SDN Event – Fanie Reynders – IOT and Build Server (Raspberry PI and VSTS)

SDN Event - Fanie Reynders -IOT

The last recording in our series of SDN Event recordings that we publish from our 23rd of June SDN Event. This is the session by Fanie Reynders. Interaction with VSTS and a Raspberry PI in this recording called “IOT and Build Server (Raspberry PI and VSTS)” will show you a sample of what you can do with IOT today.

Abstract

Tired of the endless alerts spamming your team channels (especially e-mail) about the status of failed and successful builds? In this session, we are going to make use of Azure Functions, your favorite source-code repo (like VSTS) and a Raspberry Pi to create a simple lamp indicating the status of your builds on each check-in. Learn about how you can connect events driven from the cloud to the physical world using awesome tools available right now.

Fanie builds an application, loads it on the Raspberry PI and all of this in a session packed with code, explaining how to interact with the small IOT devices in a real life working demo! Well wa’do you know!

SDN Event – Fanie Reynders – IOT and Build Server (Raspberry PI and VSTS)

Recordings previously released from the 23rd of June SDN Event.

If you missed the previous recording that we published the last couple of weeks you can still dive in and watch the sessions here online. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe:

SDN Event – Brady Gaster – Developing for Azure on a Mac

SDN Event – Richard Campbell – Saving The World One App at a Time

SDN Event – Brady Gaster – Getting Started building Visual Studio Code Extensions

SDN Event – Richard Campbell – Keynote: The Development Platform Landscape in 2017

Office Development–The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?

Office Development - Good Bad Ugly

In my last post we’ve seen that there are just a whole list of options covered under Office Development. Just to get a starting point we start to focus on Office add-ins –without the capital A– first. With Office add-ins I mean Office add-ins in general, that is … from the early start to where we are today.

I know that these days the name Office Add-ins is considered to be the part where Office Add-ins are built using the OfficeJS APIs but in the early years you had Office add-ins in many forms and technologies.

The Ugly

Initially the only option to customize Office was by adding code using Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This was, or should I say is – it still exists and you can still use it, the embedded code engine running a subset of the full Visual Basic command set capable in addressing the Office Object Model to quickly build some Office automation functions to make life as an Office Worker easier. The language appeared to be very powerful and in the real world people built some crazy complex stuff with it.

The Bad

To add more structure to building Office add-ins a new development paradigm was developed. Still using the Office Object Model but this time using the managed languages such as VB.NET or C Sharp (C#).

Managing code with VBA could be a pain in the … Code traveled with the documents and when the document was copied another ‘branch’ was created and you would never know you were working on the latest version unless you managed your distributions very strictly. Also the declaration of variables wasn’t always enforced causing all sorts of runtime errors to surface just after releasing the production code.

By using this new way to build your Office add-ins or customizations (I will return on customizations vs. add-ins later in a separate blog post, that’s a story on itself) with the new tools: Microsoft’s “Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System” (VSTO) at least you had a better control over your source code and you could even use Source Control to keep track of your code versions.

With this, the first versions of VSTO, seemed to be very hard when it came to installing the add-ins. Security was improved a lot, but that came at the high price of tough installation issues.

The Good

In these days, deploying add-ins can’t be limited to the Windows Platform so another change was rising … these are the add-ins built using the combination of well known web technologies and by including a Manifest you are now able to run your Office Add-ins (with the capital A) on all platforms in all supported and still growing number of client applications. Currently the client applications are Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and recently added Project, Access and OneNote.

Really?

Are these three technologies really The Good, The Bad and The Ugly? Well no, obviously not, you can still build add-ins in all three of these technologies but VBA for instance always had a very bad name, also caused by virus developers using this technology to harm innocent computer users by exploiting the technology to take over the computer and in worst case disable it.

VSTO was considered to be a real improvement but this technology also had his downsides. Deployment could be really hard, but this improved in later versions. Still going multi platform was no option for VSTO.

So is all good with the OfficeJS add-ins? Again, not at all … for starters these technologies used here are in general very hard to understand when you come from the VBA or managed code languages. Also, the APIs are not fully completed.

