Mining Microsoft’s CodePlex repository

Microsoft’s CodePlex is an invaluable source of useful and free tools that can help you boost the performance of the Microsoft ecosystem.

The free open source project hosting site allows developers to create and collaborate with other developers on projects and to share those projects with others,

With about 400,000 open source projects in its list, CodePlex is an excellent site to download open source software.

J. Peter Bruzzese, Microsoft MVP and columnist for, recently compiled a list of his favourite CodePlex projects. Here are five of his top picks.


SharePoint client browser for SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises – This tool makes the development of SharePoint 2010/2013 and SharePoint Online much faster by revealing the hierarchy of your entire site collection structure.

It even show hidden lists, items or documents making navigation so much easier. It also allows users to open PowerShell and run queries against their remote site collection.

Find it in CodePlex here:

Mobile app developer

VeraCrypt – This tool provides enhanced security to algorithms used for systems and partitions encryption making it immune to new developments in brute-force attacks.

VeraCrypt also solves many vulnerabilities and security issues found in TrueCrypt.

Find it in CodePlex here:

data architect

ExPerWiz– The Exchange Performance Data Collection tool helps automate the collection of performance data for Exchange 2007/2010/2013.

This tool based on PowerShell script also collects all counters for Exchange baselining and troubleshooting and yet it allows you to winnow that list to just what you need.
By default, the tool captures data for eight hours, however, you can configure it to run as long as needed.

Find it in CodePlex here:

Mobile app developer

RBAC Manager R2– RBAC (role-based access control) can be difficult to use because it’s hard to visualize the corresponding roles that each role group has and which role entries are included through PowerShell.

RBAC Manager R2 for Exchange 2010/2013 and Office 365 allows users to view all this.

Whether a user’s environment is in the cloud or on-premises, the RBAC Manager R2 can map out the roles and role entries.

Find it on CodePlex  here:

data architect

Simple Azure Virtual Machine Manager This tool is a Web portal for accessing Azure virtual machines.

The Simple Azure Virtual Machines Manager allows users to rapidly start up, shut down and connect to VMs.

When you pay for the use of Azure VMs, this tool can be very useful for avoiding leaving un-utilized VMs on and racking up fees. This is also for you if you want users without access to the full Azure Portal to be able to start and stop virtual machines.

Find it in CodePlex here:

Note: this project has moved to GitHub


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Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.