Best Visual Studio extensions and applications

The list of tools beneath are tools that I use every day! Some are extensions for Team Foundation Server but also extensions for Visual Studio, awesome Nuget packages or general tools.
It are the best Visual Studio extension and applications that I could find.

Visual Studio Extensions

  1. EnterpriseLibrary.Config
    This is a handy tool for your Enterprise Library packages. With this tool you can edit your config with an interface.
  2. GhostDoc
    I use the free version of this but you also have a payed version of this.  With this tool you can generate your summaries above your code. It will also generate documentation for parameters, properties, field, methods etc.
  3. NuGet Package Manager
    I think there is no explanation needed for this…
  4. Target Framework Migrator
    With this extension, you can change all (if you want) your projects to a specific version of the .NET Framework with just one click.
  5. Team Foundation Server Power Tools
    Extra handy things for getting some information out of your TFS server.
  6. Web Essentials
    Handy tools for developing web applications. This allows you to minify and bundle your Javascript code and gives you other things like intellisence for extra languages in Visual Studio.
  7. Wix Toolset
    There is no MSI installer anymore in Visual Studio 2012. You can still use Wix to create your MSI installers.
  8. Recent workitems
    Show a list of last 5 associated workitems in your pending changes window
  9. Last workitem
    Select your last associated workitem
  10. AutoMerge
    AutoMerge your changeset over branches in TFS.
  11. Code Review Checkin policy
    A checkin policy for checking you have requested a code review.
  12. DevExpress CodeRush
    Faster coding and shortcuts in Visual Studio
  13. My History
    Your last history items like workitems or changesets
  14. Sandcastle
    Help file generator for your code.


  1. TFS Team Project Manager
    Manage your TFS team projects.

NuGet packages

  1. StyleCop
    Create defaults for your team about documentation and code formats.
  2. StyleCop Checkin Policy
    My own checkin policy for validating your StyleCop rules.
  3. Ninject
    Very easy dependency container for fast building applications.
  4. CuttingEdge.Conditions
    Small syntax for creating validation of your objects.
  5. NBuilder
    Generate test data based on your own POCO class.
  6. AutoMapper
    Map your classes from type A to B with just own line of code.

Edit contacts in android

Updated 2017-01-17: Updated the blogpost to the new experience (on the office 365 platform).

Edit contacts in android is a real pain. But in this post I will explain to you have to fix this.

Because Google and Microsoft are in some kind of war in what the best way is to edit contacts, you could be having troubling with editing your contacts in Android. Follow these steps to edit your contacts again.

  1. If you have installed the application out of the play store, remove it from your device. It has been replaced by the new Outlook application some time ago.
  2. Setup the new Outlook application and disable contact sync. Contacts do get synced to your device very nice but you can’t edit them. So they are useless to use. We disable the sync so we can sync them another way. If you leave this enabled you will end up with dupplicates on your phone.
  3. On your phone, go to Settings -> Accounts & Sync
  4. Add an Exchange ActiveSync account. Do not use the account. some phones will display an sync possibility but that is an old obsolete one. If you can’t find an Exchange account, try to use the default email application on your phone. It should have one build in.
    1. Account name: whatever you want
    2. email adres: your email adres (could also be hotmail, msn, live etc)
    3. Server adres:
    4. username: again your full email-address
    5. password: your email-address password
    6. Enable SSL
    7. Leave the rest default
  5. Click next and select only to sync the Contacts.
  6. Finish the setup (wait a while to finish the syncing of your contacts). Now you can edit your contacts and they are synced to your account.

DevExpress Roadmap 2011

Ralph Jansen BlogThe roadmap for DevExpress 2011 is launched. In the roadmap you see that Silverlight will get much more attention. WinForms is and old technology that they probably will let go in future releases. Many users write in the comments that they want to see more attention to WinForms then Silverlight because Silverlight is not “Business Ready”. I think that DevExpress has some more inside news in the Roadmap of Microsoft. I also think that Microsoft wont work on new features for WinForms anymore.

Silverlight is the future and I think that Silverlight will get more attention by Microsoft then WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) in the future. New news about WPF is not really coming out that often and will not get that much attention as the new features in Silverlight. Silverlight 5 is coming out at the end of 2011. If you think about it, that is a very long time for a release in Silverlight versions. Silverlight 1, 2, 3 and 4 where coming out after about 9 months after each other. Silverlight 4 was released in April of 2010 so the end of 2011 is a lot longer then 9 months! My philosophy is that Microsoft will create Silverlight 5 for Desktop and Windows Phone 7 in one time. They already said that Phone 7 will get a big release at the end of the year and that the new Internet Explorer 9 will be coming this year to Phone 7 including a new version of Silverlight.

So, not so crazy that a company as DevExpress will put that much effort in creating controls for Silverlight and not for WinForms!

If you want to see the roadmap of 2011 for the DevExpress controls, you can find it here.


ASP .NET MVC 3 Release Candidate released

Ralph JansenOn November 9th 2010 the ASP .NET team released the release candidate of MVC 3. The big change of MVC 3 is the new “Razor” view engine. With this new view engine the syntax of the code is a lot smaller. You now just put an @ on your editor and the intellisense will pick it up.

An other thing that is added in MVC 3 is: partial caching of pages. You can add an attribute above your action in the controller with the right amount of seconds that you want to cache the information. You can even say what the dependent parameter is that the caching will focus on. So if an action is fired and the parametervalue is the same as a previous parametervalue within the specified amount of time, the data will come out of the cache. That way, no database call is required!!!

Check for more information the blog of Scott Guthrie or the official ASP .NET MVC 3 Releas Candidate page.

My First WordPress post

This is my first WordPress post. What do I think about it? Well, I really don’t know yet. It is a free account with a default theme placed on top of it. Is that what I want? No, but for now it works. The reason why I don’t want a free blog is that I’m in real life a programmer and programmers always want to make his own code.

So what will this blog contain? Well in the beginning not much. I will submit some other blogs that I made earlier but they are in the Dutch language. Maybe some translation tools can make a difference for you guys? Other topics that I will discuss are programming related topics. Hopefully you will find some information that you need for your problem.