Microsoft Bob

Just a short, simple blog for Bob to share some tips and tricks.

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FTP Clients - Part 11: Beyond Compare 3

For this installment in my series about FTP clients, I want to take a look at Beyond Compare 3 from Scooter Software. At its heart, Beyond Compare is a file/folder comparison tool, so it might seem an unlikely candidate for an FTP client, but it has a lot of great FTP features packed into it.

Fig. 1 - The Help/About dialog in Beyond Compare 3.

Note: For this blog I used Beyond Compare version 3.3.5.

Beyond Compare 3 Overview

Like many self-proclaimed computer geeks, over the years I have collected a lot of various utilities that perform specific actions that I need to take care of. Sometimes I discover these tools when Binging my way through the Internet, and other times they come highly recommended from other people. In this specific situation, Beyond Compare falls into the latter category - dozens of people had recommended Beyond Compare to me before I tried it out, and after falling in love with it I have recommended it to dozens of my friends. At the time I was using Microsoft WinDiff to compare files, which is still a great application to do simple comparisons, but Beyond Compare does so much more.

Fig. 2 - The Start New Session screen.
Fig. 3 - Comparing the files within two folders.
Fig. 4 - Comparing the HTML content of two files.

I could go on about Beyond Compare as a comparison tool, but that's really outside the scope of this blog since I am supposed to be talking about FTP features. Needless to say, if you're looking for a good comparison tool, you might want to download the trial edition of Beyond Compare 3 and give it a try.

That being said, let's get back to the business at hand. Beyond Compare 3 has a collection of FTP Profiles, which you can think of as analogous to a site manager in more traditional FTP clients.

Fig. 5 - Opening Beyond Compare 3's FTP Profiles.

Inside the FTP Profiles dialog, you can specify a wealth of connection options for remote FTP sites that you would expect to find in any other FTP client.

Fig. 6 - Specifying FTP connection options.

Once you have established an FTP connection through Beyond Compare 3, you can view your local files and the files in your remote FTP site side-by-side, and then you can perform comparisons, updates, merges, etc.

Fig. 7 - Viewing local and remote files.

Using Beyond Compare 3 with FTP over SSL (FTPS)

Beyond Compare 3 has built-in support for Explicit FTP over SSL (FTPS), which you specify when you are creating the FTP profile for a site.

Fig. 8 - Specifying an Explicit FTPS connection.

Once you have established an Explicit FTPS connection through Beyond Compare 3, the user experience is the same as it is for a standard FTP connection.

Fig. 9 - Comparing files over FTPS.

That being said, at first glance Beyond Compare 3 did not appear to support Implicit FTPS. For me this was not a deal-breaker by any stretch of the imagination since Explicit FTPS is preferred. (Even though Implicit FTPS is supported by IIS7 through IIS8, it is really an outdated protocol.)

10 January 2013 Update: I heard from Craig Peterson at Scooter Software that Beyond Compare 3 does support Implicit FTPS, but it does so implicitly. (No pun intended. ;-]) When you connect using FTP over SSL on port 990, it will automatically use implicit FTPS.

Using Using Beyond Compare 3 with True FTP Hosts

Beyond Compare 3 has built-in support for the HOST command, so you can use true FTP host names when using Beyond Compare 3 to connect to FTP7 and FTP8 sites that are configured with host names. This feature is enabled by default, but if you needed to disable it for some reason, that feature can be accessed on the Connection tab of Beyond Compare 3's FTP Profiles dialog.

Fig. 10 - Specifying support for the FTP HOST command.

Using Using Beyond Compare 3 with Virtual FTP Hosts

Beyond Compare 3's login settings allow you to specify the virtual host name as part of the user credentials by using syntax like "ftp.example.com|username" or "ftp.example.com\username", but since Beyond Compare 3 allows you to use true FTP hosts this is really a moot point. Just the same, there's nothing to stop you from disabling the HOST command for a connection and specifying an FTP virtual host as part of your username, although I'm not sure why you would want to do that.

Fig. 11 - Specifying a virtual FTP host.

