Basic dotnet commands to create a C# Project in Visual Studio Code

Since SharePoint Online CSOM is now .NET Core compatible, it means I can start doing all my C# code work in Visual Studio Code and drop the heavy weight application of Visual Studio (Community/Enterprise). Yes, I might need to wait a little longer until SharePointPnPCoreOnline become .NET Core compatible too, but I’m sure that’s not far behind.

Although I have been a developer for many years, and used VS Code for a while for PowerShell and SPFX, I haven’t done any C# projects. This made me realise that I didn’t know how to start a C# project, how to add a reference to another project, add NuGet packet etc., inside VS Code. Does this mean I’m not very good at my job because I don’t know this simple information? No. It just means I’ve never done it before.

This blog post is going to just walkthrough some of the simple steps to get yourself up and running with a C# project using Visual Studio Code. For someone who spent most of his working life inside Visual Studio Community/Enterprise, the steps inside VS Code it is all command line calls and not using GUI’s and wizards. Which sometimes feels frustrating.

The dotnet commands are what we will be using.

You can jump to the relevant point in the blog post from the bookmark links below:

Preparing a Folder to work in
Creating a Solution
Creating a Project
Adding Projects to Solutions
Adding a Project Reference
Getting Intellisense to work
Writing some code
Build the Solution
Run the Project
Publishing the Project
Debugging the Project
Adding a NuGet Package
Listing the NuGet Packages
Remove a NuGet Package

Preparing a Folder to work in

  • Open Visual Studio Code inside a blank folder.
    • File -> Open Folder
    • Navigate to where you want the project to be.
    • Click New Folder and name the folder
    • Select the folder.
  • Open the Terminal
    • Terminal -> New Terminal
    • You can use Bash / Windows PowerShell / PowerShell 6 / PowerShell 7

Creating a Solution

  • In the terminal type the following to create a solution. The name of the solution is the name of the folder it sits in, you can use –name to give it a different name.
    • dotnet new sln

Creating a project

There are loads of project types you can create, and just typing dotnet new –help
shows you all the different types. Using the short name creates that type of project.

Let us create a C# Console project, —output is the folder location where the project is going to be put.

  • dotnet new console –output CSharpConsole

Let us also create a C# Library class project.

  • dotnet new classlib –output CSharpLibrary

Adding Projects to the Solution

With Visual Studio when you added a project, you automatically added these projects to the solution. This is not the case with VS Code. You must do an additional step to add the projects to the solution.

  • dotnet sln add CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj
  • dotnet sln add CSharpLibrary/CSharpLibrary.csproj

Adding a Project Reference

To add the CSharpLibrary reference to the CSharpConsole we need to call the add the reference

  • dotnet add CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj reference CSharpLibrary/CSharpLibrary.csproj

Getting Intellisense to work

When I was walking through the steps to ensure this blog post is accurate, I didn’t need to do these following steps to get the intellisense to work. They just worked. However, I’m going to still add this here in case you find the intellisense is not working for you.

  • Ctrl + Shift + p
  • Type “OmniSharp: Select Project”
    and press enter
  • Choose the solution workspace entry

Writing some code

To continue this blog post that you can follow along with , you will require some code.

  • In the CSharpLibrary project, rename the class.cs to IntLibrary.cs
  • Paste in the following code, this is a simple method that checks if the string value is greater than 5.
using System;
namespace CSharpLibrary
public static class IntLibrary
public static bool NumberGreaterThan5(this string value)
Int32 intValue = 0;
bool canConvert = Int32.TryParse(value, out intValue);
if (canConvert)
if (intValue > 5)
return true;
return false;
view raw IntLibrary.cs hosted with ❤ by GitHub
  • In the CSharpConsole project, paste the following code. This code asks the user for an input and returns true or false if the value is above 5 or not. With a console check for too many rows or empty value to quit.
using System;
using CSharpLibrary;
namespace CSharpConsole
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
public static void LibraryProject()
int row = 0;
if (row == 0 || row >= 25)
string input = Console.ReadLine();
if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(input)) break;
Console.WriteLine($"Input: {input} {"Greater than 5? ",30}: " +
$"{(input.NumberGreaterThan5() ? "Yes" : "No")}\n");
row += 3;
} while (true);
void ResetConsole()
if (row > 0)
Console.WriteLine("Press any key to continue…");
Console.WriteLine("\nPress <Enter> only to exit; otherwise, enter a string and press <Enter>:\n");
row = 3;
view raw program.cs hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Build the solution

The command to build the solution is:

  • dotnet build

Run the Project

To run the project you need to pass in the Project file.

