Visual Studio Archives - Falafel Software Blog

C# Windows IoT Core Serial Communications with an ESP8266

By | Blogs, C#, ESP8266, git, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | No Comments

Windows IoT Core is great for connecting single board computers such a Pi2 to an ESP8266, via a serial link. The hardware for such a link can be found in my previous post here. The details for a basic serial communication C# framework are detailed in this post. If you have an ESP8266, there are numerous ways of communicating with them such as LuaLoader. However, I needed to communicate with my ESP8266 through a Pi2 running Windows IoT Core. This is part of a larger automated test project for an upcoming consumer project we’re developing. In this post, I’ll cover…

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Is an 80 Character Code Line Length Still Relevant?

By | C#, CSS, JavaScript, TypeScript, Visual Studio | No Comments

If you’ve spent any time reading about coding standards on the internet, you’ve probably come across the suggestion to limit lines of code to 80 characters and wondered if it’s still relevant today. The advise to limit lines to 80 characters is often connected to the historical limit of 80 characters in terminal windows. But what if your team is not subject to this constraint? Are there still any benefits to adopting this limitation? I tried living with it for a while and here are my takeaways. Growing pains Indentation When I first set out to try this style out,…

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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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Database Change Management Strategies Compared

By | SQL Server, Visual Studio | 2 Comments

Intro It is a challenging problem to manage database change in any project that uses a database. In this post, I’ll recap some of the approaches I’ve tried in the past and what I like (or don’t like) about them; then in the next post I’ll describe a new one that I recently composed with one BAT file and multiple SQL files and have been quite pleased with. This post assumes that the target database is SQL Server. Some of the techniques described could be modified to apply to other databases, and some are vendor-specific. Comparison of Database Change Management Strategies Monolithic Upgrade Script The…

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Selecting a Tab in Visual Studio Moves it to the First Position

Selecting a Tab in Visual Studio Moves it to First Position

By | Visual Studio | One Comment

Recently I noticed that selecting a tab in Visual Studio moves it to first position in the tab well.  This was pretty shocking to me because I was fairly certain that things where not always this way.  I verified there where not any updates to Visual Studio lately that may be the issue.  Then I looked at the Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools because I knew that this extension added capability to the tab well. Sure enough that extension was updated very recently.  So I did some digging into the options for this extension and found this: Apparently someone decided that…

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Component in Solution Explorer showing "Error"

Xamarin Visual Studio: Error adding to project: Cannot get libraries from incompatible component

By | Visual Studio, Xamarin | One Comment

I recently came across a scenario with Xamarin Visual Studio where one developer would add a new Xamarin Component in to the solution and check in the bits and then a different developer would pull down the latest bits and receive a compilation error specific to the class or classes of the newly added component not being found. In the solution explorer the component showed as “[ComponentName] (Error)”. Double-clicking on the component brought up the details and at the top was a little red error message that stated “Error adding to project: Cannot get libraries from incompatible component”. Turns out the trick for resolving…

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Mystery Solved: SQL Database Project Won’t Update using Schema Compare

By | Visual Studio | No Comments

I recently started using a SQL Database Project in Visual Studio 2015 to on a (pre-existing) complex database, and since the previous source control was pretty much nonexistent, it’s been a welcome change. Overall, the upgrade process went pretty well, with one exception that kind of screeched the whole thing to a halt. Since I’m sure I’ll run across the same issue again someday and by then I will have forgotten what the solution was, I’ll share it with you – and myself – in blog form.

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command prompt ipconfig

Expose an IIS Express site to your local network

By | Visual Studio | 3 Comments

As a web developer, testing my web app from the browser of various mobile devices is a must. There are plenty of tools for emulating mobile browsers on my local machine during development, but at some point I need to physically test it from another device. ASP.NET developers are used to running our web apps locally in IIS Express and testing them locally from the PC. But did you know you can expose an IIS Express site to your local network, making it accessible from other devices? Full disclosure: I am running Visual Studio 2015 Pro on a Windows 10 machine….

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Launching a Unity Project in HoloLens

By | HoloLens, Unity | No Comments

This is post 4 of 5 in the series “HoloLens and Unity Playground” This video follows from the previous one created for the TechRewards challenge. This time we take that same project and discover what modifications are needed to open the same project in the Unity for HoloLens version, as well as deploy it as a 3D app to the emulator. Launching the TechRewards Unity Challenge Project in the HoloLens Although the audio quality is still weak (I promise the next video will be better!), I was able to leverage the Azure Media Services platform to actually transcribe the text….

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Node.js in Visual Studio Code review

By | JavaScript, node.js, Visual Studio | 4 Comments

Over the last two posts, I’ve described my experience searching for the best Node.js development setup for me, an ASP.NET developer working in Windows. First I tried Node.js Tools for Visual Studio but found the experience sluggish and frustrating. Next, I moved to Sublime Text 3 with some plugins and command-line based tools, where I lost a few creature comforts but gained more than enough speed in my day-t0-day operations to compensate. But then one of my peers mentioned Atom, so I thought I’d have to give it a serious look. As you might have guessed from the title of…

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Node.js Tools for Visual Studio (NTVS) review

By | JavaScript, News, node.js, Visual Studio | No Comments

Here at Falafel, we started out as a .NET consulting and training company and that’s been our bread and butter for many years. But lately, I’ve had the opportunity to get my feet wet with some Node.js projects and I’ve been learning a lot and having a lot of fun. One of the first challenges I faced was to get a comfortable development environment set up to edit and debug my Node.js code. It took no less than three different approaches before I found one that I really liked, and I want to share the journey and lessons learned with…