Scorecard for Beyond Compare 3

This concludes our quick look at some of the FTP features that are available with Beyond Compare 3, and here are the scorecard results:

Client
Name
Directory
Browsing
Explicit
FTPS
Implicit
FTPS
Virtual
Hosts
True
HOSTs
Site
Manager
Extensibility
Beyond Compare 3.3.5 Rich Y Y Y Y Y N/A 1
As noted earlier, Beyond Compare 3 supports the FTP HOST command, and is enabled by default for new connections.

1 Note: I could not find anyway to extend the functionality of Beyond Compare 3, but it does have a scripting interface; see their Automating with Scripts and Scripting Reference pages for more details.

So there you have it - Beyond Compare 3 contains many of the features that would make up a great GUI-based FTP client with first-class support for all of the features that I have been examining in detail throughout my blog series about FTP clients. And as I have done with all of my blogs thus far, I included the following disclaimer in all of my preceding posts: there are a great number of additional features that Beyond Compare 3 provides - but once again I only focused on a few specific topic areas that apply to FTP7 and FTP8. For example, one particular feature that I might to experiment with in the future is Beyond Compare 3's support for FTP SSL Client Certificates. But I'll leave that for another day. ;-]

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Nov 30 2012, 13:36 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Using WebMatrix to Take a PHP Class

With the release of WebMatrix 2, I thought that it would be great to take a PHP class and use WebMatrix exclusively for the entire class. Much to my surprise, this proved to be a great experience. Seriously, I did not expect it to go as well as it did. This has nothing to do with WebMatrix, it's just that I've picked up some cynicism over the years where editors are concerned. This pessimistic outlook is largely due to the fact that I've tried a lot of editors based on the recommendations of my fellow geeks, and those have often been bad experiences. Usually they say something like, "Dude, if you're going to write code in <some language> then you have to use the <some editor> application."

Unfortunately, most of these editors fail to live up to their hype, and I am forced to endure trials and tribulations where I loudly exclaim "If I was using <my favorite editor> I would be done by now!" (I periodically accompany those moments with language that is best reserved for a golf course when you've just hit your last Titlelist into the water hazard.)

But those experiences never happened with WebMatrix 2 - not even once; WebMatrix did pretty much everything that I needed it to do, and it did everything really well. As a result, my cynical skepticism quickly gave way to optimistic impression.

I took copious notes about my experiences with WebMatrix throughout the class, and with that in mind, I thought that it would be great to write a blog with my genuinely unbiased thoughts about using WebMatrix exclusively as my PHP authoring platform for the two-month duration of my class. (As a point of trivia, the PHP class that I took was BMIS 410 - Web Enterprise Technologies at Liberty University. Quick shout out to my professor, Michael Hart, who was a great instructor.)

What Went Well

First of all, the intellisense for PHP was quite good - and having the URLs to the PHP.net reference pages in the tooltip help for PHP functions was extremely useful; I spent a lot of time clicking through to the PHP.net website for assistance for one function or other.

Fig. 1 - WebMatrix's Intellisense for PHP.

Using WebMatrix to preview in IE and WP7/iPhone/iPad emulators was great; in my opinion, this experience was much better than the SuperPreview feature of Expression Web.

Fig. 2 - Options for previewing your website.
Fig. 3 - Testing my website in the iPad simulator.

Using the WebMatrix database editor to create tables for my MySQL database was great - in many ways it was much better than using the MySQL Workbench. The biggest drawback in WebMatrix was the inability to create auto-number fields, and I couldn't enter dates in the correct format in the database UI. (That was undoubtedly something that I was doing wrong.) So every once in a while I had to go back to the MySQL Workbench to fix something. That being said, the interface for creating relationships in WebMatrix is great, and much better than using MySQL Workbench.

Fig. 4 - Editing the data in a MySql Database.

FTP publishing is much better in version 2 of WebMatrix. I used an IIS7 web server, so I was able to use FTP7's virtual hosts to publish to a specific site on a shared server. WebMatrix has no FTPS support, so that is something of a loss. (WebMatrix also lacks full WebDAV support, but I've already talked about that in other blogs.)

Fig. 5 - FTP Publish Settings.

