DB/TextWorks 11.0 Service Pack 1 now available

by Administrator Monday, May 26, 2008 9:50 PM

Inmagic, Inc. have announced that a service pack is now available for DB/TextWorks version 11.

This service pack includes fixes for the following issues.

  • Substitution lists where the code to the left of the colon is a single character do not perform the substitution
  • Several issues with Export Query Screen to HTML and Export Editing Form to HTML
  • A few issues with the HTML Preview feature in the Query Screen Designer
  • Added HTML Preview to available toolbar buttons for Query Screen Designer
  • Form Designer: addressed issue with "Large buttons on toolbars" option

The Service pack can be downloaded from the Inmagic Customer extranet at http://support.inmagic.com/downloads/extranet-files/service_packs.html

When distributed transactions go boing: Get Vista, XP, and SQL Server 2000 talking to each other

by Ted Jardine Wednesday, May 14, 2008 4:27 PM

From XP SP2 and on, all network communication coming out or getting to DTC (Distributed Transaction Coordinator) is disabled by default. For example, if a COM+ object attempts to update a SQL database on a remote computer using a DTC transaction, the transaction fails. Likewise, if your computer hosts a SQL database that components from remote computers try to access using a DTC transaction, their transactions fail. With Vista, it gets even more tightened down (see "Using MSDTC between Vista clients and Windows 2000 servers" for details).

On my development machine, I'm running Vista. As we still do the bulk of our work hooking into SQL Server 2000, I need to run that in a virtual machine; I haven't bothered making all these part of the same domain. Therefore, attempting to do some transactions (via System.Transaction.TransactionScope) makes everything go bonk if you're dealing with a setup like mine:

System.Transactions.TransactionException: The transaction has already been implicitly or explicitly committed or aborted.

And/Or:

The partner transaction manager has disabled its support for remote/network transactions.

And/Or:

MSDTC on server 'servername' is unavailable.

So here's how to make them all play nicely together so you can get back to getting productive work done:

(Caveat: this is for a development environment not production. Obviously, for production environments, you're going to have machines on the same domain, no sign of XP--or Vista for that matter--and can therefore tighten security up quite a bit...make that should tighten security up quite a lot)

  1. Enable MSDTC on Vista
    1. Run dcomcnfg (Component Services)
    2. Expand the "Component Services" node, then the "My Computer" node, then the "Distributed Transaction Coordinator" node
    3. Right-click on the "Local DTC" node and select "Properties"
    4. On the "Local DTC Properties", select the "Security" tab
    5. Select Network DTC Access, Allow Inbound, Allow Outbound, No Authentication Required, and Enable XA Transaction
      Note: reduced authentication security required because the machines are not on the same domain (in a production environment, they will be)
    6. Enable service auto start if you so wish:
      1. Run dcomcnfg again if necessary
      2. Locate Distributed Transaction Coordinator and right-click and select "Properties"
      3. In "General" tab, set startup type to "Automatic"
  2. Enable MSDTC on XP virtual machine
    1. Run dcomcnfg (Component Services)
    2. Expand the “Component Services” node, then the "My Computer" node
    3. Right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties"
    4. Select "MSDTC" tab
    5. Click "Security Configuration"
    6. Check/Select "Network DTC Access", "Allow Remote Clients", "Allow Inbound", "Allow Outbound", "No Authentication Required", and "Enable XA Transactions"
    7. Okay your way out after the MSDTC service automatically restarts
    8. Enable service auto start if you so wish:
      1. Open SQL Server Service Manager (SQL Server 2000)
      2. Select Distributed Transaction Coordinator and check "Auto-start service when OS starts."
  3. Firewall
    1. On both machines you must add msdtc.exe to your list of exceptions (C:\Windows\System32\msdtc.exe)
    2. You might need to also open port 135. I didn't, but I've heard you might.
  4. Run your transaction code to ensure that it works. If not, reboot both machines.

I got the above from a bunch of various blogs, forum posts, and KB articles. Two that were the most helpful were:

One character problem in DB/TextWorks v.11 substitution lists

by Administrator Monday, May 05, 2008 5:35 PM
A problem has been identified in DB/TextWorks v.11, whereby single character substitution lists are being ignored. Inmagic recommends that you implement a workaround by using 2 or more characters instead of one. They have reported that this will be fixed in the next service pack or next release (no date given). Please contact Andornot if you need assistance in modifying your one character substitution lists.

