VB Magic


Accessing Jenkins API from VB.net

Filed under: .NET, ASP.NET MVC, VB.NET — Tags: , , , , , , — vbmagic @ 3:17 pm

As this was one of those things it took a while to track down I though a quick post would help others trying the same.

I have an up-to-date Jenkins server running builds and I would like to pull a list of failed jobs from the server and display them on a website.
First you need to look up the correct URL to access the list of jobs so after seeing a few posts in blogs and going to the Jenkins Website I worked out it follows this principle.

http{s}//{your Jenkins URL}/api/{xml/json}

If you leave off the xml/json parameter you will get a help page.

I my case I wanted the result in XML as VB.net has good xml integration. So my URL is:


This will return something similar to the following XML code:

    <nodeDescription>the master Jenkins node</nodeDescription>

We can see that the job information is under the job element so the following code goes into the controller action. This code can be easily modified to work in a non ASP.net MVC environment.

        Dim jenkinsURI As New Uri("http://myhost.com:8080/api/xml")
        Dim request As HttpWebRequest
        Dim xmlJobList As XElement
        model.failedJobs = New List(Of JenkinsJob)
            request = WebRequest.Create(jenkinsURI)
            Dim res As HttpWebResponse = request.GetResponse
            Dim reader As New StreamReader(res.GetResponseStream)
            xmlJobList = XElement.Parse(reader.ReadToEnd)
            For Each job In xmlJobList...<job>
                Dim c As String = job.<color>.Value
                If c = "red" Then
                    Dim jj As New JenkinsJob
                    jj.Name = job.<name>.Value
                    jj.URL = job.<url>.Value
                    jj.failed = True
                End If
        Catch ex As Exception
            ' ignore for now
        End Try

        Return View(model)

It will loop through all the job nodes and if the color element is set to red then this indicates a filed job so add the name and URL to the view model to pass to the view.

This is the section of the view which will display the failed job. It uses the new bootstrap template that ships with Visual Studio 2013 and will only appear if the are any failed jobs.

    @If Model.failedJobs.Count > 0 Then
        @<div class="col-md-3">
            <h2 class="alert-danger"><a href="http://myhost.com:8080/view/Status/" target="_blank" title="http://myhost.com:8080/view/Status/">Failed Jenkins Jobs</a></h2>
            <table cellpadding="2">
                    <th>Job Name</th>
                @For Each job In Model.failedJobs
                        <td><a href="@job.URL" title="@job.URL">@job.Name</a></td>
    End If



VB.Net Getting a MD5 from a remote file asynchronously

Filed under: .NET, VB.NET — Tags: , , — vbmagic @ 3:10 pm

Took me a few hours to work this one out so I thought I’d post a small code snippet to show how it is done.

To do this you need the following Imports

Imports System.Net
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Security.Cryptography

It cheats in the fact that it downloads the file first and then does a checksum on it. But this is going to be used as a trigger for something else.

    Private _wc As New WebClient
    Private _baseUri As String = "http://mysite.com/myfiles/"

    Private Async Function GetDetails(filename As String) As Task(Of String)
        Await _wc.DownloadFileTaskAsync(New Uri(_baseUri & filename), "c:\downloads\" & filename)
        Dim result As String
        Using stream = New BufferedStream(File.OpenRead("c:\downloads\" & filename), 1200000)
            Dim hash As New MD5CryptoServiceProvider
            Dim checksum As Byte() = hash.ComputeHash(stream)
            result = BitConverter.ToString(checksum).Replace("-", String.Empty)
        End Using
        Return result
    End Function

    Private Async Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim md5 As String
        md5 = Await GetDetails("myfile.exe")
        ResultLabel.Text = md5
    End Sub


Windows Phone 8 Speech API is easier than I thought

I decided to try out the Windows Phone 8 Speech API and expecting it to be quite complicated I had a pleasant surprise…

I created a new project and found that all the speech functionality is already in the SDK.

