Azure Resource Management Templates

by DotNetNerd 29. March 2016 12:59

image11A core value that Azure brings to modern projects, is to enable developers to take control of the deployment process, and make it fast and painless. Sure scalability is nice, when and if you need it, but the speed and flexibility in setting up an entire environment for your application is always valuable - so for me this is a more important feature of Azure. Gone are the days of waiting at best days, most likely weeks and maybe even months for the IT department to create a new development or test environment.

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Kestrel - the new web server for ASP.NET 5

by DotNetNerd 8. November 2015 14:12

With ASP.NET 5 which is currently in Beta 8, Microsoft has launched a new web server named Kestrel, which is of course Open Source. There are a number of reasons they are building Kestrel, but most importantly to provide a cross-platform web server which does not rely on System.Web and a full version of the CLR in order to bootstrap the new execution environment (DNX) and CoreCLR - which was not possible with Helios.

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The joy of functional concurrent programming

by DotNetNerd 25. June 2015 07:40

Pleanty of people have said that concurrency and functional programming are becomming essential to developing modern systems. Some have even gone so far as to say that if you don't adapt you will become a maintenance programmer in a few years. With the increasing need for concurrency to provide speed and handeling of huge amounts of data, I beleive it to be true. I do however beleive there will still be pleanty of smaller applications, so I am not predicting doomesday for anyone quite yet.

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Build: Azure App Services has a growth spurt

by DotNetNerd 4. May 2015 05:22

At Build there was a number of huge announcements. It is amazing to see that Azure is keeping up the pace, and as a developer I am excited about the promise of services that will enable me to focus on implementing solutions rather than fiddeling with servers and infrastructure.

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Build: Microservices on Azure

by DotNetNerd 1. May 2015 10:13

Besides App Services, Azure offers an alternative that is slightly to the left of the far right on the big IaaS to PaaS scale called Azure Service Fabric. Conceptually Service Fabric is based on containers, allowing you to fit many services into a single VM and it gives you more fine grained control than with App Services by providing a manifest describing how it should operate.

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Beware: here be frameworks!

by DotNetNerd 28. November 2014 13:43

Lately I have been speaking quite a bit about building Single Page Applications. Most recently I have been arguing that we skipped the discussion of weather or not we need a framework at all to build a Single Page Applications? Everyone quickly got into the battle of the frameworks, and argued about the good and bad parts of Angular, Ember, Durandal and a bunch of other contenders to the throne. These days I would argue that Angular won, which is supported by google batteling the frameworks, looking at training courses offered and joblistings. As a .NET developer this is furtner obvious now that AngularJS is part of the ASP.NET package, and samples are showing up that use it for Apache Cordova applications, which are also being embraced by Microsoft.

However, the more I have been working with these frameworks, the more I have started to question their actual value. At least to a point where I think it is something we need to think more about, when choosing which way to go. Sure frameworks give you a nice package that tackles application structure, routing, templating, two-way binding and dataaccess - but at what price? Using a framework, always means letting someone else decide a lot of things on your behalf, and it means taking a dependency on a large codebase. So in this blogpost, I will try and make the case for growing your own architecture.

You might think "so what, we do that all the time, we shoulden't be reinventing the wheel and what does it matter to depend on a framework". If they provide enough value I would surely agree, but it should always be measured against the risks of vendor lockin, issues with breaking changes, performance implications and restrictions on growing your application going forward. With a fast evolving web, these issues are very real. A framework might still be a good choice, but we need to at least think about the pros and cons.

Two-way binding is a huge sinner when it comes to performance and modelling restrictions, if the model chosen is not right for what you are building. Breaking changes are hurting developers daily, and with both Angular and Durandal looking to be complete rewrites for their next versions - so if you use them, you will be stuck with the current version, or you will be doing a rewrite of your own fairly soon.

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GOTO day 2 – good times in .NET land

by DotNetNerd 26. September 2014 17:46

As I wrote before the conference I was glad to see some good speakers on the Microsoft track. So of course I prioritized a couple of these sessions, and went to Mads Torgersens C# talk and to Mads Kristensen talking about tooling in ASP.NET. Well technically Thorgersens talk was on the architecture track, but you get the point.

