The last few years, RightScale has been surveying organizations and putting together the annual “State of the Cloud Report”. The survey includes data collected from 997 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations, and focuses on gathering information about their adoption of the Cloud. Some of the metric included in the report show the…
Application Insights gives you the deep diagnostics and performance information you need to take control of your web apps, and bring sanity back to your life. Get actionable insights through application performance management and instant analytics.
What can you do with Application Insights ?
- Detect and diagnose exceptions and application performance issues
- Get answers to your tough questions, and take your applications to the next level
- Detect trends in application performance and behavior, identify usage patterns, and get fast answers to probing questions about your website performance
- Monitor Azure websites, including those hosted in containers, plus websites on-premises and with other cloud providers
- Seamlessly integrate with your DevOps pipeline using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), GitHub, and webhooks
- Quickly get started from within Visual Studio, or monitor existing applications without redeploying
Azure Application Insights is included with Visual Studio. You get automatic instrumentation for ASP.NET applications and application telemetry data right out of the box—including usage, exceptions, requests, performance, and logs.
There are two offerings for Application Insights – Basic, and Enterprise.
With Basic, you pay based on the volume of telemetry your application sends, with a 1 GB free allowance per month. This free data allowance gives you a great way to try out Application Insights as you get started, and it also allows you to use Application Insights for free on an ongoing basis for debugging and low-volume applications.
In the Enterprise pricing option, you pay for the number of nodes that host your application, and you get a daily allowance of data per node. Additional data beyond the daily allowance is charged per GB. A “node” is a server, or Platform-as-a-Service instance that runs your application, and from which we receive telemetry.
The Enterprise option also provides unlimited, continuous export of data at no extra charge.
With Application Insights there is no upfront cost, no termination fees, and you only pay for what you need.
In my next post I’ll show you how easy it is to setup Application Insights with your application.
Earlier this week the Mobile apps using Xamarin + Azure poster was released. It serves as your essential guide to the most relevant cloud services provided by Azure for you as a mobile developer using Xamarin with Visual Studio and Azure.
You can download your poster here.
Microsoft is hosting another Microsoft Tech Summit this March and April 2018 across additional Canadian cities.
The cloud is changing expectations – and transforming the way we live and work. At the Microsoft Tech Summit you will learn how Microsoft’s cloud platform can help you lead your organization through real digital transformation – and shape your future. This one-day event is a free technical learning event focused on Azure and Microsoft 365. Whether you’re developing innovative apps or delivering optimized solutions, Microsoft Tech Summit can help evolve your skills, deepen your expertise, and grow your career.
The day will kick off with a keynote and following the keynote, you will have a number of sessions to choose from including Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Apps Innovation, Data + AI or the Modern Workplace. Each session offers a learning opportunity to be hands on with Microsoft technology.
Whether you’re developing innovative apps or delivering optimized solutions, Microsoft Tech Summit can help you evolve your skills, deepen your expertise, and grow your career.
- Connect with experts from Microsoft and the community, and learn how to get the most from the cloud. Ask your toughest questions, learn best practices, and share strategies.
- Choose from a variety of learning opportunities to deepen your cloud expertise, from keynotes and breakout sessions, to hands-on labs.
- Customize your learning – whether you’re already cloud-savvy or just getting started – Microsoft Tech Summit has something for everyone.
- Discover the latest trends, tools, and product roadmaps through 4 unique sessions covering a range of topics across multiple tracks.
I was fortunate to attend the Microsoft Tech Summit in Toronto in December 2017 and it was a great 2-day event – I highly recommend attending if you can.This is a great event to build your cloud skills, connect with experts and get inspired.
Here is a listing of the Canadian cities and date. Click on the city closet to you to learn more and register:
UPDATED: Feb 26 2018 (later that day)
This post is a follow up to how I got Xamarin Android Device Manager up and running on Windows. Please read the Xamarin Developer guide first which explains how to install and use the Xamarin Android Device Manager for Visual Studio on Windows (or for Mac). Please keep in mind that at the time of this post the Xamarin Android Device Manager is still in preview.
For me I’m running the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 (15.5.7) and I already had the Xamarin components installed and working. Up until now I wasn’t really using the Android emulators for any Xamarin development as I was more focused on iOS and Windows. However now I have a need to and so I decided to try out the new Xamarin Android Device manager. Why you might ask? Well as of Android SDK Tools version 26.0.1, Google has removed support for their UI-based AVD and SDK managers in favor of their new CLI (Command Line Interface) tools.
After having installed the latest version of the Xamarin Device Manager installer for Windows, I ran it from the Start menu with Administrator privileges like so:
And this is the error I get:
I ran through the troubleshooting section section and the issue is that I was missing the Android SDK (requires 26 or higher). Perhaps a one of the latest Visual Studio updates caused this issue because now none of the Android tooling like device or emulator are working. Perhaps installing the Xamarin Device Manager broke it, I’m not sure but it’s broken. The only way I was able to resolve this was to run the Visual Studio Installer and uninstalled the the Xamarin SDK Manager and re-install it. Here is what I did.
My Solution to Fixing Missing Android SDK
1. Run Visual Studio Installer and then click on the Modify button:
2. Now go to the Individual components tab and Remove Xamarin SDK Manager and then click on the Modify button to apply the changes. Take notice of the amount of disk space that will be freed up. For me it was 113 MB.