Below is a simple XAML screen to test out the functionality

        <!--TitlePanel contains the name of the application and page title-->
        <StackPanel Grid.Row="0" Margin="12,17,0,28">
            <TextBlock Text="VBMAGIC" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextNormalStyle}"/>
            <TextBlock Text="speech toy" Margin="9,-7,0,0" Style="{StaticResource PhoneTextTitle1Style}"/>

        <!--ContentPanel - place additional content here-->
        <Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
                <TextBlock HorizontalAlignment="Center">Enter Text To Say</TextBlock>
                <TextBox x:Name="speechTextBox"></TextBox>
                <Button x:Name="sayitButton">Say It</Button>
                <Button x:Name="listenButton">Listen</Button>

And this is all the code I needed to actually handle everything.

Imports System
Imports System.Threading
Imports System.Windows.Controls
Imports Microsoft.Phone.Controls
Imports Microsoft.Phone.Shell
Imports Windows.Phone.Speech.Synthesis
Imports Windows.Phone.Speech.Recognition

Partial Public Class MainPage
    Inherits PhoneApplicationPage

    Private _synth As New SpeechSynthesizer
    Private _recog As New SpeechRecognizerUI()

    ' Constructor
    Public Sub New()

        SupportedOrientations = SupportedPageOrientation.Portrait Or SupportedPageOrientation.Landscape

    End Sub

    Private Sub sayitButton_Click(sender As Object, e As RoutedEventArgs) Handles sayitButton.Click

        ' Says it all

    End Sub

    Private Async Sub listenButton_Click(sender As Object, e As RoutedEventArgs) Handles listenButton.Click

        _recog.Settings.ReadoutEnabled = False
        _recog.Settings.ShowConfirmation = False

        ' Display the speech recognition dialogue
        Dim recoResult = Await _recog.RecognizeWithUIAsync()

        ' Put the text that comes back into the speechTextBlock
        ' and then say it.
        speechTextBox.Text = recoResult.RecognitionResult.Text
    End Sub

    Private Async Sub SayIt()

        ' Speak the contents of the speechTextBox
        Await _synth.SpeakTextAsync(speechTextBox.Text)

    End Sub
End Class

I switched off some of the default Speech Recognition UI features which were a bit of an overkill for this simple app (Look under _recog.Settings for all settings)

To enable this functionality to work you need to modify the app manifest. On VB.net projects. Click the Show All Files icon in the Solution Explorer, Open the My Project Directory, Double click the WMAppManifest.xml file, Click the capabilities Tab and make sure that the following options are ticked.


That is it. Nothing else required.


MVC4 Templates and latest nuget javascript updates causes error in jquery.unobtrusive-ajax.js

Filed under: .NET, ASP.NET MVC — Tags: , , , , , — vbmagic @ 2:21 pm

I updated the nu-get packages for my newly created MVC4 website and I started to get lots of JavaScript errors as shown below.

Error Dialogue

It took a bit of web searching but I found a solution. A feature used in the MVC templates has been removed (Previously it was deprecated) from the latest version of JQuery (1.9)

I found a solution to this on Stack Overflow

Basically you need to add the jQuery.Migrate package to your solution via the package manager:

PM> Install-Package jQuery.Migrate

And then modify the BundleConfig.vb found in the App_Start folder in you project so that it references the jQuery.Migrate package.

Public Class BundleConfig
    ' For more information on Bundling, visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=254725
    Public Shared Sub RegisterBundles(ByVal bundles As BundleCollection)
        bundles.Add(New ScriptBundle("~/bundles/jquery").Include(

This should fix the problem until the templates get updated.


Cannot import wsdl:portType error when adding a service reference

Filed under: .NET — Tags: , , , — vbmagic @ 1:25 pm

I came across this problem over the holiday period. The full error was:

Warning    4    Custom tool warning: Cannot import wsdl:portType
Detail: An exception was thrown while running a WSDL import extension: System.ServiceModel.Description.DataContractSerializerMessageContractImporter
Error: Type 'Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JToken' is a recursive collection data contract which is not supported. Consider modifying the definition of collection 'Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JToken' to remove references to itself.
XPath to Error Source: //wsdl:definitions[@targetNamespace='http://tempuri.org/']/wsdl:portType[@name='Ixxxxx']    C:\projects\Tyrannt RPG\Tyrannt\Tyrannt.Client.Web\Service References\CodexUpdateServiceReference\Reference.svcmap    1    1    Tyrannt.Client.Web

After doing a bit of searching I found the way to fix it was to remove the Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JToken from the “Resue Types”:

Right click the service reference…

Service Reference

Select the Reuse Types in Selected References option and tick all the boxes except the Newtonsoft.Json package.