The new world after Roslyn

The C# talk went a bit more into writing analyzers and codefixes than what I had seen before, so that was quite interesting and one of the very concretely usefull takeaways. The idea is that writing an analyzer is just like working with any object model. No more magic, so writing extentions is becomming something any developer can do and no longer reserved for the minority with too much time on their hands. Torgersen also demoed some of the new language features that I blogged about earlier, but on top of that let slide that primary constructors probably won't make it into the language for the final release  in the comming version. The reason is that they want to do more and look at providing recordtypes as well as pattern matching - and want to make sure that they get it right. These are two great features that I miss from F# on a daily basis, so I was glad to hear this. I also aired the idea of make shorthands for stuff like factory methods, which could also reduce some of the boilerplate code that I see a lot.

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Goto day 1 roundup – distribute all the things

by DotNetNerd 25. September 2014 15:21

At other conferences I have attended the last year or so, distribution and concurrency have been hot topics, coupled with functional programming and immutability which leands itself well to these kinds of problems. Todays program has certainly been no exception - at least for the talks I ended up picking.

The right Elixir for concurrent fault tolerant systems

In the afternoon I ended up sticking with the bleeding edge track, which has been really interesting. First off was a talk on Idioms of distributed applications with Elixir by Jose Valim, who wrote the language. In his talk Jose went over the idioms of Erlang, which is what Elixir is built on top of. He did a good job at presenting why light weight processes that are allowed to fail fast and recreated by supervisors makes it possible to build fault tolerant distributed systems that are easier to understand and run faster than other paradigmes often based on handeling exceptions via try catch blocks.

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Robust integration with Redis on Azure and Polly

by DotNetNerd 13. July 2014 12:56

A client of mine requested an integration with OpenWeatherMap, so like so many times before it was a chance to think about how to make such an integration robust and performant. Its as common a task as they come, but also something that tends to end up feeling more complex than I would like. Having heard a lot of good things and played a bit with Redis I felt that it would be a good choice for providing super fast caching, while also allowing for more than basic key/value storage.

Getting off the ground

Redis on AzureThe project is already running on Azure, so it was an obvious choice to give Azures new Redis based caching service a go. As of now the service is still in preview, but the the level of caching I need I feel quite comfortable with it. Getting started was as easy as most things on Azure - click add, fill in a name and press go. As every day as this has become, I am still blown away by how easy and fast it is every time I need to provision a new VM or service – and a Redis cache is no different.

On the downside I am not quite convinced by the new Azure portal, because to me the UX feels more shiny than useful. As of this writing the caching service is only available through the portal, but inspite of my reservations it was easy to get going, and it provides a nice overview of requests, storage space used as well as cache hits and misses.

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NDepend review

by DotNetNerd 2. May 2014 15:13

Lately I have spent a bit of time with NDepend, who contacted me if I wanted a free license, in exchange for a blogpost. This was actually great timing on their part, as I was already thinking about giving it another go. Being completely honest I tried NDepend some years ago, and at the time I simply didn't know where to start and where I would get the most value from using such a tool. So back then I pretty much wrote it off, but have again and again heard good things from other developers who are using it.

My first thought when I ran NDepend this time around was that a lot had changed. The first thing that met me was a wizard for analysing a project, so I pointed it at my current project. This was the point I got derailed the first time I tried NDepend, because I remember being met by the code metric view which does look kind of scary - especially being new to a tool like this. Now however I was met by a dashboard, that is still complex, but a vast improvement since it gives a pretty good idea of some of the power that NDepend provides. I still can't help think that the tool could gain a lot by providing simpler guides through some key usecases though.

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Who am I?

My name is Christian Holm Diget, and I work as an independent consultant, in Denmark, where I write code, give advice on architecture and help with training. On the side I get to do a bit of speaking and help with miscellaneous community events.

Some of my primary focus areas are code quality, programming languages and using new technologies to provide value.

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