It still isn’t possible to do all the things that you could do with VSTO. With VSTO there is not really a limit. Whatever you can do with managed code you can do with VSTO as it just is interfacing between Office and .NET. This of course in itself could be very dangerous and should be managed to the max. Also VSTO is used by shady guys building malicious code.

We will get more in detail (we are still diving in, going deeper and deeper at this time) in my following blog posts so subscribe and join me in this adventure called Office Development!

SDN Cast 59 – Releases, Releases, Releases

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Starting this week all regions in the Netherlands entered their school holiday season and everyone is dropping their work to leave the jobs to move into the sun.

Even so there still is a lot of news to discuss this week, especially a lot of software releases. I put them all below in the list, but just to name a few: The 3d tools called Babylon.JS 3.0 to create some amazing 3D apps, Postman, Cake and not to be forgotten the first release candidate of SQL Server 2017.

This and our other topics in our Dutch SDN Cast number 59 …

Where can you find our 59th episode of our Dutch SDN Cast?https://youtu.be/QBlk0Hod8jY

Did you subscribe our Dutch SDN Cast channel already?

Subscribe your YouTube channel if you don’t want to miss a single broadcast. Usually we will broadcast on Thursday evenings at 8 PM but there can be a change of plans where we need to move to another time or day. So to be sure Subscribe to our channel on YouTube or go to http://www.sdncast.nl to see when the next episode is due.

Other news:

C# 6.0 draft Language Specification
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/csharp/language-reference/language-specification/
https://github.com/dotnet/docs/tree/master/docs/csharp/language-reference

Announcing Babylon.js 3.0
https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/07/12/announcing-babylon-js-3-0

Announcing .NET Summer Hackfest 2017
https://dotnetfoundation.org/blog/announcing-net-summer-hackfest-2017

Brady Gaster – Trying Something New
http://www.bradygaster.com/posts/trying-something-new

First release candidate of SQL Server 2017 now available
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/dataplatforminsider/2017/07/17/first-release-candidate-of-sql-server-2017-now-available/

Rider Release Candidate: performance, refactorings, Unity and more!
https://blog.jetbrains.com/dotnet/2017/07/14/rider-release-candidate-performance-refactorings-unity/

Announcing Postman 5.0 – Pro features for free!
http://blog.getpostman.com/2017/07/14/announcing-postman-5-0-pro-features-for-free/

Cake v0.21.1 released
http://cakebuild.net/blog/2017/07/cake-v0.21.1-released

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 16232 Released
https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/07/12/windows-10-sdk-preview-build-16232-released/

VSTS Update – July 14
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/bharry/2017/07/18/vsts-update-july-14/

New Release Definition Editor and improved pull request workflows – July 14
https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/articles/news/2017/jul-14-team-services

Nested Virtualization in Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/nl-nl/blog/nested-virtualization-in-azure/

Events

This week’s events

Faculty Summit 2017: The Edge of AI – July 17,18 Redmond, WA
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/event/faculty-summit-2017/

Xamarin Dev Days – 22 July – Hengelo
https://ti.to/xamarin/dev-days-hengelo-2017/en

Upcoming events

Agile 2017 – August 7-11 2017, Orlando FL
https://www.agilealliance.org/agile2017/

Wazug – September 7 2017, Hilversum

Xamarin Dev Days – 16 September – Amsterdam
https://ti.to/xamarin/dev-days-amsterdam-2017

.NET Conf – 19-21 September
http://www.dotnetconf.net/

Ignite 2017 – September 25-29 – Orlando
https://ignite.microsoft.com

Hybrid IT Event – September 26 – Maarssen, NL
http://www.fujitsu.com/nl/microsites/hybrid-it/event/index.html

SDN Event 3 – 6 October 6, Zeist, NL
https://www.sdn.nl/EVENTS/6-oktober-2017

TechDays October 12-13, 2017 RAI Amsterdam
http://www.techdays.nl/
https://techdays.msnlevents.net/content/eventselection.aspx?eventid=26152

SharePoint Saturday Belgium 2017, October 21, Brussels BE
http://www.spsevents.org/city/brussels/brussels2017

SharePoint Unite – October 24-26, 2017, Haarlem
https://sharepointunite.com/

Web Summit – 6-9 November 2017, Lissabon, Portugal
https://websummit.com/

Visual Studio Live! November 12-17 2017 Orlando, FL
https://live360events.com/events/orlando-2017/vslive.aspx

As usual we are always looking for presenters for our own events and Meetup’s so if you want to share something about hot technologies or just about something you implemented at work or in an App that could be interesting to our audience let us know so we can schedule you for one or our next SDN events or Dutch .NET Group Meetups.

