Excel Concatenate Error: More arguments

November 12 2011 07:22 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:Microsoft Excel

Today while working on a spreadsheet, I needed to join a large amount of text and data into a string for use in an SQL script. Of course one method to join these segments or cells of data is to use the Concatenate function. I have used the function many times in the past and gotten pretty good at creating these strings. This particular project required that I join well over 100 arguments. I began entering and got into a rhythm after approx. 32 arguments I decided to stop and review. Selected OK on the input dialog box and bing…. error.


After I verified that I didn’t have any argument errors I began deleting arguments when I got down to Text28 field I picked OK and the function accepted my arguments. So yes I suppose there is a limit, but I thought I could enter over 250?? So I entered one argument at time until I got the error again. There is a 30 argument limit (While searching for the answer I found that many other function have the same limitation).

I began looking into the error because I really need to join all of these arguments for my project and I figured this will be another opportunity to learn something.

What I find interesting is that the concatenate dialog box even states that 1 to 255 text strings can be joined. I suppose this is true, but you need to do a little something extra to get more than 30 arguments into the string.




The solution for stringing together more than 30 arguments in the Concatenate function is to structure your sting like so grouping each concatenate segment with no more than 30 arguments.


The selected file is not a valid ISO file

November 7 2011 17:24 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:Windows 7

Ran into a new issue for me this week. I recently downloaded a couple of ISO files from Microsoft, both are the new Windows 8 developer preview. I had plans to burn the 32bit version to a DVD and install on an old PC I have in my lab. The other I planned to create a USB boot stick and install on a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk).

On my Windows 7 laptop I made sure I had a new blank DVD in the drive bay, selected the 32bit ISO file and right clicked, when the Windows Disk Image Burner dialog opened I picked burn. Where I was notified that “The selected image isn't valid.” What?? I downloaded from a Microsoft website.


Well, maybe the file didn’t download properly or had gotten corrupted. I decided I would try to setup my USB boot stick. First I insert a new blank USD drive into one of the ports. Then opened up the Windows 7 USB download tool, and when prompted to select the ISO, I picked the 64bit file and selected next in the tool. What?? Again???


So am I now to believe that both downloads are corrupted? I then took the 32bit file and put it on another laptop  with a WinXP OS and was able to burn the ISO image with 3rd party burning software. At this point I am now thinking that there is something else going on.

After searching for the Invalid ISO File errors I ran across a blog post where someone had made a utility that would manipulate the ISO file and configure it so that Windows 7 would accept the image.


To find and explanation of what this tool corrects and a link to download the utility go here Another problem solved.

System.Security.SecurityException, BlogEngine’s BlogRoll.cs

November 3 2011 13:49 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:BlogEngine.NET

Recently during an upgrade from BlogEngine 1.6.1 to BE 2.0 I experienced several issues that required a bit of research for the solution. This particular issue had a few steps or phases before I found the root problem and the the right fix.

This blog is a subfolder within a base application and while I was merging BlogEngine into the web application everything seemed to work just fine. When I uploaded to my web host that the little issues started to show up. The first thing I noticed was that when I browsed to the home page I got a garbled output. What I find strange is that if I refreshed the page would render, but that the BlogRoll section did not. No issues on my local host, only on the hosted site.


After searching for topics on garbled output I found a post where it was described that there is some issue where BlogEngine has an issue and instead of throwing up an error or sending you to an error page you see the garbled output. One resolution was to comment out the compression module in the web.config.


I tried this mainly because it was simple enough to do. Just note that this compression module is located in 2x in the web.config file. You would comment them out in both places.

At this point I no longer got the garbled output, but a true error page. With this now I was able to start looking at finding an actual solution. The file throwing the error is BlogRoll.cs, this now makes sense of why after a refresh of the garbled output and the page rendered I wasn’t getting anything from that widget.


One post I found on the BlogEngine.Codeplex discussion forum stated that the checking of credentials really wasn’t required in this case and could be commented out. I tried this, but I did not get the desired results, in fact I started to get other errors.

After giving up one night and attempting another search the next day I found what I was looking for. Seems like there is always someone out there who has been through something very similar. I found the answer here.


By adding this little section to the web.config file and elevating the web application to a full trust, error gone. I returned all other setting changes and commented out code back to the original condition. Pages loads just the way it is supposed too, including the BlogRoll.

That’s is it, hopefully in the future when I run into a security issue like this I will refer back to this post.

Adding Roles and Membership to an SQL Server Database

January 8 2011 08:57 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:ASP.NET

The following steps describe adding roles and membership to an SQL Server database that stores user information and allows for authentication within ASP.NET applications. This happens to be one the many little tasks that I seem to do once every 3-6 months that I need to stop and think; where is the setup wizard located? The information or instructions exist in many places on the net, do a Google search on the above title or follow the steps below. I have put this post together so that in the future I hopefully wont have to stop and think so long.

Step –1: Navigate to the folder shown below in Fig -1a, this is the path on a typical WinXP machine. Double click aspnet_regsql.exe to start the wizard.

