Windows Home Server

Certificate signing isn’t a perfect answer for untrusted code, but it does give the user another indication that your Add-In will do what it says on the tin. More importantly, not signing your code when the installer framework expects a certificate isn’t a great way to make a first impression. Not cool. Previously, we talked about automating builds of our Add-In’s installers and the parent *.wssx add-in package file, and my strategy for automatically building packages that support in-place upgrades. Now we’re going to talk about signing our *.wssx package with a certificate, specifically a...

The Windows Server Solutions SDK gives us some great new functionality for deploying Add-In packages: A proper upgrade process Signing Client installers that can be automatically applied to any joined PCs EULA support Localization support But, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the new functions come with added complexity. As I’ve discussed previously, in order for your Add-In to support in-place upgrades there are a bunch of properties that need to be changed...

A few weeks ago I posted recommendations for structuring your WSSX cabinet files and installer packages. I also promised to post some magic automation techniques to make building *.wssx files much, much easier. The magic part is coming in the next post, because we still need to cover some foundations properly! To that end, I’ve put together a custom Visual Studio 2010 project type that allows you to manage your *.wssx build process in the same way you manage every other project in your solution. It’s now up on the Visual Studio Gallery for download as an...

The Windows Home Server v1 extensibility framework missed out an important component; Microsoft implemented no upgrade capability for already-installed Add-Ins. The “upgrade” process required that the user uninstall the old version of your Add-In, and then install the new version. If your installer wasn’t checking for existing versions of your Add-In users could easily find themselves with multiple instances your Add-In installed, with no way to remove them without manual registry editing. Windows Home Server 2011 (and the other platforms that support the Windows Server Solutions SDK) now support Add-In upgrades properly. A user can now download...

Our beta testing is complete, and we’re ready to send Feedsource for Windows Home Server out into the wild! What is Feedsource? Feedsource is a Windows Home Server Add-In that publishes secure Really Simple Syndication (“RSS”) feeds for Shared Folders through the Remote Access web site. Authorized users access Feedsource RSS feeds from inside or outside the home network to view new and changed files in Shared Folders using any RSS reader that supports authenticated feeds. Features Authenticated RSS feeds for Shared Folders that show create, delete, rename, and change events for...

A couple of weeks ago I hinted that we had an unannounced Windows Home Server Add-In in development. It’s time to let this particular cat out of this particular bag, and start a new closed beta. Feedsource for Windows Home Server is an Add-In that publishes authenticated Really Simple Syndication (“RSS”) feeds for your Shared Folders through the Remote Access web site. Authorized users access Feedsource RSS feeds from inside or outside your home network, using any RSS reader that supports authenticated feeds, to view the latest changes in your Shared Folders. Key features:...

By now, you’ve all read that Drive Extender has been pulled from “Vail” and “Aurora”. Here’s Microsoft’s announcement post and attempt at damage mitigation: When weighing up the future direction of storage in the consumer and SMB market, the team felt the Drive Extender technology was not meeting our customer needs. Therefore, moving forward we have decided to remove the Drive Extender technology from Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” (and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials) which are currently in beta. While this removes the...

The nasty ASP.NET error-handling security vulnerability has been patched. Go hit Windows Update right now. And if you’re a web developer, make sure your customer sites get the same treatment.

From ScottGu: A few hours ago we released a Microsoft Security Advisory about a security vulnerability in ASP.NET.  This vulnerability exists in all versions of ASP.NET. An attacker using this vulnerability can request and download files within an ASP.NET Application like the web.config file (which often contains sensitive data). At attacker exploiting this vulnerability can also decrypt data sent to the client in an encrypted state (like ViewState data within a page). You can download the .vbs script here.  Simply copy/paste the script into a text file...

Alex Kuretz and I are on Home Server Show #105, talking about developing add-ins for Windows Home Server. It was a lot of fun, so if you’re interested in a bit of Disk Management history, and a discussion about the economics of add-in development, go grab this episode and listen. Backing up your Backups with Alex Kuretz, interpreting the data from Black Box with Sam Wood, it’s the HomeServerShow, Developer Deep Dive Edition.  Episode 105 is a long one and we get in depth with with two developers that have been around since the beginning of...

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