This off course also goes for if you want to write a great article for us to publish in our SDN Magazines or at our SDN Website. The downside of publishing a magazine article is that there can be some time between writing the article and publishing the magazine. So, if it is time critical sometimes the best option is to publish it on the www.sdn.nl website to get more speedy attention to the article.

As you see, options enough to address your audience with top notch information. You can even, if you like, be our guest in our SDN Cast shows to discuss the projects you are working on or other topics you master. We will instruct you how to connect with us and what it is you need to join the show.

Hopefully we will see you at our weekly web cast, for the schedule go to www.sdncast.nl for next week’s announcement to find out the day and time of our next broadcast or go to www.sdncast.nl/youtube to watch old episodes and videos that we recorded at our events. Don’t forget to subscribe our YouTube channel www.sdncast.nl/subscribe or go directly to YouTube not to miss any of our shows!

Office Development – Where to Start

Office Development – Where to Start

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Starting at dev.office.com you see a wide variety of options related to Office Development. There are a couple of sections to identify when you enter the Getting Started entry

  • Microsoft Graph
  • SharePoint Add-ins
  • Office Add-ins
  • Office 365 Connectors

Apparently, this is not all, as below the four options there is another option:

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out this full list of all development options for Office linking to the URL https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office. If you follow this URL you’ll notice that it is redirected to, you might have guessed it: https://dev.office.com/docs, the documentation part of dev.office.com.

Here the options are not limited to the options above but now you can see there are sections for:

  • Microsoft Graph
  • Office Add-ins
  • Office 365 Connectors

And below this

  • Office Clients
  • Outlook.com
  • OneNote
  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive
  • Yammer
  • Exchange
  • Skype

Wait …, what …, why is there a section Office Clients separated from the Office Add-ins?

Well, I don’t know. Looking at this it you might think the ‘older technologies’ are under the ‘subsections’. This is true for Office Clients, covering:

  • Office 2013
  • Office 2010
  • Visual Basic Reference

The last item in the list is in fact incorrect, and should have been called “Visual Basic for Applications Reference” or “VBA Reference” or even better “Language Reference VBA” as it redirects to Language reference VBA. It has nothing to do with Visual Basic. Sure Visual Basic resembles a lot compared to Visual Basic for Applications (I will reference to VBA from now on for Visual Basic for Applications) but it isn’t the same. It’s as if you compare Visual Basic to VB.NET they aren’t the same either.

To continue the ‘older technologies’ theory … under SharePoint you find:

  • SharePoint Framework
  • SharePoint WebHooks
  • SharePoint Add-ins
  • SharePoint 2013
  • SharePoint 2010

In this case you see a combination of older and newer technologies. Also under the other subsections you find a mix of newer and older technologies (Exchange) or just newer technologies (Outlook.com, OneDrive, Skype, OneNote and Yammer).

There are even parts missing on this part of the documentation. What about Microsoft Teams as a newer application of Office or existing applications like Microsoft Access. Office and therefor Office Development is just huge, we can spend so much time on these sections, there is no end in all of this.

To start the research, I first want to focus on the Office Clients and their Add-ins. The reason for this is that this was the part that was applied the most when you look at Office customization (adjusting the Office client applications in a way that it suited the needs of the productivity workers).

So, I will drill down from the part covered under Office Clients and move over from there to the section Office Add-ins. This will provide a sense of history and slowly move into the newer technologies as provided in the OfficeJS APIs.

Enough stuff to dig in, so hang in there … see you in my next blogpost(s)

Office Development 2017

Office Dev Center

After many years of Office Development, starting with Excel Functions, VBA, COM (VSTA/VSTO) it is time to dive in and see how things are in done in 2017. What are your options, is it still possible to do things in VBA or doesn’t it exist anymore?

In my upcoming blog posts I want to look at the options available and look at the Office Platform in general. What clients are there these days and on what platform do they run.

