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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Are you ready to take a walk in the clouds?

    - by Steve Loethen
    Cloud computing is here, whether we want it or not.  When I say "a walk in the clouds” I am not talking about a pleasant romantic comedy, but a real alternative to hosting applications on-premise.  For years we have had the power to host our web sites on remote systems.  Sure, challenges existed.  Mostly web sites.  I could, with a few clicks, create a account at a myriad of web host sites, put my site in the hands of a remote hosting company, and boom, I was a site on the internet.  But choices, power, and management was limited. Now, we have a set of services to let us approach and power and control we love, but with scalability of the data center.  My personal web site is hosted on a laptop running hyperV in my basement.  I have to manage the machine, patch it, make sure it is powered up.  This is fine for the “hello, this is my dog skippy site” that I maintain. If the football pool I run has an issue, one of the 10 users I have calls or emails me and I go check it out.  All is well. But this falls well below the needs of even the simplest of enterprises.  A business needs a stronger datacenter, a better pipe to the world.  Do I really want to base my business on a dynamic dns and a dsl line from the local phone company? Cloud computing gives us most of what I value (control, a db of my own, updating my site from Visual Studio). Come learn how this technology can transform your business.  If you are a Microsoft shop, or are interested in Microsoft in the cloud, on April 8 and 9, a 2 day free Azure training class is being conducted in Kansas City.  http://www.azurebootcamp.com/city/kansascity Hope to see you there.  If you come, make sure you look me up.

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  • Can SAML use saleforce login information to log into another system inside a view?

    - by steve
    I want my sales people, whom use salesforce every day, to be able to view orders in a ecommerce system through a dashboard view in salesforce. The ecom is built and sitting on my web server but the sales reps dont like to log into too many things in one day so they are not using what I built them. I read recently that salesforce can use SAML but it was unclear as to what you can do with it. What I'd like, is to make a new dash board view that will open up the ecom inside of salesforce. The ecom uses a login system but if it is inside of saleforce would SAML automatically log into the ecom?

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  • Blog comment spammers &hellip; help!

    - by Steve Clements
    Hey, I need some advice/help, now I’ve been writing on this blog for a few years, I don’t blog a great deal in comparison to many of my peers and my blog doesn’t get a massive number of hits, BUT I seem to get a fair share of comments spammers!! I have an image verification on the comments and I have put an Akismet API key into the Geekswithblogs settings, but I still get a bunch of spam comments. They could almost be real, until you see the link going off to some dating site or casino crap. What does everyone do?? Delete them every time?? Moderate comments?? I would rather not moderate comments if possible, but is that the only way to stop the crap?? Thx Technorati Tags: spammers,comments,help

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  • Protecting Consolidated Data on Engineered Systems

    - by Steve Enevold
    In this time of reduced budgets and cost cutting measures in Federal, State and Local governments, the requirement to provide services continues to grow. Many agencies are looking at consolidating their infrastructure to reduce cost and meet budget goals. Oracle's engineered systems are ideal platforms for accomplishing these goals. These systems provide unparalleled performance that is ideal for running applications and databases that traditionally run on separate dedicated environments. However, putting multiple critical applications and databases in a single architecture makes security more critical. You are putting a concentrated set of sensitive data on a single system, making it a more tempting target.  The environments were previously separated by iron so now you need to provide assurance that one group, department, or application's information is not visible to other personnel or applications resident in the Exadata system. Administration of the environments requires formal separation of duties so an administrator of one application environment cannot view or negatively impact others. Also, these systems need to be in protected environments just like other critical production servers. They should be in a data center protected by physical controls, network firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, etc Exadata also provides unique security benefits, including a reducing attack surface by minimizing packages and services to only those required. In addition to reducing the possible system areas someone may attempt to infiltrate, Exadata has the following features: 1.    Infiniband, which functions as a secure private backplane 2.    IPTables  to perform stateful packet inspection for all nodes               Cellwall implements firewall services on each cell using IPTables 3.    Hardware accelerated encryption for data at rest on storage cells Oracle is uniquely positioned to provide the security necessary for implementing Exadata because security has been a core focus since the company's beginning. In addition to the security capabilities inherent in Exadata, Oracle security products are all certified to run in an Exadata environment. Database Vault Oracle Database Vault helps organizations increase the security of existing applications and address regulatory mandates that call for separation-of-duties, least privilege and other preventive controls to ensure data integrity and data privacy. Oracle Database Vault proactively protects application data stored in the Oracle database from being accessed by privileged database users. A unique feature of Database Vault is the ability to segregate administrative tasks including when a command can be executed, or that the DBA can manage the health of the database and objects, but may not see the data Advanced Security  helps organizations comply with privacy and regulatory mandates by transparently encrypting all application data or specific sensitive columns, such as credit cards, social security numbers, or personally identifiable information (PII). By encrypting data at rest and whenever it leaves the database over the network or via backups, Oracle Advanced Security provides the most cost-effective solution for comprehensive data protection. Label Security  is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for classifying data and mediating access to data based on its classification. Designed to meet public-sector requirements for multi-level security and mandatory access control, Oracle Label Security provides a flexible framework that both government and commercial entities worldwide can use to manage access to data on a "need to know" basis in order to protect data privacy and achieve regulatory compliance  Data Masking reduces the threat of someone in the development org taking data that has been copied from production to the development environment for testing, upgrades, etc by irreversibly replacing the original sensitive data with fictitious data so that production data can be shared safely with IT developers or offshore business partners  Audit Vault and Database Firewall Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall serves as a critical detective and preventive control across multiple operating systems and database platforms to protect against the abuse of legitimate access to databases responsible for almost all data breaches and cyber attacks.  Consolidation, cost-savings, and performance can now be achieved without sacrificing security. The combination of built in protection and Oracle’s industry-leading data protection solutions make Exadata an ideal platform for Federal, State, and local governments and agencies.