This last point might seem trivial, and I realize that a lot of editors have similar features, but the way that WebMatrix keeps track of opening/closing parentheses, brackets, and curly braces saved me more times than I can count.

Fig. 6 - Helping me keep track of what I'm doing.

What Could Have Been Better

Here are the few problems that I encountered with WebMatrix during the course:

This is not a problem that was due to WebMatrix, but everyone once in a while a page would get stuck in the cache and I couldn't see changes that I had made to a page, so I would have to restart IIS Express. I'll have to investigate why that was happening; it could be IIS Express, or it could be the PHP engine - I'm still not sure where the fault lies. Fortunately WebMatrix makes it very easy to restart IIS Express from inside WebMatrix, but still - it was a minor frustration.

WebMatrix only wanted to validate against HTML5, but my class required all assignments to use XHTML 1.0 Transitional DOCTYPE, and that showed up as errors in WebMatrix. Yes - the world is moving to HTML5, but still - that shouldn't cause an error.

Perhaps the biggest feature that WebMatrix lacks is the really cool local and remote side-by-side publishing view that both Expression Web and it's predecessor FrontPage had.

When you have a lot of pages open the WebMatrix tab bar fills up, and it's really difficult to keep track of which pages are open.

It would be nice to tear pages out of the editor like you can do with Internet Explorer and Visual Studio.

I have to mention this last item because it was in my notes, but it's technically not an issue for WebMatrix. One of my personal coding self-annoyances was that I would write the text for a string and then realize that I forgot to put it in quotes; when I would type an opening quote, WebMatrix would try to help me out by adding the closing quote - which would now be outside my string, so I always had to delete one of the quotes. There is an option to turn off that feature; see File->Options->Code in WebMatrix. But that being said, this is a useful feature when I remember to create the quotes before I start typing in a string. So once again, this is really more of a complaint against myself; it's my fault that I sometimes have lousy typing skillz. [sic]

Summary

I should start off by saying that I got an "A" in the course, and I can honestly give WebMatrix some of the credit for that. If I had spent a great deal of time fighting with an editor, I would have had less time to focus on writing PHP code. But in the end, WebMatrix actually made it easier for me to write PHP code.

So in closing, WebMatrix rocks, PHP rocks, and using WebMatrix with PHP definitely rocks.

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/

Posted: Nov 29 2012, 10:01 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Programmatically Starting and Stopping FTP Sites in IIS 7 and IIS 8

I was recently contacted by someone who was trying to use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) code to stop and restart FTP websites by using code that he had written for IIS 6.0; his code was something similar to the following:

Option Explicit
On Error Resume Next

Dim objWMIService, colItems, objItem

' Attach to the IIS service.
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\root\microsoftiisv2")
' Retrieve the collection of FTP sites.
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from IIsFtpServer")
' Loop through the sites collection.
For Each objItem in colItems
    ' Restart one single website.
    If (objItem.Name = "MSFTPSVC/1") Then
        Err.Clear
        objItem.Stop
        If (Err.Number <> 0) Then WScript.Echo Err.Number
        objItem.Start
        If (Err.Number <> 0) Then WScript.Echo Err.Number
    End If
Next

The problem that the customer was seeing is that this query did not return the list of FTP-based websites for IIS 7.0 or IIS 7.5 (called IIS7 henceforth), although changing the class in the query from IIsFtpServer to IIsWebServer would make the script work with HTTP-based websites those versions of IIS7.

The problem with the customer's code was that he is using WMI to manage IIS7; this relies on our old management APIs that have been deprecated, although part of that model is partially available through the metabase compatibility feature in IIS7. Here's what I mean by "partially": only a portion of the old ADSI/WMI objects are available, and unfortunately FTP is not part of the objects that can be scripted through the metabase compatibility feature in IIS7.

That being said, what the customer wants to do is still possible through scripting in both IIS7 and IIS8, and the following sample shows how to loop through all of the sites, determine which sites have FTP bindings, and then stop/start FTP for each site. To use this script, copy the code into a text editor like Windows Notepad and save it with a name like "RestartAllFtpSites.vbs" to your system, then double-click the file to run it.

