Channel 9 has posted a very good video concerning "Windows 2000 to Windows Vista: Road to Compatibility". This is especially targeted for developers who should make changes to their applications to run smoothly on Windows Vista. A conceptual knowledge of User Account Control is also explained which seems to impact software not following Windows Logo Program for XP and Vista.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Monday, December 4, 2006
In yet another article at kirupa.com, the author has a tutorial based for deploying .NET applications using ClickOnce, this time on/for Windows Vista. ClickOnce continues to be growing and with the advent of User Account Control in Vista and other security related features, it may prove to be the most viable technology for installing applications in the near future where "deep" installation(s) are not required.
This proves to be a very good tutorial for "beginners" to ClickOnce application publishing. Click Here to visit the article.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
With screenshots and detailed 5-step process, author concludes, "I hope that many of the .NET developers who use traditional setup script programs will find this an easy and simple way to deploy your software. More than that, if you got the licensed Visual Studio .NET with you, there is no need to purchase setup applications from other companies because Visual Studio .NET itself offers it to you."
Visit the Article
Monday, November 20, 2006
In an effort to provide customers with more secure products, Microsoft Windows Server "Longhorn" and Microsoft Windows Vista will only support SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later when it becomes available. Earlier versions of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2000 (all editions including Desktop Engine edition, a.k.a MSDE), SQL Server 7.0, and SQL Server 6.5, will not be supported on Windows Server "Longhorn" or Windows Vista. Customers running applications with these earlier versions of SQL Server should consider evaluating and upgrading to SQL Server 2005, which was designed to take advantage of the upcoming security and performance enhancements in the operating environment.
That means, applicaiton developers are to be aware that running an older version of SQL as stated above, the application has higher chances of "incompability" on the soon to be RTM'ed Vista and Longhorn thereafter. Setup Engineers and Application Packagers must inform or follow-up with the application programmers/developers OR vendors to have this information relayed for application stability in Vista & Longhorn.
Microsoft has outlined some necessary information how to upgrade to current supported version along the earlier message release. Read more here.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Windows PowerShell is a new command line shell and task-based scripting technology that provides information technology (IT) administrators comprehensive control and automation of system administration tasks, increasing administrator productivity. Windows PowerShell includes numerous system administration utilities, consistent syntax and naming conventions, and improved navigation of common management data such as the registry, certificate store, or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). Windows PowerShell also includes an intuitive scripting language specifically designed for IT administration.
Between November 06-10, 2006 Microsoft Script Center is organizing Windows PowerShell Week, a series of five Webcasts to be held on TechNet. These Webcasts will provide you with a thorough introduction to Windows PowerShell.
All Webcasts begin at 11:30 AM PST (Pacific Standard Time)
1. And Now for Something Completely Different: Introducing Windows PowerShell
You?ve probably heard by now about this new technology from Microsoft first called ?Monad? and now officially named Windows PowerShell. What is this? Do I want to learn this? Do I have to learn this? Where do I get it? How does it work? Not to worry, the Scripting Guys are here to answer your questions. In this first of five Webcasts you?ll be introduced to Windows PowerShell and given an overview of how it works and what it?s all about.
Monday November 6, 2006
2. One Cmdlet, Two Cmdlet, Three Cmdlet, Four: An Introduction to Windows PowerShell Commands
"Doeth the Eagle mount up at thy commaund?" No, that?s not a typo; apparently, that's how the word command was spelled back in the 1700's. Boy, how things have changed: the word is now spelled Cmdlet, or at least it is if you're a Windows PowerShell user. In this webcast the Script Guys explore these new beasts known as Cmdlets, the heart and sound of Microsoft?s new command shell/scripting technology.
Tuesday November 7, 2006
3. Objects, Objects Everywhere: Working With Objects in Windows PowerShell
One of the coolest new features introduced by Windows PowerShell is the ability to work with objects directly from the command line. Although WSH scripters are somewhat familiar with the concept of objects, as a Windows PowerShell user you need to live and breath objects. In this webcast, the Scripting Guys explore all things object in Windows PowerShell. If you listen carefully and don't speak out during the presentation, they?ll even help you instantiate an itty-bitty .NET object for you to call your own.
Wednesday November 8, 2006
4. New Kid on the Script Block: Writing Scripts with Windows PowerShell
Yes, Windows PowerShell is a great tool for working at the command line; however, it?s an equally good tool for writing scripts. In day 4 of Windows PowerShell week, the Scripting Guys introduce you to the fine art of writing scripts with Windows PowerShell.
