Crystal Reports - Accessing default value for a parameter using .NET SDK

Web 2.0: 

We have been using Crystal Reports for our Travel CRM with good results for a few years now. We use a completely custom ExtJs based experience for Report viewing which includes a custom user interface for entering report parameters (see screenshot below for an example) and a custom toolbar for managing report navigation and exporting etc (I had blogged about the toolbar earlier here).

MEF - Ordering multiple parts imported using ImportMany attribute of Managed Extensibility Framework

Hello World :)

It's been so long since I last blogged, it essentially feels to be blogging like first time. A lot has happened all this time, and I hope I would be able to share some of my learnings more frequently going forward.

.Net - Compressing directories recursively with ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib

I think there's hardly anything to explain here or give introduction about, the title says it all. I wrote a small function to zip directories recursively using the free and open-source ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib library.

So without saying many more things, here's the function:


Ext.Net - Controlling core css and javascript files rendered on the page

Web 2.0: 

Our designer had created a comprehensive custom theme for ExtJs, and we wanted to use it in our ASP.NET app that leverages Ext.Net and ExtJs extensively.

If you have used Ext.Net, you would know that all ExtJs resources are embedded in Ext.Net.dll assembly that are automatically put on the page whenever you add an <ext:ResourceManager /> to the page. This includes the core ExtJs css and javascript resources (including current ExtJs theme's resources), plus Ext.Net's own resources (providing extensions/enhancements to Ext classes).

Serializing/Deserializing .Net's native RSA Public/Private keys

Okay, here's the second consecutive blog post on serializing/deserializing RSA public/private keys, this time generated by the native RSACryptoServiceProvider available in .Net (the previous post available here related to serializing keys generated by open-source Bounty Castle library).

Serializing/Deserializing RSA Public/Private keys generated using Bouncy Castle library

.Net provides a good Cryptographic framework in the System.Security.Cryptography namepsace. But I have sometimes found it lacking for my needs (and non-intuitive at some other times).

Yesterday I needed to generate a RSA Public-Private key pair in a client-server communication, where the server generates the key pair and sends off the public key to the client, which the client subsequently uses to encrypt data being sent to the server. The server stores the Private key in the database used later to decrypt data received from the client and then send the encrypted response to it.

ASP.NET - HttpContext.Current is null in EndXXX method of asynchronous web methods pair

ASP.NET sets the transfer encoding as chunked on premature flushing the Response

Well, I discovered this problem and its solution sometime earlier. However lately, a couple of my colleagues approached me for advice with the same issue, and I thought of writing a blog post for the same.

In a nut-shell, the problem is that ASP.NET transfers the data to the client in chunked encoding (Transfer-Encoding: chunked), if you prematurely flush the Response stream for the Http request and the Content-Length header for the Response is not explicitly set by you.

VB.NET equivalent to PHP functions


I am currently working on an assignment to convert a Perl/PHP based intra-net project to an ASP.NET web application.

The complexity of the project has been significant as it involves the management of an internal Windows 2003 Active Directory setup for a large governmental organization, integrated with a proprietary ticketing system, and a Sql Server database. The (sometimes cryptic) non object-oriented PHP/Perl code together with a severely limited testing environment have only made the task that more difficult.