' Temporarily disable breaking on runtime errors.
On Error Resume Next

' Create an Admin Manager object.
Set adminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.AdminManager")
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"

' Test for commit path support.
If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    Err.Clear
    ' Create a Writable Admin Manager object.
    Set adminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager")
    adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then WScript.Quit
End If

' Resume breaking on runtime errors.
On Error Goto 0

' Retrieve the sites collection.
Set sitesSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.applicationHost/sites", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST")
Set sitesCollection = sitesSection.Collection

' Loop through the sites collection.
For siteCount = 0 To CInt(sitesCollection.Count)-1
    isFtpSite = False
    ' Determine if the current site is an FTP site by checking the bindings.
    Set siteElement = sitesCollection(siteCount)
    Set bindingsCollection = siteElement.ChildElements.Item("bindings").Collection
    For bindingsCount = 0 To CInt(bindingsCollection.Count)-1
        Set bindingElement = bindingsCollection(bindingsCount)
        If StrComp(CStr(bindingElement.Properties.Item("protocol").Value),"ftp",vbTextCompare)=0 Then
            isFtpSite = True
            Exit For
        End If
    Next
    ' If it's an FTP site, start and stop the site.
    If isFtpSite = True Then
        Set ftpServerElement = siteElement.ChildElements.Item("ftpServer")
        ' Create an instance of the Stop method.
        Set stopFtpSite = ftpServerElement.Methods.Item("Stop").CreateInstance()
        ' Execute the method to stop the FTP site.
        stopFtpSite.Execute()
        ' Create an instance of the Start method.
        Set startFtpSite = ftpServerElement.Methods.Item("Start").CreateInstance()
        ' Execute the method to start the FTP site.
        startFtpSite.Execute()
    End If
Next

And the following code sample shows how to stop/start a single FTP site. To use this script, copy the code into a text editor like Windows Notepad, rename the site name appropriately for one of your FTP sites, save it with a name like "RestartContosoFtpSite.vbs" to your system, then double-click the file to run it.

' Temporarily disable breaking on runtime errors.
On Error Resume Next

' Create an Admin Manager object.
Set adminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.AdminManager")
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"

' Test for commit path support.
If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    Err.Clear
    ' Create a Writable Admin Manager object.
    Set adminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager")
    adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then WScript.Quit
End If

' Resume breaking on runtime errors.
On Error Goto 0

' Retrieve the sites collection.
Set sitesSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.applicationHost/sites", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST")
Set sitesCollection = sitesSection.Collection

' Locate a specific site.
siteElementPos = FindElement(sitesCollection, "site", Array("name", "ftp.contoso.com"))
If siteElementPos = -1 Then
    WScript.Echo "Site was not found!"
    WScript.Quit
End If

' Determine if the selected site is an FTP site by checking the bindings.
Set siteElement = sitesCollection(siteElementPos)
Set bindingsCollection = siteElement.ChildElements.Item("bindings").Collection
For bindingsCount = 0 To CInt(bindingsCollection.Count)-1
    Set bindingElement = bindingsCollection(bindingsCount)
    If StrComp(CStr(bindingElement.Properties.Item("protocol").Value),"ftp",vbTextCompare)=0 Then
        isFtpSite = True
        Exit For
    End If
Next

' If it's an FTP site, start and stop the site.
If isFtpSite = True Then
    Set ftpServerElement = siteElement.ChildElements.Item("ftpServer")
    ' Create an instance of the Stop method.
    Set stopFtpSite = ftpServerElement.Methods.Item("Stop").CreateInstance()
    ' Execute the method to stop the FTP site.
    stopFtpSite.Execute()
    ' Create an instance of the Start method.
    Set startFtpSite = ftpServerElement.Methods.Item("Start").CreateInstance()
    ' Execute the method to start the FTP site.
    startFtpSite.Execute()
End If

' Locate and return the index for a specific element in a collection.
Function FindElement(collection, elementTagName, valuesToMatch)
   For i = 0 To CInt(collection.Count) - 1
      Set elem = collection.Item(i)
      If elem.Name = elementTagName Then
         matches = True
         For iVal = 0 To UBound(valuesToMatch) Step 2
            Set prop = elem.GetPropertyByName(valuesToMatch(iVal))
            value = prop.Value
            If Not IsNull(value) Then
               value = CStr(value)
            End If
            If Not value = CStr(valuesToMatch(iVal + 1)) Then
               matches = False
               Exit For
            End If
         Next
         If matches Then
            Exit For
         End If
      End If
   Next
   If matches Then
      FindElement = i
   Else
      FindElement = -1
   End If
End Function

I hope this helps!