  • dotnet run –project CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj

Or if you are already in the project’s directory

  • dotnet run

Publishing the Project

To publish the project to run it as an executable in this console case

  • dotnet publish –configuration release

Debugging the Project

No matter how good you are, you will need to debug code at somepoint.

  • Put a breakpoint in your code. Press F5.
  • First time you will be asked the project type. Select .NET Core. This will create a launch.json file. As this project is a console project, we need to modify the configuration within the launch.json file to make the console point to Integrated terminal, otherwise the line to clear the console will fail.
    • Change “console”: “internalConsole”
      on line 15 and change to “console”: “integratedTerminal”
// Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
// Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
// For more information, visit:
"version": "0.2.0",
"configurations": [
"name": ".NET Core Launch (console)",
"type": "coreclr",
"request": "launch",
"preLaunchTask": "build",
"program": "${workspaceFolder}/CSharpConsole/bin/Debug/netcoreapp3.1/CSharpConsole.dll",
"args": [],
"cwd": "${workspaceFolder}/CSharpConsole",
"console": "integratedTerminal",
"stopAtEntry": false
"name": ".NET Core Attach",
"type": "coreclr",
"request": "attach",
"processId": "${command:pickProcess}"
view raw launch.js hosted with ❤ by GitHub
  • Press F5 to debug the code.

Adding a NuGet Package

Nearly all projects now will involve adding a NuGet package of some sort. Again with the Command line to add, which I must admit I miss using a GUI. The GUI allowed you to search, now you need to know the name of the package. I’m going to add the SharePoint CSOM package to the console application

  • dotnet add CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj package Microsoft.SharePointOnline.CSOM

Optionally you can add the version parameter to get a specific version of a package.

  • dotnet add CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj package Newtonsoft.json –version 12.0.1

Listing the NuGet Packages

To find out which project has which NuGet packages already installed,

  • dotnet list package

Remove a NuGet Package

To remove a given NuGet Package you can type the following

  • dotnet remove CSharpConsole/CSharpConsole.csproj package Newtonsoft.json

Hopefully, that is enough to get yourself going, of course all commands have –help that explains how to use the command.

Removing External Users fully from a SharePoint Tenancy using PowerShell

This blog post has all come about as the client I was working for was having problems sharing documents in SharePoint with some external users. It turned out that the user was already in Azure AD as a Contact which is part of Exchange. This meant when an internal person attempted to share/Invite into SharePoint/MSTeams it all appeared to work correctly for the external user, but sometimes it didn’t. When looking at external users through the Admin portal, this external user was showing, but their email address was blank. After speaking with Microsoft, it turns out, because the email address was already found within the tenancy, it creates a unique violation when adding the external user to the Active Directory.

I have been working with Microsoft support regarding this, and the resolution was that this is as design!!??! Only by feeding back on the Office 365 uservoice this issue “might” looked at and fixed. See resolution notes below:

When you invite external users who exist as contacts in your environment, their email does not get populated in their guest user ID which results in them not being able to login to your environment and access the shared data.
The issue is coming from a conflict caused by the email address which is already populated for the mail contact.
This is behavior by design as all objects in Azure AD have to be unique.
You cannot have 2 objects with the same email address.

When you invite one of your contacts to your content in O365, it actually creates a completely new guest user object in your environment and since the email address which is supposed to be populated in the email attribute is already in use by the contact, the email address does not get populated.

The only way to resolve this issue at the moment is to eliminate any conflicts that are in place, by removing the conflicting email contact and re-invite the user to your content.
More information:
The best thing I can offer to you is the following:

Please go to our UserVoice portal where other people are facing the same behavior and up-vote it, comment and have the whole IT department do the same as well.

Allow a “Guest User” to be converted to a different account type

This led me to working on a process and script that would remove the users from everywhere.

Locations to remove the External User from:

  • Contacts
  • Azure AD Guest Users
  • Azure AD Deleted Users
  • All SharePoint Sites
  • All SharePoint Hidden User lists
  • SharePoint User Profile


To remove the External User from the contacts you will need to use the MSOL PowerShell module.

