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  • A Generic, IDisposable WCF Service Client

    - by Steve Wilkes
    WCF clients need to be cleaned up properly, but as they're usually auto-generated they don't implement IDisposable. I've been doing a fair bit of WCF work recently, so I wrote a generic WCF client wrapper which effectively gives me a disposable service client. The ServiceClientWrapper is constructed using a WebServiceConfig instance, which contains a Binding, an EndPointAddress, and whether the client should ignore SSL certificate errors - pretty useful during testing! The Binding can be created based on configuration data or entirely programmatically - that's not the client's concern. Here's the service client code: using System; using System.Net; using System.Net.Security; using System.ServiceModel; public class ServiceClientWrapper<TService, TChannel> : IDisposable     where TService : ClientBase<TChannel>     where TChannel : class {     private readonly WebServiceConfig _config;     private TService _serviceClient;     public ServiceClientWrapper(WebServiceConfig config)     {         this._config = config;     }     public TService CreateServiceClient()     {         this.DisposeExistingServiceClientIfRequired();         if (this._config.IgnoreSslErrors)         {             ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback =                 (obj, certificate, chain, errors) => true;         }         else         {             ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback =                 (obj, certificate, chain, errors) => errors == SslPolicyErrors.None;         }         this._serviceClient = (TService)Activator.CreateInstance(             typeof(TService),             this._config.Binding,             this._config.Endpoint);         if (this._config.ClientCertificate != null)         {             this._serviceClient.ClientCredentials.ClientCertificate.Certificate =                 this._config.ClientCertificate;         }         return this._serviceClient;     }     public void Dispose()     {         this.DisposeExistingServiceClientIfRequired();     }     private void DisposeExistingServiceClientIfRequired()     {         if (this._serviceClient != null)         {             try             {                 if (this._serviceClient.State == CommunicationState.Faulted)                 {                     this._serviceClient.Abort();                 }                 else                 {                     this._serviceClient.Close();                 }             }             catch             {                 this._serviceClient.Abort();             }             this._serviceClient = null;         }     } } A client for a particular service can then be created something like this: public class ManagementServiceClientWrapper :     ServiceClientWrapper<ManagementServiceClient, IManagementService> {     public ManagementServiceClientWrapper(WebServiceConfig config)         : base(config)     {     } } ...where ManagementServiceClient is the auto-generated client class, and the IManagementService is the auto-generated WCF channel class - and used like this: using(var serviceClientWrapper = new ManagementServiceClientWrapper(config)) {     serviceClientWrapper.CreateServiceClient().CallService(); } The underlying WCF client created by the CreateServiceClient() will be disposed after the using, and hey presto - a disposable WCF service client.

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  • Wheaties Fuel = Wheaties FAIL

    - by Steve Bargelt
    Are you kidding me? What a load of nutritional CRAP. Don’t buy this product. Just don’t do it. They are just like Wheaties with more sugar and fat. Awesome just what we need more sugar!! Okay now I’m not against carbs… I’m really not. Being a cyclist I realize the importance of carbohydrates in the diet… but let’s be realistic here. Even though the commercials for Wheaties Fuel say they are for athletes you know that what General Mills is really hoping for is that kids will see Payton Manning, Albert Pujols and KG and buy this cereal and eat a ton of it for breakfast. Sad, really. I’ve watched all the videos and read all the propaganda on the Wheaties Fuel web site and no where do they talk about why they added sugar and fat the original Wheaties. There is a lot of double-speak by Dr. Ivy about “understanding the needs of athletes.” I had to laugh – in one of the videos Dr. Ivy even says that he thinks the "new Wheaties will have even more fiber! Wrong! My bad... there is 5g of fiber not 3g per serving. Just  Way more sugar. A serving of FROSTED FLAKES has less sugar per serving!!!   Wheaties Fuel Wheaties Frosted Flakes Honey Nut Cheerios Quaker Oatmeal Serving Size 3/4 cup 3/4 cup 3/4 cup 3/4 cup 3/4 cup Calories 210 100 110 110 225 Fat 3g .5g 0g 1.5g 4.5g Protein 3g 3g 1g 2g 7.5g Carbohydrates 46g 22g 27g 22g 40.5g Sugars 14g 4g 11g 9g 1.5g Fiber 5g 3g 1g 2g 6g   In reality it might not be a bad pre-workout meal but for a normal day-in-day-out breakfast is just seems to have too much sugar - especially when you bump the serving size up to 1 to 1.5 cups and add milk! I’ll stick with Oatmeal, thank you very much.

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  • Attracting publishers to an in-house affiliate program

    - by Steve
    The cost to enter affiliate networks can be prohibitive for (cash-strapped) small business, particularly if they are simply testing the waters of an affiliate program. If such a company wanted to run an affiliate program in-house using off the shelf software, what methods would they use to attract publishers? Is it simply a case of SEO or SEM, attempting to attract publishers to the page on their website which outlines their affiliate program? Are there directories to submit one's affiliate program to?

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  • Autoscaling in a modern world&hellip;. last chapter