Thursday November 9, 2006
5. Amazing But True: Things You Never Dreamt You Could Do With Windows PowerShell
In this, this fifth and final Windows PowerShell Week webcast, you?ll see definitive proof that the Loch Ness monster exists; you?ll meet a man who was abducted by aliens; and you?ll hear from a real, live ghost. But that?s nothing: just wait until you see some of the incredible things that can be done with Windows PowerShell.
Friday November 10, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
10 More Commandments include:
- Plan your Project
- Learn the New Feature Set
- Create your Team
- Build your Test Network
- Filter Features
- Analyze Application Compatibility
- Package for Production
- Rely on Workflows
- Test, Test, Test
- Learn your Lessons
Ofcourse, the speakers expand and present these bullets in greater detail with demos.
Visit the Webcast
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Designing Application Installations for User Account Control with Windows Installer 4.0 in Windows Vista
Previously, DevInstall had posted an Event relating to Webcast from MSDN: Designing Application Installations for User Account Control with Windows Installer 4.0 in Windows Vista. If you missed the live Webcast which was on October 18, MSDN has now made that available on-demand.
What does the Webcast talk about? Some highlights?
- User Account Control (UAC) in Vista and Windows Installer 4.0 Integration
- Signing Your Package - some new dialogs
- Credential Prompt-Free Patching
- Adding the "Shield" to your User Interface
- When does elevation happen?
- Precautions when using AdminUser
- A word about Custom Actions (CAs)
- ALLUSERS Property Under UAC
- Creating a True "Per-User" Package
- Using a Setup.exe Bootstrapper
- Testing your Package
In addition, the on-going Q/A session during the presentation was highly informational. Some highlights from the session:
Question: We don't want to make the customer go through the UI and then abort in the Execute sequence if Privileged is False. What can we check in the UI sequence to abort?
Answer: The UAC credential prompt is a one way door. There is no way to tell in advance whether the user will approve the credential prompt. Once the credential prompt is approved you are running as administrator. This is a constraint of UAC.
Question: On Vista, is there a way to run an elevated install silentley? i.e: When using /qb Vista do shows the elevation dailog request - but also shows the progress bar. When using /qn - nothing happens ... Is'nt a way of metigation between the two switches ??
Answer: The UAC functionality does not allow elevate silently. The recommendation from the UAC team is to 1) run from a managability tool such as SMS, Altiris, Tivoli, etc 2) run from an elevated command line 3) (for automated testing in development only) write a service that elevates a command line when passed.
Question: There's some confusion about whether the "no impersonate" bit can be used in the UI sequence. Docs imply it only applies to deferred custom actions.
Answer: NoImpersonate can not be used in the UI Sequence or in the InstallExecuteSequence outside of the script. To have a custom action run inside the script, one needs to mark their custom action deferred.
Question: So where does ALLUSERS=2 bounce to?
And many more?This is a strong recommendation to Application Developers, Installation Developers and also for Application Packagers.
Presenter: Tyler Robinson, Lead Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Session Q/A: Robert Flaming, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Windows Installer Team has also scheduled next similar webcast for October 30, 2006 Designing Software Installations for Windows Vista Using Windows Installer 4.0.
If you are more interested to learn about UAC in Vista and Windows Installer 4.0, Robert Flaming published a series of articles earlier: Understanding UAC in Vista and Windows Installer. Uday Shivaswamy's earlier webcast about Modifying Your Applications to Run on Windows Vista is an additional support to understand in the sequence. There is also an upcoming event about 10 More Commandments for Software Packaging: Focus on Vista Migration, you may find it more helpful in the context.
Monday, October 16, 2006
At the exhibition space, various packaging organizations will present their solutions to the visitors. The event highlights are detailed as below:
Speakers at the Event
9.30 AM: Windows Installer past, present, future & Microsoft Vista
Tyler Robinson, Windows Installer Program Manager , Microsoft
Exploring the windows Installer elements from a system administrator perspective. How will Vista influence the packaging process & application management.
11.15 AM: Wise Package Studio and SVS
Andre De Meijer, Senior Consultant, Altiris
Wise Package Studio and Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) are two keys components of a successful application management process; both solutions help organizations manage their applications throughout their lifecycle, including preparation, deployment, management and support, patching, upgrading and retiring.
1.30 PM: FLEXnet AdminStudio
Nica Faustino, Sales Engineer Manager, Macrovision EMEA
Macrovision will host an interactive session during a software demonstration to cover the complete application repackaging lifecycle from application request through quality assurance and integration with distribution tools. It will be followed by a questions and answers session
3.15 PM: Novell ZENworks
Roel van Bueren Consultant, ROVABU Networks
How to deploy MSI packages with Novell ZENworks: Past, Present , Future.
