MSBuild: Targeting Your Needs

The Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) works seamlessly within Visual Studio, but it can also be used to build software where Visual Studio is not installed. It’s possible to create custom tasks that will run during the build process, saving time and decreasing the chances of error. Hubert Kuffel demonstrates how to create two useful tasks and how to easily is it to apply these to all your .NET projects.… Read more

LINQ Debugging and Visualization

LINQ is certainly extraordinarily useful. It brings the power of query expressions to C#, allowing an easy way of getting the data you need from a variety of data sources. Up to now, there hasn't been a VS debugger for LINQ that gives you the means to visualise the data at every point in the chain. Michael Sorens, a keen LINQ user, describes a third-party tool that now promises to make using LINQ something we can all participate in.… Read more

Catching Performance Issues in Development

Refactoring code won't cause performance problems, right? This was the assumption when Chris Hurley and his team went out to improve some legacy code. They decided to separate the database access from business logic and standardise on Entity Framework, but when it came time to test the code using real-world workloads, unexpected performance issues appeared. Chris recounts how they discovered, investigated, and resolved these issues using ANTS Performance Profiler. … Read more

Acceptance Testing with FitNesse: Multiplicities and Comparisons

FitNesse is one of the most popular tools for unit testing since it is designed with a Wiki-style interface that makes it very easy to set up individual tests. Michael Sorens' sixth article in his series delves into the nuances of multiple inputs vs. multiple outputs, multiple rows vs. multiple columns, as well as things that can trip you up when attempting to validate a value.… Read more

Acceptance Testing with FitNesse: Symbols, Variables and Code-behind Styles

Although FitNesse can be used as a generic automated testing tool for both applications and databases, it excels at unit testing since it is designed with a Wiki-style interface that makes it very easy to set up tests. In part 5, Michael Sorens explains how to use symbols and variables effectively, and why those terms are themselves rather problematic… Read more

T4 – The Insource Code Monkey

T4 usually stays behind the scenes in Visual Studio, but if you find that you have a good reason to write similar code over and over again, or use a lot of copy and paste, then it could be that you have a specific use for T4. There are times when it can be useful for generating code templates but it is versatile to provide a solution for a number of programming headaches.… Read more

Prototyping Desktop Deblector

Deblector is an open-source debugging add-in for .NET Reflector; the Reflector team investigated whether they could integrate it into Reflector's desktop application, and updated the source code to introduce compatibilty with the latest version of Reflector before releasing it back into codeplex… Read more