Visual Studio Online or Visual Studio 2013





Today, there are two main SKU of Visual Studio namely Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio 2013 products. This article will discuss which one you should buy or invest if you want to build something using Visual Studio.


we divide the usage of Visual Studio into five tiers which are personal / hobbyist, startup, SMB, and Enterprise. This solution is designed to be simplest as possible to get better understanding of Visual Studio Product.

Personal / Hobbyist

You are student or hobbyist, you can grab the Visual Studio Express is a freebies and have a sufficient features to create a product. This program is royalty free so that you can use and sell your software without hassle. The disadvantage of this product is each platform has different SKU. For example, if we want to build on web and on desktop you should install two products on a same machine. This won’t happen on Visual Studio Professional features.

You can download the Visual Studio Express here

and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online Basic that has five users free slots.


If you are startup you can also use Visual Studio Express. However, we recommend you buy the Professional Version. Yes, it costs about 300$. But it’s really worth for your startup. The professional features has many fundamental aspects of superb IDE such as

  • One stop coding for any platform
  • Unit Testing framework
  • Code metrics and analysis
  • Agile method
  • Code visualization
  • Professional deployment support

You can buy the Visual Studio with MSDN or without MSDN. MSDN means you have all Microsoft Product for test purpose (not for production to a client). The MSDN will cost $1200 yearly and without MSDN it takes cost 300$. Click the picture below to understand the latest prices.

You can download Visual Studio Professional here

and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online for professional, it costs 45$ per months and it includes Visual Studio Professional also. So as a startup you can invest on three model Visual Studio Online Professionals (Subscriptions / Month) , Visual Studio Professional, and Visual Studio Professional with MSDN (Subscriptions / Year). 

If you don’t have a fund, don’t worry you can use Visual Studio Express family or Visual Studio Online Basic.


We categorize SMB if you have development team more than 10 people. in this model, you need a streamline software engineering process like a Agile method. In this case you can use Visual Studio Professional, but if you need more engineering approaches such as

  • Test case or testing framework
  • UML diagram
  • Team Room
  • Code Review
  • Architecture Validation
  • Code Cloning
  • Graphics Debugging

You can grab the Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN ($6200 / year). There is no Visual Studio Online version that has Premium inside so you need to buy Visual Studio separately.

You can download the Visual Studio Premium Version Here


Yes, if you are enterprise that has many IDE on your company and want to integrate all of your IDE, you can buy Visual Studio Online Advanced Subscriptions (60$ / months). It includes a plugin support for many major IDE like Eclipse, Visual Studio, and others. Others option is choosing Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN ($13.299/year). Please notes that even Visual Studio Online Advances doesn’t have Visual Studio included, you should buy Visual Studio separately. Visual Studio Ultimate has several enterprise ready features  such as

  • All Visual Studio Premium features
  • Load testing
  • Adopting FULL Application Lifecycle Management using standard like CMMI, SCRUM, and others
  • Has Intellitrace to understand the debug history
  • Architecture dependency


Education is special SKU, you can grab Visual Studio Ultimate for free if your campus is STEM-D and is enrolled with Dramspark Premium. If your campus is not STEM-D you can get Visual Studio Professional with Dreamspark Standard for free.

Quick Fact

Before I close this article you might notice some facts which are:

  • Visual Studio Professional is only version of visual studio that can be bought without MSDN
  • Visual Studio Express is a free version for Visual Studio
  • The Visual Studio online professional is the one and only visual studio online version SKU that include IDE of Visual Studio Professional
  • The reniew prices of MSDN subscriptions is only 30% of new subscriptions

You can do a quick buy using amazon below

WIFI Connection Problem and Visual Studio 2013

If you have a WIFI connection and has a connection problem after you install the Visual Studio. This short article will help you to fix the issues.


You can’t connect to the internet as well as change the connection from one WIFI to the others.


This happens because Visual Studio creates a network bridge to facilitate the internet connection between emulator and real internet connection. Unfortunately, some of WIFI adapter take longer to connect the internet because the bridge connection






There are several solution when you face this problem

Option A. Delete the Windows Phone Emulator and Network Bridge

If you don’t have a windows phone project that connected to the internet, or you have device to debug your Windows Phone app, you can savely to delete Windows Phone emulator and Network Bridge

Option B. Disable and Enable Network Bridge

If you don’t one to delete it. When you change the WIFI connection and the Network Bridge shows Identifying….you can disable and re-enable again to reset network bridge that improve the connection between router and your wifi.

Introducing Excel like Grid using Spread Studio .NET

have you ever got a problem with grid control from the ASP.NET. For example, you can’t create well formatted excel report oon the grid or even to export your griod into Excel. In the past, we can use CSV format to export to the Excel compliant. However, editing is tought using Griid. Grid is great for display a row of data but lack feature of editing. If you need a component that help you display like a grid, and manipulate like an Microsoft Excel you might need Spread. Spread is a component product from ComponentOne. On this article, we will guide you step by step to use Visual Studio and Spread Studio.NET.