    - by Steve Loethen
    As we all know as coders, things like logging are never important.  Our code will work right the first time.  So, you can understand my surprise when the first time I deployed the autoscaling worker role to the actual Azure fabric, it did not scale.  I mean, it worked on my machine.  How dare the datacenter argue with that.  So, how did I track down the problem?  (turns out, it was not so much code as lack of the right certificate)  When I ran it local in the developer fabric, I was able to see a wealth of information.  Lots of periodic status info every time the autoscalar came around to check on my rules and decide to act or not.  But that information was not making it to Azure storage.  The diagnostics were not being transferred to where I could easily see and use them to track down why things were not being cooperative.  After a bit of digging, I discover the problem.  You need to add a bit of extra configuration code to get the correct information stored for you.  I added the following to my app.config: Code Snippet <system.diagnostics>     <sources>         <source name="Autoscaling General"switchName="SourceSwitch"           switchType="System.Diagnostics.SourceSwitch" >         <listeners>           <add name="AzureDiag" />             <remove name="Default"/>         </listeners>       </source>         <source name="Autoscaling Updates"switchName="SourceSwitch"           switchType="System.Diagnostics.SourceSwitch" >         <listeners>           <add name="AzureDiag" />             <remove name="Default"/>         </listeners>       </source>     </sources>     <switches>       <add name="SourceSwitch"           value="Verbose, Information, Warning, Error, Critical" />     </switches>     <sharedListeners>       <add type="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics.DiagnosticMonitorTraceListener,Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" name="AzureDiag"/>     </sharedListeners>     <trace>       <listeners>         <add             type="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics.DiagnosticMonitorTraceListener,Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" name="AzureDiagnostics">           <filter type="" />         </add>       </listeners>     </trace>   </system.diagnostics> Suddenly all the rich tracing info I needed was filling up my storage account.  After a few cycles of trying to attempting to scale, I identified the cert problem, uploaded a correct certificate, and away it went.  I hope this was helpful.

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  • Part 1 - 12c Database and WLS - Overview

    - by Steve Felts
    The download of Oracle 12c database became available on June 25, 2013.  There are some big new features in 12c database and WebLogic Server will take advantage of them. Immediately, we will support using 12c database and drivers with WLS 10.3.6 and 12.1.1.  When the next version of WLS ships, additional functionality will be supported (those rows in the table below with all "No" values will get a "Yes).  The following table maps the Oracle 12c Database features supported with various combinations of currently available WLS releases, 11g and 12c Drivers, and 11g and 12c Databases. Feature WebLogic Server 10.3.6/12.1.1 with 11g drivers and 11gR2 DB WebLogic Server 10.3.6/12.1.1 with 11g drivers and 12c DB WebLogic Server 10.3.6/12.1.1 with 12c drivers and 11gR2 DB WebLogic Server 10.3.6/12.1.1 with 12c drivers and 12c DB JDBC replay No No No Yes (Active GridLink only in 10.3.6, add generic in 12.1.1) Multi Tenant Database No Yes (except set container) No Yes (except set container) Dynamic switching between Tenants No No No No Database Resident Connection pooling (DRCP) No No No No Oracle Notification Service (ONS) auto configuration No No No No Global Database Services (GDS) No Yes (Active GridLink only) No Yes (Active GridLink only) JDBC 4.1 (using ojdbc7.jar files & JDK 7) No No Yes Yes  The My Oracle Support (MOS) document covering this is "WebLogic Server 12.1.1 and 10.3.6 Support for Oracle 12c Database [ID 1564509.1]" at the link https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1564509.1. The following documents are also key references:12c Oracle Database Developer Guide http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/appdev.121/e17620/toc.htm 12c Oracle Database Administrator's Guide http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/server.121/e17636/toc.htm . I plan to write some related blog articles not to duplicate existing product documentation but to introduce the features, provide some examples, and tie together some information to make it easier to understand. How do you get started with 12c?  The easiest way is to point your data source at a 12c database.  The only change on the WLS side is to update the URL in your data source (assuming that you are not just upgrading your database).  You can continue to use the 11.2.0.3 driver jar files that shipped with WLS 10.3.6 or 12.1.1.  You shouldn't see any changes in your application.  You can take advantage of enhancements on the database side that don't affect the mid-tier.  On the WLS side, you can take advantage of using Global Data Service or connecting to a tenant in a multi-tenant database transparently. If you want to use the 12c client jar files, it's a bit of work because they aren't shipped with WLS and you can't just drop in ojdbc6.jar as in the old days.  You need to use a matched set of jar files and they need to come before existing jar files in the CLASSPATH.  The MOS article is written from the standpoint that you need to get the jar files directly - download almost 1G and install over 600M footprint to get 15 jar files.  Assuming that you have the database installed and you can get access to the installation (or ask the DBA), you need to copy the 15 jar files to each machine with a WLS installation and get them in your CLASSPATH.  You can play with setting the PRE_CLASSPATH but the more practical approach may be to just update WL_HOME/common/bin/commEnv.sh directly.  There's a change in the transaction completion behavior (read the MOS) so if you think you might run into that, you will want to set -Doracle.jdbc.autoCommitSpecCompliant=false.  Also if you are running with Active GridLink, you must set -Doracle.ucp.PreWLS1212Compatible=true (how's that for telling you that this is fixed in WLS 12.1.2).  Once you get the configuration out of the way, you can start using the new ojdbc7.jar in place of the ojdbc6.jar to get the new JDBC 4.1 API's.  You can also start using Application Continuity.  This feature is also known as JDBC Replay because when a connection fails you get a new one with all JDBC operations up to the failure point automatically replayed.  As you might expect, there are some limitations but it's an interesting feature.  Obviously I'm going to focus on the 12c database features that we can leverage in WLS data source.  You will need to read other sources or the product documentation to get all of the new features.

