Deploying Visual + Crystal Reports Projects

If you’ve been having trouble with deployment of Visual Studio .net 2005 (C# or VB) applications which use Crystal Reports, rest assured.  You’re not alone. You can find many posts and blogs saying you should add the merge modules but if you’re having problems getting the setup to work, here’s the solution:

  1. First, search for this file (the redistributable package):
  2. Extract it to get this file (merge module):
  3. Create a new “Setup Project” in your solution. (I’m assuming you’re comfortable with this stuff.)
  4. Right-click on the setup project and Add->Merge Modules.
  5. Browse to give the extracted merge module. It should be added to your setup project.
  6. Now, right-click on setup project again and click on Properties.
  7. In the properties dialog, click on Prerequisites.
  8. Check .Net framework, Crystal Reports and Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC)
  9. Also, select Download from the Same Location as Project Setup (or something to that effect…. I don’t have VS.Net in front of me right now).
  10. Build the setup project and see the extra files there!
  11. Any Questions?

TinyLittle Password Keeper

TinyLittle Password Keeper is, as the name implies, a tiny software for securely saving all your passwords in one place. It has the following features:

  1. Save password file with a master password.
  2. Encrypt all data before saving.
  3. Option to further encrypt passwords.
  4. Ability to search for passwords.
  5. Save multiple accounts/passwords for a single site.

It exports all data to a simple XML file. The data itself is encrypted. All encryption is done using TripleDES encryption.

I made this software primarily as a case study in encryption, user interface design and data storage.

If you want to study the source, take these factors into consideration:

  • The decomposition of code into projects, files, classes and methods
  • User interface (Placement, size accomodation, interaction)
  • Encryption in TripleDESEncryption class
  • XML save/load in serialization class (although this isn’t strict serialization)

Leave me a comment if you have suggestions for improvement or if you find something wrong. I may not fix it but it’d be nice to know.

Download software binary

Download project source


I don’t care if this software blows your computer up. Don’t use it if you’re going to whine about it later.

Using Codesmith and .netTiers

I recently came across Codesmith and .netTiers. It’s one of the best things to happen to me since i started working in VB.NET. You can view the details of what these two are in their sites. Here’s the gist:

Codesmith is an engine for creating code dynamically based on templates. It saves time. .netTiers is a template for Codesmith which creates code for handling SQL Server databases. It creates classes for performing DML (and other operations) on all database tables. This is done by creating collections. You can use it as simply as a collection!

Now, the tutorial I tried to learn from – their official one – is incomplete! Put simply, it doesn’t work. So, I decided to write my own.Read More »