3. Now do steps 1 and 2 again but this time add back the Xamarin SDK Manager and then notice the amount of disk space required for these changes…for me it was 1.4 GB, obviously something screwed up and I was missing a great deal. Now apply the changes by clicking on the Modify button.
Now when you run the Xamarin Android Device Manager from the start menu (with administrator rights) it should load up as expected. Now if you are like me and don’t have the latest Android SDK Tools, then you are then presented with the following dialog prompting you to download them from the Xamarin Android SDKs and Tools manager:
When the Xamarin Android SDK and Tools manager opens, review the SDK platforms you want installed and then click over to the Tools tab:
In the Tools tab, expand the Android SDK Tools selection and change the selected tooling to the current version which is 26.1.1 and then click on the Apply Changes button. If you’re just changing the Android SDK Tools, this should only take a couple min at most to apply. Once it’s done close down the Android SDKs and Tools manager.
Now go back to Visual Studio (re-run if you have it running already) and run the Android Emulator Manager from the Tools – > Android menu.
You will now be presented with the new Android Devices manager. When you first launch the Android Device Manager, it presents a screen that displays all currently configured virtual devices. For each device, the Name, Operating System (Android API Level), CPU, Memory size, and screen resolution are displayed:
I then went on and added a new option for Android Oreo and when I tried to run it I got another error:
Now it looks like I need to install another tool, Intel’s HAXM which requires Hyper-V be disabled.
What seemed like a quick and easy update has turned into quite the adventure. It’s 2018…why can’t this be more simple!
Everybody loves Azure Functions. My team recently deployed a production service using Azure Functions as the back end backbone. I’d like to share some lessons and tips we learned along the way. We’re using Azure functions in consumption plan – which basically means the platform scales in and out as required without our intervention. But […]
We looked at Azure Functions. We also looked at security around Azure Function used to implement APIs. Something people will quickly notice when implementing an Webhook / API function is that its URL or route is always prepended by /api. For instance, if we create a webhook function in C# and we setup the route […]
In March 2018, I will be heading to my third Microsoft MVP Global Summit. Just like in past years, MVPs from around the world converge on Bellevue, Redmond, and Seattle, Washington for several days of technical sessions and camaraderie on the Microsoft campus. While the majority of MVPs attending are returnees, a good portion is […]
Updated Feb. 21, 2018 – Each time you install a newer version of SSMS, like 17.5 that released last week, you will need to go and update the configuration file and comment out the Dark theme references as described below.
If you’re like me and you like to use the Visual Studio Dark theme and wish you could use this theme for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), unfortunately, there is no official support at this time (keep bugging Microsoft for this feature please). Currently SSMS 2016 and SSMS 17 support both the Blue and Light themes.
If you weren’t aware, SQL Server Management Studio is built on the Visual Studio shell, so it does support the Dark theme but it’s currently disabled due to “unfinished work” with various parts of the application like the Object Explorer and Output panes.
Here is my current SSMS 17 using the Light theme:
To enable the Dark theme follow these simple steps
1. Close down all running instances of SSMS
2. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the following location to change the configuration file ssms.pkgundef
- For SSMS 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio
- For SSMS 17: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio
3. Type the name of the file into the search box at the top right corner and then right click to edit this file. Note: You will need to edit this file with Administrative rights.
4. Now search the file for the following line // Remove Dark Theme and then comment out each line in this section by using // at the start of each line in this section as shown below:
5. Save the file and now re-launch SSMS. After restarting SSMS, go to Options you will see the Dark them listed. Select the Dark theme and then press the OK button.
Your SSMS should now be using the Dark theme, similar to what my SSMS looks like now after enabling this theme. Ah this is much better!
For the most part its dark but where it fails is in the Object Explorer and Output panes as you can see here:
There is a way to go into Options and tweak the colors for the Output pane (results grid and messages), but that is extremely tedious and not worth the effort in my opinion.
Now I’m not sure why this is not fully supported yet, especially for the Object Explorer and the Output panes. People keep asking for this feature and release after release it’s still not properly supported.
Now if you look at Visual Studio, there is a SQL Server Object Explorer and when you run a query, the results window (text and grid) supprt support the dark theme as shown below. So this is an alternate method if you don’t want to change SSMS.
For those of you that are not developers and use SSMS for interacting with your SQL Servers and want to use a dark theme editor, you can install a bare bones instance of Visual Studio 2017 with just the database tooling by selecting the Data storage and processing workload.
Hopefully, a future update to SSMS will enable the Dark theme out of the box and until then this is a temporary solution that may or may not work for you. For me, I spend most of my time working with SQL queries that I don’t need Output or Object Explorer visible, so I just collapse them.
This method works for both SSMS 2016 and SSMS 17.
If you want to create an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template that deploys Functions or Logic Apps, you can build your own as shown here. Just provide your GitHub repository URL and it will quickly create an azure.deploy.json file for you to include with your repos.
These samples are available in a either C# or NodeJS and can be deployed to your Azure subscription with a click of a button. The samples cover a number of useful tasks that can easily be incorporated into your application or simply used for learning purposes. If you’re interested in contributing to this project or browsing through the code please take a look at the GitHub repository.