Generate.

3. Move your mouse randomly in the small screen in order to generate the key pairs.

4. Enter a key comment, which will identify the key (useful when you use several SSH keys).

5. Type in the passphrase and confirm it. The passphrase is used to protect your key. You will be asked for it when you connect via SSH.

6. Click "Save private key" and then "Save public key" to save both keys to your disk.



Windows Task Scheduler Create Web Request (Web Site Keep Alive)

by 26. March 2016 18:09

Add Windows Schedule and from the "Actions" tab, select "Start a program" dropdown and enter "powershell" (without the quotes) in the "Program/script:" text box then enter a command like the one below in the "arguments" text box:

-Command "Get-Date > c:\pathToLogFile.txt; $req = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create(\"http://url\"); $res = $req.GetResponse(); $str = $res.GetResponseStream(); $rdr = new-object System.IO.StreamReader $str; $dat = $rdr.ReadToEnd(); $dat >> c:\pathToLogFile.txt; Get-Date >> c:\pathToLogFile.txt;"

Powershell HTTP Request

$r = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create("http://url/")
$resp = $r.GetResponse()
$reqstream = $resp.GetResponseStream()
$sr = new-object System.IO.StreamReader $reqstream
$result = $sr.ReadToEnd()
write-host $result

Username and passwords
$creds = new-object System.Net.NetworkCredential "username", "password"
$uri = mew-object System.Uri "http://url/"
$credcache = new-object System.Net.CredentialCache
$credcache.Add($uri, "Basic", $creds)
$webrequestobject.Credentials = $credcache

One Liner Version
Powershell -Command "$r = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create('http://url/'); $resp = $r.GetResponse(); $respstream = $resp.GetResponseStream(); $sr =
new-object System.IO.StreamReader $respstream; $result = $sr.ReadToEnd(); write
-host $result"



SQL Backup All User Databases via Windows Task Scheduler

by 22. March 2016 18:14

1) Create the SQL procedure below
2) Add this sqlcmd to a CMD file:
    sqlcmd -S localhost -E -Q "exec master.dbo.prc_BackupUserDatabases"
3) Add this command to the CMD file (to delete files older that X days), sample deletes *.bak files older than 5 days:
    forfiles -p "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Backup" -s -m *.bak -d -5 -c "cmd /c del @path"
4) Add to windows task scheduler with Action = Start a Program (pointed to the CMD file)

SQL Procedure

USE [master]
create procedure [dbo].[prc_BackupUserDatabases] as
  declare @DatabaseName varchar(50)
        , @BackupFolder sysname = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Backup\';
  declare cur cursor for select name from sys.databases where len(owner_sid) > 1
  open cur
  while 1=1 begin
    fetch next from cur into @DatabaseName
    if @@FETCH_STATUS <> 0 break
    declare @BackupFilePath sysname = @BackupFolder + @DatabaseName + N'_' + CONVERT(char(8), GETDATE(), 112) + '.bak';
    backup database @DatabaseName to disk = @BackupFilePath with init, STATS=10;
  close cur
  deallocate cur


SQL Server

Enable Remote IIS Web Administration with IIS Management Console or Power Shell

by 24. February 2016 05:00


MP4 File Format Specification Details

by 14. February 2016 14:59




Tools for Apache Cordova for Visual Studio 2013 - Blocking Update and Cannot Uninstall

by 24. January 2016 07:07

I was trying to update Visual Studio 2013 and could not as it was complaining that I needed to remove an older version of "Tools for Apache Cordova for Visual Studio 2013".  I went into my Control Panel and found "Tools for Apache Cordova for Visual Studio 2013 - CTP3.1" as an installed program and tried to uninstall; however, that would immediately say it completed and would not actually remove it.  To force the removal I had to search in my "%ProgramData%\Package Cache" folder for the "MultiDeviceHybridApps_VS.msi" file.  Then run the following command from an administration command prompt using the full path to the MSI.