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  • MVC Portable Areas &ndash; Static Files as Embedded Resources

    - by Steve Michelotti
    This is the third post in a series related to build and deployment considerations as I’ve been exploring MVC Portable Areas: #1 – Using Web Application Project to build portable areas #2 – Conventions for deploying portable area static files #3 – Portable area static files as embedded resources In the last post, I walked through a convention for managing static files.  In this post I’ll discuss another approach to manage static files (e.g., images, css, js, etc.).  With this approach, you *also* compile the static files as embedded resources into the assembly similar to the *.aspx pages. Once again, you can set this to happen automatically by simply modifying your *.csproj file to include the desired extensions so you don’t have to remember every time you add a file: 1: <Target Name="BeforeBuild"> 2: <ItemGroup> 3: <EmbeddedResource Include="**\*.aspx;**\*.ascx;**\*.gif;**\*.css;**\*.js" /> 4: </ItemGroup> 5: </Target> We now need a reliable way to serve up these static files that are embedded in the assembly. There are a couple of ways to do this but one way is to simply create a Resource controller whose job is dedicated to doing this. 1: public class ResourceController : Controller 2: { 3: public ActionResult Index(string resourceName) 4: { 5: var contentType = GetContentType(resourceName); 6: var resourceStream = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetManifestResourceStream(resourceName); 7:   8: return this.File(resourceStream, contentType); 9: return View(); 10: } 11:   12: private static string GetContentType(string resourceName) 13: { 14: var extention = resourceName.Substring(resourceName.LastIndexOf('.')).ToLower(); 15: switch (extention) 16: { 17: case ".gif": 18: return "image/gif"; 19: case ".js": 20: return "text/javascript"; 21: case ".css": 22: return "text/css"; 23: default: 24: return "text/html"; 25: } 26: } 27: } In order to use this controller, we need to make sure we’ve registered the route in our portable area registration (shown in lines 5-6): 1: public class WidgetAreaRegistration : PortableAreaRegistration 2: { 3: public override void RegisterArea(System.Web.Mvc.AreaRegistrationContext context, IApplicationBus bus) 4: { 5: context.MapRoute("ResourceRoute", "widget1/resource/{resourceName}", 6: new { controller = "Resource", action = "Index" }); 7:   8: context.MapRoute("Widget1", "widget1/{controller}/{action}", new 9: { 10: controller = "Home", 11: action = "Index" 12: }); 13:   14: RegisterTheViewsInTheEmbeddedViewEngine(GetType()); 15: } 16:   17: public override string AreaName 18: { 19: get { return "Widget1"; } 20: } 21: } In my previous post, we relied on a custom Url helper method to find the actual physical path to the static file like this: 1: <img src="<%: Url.AreaContent("/images/arrow.gif") %>" /> Hello World! However, since we are now embedding the files inside the assembly, we no longer have to worry about the physical path. We can change this line of code to this: 1: <img src="<%: Url.Resource("Widget1.images.arrow.gif") %>" /> Hello World! Note that I had to fully quality the resource name (with namespace and physical location) since that is how .NET assemblies store embedded resources. I also created my own Url helper method called Resource which looks like this: 1: public static string Resource(this UrlHelper urlHelper, string resourceName) 2: { 3: var areaName = (string)urlHelper.RequestContext.RouteData.DataTokens["area"]; 4: return urlHelper.Action("Index", "Resource", new { resourceName = resourceName, area = areaName }); 5: } This method gives us the convenience of not having to know how to construct the URL – but just allowing us to refer to the resource name. The resulting html for the image tag is: 1: <img src="/widget1/resource/Widget1.images.arrow.gif" /> so we can always request any image from the browser directly. This is almost analogous to the WebResource.axd file but for MVC. What is interesting though is that we can encapsulate each one of these so that each area can have it’s own set of resources and they are easily distinguished because the area name is the first segment of the route. This makes me wonder if something like this ResourceController should be baked into portable areas itself. I’m definitely interested in anyone has any opinions on it or have taken alternative approaches.

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  • Andrejus Keeps Cranking Out the Tips

    - by steve.muench
    I've been working on designing and implementing a new set of features for an upcoming Oracle ADF release for the past several months (and several more to come) and this has put a real limit on the time I have available for helping external customers and internal teams, as well as the time I have for blogging. Thankfully, the ADF community at large has many other voices they can listen to for tips and techniques. One I wanted to highlight specifically today is Andrejus Baranovskis' blog, which is steadily building up a high-quality archive of downloadable ADF examples based on his real-world consulting experiences, each with a corresponding explanatory article. If you're not already subscribed to Andrejus' blog, I highly recommend it. Keep up the great work, Andrejus!

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  • MVC Portable Area Modules *Without* MasterPages

