Friday, August 24, 2018

Create/Update an offline installation of Visual Studio 2017

In this article we learn that how to create an offline installer for Visual Studio 2017. Recently Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8 Released and then i have updated Visual Studio 2017 on my laptop. I have another machine which does not connect with high speed internet so I need to install Visual Studio through offline installer (ISO).

Microsoft designed Visual Studio 2017 installer to install specific modules (workload-based model) and allows to install minimal set of features to start development using Visual Studio.

Create Visual Studio 2017 offline installation media
Step 1 – Download the Visual Studio installer setup
It is recommended to use Visual Studio web installer because it will always install/ update to the latest version of the Visual Studio 2017.

Visual Studio 2017 Installer

Download the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 Web installer by clicking below links
Visual Studio Community 2017 | Visual Studio Professional 2017 | Visual Studio Enterprise 2017

Visual Studio 2017 Installer

Step 2 – Create/ Download installation setup files
To create updated version installation for Visual Studio, use the below command create or update the existing installation layout to a newer version. You don't have to specify any additional command-line parameters.
vs_enterprise.exe --layout d:\vs2017ent
It will create a complete local installation media for Visual Studio 2017 with all features and definitely it will take lots of time to download all the work loads.
You can also specify the language at the Visual Studio to download so that it will download installation files for the specified set of languages only
vs_enterprise.exe --layout d:\vs2017ent --lang en-US
In my case, I have already downloaded Visual Studio 2017 installation files earlier. This time I need to update this installation layout to transfer update on my offline computers.


Once the offline installation files saved at the specified location then transfer it on another computer and ready to install the Visual Studio 2017.


Click the vs_setup.exe file to start the installer then install the Visual Studio after selecting the required development environment features you want to install.

Clean up previous version obsolete package

During the update process of existing Visual Studio installation files, my computer drive gets full and some of the packages failed to download. I checked the installation layout folder and found that there are previous version packages also exists. I have removed few of them manually to complete the download process.

Visual Studio installations files folder size incrementally increase whenever we update the existing installation files. Visual Studio installation folder may have some obsolete packages that are no longer needed by the latest Visual Studio installation.

You can use the --clean option to remove obsolete packages from an offline cache folder.

Step 1 – Find file path(s) to catalog manifest(s) that contain those obsolete packages

You can find the catalog manifests in an "Archive" folder in the offline layout cache. They are saved there when you update a layout. In the "Archive" folder, there is one or more "GUID" named folders, each of which contains an obsolete catalog manifest. The number of "GUID" folders should be the same as the number of updates made to your offline cache.

Step 2 - Run the “—clean” command by supplying the files paths to these catalogs

vs_enterprise.exe --layout d:\vs2017ent --lang en-US --clean d:\vs2017ent\Archive\d88a0497-7bee-42ad-8ea5-3361cd52e075\catalog.json

Create an offline installation of Visual Studio 2017
Install Visual Studio 2017 on low bandwidth or unreliable network environments
Update a network-based installation of Visual Studio

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SignalR – Create a simple application

SignalR is addition to the ASP.NET. It is started as an opensource project by some members of ASP.NET team. Due to its features and usability it is incorporated in the ASP.NET and officially become the part of the Microsoft ASP.NET.
SignalR enables you to do real-time communications between your browsers and server so that you push real-time updates to the browsers. Signal usage the technology that each browser support to enable real-time communication for example. If you are using the Internet Explorer 6 then used web pooling but in case of the current updated browser it used WebSocket.
Web pooling
In case of latest and updated clients, WebSocket make the real-time communication easy
Image create from -
SignalR does a quite bit more for the real-time communication. It is capable of communicating with multiple mobile and desktop clients.
It supports both ASP.NET and OWIN for open web interface for .NET. It can work with different Backplanes and using these Backplanes you can have multiple webserver which can in sync with each other. All of these keep real-time communication with different type of clients.
SignalR Components
For example, a client pushes a update to one of your webserver and that webserver communicates over the Backplanes to another web server which sends information down to a client using jQuery and html it is all setup for you through SignalR.
Let’s create a small SignalR example: This example is just for showing the functionality. In this example we just create static variable to know the active connections.
Open Visual studio and create an empty ASP.NET application
Then add a SignalR Hub Class, but there is another option is available “SignalR Persistent Connection Class” which something low level connection. SignalR Hub Class is high level implementation use. Now right click on the project in Solution Explorer and select New -> New Item to add a Hub Class named “ActiveConnectionCounter”.
Once you add this class file to the project then required references automatically added to the project e.g. jQuery and react JavaScript libraries.
Now the add static variable to keep the active connections and rename default create method name to “NotifyNewUser”. After that notify the all clients about the active connections change by specifying a dynamic method as shown in the below code snippet.
namespace WebDev.AspNetReact
    public class ActiveConnectionCounter : Hub
        static int activeConnections = 0;
        public void NotifyNewUser()
            activeConnections += 1;
            //Notify all users about the active users by passing value to a dynamic method
Now time to trap the disconnected event so that we can notify about the disconnection of the any user. To do so override the OnDisconnected method and notify the all clients after decreasing the active connections.
public override Task OnDisconnected(bool stopCalled)
    activeConnections -= 1;
    //Notify all users about the active users by passing value to a dynamic method
    return base.OnDisconnected(stopCalled);

Now in implementation client call the method NotifyNewUser to notify the new user active on the website and client notified using the “onAtiveConnectionChanged” callback.
To complete the example, add a html page to the project using Project->Add New Item menu or by right click on project.
Add a <div> to show the active users count and required JavaScript libraries e.g. jQuery, jquery.singalR.
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <script src="Scripts/jquery-3.3.1.min.js"></script>
    <script src="Scripts/jquery.signalR-2.2.2.min.js"></script>
    <div id="activeUserCount"></div>   </body>

After that add script to initiate the communication.

