Category: Azure

AzureCloud

Meet your Cloud Developer Advocates

What is a Cloud Developer Advocate? Their a global group of passionate developers that advocate to help solve problems with the cloud. Jeremy Likness wrote up a great post on what is a Cloud Developer Advocate that is great to read and he himself is a Cloud Developer Advocate. These folks are here to help and support you, so don’t be shy and reach out and connect with them. I’ve learned so much from them and have had the pleasure to meet and speak in person at a few events like the Microsoft Tech Summit, Microsoft Build and the Global Azure Summit.

To see a list of the current Cloud Developer Advocates and how you can to reach out and connect with them, please head over to the Cloud Developer Advocates page.

image

Enjoy!

Reference

Azure Advocates on Twitter

Cloud Developer Advocates Website

What is a Cloud Developer Advocate?

Azure

Azure Service Fabric Mesh is now in Public Preview

wp_ss_20180716_0001

Earlier today, Service Fabric Mesh was made available to everyone as a public preview. At Build 2018, Microsoft announced and demonstrated Service Fabric Mesh, a serverless offering of Azure Service Fabric. The public preview is available in three Azure regions: US West, US East, and Europe West and the availability will expand to other regions in the coming months.

Azure Service Fabric Mesh, a fully-managed service that enables developers to deploy and operate containerized applications without having to manage VMs, storage or networking configuration, while keeping the enterprise-grade reliability, scalability, and mission-critical performance of Service Fabric. Service Fabric Mesh supports both Windows and Linux containers, so you can develop with the programming language and framework of your choice.

You can get started today by heading over to the Azure Service Fabric Mesh documentation.

Be sure to take a look at the Azure Service Fabric Mesh Public Preview Announcement for frequently asked questions (FAQ) on what’s supported, and limitations. Since this is only a public preview, there is no SLA for production use.

Enjoy!

Resources

Azure Service Fabric Mesh Public Preview Announcement

Azure Service Fabric Mesh tools now available for Visual Studio 2017

Azure Friday – Azure Service Fabric Mesh Preview

Azure Service Fabric Mesh documentation

Azure Service Fabric Mesh samples

Azure Service Fabric Mesh pricing

Azure Service Fabric Mesh Container Quick Start

Azure

Getting started with Azure Event Grid Extension for Visual Studio Code

I love Visual Studio Code and all the extensions that are available. It has become my preferred editor for almost everything (replacing Notepad++), except for when developing in Visual Studio.

Recently there is a new extension that was made available for working with Azure Event Grid. Typically when working with Azure Event Grid I use a tool called Postman to send test messages to my Azure Event Grid resource. But now with this latest extension you can use Visual Studio Code.

In this post I’ll walk through how to get started and use the Azure Event Grid extension for Visual Studio Code. Let’s get started.

Prerequisites

Before we can begin we need to make sure we have the following installed and setup:

  1. An Azure Subscription. If you don’t have an Azure Account, you can sign up for one today for free and receive $200 in credits by selecting "Create a Free Azure Account…" or selecting "View->Command Palette" and searching for "Azure: Create an Account"
  2. Install Visual Studio Code
  3. Visual Studio Code Extensions:
    • Install extension Azure Tools for Visual Studio Code
    • Install extension Azure Event Grid

Connecting to your Azure Subscription

First thing we need to do is connect to your Azure subscription. This will happen automatically when you go to the Azure tab in Visual Studio Code. You can also sign in from the Command palette and searching for “Azure: Login”.

image

image

image

Create an Event Grid Topic

Now that you’re signed in, let’s go ahead and create an Event Grid topic.

1. In the Event Grid Topics pane, click on the + button to create a new topic:

image

2. Then select your Azure Subscription to associate this topic with:

image

3. Now provide a topic name. I will use “VSCodeEventGridTopicDemo” for my demo:

image

4. Next select a resource group for your topic. I will use  “RGVSCodeEventGridDemo” for my demo:

image

5. Select your location for the resources:

sshot-636

6. Done. In a few seconds your Azure Event Grid will be created and displayed in Visual Studio Code:

image

image

You can login to your Azure Subscription and see everything we just created. Keep your Azure Subscription loaded in the browser as we’ll use it for the next section.

image

Create Event Grid Subscription

Now that we have an Event Grid Topic setup we need to create a subscription to receive the events we send it.

1. Here I will create a new Azure Function app:

image

2. Now create a new Event Grid Trigger function and after it’s created click on the Add Event Grid subscription link:

image

3. Fill in the details relating to the Azure Event Grid Topic we created earlier and then press the Create button:

image

Your Event Grid Topic now has an Event Grid Subscription and is ready to test!

Generating Mock Events

Apart from managing your Event Grids resources in Visual Studio Code, you can also generate and send mock events which is great for testing purposes. Instead of using Postman to do this, I find the Event Grid Extension better and mocking and sending events. So let’s get started now mocking some events.