    - by Steve Michelotti
    Portable Areas from MvcContrib provide a great way to build modular and composite applications on top of MVC. In short, portable areas provide a way to distribute MVC binary components as simple .NET assemblies where the aspx/ascx files are actually compiled into the assembly as embedded resources. I’ve blogged about Portable Areas in the past including this post here which talks about embedding resources and you can read more of an intro to Portable Areas here. As great as Portable Areas are, the question that seems to come up the most is: what about MasterPages? MasterPages seems to be the one thing that doesn’t work elegantly with portable areas because you specify the MasterPage in the @Page directive and it won’t use the same mechanism of the view engine so you can’t just embed them as resources. This means that you end up referencing a MasterPage that exists in the host application but not in your portable area. If you name the ContentPlaceHolderId’s correctly, it will work – but it all seems a little fragile. Ultimately, what I want is to be able to build a portable area as a module which has no knowledge of the host application. I want to be able to invoke the module by a full route on the user’s browser and it gets invoked and “automatically appears” inside the application’s visual chrome just like a MasterPage. So how could we accomplish this with portable areas? With this question in mind, I looked around at what other people are doing to address similar problems. Specifically, I immediately looked at how the Orchard team is handling this and I found it very compelling. Basically Orchard has its own custom layout/theme framework (utilizing a custom view engine) that allows you to build your module without any regard to the host. You simply decorate your controller with the [Themed] attribute and it will render with the outer chrome around it: 1: [Themed] 2: public class HomeController : Controller Here is the slide from the Orchard talk at this year MIX conference which shows how it conceptually works:   It’s pretty cool stuff.  So I figure, it must not be too difficult to incorporate this into the portable areas view engine as an optional piece of functionality. In fact, I’ll even simplify it a little – rather than have 1) Document.aspx, 2) Layout.ascx, and 3) <view>.ascx (as shown in the picture above); I’ll just have the outer page be “Chrome.aspx” and then the specific view in question. The Chrome.aspx not only takes the place of the MasterPage, but now since we’re no longer constrained by the MasterPage infrastructure, we have the choice of the Chrome.aspx living in the host or inside the portable areas as another embedded resource! Disclaimer: credit where credit is due – much of the code from this post is me re-purposing the Orchard code to suit my needs. To avoid confusion with Orchard, I’m going to refer to my implementation (which will be based on theirs) as a Chrome rather than a Theme. The first step I’ll take is to create a ChromedAttribute which adds a flag to the current HttpContext to indicate that the controller designated Chromed like this: 1: [Chromed] 2: public class HomeController : Controller The attribute itself is an MVC ActionFilter attribute: 1: public class ChromedAttribute : ActionFilterAttribute 2: { 3: public override void OnActionExecuting(ActionExecutingContext filterContext) 4: { 5: var chromedAttribute = GetChromedAttribute(filterContext.ActionDescriptor); 6: if (chromedAttribute != null) 7: { 8: filterContext.HttpContext.Items[typeof(ChromedAttribute)] = null; 9: } 10: } 11:   12: public static bool IsApplied(RequestContext context) 13: { 14: return context.HttpContext.Items.Contains(typeof(ChromedAttribute)); 15: } 16:   17: private static ChromedAttribute GetChromedAttribute(ActionDescriptor descriptor) 18: { 19: return descriptor.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ChromedAttribute), true) 20: .Concat(descriptor.ControllerDescriptor.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ChromedAttribute), true)) 21: .OfType<ChromedAttribute>() 22: .FirstOrDefault(); 23: } 24: } With that in place, we only have to override the FindView() method of the custom view engine with these 6 lines of code: 1: public override ViewEngineResult FindView(ControllerContext controllerContext, string viewName, string masterName, bool useCache) 2: { 3: if (ChromedAttribute.IsApplied(controllerContext.RequestContext)) 4: { 5: var bodyView = ViewEngines.Engines.FindPartialView(controllerContext, viewName); 6: var documentView = ViewEngines.Engines.FindPartialView(controllerContext, "Chrome"); 7: var chromeView = new ChromeView(bodyView, documentView); 8: return new ViewEngineResult(chromeView, this); 9: } 10:   11: // Just execute normally without applying Chromed View Engine 12: return base.FindView(controllerContext, viewName, masterName, useCache); 13: } If the view engine finds the [Chromed] attribute, it will invoke it’s own process – otherwise, it’ll just defer to the normal web forms view engine (with masterpages). The ChromeView’s primary job is to independently set the BodyContent on the view context so that it can be rendered at the appropriate place: 1: public class ChromeView : IView 2: { 3: private ViewEngineResult bodyView; 4: private ViewEngineResult documentView; 5:   6: public ChromeView(ViewEngineResult bodyView, ViewEngineResult documentView) 7: { 8: this.bodyView = bodyView; 9: this.documentView = documentView; 10: } 11:   12: public void Render(ViewContext viewContext, System.IO.TextWriter writer) 13: { 14: ChromeViewContext chromeViewContext = ChromeViewContext.From(viewContext); 15:   16: // First render the Body view to the BodyContent 17: using (var bodyViewWriter = new StringWriter()) 18: { 19: var bodyViewContext = new ViewContext(viewContext, bodyView.View, viewContext.ViewData, viewContext.TempData, bodyViewWriter); 20: this.bodyView.View.Render(bodyViewContext, bodyViewWriter); 21: chromeViewContext.BodyContent = bodyViewWriter.ToString(); 22: } 23: // Now render the Document view 24: this.documentView.View.Render(viewContext, writer); 25: } 26: } The ChromeViewContext (code excluded here) mainly just has a string property for the “BodyContent” – but it also makes sure to put itself in the HttpContext so it’s available. Finally, we created a little extension method so the module’s view can be rendered in the appropriate place: 1: public static void RenderBody(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper) 2: { 3: ChromeViewContext chromeViewContext = ChromeViewContext.From(htmlHelper.ViewContext); 4: htmlHelper.ViewContext.Writer.Write(chromeViewContext.BodyContent); 5: } At this point, the other thing left is to decide how we want to implement the Chrome.aspx page. One approach is the copy/paste the HTML from the typical Site.Master and change the main content placeholder to use the HTML helper above – this way, there are no MasterPages anywhere. Alternatively, we could even have Chrome.aspx utilize the MasterPage if we wanted (e.g., in the case where some pages are Chromed and some pages want to use traditional MasterPage): 1: <%@ Page Title="" Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage" %> 2: <asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent" runat="server"> 3: <% Html.RenderBody(); %> 4: </asp:Content> At this point, it’s all academic. I can create a controller like this: 1: [Chromed] 2: public class WidgetController : Controller 3: { 4: public ActionResult Index() 5: { 6: return View(); 7: } 8: } Then I’ll just create Index.ascx (a partial view) and put in the text “Inside my widget”. Now when I run the app, I can request the full route (notice the controller name of “widget” in the address bar below) and the HTML from my Index.ascx will just appear where it is supposed to.   This means no more warnings for missing MasterPages and no more need for your module to have knowledge of the host’s MasterPage placeholders. You have the option of using the Chrome.aspx in the host or providing your own while embedding it as an embedded resource itself. I’m curious to know what people think of this approach. The code above was done with my own local copy of MvcContrib so it’s not currently something you can download. At this point, these are just my initial thoughts – just incorporating some ideas for Orchard into non-Orchard apps to enable building modular/composite apps more easily. Additionally, on the flip side, I still believe that Portable Areas have potential as the module packaging story for Orchard itself.   What do you think?