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Oct 03 2012, 08:57 by Bob | Comments (0)
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The New Look for IIS.NET

Following up on today's public release of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and Internet Information Services 8.0, you'll notice some big changes on the IIS.net website.

Over the past few months, we've been working hard with several partners to roll out a brand-new design for the IIS.net website that resembles more closely the look and feel of our websites for Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2012, and Visual Studio 2012.

Let us know what you think!

Posted: Sep 04 2012, 17:52 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Windows Server 2012 and IIS 8 are now available!

Microsoft has just released Windows Server 2012! You can find out more about this release on the Official Windows Server 2012 Launch Website (http://www.windows-server-launch.com).

In tandem with the release of Windows Server 2012, the IIS team is happy to announce the general availability of Internet Information Services 8.0 This new version of IIS offers a wealth of new features and improvements, and here are just a few of the enhancements that you can expect in IIS 8.0: Application Initialization, Dynamic IP Address Restrictions, Centralized SSL Certificate Store, CPU Throttling, FTP Logon Attempt Restrictions, Server Name Indication (SNI) Support, Improved SSL and Configuration Scalability, support for Multicore Scaling on NUMA Hardware, and more! Additional information about IIS 8.0 is available in the "What's New in IIS 8.0 for Windows 8?" web page.

If you'd like to try IIS 8.0 for yourself, you can download the evaluation version and start experimenting today!

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/

Posted: Sep 04 2012, 03:58 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Video: What's New with Internet Information Services (IIS) 8: Performance, Scalability, and Security Features

The folks in the TechEd group have uploaded the video from my "What's New with Internet Information Services (IIS) 8: Performance, Scalability, and Security Features" presentation to YouTube, so you can view the video online.

You can also download the slides and the WMV/MP4 for my presentation at the following URL:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/WSV332

One quick side note: around 38:55 during the video, I had just asked the audience if anyone had used the IIS Configuration Editor, when a tremendous thunderclap resounded outside - this prompted a great laugh from audience members. After the presentation had ended, a couple people came up and jokingly asked how I had managed to stage that so well.

Smile

Posted: Sep 01 2012, 14:59 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Troubleshooting Custom FTP Providers with ETW

I recently received a question from a customer about troubleshooting custom FTP providers, and I recommended using the FTP service's Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) features in order to help troubleshoot the problem. I've helped a lot of customers use this little-known feature of the FTP service, so I thought that it would make a great subject for a quick blog.

By way of explanation, the FTP service in IIS 7.5 and IIS 8.0 allows developers to write their own custom functionality, and over the past several years I have written several walkthroughs and blogs that illustrate how you can create your own custom FTP providers:

That being said, sometimes things go wrong, and when that happens, I use some FTP ETW troubleshooting tricks that I'd like to share.

Setting up FTP ETW Tracing

Several years ago I wrote a blog about FTP and ETW Tracing, where I described how to turn on the FTP service's ETW tracing through a batch file, and then it used Log Parser to render the output in a datagrid for analysis. In the interests of completeness, here is the batch file again:

@echo off

rem======================================================================

echo Verifying that LogParser.exe is in the path...
LogParser -h >nul 2>nul
if errorlevel 1 (
  echo.
  echo Error:
  echo.
  echo   LogParser.exe is was not found. It is required for parsing traces.
  echo.
  echo Recommended actions:
  echo.
  echo   - If LogParser is installed then fix the PATH
  echo     variable to include the LogParser directory
  echo.
  echo   - If LogParser is not installed, then install
  echo     it from the following location:
  echo.
  echo   http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=890cd06b-abf8-4c25-91b2-f8d975cf8c07
  echo.
  goto :EOF
) else (
  echo Done.
  echo.
)