$UserEmail = "<ExternalUserEmailAddress>"
Get-MsolContact | ? EmailAddress -eq $UserEmail | Remove-MsolContact -Force

Or you can manually do this by going to and under Users -> Contacts select the user and click Delete contacts.

Azure AD

To remove the External User from Azure AD you will still require using the MSOL PowerShell module. In fact, this script and the above script could be merged.

$Environment = "<TenantName>"
$UserEmail = "<ExternalUserEmailAddress>"
$externalConversionEmail = ($UserEmail -replace '@', '_') + "#EXT#@" + $Environment + ""
$FoundUser = Get-MsolUser | ? UserPrincipalName -eq $externalConversionEmail
Remove-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName $($FoundUser.UserPrincipalName) -Force
#To see All Deleted User Get-MsolUser -ReturnDeletedUsers
Remove-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName $($FoundUser.UserPrincipalName) -RemoveFromRecycelBin -Force
#To Remove All Deleted Users Get-MsolUsers -ReturnDeletedUsers | Remove-MsolUser -RemoveFromRecycleBin -Force

To do this manually, in under Users -> Guest Users, select the user and click delete.

Then go into Users -> Deleted users and remove them from there.

Remove from SharePoint

To remove from SharePoint, if you have a large tenancy and you don’t know all the places where the external user could have been shared with, then you will have to use the following script. This script will remove the external user from the SharePoint Site, ensure that they are removed from the User Information list, and then lastly it will clear the person from the SharePoint User Profile.

I discovered that if I didn’t remove them from the User Profile, when attempted to reshare a document with that user, the people picker would grab the internal userprincipalname (<ExternalUserEmail>#EXT#@<Tenant> as the email address and then prevent me clicking the Sharing button. This is because the people picker uses Graph API /Me/People and grabs the value from there. Once removed from everywhere, including the User Profile this no longer happens.

The following script uses SPO PowerShell Module and you will need to connect first using Connect-SPOService. The account that you use, needs to be a SharePoint Global Administrator.

The script checks if it can find the ExternalUser, and if it can remove the user using Remove-SPOExternalUser.

Then it loops through every site collection and looks for the user using Get-SPOUser with the internal userprincipalname. If found it removes the user using Remove-SPOUser. Once it has looped through all SharePoint sites, it then checks the SharePoint User Profile and removes the user from UserProfile Remove-SPOUserProfile. This command will remove a user from the UserProfile if they in the “Active Profiles” or the “Profiles Missing from Import”

Loops through the SharePoint sites of the tenant, looking for the external user and removing them.
You need to have already connected to the Tenant as a SharePoint Global Adminstrator using Connect-SPOService -url:https://<tenant>
.\Remove-ExternalUserFromTenant.ps1 -Environment:<tenant> -UserEmail:<externalEmailAddres>
#For Tenant called Dev34223 and external email address
.\Remove-ExternalUserFromTenant.ps1 -Environment:Dev34223
$sites = Get-SPOSite -Limit ALL
$externalConversionEmail = ($UserEmail -replace '@', '_') + "#EXT#@" + $Environment + ""
$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'
$InformationPreference = 'Continue'
Write-Information -MessageData "Get $UserEmail External User within SharePoint"
$ExtUser = Get-SPOExternalUser -Filter $UserEmail
if ($null -ne $ExtUser) {
Write-Information -MessageData "Remove $UserEmail within SharePoint"
Remove-SPOExternalUser -UniqueIDs @($ExtUser.UniqueId) -Confirm:$false
$found = $false
$Sites | ForEach-Object {
$site = $PSItem
$i = $i + 1
try {
Get-SPOUser -site:$($site.Url) -LoginName:$externalConversionEmail
write-Information "Found user $UserEmail in site $($site.Title) Url:$($site.Url)"
Remove-SPOUser -site:$($site.Url) -LoginName:$externalConversionEmail
$found = $true;
catch {
#User not found.
Write-Progress -Activity "Removing User - $UserEmail" -Status "Progress:$($site.Url)" -PercentComplete ($i / $Sites.count * 100)
if ($found) {
Write-Information "User $UserEmail removed from SharePoint Sites"
else {
Write-Information "User $UserEmail wasn't found within SharePoint Sites"
Write-Information -MessageData "Remove $externalConversionEmail from SharePoint User profile"
try {
Remove-SPOUserProfile -LoginName $externalConversionEmail
catch {
Write-Information "Unable to find $externalConversionEmail in the user profiles."