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Running Resource Intensive Jobs Using Azure Batch

By | .NET, Azure, Batch Processing, Microsoft, Visual Studio | No Comments

This is post 29 of 31 in the series “A Cloudy 29 Days of Microsoft Azure” Running Resource Intensive Jobs Using Azure Batch Azure Batch Services provide a framework for resource or computationally expensive jobs. When I say “computationally expensive”, think 3D rendering for Pixar, engineering stress analysis, or calculations for fluid dynamics. The DIY approach starts with “I’ll add a ‘for’ loop and kick off some background executables”. But once you start to scale in any direction, then you’re off to the races building infrastructure to handle generic plumbing needs like… Install apps and dependencies. Dispatch, queue and start…

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Migrating from Mobile Services to Mobile Apps, when you should consider it

By | .NET, Android, Apps for Office, Azure, Microsoft, Mobile, News, node.js, Office365, Visual Studio, Web, Web & Mobile | 4 Comments

This is post 13 of 31 in the series “A Cloudy 29 Days of Microsoft Azure” In this column we are going to discuss the difference between Mobile Apps and Azure Mobile Services,. Azure Mobile Services allows you to add a cloud-hosted scalable backend to your connected apps within minutes. Whether you’re building apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS or Android you can take advantage of the Azure cloud to streamline your data and provide a robust, reliable and cost-effective platform to support your application. Mobile Services has been around since 2012 when it was in preview, and has seen many version updates and…

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What to love and hate about Azure’s DocumentDB

By | Azure, C#, Data & Storage, JavaScript, Microsoft, News | 8 Comments

This is post 4 of 31 in the series “A Cloudy 29 Days of Microsoft Azure” Azure DocumentDB is Microsoft’s fully-managed document-oriented NoSQL database service that is built to work within the Azure Cloud ecosystem much like SQL Azure, SQL Storage, Azure search, etc. DocumentDB is relatively a new player in the NoSQL world (it was released for general availability in April 2015). It comes with an impressive list of features and has gone through several version updates. It also has its limits (the list hasn’t been updated for a while so make sure you read the comments section). In this post we are…

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Using the Azure Resource Manager: Part 2 Networking Templates – 29 Days of Azure

By | Azure, Microsoft, Visual Studio | 2 Comments

Now that we have deployed a simple Azure Resource Manager template from Visual Studio in Part 1, let’s look at just how simple it is to use that method to deploy a network of VMs using networking templates. If you aren’t a networking expert (and I am admittedly not), the configuration options for virtual networks is pretty daunting. But the availability of networking templates can be a great way to learn.

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Heart Rate Display with a Photon and a Microsoft Band

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft Band, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Phone | 4 Comments

Those who know me, know I love sensors, and doing things with sensors. I’ve published many posts on accessing the various sensors on the Microsoft Band: Accelerometer & Gyroscope, Ultraviolet, Skin Temperature, and Galvanic Skin Response. One subject that I haven’t gotten to is the heart rate sensor. I’ve also started to publish a few IoT posts. For this post, I thought it would be fun to integrate the Band’s heart rate sensor with a Particle Photon so you can visualize your heart rate with an RGB LED. The LED pulses at the same rate as your heart and will shift…

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PIR Sensor with a Photon, Particle Cloud, and a UWA

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows Universal Apps | One Comment

My latest sensor experiment involved the PIR Motion Sensor (HC-SR501) that comes with the Photon Maker Kit. The motion sensor didn’t have the best English documentation; however, there were enough translations and fragments out on the Internet to get the job done. I decided to interface the motion sensor with a Photon, and then feed the sensor output to a UWA through the Particle Cloud by using a Particle Event Stream. The sensor has two potentiometers on its PCB. One controls the sensitivity of the sensor and the other controls the output latch delay. Turning the sensitivity down essentially limits the…

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Using Azure DocumentDB with Cordova Tools in Visual Studio (or any JS client)

By | ASP.NET, Azure, Cordova, HTML5, iOS, JavaScript, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, node.js, Tools, Visual Studio, Web | 4 Comments

Abstract A few weeks ago, I set on a mission to learn more about Azure DocumentDB. My end goal was to use Azure DocumentDB with a JavaScript client application specifically with a Cordova app built with the new Tools for Apache Cordova or TACO which the team introduced a while ago. Background In April 2015, Microsoft officially released DocumentDB, its cloud, document oriented, NoSQL database (It was in preview since 2014). Azure DocumentDB, a new player in the NoSQL market, is built to work within the Azure Cloud ecosystem much like SQL Azure, SQL Storage, Azure search, etc. You would use DocumentDB…

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Controlling an RGB LED on a Photon with a UWA Color Picker

By | .NET, Blogs, C#, Fun, IoT, Microsoft, Mobile, Multi-Device, News, Photon, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | 3 Comments

The Particle Photon makes it easy to control the color of an RGB LED. There are a number of color picker controls you can use in Windows apps. I wanted to see how easy it was to hook a Photon RGB LED up to a Windows app color picker. It ended up being a snap by using the Particle cloud functions. In this project I wrote a simple UWA that calls a Particle cloud function called “setRGB” on my targeted Photon whenever I change the selected value on the color picker. Then I implemented an event handler on that Photon’s…

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