Friday, December 9, 2016

AWS Lambda adds support for C#

Yesterday I blogged about Azure Functions and how the Visual Studio tooling can make your life easier. But the guys at Amazon are not sleeping and I noticed that they added support for C# as well.

Note that the AWS Lambda functions in C# are using the .NET Core 1.0 runtime. Similar to Microsoft, you get full tooling support thanks to the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio.

  • Install the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio.
  • Open Visual Studio and create a new project. Choose the AWS Lambda Project template and click OK.

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  • Next step is to select a Blueprint.
    • We choose the Simple S3 Function blueprint.

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  • You get a new project containing the following files
    • aws-lambda-tools-defaults.json: . This file contains default values that the blueprint has set to help prepopulate some of the fields in the deployment wizard.
    • Function.cs: Inside this cs file you can add your own logic.
    • project.json: this is the default project.json for .NET core applications(will be replaced by a csproj file in the near future)

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  • The SDK is accompagnied by dotnet CLI integration. Open a command prompt and type dotnet lambda. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to debug locally.

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More information at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/developer/using-the-aws-lambda-project-in-visual-studio/

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions

I blogged about Azure Functions before. It is one of the incarnations of FaaS(Functions as a Service), comparable to AWS Lambda on the Amazon Cloud stack. But Microsoft wouldn’t be Microsoft if they didn’t had plans to improve the development experience. And yes, now we have (a first preview of )Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions.

After downloading the preview, you get the ability to create a function project in Visual Studio, run and test them locally and publish them to Azure.

  • Once you have the tools installed, you can open Visual Studio and choose the Azure Functions project template. Click OK.

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  • Next step is to add one or more azure functions to our project. Right click on the project. Choose Add –> New Azure Function…

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  • The New Azure Function window is loaded. Choose a template.
    • As a an example I take the HttpTrigger-Batch, specify a random name and click Create.

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  • Let’s try the sample by hitting F5. The first time you try to run/debug an Azure function locally you get a confirmation prompt to download and install the Azure Functions CLI tools.

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Nice!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thoughtworks Technology Radar: Angular 2

On regular intervals, the people from ThoughtWorks release a Technology Radar update. Through this radar they share their thoughts on the technology and trends that are coming and going.

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On multiple levels(Techniques, Tools, Platforms, Languages & Frameworks) they share if you should adopt, try, assess or move away(hold) from a technology and/or trend.

In the november 2016 update I noticed something interesting in the Languages & Frameworks. Where 2015 was the year of Angular.js, I noticed that no Angular could be found in the Adopt/Trial/Assess section. Instead you could find web frameworks and libraries like Ember.js, React.js and even Aurelia.

AngularJS could be found in the ‘hold’ section:

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I’m wondering why they didn’t mention anything about Angular 2…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TypeScript File index.d.ts is not a module

After publishing my blog post yesterday about type definition files I got a problem when I tried to do the same thing for Modernizr:

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Visual Studio finds my @types files but complains that it is not a valid module. In fact this makes sense. When using the import syntax, Typescript is looking for a 'module' i.e. a commonjs, amd, systemjs or umd module. Modernizr is added to the global namespace and is not available as a module.

To get intellisense, I have to use the ///<reference path=””/> syntax

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Getting Type declarations in TypeScript 2.0

TypeScript has the concept of Type Definition files to provide TypeScript metadata for libraries that are not written in TypeScript. These TypeScripts files are maintained by the community and available at the DefinitelyTyped repo on GitHub. Before TypeScript 2.0 these type definition files were published on NuGet(Microsofts own package manager). As the TypeScript community kept growing and people outside the Microsoft ecosystem started using it, Microsoft decided to switch to npm as the package source for all type definitions.

So starting from TypeScript 2.0 you require no tools apart from npm. Let’s try this!

  • Open a web application in Visual Studio
  • Right click on your project and choose Quick Install Package… from the context menu
    • Note: if you don’t have this option, go install the Package Installer extension first

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  • The Quick Install Package window is loaded. Choose NPM from the list of package managers and specify the library for which you want to load type definition files using the @types/<library> syntax.

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  • Click on Install. After the NPM package is downloaded and installed, you can find it inside the node_modules folder of your project:

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  • To use the library inside your TypeScript files, import the module and you’ll see that Visual Studio will search(and hopefully find) the related type information:

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More information at http://www.typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/declaration-files/consumption.html

Friday, December 2, 2016

Block access to a specific folder in your ASP.NET MVC website

One way to block access to a specific folder in your ASP.NET MVC website is by combining the <location> with an <authorization> section inside your web.config:

In fact this is not the best approach as it is possible that this configuration is not applied when the ASP.NET pipeline is not invoked.

A better approach is to block the access at the IIS level by using the following configuration inside your web.config:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The CRAP cycle and how to break it…

Did you ever hear about the CRAP cycle, the Create/Repair/Abandon/rePlace cycle?

You build an application. Over time you accumulate some technical debt. The application becomes harder to maintain. Developers start avoiding and working around certain aspects of the code. Maintenance becomes more and more expensive. Developers complain. New features become harder and harder to write and cost more. Business complain. The application becomes too complex to maintain, we abandon it and start replacing it. Only this time “we are doing it right!”. And of course we make the same mistakes. And the loop starts again…

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How can we break this circle? What can we do to avoid it? Or is it an unbreakable law of software?

I don’t think it has to be. The problem is that most of the time architecture, code quality and a common set of guidelines are only applied at the beginning of a project. Although most applications are built using an iterative approach, the time spent in guarding the quality of the project decreases over time. And when the project finally arrives in maintenance mode, no one cares. The budget is gone, so every fix should be done as cheap as possible…

One the reasons is that the best developers/architects are assigned to new projects and that the lesser gods need to maintain it. This is really unfortunate both for developers/architects that move on(because they cannot learn from their mistakes) and for the poor guys/girls that need to maintain the project(because they get little room for improvement).

When is the last time you had to maintain the code you wrote?