Inspired by @burkeholland, @editingemily, @sigje and others where instead of putting effort into an Aprils Fools joke, I will instead take the #AzureApril challenge of posting an Azure tip each day in April. Some tips might come from @mbcrump comprehensive list of tips and tricks, while others might come from me and/or the community. Now on to todays tip.
Azure has over a 100 services that offer you everything you need to develop, build and run you applications with all the performance, redundancy, security, and scale that the cloud has to offer. With all these services sometimes it can be daunting on where to begin.
Todays tip is to take bite-sized lessons to reinforce your
#Azure skills, all in a single month of lunches. This is a practical guide to learning Azure cloud computing skills quickly or refresh what you already know.
By reading this e-book, you get to build your cloud computing skills quickly and efficiently. You’ll be productive immediately, and when you finish, you’ll be well on your way to Azure mastery.
For more details and to download the e-book, go to https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/learn-azure-in-a-month-of-lunches/
Since we’re starting a new month today this is a great tip to tackle and complete by end of the month, all while eating your lunch.
Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches
For those that do Azure presentations / screen recordings you know that you often find yourself scrubbing out your sensitive and personal information such as subscription keys, email addresses, keys and connection strings. What if you could have this magically done for you?
Well let me introduce to you a handy Chrome extension called Azure Mask that will mask GUIDs (such as Subscription IDs), email addresses, keys, and connection strings with a blur. The intention of the extension is to make it easier to do screen recordings without revealing sensitive, personal, account information that may show up on screen.
NOTE: This extension will only run and apply against Azure portal URLs.
- Blurs GUIDs (such as Subscription IDs)
- Blurs your account email
- Hides the "Report a Bug" button (if found)
- Toggle the mask on/off and store this state
- Apply the mask (if enabled) after Document Object Model (DOM) mutations
Installing the Extension
As mentioned on the Azure Mask GitHub repository readme, you can install this extension in Chrome from either a package or from source. Let’s take a look at how we can install from source.
- Download or clone the repository: git clone email@example.com:clarkio/azure-mask.git
- Open up Chrome and bring up the extensions settings by typing in the address bar: chrome://extensions/
- Check the “Develop mode” option and click on Load unpacked extension button:
- Navigate to where you cloned this repository and then choose path: /azure-mask/src
- Follow the prompts and then the extension will be available in Chrome:
Using Azure Mask
After installing the Azure Mask extension in Chrome, navigate to your Azure portal and after signing in you will see all your Azure secrets magically blurred:
If you want to turn off this extension, click on the Azure Mask extension button in Chrome to bring up the options:
Azure-Mask on GitHub
I came across a great tool for Visual Studio that fixes a real issue when pasting code into Visual Studio called Pretty Paste. This is a tool which fixes an issue where copied text into Visual Studio introduces new blank lines and line numbers as shown in the following image:
This is a fantastic tool. Thank you Mads Kristensen for creating this tool for the community!
You can install it from the Extensions and Updates dialog in Visual Studio. Go to Tools | Extensions and Updates and do an online search for pretty paste:
You can also download it from the Visual Studio Extension Gallery: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/6a23234d-45f6-4212-bac3-f6d9bb08fb1e
I came across a post in the MSDN Forums on how to delete a project from your TF Service.
“For some time now Buck Hodges has had a nice BLOG post about deleting team projects from Team Foundation Service collections. Not trying to reinvent the wheel but I thought it valuable to have it here in our support forum, too.
Basically, to delete a team project from your Team Foundation Service collection you will need Visual Studio 2012 (or just Team Explorer 2012, which is free here). These provide you with the "tfsdeleteproject.exe" command line tool, which you run thusly:
tfsdeleteproject /collection:https://<Your Collection>.VisualStudio.com/DefaultCollection <"Project Name">
Don’t forget the "/DefaultCollection" bit.”
Thanks Trevor for providing this.
How many times have you tried to upload or email your Visual Studio solution, only to find out that your zip file contains files and folders that you didn’t mean to include, like the bin, obj and other folders. What about source control bindings? Yes that too will get included.
Well I came across a great utility called Clean Project from Ron Jacobs that cleans your Visual Studio solutions so you can quickly upload or email.
