How to view documents using Visual Studio

View documents in Visual Studio with an amazing tool

Xpath Axes

A very useful trick for automation

Review: Spire.DataExport for .NET

A great tool for exporting data in .NET

How to install Arch Linux, step by step, for VMware Workstation (Part I)

First part of a installation tutorial for this beloved OS

How to setup a local repository in Ubuntu

The steps to have a local repo in Ubuntu

Monday, November 24, 2014

Google Contributor: The web without ads

Contributor by Google

We all know that most of the Internet is funded on ads. And I personally think this is OK: creating content and managing all the details of a site takes time and sometimes cash. Like radio or TV shows, creators of content need to find funding through ads. This is even more important for a solid industry in Internet. Just imagine this: there would be no social networks, Google, or any other free service if there weren't ads. But some people don't like ads. I'm not one of them, but some find ads so annoying that they would pay to get rid of them. This is already true for some mobile apps, mostly for Android. But what if you were willing to pay to get rid of ads in a regular website? Apparently, this is the question that they asked in Google, and the answer is Google Contributor, an experiment to eliminate ads in the sites you visit.
Basics Contributor

The idea is simple: you choose a contribution to be paid monthly to the participating sites and you'll see no ads there. Instead, there will be a "Thank you" message where the ads were before.
No ads Contributor

Ok, I don't see any ads and the content creator just said "Thank you". Is that all? Am I paying just for that? In short, no. The most important benefit for the user is something that everybody is losing online: privacy. Without ads, no one needs to track your preferences or your activity just to show you the right commercial offers. I'm pretty sure there are some people that totally would pay for that. Also, there's some controversy about advertisement as a source of revenue. For example, take into account this SWOT analysis for Facebook. Advertising as a source of revenue is taken as a weakness.

For now, Contributor is only an experiment, and you need to join a wait list to get and invitation and try it. However, this could be a new market for funding the web that's unexplored yet.

For more information, visit the official page of Google Contributor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to create SQL Server Backups from my Smart Phone

This time we will present a very cool tool.

Simple, fast and easy to learn, versatile. The tool is Sql Bak. You can download the software from this site:
https://sqlbak.com/

The functionality can be summarized in this picture:



You can control and send jobs to backup or restore your SQL Server Database from any device like:
  • A Laptop
  • An iPhone
  • A Windows Phone
  • An Android Device
  • A Linux/UNIX machine
Requirements:

You need to install the SqlBak in the Server with SQL Server Installed. The SqlBak program will allow you to control your application from any device!



Once installed, you have to connect to the SqlBak site and connect with any of these accounts:
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Facebook


Once logged, you can monitor the machines with the SqlBak installed.


I tried to access from my Samsung Galaxy without any problem. To create a new job. Press the Add new job button.


You can configure it to store the backups in the Clouds (Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, One drive, etc). In this example I tested Google Drive. Press the Run Now to run the Backup.


The log of the job will show you all the information related to the backup process and any problem that occurred. 


Here you can see some information in the Android device about the backup steps. You also have additional buttons to restore the backup or to download the file.

In this example, I tried it with Google Drive. Open Google Drive.


The file name is ReportServer201411161914.bak. As you can see, the file Repot...4.bak is now in Google Drive.

The SqlBak is a very powerful tool. It is a practical simple tool with a vision to the future. It is fully integrated with the new devices, the cloud and the social networks. It doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to hover the mouse on an element with Selenium

I use Selenium a lot for testing automation. It's a good tool, and it's completely free, and that's a plus in some projects with limited budget.

So, with that in mind, I'll show you how to hover the mouse on an element using Selenium and Java. I know it's something basic, but I think that I'll save you some time with these tricks. 

For Firefox:

Firefox has an excellent integration with Selenium. You can practically control every aspect of the browser directly from the code. The following code does the work. 



This could be an easy solution for everything, but unfortunately there's a bug for Safari. This is important because most of the times the automated test cases have to run against every important browser. The solution is to use JavaScript and call it from the Java code. In fact, you can use this technique to solve several problems, as long as you know how to use JavaScript. So, here's a workaround for the problem:



However, I noticed that this code does not work all the time. You'll have to find another JavaScript code to use, but that can take some time if you are not an expert on that language. Something that worked for me several times was to simply click on the element, or on the parent element. Usually, the simplest approach is the best.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to save automatically your SQL Server Backups in OneDrive, Google Drive

The clouds. All the time I hear about the clouds. Today with the smartphones, the storage capacity of the smartphones is not as big as the PCs and Laptops and now, the file storage in Dropbox, One Drive, Azure, Amazon S3, One Drive, Google Drive and etc. is more popular each day. 

People need to access to their data everywhere and the Cloud is the solution.

In this new article we will show a nice tool name SQL Server Backup and FTP. This is an amazing tool to automatically zip and backup our Databases in Dropbox, FTP Servers, Network drives, Amazon S3, Azure, Google Drive, One Drive, Box.

This article shows:
  1. How to send the SQL Server backup to One Drive.
  2. How to receive emails after the backups using SQL Server Backup and FTP.
  3. How to send the SQL Server backups to Google Drive.
1. How to send the SQL Server backup to OneDrive.

OneDrive  is a pretty nice free option to store your information on the Cloud. You only need a Microsoft Account. To Store your SQL Server

In SQL Backup and FTP, select the Add backup Destination Link.


