Monday, September 21, 2015

Set up local email server

Quick way to set up a local email server for development purpose:

  1. Download and Install hMailServer.
  2. After installation, create a test domain, "mail.local".
  3. Run notepad.exe as local admin. 
  4. Open "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\host" file.
  5. Add new entry  mail.local. Save and close notepad.exe.
  6. Test #5 by pinging mail.local.
  7. In hMailServer console, create a new account admin@mail.local with password under the domain, "mail.local".
  8. Go to Settings --> Protocols --> SMTP.
    Click "Delivery of e-mail" tab. Enter 0 for "Number of retries".
  9. Go to Settings --> Advanced.
    Enter mail.local as the default domain.
  10. Go to Settings --> Advanced --> AutoBan.
    Disable AutoBan.
  11. Go to Settings --> Advanced --> IP Ranges.
    Remove "Internet" and keep "My Computer ( ~".
  12. Download and Install Mozilla Thunderbird.
  13. Set up existing account with name = "admin", email = "admin@mail.local" and password from #7.
  14. Test the local email server by sending emails.
  15. Sometimes, the default SMTP port 25 is blocked even to the local PC itself due to network policy. You can change the SMTP port to something else, i.e., 125 at
    Settings --> Advanced --> TCP/IP Ports ---> / 25 / SMTP.
    Change the TCP/IP Port to another available port here.
  16. In order to disable SMTP authentication to avoid SMTP 530 error (authentication is required), go to Settings --> Advanced --> IP Ranges --> Internet --> Require SMTP Authentication. Uncheck "Local to local e-mail addresses", "Local to external e-mail addresses", and "External to local e-mail addresses". Leave check on "External to external e-mail addresses".

Saturday, September 12, 2015

SharePoint 2013 + Windows Server 2012 R2 Pre-Requisite Install (Part 2)

When running Setup.exe from SharePoint 2013 install media, we would experience the feared "Prerequisite Missing error message" like below.

There are 10 files to download and install with some care to pass this check successfully. In fact, it is a little bit tricky to perform this pre-requisite installation successfully the first time.

  1. On the SharePoint server, create a folder, "C:\pre".
  2. Download the 10 files below and save them to "C:\pre" folder.
    1. Windows Management Framework 3.0
    2. SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client
    3. Microsoft WCF Data Serivces 5.0
    4. Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.6 (To avoid overwrite, rename this download to WcfDataServices56.exe)
    5. Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client
    6. Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime version 1.0 SP1 (64-bit)
    7. Windows Identity Extensions
    8. Windows Identity Foundation (KB974405) 

      Windows Identity Foundation has been integrated into .NET 4.5. No need to install it.
    9. Windows Server AppFabric
    10. Windows Server AppFabric Cumulative Update 1 (KB2671763)
  3. We are supposed to install prerequisite files via "PrerequisiteInstaller.exe" with specific switches for each downloaded file. In my case, this didn't work too well. You can try the following Powershell scripts, but if you have problems, there is a manual way to install the prerequisite files. I'll go over it in #4.

    PowerShell Script to run prerequisite install altogether:.
    $path = "C:\pre"
    Start-Process "E:\PrerequisiteInstaller.exe" –ArgumentList "/SQLNCli:$Path\sqlncli.msi /IDFX:$Path\Windows6.1-KB974405-x64.msu /IDFX11:$Path\MicrosoftIdentityExtensions-64.msi /Sync:$Path\Synchronization.msi /AppFabric:$Path\ WindowsServerAppFabricSetup_x64.exe /KB2671763:$Path\AppFabric1.1-RTM-KB2671763-x64-ENU.exe /MSIPCClient:$Path\setup_msipc_x64.msi /WCFDataServices:$Path\WcfDataServices.exe /WCFDataServices56:$Path\WcfDataServices56.exe"
    Prerequisite Files (Beware of the last one: AppFabric)

  4. It turns out that all prerequisite files can be installed manually via "Shift + Right Click" and "Run as Administrator", except for the two AppFabric install files.