If the plan is to add the external person back into your tenant, once the script has run, you will need to wait at least a few hours (maybe leave it for a day to be sure) to ensure all back end processes of Microsoft have completed.

When you share a document/folder with the external user they will get the invited link and enter a code experience, this way they do not turn up inside you Azure AD. However, if you share a site with them, or add them to a MS Teams, they will appear in your Azure AD correctly.

SharePoint Online site keeps refreshing on Microsoft Edge

A weird thing started happening on my Microsoft SharePoint site yesterday. Every time I hit a page/site the browser continuously refreshed over and over. I had no problems if I did this in Chrome, or even Internet Explorer, only in Microsoft Edge. Originally I thought it was a problem with the site, because if I went to a different tenant I didn’t encounter the same issue.

So, I then booted up another pc that had Microsoft Edge on it, and viewed my site expecting it to refresh over and over, but it didn’t. Therefore, it seemed to be a problem with my Edge explorer.

I first tried to clear all settings. Clicking on the 3 ellipses and then select Settings > Clear browsing data. I ticked everything to be cleared, and then clicked Clear. Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me, and made my Edge explorer crash on opening.

Extreme measures were required. I needed to complete reset Microsoft Edge. Now if you are following these steps, I must warn you, you might lose your favourites, history and settings. I recommend that you create a full backup or create a system restore point. Although I didn’t bother with a system restore or backup. My favourites were still there afterwards, I’m not sure if this is a syncing thing between my devices though, as I’ve just noticed that my favourites are the same on two machines.

Fixing Microsoft Edge

  • Close all open Microsoft Edge browsers.
  • Open file explorer and navigate to the following location (You will need to show hidden files):
    • C:\users\<YourUserName>\AppData\Local\Packages
  • The folder called Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe first right click it and select Properties, and remove the check from the Read-Only option, click Apply and then OK
  • Now try and delete the folder. If you get Access Denied prompts, just select Continue. Any files you cannot delete just skip for now.
  • Go inside the Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe folder and try deleting any remaining folders, you might be not able to delete the AC folder.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Now we are going to obtain the Microsoft Edge package and reregister it. Open Windows PowerShell by right clicking it
    and Run as administrator
  • Type the following to get to your user cd c:\Users\<YourUserName> press enter.
  • Now type
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}
  • If successfully you will not see any red message in the powershell window, just a yellow one saying operation complete for C:\Windows\SystemApps\Micorosft.MirosoftEdge.8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppXManifest.xml”
  • Reboot your machine on more time. Afterwards Microsoft Edge will be restored and I found that I didn’t have a refreshing issue with my SharePoint online site anymore.

Using HTML template and JQuery.clone()

In a recent proof of concept I was putting together, I needed a way to display different data on the fly, but with the same layout. As it was for a SharePoint 2013 SharePoint hosted app, all I had was Java Script and HTML to perform my task. Originally when I first started to write the code I was building the DIV, SPAN and other objects in the code, line by line. When I was about to start the code for the 3rd section, I thought there must be an easier way.

And there is! Create a template on the HTML page to clone when needed, but have it hidden.

Below is an image of the template if it was visible on the page.

If we take a look at the HTML for it, you will see it just a simple HTML layout. The div with the ID “details” is where we will be cloning the template to in code. (Please note I’m not a designer and there are probably huge mistakes with this. Happy to be corrected).

<div id="details"></div>
<div class="hiddenTemplate">
<div id="Template">
<h2><label class="header">This is Header</label></h2>
<div class="buttonDiv"><button class="deleteButton" type="button">Delete</button></div>
<b>ID: </b><span class="itemId">ID</span>

<b>Name: </b><span class="&quot;itemName">Name</span>

<span class="descriptionArea">
<b>Description: </b><span class="itemDescription">Description</span>

<span class="parentArea">
<b>Parent ID: </b><span class="itemParentID">Parent ID</span>

<b>Parent Name: </b><span class="&quot;itemParentName">Parent Name</span>

<div class="addItem"><span class="addItemInstruction">Add Items here</span>

<input class="addItemInput" type="text" />
<span class="addButtonSpan"><button class="addButton" type="button">Add</button></span></div>

Using css I’m able to style and hide the template from the user on the page.