Select the OneDrive option

Press the Authorize Button

 Sign in to the One Drive using your Microsoft Account (I am assuming that you already have an account in Google Drive).

You will connect to internet and the application will ask the permissions to access to OneDrive. Press Yes to accept the permission to the SQL Backup

The program will provide you a code that you have to copy and paste in SQL Backup and FTP.
Copy the authorization Code in the Authorization Code Window.


If everything is OK, now you will have OneDrive as a destination.
Press the Run Now Button to test.




If everything is OK, you will be able to visualize the backup in OneDrive.


2. How to receive emails after the backups using SQL Server Backup and FTP.

First specify the emails and then press the button to configure the emaisl.


There are 3 options.
You can use the Automatic which I strongly recommend because you do not need to configure something else. The Gmail option requires to Change your gmail security setting, which is not recommendable.


I received the following email from gmail:

Hi Daniel,

We recently blocked a sign-in attempt to your Google Account [calbimonte.daniel@gmail.com].

Sign-in attempt details
Date & Time: Friday, 14 November 2014 23:15:56 o'clock UTC
Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia

If this wasn't you
Please review your Account Activity page at https://security.google.com/settings/security/activityto see if anything looks suspicious. Whoever tried to sign in to your account knows your password; we recommend that you change it right away.

If this was you
You can switch to an app made by Google such as Gmail to access your account (recommended) or change your settings at https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps so that your account is no longer protected by modern security standards.

To learn more, see https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255.

Yours sincerely,
The Google Accounts team

You can also try the custom option, where you can specify the SMTP information.

In this article we will use the automatic option. If you press the Run now button to get the backup, you will receive an email similar to this one:


3. How to send the SQL Server backups to Google Drive.

You can also store your information in the Google Drive. You will require a Google Account for it.
In SQL Backup and FTP, select the Add backup Destination Link.


Press the Authorize button to get authorization from Google to store your information on the Google Drive.


You will be prompted a permission message on the Web Accept the permission and copy the Authorization code and paste on SQL Backup and FTP

                                      

Specify the folder where you want to store the file. It does not need to be an existing folder.



If you login to Google Drive, you will be able to see a sqlftpbackup folder with the backup file zipped.

As you can see, it is very easy to store our backups using SQL Backup and FTP.

I strongly recommend this product to you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Play SNES classic games online...legally!

Ok, it's time for a break. After all that code, I bet you need some time to relax. If you are like me, you still remember those great afternoons with the new SNES game. Who could forget the music and the bosses in Contra 3? Ok, now you can remember (or discover) all those great games for free and yes, legally.
Just go to http://www.snesfun.com/ and play! You need a browser with Flash, and that's it. Just in case, you can save your progress. I don't have any problems using the keyboard to play, but you may want to reproduce the experience more accurately. No problem, check the help section and you'll get all the instructions you need: http://www.snesfun.com/controller 

Just in case, for the younger people reading this, you'll be surprised by the complexity and extension of the old games. Believe me, these are actual games, not just pointless casual "games".

Just in case, here's the soundtrack of Contra III. Take into account that the technology resources those days were very limited, so the game compositors needed to create catchy music with a lot of limitations. Just give it a try! For example, hear this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Microsoft opensources .NET!


That image is contradictory, to say the least. But it looks like Microsoft is beginning the integration with the Open Source World. I don't really know what this means in business terms, but of course it's great new for everyone involved in software development.

Scott Guthrie made 3 specific announcements in his blog:


  • The Open Sourcing of the .NET Core Runtime and Libraries
  • .NET Core Framework on Linux and OSX
  • Visual Studio Community Edition
From those announcements, the one that caught my attention was the second: .NET Core on Linux. This is a excerpt of the original post:

We will be working closely with the Mono community as we complete our Linux port.  The Mono community have done a great job advancing .NET and Linux over the last decade.  Releasing the .NET Core source under an open source license is going to enable us to collaborate together much more closely going forward.  There are many Linux enhancements Mono has built that we would like to use, and likewise there are improvements Mono will be able to benefit from by being able to use the .NET source code.  Today’s set of announcements are a big win for everyone.

The Mono project team has made a great job. I'm glad they'll be participating on this. Some time ago I wrote an article about developing with C# in Linux. I never thought it would be official some day. It looks like Linux is getting more importance not only in the development world, but maybe in less specialized areas also.

What could raise some questions is the third announcement: VS Community Edition. Will there be a Linux version? What about VS Express? What will be the limitations? We'll have to wait to know.

Scott Guthrie made these announcements in the Connect() developer event opening keynote. I think this event will be very interesting. You can check it for free here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Installation step failed with Kali Linux 1.0.9a in VMware Workstation 10

Kali Linux: The new Backtrack! This distro is specialized on penetration testing. It's great, and it's more stable than its predecessor Backtrack (at least until now for me).

When I was installing it on a Virtual Machine I had a problem, so I share this little tip in the case you are facing the same problem. This is a screenshot of the issue. It happens in a random percentage of the "Installing System" step:


This happens when you try to install Kali with a separate /home folder. Check the options I used to reproduce this problem:

1. First, I used the entire disk, since this is a virtual machine.

2. Then, I selected the option to have /home separated. This what causes the issue.
So, to solve this, just select "All files in one partition". Then continue with the installation normally:
I hope this little tip is useful for someone!