Visual Studio Editor TIP

A few days ago I had to adjust a text file. I needed it for testing with BizTalk whatsoever. In the Text file I needed to remove some columns and replace it with something else. Not sure what is was, but with Visual Studio it was a peace of cake.

Normally I use Notepad or Excel for this sort of action. I known there are other tools like Notepad++, but this is not installed on all my machines. NB That should be synced to in Windows 8.

Anyways, the Visual Studio editor has a lot of handy features.

Assume this text file, it is a dir listing.

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To remove the first columns, put the cursor on the first column and press the ALT key. That is way easier than SHIFT ALT arrow right and repeat this for every line.

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Press delete and the columns are gone.

To add some Text is done similarly. Cursor on the first column and press the  alt key, move your mouse straight down en start typing.

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Handy, more later.

Posted in dotnetmag, Tip, Visual Studio | Leave a comment

Kinect for Windows V2 – Sensor

Probably you have already heard or read about it. In our SDN event in March we had a session and in our SDN magazine 120 there was an article, both by Dennis Vroegop and based on the Developers preview kit.

In the meantime a lot is changed. The accompanied SDK has changed a lot and almost weekly there are new features. There is a public preview SDK available. After the installation of the SDK you get these apps:

  • Gesture Builder
  • Kinect Studio
  • SDK Browser (examples)

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But without a device the SDK is not very useful, since 15 July the Kinect sensor is available via the Microsoft Store.

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The differences with the Developer preview are:

  • The sensor comes in a nice box ;-)

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  • The connector and power supply are much better designed. The lower block makes the connection between your sensor and your PC (USB 3), with the Developer Preview this part was bigger and not styled at all. Theoretical you could use the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor on a Xbox ONE, which is not allowed by the way. The other way around is not possible, the sensor-to-usb unit is missing.

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  • The camouflage stickers are removed of course ;-). Compared to the Xbox ONE sensor the XBox logo and the XBox text on top are removed.

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I got my pre-ordered retail version, I am curious when the Developer Preview version will be replaced with a ‘real’ Kinect.

In later Blog posts I will talk about the SDK and examples.

Posted in dotnetmag, Gadget, Gadgets, Kinect, Windows 8 | Leave a comment

Windows Phone 8.1

Soon a nice update will come to your Windows Phone 8: Windows Phone 8.1. This update contains a lot of UI updates but also additions like other platforms know.

It will be possible to have a background picture. This picture will show in the icons with a transparent picture.

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On Android and Apple platform there is a notification center. On these devices you swipe from the top down and you get a overview of all notifications. Here you can see al text messages, Whatsapp, mails or other notifications. This will come to Windows Phone too. I am using it for while and you get used to this very quickly.

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The agenda on a Windows Phone is much better than the competing platforms. But with the coming update they make an extra step forward. As a business user of a Windows Phone you will enjoy this very much.

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The biggest feature is Cortana. On a iPhone you got Siri and on Windows Phone we have Cortana. Game fanatics will recognize the character from the Halo Games on XBox. At this moment Cortana is only available for US English.

You can joke with it. Ask Cortana to sing or to tell jokes or ask for advise. During the Soccer WK 2014 she also showed to know a lot about soccer and do some predictions. Powered by Bing.

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But there a lot of serious use cases. You can tell her to remind you at a certain moment. As a real PA (Personal Assistent) she will remind you of your task.

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A great update. Let hope the mobile providers will push the update to you all.

PS The screenshots are made on a Nokia Lumia 1520.

Posted in dotnetmag, Gadget, Gadgets, Windows Phone | Leave a comment

DevOps session by Richard Campbell

On 26 May Richard Campbell was at Prodware Benelux in Rijswijk. Jarkko of the The Software Architecture and Project Design The Hague organized this presentation. It was a great event and Richard Campbell proved once again he is a great speaker.

The session was recorded and can be watch via YouTube.

Posted in DevOps, Events | Leave a comment

Scheduled Jobs Azure Websites

Do you need a schedules job on Microsoft Azure Website? For example to copy files to another location or do some sort of background task? Till now the Azure specialists always told you to go for Cloud Services. Within Cloud Services in a different thread you could do you jobs etc.

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But now there is the availability of webjobs on Microsoft Azure websites. These can be run according to a schedule. That helps a lot.

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag | Leave a comment

Azure Websites staging

During the development of software we use these steps design, develop, test and deploy. Agile or not, these steps always exists. Different environments for the different parts. During development you need a development environment and that is usually local. Testing is done on a Test environment and most of the time this is centrally maintained. On Production we just deploy and previous steps validate this is without errors.