The world changed a lot in the last decade and Microsoft Windows is not the only platform anymore. There is iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows … even Linux distributions are growing in popularity.

Even if you just look at it in the online (web) world many of the ‘old’ clients are now available in an Online version. Think of Word Online or Excel Online where you get your editor or spreadsheet application running in a browser application. Again, not so easy as you might think … browser applications should be running in a wide variety of browsers. Do they run in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera etc. etc.

My goal with these Office Development blogposts is also maybe a bit selfish … coming from the ‘old’ (as you might discover) VSTO world, or even older VBA world, I need to polish my knowledge around the current options available and I can already tell you that this ‘new’ Office Development world is huge compared to what it was as the number of clients increased dramatically with the operating systems that I mentioned above, but there is also a huge amount of mobile applications for Android, iOS and (currently not so many for) Windows Mobile.

So … a big challenge. I have no idea where this ends because Office Development these days also include developing for Microsoft Graph (it was Office Graph before, but it was revamped into Microsoft Graph this year, growing bigger than it already was), SharePoint Framework or Office Connectors to extend your Groups or Teams.

That said, stay tuned and feel free to share your comments, tips or complaints in the comments section below!

For now, your starting point for Office Development (next to my blog off course) is:

https://dev.office.com/  

SDN Event – Brady Gaster – Developing for Azure on a Mac

SDN Event Brady Gaster II - 800

In our series of SDN Event session recordings we published last Sunday our fourth recording from our 23rd of June SDN Event. This recording is the second session by Brady Gaster: “Developing for Azure on a Mac”

Abstract

With the introduction of .NET Core, many developers who have previously been married to Windows to do their .NET development are now investigating other platforms. By the same token, many developers familiar to the Mac who have been unable to use .NET are now interested in trying it out but aren’t sure what tools they’ll need. This session will target both audiences and take an intermediate-level tour of how to get started developing .NET applications on a Mac using Visual Studio Code and a series of command-line utilities and extensions. We’ll also investigate how the Azure Tools Extension for Visual Studio Code can be useful when paired with the Azure Portal’s in-browser tools to make developing your Web, Mobile, and RESTful APIs on Azure easy, and how Azure Containers and Docker can bring true portability and flexibility to your DevOps story.

Brady takes you by the hand and shows you the tools you need to develop .NET Core and Azure solutions using a Mac. Using Visual Studio Code and the Azure Tools Extension for Visual Studio Code he goes through his ‘hands-on’ session packed with demos and only a few slides. A joy to watch!

SDN Event – Brady Gaster – Developing for Azure on a Mac

Recordings previously released from the 23rd of June SDN Event.

If you missed the previous recording that we published the last couple of weeks you can still dive in and watch the sessions here online. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe:

SDN Event – Richard Campbell – Saving The World One App at a Time

SDN Event – Brady Gaster – Getting Started building Visual Studio Code Extensions

SDN Event – Richard Campbell – Keynote: The Development Platform Landscape in 2017

SDN Cast 58 – Inspire, API’s en Web Assembly

SDNCast 58-800

Last week it was the week of the Microsoft Partner Conference called Inspire, the conference where Microsoft invites all partners to come over to the special partner conference to get into the new fiscal year and to realign the partner plans for the upcoming year. It appears there is a slight change in policy where the Microsoft wants to include the partners more in their sales flow for selling their cloud products like Azure and Office 365. In previous years much of the sales was often done directly through Microsoft. The new strategy is to include the partners more in this process sharing the revenue processed by these sales initiatives. An important change is thinking in scenarios of specific industries.

Microsoft was always very much integrated at the level of the technology specialists, but when it came to selling the product at the board level there was an issue. The new strategy is to explain more how Microsoft fits in the process of the business itself. How can they extend their services in a way where the business improves by providing better quality and better services to their customers together with Microsoft.

New was the announcement to bring Microsoft 365 to the market for business and enterprise subscribers. An extension to the Office 365 program where Windows is now included next to several other services like security services. In our Dutch webcast we dive into this, this week.

