Getting started with WTL on Visual Studio 2010

WTL on Visual Studio 2010

Now that you have downloaded the latest WTL release (v8.1 at the time of this writing), you will find out that it doesn’t have any project wizards for Visual Studio 2010. That’s a relatively easily fix. Just go ahead and download the latest build from the repository at AppWiz.tar.gz-view=tar. Extract the .tar file and you will find the JavaScript install scripts for VS 2010:


I recommend you to extract the files to the same location were you installed the WTL files. In my case this would be c:\WTL.  Double click the setup100.js file (or setp100x.js for Visual Studio 2010 Express) to install the WTL Project Wizard.

Add the WTL include path to the default include directories

One thing you may have noticed in VS2010 (compared to earlier versions) is that there is no way to set the global paths of VC++ directories in Tools->Options:


Bummer. How to solve that? You really don’t want to have to include the WTL include path in every VC++ project. Here’s how to set the global paths and include the WTL include path. It’s really not that intuitive, if I would say.

First you will need to have a project open in VS 2010. Then go to View->Other Windows->Property Manager. In the Property Manager, expand the project and the platforms nodes. Multi-select the two Microsoft.Cpp.Win32.user items. (By holding down the Ctrl key and select them each by the mouse).


Right click and select properties


Now you finally can set the global default search paths for the VC++ include directories. In my case I have added the C:\WTL\Include path. Save the properties settings restart Visual Studio.

If you open one of the samples in the WTL folders, you may stumble upon a peculiar error that says: error CVT1100: duplicate resource.  type:MANIFEST, name:1, language:0x0409


This is because the way manifest files are handled in VS 2010 has changed. What you can do is to open the resource file (.rc), edit it by selecting “View Code” and remark out the line

Now, happy WTL’ing in Visual Studio 2010.

How to detect the dark or light theme in Windows Phone 7

If the user of the Windows Phone 7 device switches from the default dark theme to the light theme, how do you detect which one is in use? In the MSDN article Theme Resources for Windows Phone, there are two interesting resource keys that you can query. These are the PhoneDarkThemeVisibility and PhoneLightThemeVisibility keys. So based on these we can determine if we should use a dark or light background image in our application, like so:

How to use CDN links in your ASP.NET MVC application to serve static content from a cookieless domain

Here’s one way you can use CDN links in your ASP.NET MVC application.

When you develop your ASP.NET MVC application and use a link to a static content, such as css, jpg’s etc, you may want to server these from a CDN or at least a domain that doesn’t server cookies with the request. For those of you who have been using the Google Page Speed add-in for FireFox, you know what I’m talking about:


So the question is, how do you get your markup that normally may look something like this:

to look something like this on your production server:

When you are developing using the local web server (Cassini), you don’t want the CDN links in your code, but after you have published the page to prod, you want it to use the CDN link. One way to make this work is to make an extension helper method that creates the correct link based on if you run in dev or prod. Here is my suggestion:


It is pretty straightforward to use:

<%=html.cdnlink(“link”, new=”” string=””>

<%=html.cdnlink(“link”, new=”” string=””>

Pass the tag name (“link”), the content attribute (“href”), the actual content link (“file.css”) and optional HTML attributes. In your web.config file, add an application settings for the content server url like this in dev

There you go, hope you will find it useful.



How to simulate the SQL WHERE IN clause in a SPQuery

Simulate a WHERE IN clause in a SPQuery

If you ever have used something like


in T-SQL, and wanted to mimic this functionality in the SharePoint SPQuery class, you probably have found out there is no IN statement in the CAML Query language.
So what do do? Here’s a way to simulate WHERE IN clause in a SPQuery statement.

One solution is to use a LinQ query that looks something like this:

However, this has a serious performance problem. Because the .AllItems property will do a full T-SQL select all items behind the scenes, it can get very slow if you have thousands and thousand of items in your list.
It do look elegant, however.

Another way is to build up a CAML query that does an OR statement for every item that you have in your list of values.
Essentially, you will have to build up something that looks similar to this CAML query:


Notice that the CAML syntax for multiple OR statements is a little bit odd. You would at first glance think that is would look like this:

But this will throw an error. You will need to have nest the OR statements within each other.

For this purpose I have written a small helper method that will build the CAML query for a given list of values in a List of strings.
You call it like this:

The first parameter is the field that you want to comapre on, the second parameter is the type (“Eq” makes most sense in this scenario), and the third parameter is of List of strings.
Here’s the code for the helper method:

How to use the SPGridView filter together with a SPDataSource

Normally you will no problems finding examples on how to use the SPGridView together with an ObjectDataSource and use the filtering mechanism. But what about using the SPDataSource object?

This can also be done fairly simple. You do the basic things as you do using an ObjectDataSource object, however, there are two things that you will have to change.

1. The ObjectDataSource has a FitlerExpression property that set the filter for the data source. That isn’t available on the SPDataSource object. Instead we have the SelectCommand property. The format string for this property is the same as in a standard CAML Query where clause.

2. We will need to set the SPGridView DataSourceID property instead of the more normally used DataSource property.

3. We have to add the SPDataSource control to the Controls colelction of the Web Part.

So let’s look at some code samples.

First, we have our usual suspects, one SPGridView and one SPDataSource:


In our CreateChildControls() method ( if it’s in a Web Part), we can do much of the work. I have commented the code, so I will not say so much about it more.

How to target 32bit and 64bit a .NET applications with WiX and separate MSI packages

Target 32bit and 64bit .NET applications

This post will explain how you can build msi packages using WiX for both 32bit and 64bit platforms.  The goal is to create 2 different msi packages. One for 64bit systems, which will install the program in to c:\Program Files on 64bit, and another msi package that will install the program in to c:\Program Files on 32 bit systems. The .NET application itself will be compiled with CPU target Any, which results in that it will run in 64bit mode on 64bit systems and 32bit mode on 32bit systems. Of course, you could also install the 32bit msi package on 64bit systems, which will end up being installed in c:\Program Files (x86).


Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

In my environment, I used 64bit Windows7, so I installed the 64bit version of WiX build 3.0.5419.0-x64-setup

Create a simple .NET application

We will create a simple .NET Winforms application that will show some platform information, like this:



We will also create a WiX setup project and configure a new platform type in Visual Studio for the 64bit target.

Fire up Visual Studio and create a new Windows Forms project:


Add 3 labels to the form:


Add code in the Form Load event to fill the labels with info:



Create a Wix project

Add a new project to the solution, a WiX Setup project:


In the Product.wxs file, enter the following code:


And add references to WixUIExtension.dll and WixUtilExtension.dll.

What you will notice now is that you have 3 targets in your configuration:


The value you choose here will be transferred to the Platform variable in WiX. Unfortunately, the 64bit option is missing, so we must create that one.

Create a x64 configuration entry

Select the Configuration Manager.


Select  <New…>



Select the x64 option and click Ok.


When you now build the Wix project, the output will be created in a new x64 folder. In the Product.wxs code, we also have a title that indicates that is runs in 64bit mode:



When installed, it will end up in c:\Program Files, just as we wanted.

The 32bit version of the msi is built when you select the x86 platform target




Hope this shed some light on how to deploy .NET applications for multiple targets.

Download the complete solution here.

How to get the full URL from SPListItem in SharePoint

The SPListItem URL property does return the URL for the SPListItem including the List/Documetn Library name, but it doesn’t return the full URL including the server and site names.

To get the full URL, you can either concatenate the SPLIstItem.Web.Url and the SPListItem.URL, or extract the full URL from the SPListItem.XML data like this:



Of course, you should add the usual error handling and checking.