Upgrading SSRS Tooling

Over the years I’ve been told that in order to support SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) files (RDL) that I had to install the decade-old Visual Studio 2008 product.

More recently, I came across some info that indicates that this may not be the case, so I’m sharing it here in case it is able to help someone upgrade to current tools.

VS 2008

To work on SSRS reports (RDL files) one needs Visual Studio 2008 with the BIDS extension installed.

BIDS download – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30438

Note

Historically, the Visual Studio shell used to create SQL Server content types has been released under various names, including SQL Server Data Tools, SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence, and Business Intelligence Development Studio. Previous versions came with distinct sets of project templates. To get all of the project templates together in one SSDT, you need the newest version. Otherwise, you will probably need to install multiple previous versions to get all of the templates used in SQL Server. Only one shell is installed per version of Visual Studio; installing a second SSDT just adds the missing templates.

SOURCE: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/ssdt/previous-releases-of-sql-server-data-tools-ssdt-and-ssdt-bi

VS 2017

It may be possible to work on SSRS reports with Visual Studio 2017 via the Microsoft Reporting Services Projects add-on.

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=ProBITools.MicrosoftReportProjectsforVisualStudio

This requires the SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) workflow to be installed via the VS 2017 installer.

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Git Fatal: Authentication failed for

Issue

> git pull –tags origin master

fatal: Authentication failed for ‘{repository URI here}’

Resolution

  1. Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Credential Manager in Windows
  2. Select Windows Credentials
  3. Scroll down to Generic Credentials
  4. Edit git: credentials with updated password

Authentication will now succeed

The quickest way to copy text from an image

In order to do this, first you need to download the desktop version of Microsoft OneNote (free download).

Note: This is aimed at Windows users, but may work on other platforms as well depending on OneNote’s support for the features on your platform.

After installing, press the following keyboard shortcuts:

Shift + Windows + S

Windows + N

Ctrl + V

Context Menu Key

image

Copy Text from Picture

This will copy the text from the picture into your clipboard so you can paste it into any application that accepts pasted text.

Be sure to double-check after you paste as this uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and for some typefaces, or from images that are blurry, it might not work as well.

This also works with photos, images downloaded from online, or even pictures taken with your mobile or digital camera.

Upgrading Magenic/MAQS from V4 to V5

If you get an error like this while upgrading Magenic/MAQS from V4 to V5:

Severity Code Description Project File Line Suppression State
Error Could not install package ‘Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration 2.1.1’. You are trying to install this package into a project that targets ‘.NETFramework,Version=v4.5’, but the package does not contain any assembly references or content files that are compatible with that framework. For more information, contact the package author.

Tried clearing the NuGet cache in VS 2017 but that didn’t help.

Solution

Troy Walsh suggested this solution…

Unfortunately, there is no clean upgrade path from V4 to V5.
The team has made several big changes, such as moving to .Net Standard 2.0, lazy initialization of the web driver, support for multiple web drivers in a single test, slitting of the config file sections and adding support for .Net Core to name just a few.

So there are 2 ways to upgrade

The hard way:

  1. Make sure you are using VS2017 or above
    https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=NuGetTeam.NuGetPackageManagerforVisualStudio2015#review-details
  2. Update your projects to 4.61 or above – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/standard/net-standard

  3. Update your using statments
    using Magenic.MaqsFramework to using Magenic.Maqs
  4. Use the system under test configurations
    Config.GetValue(“WebSiteBase”) to SeleniumConfig.GetWebSiteBase()
  5. Remove any project references to Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.UnitTestFramework
  6. Use nuget to add the MSTest.TestAdapter package
  7. Update your app.config so it has a Selenium specific section
  8. Set the App.config to copy always

The easy way:

  1. Install the latest MAQS templates. – https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=vs-publisher-1465771.MAQSOpenFramework
  2. Create a new project

Copy your code into the new project
Note* You will need to update your using statements and any place you use the config settings

SOURCE: https://github.com/Magenic/MAQS/issues/5#issuecomment-407429302

Get your Groove back by making a Windows CD toaster!

