Friday, April 27, 2012

Expecting non-empty string for 'providerInvariantName' parameter - database connection error in web application

Just a simple accidental error in web application's web.config file, and you see the following error:

Expecting non-empty string for 'providerInvariantName' parameter. Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.ArgumentException: Expecting non-empty string for 'providerInvariantName' parameter.
Fig. 1 Error page showing providerInvariantName parameter error for web application's database connection error
 The error occurred only because I had missed the providerName property in my connection string.
My connection string is:
  <add name="ConnectionString" connectionString="data source=my-pc;Integrated Security=true;Initial Catalog=mydbname"
   providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />
And accidentally it was broken like:
  <add name="ConnectionString" connectionString="data source=my-pc;Integrated Security=true;Initial Catalog=mydbname" />
I was stunned to get the error when I had just finished uploading the web application to my host. After some googling, I found the cause and fixed the error. It worked. Happy programming!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flexible jquery based modal box or popup box -ColorBox

I have been using the jquery plugins for long. Many times I do need to implement facebook-like photo viewer in gallery pages. Similarly, mostly in admin pages of my web applications, I frequently us modal pop-ups for various purposes like ajax loading of content, iframe loading from other internal pages, confirmation and error show ups. Typically I used to go for separate plugins for the purpose. Lately I found the ColorBox plugin that satisfies both the needs. In one sense, this is a framework for me. You can visit  ColorBox and explore it.

Lets look at the features the ColorBox jquery plugin possesses.
  • Supports photos, grouping, slideshow, ajax, inline, and iframed content.
  • Lightweight: 10KB of JavaScript (less than 5KBs gzipped).
  • Appearance is controlled through CSS so it can be restyled.
  • Can be extended with callbacks & event-hooks without altering the source files.
  • Completely unobtrusive, options are set in the JS and require no changes to existing HTML.
  • Preloads upcoming images in a photo group.
  • Well vetted. ColorBox is one of the top jQuery plugins.
For jquery 1.3.2+, ColorBox has its older version, whereas for jquery 1.4.3+, ColorBox has its news version.
Meantime, you may also enjoy browsing jquery with tips in this blog. To sate the appetite of enthusiasts, I have also posted a bunch of javascript with related tips and tricks which you may find useful in your web development career. Cheers! kick it on

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Domain without www not working from plesk hosting

I use plesk hosting for my company. An error I got (and shocked with it!) was that my domain was displaying the correct site with :
But did not work with:
Later it was traced that, by default the www was not included while creating the domain.
So if you are creating a domain, don't forget to inlcude www (by checking a checkbox next to www). That will keep yourself away from the worry.
If you have already created the domain and have the problem, you can always go and edit the domain (from the very first page that lists all the domains) and update it to include www.
kick it on

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