Alexander Vanwynsberghe

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try"

Awarded as MVP for Visual Studio ALM

Yesterday, I received my first Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award for my contributions to the Visual Studio ALM community. I’m really happy and honored that I got this recognition. I enjoy working with the ALM community and I’m looking forward to what the future will bring. I promise to keep sharing everything I know and what I learn at customers! I hope my blog posts are useful and if you think there is anything I can improve or if you would like to see some particular topics on this blog, please just let me know! Read More

Quick PowerShell note: Get available constructors

When you’re working with PowerShell, you occasionally will be using .Net types to create objects . One thing that I noticed is that it’s quite difficult to know the correct types of the arguments that you can pass to the different constructor methods. Some piece of PowerShell that I had was:

In that (small) example, I did a reflection of the XDT DLL, and I wanted to create an “XmlTransformation” object to do some XDT transformations (which is pretty cool, and recently release to NuGet btw!). In that case, I wanted to know what the available constructors are, and what arguments you can pass. If you do this with for example C#, you can just press F12, and that’s it. But not with PowerShell. After some google’ing bing’ing I found this little function:

All you have to do now is run this:

That’s pretty cool, that was exactly what I was looking for! Now I can create an object using:

Small, but useful. 

Get your populated Office 365 demo environment

Did you know that, as a Microsoft Partner, you can get a free demonstration environment and some guide materials for the new Office and Office 2013 without requiring a full installation locally? Well, I didn’t until James Akrigg (@jakrigg) posted the following tweet:


Curious as I am, I wanted my own demo environment. As I have a partner login associated with my Live ID, I decided to give it a go. Point your browser to and click on the ‘Microsoft Partner’ link. You have to provide your credentials to continue. Once you’re successfully logged in, you will see some information about this offer, but the most import things are:

  • Subscription includes an Office 365 Enterprise SKU trial tenant (note: this tenant is subject to trial restrictions, including a 30-day expiration)
  • Subscription includes an Office Enterprise Hero Demo guide which provides talking script and clicking guidelines

That’s great, let’s create one. Click on the “Create Demo” link on top of the page. You will now see the options of the demo environment like the type of Office 365 Tenant, the demo content and the demo language. As for now, it looks like you cannot change the options. I guess that there will be some more options available in the future.

02Click on “Create Your Demo”. You can now enter a tenant name and type the correct robot number.

03Once you click on “Create My Account”, you will see the provision status of your tenant. Something like:


That’s all you have to do. If you read the questions from the FAQ section, you will see that the process will take 8 to 36 hours, depending on service availability. You will receive a completion email when the content provisioning process has been completed. You can easily check the status of your tenant by entering your tenant name in the ‘Domain’ box. (Or use the link in the email did receive after you registered your demo instance.

Having a demo environment is one thing, showing the new goodies are another thing. That’s where the demo guides and documents come in. You can find an impressive list of guidance documents by clicking on the “Resources” link on top of the page.

Small note: You can login using the following two credentials: and

Thanks to the Office team for making this available!

Word 2013 crash when opening a template

Just a quick post about a strange Word 2013 crash when I created a new document starting from one of the templates. This weekend, I did a fresh install of Office 2013. Nothing fancy, just a next-next-finish install. After the installation, I opened Word 2013 to see that everything is working as expected. But actually, it didn’t.


This is what happened after selecting one of the provided templates. Word stopped working.  (Btw, it’s a Dutch version of Office 2013, as it was an install on my dad’s machine). After some research, I found that it was something related to the Bluetooth COM Add-in. Because that’s the only thing that appears on the Splash screen of Word: “Loading Bluetooth add-in”.

To solve this problem, you can disable this COM Add-in by clicking on the ‘Options‘ link on the left side of the screen. (Just press escape when you’re on the templates screen to be able to access the options menu). There you click on ‘Add-ins‘, and select the ‘Send to Bluetooth’ Add-in. Now you can select ‘Start‘ on the bottom of the screen.


You should see a new screen where can disable the ‘Send to Bluetooth’ Add-in. So uncheck the option, and click ‘OK‘. That’s it. You should now be able to start a new document using one of many provided templates.



Word 2013 as blog post editor

Writing a blog post can be quite time consuming. Especially the ‘formatting’ part of a blog post. When I started blogging here, I was a strong believer of the online editor from WordPress. Just because it’s so easy to use. But there are other possibilities like using Word 2013.

