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Guest Posts

Guest Posts


Redis Caching in the Google Cloud Platform

By | .NET, Cloud Platform | One Comment

This is post 15 of 17 in the series “Google Cloud for the .NET Developer” Caching is one of those solutions that is often added after you realize that there is a performance problem with your system. For example, fetching records from a database may be fast when you are developing locally as the only user. But, in production with hundreds or thousands of simultaneous requests taking place, that disk-based database will soon become a bottleneck. If the data is slowly changing, then there is really no need to hit the database itself after the first read: simply save the data to…

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Cloud Storage Options Part 2

By | .NET, Cloud Platform, Google | One Comment

This is a continuation of Cloud Storage Options Part 1, which covers Google Cloud Storage and Google Cloud SQL, both from a .NET developer’s perspective. Part 2 includes the two remaining structured storage solutions offered in GCP: Cloud Datastore and Cloud BigTable, and again focuses on how .NET developers can get started leveraging these storage options for themselves.

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Cloud Storage Options Part 1

By | .NET, Cloud Platform, Google | 2 Comments

If you are a .NET developer looking to integrate with Google Cloud, one of the most basic decisions will be what Google Cloud Storage options make sense for you? When you think cloud storage, don’t just think blob storage, because Google Cloud Platform storage is really much more diverse than that, from basic blob to fully managed MySQL services to different flavors of NoSQL.

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SQL Server in the Google Cloud

By | Cloud Platform, Google, SQL Server | No Comments

If you are planning to or even considering jumping in to Google Cloud Platform and you work with .NET technologies, you’ll almost certainly want to know how to run SQL Server in the Google Cloud. Google Cloud has made a big effort lately to more fully support the .NET stack, including SQL Server. This is good news for everyone, because more options means more chances to find the right fit for your development project!

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Why Organizations should choose GCP – A Business Perspective

By | Cloud Platform, Google | No Comments

Cloud services reduce the effort needed to manage infrastructure, provision servers and configure networks. Today the cloud market is primarily dominated by Amazon Web Services, followed by Microsoft Azure. As the new kid on the block, GCP is the newest entrant to a highly profitable and competitive landscape. In this blog series, the team will discuss GCP services and implementation differences between GCP, AWS, and Azure. This post explores GCP from a business point of view — what to consider when making an informed decision for your organization.

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Breakpoints in Auto-Properties in Visual Studio 2015

By | Visual Studio | No Comments

This tip falls squarely into the category of simple, yet oh so useful. Visual Studio 2015 isn’t exactly new, but I am still discovering things that make it so nice for debugging. That’s where I’ve spent a lot of my time this week, and one thing that has saved me is using Actions on breakpoints to print messages to the console. And surprise! You can do the same thing even when using auto-properties in Visual Studio 2015 without backing fields.

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One-Time Passwords (OTP)

By | .NET, node.js | No Comments

Years ago, I worked for a customer who provided me with a RSA SecurID device to access their VPN. This was a plastic fob that would display a six digit number on a LCD screen. Every 30 seconds, the numbers changed to a different random six digits. To log into their VPN, I had to provide my username and password, plus the current six digit number displayed on the device. So, even if my password was compromised, an attacker still could not get into their VPN without also having that SecurID device. Today, we simply call this Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA. While plastic fobs…

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Quick Tip for Showing JSFiddles in Your WordPress Blog

By | Blogs | No Comments

I know for a fact I have shared this tip with colleagues multiple times over the last year, because it always seems to be just tricky enough to trip someone up when writing a WordPress blog post that would benefit from a live JSFiddle in an iframe. And I realize that there are plugins for this also, but you might not have access to them, or maybe you just want a simple solution.

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Enable iOS 10 Speech Recognition in NativeScript Apps

By | iOS, JavaScript, Mobile, NativeScript, Objective C | One Comment

Before iOS 10 was released, it was rather difficult to integrate Speech-to-Text capabilities (Not just Voice-to-Text dictation) into iOS applications. We had a myriad of frameworks to choose from and most of them were commercial products such as Nuance. iOS 10’s Speech Framework can empower your iOS apps with native, Siri-like, speech recognition. In this column, I am going to show you how to use NativeScript to access the Speech Recognition APIs. If you are not familiar with the Speech API, I advise that you take a look at the documentation articles. You can see that the APIs are available…

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Kendo DataSource: Grouping then Sorting

By | Kendo UI, Telerik | No Comments

It seems that Kendo DataSource (and, thus, the Kendo Grid) cannot do both Grouping and Sorting. When sorting is defined without grouping, then everything works fine. But, when records are grouped, then the sorting within each groups does not work at all. Consider this simple example:

The sorting is all over the place! One workaround (there are probably many more) is to perform a sort AFTER the DataSource has already grouped the data. For a data-bound Kendo Grid, this can be done in the DataBound event handler. However, there is a Chicken-and-Egg situation when doing this: performing a .sort()…

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What’s it Like to Take an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam?

By | Microsoft | No Comments

Each year for the past several years, I have set a personal goal to get developer certified or trained in something new. Sometimes that is a Microsoft Exam, sometimes it is some other certification, such as Kendo UI certification. In previous years, I have had to travel to a test center to take certain Microsoft Exams, but the test center closest to me closed in 2014. The next closest location is over 2 hrs away, which was pretty much a deal breaker for me, and I had almost given up this year on meeting my goal for 2016. But, instead I decided to try something new: an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam.