rem======================================================================

echo Starting the ETW session for full FTP tracing...
logman start "ftp" -p "IIS: Ftp Server" 255 5 -ets
echo.
echo Now reproduce your problem.
echo.
echo After you have reproduced your issue, hit any key to close the FTP
echo tracing session. Your trace events will be displayed automatically.
echo.
pause>nul

rem======================================================================

echo.
echo Closing the ETW session for full FTP tracing...
logman stop "ftp" -ets

rem======================================================================

echo.
echo Parsing the results - this may take a long time depending on the size of the trace...
LogParser "select EventTypeName, UserData from ftp.etl" -e 2 -o:DATAGRID -compactModeSep " | " -rtp 20

When you save and run this batch file, it will display something like the following:


C:\FTP_ETW.cmd

Verifying that LogParser.exe is in the path...
Done.

Starting the ETW session for full FTP tracing...
The command completed successfully.

Now reproduce your problem.

After you have reproduced your issue, hit any key to close the FTP tracing session. Your trace events will be displayed automatically.
 

When you see this displayed, you will need to reproduce your problem, and FTP's ETW tracing will record the troubleshooting information.

Once you have reproduced your problem, hit a key to end the ETW session, and you will see the following message displayed:


Closing the ETW session for full FTP tracing...
The command completed successfully.

Parsing the results - this may take a long time depending on the size of the trace...
 

The batch file will eventually call Log Parser to parse the ETW events, and a dialog like the following will be displayed:

Troubleshooting Custom FTP Providers with ETW Tracing

Now that you know how to set up FTP's ETW tracing, let's examine what you should be looking for in the tracing information.In all of the examples in this blog, I am using the XML-based authentication provider that is documented in the How to Use Managed Code (C#) to Create an FTP Authentication Provider using an XML Database walkthrough.

The following illustration highlights several lines that show the FTP service starting its authentication process, loading my custom authentication provider, and ending the authentication process after I have successfully logged in:

This example shows what everything looks like when it works as expected, so now let's look at what happens when something goes wrong.

If I use the same provider, but I enter my username or password incorrectly, I will see the following lines in the trace:

This example informs you that the provider was loaded successfully, but the logon failed. The error code that is returned is 0x8007052E - this hexadecimal 32-bit value can be split into 16-bit values:

  • 8007 - This code informs you that this is a Win32 error.
  • 052E - This code coverts to 1326 in decimal, and if you enter "NET HELPMSG 1326" from a command-prompt, that will tell you that the error was "Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password."

If I continue to use the same provider as earlier, and I delete the XML file that my provider uses, then I will receive the following error:

Once again, this example informs you that the provider was loaded successfully, but an error occurred. In this specific case you see the actual details that the XML file exists, and that is an error that is returned by a throw() statement in the provider. The error code that is returned is 0x80070057 - and once again this hexadecimal 32-bit value can be split into 16-bit values:

  • 8007 - This code informs you that this is a Win32 error.
  • 0057 - This code coverts to 87 in decimal, and if you enter "NET HELPMSG 87" from a command-prompt, that will tell you that the error was "The parameter is incorrect."

If I replace the missing XML file for the provider, but I remove all of the permissions to the file, I get the following error:

As in the previous examples, this informs you that the provider was loaded successfully, but an error occurred. You can't look up the 0x80131500 error code by using "NET HELPMSG" from a command-prompt, but that doesn't matter since the error description informs you of the problem - access to the path where the file is located was denied.

If I enter a bad provider name, I get the following error:

Unlike the previous examples, this informs you that the provider was not loaded successfully. The description for this error informs you that it could not load the provider, and it gives you the assembly information. In addition to the error description, the error code that is returned by the FTP service is 0x80070002 - and once again this hexadecimal 32-bit value can be split into 16-bit values:

  • 8007 - This code informs you that this is a Win32 error.
  • 0002 - This code is obviously 2 in decimal, so if you enter "NET HELPMSG 2" from a command-prompt, that will tell you that the error was "The system cannot find the file specified."