This week we also bring the annual list of free e-books published by one of the Microsoft guys who made a hobby of collecting all the available free e-books and this is a huge list by now! Look at the links from the show-notes below for the URL to get the e-books. The link also contains a couple of links for instance to download the full list to your local machine. Not that this is advised, it really is a huge amount of data to pull in, but if you really want you can do it.

Also two AI APIs became available, one for General Availability (the Bing Entity Search API) and one in preview (Project Prague). The links are like all others in the list below. We discussed the APIs in depth, but in Dutch … sorry for that .

Fanie prepared another demo for us, and this week he is showing the Web Assembly and what you can do with it. If you want to explore by yourself here are some links:

WebAssembly Community Group

https://www.w3.org/community/webassembly/

Github:

https://github.com/webassembly

Where can you find our 58th episode of our Dutch SDN Cast?

https://youtu.be/TuNcLjT1RlA

Did you subscribe our Dutch SDN Cast channel already?

Subscribe your YouTube channel if you don’t want to miss a single broadcast. Usually we will broadcast on Thursday evenings at 8 PM but there can be a change of plans where we need to move to another time or day. So to be sure Subscribe to our channel on YouTube or go to http://www.sdncast.nl to see when the next episode is due.

Other news:

 

More layoffs
https://www.scribd.com/document/35351…

Community Leader Zone
http://clzinvite.kickoffpages.com/?ki…

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssm…

Introducing Microsoft 365
https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/0…
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/micro…
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/micro…

Announcing UWP Community Toolkit 1.5
https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapp…

Samsung Releases 4th Preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen including support for .NET Core 2.0 Preview
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visu…

The State of Developer Ecosystem in 2017
https://www.jetbrains.com/research/de…
https://insights.stackoverflow.com/su…

Calling all game devs: The Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge is Here!
https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapp…

Bring rich knowledge of people, places, things and local businesses to your apps
https://blogs.bing.com/search-quality…

Project Prague
https://labs.cognitive.microsoft.com/…

Events

This week’s events

Inspire July, 9-13 – Washington D.C.
https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire/
https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire/sessions

Next Week events

Faculty Summit 2017: The Edge of AI – July 17,18 Redmond, WA
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/event/faculty-summit-2017/

Upcoming events

Agile 2017 – August 7-11 2017, Orlando FL

https://www.agilealliance.org/agile2017/

Wazug – September 7 2017, Hilversum

Ignite 2017 – September 25-29 – Orlando
https://ignite.microsoft.com

Hybrid IT Event – September 26 – Maarssen, NL
https://events.global.fujitsu.com/r7/runtime/fujitsu/events/registration.php?event=raqvmqdf125d&l=en&s=login&ref_s=registration

SDN Event 3 – 6 October 6, Zeist, NL

https://www.sdn.nl/EVENTS/6-oktober-2017

TechDays October 12-13, 2017 RAI Amsterdam

http://www.techdays.nl/
https://techdays.msnlevents.net/content/eventselection.aspx?eventid=26152

SharePoint Unite – October 24-26 2017, Haarlem

https://sharepointunite.com/

Visual Studio Live! November 12-17 2017 Orlando, FL

https://live360events.com/events/orlando-2017/vslive.aspx

As usual we are always looking for presenters for our own events and Meetup’s so if you want to share something about hot technologies or just about something you implemented at work or in an App that could be interesting to our audience let us know so we can schedule you for one or our next SDN events or Dutch .NET Group Meetups.

This off course also goes for if you want to write a great article for us to publish in our SDN Magazines or at our SDN Website. The downside of publishing a magazine article is that there can be some time between writing the article and publishing the magazine. So, if it is time critical sometimes the best option is to publish it on the www.sdn.nl website to get more speedy attention to the article.

As you see, options enough to address your audience with top notch information. You can even, if you like, be our guest in our SDN Cast shows to discuss the projects you are working on or other topics you master. We will instruct you how to connect with us and what it is you need to join the show.

Hopefully we will see you at our weekly web cast, for the schedule go to www.sdncast.nl for next week’s announcement to find out the day and time of our next broadcast or go to www.sdncast.nl/youtube to watch old episodes and videos that we recorded at our events. Don’t forget to subscribe our YouTube channel www.sdncast.nl/subscribe or go directly to YouTube not to miss any of our shows!

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