To Vector or to Vector : Vector3D confusion in Unity3D

As you know, I have been dipping my feet in Unity3D for sometime now and have been talking to a few people. Unity has been attracting users/developers from a vast range of backgrounds, from artists to Ph.D holders and hard core developers. As with any 3d package, you need to rely quite a bit on Maths to Continue reading “To Vector or to Vector : Vector3D confusion in Unity3D”

What the hell is cloud?

This was the question pointed right at me, while at a party, when I told a bunch of guys that I work on SharePoint solutions on cloud. It was an awkward situation to be in and somehow an image installation by Berndnaut flashed in front of my eyes.

An artist, Berndnaut Smilde, created cloud inside a room. Berndnaut Smilde creates clouds using a smoke machine, combined with indoor moisture and dramatic lighting to create an indoor cloud effect. This print is called Nimbus II, 2012 cloud in room.

Continue reading “What the hell is cloud?”

Nuisances of starting developing Apps for SharePoint 2013–Summarized

Yesterday when I wrote about my experiences about starting to develop Apps for SharePoint 2013, I got some feedback to consolidate the steps. So here it goes…

In nutshell, you follow the blog here at TechNet and setup you developer machine with the required tools.  Make sure you give a good read Step 4 Install Development Tools in the blog thoroughly and configure the configure the app domain isolation and services properly.  Once the tools and services are in place, here are the steps that you need to follow to make sure you can start developing apps for SharePoint 2013, without issues.

  1. My farm setup is as below:
  2. Make sure your development user account is different from System Account. Ideally you should install SharePoint (and have the System Account) with least-privilege account and development with different account.
  3. Make sure your development user is having following permissions within SharePoint:
    • User is part of Farm Administrators group
    • User is part of Site Collection owners group
    • User is local administrator on the SharePoint machine (just to avoid entering admin credentials for every UAC prompt, else not required)
  4. Make sure your development user is having DB_Owner permissions on the following SharePoint databases:
    • Config DB
    • Content DB (for the site collection where you are going to deploy apps)
    • AppMng_Service_DB_{GUID} (where {GUID} would be a random GUID assigned to the DB name)

Once you are done with these steps, login into SharePoint development machine using development user credentials and start developing Apps for SharePoint 2013.

Happy Apps!

Nuisances of starting developing Apps for SharePoint 2013

Recently I was into a SharePoint 2013 overview training. Though the theory was fine, starting the actual App Development was a major hiccup, due to few changes that an experienced SharePoint developer would not expect.

As most of you would know by know, that SharePoint 2013 app development is supported in 2 ways:

But how about the traditional way of development? Where you had SharePoint and Visual Studio and tools, everything locally and do the deployment and testing without much fuss? Remember, setting up a SharePoint developer workstation?

Continue reading “Nuisances of starting developing Apps for SharePoint 2013”

Coding and life; what our kids are missing

Wandering around the land of Facebook, came across a video (watch it above) shared by a common friend. It got me thinking back in the time when I first got access to a PC (maybe way back in 1988 or 89) with a green screen and a blinking cursor announcing proudly the DOS prompt.

I just cannot forget the rush, the excitement of running first set of commands on DOS prompt and toying around with BASIC, DBase. Document editing with WordStar and WordPerfect. Playing around with DotMatrix printers and access to first Daisy Wheel Electronic Typewriter and excitement of connecting it to a computer and watching with wide wondering eyes, as each character printed itself (without touching the keys).

So what has learning to code to do with everyone’s life? Continue reading “Coding and life; what our kids are missing”

How to find all the websites using enterprise features in SharePoint

A customer came up and said, we are having a large number of SharePoint Enterprise licenses and we want to know how many websites in our Farm are actually using Enterprise features of SharePoint.

In SharePoint, enterprise features are available by enabling the SharePoint Feature called as “PremiumWeb” with featureID as “0806D127-06E6-447a-980E-2E90B03101B8”. A good list of available enterprise features and their contents is available at

Now to find out which websites are actually have the Enterprise features (using them or not, is a totally different area of discussion) enabled for them, we should be easily able to iterate through the webs and their sub-webs and then check the feature list of each SPWeb object and see if we have “PremiumWeb” feature available or not. If the feature exists, that particular web has got enterprise features enabled.

Below is the code that I used to create a sample console application, which would give us a count of SPWebs which have got “PremiumWeb” feature enabled.

namespace FindPremiumWebs 
    class Program 
        static long featureCounter = 0; 
        static void Main(string[] args) 
            if (args.Length > 0) 
                Console.WriteLine("Checking webs under {0}...", args[0]); 
                Console.WriteLine("Found {0} webs using Enterprise Features.", 
                Console.WriteLine("URL not specified"); 
        public static long getAllPremiumWebs(string siteURL) 
            using (SPSite site = new SPSite(siteURL)) 
                using (SPWeb web = site.RootWeb) 
            return featureCounter; 
        private static void CheckSubWebs(SPWeb web) 
            foreach (SPWeb subWeb in web.Webs) 
                foreach (SPFeature feature in subWeb.Features) 
                    if (feature.Definition.DisplayName == "PremiumWeb") 

This console application expects that a URL of the root site be passed to it and it will iterate all the sub-webs under that root site and give out a total count of webs using (oops! enabled with) enterprise features.

As always… Happy Coding

Control a Windows Service from SharePoint Central Admin site

You are a very good developer and have created a great windows service that works like a charm and your CEO likes the functionality and would love to have your SharePoint Administrator control it from the SharePoint Central Administration Site !!!!

What a lovely scenario 🙂

But what also is interesting in this is, that the usual way to control windows services will not work properly when used from within the SharePoint. So then how do you do it? Well, SharePoint itself comes to our rescue and provides us a couple of classes knows as SPWindowsService and SPServiceInstance which will allow you to control your windows service from SharePoint.

Well, there are a few steps that you need to follow to make sure you are able to control and use the windows service from within the SharePoint’s context.

  • Use the classes SPWindowsService and SPServiceInstance classes to wrap the Windows Service.
  • Add these services to the Services to the servers of the farm.
  • Register the service to the desired servers in the farm.
  • Provide custom aspx pages (as Application Pages) that can be used to start/stop the service.
  • Use SPJobDefinition to start the service. This way, the service can also be started on a remote server.

For further reading, I would suggest that you go through this article in April 2009 edition of MSDN magazine.