Figure - 1a

For a Windows 7 system the path is slightly different, Figure – 1b. Also depending on the frame works installed you can find the aspnet_regsql.exe in the V4.0 framework folder.

Win7 RegSQL 
Figure – 1b

As you can see on the welcome screen of the setup wizard, you can also configure roles and membership from a command line. The are additional features that can be setup which need to be configured from the command prompt and will not be covered in the post.

Figure - 2

Step –2, Setup Option: Select either configure SQL server for application services, which is the default or the option to remove application services from an existing database. Figure –3

Figure - 3

Step –3: This is the most complicated step in the series. You will need the server name and instance name. You can use either Widows authentication or SQL Server authentication. Once you enter and server information and the authentication credentials a list of available databases will be shown in the drop down list. Select the appropriate database and then select next. Figure - 4

Select Database 
Figure - 4

Step – 4: Confirmation of settings you entered in step 3.

Figure - 5

Step – 5: Finish. Well that is it, simple. Open up your database and you can see the changes

Figure - 6


Figure 7 shows the tables that are added to the selected database.

Figure - 7


An upcoming post will walk through the methods used to configure your application to utilize your database Roles and Memberships.



Target Framework, .Net Framework 4.0 to .Net Framework 3.5

November 1 2010 15:02 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:.NET Framework, ASP.NET

I recently upgraded from Visual Web Developer 2008 to Visual Web Developer 2010 and have run into an issue, I started seeing a configuration error. In two cases I had been working on web applications in Visual Web developer 2010.

Case 1 appeared after I had opened an existing application and when prompted, do I want to configure the site for use with ASP.NET 4.0, I must have said yes.

Case 2 came when I created a new application and my system is setup to use Framework ASP.NET 4.0

In both situations I got the following error <compilation debug="true" targetFramework="4.0" /> pointing to my web.config file. I like working in Visual Web Developer 2010, but my hosting server is not yet setup for .Net Framework 4.0, so I needed to find out how to down-grade from 4.0 to 3.5 framework.

Config Error


The following is what I did to change the target Framework from ASP.NET 4.0 to ASP.NET 3.5.

1) Ensure IIS and the ASP.NET properties are configured for Framework 2.0. Note: Framework 3.5 will not show up in the list of installed options due to the fact that framework 3.5 is an extension of 2.0 and not a stand alone release.

 ASP.NET Properties


2) Configure you web application to use target Framework 4.0 by right clicking your website in the solution explorer >> Property Pages >> Build >> Change "Target Framework" to .NET Framework 3.5.

 VWD Site Properties

Then select the desired framework from the list.

VWD Build Properties 

This will update your web.config file with the correct information.



The following links were used to find the solution.

NET Framework Developer Center, Forum: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/netfxsetup/thread/a1bcee62-55a2-4fd2-8a78-1a1fbd95ebf3

MSDN Blog by Vijayshinva

Ajax Controls, Error: ‘Sys.Extended.UI’ is null or not an object

September 7 2010 18:19 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:Ajax, ASP.NET

While working through an integration of BlogEngine.Net into an existing web application I ran into a small issue with the Ajax controls I had implemented within the existing site. After the BE was migrated into the web application I noticed that when I viewed the page with the Ajax controls that rendering wasn't correct and that I started to get an error warning within the browser.

WebPage Error

Digging deeper into the error and the rendering issue I found “Error: ‘Sys.Extended.UI’ is null or not an object”. Obviously it was some conflict with the controls from BE to the Ajax controls on the original site.

The solution turned out to be pretty easy, the controls used within BlogEngine.Net and the Ajax control toolkit used within my original web application were conflicting. The solution was to add the CombineScripts=”false” option.


Thanks to the following posts:



Bnet Technologies Network

September 5 2010 20:00 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:General

Over the next several postings I would like to document the network configuration we have at Bnet Technologies. Bnet Technologies is an office within the home, so it fits the definition of SOHO or Small office home office.

Some of the topics that will be explored are the layout or infrastructure of the network. I will provide a sample map, the documentation of this network. We use a Windows Home Server as the data storage and data backup. The WHS also provides a method to access the network from the outside, and its called remote access. I will also get into some detail about add ins available for the WHS. Our SOHO uses a broadband internet connection to provide access the world wide web and I will get into some detail about options for utilizing this technology. Bnet Technologies is a good example of a small business that is not located where more traditional high speed internet access is available.

Welcome to Bnet Technologies

August 28 2010 15:21 / by: Bryan Didas / Filed in:General

At the header says welcome. Finally after several months of redesigning and tweaking the new Bnet Technologies site is up. This has been a great learning experience as usually most projects are. I will write more detail about this experience in following posts as I share some of my experience integrating BlogEngine.net into an existing web application; this site.

My intent is to share my experiences in web development, computers and hardware, networking and systems as they apply to the SOHO. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me. I hope you can find some piece of information that can help you solve a problem or just enlighten you.