Alvaro Dias

My tryst with Code - Blog by Alvaro Dias

Enabling Azure CDN for your storage account using the Azure Portal

The Azure CDN is designed to send audio, video, images, and other files faster and more reliably to customers using servers that are closest to the users resulting in significant user experience improvements. One elegant way to source these files is from a storage account. To simplify enabling this, we have now integrated adding and configuring CDN endpoints associated to a storage account.
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Cloud Services updates to create and manage using the Azure Portal

Cloud Services lets you build and deploy highly-available, infintely-scalable applications and APIs. It lets you focus on building the application itself without having to worry about the hardware, OS updates, network issues, etc.
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Clock tile and other productivity tiles in the Azure Portal

To provide access to miscelaneous functionality, the tile gallery in the Azure Portal has a 'General' pivot. We've recently (this post is coming in a bit late, so recent-past is probably more like it) added some really cool tiles to this category to help improve user productivity in Azure.
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New TypeDocs release with website generation

TypeDocs is a library that generates API documentation for your TypeScript code. One of the cool features it provides is automatically correlating JsDocs in code with the associated type of the code entity. It is available as an NPM package by running the command 'npm install typedocs'.
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Challenges in a single-page application - bundling strategies

Why do we need to bundle script files? When building a website, there's a few constraints that are imposed on the developer such as network bandwidth and the processing capabilities of the client browser and machine. Bundling of JavaScript files helps to reduce the usage of these constrained resources through multiple desirable effects.
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Challenges in a single-page application - Analytics

How good is my single page application really? Which features do users use the most? Are they easy to find and use? If you find yourself asking these questions, then continue reading. You're trying to improve your application. To do this the first step is assess the current state of your application, i.e. instrument.
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Usability improvements in the Azure Portal: Resource Menu

The latest update to the Azure Portal introduces a new way of browing to your resources and managing them, namely the resource menu. This is new type of blade used by Azure resources that places all commonly used functionality conveniently to the left.
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Challenges in a (really) large single-page application - how to optimize script downloads

Browsers were originally designed for stateless HTML pages. SPAs have deviated from that model quite an extent. So, when building an SPA, there's a few challenges that have emerged and need to be overcome.
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How to serve static content from an Azure Web App

So, while prototyping an unrelated UX feature, I decided to deploy a simple website with some static JSON files to an Azure Web App. You've guessed right, it doesn't work!
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Resource locks: Prevent accidental changes to your services from the Azure Portal

There are certain resources in Azure that you don't ever want deleted. For example, deleting a SQL database means you'll also be losing all the data in its tables. You simply don't want to do it. Here's where resource locks come in. The help you 'lock' down a resource to prevent accidentally modifying it or worse, deleting it.
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Loading indicators: the art of convincing users its worth the wait

In an ideal world, file downloads or an application start would happen in the blink of an eye. So would website loads and rendering of information on views. However, in reality that's not usually the case; more often than not, there are delays. And when this happens for an acceptable experience, users should be given feedback to let them know that they need to wait a bit (or a lot as the case may be).
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Increase Cloud productivity by sharing dashboards on the Azure Portal

With the latest release of the Azure Portal, all these awesome customizations you've done on your dashboard can now be published to the cloud and shared with your colleagues. Moreover, you can create multiple dashboards and choose which to keep private, which to share, and whom to share them with.
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Discover insights and visuals of your Azure resources using the Portal tile gallery

Happy new year! Glad to be back blogging in the new year. Previously, I've blogged on ways to customize your dashboard. Today, I'd like to continue that discussion by exploring the tile gallery in more detail.
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Create, manage, and monitor web apps using the Azure Portal

Today, I'd like to talk a bit about Azure Web Apps and how to leverage the Azure Portal to the maximum to create, manage, and monitor them effectively.
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Azure Portal - What it takes to make a single page application performant

Today I'd like to explore and talk about what it takes to make a large single page application like the Azure Portal meet these high quality bars for scale, performance and reliability.
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Make the Azure Portal Dashboard your own

Over the past few months we have been working hard at making the portal fast and fluid. Also, we've been working on improving capabilities for users to personalize their dashboard.
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Could not copy the file "obj\Release\assembly_name.xr.xml" because it was not found