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  • Total Cloud Control keeps getting better ! Oracle Launch Webcast : Total Cloud Control for Systems

    - by Anand Akela
    Total Cloud Control Keeps Getting Better Join Oracle Vice President of Systems Management Steve Wilson and a panel of Oracle executives to find out how your enterprise cloud can achieve 10x improved performance and 12x operational agility. Only Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c allows you to: Accelerate mission-critical cloud deployment Unleash the power of Solaris 11, the first cloud OS Simplify Oracle engineered systems management You’ll also get a chance to have your questions answered by Oracle product experts and dive deeper into the technology by viewing our demos that trace the steps companies like yours take as they transition to a private cloud environment. Featured Speaker With a special announcement by: Steve Wilson Vice President, Systems Management, Oracle John Fowler Executive Vice President, Systems, Oracle Agenda 9:00 a.m. PT Keynote: Total Cloud Control for Systems 9:45 a.m. PT Panel Discussion with Oracle Hardware, Software, and Support Executives 10:15 a.m. PT Demo Series: A Step-by-Step Journey to Enterprise Clouds Stay connected with  Oracle Enterprise Manager   :  Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Linkedin | Newsletter

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  • Ubuntu USB boot failure

    - by Steve
    When trying to boot from a boot USB drive I got the message, "Vesamenu.c32:Not a com32r image." I was trying to boot a fairly new Toshiba laptop with a Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS created USB boot. I re-created the USB drive with 11.04 and it booted fine. These were both 32 bit versions even though the laptop is a 64 bit. I was trying to create a generic boot USB that would work on everything I might try it on. What is the consensus on this idea? Any solution to the above error? Thanks from a noobe.

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  • MVC Portable Areas &ndash; Deploying Static Files

    - by Steve Michelotti
    This is the second post in a series related to build and deployment considerations as I’ve been exploring MVC Portable Areas: #1 – Using Web Application Project to build portable areas #2 – Conventions for deploying portable area static files #3 – Portable area static files as embedded resources As I’ve been digging more into portable areas, one of the things I’ve liked best is the deployment story which enables my *.aspx, *.ascx pages to be compiled into the assembly as embedded resources rather than having to maintain all those files separately. In traditional web forms, that was always the thing to prevented developers from utilizing *.ascx user controls across projects (see this post for using portable areas in web forms).  However, though the aspx pages are embedded, the supporting static files (e.g., images, css, javascript) are *not*. Most of the demos available online today tend to brush over this issue and focus solely on the aspx side of things. But to create truly robust portable areas, it’s important to have a good story for these supporting files as well.  I’ve been working with two different approaches so far (of course I’d really like to hear if other people are using alternatives). Scenario For the approaches below, the scenario really isn’t that important. It could be something as trivial as this partial view: 1: <%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl" %> 2: <img src="<%: Url.Content("~/images/arrow.gif") %>" /> Hello World! The point is that there needs to be careful consideration for *any* scenario that links to an external file such as an image, *.css, *.js, etc. In the example shown above, it uses the Url.Content() method to convert to a relative path. But this method won’t necessary work depending on how you deploy your portable area. One approach to address this issue is to build your portable area project with MSDeploy/WebDeploy so that it is packaged properly before incorporating into the host application. All of the *.cs files are removed and the project is ready for xcopy deployment – however, I do *not* need the “Views” folder since all of the mark up has been compiled into the assembly as embedded resources. Now in the host application we create a folder called “Modules” and deploy any portable areas as sub-folders under that: At this point we can add a simple assembly reference to the Widget1.dll sitting in the Modules\Widget1\bin folder. I can now render the portable image in my view like any other portable area. However, the problem with that is that the view results in this:   It couldn’t find arrow.gif because it looked for /images/arrow.gif and it was *actually* located at /images/Modules/Widget1/images/arrow.gif. One solution is to make the physical location of the portable configurable from the perspective of the host like this: 1: <appSettings> 2: <add key="Widget1" value="Modules\Widget1"/> 3: </appSettings> Using the <appSettings> section is a little cheesy but it could be better formalized into its own section. In fact, if were you willing to rely on conventions (e.g., “Modules\{areaName}”) then then config could be eliminated completely. With this config in place, we could create our own Html helper method called Url.AreaContent() that “wraps” the OOTB Url.Content() method while simply pre-pending the area location path: 1: public static string AreaContent(this UrlHelper urlHelper, string contentPath) 2: { 3: var areaName = (string)urlHelper.RequestContext.RouteData.DataTokens["area"]; 4: var areaPath = (string)ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[areaName]; 5:   6: return urlHelper.Content("~/" + areaPath + "/" + contentPath); With these two items in place, we just change our Url.Content() call to Url.AreaContent() like this: 1: <img src="<%: Url.AreaContent("/images/arrow.gif") %>" /> Hello World! and the arrow.gif now renders correctly:     Since we’re just using our own Url.AreaContent() rather than the built-in Url.Content(), this solution works for images, *.css, *.js, or any externally referenced files.  Additionally, any images referenced inside a css file will work provided it’s a relative reference and not an absolute reference. An alternative to this approach is to build the static file into the assembly as embedded resources themselves. I’ll explore this in another post (linked at the top).

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  • SharePoint 2010 Sandboxed solution SPGridView

