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Brian Holmgård Kristensen

Hi, I'm Brian. I'm a Danish guy primarily working with ASP.NET e-commerce solutions using Microsoft Commerce Server.

I'm co-founder and core-member of Aarhus .NET Usergroup (ANUG), which is a offline community for .NET developers in Denmark.

You can visit my View Brian Holmgård Kristensen's profile on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter @brianh_dk. Also please feel free to contact me via e-mail Send me an e-mail.

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Planning Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification
Refresh Catalog FullText Index causes search operations to fail
Commerce Server: Search exception on web-site when adding new property
Attending TechEd Developers Barcelona 2007
A new blogger is in town

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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 Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Today I have been planning my upcoming education strategy for the rest of the year. I'm going for the MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications certification which includes two exams:

  1. Exam 70–536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Application Development Foundation
  2. Exam 70–528: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development

The books have already been ordered by my employer and I have set the estimated dates for the exams. My goal is to complete the first exam by week 42 (October) and complete the next exam by week 49 (December).

Announcing it here on my blog and declaring a specific timeframe is an intentional strategy to give myself some degree of pressure that should keep me focused on completing it in time.

This will be my first certification to come so I'm obviously very excited about all this. Last year I completed a x-masterclass Axapta 3.0 System Development course and was supposed to take a certification in Dynamics AX 4.0 Development, but such particular certification was not available at that time. And still isn't - at least what I know of.

It is my plan to achieve the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) Web Developer certification - although this will properly not happen before Q1/2008. After that I think that it would be clever to focus on some SQL Server 2005 aimed certifications.

My ultimate goal would be to become a Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) one day. It was my colleague Søren who introduced me to this today, but it seems to be a hard thing to accomplish. I believe such a certification will be very valuable.

So - now there is really nothing else to it, than open the books and start reading...

Posted on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 19:50:41 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
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The other day I wrote a blog post about a search problem in the Commerce Server Starter Site. I had added a new property to the propertiesToReturn element of web.config and that caused all search operations on the web-site to fail with the following exception from the database: 'Invalid column name 'Show_Variants_As_Products'.

In my efforts to solve the problem I stumbled across another issue when I tried to execute the "Refresh Catalog FullText Index" command on one of my catalogs in the Catalog Manager (screenshot provided).

This command executed without errors but when I tried to perform a new search on the web-site the database threw another exception with the following error message:

Full-text table or indexed view has more than one LCID among its full-text indexed columns.

This post helped me to the solution.

The solution

In SQL Server Management Studio I opened the Product Catalog database and found the table holding the products for the specific catalog I initially performed the Refresh command on. I changed  the "Language for Word Breaker" setting for the CategoryName column from 'English' back to 'Neutral'  in the properties Full Text Indexing (screenshot provided below).

dbo.[catalogname]_CatalogProducts > Full Text index > Properties > Columns > CategoryName=Neutral (from English)

Posted on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 19:30:22 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
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 Saturday, 25 August 2007

Short explanation

When creating a new property definition which has the 'Assign to all products' attribute set to true and when this new property is added to the propertiesToReturn element in web.config (configuration/commerceSite/propertiesToReturn) search operations on the web-site can cause the following exception: Invalid column name '[property-name]'. This occurs if one or more of the catalogs in Commerce Server are out of sync with the catalog schema (defined in the Catalog And Inventory Schema Manager) e.g. if the catalog is empty.

Solution: Create a new dummy product in each catalog to ensure synchronization is done. You can safely delete the dummy product after creation.


Complete explanation

I had added the property 'Show_Variants_As_Products' in the Catalog And Inventory Schema Manager. The 'Assign to all products' attribute was set to true to ensure that all products in Commerce Server include this property.

Afterwards I added the new property to the propertiesToReturn string list in web.config:

<commerceSite
 requireSSL="false"
 enableExpressCheckout="false"
 persistAnonymousBaskets="false"
 rewriteProductUrls="true"
 assetLocation="~/"
 defaultShippingMethodId="87c0e40f-3661-4197-8f88-fa3f101ae1ad"
 propertiesToReturn="CategoryName, ProductID, CatalogName, i_ClassType, DisplayName, cy_list_price, VariantID,  Show_Variants_As_Products">

This setting ensures that the property is available in the returned DataSet when e.g. performing search operations on the web-site.

However when I tried to perform a search, the web-site crashed with the following exception coming from the SQL Server:

Invalid column name 'Show_Variants_As_Products'.

In the Catalog Manager I opened a random product in one of my catalogs to verify that the new property was actual present - and it was. So a bit confused I opened SQL Server Profiler to create a new trace to check the queries which was actually sent to the database from the web-site when performing a search.