Visual Studio

C# Generic Class Wrapper

by 23. January 2016 07:57


public class Wrapper<T>
    public Wrapper(T wrapped)
        Wrapped = wrapped;

    public T Wrapped { get; set; }

public class WrapperFactory
    public static Wrapper<T> Create<T>(T wrapped)
        return new Wrapper<T>(wrapped);

var wrappedInt = WrapperFactory.Create(42);



Morris.js Charting Issue with Unresponsive JavaScript in Firefox Browser

by 9. January 2016 11:09

After implementing Morris.js for charting I would periodically receive this error message in Firefox:

Warning: Unresponsive script

A script on this page may be busy, 
or it may have stopped responding.  
You can stop the script now, 
open the script in the debugger, 
or let the script continue.

Script: http://.../plugins/morris/raphael.min.js

To resolve this I added the parseTime: false setting to the chart object. It seems that Mozilla tries to parse the "xLabels" attribute as a datetime and goes into a loop.




SQL Function to Convert Delimited String to Table

by 24. December 2015 07:58

This is a SQL function to convert a delimited string into a table.

create function [dbo].[DelimToTable] 
(@StringInput varchar(max), @Delimiter nvarchar(1))
returns @OutputTable table([String] varchar(255)) as begin
declare @String varchar(255)
while len(@StringInput) > 0 begin
set @String = left(@StringInput
, isnull(nullif(charindex(@Delimiter, @StringInput) - 1, -1)
, len(@StringInput)))
set @StringInput = substring(@StringInput
, isnull(nullif(charindex(@Delimiter, @StringInput), 0)
, len(@StringInput)) + 1, len(@StringInput))
insert into @OutputTable ([String]) values(@String)


SQL Server

Visual Studio 2013 Setup/Installer Add In

by 21. October 2015 05:03

NOTE: To create a windows service setup make sure to open the service.cs file and right-click on the screen to "Add Installer" (as shown in screen shot below).



Migrate Azure Virtual Machine (VM) Between Storage Accounts

by 20. October 2015 04:39



Sending Email Through SMTP Using TELNET

by 16. September 2015 05:17

1) Open a cmd prompt.

2) Enter telnet <the FQDN of your SMTP server> <the port number>


3) Enter EHLO <the DNS domain name where the SMTP server is at>


If you get a successful connection you will see this:


4) Enter MAIL FROM: <the email address of the Workflow Run As Account>


5) Enter RCPT TO: <some email address you want to send to>


6) Enter DATA


7) Enter SUBJECT: <some subject you want to have> and hit Enter TWO times:


8) Enter a message body followed by Enter, then a period, then Enter again.


9: Enter QUIT



SQL Server Drop Extended Properties (e.g. MS_Description)

by 8. September 2015 04:38

This script will generate a set of drop statements:

 select 'EXEC sp_dropextendedproperty
 @name = '''+name+'''
 ,@level0type = ''schema''
 ,@level0name = ' + object_schema_name(extended_properties.major_id) + '
 ,@level1type = ''table''
 ,@level1name = ' + object_name(extended_properties.major_id)
 from sys.extended_properties
 where extended_properties.class_desc = 'OBJECT_OR_COLUMN'
 and extended_properties.minor_id = 0
 select 'EXEC sp_dropextendedproperty
 @name = ''''''
 ,@level0type = ''schema''
 ,@level0name = ' + object_schema_name(extended_properties.major_id) + '
 ,@level1type = ''table''
 ,@level1name = ' + object_name(extended_properties.major_id) + '
 ,@level2type = ''column''
 ,@level2name = ' +
 from sys.extended_properties
 join sys.columns
 on columns.object_id = extended_properties.major_id
 and columns.column_id = extended_properties.minor_id
 where extended_properties.class_desc = 'OBJECT_OR_COLUMN'
 and extended_properties.minor_id > 0


SQL Server