    - by Steve Clements
    If you didn’t know, you probably will soon, the SPGridView is not available in Sandboxed solutions. To be honest there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of information out there about the whys and what nots, basically its not part of the Sandbox SharePoint API. Of course the error message from SharePoint is about as useful as punch in the face… An unexpected error has been encountered in this Web Part.  Error: A Web Part or Web Form Control on this Page cannot be displayed or imported. You don't have Add and Customize Pages permissions required to perform this action …that’s if you have debug=true set, if not the classic “This webpart cannot be added” !! Love that one! but will a little digging you should find something like this… [TypeLoadException: Could not load  type Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.SPGridView from assembly 'Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=14.900.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c'.]   Depending on what you want to do with the SPGridView, this may not help at all.  But I’m looking to inherit the theme of the site and style it accordingly. After spending a bit of time with Chrome’s FireBug I was able to get the required CSS classes.  I created my own class inheriting from GridView (note the lack of a preceding SP!) and simply set the styles in there. Inherit from the standard GridView public class PSGridView : GridView   Set the styles in the contructor… public PSGridView() {     this.CellPadding = 2;     this.CellSpacing = 0;     this.GridLines = GridLines.None;     this.CssClass = "ms-listviewtable";     this.Attributes.Add("style", "border-bottom-style: none; border-right-style: none; width: 100%; border-collapse: collapse; border-top-style: none; border-left-style: none;");       this.HeaderStyle.CssClass = "ms-viewheadertr";          this.RowStyle.CssClass = "ms-itmhover";     this.SelectedRowStyle.CssClass = "s4-itm-selected";     this.RowStyle.Height = new Unit(25); }   Then as you cant override the Columns property setter, a custom method to add the column and set the style… public PSGridView() {     this.CellPadding = 2;     this.CellSpacing = 0;     this.GridLines = GridLines.None;     this.CssClass = "ms-listviewtable";     this.Attributes.Add("style", "border-bottom-style: none; border-right-style: none; width: 100%; border-collapse: collapse; border-top-style: none; border-left-style: none;");       this.HeaderStyle.CssClass = "ms-viewheadertr";          this.RowStyle.CssClass = "ms-itmhover";     this.SelectedRowStyle.CssClass = "s4-itm-selected";     this.RowStyle.Height = new Unit(25); }   And that should be enough to get the nicely styled SPGridView without the need for the SPGridView, but seriously….get the SPGridView in the SandBox!!!   Technorati Tags: Sharepoint 2010,SPGridView,Sandbox Solutions,Sandbox Technorati Tags: Sharepoint 2010,SPGridView,Sandbox Solutions,Sandbox

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  • Awesome new feature for HCC

    - by Steve Tunstall
    I've talked about HCC (Hybrid Columnar Compression) before. This is Oracle's built-in compression feature, free of charge in 11Gr2, that allows a CRAZY amount of compression on historical data inside an Oracle database. It only works if the database is being stored in a ZFSSA, Exadata or Axiom. You can read all about it in this whitepaper, which shows the huge value of HCC when used with the ZFSSA. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/servers-storage-admin/perf-hybrid-columnar-compression-1689701.html Now, even better, Oracle has announced  a great new feature in Oracle 12c called "Automatic Data Optimization". This allows one to setup HCC to AUTOMATICALLY compress data AS IT AGES.  So this is now ILM all built into the Oracle database. It's free for crying out loud. It just needs to be sitting on Oracle storage, such as the ZFSSA, Exadata or Axiom.  Read about ADO here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/automatic-data-optimization-wp-12c-1896120.pdf?ssSourceSiteId=ocomen

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  • Autoscaling in a modern world&hellip;. Part 3

    - by Steve Loethen
    The Wasabi Hands on Labs give you a good look at the basic mechanics, but I don’t find the setup too practical.  Using a local console application to host the Autoscaler and rules files is probably the (IMHO) least likely architecture.  Far more common would be hosting in a service on premise (if you want to have the Autoscaler local) or most likely, host it in a Azure role of it’s own.  I chose to go the Azure route. First step was to get the rules.xml and the services.xml files into the cloud.  I tend to be a “one step at a time” sort of guy, so running the console application with the rules sitting in a Azure hosted set of blobs seemed to be the logical first step.  Here are the steps: 1) Create a container in the storage account you wish to use.  Name does not matter, you will get a chance to set the container name (as well as the file names) in the app.config 2) Copy the two files from where you created them to your  container.  I used the same files I had locally.  I made the container public to eliminate security issues, but in the final application, a bit of security needs to be applied (one problem at a time).  The content type was set to text/xml.  I found one reference claiming the importance of this step, and it makes sense. 3) Adjust the app.config to set the location of the files.  This will let you set all the storage account and key information needed to reach into the cloud form your console application.  The sections of your app.config will look like this: <rulesStores> <add name="Blob Rules Store" type="Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.WindowsAzure.Autoscaling.Rules.Configuration.BlobXmlFileRulesStore, Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.WindowsAzure.Autoscaling, Version=5.0.1118.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" blobContainerName="[ContainerName]" blobName="rules.xml" storageAccount="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=[StorageAccount];AccountKey=[AccountKey]" monitoringRate="00:00:30" certificateThumbprint="" certificateStoreLocation="LocalMachine" checkCertificateValidity="false" /> </rulesStores> <serviceInformationStores> <add name="Blob Service Information Store" type="Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.WindowsAzure.Autoscaling.ServiceModel.Configuration.BlobXmlFileServiceInformationStore, Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.WindowsAzure.Autoscaling, Version=5.0.1118.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" blobContainerName="[ContainerName]" blobName="services.xml" storageAccount="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=[StorageAccount];AccountKey=[AccountKey]" monitoringRate="00:00:30" certificateThumbprint="" certificateStoreLocation="LocalMachine" checkCertificateValidity="false" /> </serviceInformationStores> Once I had the files up in the sky, I renamed the local copies to just to make my self feel better about the application using the correct set of rules and services.  Deploy the web role to the cloud.  Once it is up and running, start the console application.  You should find the application scales up and down in response to the buttons on the web site.  Tune in next time for moving the hosting of the Autoscaler to a worker role, discussions on getting the logging information into diagnostics into storage, and a set of discussions about certs and how they play a role.