<script type="text/javascript">
    $(function () {
        var cn = $.hubConnection();
        var hub = cn.createHubProxy('activeConnectionCounter');
        hub.on('onAtiveConnectionChanged', function (i) {
        cn.start(function () {
            //Invoke Server method name

Though we have created an empty ASP.NET project so we need to configure OWIN or map SignalR a startup. To do this create one Class with name Startup.cs under “App_Start” folder in the solution explorer.
using Owin;
namespace WebDev.AspNetReact
    public class Startup
        public void Configuration(IAppBuilder app)

There are three way to configure the OWIN and they are described here - OWIN Startup Class Detection.
Now example is ready. Run the application and open the html page URL in different browsers.
Here we have created an example to start learning about the SignalR application and to know about the Visual Studio tool go through the tutorial.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Upgrade SQL Server 2014 to SQL Server 2016/17

In previous article “SQL Server Installation Guide for Beginners” will help you do a clean install. However, it is for SQL Server 2005 but steps are most of same for the latest version of the SQL Server,

First prepare for upgrade SQL Server and check the Supported Version and Edition Upgrades for SQL Server 2017.

Along this consider to check “Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server”.

The first would be Prepare for upgrade by running Data Migration Assistant. It will let you know that it there any obstacles in upgrade to SQL Server 2016/17. Here is an nice explanation and migration steps to SQL Server.

Mount/insert the SQL Server 2016/17 installation ISO or media. double-click Setup.exe. Now it will open the SQL Server installation center.

Upgrade SQL Server 2014 to SQL Server 2016/17

To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server, click Installation in the left-hand navigation area, and then click “Upgrade from a previous version of SQL Server”.


On the next step enter product key for the SQL Sever version/edition that you have. If you have MSDN static key then the existing key will work for you.


At “Accept License terms” page select the I accept the license terms check box, and then click Next.


Now setup checks for the installation files and any update available.


After setup files validation it checks for the Upgrade Rules


if there are no rule errors then at the next step, select the instance to upgrade.


Select features that you want to install/remove. By default the features to upgrade will be preselected on the Select Features page.


On the “Instance Configuration” page, you need to specify the Instance ID for the instance of SQL

On next step, the” Server Configuration” page the default service accounts are displayed for SQL Server services.


Press next to proceed to the “Full-text upgrade” page. There are three options – Import, Rebuild, and Reset. Specify the upgrade options for the databases being upgraded. For more information, see Full-Text Search Upgrade Options. For my case I was upgrading from SQL Server 2014 so I decided to import the existing one.

Now it will check the "Feature Rules" in the next step and display the summary after validation.


In my case, there was an error related SQL Server analysis service.

To Resolve the issue, we need to start the analysis services. Follow this step by step article to resolve this SQL Server Analysis Services start issue.


Now setup wizard advances to the upgrade page which displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. Click Install to continue.

At this step required prerequisites installed for the selected features to upgrade.


Click on “Upgrade” button to start the upgrade process and It will show the progress information.


When the upgrade process completes then you will see the installed features status. Pressing OK button on the “Computer restart required” dialog to disappear it.


Press “Close” button to finish the upgrade process.

Now we have done with SQL Server upgrade process to SQL Server 2016 and 2017.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Fix SQL Server Analysis Services start issue

Today I was upgrading an instance of SQL Server to SQL Server 2016. During the installation, I got below error at Feature Rules validation step.

SQL Server Analysis Service

From the error message I found that SQL Server Analysis Service is up. So below are the steps to resolve the SQL Server Analysis Service start issue:

Step 1: Press Win+R keys and type “compmgmt.msc” to open the component management console

SQL Server Analysis Service

Step 2: Expand the SQL Server Configuration node and then select SQL Server Services. On the right panel you will find the SQL Server Analysis Service and the state would be Stopped.

Step 3: Now right click on Start SQL Server Analysis Service if fails the solution is the go to logon and change the SQL Server Analysis Service and select start from the menu.

SQL Server Analysis Service

If everything is correct on your system then this service gets start on your system and Hope this way work for you in first attempt. But this not happened with me easily and I got error message “Windows could not start the SQL Server Analysis Services (MSSQLSERVER) service on Local Computer”:


In my case, after investigation on the system I come to know that the account which had permission on the Network account was by mistake deleted and I followed the below steps to start the service with different user account on the system:

  1. Right clicked on the SQL Server Analysis Service and select “Properties”
  2. On the Logon tab, browse the local administer account or another user account that has enough privilege to impersonate the service:

Now attempt to start the service. If provided account has permission and privilege then it will get start immediately.

I was not able to make it work after providing the administrator account credentials. The above image was after the service get start and to make it work I tried to search about the error message and found some reference about this message here.

I found information to get the further steps to fix the issue that when an SQL Server Analysis Services instance starts, it’s actually looking for a file called msmdsrv.exe located in $InstallDir\Microsoft SQL Server\MSAS12.MSSQLSERVER\OLAP\bin. So, to correct the things to start the service follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and go to this SQL Server Analysis Service installation folder.
  2. Right click on bin folder and go to Security tab in properties window.SQL Server Analysis Service
  3. Click on Edit… and add the service impersonation account if you add another account as I did earlier. Otherwise provide permission to the user which is associated with Network service or added user account.

Now again attempt to start the service in component management window. This time it starts as like charm for me.

Hope this help to resolve issue for others. Cheers!