Open Live Writer – Windows Live Writer Open Sourced!


If you have been using Windows Live Writer to do your blogging you know it was a bit of a PITA to get this up and running on your current platform. Well, this now will change as Microsoft added this to their stack of Open Source software, to keep it alive and allow you to propose enhancements:

“Open Live Writer is an open source application enabling users to author, edit, and publish blog posts. It is based on a fork of the wellloved but not actively developed Windows Live Writer code. Open Live Writer is provided under a MIT license.”

If you read this it is the evidence that it works, as it is written using the download link to the Open Live Writer installer you can find here:


Go to the Open Live Writer website and read all the details, or even better … fork it and start working on it!

Have Fun!

Back to Blogs … Installing Live Writer 2012

I lost my blogging tools in the process of testing Windows 10 and or reinstalling machines. I now finally came to install Live Writer back on my machine.

I am working on getting my way around Office365 Development. It appears that developing using VBA and VSTO Add-ins is soooo year 2000, time to move forward Winking smile.

Well, the real story is that in my day job I’m still on VSTO but it probably doesn’t come as a surprise if I say that Microsoft already spent at least four years (plus) by now on creating a new Add-in platform that is ready to target X-Platform (Windows, IOS, Android) development.

They still have a long way to go, many items within the current (COM) object model still needs to be addressed, but as time is moving forward the Office Development Team is making great progress in adding new features every day hopefully in the end getting in par with the VSTO capabilities. And let’s be real, the Office365 scope of today is so much bigger than the scope of the ‘old’ Office.

Anyway, I got rebooted, and if you can read this I was able to get Live Writer 2012 installed and to be ready for future posts.

Oh, and this is how I installed Live Writer – in case you want to join me and start your own blog:

[Thanks to Stefan to help out here:]

2013 MVP Global Summit Tips IV

So far we have seen in the 2013 MVP Global Summit Tips series what it is in general in Part I, a very important section on how to get around and what to use for transportation when you arrive at the airport in Part II while Part III covered some information about hotels, where to stay and how to get at your locations where the sessions are planned.

This section, part IV, is trying to cover some topics around finding your way in your ‘free’ time. Where to go and maybe get something to eat if you didn’t already get enough from eating the session snacks, welcome party food etc. etc.

Party Time

Besides interacting with your Product/Program Group the MVP Global Summit is all about networking, meeting new people. Other MVPs or Microsoft employees and maybe some local contacts.

The first and most obvious option at the MVP Global Summit are the scheduled evening events put together by the MVP Program. In general at an MVP Summit there are three types of evening events where you will get the opportunity not network and meet others that you can find in your schedule planner:

Welcome Reception

The Welcome Reception is in general planned at the first evening of the Summit. They will provide you with enough food and drinks to get around so although it is not staged as a full dinner you probably won’t feel the need to get out and have -another- eating event that night. This first event is mainly meant to be a social event to find others from your country, expertise or whatever works for you.

Product Group Dining

Another event is highly depending on the Product Group of your expertise. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of different events, some smaller events if your PG is a small team. Maybe going to a restaurant and have a PG dinner with members of the team. Or bigger dining areas are shared among more than one Product Group. You can imagine that groups like the Developer Division or the Windows group are large enough to fill up places like The Commons Mixer building and have a huge social event with just the developer geeks or the Windows dudes. It’s hard to tell you anything around these events as they are all in different locations, on and off campus, and with complete different groups of people. Just wait and see what is going on in your expertise area. Maybe nothing … if that’s the case there are plenty of other options to get around in the Bellevue area.

MVP Party

The third, and main event is often the MVP party. A large venue to go to with -all-, yes -all- attendees and a lot of PG members from Microsoft. These events are never the same, sometimes (how can’t it be after 20 years of MVP) the same venue but food, music and fun things to do are never the same. This is the main planned event to have fun after a full day of information and listening.

Party Transportation

So, you had a couple of drinks while eating … should you hire a cab? No! Same as with the sessions transportation between the event venues and hotels (at least the hotels available and booked through the MVP site) are all arranged for. You can just drag your tired body into the bus and wait for the driver to call your hotel. Hop off and go to bed! Easy as that.

