Web Developer Monthly - Starting June 2017

Web Developer Monthly launching June 2017

Over the last 3 years I've been working as a senior .net contractor which has meant that I haven't been blogging as much as I'd have liked. To try and fix this and to encourage myself to blog more I'm going to try something a little different and create a monthly blog series that will highlight some of the of the best web design and web development news that has caught my eye over the last 30 days or so.

There are already tons of great daily and weekly web tech feeds out there but sometimes it can feel a bit like information overload. To set myself apart from these feeds I'm not going to list every single news item from the last month. Instead I'm going to pick the 'best bits' from the last few weeks and highlight what I feel are the big hitters. This could include news about asp.net, some JS framework news, TypeScript updates, GIT hints and tips, CodePen.io links or even just some funky UX techniques I've stumbled upon.

Hopefully you'll find it useful. The first issue will drop next month so keep an eye out on Twitter for #WebDevMonthly. If you've spotted anything interesting recently be sure to reach out to me on Twitter to let me know: @RichardReddy

Error when sending email using Office 2016

fix email not sending error Office 2016

I recently decided to upgrade my Microsoft Office from 2013 to the newly released 2016 version. The update itself was quite painless and once installed everything continued to work as before, with one exception.

I noticed that for some reason Outlook was not sending any of my emails. Initially I thought that my SMTP username/password for one of my email accounts was wrong but I have a number of accounts setup in Outlook and none of them were sending emails.

Every time I would attempt to send an email I would get the error:

Unknown error occurred, error code: 0x800cce05

To fix this error, I ran the system file checker repair tool. To do this open the command prompt and type sfc /scannow and press Enter. The scan will take a while to do depending on the type of hard drive you have and the size of it. My 256GB SSD drive took around 20mins to complete the scan. Once the scan had completed I fired up Outlook and tried to send a test email and it worked perfectly - just like before. 

I'm not sure why I had to do this but if it's happening for you at least you know a simple scan should resolve the issue and allow you to continue sending emails with Outlook again.

How to compress SVG in IIS

how to compress svg mimetypes in IIS

Most people know about turning on compression in IIS. In recent versions of IIS it's been a simple case of ticking a checkbox to turn it on. I noticed the other day that svg files on one of my sites were not being compressed by default.

If you use Bootstrap or one of the other well known frameworks, or you're designing your site for mobile, chances are that you'll be using svg file format for your some of your fonts. By default IIS does not compress this file mimetype. Doing so could help save on bandwidth and help speed up your site for your end users.

Please welcome Code Pixel Studios to the world

Code Pixel Studios App Development Web Development

I've been toying with the idea of setting up a business for a few years. I was always put off by the complexities of setting up a business in Ireland - registering business names, doing my own accounts, submitting tax returns, vat payments, PRSI, pensions, start up costs...the workload for running your own business is endless and extremely daunting. At the end of 2013 I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I'm happy to say today that I've taken the plunge and setup a new company called Code Pixel Studios Limited. This company is in such an infant stage that I don't even have a website setup for it yet - just a logo!

For the first few months things will be low key while I decide on the next steps I want to take the business in. I've accepted a new job offer with a company in Cork for 6 months which will focus on frontend technologies like AngluarJS and TypeScript and the plan is that this work will help fund some of the ideas I have to help carve out a niche for my little business.

I'm sure it's going to be a rollercoaster ride but I can't wait to get started!

Entity Framework 'could not load assembly' error message

Cure for Entity Framework Migrations could not load assembly error message

I usually setup a new solution so that it contains multiple projects. There's a project for web files, data files, services, utilities and so on. When I downloaded and setup Entity Framework through Nuget I installed it into my Project.Web (where all my views/controllers are) and to my Project.Data (where my data context is located with my repositories) projects.

I installed EF Migrations to my Project.Data project as this is where my data context file lives. Everything compiles and run but sometimes when using Entity Framework Migrations I noticed that I was getting an error:

Could not load assembly 'Project.Data'. (If you are using Code First Migrations inside Visual Studio this can happen if the startUp project for your solution does not reference the project that contains your migrations. You can either change the startUp project for your solution or use the -StartUpProjectName parameter.)

RichardReddy.ie relaunched for the new year

Richard Reddy personal website relaunched for 2016 richardreddy.ie

I finally got some time together to do a bit of an online spring clean and updated my personal website RichardReddy.ie to give it a more modern look.

This new site is mobile friendly and built using Bootstrap and .Net and hosted on Azure. Rather than using loads of sample projects I tried to focus more on the technical expertise I've built up over the years. 

My next mini project will be a website for Code Pixel Studios which I've been meaning to get around to for close to 2 years now.

How to fix ASP.NET 3.5 websites not running on Windows Server 2012

ASP.NET 3.5 websites not running on a newly setup Windows Server 2008

I had an issue the other day where a new Windows Server 2012 installation was not running my older ASP.NET 3.5 web sites. Everytime I would try to navigate to a .net 3.5 website I would see a '404: page not found' error message.

If I manually typed in a path containing a '.html' file this would load without any issues for me but '.aspx' files would not load. I noticed that the Mapping Handler was missing settings for older asp.net code - everything was asp.net 4.0. This explained why .html files were ok but .aspx files were returning a 404. The server just didn't know what to do with .aspx files for older .net sites.

I opened the Add Roles and Features Wizard (go to Control Panel, Turn Windows features on or off) and drilled into the IIS web server to ensure that asp.net 3.5 was installed but noticed that only ASP.NET 4.0 was installed on the server. To fix this I simply had to tick the checkbox for .Net Extensibility 3.5 and ASP.NET 3.5. You can find these checkboxes by drilling into the following tree menu:

  • Web Server (IIS) (installed)

    • Web Server (Installed)

      • Application Development (Installed)

        • .Net Extensibility 3.5
        • ASP.NET 3.5

If you get asked about restarting the server you can leave that checkbox unchecked as this install won't require a server reboot. Remember to restart IIS or recycle the app pool and website before you try and browse to your .net 3.5 website for the new settings to take effect.

What to do when installing an older version of TypeScript breaks Visual Studio

typescript

Usually when I'm coding I'm using the latest and greatest tech but sometimes I have a need to use a specific version of a plugin or framework for backward compatability with a Visual Studio project.

I ran into an issue the other day where I needed to run a specific version of TypeScript that was older than the current version on my computer. I downloaded the older file and installed it all without any issues. I opened Visual Studio 2012 (as the project I was using requires that version) and everything was working perfectly.

IIS 7 returning 404 error with extension less URL

iis7 404 error with extensionless url asp.net 4.0

I was recently working on updated an older asp.net 3.5 website to asp.net 4.0.  Unfortunately we can't upgrade to 4.5 due to the risk of breaking other sites on the same server. Our reason for the upgrade was really to take advantage of the routing ability that was built into asp.net 4.0 for webforms.

If you're looking for help on setting up .net routing you can take a look at a simple 'how to' for setting up routing with WebForms here that I wrote a few years back.

The issue I was having was that IIS was returning a 404 page not found error when I tried to go to a url without the .aspx. I had setup my global.asax file with the correct routing information but it was like IIS was ignoring these rules.

C#, IIS7
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