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  • C# 4 Named Parameters for Overload Resolution

    - by Steve Michelotti
    C# 4 is getting a new feature called named parameters. Although this is a stand-alone feature, it is often used in conjunction with optional parameters. Last week when I was giving a presentation on C# 4, I got a question on a scenario regarding overload resolution that I had not considered before which yielded interesting results. Before I describe the scenario, a little background first. Named parameters is a well documented feature that works like this: suppose you have a method defined like this: 1: void DoWork(int num, string message = "Hello") 2: { 3: Console.WriteLine("Inside DoWork() - num: {0}, message: {1}", num, message); 4: } This enables you to call the method with any of these: 1: DoWork(21); 2: DoWork(num: 21); 3: DoWork(21, "abc"); 4: DoWork(num: 21, message: "abc"); and the corresponding results will be: Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: Hello Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: Hello Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: abc Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: abc This is all pretty straight forward and well-documented. What is slightly more interesting is how resolution is handled with method overloads. Suppose we had a second overload for DoWork() that looked like this: 1: void DoWork(object num) 2: { 3: Console.WriteLine("Inside second overload: " + num); 4: } The first rule applied for method overload resolution in this case is that it looks for the most strongly-type match first.  Hence, since the second overload has System.Object as the parameter rather than Int32, this second overload will never be called for any of the 4 method calls above.  But suppose the method overload looked like this: 1: void DoWork(int num) 2: { 3: Console.WriteLine("Inside second overload: " + num); 4: } In this case, both overloads have the first parameter as Int32 so they both fulfill the first rule equally.  In this case the overload with the optional parameters will be ignored if the parameters are not specified. Therefore, the same 4 method calls from above would result in: Inside second overload: 21 Inside second overload: 21 Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: abc Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: abc Even all this is pretty well documented. However, we can now consider the very interesting scenario I was presented with. The question was what happens if you change the parameter name in one of the overloads.  For example, what happens if you change the parameter *name* for the second overload like this: 1: void DoWork(int num2) 2: { 3: Console.WriteLine("Inside second overload: " + num2); 4: } In this case, the first 2 method calls will yield *different* results: 1: DoWork(21); 2: DoWork(num: 21); results in: Inside second overload: 21 Inside DoWork() - num: 21, message: Hello We know the first method call will go to the second overload because of normal method overload resolution rules which ignore the optional parameters.  But for the second call, even though all the same rules apply, the compiler will allow you to specify a named parameter which, in effect, overrides the typical rules and directs the call to the first overload. Keep in mind this would only work if the method overloads had different parameter names for the same types (which in itself is weird). But it is a situation I had not considered before and it is one in which you should be aware of the rules that the C# 4 compiler applies.

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  • Autoscaling in a modern world&hellip;. Part 1

    - by Steve Loethen
    It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and blog.  I need to make sure I take the time.  It helps me to focus on technology and not let the administrivia keep me from doing the things I love. I have been focusing on the cloud for the last couple of years.  Specifically the  PaaS platform from Microsoft called Azure.  Time to dig in.. I wanted to explore Autoscaling.  Autoscaling is not native part of Azure.  The platform has the needed connection points.  You can write code that looks at the health and performance of your application components and react to needed scaling changes.  But that means you have to write all the code.  Luckily, an add on to the Enterprise Library provides a lot of code that gets you a long way to being able to autoscale without having to start from scratch. The tool set is primarily composed of a Autoscaler object that you need to host.  This object, when hosted and configured, looks at the performance criteria you specify and adjusts your application based on your needs.  Sounds perfect. I started with the a set of HOL’s that gave me a good basis to understand the mechanics.  I worked through labs 1 and 2 just to get the feel, but let’s start our saga at the end of lab3.  Lab3 end results in a web application, hosted in Azure and a console app running on premise.  The web app has a few buttons on it.  One set adds messages to a queue, another removes them.  A second set of buttons drives processor utilization to 100%.  If you want to guess, a safe bet is that the Autoscaler is configured to react to a queue that has filled up or high cpu usage.  We will continue our saga in the next post…

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  • Game physics presentation by Richard Lord, some questions

    - by Steve
    I been implementing (in XNA) the examples in this physics presentation by Richard Lord where he discusses various integration techniques. Bearing in mind that I am a newcomer to game physics (and physics in general) I have some questions. 15 slides in he shows ActionScript code for a gravity example and an animation showing a bouncing ball. The ball bounces higher and higher until it is out of control. I implemented the same in C# XNA but my ball appeared to be bouncing at a constant height. The same applies to the next example where the ball bounces lower and lower. After some experimentation I found that if I switched to a fixed timestep and then on the first iteration of Update() I set the time variable to be equal to elapsed milliseconds (16.6667) I would see the same behaviour. Doing this essentially set the framerate, velocity and acceleration to zero for the first update and introduced errors(?) into the algorithm causing the ball's velocity to increase (or decrease) over time. I think! My question is, does this make the integration method used poor? Or is it demonstrating that it is poor when used with variable timestep because you can't pass in a valid value for the first lot of calculations? (because you cannot know the framerate in advance). I will continue my research into physics but can anyone suggest a good method to get my feet wet? I would like to experiment with variable timestep, acceleration that changes over time and probably friction. Would the Time Corrected Verlet be OK for this?

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  • Oracle ERP Cloud Solution Defines Revenue Recognition Software Market