Well, this will be my last blog entry for the year, so I thought I’d post a strange problem I encountered a little while back. A couple of hours back I found myself stuck ...
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TypeDocs - open source library to generate documentation

TypeDocs is a library that helps generate API documentation for TypeScript code.
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Bundling and Minification using ASP.NET MVC

It took me a while to get bundling and CDN working correctly for my website, and searching online I found a great tutorial on this topic.
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Integrating StyleCop in builds and VS express

While there are a lot of forum posts around this topic, I found the below extremely helpful since they give clear concise instructions on integrating StyleCop.
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How to obtain query string values from JavaScript

he query string of the current URL can be obtained from the location object. This object can be accessed using the window.location property on the window object.
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Knockout JS: How to change the data context for an HTML node

As I explored Knockout, I encountered a scenario where I needed to change the data context for a node and it's descendent nodes. And to stop the bindings from one of this node's ancestors from propagating.
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Knockout JS: The power of MVVM on the web

This is a long overdue post that I've been meaning to write for a while now. I am a big fan of the MVVM pattern used originally in WPF, then in SilverLight and more recently in WinRT apps ...
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How To: Add a watermark to a WPF TextBox

I recently was working on some code where I needed to add a watermark to my WPF TextBox. Now this is not built-in functionality. So i thought of implementing a similar functionality myself.
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Published a Window 8 app - Goa Attractions

As I browsed through the Windows 8 Store, I couldn't find any decent app portraying the beauty of Goa, my home town in India. So I set out to create one. I finally published a decent version to the Store.
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WebMatrix 3 released to the Web

WebMatrix 3 has been released to the web. You can download it from the following location.
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How to create a website in WebMatrix and publish it to Windows Azure

This post basically provides a step by step walkthrough to create a website in WebMatrix - provision the site to Windows Azure and once you’re ready - publish it.
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“My Sites” gets a revamp: WebMatrix 3 Preview

As you might already know, WebMatrix 3 preview build was released a few weeks back. I posted some links to walkthroughs and videos about some of the new features. You might want to check those out.
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Walkthroughs of features in WebMatrix 3 Preview

The preview for WebMatrix 3 was released a few weeks back. The below videos provide walkthroughs on new features in this preview.
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Using WebMatrix to create, publish and maintain websites with ease

Last week I talked about developing LESS on WebMatrix. So, this time I thought I’d talk a little bit about what WebMatrix is. Well, it is a lightweight tool that helps you create websites, and then publish and maintain websites with ease.
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Styling websites with LESS and WebMatrix

With Microsoft WebMatrix 2, styling websites has gotten easier than it has been before.
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ThreadAbortException thrown on Response.Redirect

I’m in the process of separating my articles on music from software blog entries and moving them to a different domain. So as part of this, I thought of doing permanent redirects for articles on my existing website from code.
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ASP.NET Request Validation modes in ASP.NET 2.0, ASP.NET 4.0 and ASP.NET 4.5

My posts these days usually revolve around XAML. This one diverges a bit to blog about an issue I encounter in ASP.NET every few months or so and forget what I did to solve it.
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Going the InputBindings way: Part 4 - How to code Mouse Bindings

Getting straight to the point, in this article, I will be explaining how to create command bindings to certain mouse events such a RightClick or a LeftDoubleClick among others.
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Going the InputBindings way: Part 3 - What’s the WinRT equivalent of KeyBindings?

Now, if you have already worked on some windows 8 apps and cared about keyboard accessiblity, or maybe just from the title of of this post, there is no KeyBinding to perform an action.
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Going the InputBindings way: Part 2 - .NET 3.5

Now, if you are on .NET 3.5, you will have noticed that the XAML I have provided does not work. Shown it below again for reference.
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Going the InputBindings way: Part 1 - Keyboard Accessibility

You can specify an input binding in XAML as shown below.
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Learning Metro Game Development using Direct2D - Part 3

Here’s when I share the fact that I have published a V1 of the game. It’s still lacking in some desirable features, which will come in subsequent releases.
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Learning Metro Game Development using Direct2D - Part 2