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  • Sorry. Not Much Happened Today!

    - by steve.diamond
    And THAT blog headline is dedicated to Seth Godin, who recently wrote that unlike its print brethren, digital media outlets aren't burdened with having to make their articles long enough to match the number of surrounding ad pages. He states that just because you CAN write more doesn't mean you SHOULD. Well, you don't have to tell me that twice. So to continue my rambling entry today, I'd suggest you read this post by Donal Daly on 10 steps to intelligent Social CRM for Sales. No seriously, read it. It's almost like a Groundswell Cliff Notes for sales people. I particularly love his third point. Of course I haven't "gotten" it yet, but I've got a whole life time, for crying out loud. Seriously, this is a great read and a fast one. And finally, in the department of longer reads, a thanks and shout out to Paul Greenberg for mentioning Oracle's new iPad app for Siebel CRM in his ZDNet blog. Hey, I warned you...not much happened today. Per se!

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  • Traffic estimation for a multiplayer flash game

    - by Steve Addington
    hey, i want to know if my rough traffic estimations are right, it would be for a pretty simple realtime flashgame in the style of haxball (but not as a soccer game) heres a video of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_xBdFg1RcI So here comes my estimation, i dont know if they are realistic! i hope someone can help me. consider the packet attached as a typical one sent every 200ms, its 148bytes + 64 bytes of header will make around a 200bytes packet. The server will receive 200bytes x 6 players x 5 times a sec=6000bytes/s=5.85Kbytes/s=46.9kbit/s plus he has to send all back to the players, so at this point are 94Kbit/s.The server received all the information, perform the definitive calculation and send the new position to all players, in a bigger packet of around 900bytes that have to be delivered to the others 6, which makes 900bytes x 6 players x 5 times a sec=27000bytes/s=26Kbytes/s=210kbit/s. overall that would be 26kbyte per second. thats like 130mb traffic per hour for a 6player room. but somehow i think the numbers are too high? that would be really much traffic for such a simple game. did i calculate something wrong?

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  • Use a Fake Http Channel to Unit Test with HttpClient