This was the blogpost that helped me solve it “Type ‘Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JToken’ is a recursive collection data contract” While Adding Service Reference in VS2012


Plumbing in Place

Filed under: .NET, Learning, VB.NET — Tags: , , , , , — vbmagic @ 1:54 pm

Spent last weekend and some of the start of my Xmas holiday trying to finalise the plumbing between my three tiers.

There are now two types of services in the middle tier.

  1. OData read-only service. This is where things like the web client can get access to the game entities that get generated and allow for the game codex to be built. These will remain open and available to anyone that wants to view them.
  2. Updates and membership information. This will be a WCF based service mainly due to requiring the “Updates” to be sent over the service bus to the back end part of the system. And this is what will end up being secured at a later date when I’ve managed to research it more.

The only part of the feed currently available is the Latest News feed which is shown on the front page of the client web site currently.

There is also a hidden part of the client website which handles adding new news articles.

This is basically how adding a new news article works…

  • Client Website sends a news article to the middle tier WCF Service AddNewsArticle
  • The middle tier web service generates a GUID (Checking job result list in the DB to make sure it doesn’t already exists) and then creates a Service Bus “Job” which contains the GUID and passes GUID back to client.
  • The back end tier receives the news article job and then adds the article to the database and writes an entry in the job result list saying that it successfully created or it failed to create the news article using the GUID as a key.
  • While the back end is processing this job the web client has requested the job result from the middle service tier using the GUID key it recieved earlier. This service will wait up to thirty seconds for the job result to be generated (Checking every second) and then return the result back to the web client. It will also send a job to the back end to delete the job result.
  • The web client will either go back to the front page and the news article will then be displayed, or if there was an error, it will display the error on the add news article page so the user can decided what to do (I.e. me try to fix it 😉 )

The upshot all this recent work on the plumbing side of things means that I can now proceed and create the more interesting bits of the game and hopefully make very few changes to the way the plumbing works.

The heart of this system is the Job that passes from the Service Tier to the Back end Tier. All the code required to do a “Job of work” is held in these jobs. All the service tier has to do is create a job of a specific type and populate the required information, then send this job over the service bus to the back end. All the back end has to the is “Process” the job which makes the back end very small and simple in the way of code. All the work is done in the Job Process function. Hence most of the future development will be in these jobs and the client.

Onwards and upwards.


Just a quick update … It begins

Filed under: VB.NET — Tags: , , , , — vbmagic @ 11:26 am

The OData feed now has it’s first collection. As an initial test I created a news feed to keep the website updated on progress. I’ve not done the code to update the news feed just yet as I’m investigating securing WCF Rest services with the Azure ACS (Planning to go through the Windows Identity Foundation Patterns: On-Premise and Cloud Pluralsight course to help with this)

But the website now consumes this feed by displaying the last 5 news articles on the front page:


This is the code in the controller that accesses the service:

    Private Const CODEXURL As String = "https://tyranntrpg.org:8443/OData/Codex.svc"
    Private _codexContext As New TranntCodexServiceReference.GlobalDbContext(New Uri(CODEXURL))

    Function Index() As ActionResult
        Dim model As List(Of NewsArticle)

        model = (From a In _codexContext.NewsArticles
                Order By a.DateAdded
                Select a).Take(5).ToList

        Return View(model)
    End Function

And this is the code in the Razor View which displays it:

        <h4>Latest News</h4>
            @For Each a In Model
                @<li>@a.DateAdded.Date.ToLongDateString : <b>@a.Subject</b>


Multiple Database Context Mess and Intercepting writes on a WCF Data Service

Filed under: .NET, Azure, VB.NET — Tags: , , , , , , , — vbmagic @ 3:00 pm


Another weekend on hacking code to get the Tyrannt project off the ground. Again I am concentrating on the middle OData web service tier. One of the rules I set myself was to not allow this tier to update the database. These update requests are only meant to be done on the back end tier via messages passed along the Azure Service Bus (ASB).