So, the last time I posted I had just started on the Game. I had a good idea of what I wanted to do, had a basic app structure in place and a book on Introduction to Game Development by Steve Rabin in hand.
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How to: debug and step into a referenced c# project from a c++ metro app

I faced this issue recently where I created a C++ metro style app. Some of the functionality I wrote in a C# project compiled to a WinMD file and referenced it in the C++ app.
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How To: Reference a C# library in a C++ Metro App project

I’ll keep this short. Basically to reference any project whether C# or C++ or even VB, the Output type must be WinMD File.
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Learning Metro Game Development using Direct2D

Recently I got into the mood for developing a simple game for Window 8 Metro UI and so I started reading up on DirectX development using Windows RT. I decided to develop a simple game ...
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Whats new in SQL Server Management Studio 2012

In SQL Server 2012, Management Studio is a whole new beast. First and foremost, it is powered by Visual Studio, which means we get a whole lot of VS goodness. Its simple things like ...
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How to fix Parser internal error: Object writer 'xClassNotDerivedFromElement

I faced this error recently and have to say it was very annoying especially due to the fact that the error details do not offer many clues as to the source of the problem...
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How to recursively call a Lambda Expression

Have you ever faced the below situation where C# does not allow you to recursively call a lambda expression?
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datetime vs. datetime2 which one you should use

datetime vs. datetime2 which one you should use
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VS 2010 brings good news for SharePoint developers

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 marks a major advance in usability and functionality for SharePoint developers, helping you accomplish tasks like...
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Silverlight: Interaction With ASP.NET and HTML elements

So, here I am back again… exploring silverlight this time. The first kind of interaction I’m going to talk about is by using the HtmlElement & HtmlDocument classes...
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Creating SharePoint WebApplication the geeky way

There I was coding away for my project, when I thought what if I created a sharepoint site entirely from code? and i mean right from creating a web application to a site collection and beyond...
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Windows 7 Beta : Part 2

Ok. This new feature deserves special attention. Remember those annoying elevation prompts in Vista? Well, as I was using win 7 I realized that it didn’t always show this prompt ...
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Windows 7 Beta… finally on my desktop

had read a thing or two about the new features in win 7, so as soon as I installed it started “Verifying” that these things indeed work the way they were portrayed :-)
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WPF - creating attractive and effective user interfaces

So what exactly is WPF? is it just another new technology released by microsoft? well that it is... but then it would be hard to understand how WPF could change the way we do windows programming ...
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Sharepoint for Dummies

So here goes another of my forays into a different technology: this time my chosen target : SharePoint aka MOSS 2007. So, first of all ...
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the Microsoft "2008" wave of Softwares

So I finally decided that it's high time I try out the new 2008 wave of MS softwares... and I started by formatting the OS drive of my desktop and installing the new 64bit Windows Server 2008. Pretty fast ...
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so what's the difference between string and System.String?

Well nothing really!!! string is just a c# alias and System.String is a .NET type i.e. "string" is an alias for "String".
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yield return - modern plumbing for iteration??

yield, IEnumerator, IEnumerable,... confused?... well let me explain: ...
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String.IsNullOrEmpty() - boon or bane

So, as part of a functionality i wanted to implement, i needed to validate whether a string was null or empty. Came up with 3 different ways: ...
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Azure Azure Portal Azure Storage CDN Azure CDN Create, manage, monitor Cloud Services Cloud productivity Tile Gallery TypeScript documentation JsDocs TypeDocs JavaScript single-page application web page performance performance ResourceMenu Azure Web Apps Static content Resource locks Loading indicators User Experience Dashboards WinRT Windows 8 debugging ASP.NET StyleCop VS Express MSBuild URLs Knockout MVVM WPF XAML TextBox Windows 8 Apps Web Development WebMatrix tools IDEs LESS input bindings keyboard accessibility screen reader Game Programming DirectX Direct2D C# C++ Visual Studio SQL Server 2012 SSMS SilverLight lambda expressions t-sql SQL Server SQL Server 2008 data types Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Windows 7 Microsoft

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