Word can easily connect to your WordPress (or some other provider like Blogger, SharePoint blog…) engine and will provide you everything you need to format your blog post. To start, just open Word 2013 and select the ‘Blog Post’ template. There you will have the option to register/create an account. In my case, I selected WordPress as provider (even though it’s self hosted!)

Next step is to enter the URL to your blog engine added with xmlrpc.php (which is the endpoint that Word will use to publish your blog post). You also need to provide your username and password (the one you use to login to wp-admin). On that screen, you can also change some ‘Picture Options’. In my case, I used the built-in WordPress Picture Provider.

In fact, that’s all you have to do, you can start typing, adding images, play with your formatting. When you’re ready, click on the ‘Publish’ button on the top left side of the ‘Blog Post Ribbon’. You can also ‘Publish as draft’ to be sure that your post is already saved on WordPress. Using the ‘Open Existing’ button, you will see a list of your existing posts like:

To end this post, I will give you some of my personal pros and contras about using Word 2013 as Blog Post Editor. Good luck if you will try it yourself.


  • Saved as .docx file into my SkyDrive
  • Easy image formatting
  • Spell checker from Word is amazing (as non-native English speaker) comparing to the in-browser experience


  • No “Align full” formatting possible
  • Code formatting = no-go
  • Post needs some modifications after publishing (tags, SEO related things…)
  • No auto-draft save

Migrating from Google Apps to

I’ve been a true Google Apps fan for years now. But for a few reasons, I really wanted to move the e-mail management part from Google Apps to The reasons for the move are mainly because of this:

  1. Google Apps is not free anymore. Not a problem for me, as an existing user. But I don’t like the direction that Google is taking with this decision.
  2. I really don’t like Google’s Privacy Policy anymore.

Well, because of that, I decided to make the move. I’ve been a fan of since it was released, so it was the right time to make the switch. In this post, I will describe how you create your own custom domain, the DNS settings you need to make, and how you can make e-mail aliases.

Custom domain

First things first, we need to create a custom domain using Sign in with your Live ID. Note that it can be one from your custom domain. In my case, I already had a Live ID making use of Once you’re signed in, click on the ‘Add Domain‘ button. Enter your domain name, and select ‘Set up for my domain‘. Review and accept the next screen.


You will now get a screen with the question tho prove the ownership of this domain by creating a DNS record. Because we decided to set up for this domain, the first DNS record that you have to create is the MX one. To create an MX record, go to the DNS management part of your personal domain, or contact your hosting provider. The settings will look like this:


Once you’ve added the MX record, you can click on the ‘Refresh‘ button. If everything went correct, you will now be able to add some ‘Member accounts‘. Click on the ‘Add‘ button to create a member account. Enter the account name, for example ‘‘, a first name, last name and password. Click the OK button to add your account.

In fact, that’s all you have to do. You can go to and log in with your new account. Note that you will still see the old ‘hotmail’ look, but you can simply change it to using the options button on the right.

One import part, although for me, is the fact that if you already have a Live ID using this custom domain and you enable ‘mail’ for this custom domain, it will automatically create that user in the ‘Member Accounts. For example, I had a live ID This Live ID also had an inbox, but it was empty off course. But by creating a custom domain, and enabling the mail option on, it automatically created a member account ‘’.  That’s all I had to do.


One thing that is missing from the ‘Windows Live Domains’ is the ‘Alias‘ feature. Well, in fact it does exist, it’s just not available from the interface. It’s possible to create aliases using the Admin Center SDK. After some Bing’ing (I couldn’t be the first one with this problem), I found a nice and easy solution to manage my aliases. It’s called WLALIAS. This is a command-line based tool making use if the Windows Live API.

Once you’ve downloaded the tool (version 1.5). You can add the following command to add a new alias (it will ask you to provide the Live ID you’ve been using to create the custom domain)

MemberName is the Member Account from
Alias is the name of how your alias will look like.

After you execute this command, you will receive an email on your ‘MemberName’ account telling you that an alias has been added. To get an overview of all aliases linked to your ‘MemberName’. Execute the following command:

You will now get a list of your aliases:


That’s it. My e-mails are now using, I’m happy! One thing that you also have to do off course is moving your ‘old’ Google Apps mails to You can do this by enabling POP on Google Apps, and link this POP account to your account (but this can fail, mainly if you have lots of e-mails). Another option is to use the Outlook client. Simply add the 2 accounts (Google Apps and and copy paste your folders.

Good luck!