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ASP.NET 4 Hosting :: .NET Framework 4.0 A Parallel-Programming Initiative

Posted by dotnetnerd on May 14, 2010

If you’re an avid .NET programmer, you are likely aware of what the above title says. Since the birth of multi-core computing, there has been a need for parallel-programming architecture. Now, the multi-core computing has become the prevailing paradigm in computer architecture due to the invention of multi core-processors. By the way, almost every programmer considers Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 as getting remote and out of the way. To avert its programming market fiasco, recently, Microsoft released the beta versions of .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010. The main focus fell on .NET 4, yet the labels boasted the advent of parallel-programming. The question is whether there are any advantages (more specifically towards performance) on sticking to existing APIs? This article attempts to briefly answer the question.

.NET 4’s Multi-Core processing ability: First of all, the MSDN site shows that the parallel extensions in the .NET 4 , has been improved to support parallel programming, targeting multi-core computing or distributed computing. The support for the Framework has been categorized into four areas like library, LINQ, data structures and diagonastic tools. .NET 4’s peers and predecessors lacked the multi-core operable ability. The main criteria like communication and synchronization of sub-tasks were considered as the biggest obstacles in getting a good parallel program performance. But .NET 4’s promising parallel library technology enables developers to define simultaneous, asynchronous tasks without having to work with threads, locks, or the thread pool.

Full support for multiple programming languages and compilers: Apart from VB & C# languages, .NET 4 establishes full support for programming languages like Ironpython, Ironruby, F# and other similar .NET compilers. Unlike 3.5, it encompasses both functional-programming and imperative object-oriented programming.

Dynamic language runtime: Addition of the dynamic language runtime (DLR) is a boon to .NET beginners. Using this new DLR runtime environment, developers can add a set of services for dynamic languages to the CLR. In addition to that, the DLR makes it simpler to develop dynamic languages and to add dynamic features to statically typed languages. A new System Dynamic name space has been added to the .NET Framework on supporting the DLR and several new classes supporting the .NET Framework infrastructure are added to the System Runtime Compiler Services.

Anyway, the new DLR provides the following advantages to developers: Developers can use rapid feedback loop which lets them enter various statements and execute them to see the results almost immediately. Support for both top-down and more traditional bottom-up development. For instance, when a developer uses a top-down approach, he can call-out functions that are not yet implemented and then add them when needed. Easier refactoring and code modifications (Developers do not have to change static type declarations throughout the code)

Parallel-diagnostics: Unlike Visual Studio 2008, the new Visual Studio 2010 supports debugging and profiling, extensively. The new profiling tools provides various data views which displays graphical, tabular and numerical information about how a parallel or multiple-threaded application interacts with itself and with other programs. The results enable developers to quickly identify areas of concern, and helps in navigating from points on the displays to call stacks & source codes. If you think only parallel programming abilities and promising capabilities make the MS .NET 4.0 a more promising next generation programming tool, think again! That’s not all. There are also a number of enhancements to the Base Libraries for things like collections, reflection, data structures, handling, threading and lots of new features for the web.

What is so SPECIAL on ASPHostDirectory.com ASP. Net 4 Hosting?

We know that finding a cheap, reliable web host is not a simple task so we’ve put all the information you need in one place to help you make your decision. At ASPHostDirectory, we pride ourselves in our commitment to our customers and want to make sure they have all the details they need before making that big decision.

We will work tirelessly to provide a refreshing and friendly level of customer service. We believe in creativity, innovation, and a competitive spirit in all that we do. We are sound, honest company who feels that business is more than just the bottom line. We consider every business opportunity a chance to engage and interact with our customers and our community. Neither our clients nor our employees are a commodity. They are part of our family.