The query sent to the database was:

exec dbo.ctlg_GetResults
 @Catalogs=N'MyCatalog1,MyCatalog2,MyCatalog3,',
 @Language=N'da-DK',
 @PropertiesToReturn=N
'[CategoryName], [ProductID], [CatalogName], [i_ClassType], [DisplayName], [cy_list_price], [VariantID], [Show_Variants_As_Products], [BaseCatalogName],
 [oid], [OrigProductId], [OrigVariantId], [OrigCategoryName], [DefinitionName], [PrimaryParentCategory], [UseCategoryPricing]'
,
 @SQLClause=NULL,
 @FTSPhrase=N'perfume',
 @AdvancedFTSPhrase=NULL,
 @OrderBy=NULL,
 @StartingRec=1,
 @NumRecords=10,
 @SortAscending=1,
 @ClassType=10,
 @eJoinType=-1,
 @TargetTableName=N'',
 @SourceJoinKey=N'',
 @TargetJoinKey=N'',
 @RecordCount=@p16 output,
 @EnableInventory=1,
 @InventoryServerName=NULL,
 @InventoryDatabaseName=NULL,
 @FilterOutOfStockProducts=0,
 @FilterBackOrderableProducts=0,
 @FilterPreOrderableProducts=0,
 @UseThresholdAsFloor=1,
 @TreatmissingAsOutOfStock=0,
 @StockHandling=0,
 @InventoryPropertiesToReturn=N'*',
 @CategoryClause=NULL,
 @Recursive=0

When executing this query directly on database I got the same error message. I opened each of the catalog tables to verify that the new column 'Show_Variants_As_Products' was present. The column was present in the first two catalogs (MyCatalog1 and MyCatalog2) but in the last catalog (MyCatalog3) the column was not present indicating that this specific table was out of sync with the Catalog schema. The catalog was also in fact empty. So creating a new dummy product in MyCatalog3 using the Catalog Manager did the trick of getting the MyCatalog3 catalog table back in sync with the Catalog schema. I tested it with a new search operation on the web-site and everything returned successfully.

Posted on Saturday, 25 August 2007 11:24:16 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
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 Thursday, 09 August 2007

Last week I got great news that I am going to attend the TechEd Developers conference in Barcelona.

It was Søren who told me the news about TechEd and I will have a lot to live up to as he did a large scale cover of his attendance at TechEd in 2006.

The TechEd will span five days with hopefully hardcore technical subjects and I am obviously very excited as this will be my first TechEd. I can't wait to hear about all the cool new technologies out there.

I have done a quick scan of the Technical Tracks and I think that I will be focusing on new language and framework features including LINQ, C# 3.0 and som web-development topics such as AJAX and Silverlight.

I have wrote a post on ActiveDeveloper regarding my trip as it could be cool to know who else will be attending the conference.

So please feel free to contact me if you are going to the TechEd Developers, Barcelona 2007 - it could be cool to arrange something together.

You should of course also stay tuned on this blog around 5th to 9th November (the actual dates for the conference in Barcelona) as I promise to write daily posts about the sessions I will attend and of course my generel experiences with TechEd.

Posted on Thursday, 09 August 2007 18:30:39 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
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 Saturday, 04 August 2007

As the title says this is my first blog on the web, therefore I think it would be appropriate to give myself some kind of introduction.

My name is Brian, and I live in Aarhus, Denmark. My full time job is working as .NET developer at Vertica A/S implementing large scale eCommerce solutions with Microsoft Commerce Server. Besides working at Vertica, I have a small IT-business called Yourhost together with my friend Peter, on which we spend a lot of our spare time. Yourhost offers hosting services, customized web-solutions, and other products and services.

I finished my education in November 2005 as Datamatician at the IT College in Skive. After that I got employed as a Microsoft Dynamics AX developer in a company called MW data, where I worked until May 2007. After that I started at Vertica. Here is a link to my LinkedIn profile, if you want to read more on this :)

The main focus on this blog will be about .NET technology and naturally other subjects I will come across in my professional life, although unrelated things probably also will be mentioned once in a while.

I will keep the blog-writing in English - the reason why is that I want to distribute it to as many people as possible, but also to improve my own language skills – I have used English as long as I remember, but mainly for reading and understanding - not so much writing and speaking in the latest years – so I want to focus on improving this (of course the blog properly will not improve the speaking part that much).

Thanks for reading this very first post - hopefully there will be a lot more to come :)

Posted on Saturday, 04 August 2007 13:03:39 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
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