    - by Steve Michelotti
    Applications get data from lots of different sources. The most common is to get data from a database or a web service. Typically, we encapsulate calls to a database in a Repository object and we create some sort of IRepository interface as an abstraction to decouple between layers and enable easier unit testing by leveraging faking and mocking. This works great for database interaction. However, when consuming a RESTful web service, this is is not always the best approach. The WCF Web APIs that are available on CodePlex (current drop is Preview 3) provide a variety of features to make building HTTP REST services more robust. When you download the latest bits, you’ll also find a new HttpClient which has been updated for .NET 4.0 as compared to the one that shipped for 3.5 in the original REST Starter Kit. The HttpClient currently provides the best API for consuming REST services on the .NET platform and the WCF Web APIs provide a number of extension methods which extend HttpClient and make it even easier to use. Let’s say you have a client application that is consuming an HTTP service – this could be Silverlight, WPF, or any UI technology but for my example I’ll use an MVC application: 1: using System; 2: using System.Net.Http; 3: using System.Web.Mvc; 4: using FakeChannelExample.Models; 5: using Microsoft.Runtime.Serialization; 6:   7: namespace FakeChannelExample.Controllers 8: { 9: public class HomeController : Controller 10: { 11: private readonly HttpClient httpClient; 12:   13: public HomeController(HttpClient httpClient) 14: { 15: this.httpClient = httpClient; 16: } 17:   18: public ActionResult Index() 19: { 20: var response = httpClient.Get("Person(1)"); 21: var person = response.Content.ReadAsDataContract<Person>(); 22:   23: this.ViewBag.Message = person.FirstName + " " + person.LastName; 24: 25: return View(); 26: } 27: } 28: } On line #20 of the code above you can see I’m performing an HTTP GET request to a Person resource exposed by an HTTP service. On line #21, I use the ReadAsDataContract() extension method provided by the WCF Web APIs to serialize to a Person object. In this example, the HttpClient is being passed into the constructor by MVC’s dependency resolver – in this case, I’m using StructureMap as an IoC and my StructureMap initialization code looks like this: 1: using StructureMap; 2: using System.Net.Http; 3:   4: namespace FakeChannelExample 5: { 6: public static class IoC 7: { 8: public static IContainer Initialize() 9: { 10: ObjectFactory.Initialize(x => 11: { 12: x.For<HttpClient>().Use(() => new HttpClient("http://localhost:31614/")); 13: }); 14: return ObjectFactory.Container; 15: } 16: } 17: } My controller code currently depends on a concrete instance of the HttpClient. Now I *could* create some sort of interface and wrap the HttpClient in this interface and use that object inside my controller instead – however, there are a few why reasons that is not desirable: For one thing, the API provided by the HttpClient provides nice features for dealing with HTTP services. I don’t really *want* these to look like C# RPC method calls – when HTTP services have REST features, I may want to inspect HTTP response headers and hypermedia contained within the message so that I can make intelligent decisions as to what to do next in my workflow (although I don’t happen to be doing these things in my example above) – this type of workflow is common in hypermedia REST scenarios. If I just encapsulate HttpClient behind some IRepository interface and make it look like a C# RPC method call, it will become difficult to take advantage of these types of things. Second, it could get pretty mind-numbing to have to create interfaces all over the place just to wrap the HttpClient. Then you’re probably going to have to hard-code HTTP knowledge into your code to formulate requests rather than just “following the links” that the hypermedia in a message might provide. Third, at first glance it might appear that we need to create an interface to facilitate unit testing, but actually it’s unnecessary. Even though the code above is dependent on a concrete type, it’s actually very easy to fake the data in a unit test. The HttpClient provides a Channel property (of type HttpMessageChannel) which allows you to create a fake message channel which can be leveraged in unit testing. In this case, what I want is to be able to write a unit test that just returns fake data. I also want this to be as re-usable as possible for my unit testing. I want to be able to write a unit test that looks like this: 1: [TestClass] 2: public class HomeControllerTest 3: { 4: [TestMethod] 5: public void Index() 6: { 7: // Arrange 8: var httpClient = new HttpClient("http://foo.com"); 9: httpClient.Channel = new FakeHttpChannel<Person>(new Person { FirstName = "Joe", LastName = "Blow" }); 10:   11: HomeController controller = new HomeController(httpClient); 12:   13: // Act 14: ViewResult result = controller.Index() as ViewResult; 15:   16: // Assert 17: Assert.AreEqual("Joe Blow", result.ViewBag.Message); 18: } 19: } Notice on line #9, I’m setting the Channel property of the HttpClient to be a fake channel. I’m also specifying the fake object that I want to be in the response on my “fake” Http request. I don’t need to rely on any mocking frameworks to do this. All I need is my FakeHttpChannel. The code to do this is not complex: 1: using System; 2: using System.IO; 3: using System.Net.Http; 4: using System.Runtime.Serialization; 5: using System.Threading; 6: using FakeChannelExample.Models; 7:   8: namespace FakeChannelExample.Tests 9: { 10: public class FakeHttpChannel<T> : HttpClientChannel 11: { 12: private T responseObject; 13:   14: public FakeHttpChannel(T responseObject) 15: { 16: this.responseObject = responseObject; 17: } 18:   19: protected override HttpResponseMessage Send(HttpRequestMessage request, CancellationToken cancellationToken) 20: { 21: return new HttpResponseMessage() 22: { 23: RequestMessage = request, 24: Content = new StreamContent(this.GetContentStream()) 25: }; 26: } 27:   28: private Stream GetContentStream() 29: { 30: var serializer = new DataContractSerializer(typeof(T)); 31: Stream stream = new MemoryStream(); 32: serializer.WriteObject(stream, this.responseObject); 33: stream.Position = 0; 34: return stream; 35: } 36: } 37: } The HttpClientChannel provides a Send() method which you can override to return any HttpResponseMessage that you want. You can see I’m using the DataContractSerializer to serialize the object and write it to a stream. That’s all you need to do. In the example above, the only thing I’ve chosen to do is to provide a way to return different response objects. But there are many more features you could add to your own re-usable FakeHttpChannel. For example, you might want to provide the ability to add HTTP headers to the message. You might want to use a different serializer other than the DataContractSerializer. You might want to provide custom hypermedia in the response as well as just an object or set HTTP response codes. This list goes on. This is the just one example of the really cool features being added to the next version of WCF to enable various HTTP scenarios. The code sample for this post can be downloaded here.