The followings are the top 10 reasons you should trust your online business and hosting needs to us:

– FREE domain for Life ASPHostDirectory gives you your own free domain name for life with our Professional Hosting Plan and 3 free domains with any of Reseller Hosting Plan! There’s no need to panic about renewing your domain as ASPHostDirectory will automatically do this for you to ensure you never lose the all important identity of your site
– 99,9% Uptime Guarantee – ASPHostDirectory promises it’s customers 99.9% network uptime! We are so concerned about uptime that we set up our own company to monitor people’s uptime for them called ASPHostDirectory Uptime
– 24/7-based Support – We never fall asleep and we run a service that is opening 24/7 a year. Even everyone is on holiday during Easter or Christmast/New Year, we are always behind our desk serving our customers
– Customer Tailored Support – if you compare our hosting plans to others you will see that we are offering a much better deal in every aspect; performance, disk quotas, bandwidth allocation, databases, security, control panel features, e-mail services, real-time stats, and service
– Money Back Guarantee – ASPHostDirectory offers a ‘no questions asked’ money back guarantee with all our plans for any cancellations made within the first 30 days of ordering. Our cancellation policy is very simple – if you cancel your account within 30 days of first signing up we will provide you with a full refund
Experts in ASP. Net 4 Hosting – Given the scale of our environment, we have recruited and developed some of the best talent in the hosting technology that you are using. Our team is strong because of the experience and talents of the individuals who make up ASPHostDirectory
Daily Backup Service – We realise that your website is very important to your business and hence, we never ever forget to create a daily backup. Your database and website are backup every night into a permanent remote tape drive to ensure that they are always safe and secure. The backup is always ready and available anytime you need it
Easy Site Administration – With our powerful control panel, you can always administer most of your site features easily without even needing to contact for our Support Team. Additionally, you can also install more than 100 FREE applications directly via our Control  Panel in 1 minute!

Happy Hosting!

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Community Server Hosting 2008 ‘Group’ Related Overview

Posted by dotnetnerd on May 20, 2009

There is a new feature introduced within Community Server 2008 named Groups. Groups are smaller community sites that assemble the larger community sites. Practically, it could be referred to ones in Yahoo or Google.  Every Group could modify its own content, membership, and permissions of their members.

Introduction of ‘Group’

What could be called as a ‘Group’? A ‘Group’ can be constructed even by a single blog, a single media gallery and forum. A ‘Group’ can also be constructed by multiple blogs, media galleries and forums which contain ‘pages’.  The Group owner or administrator would have the authority to enable or abort this individual or multiple blogs, media galleries, and forums.

Previously, the blog, media gallery, and forum could run independently and still have the same function as if it were created under Community Server 2008 Groups. The advantage of creating the blog, gallery and forum within Community Server 2008 Group is the simplicity in managing and controlling within the ‘Group’ Control Panel.  Thus, Group owner or administrator could manage efficiently via the navigation options throughout the Group pages. 

The Creation of a Group

Who could create the ‘Group’?
1. System administrator by default
2. Any registered user via the Group Administration Control Panel

The user who is permitted to enable this function could access the option by clicking ‘Create a Group’ link in the sidebar of the ‘Group’ home page.

Other functions such as to create, edit and delete groups can also be accessed by System and Group Administrators via the Group Administration Control Panel.

Group Membership Options

Group membership offer options as follows:
1. ‘Public’ which consists of:
     a. Public for opened membership
     b. Public for closed membership and
2. ‘Private’ 

Public (Open Membership)

Public ‘Open Membership’ Group has the main characteristics as follows:
1. Group can be viewed by users who are not members of the group
2. Non-members cannot post new content or reply to existing content. 
3. Membership is granted automatically without being approved by the owner of the group when the  
   status of membership is open.

Public (Closed Membership)

Public ‘Closed Membership’ Group has the main characteristics as follows:
1. Groups can be viewed by users who are not members of the group.
2. Users must request approval of membership by the owner or administrator of the group 

Private

Private Group has the main characteristics as follows:
1. Groups and their content is unable to be viewed by non-members. 
2. Only the owner or administrator of the group is allowed to approve new members either by invitation
    or manually

Group Users of Membership Types and Features

There are four types of users within a group:
1.  non-member
2.  member
3.  manager and
4.  owner

Non-Member

Non Member main features are as follows:
1. In private groups, non-member cannot view or interact with any content.
2. In public groups, non-member can view but not interact with the group’s content.