But sometimes a deployment (production or test does not matter) needs some processes to light up the environment a bit. For example the first call to a website always takes some time. Not real strange because of caching and loading the stuff. But in Production you users will notice this delay too and they don’t want to wait.

For this reason it would be handy, if you could preload or precach stuff right after the deployment. Your users won’t have to wait for this.

With Microsoft Azure Cloud Services we had a Staging environment for this reason. On this Staging slot you could touch enything to get the first delay away. After this you swapped Staging to Production.

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With Microsoft Azure websites there was no Staging. But now it is also available for Websites. It looks a bit different, but it works like Cloud Services. The Staging slot is not default available.

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En make Staging Production is as easy a abc.

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Happy Websites!

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag | Leave a comment

Microsoft Azure Websites Backup

If you are using a Microsoft Azure Website, then it is now possible to make regular and automatic backups. This backup routine can also include the linked database or the linked resources.

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This makes the Microsoft Azure websites a lot more interesting.

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag, Storage | Leave a comment

Visual Studio Online – Organizational Account

To use Visual Studio Online you need a Microsoft Account. Now it is also possible to use Visual Studio Online in combination with a Office 365 account.

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This makes Visual Studio Online available for Business and Enterprise environments.

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Of course you can connect this to your Microsoft Azure subscription which is connected to your Office 365 account.

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag, Office365, Visual Studio | Leave a comment

Microsoft Azure Remote Apps

On the Microsoft Azure platform we had the three AAS: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service en Software as a Service. Each has his own position within an Enterprise. IAAS is about virtualization of computers via Virtual Machines. The number of companies using physical hardware is getting very small. With PAAS it is about virtualization of the platform. The application/developer should be unaware about underlying servers and hardware. They don’t need to know it, the platform takes care of the capacities and availability. With SAAS even more of the underlying platform complexities is hidden for the users.

Often you see within Enterprises another level of Virtualization. SAAS makes the applications available with web technologies. But many of our LOB applications are not made or available via the Web. For example in an ERP environment there is still a Fat Client available. The functionalities on the webportals is (still) not sufficient. Disadvantage of Fat Clients they follow the Client/Server principal. And need to be installed on the users desktop machine. This gives some extra management hassle for the IT department.

To lower this management hassle Enterprises are seeking for desktop virtualization solutions like Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Citrix or RES Workspace Virtualisatie but there are more. The solution all need some sort of Client app, this app makes a connection to a server and runs the application there as if it runs local.

Why not use Microsoft Azure? It is possible. We can configure Virtual Machines and setup a Remote Desktop server. With this we can virtualizes applications. Super ofcourse, but still needs a lot of management on our side.

On the Microsoft Azure platform now Remote App is in preview. With this we can use the maximal potential of the Cloud. The management of the hardware is done by Microsoft. Microsoft Azure is internet scale, so connectivity and availability is no problem.

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On the Azure portal we are able to create Remote App service. At this moment there is just one Template available. Of course it will be able to create our own templates. With this we can make Corporate apps available. It is even possible for the Remote Apps service to use a secure VPN to connect to the Enterprise network..

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A template with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Office.

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By going to the portal of the Remote App (https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/), you see you need a Client app. Don’t worry, although it is a preview but it uses the Standard Microsoft Remote Desktop protocol, there is a Client app for every platform (Android, iOS and MAC).

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I am using the Windows Remote Desktop Client. After the installation you need to login.

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You see this screen.

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Double clicking the application makes it start. In the example this is Word 2013.

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In the taskbar of Windows you see a Remote Desktop addition to your application icon.

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Besides the Office 2013 applications also the standard Windows Server 2012 applications are available. These can be enabled to your users.

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After add them on the Microsoft Azure portal, you see them in Remote Desktop app too.

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To show we using a application from a Server, we start the calculator.

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The about screens show us the differences.

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A great addition to the Microsoft Azure platform. Another scenario to go to the Cloud is enabled.

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag, Microsoft Office 2013 | Leave a comment

NAV 2013 R2 on Azure part 2

In a earlier blogpost I mentioned, Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 can be installed on Windows Azure. Until recently you needed a Dynamics NAV ISO before installing it on a Virtual Machine. With the latest updates on the Windows Azure Platform Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 is added to the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery.

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Now it all became easier. Follow the steps in the Wizard and your Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 environment is ready. This is less than a quarter of an hour.

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Happy Coding.

Posted in Azure, Cloud, dotnetmag, NAV | Leave a comment