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  • Visual Studio 2010: Custom Start Page

    - by Steve Clements
    As Visual Studio 2010 IDE has been mostly written in WPF, extending the start page has become pretty darn easy and I for one find this quite interesting as I always open with the start page and the more customisation I can have the better! There are a few things you will need to install first to get going Visual Studio 2010 SDK Start page project template, which you can either get from the New Project dialog, in the online gallery section in VS or download from here   I was going to write a blog post on how to create a custom start page, but decided that msdn have done such a good job I was pretty much wasting my time, so take a look here, it has in detail everything you need to know to get it done! :) Technorati Tags: Visual Studio 2010,Custom Start Pages

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  • Autoscaling in a modern world&hellip;. Part 2

    - by Steve Loethen
    When we last left off, we had a web application spinning away in the cloud, and a local console application watching it and reacting to changes in demand.  Reactions that were specified by a set of rules.  Let’s talk about those rules. Constraints.  The first set of rules this application answered to were the constraints. Here is what they looked like: <constraintRules> <rule name="default" enabled="true" rank="1" description="The default constraint rule"> <actions> <range min="1" max="4" target="AutoscalingApplicationRole"/> </actions> </rule> </constraintRules> Pretty basic.  We have one role, the “AutoscalingApplicationRole”, and we have decided to have it live within a range of 1 to 4.  This rule does not adjust, but instead, set’s limits on what other rules can do.  It has a rank, so you can have you can specify other sets of constraints, perhaps based on time or date, to allow for deviations from this set.  But for now, let’s keep it simple.  In the real world, you would probably use the minimum to set a lower end SLA.  A common value might be a 2, to prevent the reactive rules from ever taking you down to 1 role.  The maximum is often used to keep a rule from driving the cost up, setting an upper limit to prevent you waking up one morning and find a bill for hundreds of instances you didn’t expect.  So, here we have the range we want our application to live inside.  This is good for our investigation and testing.  Next, let’s take a look at the reactive rules.  These rules are what you use to react (hence reactive rules) to changing demands on your application.  The HOL has two simple rules.  One that looks at a queue depth, and one that looks at a performance counter that reports cpu utilization.  the XML in the rules file looks like this: <reactiveRules> <rule name="ScaleUp" rank="10" description="Scale Up the web role" enabled="true"> <when> <any> <greaterOrEqual operand="Length_05_holqueue" than="10"/> <greaterOrEqual operand="CPU_05_holwebrole" than="65"/> </any> </when> <actions> <scale target="AutoscalingApplicationRole" by="1"/> </actions> </rule> <rule name="ScaleDown" rank="10" description="Scale down the web role" enabled="true"> <when> <all> <less operand="Length_05_holqueue" than="5"/> <less operand="CPU_05_holwebrole" than="40"/> </all> </when> <actions> <scale target="AutoscalingApplicationRole" by="-1"/> </actions> </rule> </reactiveRules> <operands> <performanceCounter alias="CPU_05_holwebrole" performanceCounterName="\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time" source="AutoscalingApplicationRole" timespan="00:05:00" aggregate="Average" /> <queueLength alias="Length_05_holqueue" queue="hol-queue" timespan="00:05:00" aggregate="Average"/> </operands> These rules are currently contained in a file called rules.xml, that is in the root of the console application.  The console app, starts up, grabs the rules and starts watching the 2 operands.  When it detects a rule has been satisfied, it performs the desired action.  (here, scale up or down my 1). But I want to host the autoscaler  in the cloud.  For my first trick, I will move the rules (and another file called services.xml) to azure blob storage.  Look for part 3.