Unofficial events

Besides the events arranged and scheduled by the MVP Program Group there are several other events going on outside the scope of the MVP Global Summit. There are MVP’s organizing their ‘own’ events like the famous Party with Palermo or events by the big software and courseware boys Telerik, Pluralsight and lots and lots of other events. Some of the events are restricted to smaller groups of ‘Insiders’ others are available on a first come first serve base where only so much tickets are available.

For a quick overview of events identified there is a small website available called MVPSummitEvents. A long list of events, where the art is to find someone to get you an invite. Best option to get is is often to ask a veteran MVP, someone who has been there for years already. Maybe he/she has another ticket left and you could be the lucky one!

Parties Only?

So if you read all of this you may think that the MVP Global Summit is all about partying, eating, drinking and sleeping. I can tell you it is NOT. The main part of the Global MVP Summit is still hard work, interacting with your product groups, discussing technical issues, giving your view of what you think is completely wrong and should be changed or showing the areas where they really did the right thing in your opinion. The Product Group wants to hear from you in this week stuffed with sessions. It’s all about feedback and learning from your peers and Microsoft technicians.

But be careful, if you are asked NOT to share information on specific items, topics or subjects not ready to share to the outside world you just can not talk to anyone about it.

If you break that trust there is a big chance this was your last MVP Global Summit you ever visited. But even worse, you also spoilt it for the ones privileged to be invited for the -next- MVP Global Summit because the team might be holding back on information until the group of MVP’s earned a new level of trust. So don’t do it, keep it to yourself, study the information you received and learn from it.

What’s Next

I am quite busy, so not sure if I can write you another post before I’ll be flying over the ocean but I want to try to at least share another post on shopping in the Bellevue area. So hang in there … and if not … have fun at YOUR MVP Global Summit in about a week from now!

Team Foundation Server 2010 on Port 80

Team Foundation Server 2010

Last week I had the situation where we wanted to use Team Foundation Server 2010 but IT locked down most of the required network options. Basically it came down to the fact that only the most basic form of Internet protocols were in place, i.e. http traffic on port 80.

First option … convince the IT guys to open other ports (8080) on the network. Hmm, tried it, been there, no option. These are the NO-guys!

So here we are, we have a Team Foundation Server installer that installs on port 8080 by default and a network on port 80. Wouldn’t it be an option to just reinstall and enter port 80 as the port to install Team Foundation Server on?

Well, no. The deployment in this case was a ‘small’ one (virtual) server installation with SharePoint, Reporting Services and TFS on the one box. And TFS just does not like it when there already is someone else (SharePoint) covering the standard 80 port.

So standing up a new instance on port 80 is not an option unless you decide to move all your other port 80 services to another box.

That leaves nothing else than either give up move into the virtual domain and accept that port 80 is not an option or to go on into the well known trial on error debugging mode and see how we can open things up on port 80!

Giving up obviously is for the weak of heart but not for me. So let’s do it!

What I did is to start off with the default installation using port 8080 and later on try to move it over to port 80. (I already tried installing on port 80 but this hit so many issues that I reverted everything back to the original status and settled for installing on port 8080)

OK, first let’s try to fix the issue where port 80 is already in use by SharePoint. From several earlier endeavors in network land I was aware of the Host Name feature where you use different names to identify several services on one port. What we do now is moving the default SharePoint http://<servername> to http://sp.<servername> but leave the service on port 80.

This step will be a bit different for TFS on SharePoint Services and TFS on SharePoint Server. I will highlight both options here.

For SharePoint Services go to the “SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration” tool and under Operations select “Alternate Access Mappings”

Click the “Alternate Access Mappings” and select “Edit Public URLs”

Select the  “Default Web” from the listbox in the top right corner and change the “Internet” textbox to http://sp.<yourdomainorserver>

Because your machines need to resolve the URL given here you should add the entries also to your DNS server. To test it I didn’t add the URLs to my DNS (especially as this is managed by the NO-guys) but added them temporary to the hosts file (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc) on both the server as the client machine.