Member

Member main features are as follows:
1. Able to view and reply to existing pages’ contents
2. Able to start new forum discussions or post their own media files when Group owner or administrator
    activates the permit via Edit Group page

Manager

Manager main features are as follows:
1. Possess similar features to regular members with additional features such as;
2. Post; Edit; Delete pages or blogs
3. Initiate new forum discussions including sticky posts, announcements, polls and
    videos
4. Modify and moderate the content of forum posts
5. Modify and moderate media files

Owner

Owner main features are as follows:
1. All features permitted for manager with additional ones as follows;
2. Modify the group
3. Approve and delete members

Group Theme

Group could also be themed individually. The owner of the group is the only type of user that able to select a theme for the group and arrange necessary support required for the theme. It could be accomplished by clicking the “Edit Group Theme’ option located at administrative sidebar of the group.

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How to Import and Export your SSL Certificate in IIS 7?

Posted by dotnetnerd on January 21, 2009

PFX Backup Tutorial for Microsoft IIS 7 Servers

The PFX extension is used on Windows servers for files containing both the public key files (your SSL certificate files)and the associated private key (generated by your server at the time the CSR was generated).Since both the public and private keys are needed for an SSL certificate to function, a PFX backup is always needed to transfer an SSL server security certificate from one server to another.

This tutorial explains how to back up your certificate from a working server, import the certificate to a second server, and then enable the certificate for use on the new server.

 

Exporting/Backing up your certificate/Private Key (to .pfx file format) 

  1. On Windows Server 2008, click Start -> Run
  2. Type in MMC and click OK
  3. Go into the File Tab > select Add/Remove Snap-in
  4. Click on Certificates and click on Add.
  5. Select Computer Account > Click Next
  6. Select Local Computer > Click Finish
  7. Click OK to close the Add/Remove Snap-in window.
  8. Double click on Certificates (Local Computer) in the center window.
  9. Double click on the Personal folder, and then on Certificates.
  10. Right Click on the Certificate you would like to backup and choose > ALL TASKS > Export
  11. Follow the Certificate Export Wizard to backup your certificate to a .pfx file.
  12. Choose to ‘Yes, export the private key’
  13. Choose to “Include all certificates in certificate path if possible.” (do NOT select the delete Private Key option)
  14. Enter a password you will remember
  15. Choose to save file on a set location
  16. Finish
  17. You will receive a message > “The export was successful.” > Click OK
  18. The .pfx file backup is now saved in the location you selected.
Importing your Certificate/Private Key (from .pfx file format)

  1. Start > Run
  2. Type in MMC and click OK
  3. Go into the File Tab > select Add/Remove Snap-in
  4. Click on Certificates and click on Add.
  5. Select Computer Account > Click Next
  6. Select Local Computer > Click Finish
  7. Click OK to close the Add/Remove Snap-in window.
  8. Double click on Certificates (Local Computer) in the center window.
  9. Right click on the Personal Certificates Store (folder)
  10. Choose > ALL TASKS > Import
  11. Follow the Certificate Import Wizard to import your Primary Certificate from the .pfx file. You will need to browse for .pfx files.
  12. Enter the password that was used when exporting the certificate to a .pfx file.
  13. If desired, check the box to “Mark this key as exportable.”
  14. When prompted, choose to automatically place the certificates in the certificate stores based on the type of the certificate.
  15. Click Finish to close the certificate wizard.
  16. Close the MMC console. In the case that you are prompted, it is not necessary to save the changes made to the MMC console.
Configuring Your Site – IIS 7

  1. Click on Start, then Administrative Tools, then Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. Click on the server name.
  3. Expand the Sites folder.
  4. Select the site to be secured (usually the default web site).
  5. From the “Actions” menu (on the right), click on “Bindings…” under Edit Site
  6. In the “Site Bindings” window, click “Add…” This will open the “Add Site Binding” window.
  7. Under “Type” choose https. The IP address should be the IP address of the site or All Unassigned, and the port over which traffic will be secured by SSL is usually 443. The “SSL Certificate” field should specify the certificate that was installed during the import process described above
  8. Click “OK.”
  9. Your SSL certificate is now installed, and the website configured to accept secure connections

 

Occassionally a server or IIS restart is required before your server will recognize the new certificate.