    - by Steve Dalton
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Revenue is a fundamental yardstick of a company's performance, and one of the most important metrics for investors in the capital markets. So it’s no surprise that the accounting standard boards have devoted significant resources to this topic, with a key goal of ensuring that companies use a consistent method of recognizing revenue. Due to the myriad of revenue-generating transactions, and the divergent ways organizations recognize revenue today, the IFRS and FASB have been working for 12 years on a common set of accounting standards that apply to all industries in virtually all countries. Through their joint efforts on May 28, 2014 the FASB and IFRS released the IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers) converged accounting standard. This standard applies to revenue in all public companies, but heavily impacts organizations in any industry that might have complex sales contracts with multiple distinct deliverables (obligations). For example, an auto dealer who bundles free service with the sale of a car can only recognize the service revenue once the owner of the car brings it in for work. Similarly, high-tech companies that bundle software licenses, consulting, and support services on a sales contract will recognize bundled service revenue once the services are delivered. Now all companies need to review their revenue for hidden bundling and implicit obligations. Numerous time-consuming and judgmental activities must be performed to properly recognize revenue for complex sales contracts. To illustrate, after the contract is identified, organizations must identify and examine the distinct deliverables, determine the estimated selling price (ESP) for each deliverable, then allocate the total contract price to each deliverable based on the ESPs. In terms of accounting, organizations must determine whether the goods or services have been delivered or performed to the customer’s satisfaction, then either book revenue in the current period or record a liability for the obligation if revenue will be recognized in a future accounting period. Oracle Revenue Management Cloud was architected and developed so organizations can simplify and streamline revenue recognition. Among other capabilities, the solution uses business rules to efficiently identify and examine contracts, intelligently calculate and allocate deliverable prices based on prescribed inputs, and accurately recognize revenue for each deliverable based on customer satisfaction. "Oracle works very closely with our customers, the Big 4 accounting firms, and the accounting standard boards to deliver an adaptive, comprehensive, new generation revenue recognition solution,” said Rondy Ng, Senior Vice President, Applications Development. “With the recently announced IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9, Oracle is ready to support customer adoption of the new standard with our Revenue Management Cloud,” said Rondy. Oracle Revenue Management Cloud, an integral part of Oracle Financials Cloud, helps organizations comply with accounting standards, provides them with confidence that reported revenue is materially accurate, and simplifies the accounting process for revenue recognition. Stay tuned to this blog for regular updates on Oracle Revenue Management Cloud. We also invite you to review our new oracle.com ERP pages @ oracle.com/erp. We will be updating these pages very soon with more information about Oracle Revenue Management Cloud.

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  • Uploaded Four New ADF Examples

    - by Steve Muench
    I've uploaded four new examples for your learning pleasure:  162. Set Binding to Attr Value from Selected SelectBooleanRadio Button in Data-Driven Button Group 163. Binding SelectBooleanRadio to True/False Value in DB Row 164. Method Action Invoking Managed Bean Method Without Making Bean a DataControl 165. Using a Headless Taskflow to Perform Work in an Autononmous Transaction Enjoy.

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  • Kendo UI Mobile with Knockout for Master-Detail Views

    - by Steve Michelotti
    Lately I’ve been playing with Kendo UI Mobile to build iPhone apps. It’s similar to jQuery Mobile in that they are both HTML5/JavaScript based frameworks for buildings mobile apps. The primary thing that drew me to investigate Kendo UI was its innate ability to adaptively render a native looking app based on detecting the device it’s currently running on. In other words, it will render to look like a native iPhone app if it’s running on an iPhone and it will render to look like a native Droid app if it’s running on a Droid. This is in contrast to jQuery Mobile which looks the same on all devices and, therefore, it can never quite look native for whatever device it’s running on. My first impressions of Kendo UI were great. Using HTML5 data-* attributes to define “roles” for UI elements is easy, the rendering looked great, and the basic navigation was simple and intuitive. However, I ran into major confusion when trying to figure out how to “correctly” build master-detail views. Since I was already very family with KnockoutJS, I set out to use that framework in conjunction with Kendo UI Mobile to build the following simple scenario: I wanted to have a simple “Task Manager” application where my first screen just showed a list of tasks like this:   Then clicking on a specific task would navigate to a detail screen that would show all details of the specific task that was selected:   Basic navigation between views in Kendo UI is simple. The href of an <a> tag just needs to specify a hash tag followed by the ID of the view to navigate to as shown in this jsFiddle (notice the href of the <a> tag matches the id of the second view):   Direct link to jsFiddle: here. That is all well and good but the problem I encountered was: how to pass data between the views? Specifically, I need the detail view to display all the details of whichever task was selected. If I was doing this with my typical technique with KnockoutJS, I know exactly what I would do. First I would create a view model that had my collection of tasks and a property for the currently selected task like this: 1: function ViewModel() { 2: var self = this; 3: self.tasks = ko.observableArray(data); 4: self.selectedTask = ko.observable(null); 5: } Then I would bind my list of tasks to the unordered list - I would attach a “click” handler to each item (each <li> in the unordered list) so that it would select the “selectedTask” for the view model. The problem I found is this approach simply wouldn’t work for Kendo UI Mobile. It completely ignored the click handlers that I was trying to attach to the <a> tags – it just wanted to look at the href (at least that’s what I observed). But if I can’t intercept this, then *how* can I pass data or any context to the next view? The only thing I was able to find in the Kendo documentation is that you can pass query string arguments on the view name you’re specifying in the href. This enabled me to do the following: Specify the task ID in each href – something like this: <a href=”#taskDetail?id=3></a> Attach an “init method” (via the “data-show” attribute on the details view) that runs whenever the view is activated Inside this “init method”, grab the task ID passed from the query string to look up the item from my view model’s list of tasks in order to set the selected task I was able to get all that working with about 20 lines of JavaScript as shown in this jsFiddle. If you click on the Results tab, you can navigate between views and see the the detail screen is correctly binding to the selected item:   Direct link to jsFiddle: here.   With all that being done, I was very happy to get it working with the behavior I wanted. However, I have no idea if that is the “correct” way to do it or if there is a “better” way to do it. I know that Kendo UI comes with its own data binding framework but my preference is to be able to use (the well-documented) KnockoutJS since I’m already familiar with that framework rather than having to learn yet another new framework. While I think my solution above is probably “acceptable”, there are still a couple of things that bug me about it. First, it seems odd that I have to loop through my items to *find* my selected item based on the ID that was passed on the query string - normally, with Knockout I can just refer directly to my selected item from where it was used. Second, it didn’t feel exactly right that I had to rely on the “data-show” method of the details view to set my context – normally with Knockout, I could just attach a click handler to the <a> tag that was actually clicked by the user in order to set the “selected item.” I’m not sure if I’m being too picky. I know there are many people that have *way* more expertise in Kendo UI compared to me – I’d be curious to know if there are better ways to achieve the same results.

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