How to install Webpublisher on 64-bit IIS 7

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, May 02, 2008 5:37 PM

Further to my post called Webpublisher on Windows Vista, here is how to install Inmagic Webpublisher on IIS 7 in a 64-bit environment such as Windows Vista x64 or Windows Server 2008 x64.

These instructions are valid for DB/Text Webpublisher as well as CS/Webpublisher. Steps 1 - 5 are valid for 32-bit IIS 7 as well.

1. Ensure IIS is enabled

This screenshot shows which IIS features are enabled on my Vista x64 machine. The highlighted one is particularly important (IIS metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility).

iis7_vista_features_on

2. Install Inmagic Webpublisher

Follow the usual Inmagic install instructions.

3. Enable ISAPI-dll handler mapping on dbtw-wpd or ics-wpd virtual directory

Open the IIS Manager.

Open the Handler Mappings for the dbtw-wpd or ics-wpd virtual directory. (Figure below shows dbtw-wpd.)

dbtw-wpd

The ISAPI-dll handler is disabled by default.

isapi-dll_disabled

Enable the ISAPI-dll handler: right-click it, choose "Edit Feature Permissions", and check the "Execute" box. Click OK.

isapi-dll_enabled

4. Set the Webpublisher dll as an allowed restriction

In the IIS Manager, click on the machine root - this is the top level of the tree in the left column, which shows the machine name. You should see a number of machine-level features, including "ISAPI and CGI Restrictions", as below. If you do not see "ISAPI and CGI Restrictions", you have not properly enabled IIS settings in step 1.

machine_root

Open ISAPI and CGI Restrictions.

You may see Inmagic Webpublisher as an allowed restriction already. The path will point to the install location of dbtwpub.dll or icswppro.dll, depending on which version of Webpublisher you installed.

If you do not see Inmagic Webpublisher as an allowed restriction, you must add it. (Figure below shows DB/Text Webpublisher.)

add_restriction

5. Create an application pool for Webpublisher

Open Application Pools from the IIS Manager.

Add a new application pool to be used with Webpublisher, called "WebpublisherAppPool".

wpp_apppool

Go to the dbtw-wpd or ics-wpd virtual directory and open its Advanced Settings. Set the Application Pool to the new WebpublisherAppPool just created.

6. Enable 32-bit applications on the Webpublisher application pool

Open Application Pools from the IIS Manager.

Right-click on WebpublisherAppPool and select Advanced Settings.

Set "Enable 32-Bit Applications" to true. Click OK.

apppool_enable32bit

7. Get a drink. You're done.

Whatever drink you like. I like red wine, or on a hot day, gin and tonic.

Some more explanation

Whereas in IIS 6 you could run worker processes in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode, but not both, IIS 7 can run 32-bit and 64-bit worker processes simultaneously. And, as the above instructions make implicitly clear, you can set this behaviour on individual application pools.

 

Keyboard shortcut goodness: instantly size all columns in Windows Explorer!

by Ted Jardine Thursday, May 01, 2008 12:45 AM

Is just one shortcut worth a whole blog post? Yes.

I love keyboard shortcuts. I especially love it when I come across one that removes regular angst-causing silly stuff. One great silly-stuff-zapper shortcut is described in a post I just stumbled upon by James Blackwell.

A horrible thing about Vista: goofy things that happen in Windows Explorer. One of these Windows Explorer things in all versions of Windows, including Vista, is the way the views never show properly. in Vista, if you're lucky enough to have your Explorer window actually list files without thinking you're always in media mode (if you use Vista Ultimate or Vista Premium, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about), you're still never really fortunate enough to immediately see entire file names etc. as shown here: 

image

Press  Ctrl-+ (that's the Ctrl key along with the "+" key on the number pad) and voila:

image

All column names are sized as applicable in one fell swoop! Amazing! No more fumble-finger double-clicking on each column, which in Vista is even more fumblefingery than before.

Thank you Mr. James Blackwell. I don't know you, but you're a fine fellow (and yes, it was nice to first see "What Application Pool does this W3WP.EXE belong to").

UPDATE: As per one of the comments, yes this is still possible for a laptop. You just need to switch into numpad mode by holding down one more key usually called "Fn". And it's usually blue. Unless it's Denise's new laptop in which case it's probably red...because she likes it that way. So Ctrl-Fn-Shift-= makes it work on a laptop.

Tags: shortcuts | tips

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