 

  1. Press the Start button and type Media Player then click to open it.
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  2. In the Organize menu, select Options…
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  3. Select the Rip Music tab.
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  4. In your Microsoft OneDrive account, create a Music subfolder and set that as the location to save ripped music.
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  5. In the Rip settings section set the recording format and audio quality to your liking, but make sure the Rip CD automatically and Eject CD after ripping boxes are checked (this is what makes it act like a toaster!)
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  6. Install and run the Groove Music app on your Windows 10, Android, or iOS device (install from the Store if needed: https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9wzdncrfj3pt) and sign in using the same Microsoft Account you use for OneDrive.
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  8. Now just insert a CD in the drive and watch the magic!

 

Notes:

  1. You can set this up on any PC with OneDrive and Windows Media Player so you can rip music at home, at work, or on the go.
  2. You can also copy music files you’ve already ripped into the OneDrive – even upload them to your Music folder via OneDrive in your favorite web browser on any device.
  3. Keep in mind, once the song is ripped, it must be uploaded which depends on your Internet connection – but as long as you’re not in a hurry, the experience will be magical. I set it up for my Mom and she was able to master the process – now she has all of her favorite music wherever she goes.
  4. Anyone in select regions can do this for FREE, no subscription required. Here’s a list of the places this will work today:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

More info:

https://www.microsoft.com/groove/Onedrive

Cortana on Band 2 can’t reach your Phone

One of my favorite features of the Microsoft Band 2 is the voice link to Cortana – without having to un-pocket my phone.  Unfortunately, when I tried that, I got the following message.

Cortana: Sorry, I couldn't reach your phone...

Fortunately, a brief chat with MS Band Support led me to this elaborate but effective solution.

  1. Unregister the Band from within the Microsoft Health app (under My Microsoft Band in the hamburger menu [≡]).
  2. Remove the Band from your Bluetooth settings screen (tap and hold to Delete)
  3. Uninstall the Microsoft Health app
  4. Restart your phone (on Lumia 950 XL, press and hold power button until the phone vibrates – then release the power button and phone will re-start)
  5. Reinstall the Microsoft Health app
  6. Reset the Band (swipe to the Settings tile [⚙], swipe right to Power [⏻], swipe right to Reset Device and confirm your selection)
  7. Go through the Band set-up process

After this, I was able to issue voice commands to Cortana through my Band 2 again.

Update: I used the voice command feature at about 6p after resolving the issue around 1p, but by 10p when I tried to use it, the feature had failed again, displaying this message.

Update #2 (2016-04-07): I put some feelers out on common support sites for Band 2 and the Lumia 950 XL. 

Cortana on Band 2 can’t reach your Phone (answers.microsoft.com)

Cortana on Band 2 can’t reach your Phone (forums.windowscentral.com)

How often are you able to successfully use Cortana via Band 2? (Straw.pl)

How often are you able to successfully use Cortana via Band 2? (Reddit)

All I was able to learn, after several weeks, is that it’s a very common problem (which is an understatement).  At this time, here’s what we seem to have learned:

Band 2 Cortana works fine with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

Band 2 Cortana doesn’t work with Windows 10 Mobile devices.

I took my fully updated Lumia 950 XL and Band 2 to my local MS store after scheduling an Answer Desk appointment.  I was told that this has been a known issue since November and that there seems to be very little discussion on it since then… it seems to have stalled.

Also, since my initial post, Band 2 and Microsoft Health apps have been updated and installing these updates have not resolved the issue.

It’s troubling to me that such core functionality of flagship products has gone unrepaired for six months!