You can find the complete details about the event here.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
ClickOnce provides an easy-to-use and flexible deployment mechanism for smart client applications built for the .NET Framework 2.0. ClickOnce offers end-user deployment, ready-made installation dialogs, a built-in security model, and automatic or on-demand updates. But while it's great to have so many built-in features, one area that users often request more control is in tracking who uses which applications, controlling access to those applications, and knowing when something goes wrong. You may just need to keep track of who is using which versions of each application at the user level. You may want to restrict access to certain applications and updates based on a user's identity or their association with a role or group. You may want to know when launch errors have occurred for particular users so that you can troubleshoot deployment problems if they exist.
This whitepaper discusses all of these scenarios. It identifies the places you can insert your own code or tools into the process for control or monitoring purposes. Several alternative solutions are discussed, allowing you to pick the approach that provides the best trade-off of complexity and control given your requirements. This whitepaper also identifies potential hazards of certain solutions that may seem like a good idea, but that can lead to fragility or unexpected results. Along the way, author gives you insight into what artifacts are being placed where when you publish and deploy a ClickOnce application.
White Paper Info - Author: Brian Noyes, Microsoft Regional Director and MVP
Published: June 2006, Revised October 2006 (sample download added)
.NET Framework 2.0
Smart client application deployment
Friday, October 13, 2006
What does the Webcast talk about? Some highlights...
- Innovation and Compatibility of applications for Vista
- What is Microsoft doing about application compatibility?
- Typical Compatibility Failures
- User Account Control: Why might application break?
- Windows Resource Protection: What's changed? Include it in your application package?
- Mitigation: What is Redirection? Is it per user or per machine? How can you avoid redirection?
- Application Updates: Who has the privileges?
- Service Isolation
- Networking, Version Checking, Microsoft GINA, Graphics Device Interface (GDI) and Dots per Inch (DPI)...
- Removed Components while going to Vista
And many more...This is a strong recommendation to Application Developers, Installation Developers and also for Application Packagers.
Presenter: Uday Shivaswamy, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Watch the on-demand Webcast
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Channel9.msdn.com sits down with Director of Development for Windows Shell at Microsoft, Ales Holecek, for an interview about Windows Vista Shell. Ales spends most of the time answering a single, broad question: What is the Windows Vista Shell?
Channel9 references, "of course, you can't talk about Windows Vista shell without talking about UAC (User Account Control), Windows Explorer, Aero, Desktop Search, and, for developers, the improved Shell APIs".
Ales begins with general Windows Shell definition as an application that runs on top of the kernel and gets started once the user logs on. It controls everything...from user's desktop to windows management!
Sounds something of interest to you? Click-Watch-Geek!
Scott Hanselman from HanselMinutes.com interviews Jeffrey Snover, the Architect of Windows PowerShell and gets the history and background of how PowerShell (previously Monad) emerged as such an enhanced management shell. Jeff discusses and educates more about PowerShell and it's 'unique details'.
From the PowerShell Blog, Jeff writes, "BTW - if you ever have a chance to see Scott demo PowerShell - RUN DON'T WALK to the session. He has a great way of explaining what we do". Jeff further adds,"In a couple of weeks, we'll post a link to a Channel9 session where I interview Scott. Tons of fun!".
Sunday, October 8, 2006
If you are an application developer, you definitely understand that sometimes it's a 'pain' for your application if users want to install multiple versions of .NET Framework (may be required for some other applications) because you understand the higher version either didn't exist at the time of coding or 'standard procedures' were NOT followed for upgrade installations. Some enterprises face a huge challenge to deploy higher versions of .NET (as 2.0) if some applications do not run except the desired .NET version, similar to some Java Applications.
"Luckily, the .NET architecture no longer restricts you to such limitations. You can install multiple versions of components on a single server and benefit from their peaceful coexistence by running them simultaneously. Microsoft refers to this as side-by-side versioning", writes Zubair Alexander. He further specifies, "It can be done on a Windows 2003 server, as long as you remember which version is which".
With "ClickOnce", running a Windows Forms application is as simple as clicking a link in a web page. Deploying or updating an application is simply a matter of updating files on a server; no need to individually touch every client. ClickOnce has the requirement pre-requisite of .NET Framework 2.0 or above which is listed on the default pre-requisite items including other runtime packages, windows installer engines and so forth. Through deployment, this becomes easier as we can create a single package with required pre-requisite along the application. However, we can only add those prerequisite through ClickOnce which are by default in prerequisite list while publishing.