After an initial hiccup which resulted in my WCF service request falling over with “Not enough memory” (These are hosted in Azure extra small compute instances). I managed to get a working service in the cloud that exposed all my current tables.

Next I wanted to split the tables over multiple data services. I initially achieved this by creating multiple database contexts. This also allowed me to intercept the SaveChanges call in the database context when someone did a Post or Put (Below is my current thinking of how to do this, although this may change when I find it doesn’t work 😉 )

    Public Overrides Function SaveChanges() As Integer
        For Each change In ChangeTracker.Entries
            Dim job As tJob
            Dim entity = change.Entity
            Dim entityType = change.Entity.GetType.Name
            Select Case entityType
                Case "NewsArticle"
                    job = New tjUpdateNewsArticle
                    Dim na As NewsArticle = CType(entity, NewsArticle)
                    '.... Etc
            End Select

        Return MyBase.SaveChanges()
    End Function

But when it came to trying to actually run this, I kept getting an error saying:

The model backing the 'TyranntSubsetContext' context has changed since the database was created.

After a lot of searching it seemed like some people said this was possible and other said it was not. I decided to change tack and use a single database context that had all my tables in it, but make a duplicate one in my service project which I can use to intercept the saves. (The Back end tier will need normal database access as this will be doing the writes)

Anyway I still needed to expose different tables in different services. And as a nice surprise this time, it was very easy to do.

Here is my DB Context class:

Imports System.Data.Entity
Imports Tyrannt.Model.Email
Imports Tyrannt.Model.News
Imports Tyrannt.Model.Errors
Imports Tyrannt.Model.Membership
Imports Tyrannt.Infrastructure.Jobs
Imports Tyrannt.Infrastructure.Jobs.News

Public Class GlobalDbContext
    Inherits DbContext

    Public Property NewsArticles As DbSet(Of NewsArticle)
    Public Property EmailMessages As DbSet(Of EmailMessage)
    Public Property ErrorMessages As DbSet(Of ErrorMessage)
    Public Property Members As DbSet(Of Member)
    Public Property MemberTypes As DbSet(Of MemberType)

    'Public Overrides Function SaveChanges() As Integer
    '    For Each change In ChangeTracker.Entries
    '        Dim job As tJob
    '        Dim entity = change.Entity
    '        Dim entityType = change.Entity.GetType.Name
    '        Select Case entityType
    '            Case "NewsArticle"
    '                job = New tjUpdateNewsArticle
    '                Dim na As NewsArticle = CType(entity, NewsArticle)

    '        End Select
    '    Next

    '    Return MyBase.SaveChanges()
    'End Function

End Class

And this is my service code (For now I only want to expose the NewsArticles one) :

Imports System.Data.Services
Imports System.Data.Services.Common
Imports System.Linq
Imports System.ServiceModel.Web

Public Class News
    Inherits DataService(Of GlobalDbContext)

    ' This method is called only once to initialize service-wide policies.
    Public Shared Sub InitializeService(ByVal config As DataServiceConfiguration)

        ' Expose only the required tables with the relevant access rights
        config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("NewsArticles", EntitySetRights.All)

        ' General settings
        config.UseVerboseErrors = True
        config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V3
    End Sub

End Class

And it worked 🙂

For those curious, here is the service URI:


I cannot guarantee this service will always work or still exist in future but it’ll be there while I test client side code.


WCF Service Application and “is ambiguous in the namespace ‘System.Data.Services.*'”


I created a WCF Service Application project and then added nuget packages to enable me to use entity framework and Windows Azure. After this point. all my services were getting the following error:

Error 5
'DataServiceProtocolVersion' is ambiguous in the namespace 'System.Data.Services.Common'.

Which was referencing this line of code:

config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V3

In-particular the DataServiceProtocolVersion enum

After doing a lot of searching around on the web. I could not find any solution to this, so I started to go through removing references. (Thinking that something I added with Nuget is causing the conflict)

I removed the System.Data.Services.Client reference and Everything started working again.

I then used the Object Explorer which showed that DataServiceProtocolVersion now resided in the:



Just posting this in case I can help save some time for anyone else who is suffering from this issue.

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