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Scout Promise

A Brief Introduction to Promises

By | JavaScript | No Comments

It took me a while to get used to working with Promises in JavaScript. I fundamentally knew how the jQuery Deferred object worked from years ago, so some of the concepts were familiar to me. But, the beauty of the newer Promise implementations is in how it really cleans up your code by breaking it up into blocks that can then be chained and executed asynchronously. Consider the following:

The process is kicked off at the bottom with a call to doSomething() . Notice that doSomething()  calls fetchSomething() , and all that fetchSomething()  does is return the results of someHttpClient.get() . But, in…

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Generating Documentation for Angular 2 apps and NativeScript

By | Angular 2, JavaScript, News, TypeScript, Web | 6 Comments

Abstract Static documentation generators are abundant on the web. Whether you are working on a complex web application or simply an API project, you will find a tool for your support. With complex JavaScript applications, we have used a variety of tools including the infamous JSDoc and Docco. These tools have been serving us well until we started developing a complex Angular 2 application and we desired to have a solid documentation tool added to our toolbelt. In this column, I am going to present some of the options that you have for generating static documentation for an Angular 2 application. For this…

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Access IIS Express from a Remote Device

By | IIS Express, Mobile | 2 Comments

I recently came across a situation where I needed to access IIS Express from a remote device.  There a lot of blogs and Stack Overflow posts relating to this that involve updating binding elements in the IIS Express config and I tried a dozen or more of them with no luck.  I finally came across iisexpress-proxy and worked great!  You can check out the repo on Github for full details, but it in short it is an npm package that allows you to simply enable remote access to IIS Express via the command line with no dependencies othar than Node.js….

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Falafel Software Awarded Progress NativeScript Preferred Partner

By | News | No Comments

Falafel Software is proud to be awarded NativeScript Preferred Partner by Progress. Our preferred partner status is related to our work building mobile applications with NativeScript and our service to the NativeScript community. NativeScript Preferred Partners are trusted and reliable companies from around the world with proven track records of delivering result driven projects and services. NativeScript Preferred Partners contribute to the NativeScript developer community and showcase innovative projects. With Falafel Software as a NativeScript Preferred Partner, you can rest assured that we are the right partner for your mobile project.  

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How to Build the NodeMCU Firmware using BoUoW

By | ESP8266, IoT, Linux, Windows | No Comments

This is post 13 of 13 in the series “IoT with the ESP8266” The Windows 10 Anniversary Update includes the Windows Subsystem for Linux, as I had mentioned in a previous post. The Bash shell (succinctly named “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows”, or BoUoW if you’re actually trying to search for information) permits native Linux ELF64 binaries to run on Windows. It’s pretty clever, but a little limited in areas. So, I wondered: since Linux is the preferred first-class build environment for ESP8266 firmware, can I build the NodeMCU firmware using BoUoW? Let’s find out! First, you will need to activate the feature and install BoUoW….

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Add A Small LCD Display To Your Raspberry Pi

By | IoT | No Comments

Recently, I needed to put together a Raspberry Pi-based solution to run a Node.js app. I didn’t need Windows IoT Core or X-Windows – just a Linux TTY would do. But, I also wanted to include a LCD display to eliminate the need for a HDMI monitor.  Was it possible? Selecting and Configuring Display Hardware A quick search of the internet reveals many 3.5 inch screens for the Raspberry Pi. In fact, there are many different screen sizes available, but the 3.5 inch matches the footprint of the Pi itself. These are typically TFT displays with an SPI interface that plug into the Pi’s…

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Kendo UI Combobox Customized: Previous Value Restore

By | JavaScript, Kendo UI | No Comments

Today I want to share a little Kendo UI Combobox customization, one that I hope you’ll find useful: restoring the previous value on an invalid entry. Often we see validation, especially numeric validation on a range for example, use coercion to simply force the value to either the highest or lowest number. This certainly prevents invalid entry, but the user experience isn’t all that great in every scenario. What may be preferred, for an allowed range of 0-10, and if the user intends to change a 3 to a 4 and instead accidentally enters 44, would be to just restore the value of 3 (not coerce to 10).

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Falafel Releases ZombieSmack, a Free Game for Microsoft Hololens

By | HoloLens, Microsoft, News, Windows | 3 Comments

At Falafel, we’re always in the mindset that we need to innovate and test the boundaries and possibilities of new technology. So, when Microsoft announced the release of the HoloLens, we  just had to get our hands on it and start developing for it. And so we did… Announcing the release of ZombieSmack, the first HoloLens game from Falafel with many more to come. If you own a HoloLens, you can download and play ZombieSmack for FREE. For those of you who do not have a HoloLens, ZombieSmack is our take on the old school arcade game whack-a-mole game and since Halloween…

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What Branch Am I On?

What Branch Am I On?

By | .NET, git | No Comments

When working on a project that is leveraging source/version control with branching it is always a good practice to know which branch you are currently on.  There is nothing worse than getting in the coding groove and an hour in thinking “What branch am I on?”, only to find out you are coding directly against master/release.  Of course your version control system of choice has a mechanism for letting you know what branch is active.  How this is accomplished will vary by system and, more likely than not, will require you to leave your beloved IDE.  There must be a…

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Solved: Adding an Office 365 Email Account to Outlook 2016

By | Office365 | No Comments

Today, as part of repaving my laptop, I decided to install Office 2016. Everything was going fine until I tried to add my Office 365 email account to Outlook 2016. It seems that Auto Discover is now a requirement for Exchange email accounts – there is no longer a way to manually configure servers. And, for some reason, the Auto Discover process hung while trying to discover the server settings for my email (eventually erroring out) After a frustrating two hours of troubleshooting, I came across this blog post with a solution that worked for me: In my case, I added three DWORD registry…

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