Category: Productivity

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

    AzureCloudProductivity

    Build your cloud skills at Microsoft Tech Summit

    image

    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:

    CALGARY – 20 MARCH 2018

    VANCOUVER – 5 APRIL 2018

    OTTAWA – 17 APRIL 2018

    MONTREAL – 25 APRIL 2018

    Enjoy!

    DatabaseProductivity

    How to Enable Dark Theme for SQL Server Management Studio

    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:

    image

    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.

    image

    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:

    image

    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.

    image

    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!

    image

    For the most part its dark but where it fails is in the Object Explorer and Output panes as you can see here:

    image

    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.

    Alternate Solutions

    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.

    image

    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.

    image

    Summary

    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.

    Enjoy!

    References

    https://www.sqlshack.com/setting-up-the-dark-theme-in-sql-server-management-studio/

    Productivity

    You can now install Office 365 desktop apps from the Microsoft Store

    image

    Office 365 is now available for purchase and installation from the Microsoft Store. It was first available only for Windows 10 S but has now expanded to support Windows 10.

    If you want to install from the Microsoft Store, you first need to uninstall your current installation.

    Once Office 365 is installed from the Microsoft Store it will automatically be updated like the rest of the store apps.

    From the looks of it you can install the following:

    • Office 365 Personal
    • Office 365 Home

    I currently install Office 365 Home from https://Office.com but I’m going to try this option out.

    Enjoy!