.hiddenTemplate {
border:1px dotted lightgray

In your JavaScript code, once you have obtained your data you simply grab a copy of the template, clone it using $(‘#Template’).clone(); and then update any details before adding it to the “details” div.

I needed to use the template 4 times and show it slight different for each one, and also depending on values returned. Below is the code for just one of my returned items, however you can see how simple in a loop you could reuse this, or design it differently depending on the data coming back.

 //Get if it is the root term, Term Name and Description.
 var root = termDetails.get_isRoot();
 var termName = termDetails.get_name();
 var termDescription = termDetails.get_description();

//Find template and Clone it.
 var termTemplate = $('#Template').clone();
 //Get the header, and update the text within the clone template.
 termTemplate.find('.header').text("Term Details");
 //Give the template a unique ID, so it can be referenced later in code if needed.
 termTemplate.attr('id', "boxDetails" + termId.toString());

//Show the display button, and give it an on click function.
 termTemplate.find('.deleteButton').show().on('click', function () { removeTerm(termStoreId, groupId, termSetId, termId) });
 //Display Item ID.
 //Display Item Name.
 //If there is no description don't show it
 if (termDescription == "")

//If not root, then it has a parent, find out who the parent is.
 var parent;
 if (!root) {
 parent = termDetails.get_parent();
 function () {
 //success getting parent
 var parentName = parent.get_name();
 var parentId = parent.get_id();
 //Show Parent Area.
 //Display Parent ID.
 //Display Parent Name.
 }, function () {
 console.log("Error obtaining parent details");

//Put instructions for the add button
 termTemplate.find('.addItemInstructions').text("Please enter the name of the Term to add to " + termName);
 //Give input box an ID to reference later
 termTemplate.find('.addItemInput').attr('id', 'createSubTermTextBox');
 //Give button an ID.
 termTemplate.find('.addButton').attr('id', 'createSubTermButton');
 //Change text of button.
 termTemplate.find('.addButton').attr('value', 'Add Term');
 //Give the button an on click function
 termTemplate.find('.addButton').on('click', function () { addSubTerm(termStoreId, groupId, termSetId, termId); });

//Add the template to the details tag.

With some additional css the final outcome looks like below.

Battlefield 3 and punkbuster

So tonight, the first time of playing Battlefield 3 on my Windows 8 machine. I was getting punkbusted within 3 minutes of playing a game. I tried updating punkbuster using that didn’t work. I tried disabling Avast, that didn’t work. I even went into the game install folder and tried pbsvc.exe which reinstalled punkbuster again for me. This didn’t work but it did give me a clue.

Apparently pnkBstrB service wasn’t communicating properly. So I checked in my services.msc and PnkBstrB service was not running. As soon as I started the service again I had no Punkbuster problems.

I hope this helps someone else.

How to post script/code on word press

Just use the sourcecode tag in the following way (don’t put the underscores in):

[__sourcecode lanaguage=”csharp”]
string s = “hello world”;

And it will display like this.

string s= "hello world";

The following languages are support.

  • actionscript3
  • bash
  • clojure
  • coldfusion
  • cpp
  • csharp
  • css
  • delphi
  • erlang
  • fsharp
  • diff
  • groovy
  • html
  • javascript
  • java
  • javafx
  • matlab (keywords only)
  • objc
  • perl
  • php
  • text
  • powershell
  • python
  • r
  • ruby
  • scala
  • sql
  • vb
  • xml


First blog post

How hard is it to write a good opening line? Been staring at this for a while now.

Ok, my name is Paul Matthews. I’m a father of one beautiful daughter, and live with my partner. We have no pets, and live in a 3 bed house. I’m a PC gamer and my favourite game is Battlefield 3. My gaming tag is Cann0nF0dder (the o’s are zeros) which is partly why my wordpress domain name is cann0nf0dder. Please feel free to add me as a friend.

Why am I now writing a blog?
Within our company we have a department blog which I am a main contributor too. It is a valuable source of information from something simple to something technical, but it’s not accessible from outside of the company firewall. It is such a useful tool, I decided to create my own one.

First technical post coming soon….