So now let's look at a common perplexing problem:

This example shows the same 0x8007052E error code that we looked at in a previous example, but you'll notice that any reference to the provider is conspicuously absent from the trace - this means that the FTP service made no attempt to load the custom authentication provider. In this specific case, even though I had correctly registered my custom FTP authentication provider on the system, I had not added or enabled the custom authentication provider for my FTP site.

Summary

In this blog I showed you how to troubleshoot several different errors with FTP custom authentication providers by using FTP's ETW features.

As a parting thought, I should point out that the most-common error that I run into when creating my own providers is the last example. Believe it or not, I nearly always miss a step when I am creating a new provider and I forget to add a setting here or there which will cause the FTP service to completely ignore my provider. A perfect example is when I am writing custom home directory providers - I always remember to add the provider to the global list of FTP providers, and I usually remember to add the provider to the list of custom features for my FTP site, but I forget to configure my FTP site to use custom user isolation and my provider is ignored. (Darn, darn, darn...)

;-]

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Aug 28 2012, 16:33 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Filed under: FTP | Extensibility
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Advanced Log Parser Charts Part 5 - Creating a Generic Chart Color Script

In Part 5 of this series, I'll show you how to create a generic script that you can use to add some color to your Log Parser charts. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the default colors for Log parser charts are really dull and boring. For example, if I parse one month's worth of log files from one of my low-volume websites with the following query:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"" -q:ON

Log Parser will create the following ugly daily hits chart:

Generic Color Change Script

Here's the background story for this blog: I have a collection of scripts that I use to format my charts, several of which have faithfully served as the fodder for this blog series. With that in mind, I had a situation recently where I was querying logs with a series of data just like this, and of course the resulting charts were kind of hideous to look at. In one of the scripts that I often use, I create an array of colors to use, and then I apply the various colors to the individual data points in the series.

In the past I have always hard-coded the length for the array of colors based on the data that I am working with, but in this situation I had no idea how many data points I would have, so I decided to put together a quick script with an array that would work with a series of any size.

Here's the resulting script:

// Set a default color for the chart's data.
chart.SeriesCollection(0).Interior.Color = "#ffcccc";

// Define a short array of colors.
var colors = [
    "#ffff99", "#ff99ff", "#ff9999",
    "#99ffff", "#99ff99", "#9999ff",
    "#ffffcc", "#ffccff", "#ffcccc",
    "#ccffff", "#ccffcc", "#ccccff"
];

// Loop through the data points in the series.
for (x=0;x<chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points.Count;++x)
{
    // Set the color for the data point based on modulo division of the array length.
    chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points(x).Interior.Color = colors[x % colors.length ];
}

That's all that there is to the script - it's pretty simple. If I take the above script and save it as "FormatChart.js", I can use that script with my Log Parser query from earlier by adding an extra parameter to the command:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

Now Log Parser will create the following daily hits chart with a great deal more color to it:

Okay - perhaps that's not the best color palette, but you get the idea. It looks even better when I change the query to use 3D charts:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:Column3D -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

The above query creates the following chart:

Color Changing Pie Charts

I'd like to make a quick change to the script in order to make it work a little better with a pie chart:

// Set a default color for the chart's data.
chart.SeriesCollection(0).Interior.Color = "#cccccc";

// Define a short array of colors.
var colors = [
    "#cc3333", "#3333cc", "#33cc33",
    "#33cccc", "#cccc33", "#cc33cc"
];

// Loop through the data points in the series.
for (x=0;x<chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points.Count;++x)
{
    // Set the color for the data point based on modulo division of the array length.
    chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points(x).Interior.Color = colors[x % colors.length ];
}
// Rotate the chart 180 degrees - just so it looks a little better.
chartSpace.Charts(0).PlotArea.RotateClockwise();
chartSpace.Charts(0).PlotArea.RotateClockwise();

For this query I'd like to see a break down by HTTP status, and this necessitates some small change to the Log parser query:

logparser.exe "SELECT sc-status AS Status,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY Status ORDER BY Status" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:PieExploded3D -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

The above query creates the following chart:

Summary

That wraps it up for this blog - I hope that I've given you some ideas for ways that you can easily add some colors to some dull-looking Log Parser charts.

