Tag: cloudshare

Using Assembla’s free Subversion service within a Cloudshare SharePoint development environment

After being tempted by CloudShare for a while now, I finally went ahead and got a subscription. One of the reasons for this is that I want to be able to do some SharePoint/Office 365 development wherever I am, even if my laptop is not with me (basically, that currently means that I do it from either my laptop at home or my laptop at work). To keep my code separate from my virtual machine, I signed up for the free Subversion service from Assembla, and put all my relevant code (also the one I’m working on inside my CloudShare environment) into repositories hosted there. The benefit of this is that if I stop using CloudShare, want to develop inside my own local virtual machine, rebuild my ClousShare environment, start developing in multiple machines, or other similar reasons, I can easily access my code repository again, anytime & anywhere (I could even share it with others, if I wanted to). Following are the simple steps to set it all up:
Does it work with other Subversion repositories? – Yes, but as I use Assembla, I focus on it here.
Does it work for non-SharePoint code as well? – Yes, I just use it as an example (again, because I’m using it)
Can I use Assembla in my own environment (local VM, e.g.) – Of course!


Sign up for Assembla

I will skip the detailed section of how to do this, there’s nothing special or magical about it. Go to http://offers.assembla.com/free-subversion-hosting/, sign up, that’s it.


Install your favourite Subversion tool for Visual Studio

There are many Visual Studio plu-ins thaz can be used with Subversion, I chose the free tool AnkhSVN (http://ankhsvn.open.collab.net/) for my development purposes. Download it, install it. To configure it in VS, go to Options, Source Control, and Plug-in Selection.


Add a new project

When you create a new project, you have the option to select “Add to Subversion”.

If you do so, an extra dialog will pop up after the project has been created.

Add to Subversion

After you click OK,you’re asked for the Repository URL. You can get it from your Assembla subversion site:

Paste it, select an appropriate local folder, and if desired select if a trunk folder should be created.

Once you click OK, you will get to see your solution in the Solution Explorer, together with the corresponding Subversion icons (as you can see from the blue “plus”, these are new files that haven’t been committed to the repository yet)

Commit your changes

Right-clicking on an individual file/folder/module/project/solution/etc., you will have the option to commit the corresponding changes to subversion.

Once you do so, you can still select which items you want to commit, and add a log message:


View your repository on Assembla

Once you’ve committed your code, you can also view the folder and file structure directly on the Assembla site:


Having multiple repositories on Assembla

You are not restricted to a single Subversion repository on Assembla, you can create multiple repositories (called spaces) if wanted:

Viewing the activity stream

When you log on to Assembla, you can also see the activity stream of all Space,s and check what has happened recently (your actions as well as those of anyone else who has access to your space(s))

Using Multiple Monitors with your CloudShare Machine

If you have multiple monitors, like me, you’re probably very used to having your development area (Visual Studio, SharePoint Designer, NotePad++, whatever) on one screen, and a browser (or PDF reader, or other tool to support you) on another screen.

As I recently subscribed to CloudShare to do some SharePoint and Office 365 development, I found my development efforts a bit limited by the in-browser RDP client, as you can use a single monitor only. Having to switch from Visual Studio to Internet Explorer back and forth during my development definitely took more time than wanted. I was therefore looking for a solution that allows me to use both of my monitors (laptop + external monitor) while working in my CloudShare virtual machine. As CloudShare uses RDP, as mentioned, I checked if I can connect with Windows’ RDP client (I can), and if I can get the multi monitor support to work (actually quite easy). So, the steps to achieve this are:

Log in to your CloudShare environment, and get the External Address of the desired machine:

Note: You’ll also need the Credentials listed at the bottom


Next, start the Remote Desktop Connection client in Windows:


Enter the External Address, and click on options:


Under Display, select “Use all my monitors for the remote session“:


Once you click Connect, the connection gets established, and you’ll be asked for the Credentials from above:


During your first connection, you’ll see the following security dialog. Select “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” to not be prompted again.


That’s it! Once the RDP view window opens, you’ll see it on all your monitors, here are my settings from inside the CloudShare machine:


[warning_box]Please note that you still need to keep a CloudShare connection open in the browser, and refresh regularly. By default, a CloudShare “Environment will suspend in 59minutes” of inactivity, which can extended to 180 mins per use. Your RDP connection won’t prevent this, so if you work for an hour through RDP only, the connection will get lost.

Also, please note that the External Address may change and is not always the same (not sure right now under which circumstances it changes, probably after each suspension), so you may need to go through this setup regularly.[/warning_box]