How to validate string.format within Visual Studio

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment


In writing code we use string.format a lot to create strings for error reporting or sending to the screen. Some of these will only ever get created if an error occurs so they become difficult to test to make sure the don’t throw an error. Take the following example

The following code would fail at runtime but is fine in the compiler

string.Format("{0} This is valid but will error {1}", this.siteURL);

So how do we catch these. Well we all use the code analysis tools built into visual studio. Don’t we?


Well this has a nice test case that will catch and highlight this problem.


Run code analysis on your project Alt+F11 or select “Run Code Analysis on …” from the Analyse menu.


Then once this has finished you can search for issue CA2241. This will show any and all string.formats that would fail at run time.


It would be nice if the compiler caught these but this is still a good approach.

Categories: work Tags:

Infopath Namespace manager creation code

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I have had to create some code this week that reads the xml created by InfoPath. I then found that if you try and xpath on something you get a null return until the namespace manager has all of the correct entries. In the past I have created these manually but after a bit of google fo I have come up with the below piece of code. It takes an XMLDocument that you have created based on the form file (or any XML document really) and returns you a newly created namespace manager that can be used along side you xpath queries to get the data you want.



public static XmlNamespaceManager GetNameSpaceManager(XmlDocument xmlDoc)
XmlNamespaceManager ns = new XmlNamespaceManager(xmlDoc.NameTable);
foreach (XmlAttribute att in xmlDoc.DocumentElement.Attributes)
if (att.Prefix == "xmlns")
ns.AddNamespace(att.LocalName, att.Value);
return ns;

.csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
font-size: small;
color: black;
font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
background-color: #ffffff;
/*white-space: pre;*/
.csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
.csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
.csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
.csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
.csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
.csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
.csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
.csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
.csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
.csharpcode .alt
background-color: #f4f4f4;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em;
.csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }

Categories: work Tags:

How to hide fields for new items using InfoPath

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment


A client had a fairly simple request to hide some fields when a new SharePoint list item is created but have these fields shown once the item has been created and people edit the form. The short version is that you can use the inbuilt ID field to see if an item is new or not. If the ID field is blank then it is a new form.


Here are the steps required so that you can hide fields when an item is being created. Make sure not to hide any required fields or the form cannot be saved.

These steps require InfoPath 2010 client to be installed

1. Navigate to the list

a. I have created a very simple list where users will ask a question. The goal is only to allow users to fill out the title field when an item is created


2. From the ribbon select the Customize Form option

a. clip_image001

b. If this option is missing then following feature is probably not activated

c. clip_image002

3. A form will now have opened in InfoPath 2010

a. clip_image003

4. Each field can be hidden manually or all of the fields you want to hide can be added to a new section and then you just hide the section.

a. Select the Section control and add to the bottom of the form

b. Copy or cut the required rows or fields from the table into the section. It will look similar to the following screen shot

c. clip_image004

5. Now we need to add a rule to the section to hide it.

a. Select the Manage Rules option from the ribbon

b. clip_image005

c. Highlight the section (Click on it)

d. clip_image006

e. From the Rules menu on the left hand side select New and then Formatting.

i. Change the name to be Hide Section

ii. Click on the None under condition and change it to the following

iii. clip_image007

iv. Now select the Hide this control option

v. The whole rule should look like

vi. clip_image008

6. Using the publish button in the very top left of InfoPath publish you changes back to the server. clip_image009

a. You should receive an OK message once this is complete

7. Now navigate to the list and test to see if it has worked

Here is the new form


This is what the form looks like when an existing item is edited


This is just a very basic example. The overall style of the form can be changed using the formatting option within InfoPath.

Rule can also be applied directly to some fields so they do not have to be moved into a section if you do not want to. The attachment control must be added to a section as rules cannot be applied against this control directly.

Categories: work Tags:

Updating database collation

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Had some fun trying to update a database collation. I didn’t have to worry about the data i just needed to the collation changed so that some cross database scripts would still function in order to carry out some testing.


