Archives For Tools

Happiness is DevOps’ Cornerstone

DevOps is definitely a culture. I think it’s the new Agile in many ways, and that’s OK. So we’re tech-savvy and we usually delve in tools and processes when we talk about DevOps. But we often forget the most important part, the people. Continue Reading…

Download All Sessions in MID Quality

$feedUrl = ''
[Environment]::CurrentDirectory=(Get-Location -PSProvider FileSystem).ProviderPath
function Get-Media
    $u = New-Object System.Uri($url)
    $name = $title
    $extension = [System.IO.Path]::GetExtension($u.Segments[-1])
    $fileName = $name + $extension

    $fileName = $fileName -replace "’", ''
    $fileName = $fileName -replace "\?", ''
    $fileName = $fileName -replace ":", ''
    $fileName = $fileName -replace '/', ''
    $fileName = $fileName -replace ",", ''
    $fileName = $fileName -replace '"', ''

    if (Test-Path($fileName)) {
        Write-Host 'Skipping file, already downloaded' -ForegroundColor Yellow
        Invoke-WebRequest $url -OutFile $fileName
$feed=[xml](New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString($feedUrl)
foreach($i in $ {
    foreach($m in ${
        foreach($u in $m.content `
                | Where-Object { `
                        $_.url -like '*mid.mp4' `
                     } | Select-Object -Property @{Name='url'; Expression = {$_.url}}, `
                                                 @{Name='title'; Expression = {$i.title}})
            Get-Media -url $u.url -title $u.title

Back in 2013 I wrote about creating a Dev & Test environments in minutes. This post was all about the benefits and the flexibility of creating environments that support our development efforts.

Since then, I noticed that Microsoft regularly creates Virtual Machine templates for MSDN Subscribers that allow them to test software through their MSDN Benefits. Luckily, they have provided us with templates that are pre-configured with various flavors of Visual Studio.
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This morning I had the honor of joining the Friends of Red Gate, a group of passionate people about great productivity tools. Over the coming months, I will be providing community feedback about tools like the Azure Management Studio.

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Do you miss Database Diagrams?

I find them to be indispensable when I join new projects, because they provide insight that makes my on-boarding much smoother.

As my databases are hosted on the Azure SQL Database Service, I am not able to create Database Diagrams using tools like Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or Visual Studio 2013. Finding this to be a pain, I decided to look around for tools that were able to create Database Diagrams.

Of course my first reflex at that time, was to generate an EDMX using Entity Framework and Visual Studio. This was an ok solution for short glimpse of the database. The EDMX is great at helping me grasp the data model, but it hides a few important details.


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On July 31 2013, the Windows Azure team has released the Windows Azure SDK 2.1 and it’s full of goodies!

Visual Studio Server Explorer
In Server Explorer, instantly view information about running cloud services, storage accounts, virtual machines, and service bus resources. Also in Server Explorer, filter your view of resources by subscription, region, or both to show only the information that you care about right now.

  • Information is automatically populated so that you don’t have to request the information on each node to see the information.
  • You can filter the resources that appear so that you can focus on your current work without being distracted by information from unrelated projects. See How to: Filter Windows Azure Resources in Server Explorer.
  • Nodes for cloud services are now labeled by deployment so that you can easily locate Production and Staging deployments.

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Incredible-homer-simpson-HULK-psd9311Think back to projects where you had to maintain databases using update scripts. They’re usually applied using home grown solutions and can cause some major headaches. 

Microsoft has been developing the Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools for a while and I strongly recommend using them to develop and deploy your Windows Azure SQL Database.

As you may already know, Windows Azure SQL Database doesn’t support the full range of features available in SQL Server 2012. Using the Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools will help you identify issues early by validating your schema against the target platform. The tools will provide IntelliSense and make it possible to manage database versions by storing scripts in TFS. Furthermore, they simplify deployments by comparing the new schema against the destination database in order to generate an update script.

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