This functionality is available inside Visual Studio and also from the Windows Shell.
You can install CleanProject from Tools –> Extensions Manager in Visual Studio. Then search for CleanProject. In the References section below I listed links to other locations you can download the project from.
Emailing A Solution
If you want to email your solution:
- Select Tools –> Clean, Remove Source Bindings and Zip Solution
- Attach the zip file to your email and send
Windows Shell Folder Command
You can also run CleanProject from the Windows Shell. Just right click the folder you want to clean and select Clean, Remove Source Binding and Zip Solution from the context menu.
Thanks Ron Jacobs for your hard work on this utility. I look forward to further enhancements and/or other tools in the future.
If you were using this tool in Visual Studio 2008 and then upgraded your solution to Visual Studio 2010, you might have noticed that this functionality no longer worked. You also might have received an error, which you dismissed.
ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx is an awesome tool and I’m surprised it still hasn’t been officially updated to support Visual Studio 2010.
Well after doing some digging around, I found an article with a work around that enables this functionality in Visual Studio 2010. Here are the instructions to get it working on your machine, followed by an example:
- Shut down Visual Studio 2010.
- If you don’t already have the tool ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx downloaded and installed, please do so. You can get the latest installer from http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/
- Save the attached file in this email and remove the .temp extension.
- Double click the attached file that you renamed and have it add its contents to your Registry.
- Restart Visual Studio 2010.
Here is a working example of how to use the tool. Say you want to add a new entry to the PageText.resx resource file contained in your solution and the entry was “Abandoned”:
- Open up PageText.resx by double clicking the file.
- Add “Abandoned” in the name and “Abandoned” in the value.
- Click Save.
- Next right click on PageText.rex and click on Run Custom Tool as shown below…
- Now you can reference this value from your code by typing in PageText.
Hope that helps.
One of the biggest changes to SQL Server 2012 is that is now uses the Visual Studio 2010 Shell. Knowing that now, here are a few tips and tricks for SQL Server Management Studio 2012
Sometimes you may only want to select and copy a column of text as opposed to the normal text selection done by holding down the Shift Key. To do Block selection, you can do SHIFT+ALT and drag your mouse to only select certain areas of your text in column fashion.
Cycle through Query Windows
I’ve known about ALT+TAB to cycle through programs (Windows). I’ve also known about CTRL+TAB to cycle through components within a given application. For example in Excel you could use CTRL+TAB to move between worksheets. I’ve never tried it in Management Studio, but it allows you to cycle through the Query Windows.
Also, CTRL + F6 will cycle through the actual tabs without the graphic switching display.
Most people should be familiar with the Status Bar at the bottom of the query window, but did you know you can customize it?
If you look under Tools –> Options –> Text Editor –> Editor Tab and Status Bar you will see a number of options that you can change.
You can go to View and select to show Registered Servers. Within Registered Servers you can create a group of SQL Servers. This then allows you to start a query that will be run against all of the servers within the group. This is where the Group Connection Color for the status bar comes into play.
This could be really handy if you need to execute items across multiple servers. The color of the status bar is there to help you realize that that query is a group query as opposed to a single server connection.
There are a ton of Keyboard shortcuts that you can use within Visual Studio. The default settings are based on Visual Studio 2010. Here is a list of those shortcuts. SQL Server Management Studio Keyboard Shortcuts
You can get to these through Tools -> Options -> Environment/Keyboard
I hope these are useful to you.
If your looking to create a custom chrome window in Winform or WPF, you should take a look at the ‘Marlett’ font that is available on your system.
This font contains the actual glyphs used in Windows for the Minimize, Maximize, Restore and Close buttons.
Using this font makes it really easy to reuse these glyphs in a custom chrome window, instead of custom images that is typically used.
To get started, assign your buttons the Marlett font.
Next, assign the text value for each of the buttons the following…
- Close button, use the text r (lowercase R)
- Minimize button, use 0 (zero)
- Maximize button, use 1 (one)
- Restore button, use 2 (two)
You can take a look at the Marlett font in the Windows Character Map or here for more details.
Here is an example of what the Windows buttons would look like using this font…