If you want to start your online e-commerce site on IIS7 environment, you can look for IIS7 hosting company that may be able to support you with the required SSL. There are few types of SSL that you need to consider and I will discuss it on my next post )

Remember! An SSL is an important measurement to indicates that your site is safe and secure for online transaction. Without an SSL to protect site, your customer will be reluctant to enter his personal financial information on your site

 

 

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How to install SSL in IIS7?

Posted by dotnetnerd on January 21, 2009

This post is the continuing article about getting the SSL to work on IIS7 and in order to generate the SSL, I highly advise you to read my article about generating the CSR in IIS7 first.

Once you have the CSR, you can continue with the following steps:

1. You need to contact any SSL registrar, namely Thawte, which will be able to issue you an SSL.

2. The SSL will come in the format of .CER or .CRT file and the “appearance” or the “content” of this file looks similar with the CSR file, i.e. it is unreadable 🙂

3.  On your Windows Server 2008, click on Start, then Administrative Tools, then Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

4. Click on the server name.

5. From the center menu, double-click the “Server Certificates” button in the “Security” section (near the bottom of the menu).

6. From the “Actions” menu (on the right), click on “Complete Certificate Request.” This will open the Complete Certificate Request wizard.

7. Browse to your_domain_name.cer file that was provided to you by DigiCert. You will then be required to enter a friendly name. The friendly name is not part of the certificate itself, but is used by the server administrator to easily distinguish the certificate.

8. Clicking “OK” will install the certificate to the server.

Note: There is a known issue in IIS 7 giving the following error: “Cannot find the certificate request associated with this certificate file. A certificate request must be completed on the computer where it was created.” You may also receive a message stating “ASN1 bad tag value met”. If this is the same server that you generated the CSR on then, in most cases, the certificate is actually installed. Simply cancel the dialog and press “F5” to refresh the list of server certificates. If the new certificate is now in the list, you can continue with the next step

9. Once the SSL certificate has been successfully installed to the server, you will need to assign that certificate to the appropriate website using IIS.

10. From the “Connections” menu in the main Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager window, select the name of the server to which the certificate was installed

11. Under “Sites,” select the site to be secured with SSL

12. From the “Actions” menu (on the right), click on “Bindings.” This will open the “Site Bindings” window

13. In the “Site Bindings” window, click “Add…” This will open the “Add Site Binding” window

14. Under “Type” choose https. The IP address should be the IP address of the site or All Unassigned, and the port over which traffic will be secured by SSL is usually 443. The “SSL Certificate” field should specify the certificate that was installed in step 7

15. Click “OK.”

16. Your SSL certificate is now installed, and the website configured to accept secure connections

Troubleshooting:

1. Open a web browser and visit your site using https. It is best to test with both Internet Explorer as well as Firefox, because Firefox will give you a warning if your intermediate certificate is not installed. You should not receive any browser warnings or errors. If you immediately receive a browser message about the site not being available, then IIS 7 may not yet be listening on port 443. If your web request takes a very long time, and then times out, a firewall blocking traffic on TCP port 443 to the web server

2. Note for ISA servers: If your ISA 2004 or 2006 server is not sending the intermediate certificate, you need to fully reboot the server. We have confirmed this to be true with many customers: ISA server will not properly send the intermedate certificate chain until after a full reboot
If you want to start your online e-commerce site on IIS7 environment, you can look for IIS7 hosting company that may be able to support you with the required SSL. There are few types of SSL that you need to consider and I will discuss it on my next post )

Remember! An SSL is an important measurement to indicates that your site is safe and secure for online transaction. Without an SSL to protect site, your customer will be reluctant to enter his personal financial information on your site

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How to generate CSR in IIS7?

