Code Camp: Creating .NET Solutions using OSS

On April 8’s Southwest Pennsylvania’s Code Camp I presented on creating .NET solutions using open source software (OSS). The demonstration went quite well and I received a very generous response from the audience. Thanks to all who attended and made this first Code Camp quite a success!

The premise of the presentation was to demonstrate that it is completely possible to create .NET solutions (specifically an ASP.NET web application) using free and open source tools. I used a GNU/Linux based laptop (Ubuntu) with the following tools:

  • Mono (gmcs compiler)
  • MonoDevelop
  • DBDesigner
  • Dia
  • OpenOffice.Org (Writer and Impress)
  • GNUnit2

The result of the demonstration was that while it is entirely feasible to live in a .NET world with all free and open source tools your efficiency will not make up (YET!) for the cost of a more integrated and mature toolset. However, the tools I used are progressing rapidly and there is no reason why they can’t benefit you now and in the near future. I would recommend evaluating the cost of ownership ranging through your server environment, development environment and office environment.

The slides, code and documents are all freely available for download here. Use them however you want (at your own risk, of course ).

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop a comment on this entry!


SharePoint Redirect using only IIS

Here is a quick solution to an small issue we had here at work…

One of our internal users (of our SPS instance) wanted to redirect an old list to a new list. I did not want to create a code-based solution (e.g. an aspx page, et al) and with the friendly "Apache could do this" jabbing I got from this guy I decided to see if IIS would handle it. And it did … really easy:

Redirect http://mysite/sites/Department/IT/oldlist to http://mysite/sites/Department/IT/newlist

  1. On the filesystem in your webroot, create a folder structure mimicking the URL:
  2. Open IIS Management console and locate that folder
  3. Right-click on that folder and select properties
  4. Use the "A redirection to a URL" option in the Directory tab
  5. Enter the new URL (absolute OR relative) in the Redirect To: box
  6. Test it

All other sites in that path should remain untouched by IIS but since IIS processes this redirection prior to running the ISAPI filter/extension (e.g. SharePoint) then there is no need to even unmange this path from within SharePoint itself.

Simple. Clean. Quick. Even an Admin can do it!

Southwest Pennsylvania Code Camp

On April 8, 2006, we will be having the first (as far as I know) Code
Camp in Pittsburgh. As both an organizer as well as a presenter,
I encourage everyone in the area to attend this free event.

There are no corporate sponsors and all of the presenters are from the
community doing presentations and demos for the community. There
will be free lunch (I think) and plenty of free information!

For more information, please check out the Code Camp website:

My presentation will be on creating .NET solutions using free/open
source tools! It was interesting to create the demo so I hope
that remains when I actually give the presentation.