Let’s rewind and do it again for SharePoint Server 2010:

Open IIS, select the web entry that covers the SharePoint port 80 entry. Right click and select the Site Bindings option from the menu and edit the existing entry. Leave it all as it was except for the Host Name. Change the textbox to http://sp.<yourdomainorservername>

While you are at it in IIS now browse to the SharePoint Admin Site “SharePoint 2010 Central Administration” and under System Settings click on “Configure alternate access mappings”

Select the SharePoint – 80 web and change the default entry to http://sp.<yourdomainorservername> as well. (I guess you could do the same thing as with the SP Services option, to leave the default as is and change the Internet box to http://sp.<yourdomainorservername> but I must admit that I didn’t test that.

Now we can test to see if we can access SharePoint on http://sp.<yourdomainorservername>.

On your client PC this would not be an issue but when you try it on the server you’ll hit a security issue blocking the site. In order to resolve this next hurdle we will make some changes in the registry.

The steps for this are also described in Kb 896861: but I will present them here as well.

The first registry entry we are setting is setting the DisableStrictNameChecking registry entry to 1.

  1. Locate and click the following key in the registry:
  2. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:Value name: DisableStrictNameChecking
    Data type: REG_DWORD
    Radix: Decimal
    Value: 1

Next setting the BackConnectionHostNames …

  1. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry key:
  2. Right-click MSV1_0, point to New, and then click Multi-String Value.
  3. Type BackConnectionHostNames, and then press ENTER.
  4. Right-click BackConnectionHostNames, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Value data box, type the host name or the host names for the sites that are on the local computer, and then click OK.
  6. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart the IISAdmin service

In this case you will add http://sp.<yourdomainorservername>. Later on you will add http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername> to cover the TFS entry.

Registry entries done? Best thing to do here… reboot the server (You may get away with only doing an IISReset but if you want to be sure … reboot it).

Now you’ve rebooted, check the new SharePoint entry in your browser. Open up the browser and goto http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername>. If all goes well you now see the next picture.

TFS will be our next stop. This is where this exercise all started.

Instead of changing the Host Name here we will add a new Host Name and leave the 8080 entry intact. Right click in IIS the Team Foundation Server entry, select the Site Bindings option and click the Add button to add a new entry. Create a type http to All Assigned on Port 80 named http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername>. Now do another IISReset.

Next thing to do is get into TFS Administration Console and select the Application Tier and hit the “Change URLs” option.

Within the Change URLs dialog change the Notification URL to http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername> and make sure the Server URL is http://localhost:8080/tfs

You will notice that when you select the “Use : “ radiobutton and enters http://localhost:8080/tfs that after closing the dialog and reopen it will change back to the “Use Localhost” radio button. Just check on the Application Tier page that the server URL shows http://localhost:8080/tfs

Make sure this dialog shows you’re the both ports 80 and 8080.

So, now this should do the trick don’t you think? Let’s try it…. open http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername>/tfs in your browser

WTF!! Another error, will this never end?

Here we go again, solving another issue. What happens is that on the serverside TFS tried to resolve things to port 80 as your initial call was on port 80. Now you have to make clear to the server that it needs port 8080 internally.

In order to do this, edit the web.config file found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Application Tier\Web Access\Web

In the web.config you find the entry:

<!– <add name=”
http://server:8080″ /> –>

Change this to (note the slash tfs extension):

<add name=”
http://<servername>:8080/tfs” />

Save the web.config and do another IISReset (better safe than sorry) end retry testing your TFS site: enter http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername>/tfs

Yess, this time it worked as expected.

Once you have this in place you can try to connect to your new port 80 URL from within Visual Studio 2010.

By doing all this you should now be able to resolve your SharePoint site and TFS site on the single server by using a set of hostnames instead of ports:

– http://sp.<yourdomainorservername>
– http://tfs.<yourdomainorservername>

As far as I have seen so far everything is working like it should work. Reporting was already available on port 80 but you could decide to move this also to something like http://reporting.<yourdomainorservername>. I’m not yet in the position to also test if this all interferes with build services or test management so let me know if you hit on issues where moving to port 80 interferes.

Don’t forget to request for the two (or more in case you include reporting) DNS entries with the IT guys and remove the entries from the hosts files you created earlier to resolve the names.

For now I’m very happy to getting it all to work on port 80 to be able to work within our ‘locked down’ network! It turned out to be a very big article but I hope it will serve you as a reference to set up your own ‘port 80’ installation.