Posted by dotnetnerd on January 21, 2009

On this post, I am going to elaborate the steps that you need to execute in order to generate the CSR (Certificate Signing Request). The CSR is an important key in SSL creation and without this, your SSL will never ever be generated properly. As you all know that the IIS7 settings and appearances are a lot different with the previous IIS6 version. All the menus and settings of IIS7 are now centralized into one big “panel” for easy access, unlike IIS6 in which every domain will have its own settings and menu.

The following are the steps to generate the CSR:

1. On your Windows Server 2008, Click Start, then Administrative Tools, then Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

2. Click on the server name. This is the main different with the IIS6, in which IIS7 groups all the main menus and settings on this “panel”

3. From the center menu, please find the item called “Server Certificates” in the “Security” section (it is near the bottom of the menu) and please double-click the item

4. Next, from the “Actions” menu (on the right), click on “Create Certificate Request.” This will open the Request Certificate wizard.

5. In the “Distinguished Name Properties” window, enter the information as follows:

    Common Name – The name through which the certificate will be accessed (usually the fully-qualified domain name, e.g., www.domain.com or mail.domain.com).

    Organization – The legally registered name of your organization/company.

    Organizational unit – The name of your department within the organization (frequently this entry will be listed as “IT,” “Web Security,” or is simply left blank).

    City/locality – The city in which your organization is located.

    State/province – The state in which your organization is located.

    Country/region – A country name

6. Click Next.

7. In the “Cryptographic Service Provider Properties” window, leave both settings at their defaults (Microsoft RSA SChannel and 2048 ) and then click next.

8. Enter a filename for your CSR file.
Remember the filename that you choose and the location to which you save it. You will need to open this file as a text file and copy the entire body of it (including the Begin and End Certificate Request tags) into the online order process when prompted.

If you want to start your online e-commerce site on IIS7 environment, you can look for IIS7 hosting company that may be able to support you with the required SSL. There are few types of SSL that you need to consider and I will discuss it on my next post 🙂

Remember! An SSL is an important measurement to indicates that your site is safe and secure for online transaction. Without an SSL to protect site, your customer will be reluctant to enter his personal financial information on your site .

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Installing WSS and Search Server Express

Posted by dotnetnerd on January 8, 2009

WSS is great and Search Server Express is great, put the two together and you have an awesome collaboration and search solution in one.

But Search Server Express includes WSS so why install both of them?

Answer: If you don’t already own a full SQL Server license then you Search Server Express provides MSDE which is limited to 4Gb of storage where as WSS include SSEE which is only limited by your local disk capacity (content database and concurrent user load effects on performance aside). So install both products and get (almost) unlimited WSS storage and Search Server Express MOSS like search capability

I wanted to install this configuration for my office as it represents good value for money.

They already had a W2K3 Server license + Windows CAL’s but no SQL Server. So I installed the following:

– WSS SP1 in Basic mode – provides unlimited storage SSEE database in single server only solution (no 4Gb limit like Express or MSDE)
– Upgrade to Search Server Express – adds SQL Server 2005 Express for the SSP Content and Search db (this gives you MOSS search functionality for WSS sites, web sites and Network Shares)

Note: due to memory requirements of 2 SQL instances and WSS Web Application you will need to tweak some memory setting but if you have more than 50 users you will probably need a minimum of 4 Gb, preferably 8Gb, of memory which implies 64Bit Windows.