Make Sure Bluetooth is on and your phone is close by

Update #3 (2016-06-09): Even though there have been several updates to Windows 10 Mobile (I’m now on Fast Ring), the Health App, and the Band 2 firmware, the problem still persists.  Rod Trent over at WinSuperSite.com has written the following article about the situation though:
Constant Problems with Windows 10 and Lumia 950 Make for Irate Microsoft Band Owners

Cortana and the future of Digital Assistants

A friend on Facebook asked “Do any of you use the voice system on your phone, and if so, what are your common uses?”

I use a lot of the base functionality of Cortana frequently such as setting reminders to remember to take things with me when I leave home – or remember to do things when I get to work – or remember to buy something when I’m near a particular store – or type of store.  Lots of managing one-offs or things that happen infrequently – like a reminder to change the furnace filter in 3 months.

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It’s great for kids.  I can say “You can play at the park for 10 more minutes” and then quickly set an alarm to go off when the time has elapsed.

I use the package tracking a lot, and directions (though I’ve been using Waze a lot lately and it doesn’t yet have Cortana support on Windows 10 Mobile – and is unlikely to improve because Google bought it and they’re trying to drive people to their platform).

I used the flight tracking to great effect when I volunteered to shuttle dignitaries to and from the airport for a large convention.  I could tell people if their flight was delayed and knew what gate to meet them at.

I use it for a lot of math or currency conversions (“What’s the price of Bitcoin in USD?”). Also dictionary and info like “Who is the CEO of Cisco?” or “When did Facebook start?”.

Since I have Cortana set to listen, I might be buttoning my shirt while getting ready for work and say “Hey Cortana, will it rain today?” and I get the answer.

Those are all things with enriched functionality and results – but anything else fails over to a search which is just a head-start on how most folks would find the answer anyway.

Using Cortana with apps

Two really cool things is that some apps tie in to Cortana – so I can have the Windows Central app read me the top tech news headlines – or the Skype app start a video call with someone.

She even ties into my fitness tracker (MS Band 2) and shows me a summary of my day’s activities, etc.  Plus I can ask Cortana things via the mic on my Band and get the results on the screen – considering all that she can do, it means that there are a lot fewer reasons to pull the phone out of my pocket.

Also, if you have Windows 10 (as I do on all devices) I can use Cortana on those devices to send SMS messages from my phone without fiddling with it.  I’d closely watch this space – more on it later.  She can also send emails without ever opening up an email app.

She can be set to respond to “Hey Cortana” prompts on PC as well as phone – and if both devices are within range she’ll do the task on both but seems smart enough not to make two copies of the task.

I also use her to track news items on topics of interest to me – such as news about political issues, technologies, companies I’m interested in, etc… and I see it in a useful summary form.  It’s a really good nexus to stay informed on the things I care about.

In summary, I use it a lot because there are a lot of little things I want to remember – but I don’t want them cluttering up my mind or my ToDo list until I need to do them.  If I forget something, it’s because I didn’t take the time to ask Cortana to remind me.

The future of digital assistants?

I do wish I could ask questions of Cortana and have the result sent to people who either don’t have Cortana or have it and ask me when they should be asking Cortana (my wife).  Maybe a feature like “Notify my Wife when I’m heading home for the night” or “Remind my Wife to have the left front tire checked for leaks next time she’s at the mechanic” – or even “Tell my Wife the weather forecast” (she already knows that what contact info to use for “my Wife”).

I’d also like to see interop with Siri and Google Now for tasks like “Find a good place and time to meet with my friend John Doe” then it’d maybe find places half-way between us, at venues we both like, that serve the kind of food we both like and fit into our schedules.  If I had a real assistant that’s the kind of thing I’d ask him/her to do most – and none of the digital assistants can “have my people talk to your people”.

Also, it’d be cool if Microsoft used the technology they developed for PowerShell to allow Cortana users to hand off computing tasks to the appropriate machine for the task at hand.

From your phone you could instruct your desktop PC (or several different desktops and tablets) to work together on a bandwidth or processor intensive task – then only send your phone the result. 

This kind of thing could get the job done much faster and save power and bandwidth by matching the right devices with the right tasks.