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  • case-specific mod rewrite on Wordpress subdomain multisite

    - by Steve
    I have split a Wordpress blog into multiple category-specific blogs using subdomains, as the topics in the original blog were too broad to be lumped together effectively. Posts were exported from the parent www blog and imported into the subject-specific subdomain blogs. I believe .htaccess provides mod rewrite for all subdomains (including the original www) in a single .htaccess file. I use .htaccess to perform 301 redirect on post categories to the relevant post on the subdomain's blog. eg: RedirectMatch 301 ^/auto/(.*)$ http://auto.example.com/$1 The problem I have is that the category has been retained in the permalink structure in the subdomain blog, so that www.example.com/auto/mercedes is now auto.example.com/auto/mercedes. The 1st URL is redirect to the 2nd, but unfortunately, the 2nd URL is redirected to auto.example.com/mercedes using the same rewrite rule, which is not found, as the permalink on the subdomain's blog retains the parent category of auto. The solution would be to adjust the permalink structure in the subdomain's WP settings, so that the top level category does not duplicate the subdomain. My question would be: how do I then strip a section of the original (www) blog's post URL from the subdomain's URL when redirecting? eg: How do I redirect www.example.com/auto/mercedes to auto.example.com/mercedes? I'm assuming this would be a regular expression trick, which I am not great at. Update: I might have to use: RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !auto.example.com$ in the default Wordpress if loop in .htaccess, and seperate my custom subdomain redirections into a second if loop section.

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  • vi issue in SSH TTYs to Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    - by Steve Campbell
    After upgrading my server to Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS, I can no longer use the vi editor to edit anything in an SSH terminal (I access the server by launching ssh sessions from Cygwin running on Windows). The empty portions of the vi window fill with garbage. The workaround is to launch an xterm from the server back to my Cygwin/X display. Using vi from within the xterm works fine. Setting my TERM to vt100/vt220/xterm does not help.

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  • Netbook performs hard shutdown without warning on low battery power

    - by Steve Kroon
    My Asus EEE netbook performs a hard shutdown when it reaches low battery power, without giving any warning - i.e. the power just goes off, without any shutdown process. I can't find anything in the syslog, and no error messages are printed before it happens. I've had this problem on previous (K)Ubuntu versions, and hoped updating to Ubuntu Precise would help resolve the issue, but it hasn't. The option in the Power application for "when power is critically low" is currently blank - the only options are a (grayed-out) hibernate and "Power off". I have re-installed indicator-power to no effect. The time remaining reported by acpi is unstable, as is the time remaining reported by gnome-power-statistics. (For example, running acpi twice in succession, I got 2h16min, and then 3h21min remaining. These sorts of jumps in the remaining time are also in the gnome-power-statistics graphs.) It might be possible to write a script to give me advance warning (as per @RanRag's comment below), but I would prefer to isolate why I don't get a critical battery notification from the system before this happens, so that I can take action as appropriate (suspend/shutdown/plug in power) when I get a notification. Some additional information on the battery: [email protected]:~$ upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_BAT0 native-path: /sys/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:00/PNP0A08:00/PNP0C0A:00/power_supply/BAT0 vendor: ASUS model: 1005P power supply: yes updated: Fri Aug 17 07:31:23 2012 (9 seconds ago) has history: yes has statistics: yes battery present: yes rechargeable: yes state: charging energy: 33.966 Wh energy-empty: 0 Wh energy-full: 34.9272 Wh energy-full-design: 47.52 Wh energy-rate: 3.7692 W voltage: 12.61 V time to full: 15.3 minutes percentage: 97.248% capacity: 73.5% technology: lithium-ion History (charge): 1345181483 97.248 charging 1345181453 97.155 charging 1345181423 97.062 charging 1345181393 96.970 charging History (rate): 1345181483 3.769 charging 1345181453 3.899 charging 1345181423 4.061 charging 1345181393 4.201 charging [email protected]:~$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state present: yes capacity state: ok charging state: charging present rate: 332 mA remaining capacity: 3149 mAh present voltage: 12612 mV [email protected]:~$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info present: yes design capacity: 4400 mAh last full capacity: 3209 mAh battery technology: rechargeable design voltage: 10800 mV design capacity warning: 10 mAh design capacity low: 5 mAh cycle count: 0 capacity granularity 1: 44 mAh capacity granularity 2: 44 mAh model number: 1005P serial number: battery type: LION OEM info: ASUS

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