Monthly Archives

December 2015

31 Days of TestComplete Mobile

By | Android, iOS, Mobile, SmartBear, TestComplete, Testing, Web | 2 Comments

31 Days of TestComplete Mobile During January, I’ll explore TestComplete mobile testing and share the experience. We’ll talk about how TestComplete tests apps for smart devices: web-based tests for responsive web sites, image-based testing, testing instrumented apps, emulating user actions, and a lot more. Here’s the topic line-up so far: Introduction and Testing Approaches Web-Based Testing: Testing Responsive Web Sites Web-Based Testing: Scripting and Handling Page Differences Web-Based Testing: Configuring Custom Browsers Preparing Android Devices Using the Mobile Screen Preparing iOS Devices Testing Android Apps on Emulators Image Based Testing Handling Image Variations Using Mobile, Device and Desktop Objects Open Apps Introduction Instrumenting Android Apps…

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Set up Microsoft Account as an Identity Provider for Azure B2C

By | Azure | No Comments

This is post 11 of 11 in the series “Azure for Developers” Azure B2C is a relatively new Azure product that lets you manage identity and access control through configuration. You can configure it to authenticate users through usernames and passwords or by delegating to other identity providers. At present, the identity provider list is pretty small compared to competing services like Auth0. At time of writing, Azure B2C supports Microsoft Account, Google, Facebook, Linkedin, and Amazon as Identity Providers (IDPs). The documentation covers how to integrate all of these, with the conspicuously odd absence of any documentation on how to…

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Programming GPIO on the ESP8266 with NodeMCU

By | ESP8266, IoT | 10 Comments

This is post 8 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” IoT devices (a.k.a., Things) aren’t very interesting if they cannot interact with the world around them. As Makers, we need to hook up sensors, light up LEDs, and communicate with other devices that are wired up to our Things. To do this, we need IO functionality that can be programmed. GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) refers to a set of generic pins of a microcontroller that can be used for digital signaling. GPIO pins can be individually set to act as input or output, and values can be either…

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Working with Files in NodeMCU on the ESP8266

By | ESP8266, IoT | 6 Comments

This is post 7 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” What is SPIFFS? One of the coolest things about the NodeMCU firmware is that it includes a SPI Flash File System (SPIFFS) module. This means that data and scripts can be written to and read from the flash memory using the concept of files instead programming against raw memory locations. Flash memory allow random access reads and writes. But, by nature, flash memory only allows erasure for entire blocks of memory (i.e., 64 kB) at a time. When erased, a NOR flash memory address will contain all…

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Let’s Do Something with the ESP8266 using NodeMCU

By | ESP8266, IoT | 3 Comments

This is post 6 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” Get to a Prompt Up until now, I’ve been putting out a lot of high-level background information about the ESP8266 and different firmware in order to establish a baseline of knowledge about the platform and its history. Now that you [hopefully] have NodeMCU installed onto your own ESP8266 device, let’s do something with it. Connect your device to the USB port, and open a serial terminal program. If you’re looking for a serial terminal for Windows, then you may want to try out RealTerm. It has become my…

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How to Wire the ESP8266-12 for Programming

By | ESP8266, IoT | 8 Comments

This is post 5 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” In my last post, I discussed how to acquire the NodeMCU firmware, and then how to flash it using a serial port (or, rather, your USB port). The assumption that I was making was that people already had the ESP8266-12 module in an easy-to-work-with form, like the NodeMCU DevKit or Adafruit Huzzah. But, some of the readers only had the bare module. I was asked what it would take to ready the ESP8266-12 module itself for programming. My response follows: ESP8266-12 Pinouts Here are the pinouts of…

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NodeMCU Firmware for the ESP8266

By | ESP8266, IoT | No Comments

This is post 4 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” Introducing NodeMCU The NodeMCU Firmware is an open source project that provides an abstraction layer on top of the Expressif SDK for the ESP8266. While the SDK itself provides low-level access to the peripherals of the ESP8266EX chip, NodeMCU provides a high level API that hides a lot of the implementation details of how the chip works. NodeMCU includes a version of the Lua programming language that is based on eLua. Like many developers, I was personally first introduced to the Lua language by means of a…

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Azure Mobile Services TableController Role Based Authorization

By | .NET, Azure | 2 Comments

This is post 10 of 11 in the series “Azure for Developers” In the last post in this series, I showed how to implement authentication with Auth0 and then request a delegation token that can be used to authenticate requests to an Azure Mobile Service API. However, this sample used the very course-grained AuthorizeLevel attribute, which can only restrict access with four hard-coded access levels. In this post, I will show the steps necessary to extend the previous example to implement role-based authorization on an Azure Mobile Services TableController. Investigation The path of least resistance would be to figure out…

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ESP8266 Firmware

By | ESP8266, IoT | 3 Comments

This is post 3 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” Firmware is the term given to software that runs from non-volatile memory (NVM) on a piece of hardware. It is the “permanent” program stored in the ROM of any device that contains a processor, like your TV’s remote control, your digital camera, your Wi-Fi router, and even modern light bulbs (the programmable LED ones). It is considered non-volatile because the program survives power-down states without requiring any sort of supplemental battery power. Historically, a device’s firmware is set during manufacturing and never changed. Though, since re-writable flash…

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