Here is a nice little script I found that will generate scripts to change the collation on the required columns. Some of it fails if primary keys or indexes are against the columns but this will do 90%.


      CAST(o.table_name + ‘ -> ‘ + AS VARCHAR(60))
    , ‘ALTER TABLE ‘ + o.table_name +
        ‘ ALTER COLUMN [‘ + + ‘] ‘ +
        UPPER( + ‘(‘ +
            WHEN IN (‘nchar’, ‘nvarchar’) AND c.max_length != -1 THEN CAST(c.max_length / 2 AS NVARCHAR(10))
            WHEN IN (‘nchar’, ‘nvarchar’) AND c.max_length = -1 THEN ‘MAX’
            ELSE CAST(c.max_length AS NVARCHAR(10))
        END + ‘) COLLATE ‘ + @collate +
        CASE WHEN c.is_nullable = 1
            THEN ‘ NULL’
            ELSE ‘ NOT NULL’
FROM sys.columns c WITH (NOWAIT)
          table_name = ‘[‘ + + ‘].[‘ + + ‘]’
        , o.[object_id]
    FROM sys.objects o WITH (NOWAIT)
    JOIN sys.schemas s WITH (NOWAIT) ON o.[schema_id] = s.[schema_id]
    WHERE o.[type] = ‘U’
) o ON c.[object_id] = o.[object_id]
JOIN sys.types t WITH (NOWAIT) ON c.system_type_id = t.system_type_id AND c.user_type_id = t.user_type_id
WHERE IN (‘char’, ‘varchar’, ‘text’, ‘nvarchar’, ‘ntext’, ‘nchar’)
    –AND c.collation_name != @collate
    , c.column_id

Categories: work Tags:

Changing the format of date parameters on SSRS 2012

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment


Had an issue today where the date parameters were being forced into US data format and not using any of the regional settings from the OS or SharePoint.


This has apparently been fixed in SQL 2012 SP1 CU5 update but i have not confirmed this.

This post

Has a workaround that required you to add a culture into the RSViewerPage.aspx located in


C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\ReportServer




C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\ReportServer

in SharePoint 2013


You need to add UICulture="en-GB"


to the end of

<%@ Page language="C#" Codebehind="RSViewerPage.aspx.cs" AutoEventWireup="false" Inherits="Microsoft.ReportingServices.SharePoint.UI.RSViewerPage,Microsoft.ReportingServices.SharePoint.UI.ServerPages,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" %>



The full string looks like


<%@ Page language="C#" Codebehind="RSViewerPage.aspx.cs" AutoEventWireup="false" Inherits="Microsoft.ReportingServices.SharePoint.UI.RSViewerPage,Microsoft.ReportingServices.SharePoint.UI.ServerPages,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" UICulture="en-GB"%>


If you are using Windows 2012 i had to save the updated file to a different location and then copy the file in and gain the correct permissions.

Categories: work Tags:

Better logging in SharePoint

October 1, 2013 Leave a comment


Just a very quick post so i can remember this post which describes 5 different approaches to custom logging within SharePoint.

Categories: work Tags: ,

Recursive rules in InfoPath–How to prevent

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment


A while ago I had a scenario in an InfoPath form where the user could either enter an amount or a percentage value. This value would then get added to a total already in the form. The requirement is that the user enters either value and the form then calculates the other one.

So if I enter a number then the percentage gets calculated. If I entered the percentage then the number value gets calculated.

So I quickly setup some rules so that when the value changed the percentage or the whole numbers gets calculated and updates the relevant field. This creates a loop of continually updated fields.


I had hoped that some clever InfoPath “stuff” would just make this work and I wouldn’t have to worry about the issue. This didn’t work and caused the form to fail or the fields would not update correctly.


The solution to this problem is that you need a third field to control the updates. Mine is called “Calculating” and is a simple Boolean field.


Now in the rules for Field1 (number) and Field2 (percentage) the first thing to do is to check that calculating = 0 then set calculating = 1 and then set your field. At the end set Calculating back to 0.


This is just a very simple implementation of a lock but it stops the InfoPath rules going crazy.



Pictures explain everything

Categories: work Tags: ,