1. To generate a mocked event, right click on your Event Grid Subscription in Visual Studio Code and select Create Mock Event Generator:

image

2. A new file will be created with all the details for generating mocked events for this subscription. The pattern property is defined with regex patterns for generating random data. You will noticed I changed the data section pattern value with regex pattern to generate the mocked data for my event:

image

3. At the top of the event generator file will be two links: Send Events and Preview Events. The actions do exactly as they say and are what you want to use when generating your mocked events.

image

4. If we click on Preview Events, another file is created with a preview of mocked event data to be sent. Notice the different values between the events. This is from the regex logic defined in the event generator. This can be customized to generate data appropriate for your needs.

image

5. Now click on Send Events link at the top of the event generator file and go to your Azure Portal where you previously defined your Azure Function for your Event Grid Topic, and you will see in the logs your mocked events:

sshot-647

As you can see the Azure Event Grid extension for Visual Studio Code is very powerful and is a handy tool to use in your Azure development.

Enjoy!

Reference

Create your free Azure account

Azure Event Grid Overview

Azure Event Grid Documentation

Introduction to Azure serverless with Azure Functions, Logic Apps and Azure Event Grid

AzureDevelopment

Connecting your code to the cloud with Visual Studio Connected Services

With each release of Visual Studio it’s getting easier to connect your application to Azure services. To access Visual Studio Connected Services, go to your projects Overview which can be accessed by right clicking on your project and select Overview.

image

Then select the Connected Services tab on the left to show the list of Connected Services available in your Visual Studio instance. More connected services can be installed from either the Visual Studio Marketplace or from within Visual Studio by going to the Tools –> Extensions and Updates… menu item.

image

To configure a particular Connected Service, just click on it and follow the prompts to wire up the desired Azure service.

Connected Services

With the announcement of what’s new in for Azure Development in Visual Studio on May 30 2018, support for three more Azure services were made available:

For a full list of available Connected Services take a look at the Microsoft Visual Studio Marketplace.

Enjoy!

References

New Updates for Azure Development in Visual Studio

Visual Studio Marketplace

AIAzureDevelopmentEventsProductivity

Microsoft Build 2018–Day 2 Highlights

Today’s keynote by Joe Belfiore was focused on Multi-sense + Multi-device for Microsoft 365, which is Windows, Office and EMS

Image showing how Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), a complete, intelligent, and secure solution to empower employees.

Announcements

  • Fluent Design System updates.
  • UWP XAML Islands, which lets you incorporate UWP into WinForms, WPF and Win32 applications. This also means you can start to bring in the Fluent Design System into these UI frameworks.
  • Windows UI Library, which brings native platform controls as NuGet packages instead of being tied to the OS version. This will work from the Windows Anniversary Update and newer.
  • .NET Core 3.0, which will support side-by-side runtimes, along with support for WinForms, WPF and UWP.
  • MSIX, which is dubbed the best technology for installing applications on Windows. This inherits the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) features, works across Enterprise or Store distributions, and supports all Windows applications.
  • Windows SDK Insider Preview – https://aka.ms/winsdk
  • New developer revenue sharing model. Developers will get 85% when their app is found in the Microsoft store, and 95% when you provide your customers to your app in the Microsoft store.
  • Microsoft Launcher on Android will support Timeline for cross-device application launching. On iOS this will be supported through Microsoft Edge.
  • A new “Your Phone” experience coming soon to Windows 10 that enables you to see your connected phone text messages, photos and notifications and then interact with them without having to use your phone. Really neat experience – now if only they support Windows Mobile 10 Smile
  • Microsoft Sets was officially shown and demonstrated how it can be used for an easier way to organize your work and allow you to get back to work where you left off when ready. This means not having to have 25+ tabs open in Chrome or Edge. Nice!
  • Adaptive Cards is being added to Microsoft 365, which will enable developers to create rich interactive content within conversations. They demonstrated a GitHub Adaptive Card for Outlook (365) where you could comment and close an issue. Another example shown was paying for your invoice from an email.
  • There was a lot of buzz for Microsoft Graph, which is core to the Microsoft 365 platform. Microsoft Graph helps developers connect the dots between people, schedules, conversations, and content within the Microsoft cloud.
  • Cortana and Alexa start speaking to one another. Sometime in the future you will be able to access your Alexa device through Windows 10 and likewise on an Amazon Echo you will ne able to speak to Cortana.

Enjoy!

