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Archive for the ‘Free tools’ Category

How to POST to a REST API that requires Authentication using Fiddler

Posted by robkraft on March 8, 2013

Last October I blogged about using Fiddler to Post to a REST API. Today’s post is very similar but I go one step further and post to a REST API site that requires Basic Authentication. When making a POST to a site requiring authentication, you must include authorization information in Request Header. Sounds simple enough, until you look at an example. In Fiddler, it looks like the image below:

Fiddler Post To Site Needing Basic Authentication

The only piece of information you need to add to make Basic Authentication work is the Authorization: Basic line with the correct encoded value following it.  Despite my warning, this encoded value is easy to generate.  You just need to go to any web site that will do base64 encoding for you, plug in your logon and password using this format:

logon:password

Click the button to encode to Base64 (probably UTF8), and paste the resulting value into Fiddler.  I did this at http://www.base64encode.org as shown here:

Image of Base64Encode.org web site

Image of Base64Encode.org web site

Posted in CodeProject, Coding, Free tools | 2 Comments »

Internet Explorer 10 is now the Best Browser in the Market

Posted by robkraft on March 2, 2013

I am loving the speed of the recently released Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7.  It is noticeably faster than Chrome.  It also has no problem rendering video and other content on sites that IE9 struggles with.

A few other minor improvements are nice such as the little ‘x’ added to every text box to allow you to clear the field and the icon for viewing your password that appears in every password protected field.  This is a long overdue security enhancement.  A lot of users choose simple passwords primarily because they struggle typing complex passwords when they cannot see what they have typed.

Text fields and some fonts render a little differently in IE10 than in IE9.  I don’t think they look better, but I think they probably render a little faster.  Once again, IE10 appears to be all about speed!

Posted in Free tools, Home Tech, I.T., Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

How to POST to a REST API using Fiddler

Posted by robkraft on October 24, 2012

Posting to a REST API using Fiddler is very simple, as long as you fill out all the required values correctly. I spent more than an hour figuring out the correct info for my REST API recently so I am documenting it here for my own sake, and hopefully to speed the resolution for others. The URL shown in the image is not real, so don’t expect that URL to work for yourself.

  1. Select the Composer tab in Fiddler.
  2. Select POST from the dropdown.
  3. Enter the URL of the REST API. My REST API had a .svc extension, but most REST APIs do not.
  4. In the Request Headers, include “Content-Type: text/xml”. This is the step I missed that took me so long to resolve. Your REST API may not need this, but the REST API I was working with developing on the Microsoft Stack did. You do not need to provide the values for Host or Content-Length in your Request Headers because Fiddler will populate those for you.
  5. In the Request Body, provide the XML or Json data that you are sending to the URL as part of the POST.
  6. Click on the Execute button.
  7. Check the panel on the left (not shown in the image) to see the result of your API call. For my API, the POST returned a 200 and the Response Body contained my response data.

That’s it. Good Luck!

How to POST to a REST API using Fiddler

Posted in CodeProject, Coding, Free tools | 6 Comments »

Make Time to Learn from the Free Microsoft Security Assessment Tool

Posted by robkraft on August 16, 2012

Today I discovered the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool.  Although the tool came out nearly three years ago I still discovered it to be very useful in helping you to identify the security areas in which your organization or software development shop may be weakest.  It also provides a lot of links and useful recommendations to assist you with improving security.  Security should be near the front of every developer’s mind as the world moves toward cyberattacks that are increasingly more damaging to businesses and people.

Download the free tool here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=12273

Expect to spend 30 to 90 minutes answering the questions.   You must first answer all the Business Profile Assessment questions, then you can move to the more interesting “Defense In Depth” assessment.  Follow that with generating a report of the results and if you’d like, posting your results to Microsoft and see how you compare to other organizations.

 

 

 

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Process | Leave a Comment »

SP_WhoIsActive is a Superior Alternative to sp_who on SQL Server

Posted by robkraft on August 13, 2012

I recently learned about the sp_WhoIsActive stored procedure written and maintained primarily by Adam Mechanic.  For DBAs like myself who have always wanted something better than sp_who and sp_who2 to diagnose the active connections on your SQL Server, this is a tool for you.  You can download it at http://sqlblog.com/files/default.aspx and you can learn all about it through Adam’s many blog posts.  I recommend starting with this one: http://sqlblog.com/blogs/adam_machanic/archive/2011/04/05/less-data-is-more-data-a-month-of-monitoring-part-5-of-30.aspx

SP_WhoIsActive

Find more tool gems like this at http://tinyurl.com/ITPortals

 

Posted in Free tools, SQL Server | Leave a Comment »

Use the Free Problem Steps Recorder Tool Built Into Windows to Record and Playback

Posted by robkraft on June 10, 2012

I just recently learned that Microsoft included a new tool called the Problem Step Recorder (Psr.exe) in the release of Windows 7.  This handy and simple tool allows a user to record the steps taken and then send a script of those steps, including screen shots, to a support assistant.  The tool does not record video, so it avoids some of the complications that arise with video recording tools.  When you stop recording the screen captures and text are zipped up automatically, then you can easily email the resulting .zip file to your IT Support.  A screen capture occurs every time the user clicks on something and the screen capture highlights exactly what was clicked.