To add your own (custom) prerequisite you need to have a boot strapper package. Amol Malpani at codeproject has some simple steps to create your own boot strapper package which will then be automatically included into the prerequisite list. Author guides for how to create custom pre-requisites by using "Bootstrapper Manifest Generator". If you were struggling how to create such a package, this article is worth a start: Add your own custom pre-requisite to ClickOnce Applications
Amol also has other related articles recently published discussing about Publishing an Applicaiton using ClickOnce, without VS 2005 using Mage UI utility and Restore Application to Previous State using ClickOnce
Microsoft does not have "that many" software as open source because of their proprietary nature. Windows Installer XML (WiX) Toolset is one of the first Microsoft's open source software available at the worlds largest development and download repository of open source code, sourceforge.net.
On the same note, Microsoft is producing a MSDN Webcast for a vigorous and candid panel discussion on the uses and implications of open source software in an enterprise environment. In this webcast, technology experts Scott Hanselman, Rocky Lhotka, Ted Neward, and Chris Sells mix it up and mince no words as they address this important and sometimes confusing topic.
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | 6:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Language: English-United States
Recommended For: developers
Sunday, October 1, 2006
The history of UAC, User Account Control, dates back to as early as Windows 95 Operating System. With the 'intense' requirement in the corporate world to have employees their own 'user profile', Microsoft implemented profiling concept many years earlier however reaching Windows Vista, the concept has taken a major and bold changes. Introduction of Windows Installer Technology and it's continuing evolution makes UAC as one of the secure form of application installation and management services.
Robert Flaming, product manager at Windows Installer Team, has recently published a series of articles relating and concerning "User Account Control and Windows Installer". His articles discusses some of the very important concepts that are MUST to understand to create applications in Windows Vista. Windows Installer 4.0 is the latest version available and currently only compatible with Windows Vista.
Flaming's articles (ascending order):
Added October 01, 2006:
- UAC in MSI Notes: Answers to questions in comments from earlier blog posts.
- UAC in MSI Notes: What are the Hurdles in Windows Vista Logo compliance related to UAC and MSI?
- UAC in MSI Notes: How do I get one credential dialog for a multiple package install?
- UAC in MSI Notes: Easier for my current custom installer to support UAC than switch to MSI?
- UAC in MSI Notes: How to Build Packages that work for both Standard User and Per-Machine?
- UAC in MSI Notes: Is "this" intentional? If so, why?
- UAC in MSI Notes: Do I need to consider "this" when I'm designing for UAC in MSI? Generally, no.
Added September 30, 2006:
- UAC in MSI Notes: how do I troubleshoot UAC in MSI via the log?
- UAC in MSI Notes: How do I get the shield on the advertised shortcut?
- MSI in UAC Notes: When General Custom Action Mitigation Fails
- MSI in UAC Notes: Should I write my installer as a Standard User install? If yes, how?
- MSI in UAC Notes: Read the Friendly Manual
- MSI in UAC Notes: O Whitepaper, Where Art Thou?
- UAC in MSI Notes: Challenges for a Beautiful Custom Action
- UAC in MSI Notes: My "Four Square" Diagram
- UAC in MSI Notes: The NoImpersonate Bit Mistake
- UAC in MSI Notes: Modifying System in InstallExecuteSequence outside of Script
- UAC in MSI Notes: Modify System with InstallUISequence Custom Action
- UAC in MSI Notes: The AdminUser Mistake
- UAC in MSI Notes: Credential Prompt and Permissions
- UAC in MSI Notes: The "Saw Tooth" Diagram
- UAC in MSI Notes: A Relief Providing Framework
- UAC in MSI Notes: Jagged Edge to User
- UAC in MSI Notes: Just Like Managed Installs
- UAC in MSI Notes: Conflicting Definitions of Per-User
- UAC in MSI Notes: How I Root Cause The Problem
- UAC in MSI Notes: Introduction
These articles should be helpful and 'may be' the key discussions of forth coming Webcasts at MSDN about Designing Application Installations for UAC with Windows Installer 4.0 in Windows Vista scheduled on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:00AM Pacific Time. If you have any concerns reading these articles and would like to understand more about UAC features in Vista and 'know-hows', you can follow the link and register for the event.
Robert Flaming is adding a series of articles in the same list once in a while. They will be updated here once available with update date stamp of this article.
Original Post: September 24, 2006
Edited Post: October 01, 2006
Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for September Customer Technology Preview (CTP) was released on September 28, 2006. The Windows SDK contains documentation, samples, headers, libraries, and tools designed to help you develop Microsoft Windows applications. The documentation, samples, and tools provided in the Windows SDK support application programming interfaces (APIs) available in the Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) versions of Windows. Not all API support all platforms. You can look under the specific API documentation to determine which platform the API supports.