Usage Scenario

Spread can be used for several scenario such as:

  • Manipulating native excel files outside Microsoft Excel
  • Creating a dashboard that has chart and data visualization
  • Creating complex and unstructured report such as invoice, or purchase order that can be exported into excel format
  • Creating a flexible grid that use mathematic or statistic formula


The installation is quite simple, you just download the component here. The installer will download the component based on your need.


The installation will add you the Windows RT component, WPF, Windows Form, and ASP.NET components.





Development Preparation

First of first, Spread is simple to activate. It has set of assemby that doesn’t need the Microsoft excel to be installed on client. On this article, we will try the component on Windows RT based. When you start you Visual Studio you will get a toolbox category called GrapeCity XAML the Spredsheet component name is GcSpreadSheet.




Visual Studio will help you add additional reference to the Visual Studio. step-by-step preparation can be seen here. On your designer surface it will be sown like below


Design or Develop

After you put the component, the next step is design the spread report. it just like creating a Excel format like on the designer surface. If you want to create a new spreadsheet template you can select a menu new spred template






The screen will display, Excel application like Senyum dengan mulut terbuka , you can set property and others








We will discuss the Excel manipulation further in the next series tutorial


Spread deployment follows one library deployment and it’s embedded on yout application. Furthermore, the deployment is royalty free make you distribute the application as long as you need.

ABCPDF The Best PDF Library for .NET Framework

The title of this post might be provocative, but the title represent how happy we are, when we found the suitable PDF library for .NET framework namely ABCPDF

PDF is anywhere, from creating an invoice to creating an eBook. PDF is the most used format for document transaction. However, on the developer side, pdf is the most complex technology to create and to maintain. Several complex scenario such as HTML to PDF or even on the fly generation PDF will be time consuming to develop.

Yesterday, we evaluate the several PDF library for our research project codenamed: MMC. The codenamed MMC is unique web application for registering students to enroll a membership course. There are several document to create and it’s should fulfill the compliant standard from the government. Here are the challenge that we receive.

  • Generating massive PDF files for member profiles. Therefore we need a quick and robust “on-the-fly” PDF generator.
  • Converting a html based file to pdf file. our designer create a set of html and css file and we need to convert it into PDF/A specification.
  • Giving a watermark that show the unique identity of our PDF files.

After fighting for more than three days to select and choose the PDF library. we found that ABC pdf fulfill our need plus with a good performance. For example, the code to add a watermark based email is quote simple like this

int theID = 0;
for (int i = 1; i <= theCount; i++) {
  theDoc.PageNumber = i;
  theDoc.Layer = theDoc.LayerCount + 1;
  if (i == 1) {
    string thePath = Server.MapPath("../mypics/light.jpg");
    theID = theDoc.AddImageFile(thePath, 1);

As a result of the performance, the ABC pdf can help us to generate 1 pdf/second for on-the-fly generator, and be able convert the html to pdf seemlessly without lot of codes in the backend.

So if you are .net developer try to look some of the PDF library, you are on the right component with ABC PDF. The ABC PDF standard is great, but if you need more feature you can see the Professional one. You can see the comparison of the version here

Scheduled Web Site Backup on Azure

In the past we use sync application like Allway Sync, Cobian, or even FTP to backup our Azure hosted Website. Nowadays, Azure provides you an easy way to backup your website thorugh scheduled or manual backup on their management portal. This post will describe you steps that need to perform to create automatic backup on your website.

  • Login to your Azure Management Portal
  • Click the Website menu on the left side
  • Click the website that you want to backup. click scale menu


  • On the scale menu, change the hosting plan into Standard. Please save the changes


  • Add a services called data services and create Storage


  • Click the backups menu, change the automated backup to ON , select your storage accounts, choose the frequence and hit the save button.


  • The backups will be stored on websitebackup storage container. you can download the backup from the portal.
  • image

The backup contains your files, configuration and linked resources. If you don’t find your database backup on the zip package, please make sure that the database is already as linked resources. Otherwise, you can also backup use the export feature as i mentioned earlier



Disaster and Recovery Plan for Your Windows 8.1

Having windows 8 is wonderful. it is stable, great, and fast. However, your hardware might be not as stable as your Windows. When it’s happen, here are five ways to revive your Windows 8 from the cause of the death.

Time Machine with System Restore

System restore is effective when you accidentally do something that change the configuration system. Install bloat ware, get virus attack, or slow drivers issue can be solved through system restore. System restore can be visited through system protection (Windows Logo + Pause Break) and choose system protection


System restore will use your hard disk space and restore it in case something bad happen.






Backup your Files using File History

File history is a seamless way to backup your documents and files. File History can be accessed through search menu. File History will use external or other partition to backup your files. Therefore, it will be good if you use external disk, USB flash, or SD card to create history


File history will backup your files on specific time such as hourly or daily. It will create a version of your files and replicate it into external disk. In case of failure, you can restore the specific version of your files.





