public class ben:harrell

March 26, 2013

TFS WorkItem field “Name not supported” error

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — benjamin harrell @ 6:52 pm

Ran into this one the other day and the odd error message threw me off for a few minutes until I tried one of my old developer tricks which is to highlight a field and see if anything weird is hiding and sure enough there were some spaces that I had pasted at the end of the name.  Apparently this is not supported so just check your spelling and any leading/trailing spaces when you get this error and hopefully that will fix you right up.

May 18, 2010

DevExpress add PivotGridField error

Filed under: .NET, ASP.NET, C#, Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 5:24 pm

If you get the “Object must be of type String”  (or Int, etc) while adding a custom field to a Pivot Grid in DevExpress then check to see if you are using CustomGroupIntervals.  If you have a custom GroupInterval you must provide a GroupValue for EVERY case that your values might contain or else you will get this error.

private void grid_CustomGroupInterval(object sender, DevExpress.XtraPivotGrid.PivotCustomGroupIntervalEventArgs e)


if ( Convert.ToDecimal(e.Value) < 5)


e.GroupValue = “< 5%”;


else if (Convert.ToDecimal(e.Value) < 10)


e.GroupValue = “< 10%”;


else if (Convert.ToDecimal(e.Value) < 15)


e.GroupValue = “< 15%”;


else if (Convert.ToDecimal(e.Value) <= 20)


e.GroupValue = “<= 20%”;




e.GroupValue = “> 20%”;



October 7, 2006

Object Data Source Gotcha

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 10:37 pm

So you just created your super cool Business Object and you want to bind some control to it but when you add new data source you can’t see your object!!!

Not to worry, if you can’t see your object try this:

  1. cancel out of the dialog
  2. rebuild your project
  3. now re-add the datasource

Not sure how or why but, as usual, Visual Studio is caching objects 🙂

Team Foundation Server install – where is kb912838?

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 10:34 pm

…it is in the sql server kb folder called kb 914595

July 27, 2006

Usability and ASP.NET Site Navigation

Filed under: .NET, Design, Uncategorized, Usability — benjamin harrell @ 6:50 pm

I recently started looking into ASP.NET Site Navigation and the sitemap controls.  Orginally, discounted the sitemap control as something you would drop on a page called sitemap and never touch again but boy was I wrong.  Site Navigation is an entire API for controlling site naviation in a consitent and near drag and drop manner.  And as usual, the 2.0 team hit another home run witht he Provider model allowing you to drive your Sitemap data from any source (XML out of the box but there are already multiple SQL implementations but my favorite is Jeff Prosise’s found here for MSDN magazine).  So what does this have to do with Usability?  Well, today I noticed something very related to Usability in the real world and it immediately hit me that we as developers make the same mistake all the time.  What cardinal Usability sin am I talking about?  Don’t put it there if I am not supposed to use it! I noticed an irate man yanking on a fancy, obvious door ‘pull bar’ and in small print next to it was printed ‘Push’.  Sure it makes for a great joke and even a classic Far Side but this really is a design/usability error!  Why wasn’t there a flat panel that said ‘Push’ on it?  Why the pull bar!!!  Ok so what does this have to do with Site Navigation….well, only the coolest feature in my opinion:

 ASP.NET 2.0’s site navigation provides a feature called security trimming. When obtaining site map information with security trimming enabled, only those site map nodes that the currently logged on user has authorization to visit are available. That means the site’s TreeView or Menu will contain just those sections accessible by the currently logged in user.

I pulled this from a great series on Site Navigation here

Really all you have to do is turn on SecurityTrimming in the web.config as shown below:

 <siteMap defaultProvider=”XmlSiteMapProvider” enabled=”true”>
     <add name=”XmlSiteMapProvider”      
       description=”Default SiteMap provider.”  
       securityTrimmingEnabled=”true” />  

That’s it!  Of course you have the ability to override for certain items but I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.  Now all we need is a good visual studio Add-In to generate a sitemap file or SQL database script from my current website project…I guess I better get that project started!

July 20, 2006

Search Engine Optimization and Keyword Choice

Filed under: .NET, Technology, Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 6:10 pm

I learned a funny lesson today that would seem obvious but might be helpful to repeat.  When we create .NET websites especially outward facing, commercial sites we try to squeeze every last bit of Search Engine Optimization in order to get the almighty Google page rank up but is this always the best approach?  Case in point, I am creating a site for a local car company from my home town that specializes in Dodge vehicles and the purpose of one page is to attract Dodge Caravan buyers.  I worked overtime to get this page optimized for the word “caravan”, perhaps I should have been more specific….

 geo stats

June 13, 2006

Visual Studio Fonts & Colors

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 12:18 pm

I recently re-installed my system and was going to setup my fonts & colors but thought I would do a quick Google to see how other people have setup their Dev environment.  I found this link on Roland Weigelt's blog and he even included his settings for download if you want to try them out! Here is the link:

My original settings are a little different from this.  I prefer the dark interface but I am going to give it a try as I like his use of bold and font choice.  I will probably settle for a hybrid but atleast I have a settings file to start from.  Remember this settings file will only work for VS 2005 as 2003 used registry settings.  Happy Coding!

June 8, 2006

Windows Update Error Solved

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 7:13 pm

Just had this one creep up on me after reinstalling XP:

 [Error number: 0x80072F8F]
Your computer’s date and time appear to be out of sync with an update certificate. To fix this:
1. In the Control Panel, open date and Time Properties
2. Ensure that the date and time are correct.
Read more about steps you can take to resolve this problems (error number 0x80072F8F) yourself.

After mucho searching, newsgroups, etc. I found what worked for me so I had to blog about it because it took forever to find!  You will kick yourself for not thinking of this one. Check your BIOS clock!!!!!  Mine said 2002…only 4 years ago!  Apparently the SSL Certificate validation uses an API call or something that ends up checking your BIOS clock and not your Windows clock.  I hope this saves someone out there a couple of hours and some gray hairs.  Good Luck!

Where is download manager?

Filed under: Uncategorized — benjamin harrell @ 7:08 pm

I hope I'm not the only person who has ever wondered about this.  How do you launch download manager without going back to msdn subscriptions and clicking the resume button?  Well, it might not seem like much but I had to post about the answer…

This link does it all.

Blog at