The documentation, samples, and tools provided in this release are preliminary and subject to change. This SDK is designed to use with Windows Vista build 5728 and the .NET Framework 3.0 Runtime September Customer Technology Preview. This release of the Windows SDK is compatible with the RTM versions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. Visual Studio Extensions for .Net Framework 3.0 are available in the related resources.
There are a number of known issues with this release. Please consult the Release Notes associated with this download for more information. Reminder: This version of the Windows SDK will not work with previous pre-release versions of Windows Vista, the .NET Framework 3.0 Runtime Components for Windows XP or Windows Server, or previous pre-release versions of Visual Studio.
Please note that this download contains SDK content only. To build .NET Framework 3.0 applications for Windows XP or Windows Server, the .NET Framework 3.0 Runtime Components for September CTP must be downloaded separately.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Microsoft announced Release Candidate 2 of PowerShell earlier this week, a new command-line shell and task-based scripting technology that provides comprehensive control and automation of system administration and management of applications that run in Windows. Windows PowerShell helps accelerate automation and is easy for organizations to learn and to use. The final product is supposed to be released at the end of 2006.
In this release, there are several downloads available depending on your operating system and system configuration. The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 RC2 for WindowsXP-x86
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 RC2 for WindowsXP-x64
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 RC2 for WindowsServer2003-x86
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 RC2 for WindowsServer2003-x64
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 RC2 for WindowsServer2003-ia64
Please visit Microsoft's KB Article 925228 for a detailed information about the package downloads and configuring PowerShell in your target machine.
Windows PowerShell allows Windows administrators to be more productive by providing system administration utilities, consistent syntax, and improved navigation of common management data such as the registry or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).The Windows PowerShell language is intuitive and supports your organization?s existing scripts and command line tool investments. Exchange Server 2007 and System Center Operations Manager 2007 will leverage Windows PowerShell to provide improved command line automation.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Microsoft has released the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta. "Visual Studio 2005 shipped in November of 2005 and this Service Pack incorporates fixes that we have addressed since that release", announced Microsoft today. Following are the type of fixes you will find in this beta service pack:
- The Hotfixes and General Distribution Release Updates released between Visual Studio 2005 Release to Market and the end of the Service Pack customer beta period.
- Any fixes addressing security issues categorized by the Microsoft Security Response Center as "Critical", "Important" or "Moderate".
- Fixes for product reliability and stability issues, including those reported by customers via the Product Feedback Center, and the crashes most frequently reported via Watson.
- Fixes for common "eligible" functional issues reported by customers via the Product Feedback Center. "Eligible" functional issues are those that do not require breaking changes, architectural changes, or Design Change Request level feature work and that do not create unacceptable product quality risk and/or cost of implementation.
- Fixes for the top customer and supportability issues as reported by Customer Support Services.
Somasegar's WebLog mentions VS2005 is triggered to make itself compatible with Windows Vista. Such a support will be announced in the coming months. Presently, VS2005 SP1 will run on Vista but may likely have some compatibility issues. Visual Studio .NET 2002 or Visual Studio .NET 2003 support will be dropped as development environments on Windows Vista however, you can continue to use Visual Studio .NET 2002 or 2003 on Windows XP to develop applications that can run on Windows Vista.
Download VS 2005 SP1 Beta
Monday, September 25, 2006
As published in blog of Windows PowerShell Team, a small number of slots are available for ISV's or Enterprise Developers to attend the Windows PowerShell & Microsoft Management Console (MMC) ISV Workshop (Building Next Generation Command Line and GUI Applications on Windows) on October 9 & 10th, 2006. This is a free two-day event located on the Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA.
Designed especially for Independent Software Vendors and Enterprise Developers and Architects, this is a great opportunity to obtain in-depth briefing on cutting-edge Windows and .NET management technologies. Invites are non transferable and registration acceptance is based on space availability.
FAQ's about the event:
Q: Is this technical or marketing content?
A: Content is technical including presentations by MS Architects and Program Managers.
Q: Who normally would attend this event?
A: Application Architects and Developers working at a software company developing .NET or planning to develop .NET applications.
Q: Am I limited to just two attendees?
A: No, if your company's registration is accepted, each organization is guaranteed at least 2. You may register for additional people, on a first come, first serve basis.
Q: Is there any charge for this workshop?
A: No. Breakfasts, lunches, snacks and one dinner will be included as well as one giveaway.
Q. If I have questions, who should I contact?
A. For questions, contact Scott Ottaway: email@example.com
Find more details and the in depth registration procedure at Windows PowerShell Team Blog.