If you ever provide IT support for Windows 7 users, give the tool a try on your Windows 7 pc right now to see how easily it works, or watch a short demo of the tool here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/Video/ff710684.

Screen Cap of partial results of PSR Recording

Screen Cap of partial results of PSR Recording

 

Posted in Free tools, I.T. | Leave a Comment »

Use www.test-ipv6.com to see if you can browse IPV6 web sites. IPV6 Day is June 6, 2012!

Posted by robkraft on June 5, 2012

Tomorrow is June 6th, 2012, and that means it is world wide IPV6 day!  Hooray!  Yippee!  Hurrah!

But what does that mean to you?  Probably not much.  Hopefully not much.  For most of the world it will be as uneventful as Y2K and all those dates that already passed on which the world was supposed to end.  But for the major entities responsible for keeping our Internet alive and functioning it means they are flipping a switch to begin support IPV6 addresses in addition to the traditional IPV4 addresses.  And they are doing this because the Internet is running out of IPV4 addresses.

As stated, this does not affect anyone, at least not immediately.  But soon we will really run out of IPV4 addresses and someone will have to start using IPV6 addresses, and only IPV6 addresses to put their web site on the Internet.  Only web browsers capable of communicating with IPV6 will be able to go to those web sites.  Computers running older software like Windows 95 won’t be able to go to IPV6 only web sites.  Neither will computers going through old network equipment that doesn’t support IPV6.  Can you get to IPV6 web sites from your browser on your computer?  You can find out by going to www.test-ipv6.com.

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

Online spreadsheets, the best of Excel and Google combined in www.EditGrid.com

Posted by robkraft on April 15, 2012

I like Excel.  Excel is a great tool when I am the only person working on the information, but when I want to collaborate on a spreadsheet, I often reach out to Google Docs.  The advantage of Google Docs online is that several people can update the same spreadsheets at the same time.  My team uses several Google spreadsheets to manage tasks, but it lacks the feel of Excel.  But recently I discovered what may be the best of both worlds.

http://www.EditGrid.com

EditGrid looks a lot like Excel (so much like Excel that I’m a little concerned they will get shut down at some point).  It is online and free.  There is a version you can pay for with more features, but I have just started using the trial version and haven’t looked into what the paid version adds that I may desire.

EditGrid provides me the following features I wanted in an online spreadsheet:

  • Multiple users can edit the document at the same time
  • I could upload a document from Excel as my starting point
  • I can restrict allowing edits by requiring a password to do so
  • It does not require my fellow collaborators to have a @live account, @gmail account, or any other specific type of account
  • It is free
  • It looks great and works pretty well

If you have a @live.com account (a Microsoft account), then you can create and share Excel documents online via your skydrive account.  The sharing options are a little more limited than the free options EditGrid provides, but they are sufficient.  The only thing not to like about the free sharing of Excel documents via skydrive, is the requirement for the @live.com account.

No matter what online spreadsheet you use, you should back it up regularly if the content is important to you.  Our google sheets are important to us and we back them up weekly.  We once had a problem (years ago) that required us to scrap the current sheet, and replace it from a backup.  We also have had a few occasions where the document was inaccessible, which is a risk for any online information.

Finally, I don’t recommend any of these products if your data needs a lot of security/protection.

But I do recommend you give EditGrid a try if you are in the market for a free online spreadsheet.

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Web Sites | 1 Comment »

JustDecompile set to dethrone Reflector

Posted by robkraft on June 16, 2011

Telerik will be releasing the tool many of us have been waiting for, a replacement for Reflector.  Reflector was, and still is, a great and helpful tool for analyzing .Net code, but every since RedGate renigged on their promise to keep it free forever, we have been upset and worried about our options for the future.

JustCompile from Telerik is your new alternative to Reflector.  Telerik declares the tool will be free forever.   http://www.telerik.com/products/decompiling.aspx

I tried it out and the basic features are very similar to Reflector, so it will succeed it doing what I almost always want from it.  I don’t see support yet for add-ins, but this is just a beta of a free product.  Who knows what else is to come.  I only mention the add-ins because I had one I liked for Reflector that gave a diagram of the Cyclomatic Complexity score of all my classes and methods, which I occasionally made use of.

Posted in Free tools | 1 Comment »

Find bugs in your javascript using Closure

Posted by robkraft on June 5, 2011

Just in case you have not found the Closure tool from Google yet, I’m making this little post to help you discover it.  Closure is a free online tool at http://code.google.com/closure/ that will examine your javascript for bugs and compact it for you.  If you write javascript and are not using any tools to assist you in finding coding errors, check out closure.  It is online and it is free.

Posted in Code Design, Dev Environment, Free tools | Leave a Comment »