    To install AppFabric, make sure to uninstall AppFabric from "Add Remove Programs" window from previous failed attempt if any.  Reboot the server if uninstall was performed and run the following in Command Prompt (in admin mode).
    C:\Pre\WindowsServerAppFabricSetup_x64.exe /i CacheClient,CachingService,CacheAdmin /gac

    (Basically, the above switches are what the "PrerequisiteInstaller.exe" tried to implement when the setup file was run under PrerequisiteInstaller.exe)
  5. Let it run for a couple of minutes. Check with TaskManager and "Add/Remove Programs" to confirm AppFabric 1.1's installation. Then reboot the server, and then run "AppFabric1.1-RTM-KB2671763-x64-ENU.exe" with "Run as Admin". This should be the end of SharePoint 2013's prerequisite installation, and you  should be able to proceed with the SharePoint 2013 setup.

SharepPoint 2013 + Windows Server 2012 R2 Pre-requisite Install (Part 1)

This will save some time when building a SharePoint 2013 dev envionrment or when setting up SharePoint server in general.
Import-Module ServerManager

Add-WindowsFeature NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, NET-WCF-TCP-Activation45, NET-WCF-Pipe-Activation45

Add-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Features,Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,WEB-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Health,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Log-Libraries,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-Security,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-Mgmt-Compat,Web-Metabase,Application-Server,AS-Web-Support,AS-TCP-Port-Sharing,AS-WAS-Support,AS-HTTP-Activation,AS-TCP-Activation,AS-Named-Pipes,AS-Net-Framework,WAS,WAS-Process-Model,WAS-NET-Environment,WAS-Config-APIs,Web-Lgcy-Scripting,Windows-Identity-Foundation,Server-Media-Foundation,Xps-Viewer

Note: The third command is a single line. Remove any line-feed / carriage-return before running the script in PowerShell.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

.NET optimization service at very high CPU utilization

On Server 2012 R2, after running Windows Update to install important updates, the CPU utilization of the server could get pegged at 100% due to .NET optimization service (Ngen.exe).

As the name suggests, all installed .NET frameworks are being optimized via re-compiling, which leads to a prolonged period of 100% CPU usage.

Run the following if you want to get this optimization process over with at your command. Run it and come back after a while (10~20 min). When it is done, the server should behave normally.

 Get-ChildItem $env:SystemRoot\\NGen.exe -recurse | ForEach-Object { & $_ executeQueuedItems }

Basically, the command above lets us to run "Ngen.exe  executeQueuedItems" per each .NET Framework versions manually at the time of our choosing, rather than letting the server finish when it can later, which may cause unexpected slowness in performance.

After optimization is done for each .NET Framework version, when running the command again, you will see confirmation message like below.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

C# quick extension method refresher - Left() and Right() methods

Here's a quick refresher of C#'s extension methods. If you are not familiar with or forgot about extension methods, check out this post at dotnetperls.

using System;
public class Program
 public static void Main()
  Console.WriteLine("Hello World");
  string a = "Hello Orange County";  
  Console.WriteLine("a.Right(6) = " + a.Right(6));
  Console.WriteLine("a.Left(7) = " + a.Left(12));

public static class ExtensionMethods
 public static string Right(this string original, int numChar)
  string retVal = "";
  if(original != null && numChar >= 0)
   return original.Substring(numChar > original.Length ? 0 : original.Length - numChar); 
  return retVal;
 public static string Left(this string original, int numChar)
  string retVal = "";
  if(original != null && numChar >= 0)
   return original.Substring(0, (numChar > original.Length ? original.Length : numChar));
  return retVal;

By the way, there is an amazing online C# compiler tool called ".NET Fiddle". It lets you quickly build and test your C# prototype program online, including ASP.NET MVC-based prototypes. Just like the JSFiddle, you can create your own account and start building your own personal code libraries.

Here's a review article about .NET Fiddle.

.Net Fiddle Screenshot