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Aug 24 2012, 18:53 by Bob | Comments (0)
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Windows Cache 1.3 for PHP 5.4

The IIS team has officially signed off on the Windows Cache Extension (WinCache) version 1.3 for PHP 5.4, and the files have been uploaded to SourceForge. This version addresses all of the problems that were identified with WinCache 1.1 that customers were seeing after they upgraded their systems from PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.4.

With that in mind, you can download WinCache 1.3 for for PHP 5.4 from the following URL:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/wincache/files/wincache-1.3.4/

You can discuss WinCache 1.1 and WinCache 1.3 in the Windows Cache Extension for PHP forum on Microsoft's IIS.net website.

Source Code Availability

Since WinCache is an open source project, the IIS team has uploaded the pre-release source code for WinCache at the following URL:

http://pecl.php.net/package/WinCache

For the instructions on how to build the extension yourself, please refer to the Building WinCache Extension documentation.

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Jul 26 2012, 05:37 by Bob | Comments (0)
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WebDAV Website Importer for WebMatrix

The other day I was talking with one of my coworkers, Yishai Galatzer, about Microsoft's WebMatrix. By way of introduction, Yishai is one of our senior developers on the WebMatrix project; I'm not sure if you've used WebMatrix, but it's a pretty handy website editor. Here's a few generic screen shots:

WebMatrix 2 Splash Screen
WebMatrix 2 Quick Start Screen
Editing QDIG in WebMatrix 2

In any event, I was explaining how easy it is to work with WebDAV, and I mentioned that I had written some some blogs about working with WebDAV websites programmatically. (See my Sending WebDAV Requests in .NET Revisited blog for an example.) Since WebMatrix 2 has some pretty cool extensibility, Yishai challenged me to write a WebDAV extension for WebMatrix. His idea was just too good for me to pass up, so I stayed up late that night and I wrote a simple WebDAV Website Import extension for WebMatrix 2.

With that in mind, there are a few things that I need to explain in this blog:

  • What this extension actually does.
  • How to install this extension.
  • How to use this extension.

What the WebDAV Website Importer Extension Actually Does

The WebDAV Website Importer extension does just what its name implies - it allows you to import a website into WebMatrix over WebDAV. This allows you to download your website to your local computer, where you can make changes to your source files and test them on your local system with IIS Express.

It should be noted that this extension is only designed to create a new local website by downloading a copy of your website's files in order to create a local copy of your website - it is not designed to be a website publishing feature like WebMatrix's built-in FTP and Web Deploy features. (I would like to write a full-featured website import/export/sync extension, but that's another project for another day.)

How to Install the WebDAV Website Importer Extension

To install this extension, you first need to install WebMatrix. You can find details about installing WebMatrix at the following URL:

Once you have WebMatrix installed, click the Extensions menu on the ribbon, and then click Gallery.

WebMatrix 2's Extensions Menu

When the Extensions Gallery appears, you will see the WebDAV Website Importer in the list of extensions.

WebDAV Website Importer in the Extensions List

When you click Install, the WebDAV Website Importer details page will be displayed.

WebDAV Website Importer Details

When you click Install, the End User License Agreement for the WebDAV Website Importer will be displayed.

WebDAV Website Importer EULA

When you click I Accept, WebMatrix will download and install the extension.

How to Use the WebDAV Website Importer Extension

Once you have downloaded and installed the WebDAV Website Importer extension, it will show up whenever you are creating a new website in WebMatrix.

Import Site from WebDAV menu

When you click Import Site from WebDAV, WebMatrix will prompt you for the credentials to your WebDAV website.

WebDAV Website Credentials Dialog

Once you enter your credentials and click OK, the extension will import the content from your WebDAV website and save it in a new local website folder.

Summary

So - there you have it; this is a pretty simple extension, but it opens up some WebDAV possibilities for WebMatrix. As I mentioned earlier, this extension is import-only - perhaps I'll write a full-featured import/export/sync extension in the future, but for now - this was a cool test for combining WebMatrix extensibility and WebDAV.

Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/
Posted: Jul 20 2012, 18:12 by Bob | Comments (0)
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