References

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/events/build

Modernizing applications for our multi-sense, multi-device world

Microsoft 365 empowers developers to build intelligent apps for where and how the world works

AIAzureDevelopmentEventsProductivity

Microsoft Build 2018 – Day 1 Highlights

This is my first attendance at the annual Microsoft Build conference taking place in Seattle, WA. I have to tell you that so far I’m not disappointed. Here are some of the highlights from today’s events:

  • Azure is becoming the world’s computer: Azure | Azure Stack | Azure IoT Edge | Azure Sphere.
  • Azure IoT Edge runtime which runs on Windows or Linux is now being open sourced.
  • Microsoft showed off Cortana and Alexa integration which was pretty cool.
  • New Azure AI infrastructure announced: Project Brainwave which is a real-time AI on cloud and edge devices.
  • Announced Project Kinect for Azure, an Azure AI-enabled edge device.
  • Visual Studio Live Share is now generally available. This provides real-time collaborative development, shared debugging, independent views and works across Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code (Windows, Mac and Linux).
  • Azure Event Grid is getting new improvements like dead lettering (DLQ) and custom retry policies. Event Grid is also adding new event publishers for Azure Media Services and Azure Container Registry, and new event handlers for Storage Queue and Relay Hybrid Connections. Finally Azure Event Grid is providing an alternative form of endpoint validation. Event Grid provides reliable event delivery at massive scale (millions of events per second), and it eliminates long polling and hammer polling, and the associated costs of latency.
  • Azure Cosmos had some interesting updates like the new multi-master write support. It also provides API support for MongoDB, SQL, Table Storage, Gremlin Graph, Spark, and Casandra.
  • Azure Search now integrates Azure Cognitive Services to provide built-in enrichment of content using AI models, and it enables immersive search experiences over any data.
  • The Fluent Design System which Microsoft first debuted at Build 2017, is expanding beyond Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and will be available for Windows Forms, WPF and native Win32 applications.
  • Windows Timeline is coming to iOS and Android.
  • Azure Functions updates: Durable Functions reaches general availability, and Azure Functions now leverages the App Service Diagnostics.
  • .NET Core 3.0 and .NET Framework 4.8 announced were announced, and .NET Core 3.0 is coming to desktop development (awesome!)
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.7 and the next update version 15.8 preview 1 were released.
  • Visual Studio App Center integration with GitHub.
    • Visual Studio IntelliCode announced, which brings you the next generation of developer productivity by providing AI-assisted development.

    This already feels like a lot but really it’s just scratching the surface. I’m looking forward to what is announced today in the keynote followed by more technical workshops and sessions.

    Enjoy!

    References

    https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/events/build

    Azure

    Overview of Monitoring in Azure

    Monitoring, monitoring, monitoring! In my opinion as a Systems Architect and Developer for the last 20 years I’ve found that we don’t do enough application and resource logging. It’s only when you start working with DevOps and see how the operations team works with and troubleshoots your applications do you as a developer realize that maybe we should have added more logging to help diagnose and provide valuable insights to the state of your application.

    Luckily for us when you deploy your application to Azure there is a breadth of monitoring solutions for collecting, analyzing and acting on telemetry from your application and the Azure resources that support them. These services are categorized into the following four sections:

    • Deep Application Monitoring
    • Deep Infrastructure Monitoring    
    • Core Monitoring    
    • Shared Capabilities

    Monitoring overview

    Deep Application Monitoring

    Application Insights provides deep insights into your application performance, availability and usage, whether you have it hosted in the cloud or on-premises. Application Insights provides the capability to instrument your own applications, adding events to suit your own needs. Application Insights can be configured for new applications or you can start monitoring an existing application in production without any changes by using an agent.

    Application Insights provides you with the ability to quickly identify and diagnose issues in production and can also be used for local and/or QA testing.

    When leveraging Application Insights you can take advantage of Application Insights Analytics to detect trends, identify usage behaviors, and perform complex queries, and Application Insights is built upon core monitoring services found in Azure.

    Deep Infrastructure Monitoring

    On the infrastructure side we have Deep Infrastructure Monitoring is made up Log Analytics, Management Solutions, Service Map, and Network Monitoring which is made up by several tools that work together. These services also build upon core monitoring services in Azure that provide powerful analytics.

    Core Monitoring

    Core monitoring is standard across Azure resources and require only minimal configuration. Core monitoring provides the necessary telemetry that the premium monitoring services leverage. With Core monitoring we have access to Azure Monitor, Azure Advisor, Azure Service Health, and Activity Logs.

    Shared Capabilities

    Finally we have the shared monitoring capabilities that the core and deep monitoring services use to provide features like Alerts, Dashboards, and the Metrics Explorer.

    Summary

    Monitoring is an essential role in any application so that you can collect and analyze data to determine the performance, health and availability of your application and the resources that it depends on. Azure provides a very robust set of services from monitoring your application all the way down to the infrastructure it runs on.

    Enjoy!

    Resources

    Azure Monitoring Docs

    Overview of Monitoring in Azure 

    Explore Azure Monitor to get started with core monitoring metrics and alerts

    Explore Application Insights if you’re trying to diagnose problems in your App Service web app

    Explore Log Analytics for analyzing collected monitoring data and logs