Snapshot Your System using System Image

Sometime you want to take a picture of your system when it is already stable. System image will help you snapshot your system. if something bad happen like bad hard disk, you just call the images and restore your system into the new hard disk. System image can be accessed via File History and select System Image backup


You can choose what to backup including your windows, data, and additional files





Reinstall Your System using Refresh Feature

Windows has an automatic features called automatic repair, it also has a good reinstall features called refresh, Refresh means reinstalling the operating system without erasing your files and configuration. just like a reinstall you will lost your installed software except the windows 8 software.


Refresh also has a features to remove anything including your files (reformat/recycle). this feature will be valuable when you want to recycle your notebook 





Third Party Software

If you never feel enough below is recovery software that you might need. Although personally i recommend you to use windows built in features or your PC built in software 

ALM Learning Plan (Chapter 2)

The fundamental aspect on ALM already discussed on Chapter 1. This article continous and dedicates the people who want to become software architect by adopting ALM strategies.

Chapter 2 – Build The Software Right

Chapter 2 focuses on the development practices, project monitoring, and deploying approaches. Therefore, this chapter is divided into three session which are: Sotware Development Practices, Project Monitoring Practices, and Deployment Practices.

Session 1 – Software Development Practices (6h)

Session 2 – Project Monitoring and Release (4h)

Session 3 – Deployment and Configuration (2h)

As usual, please refer the references for further guide and learning


ALM Learning Plan (Chapter 1)

Software architect is a good role, but need a lot preparation. If you have 24 hours learning time and you need to ramp-up your knowledge on software engineering / application lifecycle management. This resources can be used for your learning plan. The copyright of the course materials is owned by Microsoft and ALM Rangers.

Chapter 1 – Build The Right Software

The focus of this chapter is to build the right software based on the requirements. It also focused the right process to capture requirement and to create model

Session One – Introducing ALM as Software Engineering Framework (2h)

On this session participant should understand two concepts. The first one is software engineering and the second one is ALM. You can finish this session for two hours

Session Two – Requirements Engineering (4h)

On this session participant should understand how to create bullet-proof requirements using Agile process and method

Session Three – Project Planning (4h)

On this session participant should understand the key of the planning. it is includes how to create adaptive planning, creating a priority, and adjusting the changes into the plan.

So it’s 10 hours to learn about the topics. If you need more detail about the session please see these book as a good references for the sessions


A Must Have Windows Phone Application for Mobile Worker

Having Windows Phone?

Many people will choose Android over it, but if you a trully a mobile worker you will like Windows Phone endurance in term of Battery and Stability. In this post, I will share about several Windows Phone software for your mobility workforce.

Software for Business and Mobility

Office Lens

Need a portable scanner, this application will help you scan a document or whiteboard using your phone camera. You can download it here

Pocket File Manager

You want to bring your document on your SD Card, Caching several file from your Cloud Storage provider, or even upload a file to FTP. Pocket File Manager will help you. Download it today

Nokia Cloud Xpress

Having a lot of web visit such as news or report. This application will help you to compress your browser communication using patented technology from Nokia. You can download it here

Here maps

Need to find your client? or need to find the best route for your journey. This offline map application will help you navigate properly. a must have for Nokia users. Download it here.


The best note taking application on Windows Phone, if you love EverNote you will love the OneNote better. You don’t need download it, since it comes by default on Office mobile

Connectivity Shortcut

If you are a mobile user that always turn off and turn on Bluetooth or Wifi. You can download the Tile Shortcut here.

Office Remote

Presenting a PowerPoint, Sharing an Excel, or Giving notes on Word. This application will help you remote your Microsoft Office on your Laptop. it is more than a Clicker. Download Here.

Nokia Beamer

Have a something to share on your Lumia? Nokia Beamer will help you to share your Lumia screen on others devices such as web browser, smart tv, and many more. Download here

PDF Reader

It is alternative way to read PDF. You can share the document using OneDrive using this App. Uou can download here

FlashLight X

Flashlight X helps you to convert your flash camera into flashlight. It will become a good tools when you get a blackout on your office or even on your car. Download here

Business and Mobile Ready

The list will be long enough, feel free to add it on a comment and I will update this post for you.

Web Services Getting Started Book

Although web services is and old technology on 2000’. The need to understand web services is still exist and important. The idea of web services doing a communication mechanisms, standardization of syntax, and distributed architecture will help you to design the future services. There are several book that I recommend you to learn about web services.

Book 1 – Web Services essentials

If you want to quick review the web services architecture, needs a refreshment for your master degree thesis as theoritical background. This book is for you. It has a lot of theoritical and practical issues on a web services.

Book 2 – Sams Teach Yourself Web Services 24 hours

If you want to learn step-by-step, focusing on how to develop a web services on any web platform this book is for you. This book is  good for your starting point when you want to build your own web services.

Book 3 – Web Services, SOA, and Cloud Computing

This managerial like book is a good starting point for non-it people like manager, stakeholder, or newbie student that want to know the global evolution of web services. This book has plenty information about web services and others technology.

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About @ridife

This blog will be dedicated to integrate a knowledge between academic and industry need in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), ICT tips, and Software Engineering Research. Enjoy this blog and let's get in touch in any social media.

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