Problems with default WSS Install

There are a few strange WSS settings when you install in Basic Mode. Most notably

– No domain accounts used
– “SharePoint – 80” IIS Web Site created (default IIS web site is also on port 80)
– Web application on “SharePoint – 80” default zone security is set to Kerberos

Problem: if you change the AAM from the server netbios name to a friendly DNS name and add the host header to IIS, users can’t login to the site.
Solution: Change the security provider for the Web Application Default zone to NTLM

Next, upgrade to Search Server Express following these instructions http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc297193.aspx#UpgradeBasic

Problem: I do not get this prompt and the Configuration Wizard fails trying to create the sample data.
Solution: Delete the “SharePoint – 80” then using Central Admin:

1. re-run the Configuration Wizard which will create a new “SharePoint – 80” web application
2. delete the default search site collection created in the root of the new “SharePoint – 80” web application
3. create a Collaboration site collection in the “SharePoint – 80” web application
4. change the AAM settings if you don’t want to use the server name + add IIS host header to “SharePoint – 80”
5. configure the SSP search settings as required

Now you go to the Site Settings page of your new site on the “SharePoint – 80” web application and:

1. create a new sub site using the Enterprise Search template
2. set the site collection search settings to use the new search site

The last problem, if you used a host header, is that the crawler is blocked from accessing IIS regardless of the crawl account or Web Application Policy. Follow these steps to resolve http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861

Problem: You are unsure on where to host your Windows Sharepoint
Solution: You may try ASPHostDirectory.com as it has a specialized, customized Sharepoint hosting plans to suit your needs. Well, just before you jump straight to MOSS 2007, I better advise you to try the smaller version of Sharepoint, which is Windows Sharepoint Service 3. With this host, you can start hosting it by just paying $5.99/month, not bad though! MOSS 2007 will cost you more than 500/month for a server, so it’s worth a try if the cost is “just” $5.99/month

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Design Pattern in Microsoft Model-View-Controller (MVC)

Posted by dotnetnerd on January 5, 2009

Today, I’m going to discuss about the Microsoft Model-View-Controller (MVC), its design pattern and implementation. MVC is a framework methodology that divides an application’s implementation into three component roles: models, views, and controllers.

M or “Models” in a MVC represents the based application are the components of the application that are responsible for maintaining state. Often this state is persisted inside a database.

V or “Views” in a MVC based application are the components responsible for displaying the application’s user interface. Typically this UI is created off of the model data.

C or “Controllers” in a MVC based application are the components responsible for handling end user interaction, manipulating the model, and ultimately choosing a view to render to display UI.

Features of the Microsoft MVC

Microsoft Model View Controller (MVC) delivers several primary benefits:

  • Separation of Concerns, Testability, and TDD – All core contracts within the MVC framework are interface based and easily mockable. unit test the application without having to run the Controllers within an ASP.NET process.
  • Extensible and Pluggable – Allow to plug-in your own view engine, routing policy, parameter serialization. It also support existing dependency injection and IOC container models.
  • Powerful URL Mapping Component Integrated – URLs do not need to have extensions within them, and are designed to easily support SEO and REST-friendly naming patterns.
  • Supports using the existing ASP.NET .ASPX, .ASCX – Allow users easily use existing ASP.NET features like nested master pages, declarative server controls, templates, data-binding and many more
  • Recent Changes in MVC Infrastructure

    Benefits of using a MVC includes separation of concerns between the models, views and controllers within an application. Maintaining a clean separation of concerns makes the testing of applications much easier, since the contract between different application components are more clearly defined and articulated. 

    The New Microsoft MVC Framework Design

    Web controls and page rendering logic that make up ASP.NET are implemented as classes in the .NET Framework. Yet the .NET Framework comprises much more than just ASP.NET. ASP.NET MVC hosting provides better support to IIS7. IIS7 and ASP.NET MVC modules and handlers support unified configuration. Infact, a user can have multiple versions of ASP.NET on the same machine.

    MVC Hosting Opportunity

    I have had a chance to try the MVC Hosting with a hosting company and so far, it’s been good. The package that I am paying for will cost me only $3.99/month and I can perform rigorous testing about MVC technology and design patterns. I will provide an update and review later on if there are new things come out.
     

    Posted in Windows Server 2008 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »