Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Debugging Azure functions locally

Actually the title of this post should be "Debugging your serverless apps locally".
I found a utility while working on Azure functions which helps you debug the function locally(if you have the source code, obviously). It is called ngrok. They have a pretty awesome website and very simple docs.


Steps to proceed are as below.
  1. Make sure your Azure function is up and running in your machine and you are able to hit the breakpoint from your local.
  2. Signup on the ngrok website.
  3. Download the ngrok utility(its an exe file). double click to execute. It opens a command prompt.
  4. Connect to your account. Upon login to ngrok website you will get an auth token which you have to use to connect to your account. command to execute "ngrok authtoken <your_token_here>". This step will create a .yml file in your users directory.
  5. Create a tunnel. Use command "ngrok http 7071". 7071 is the port you want to expose. I used it because its the default port for Azure function apps.
  6. Use the url provided by the ngrok utility to hit the breakpoint on your function from the internet.
I hope this was easy. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Getting started with Azure Event Grid

As a human being, every new thing scares us. Same was the case with me when I tried started working on Azure Event Grid. No article I was able to find that works out steps by step. The learning curve looked steep almost vertical ;)
Well in this post I try to reduce those efforts for you. I will try to list out the details required to get you started with Event Grid.

Below image is taken from Microsoft Event Grid documentation website.




Azure Event Grid as its mentioned everywhere, its a way to publish/subscribe your events in an easy way. If your subscriber is down It tries in a Exponential back-off way to deliver the message for 24 hours.

First thing you should know is 'Topic'. What is a topic?
Topic is an endpoint where the source sends the event. To respond to certain types of events, subscribers decide which topics to subscribe to.


Event Grid provides below-mentioned event sources: (Topics are already available, you can subscribe to them easily)
  • Azure Subscriptions
  • Container Registry
  • Custom Topics
  • Event Hubs
  • IoT Hub
  • Media Services
  • Resource Groups (management operations)
  • Service Bus
  • Storage Blob
  • Azure Maps


Below mentioned Event Handlers are supported: (You can receive the events using any of the below mechanism)
  • Azure Automation
  • Azure Functions
  • Event Hubs
  • Hybrid Connections
  • Logic Apps
  • Microsoft Flow
  • Queue Storage
  • Service Bus (Preview)
  • WebHooks

The good thing is that you can publish an event of your own using a schema (Custom topic). what it means in real world terms is you call an api with the data in specified format and it will work as event generated and event grid will push it to all the subscribers of that event.

There are three types of schema available.
In case of inbuilt event providers you can even apply filters to the event, so you will get the event you wish to.

Retry policies can be configured. You can also expire the event after certain time.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Azure functions, A server less compute

First thing I thought about was "What does it mean when someone says its serverless?"

Well I have found my answer serverless doesn't mean it will not run on server first of all. 😉 It means that you don't have to worry about the server resources and other stuff. You just pay for the time your function is executing. If your function executes for 20 seconds per day well then you mostly will pay for that. You  can explore more about the pricing using the links given at the end of this post.

How to get started? Usually that is the most difficult thing to do.

Create a function is as simple as working on a console app. Open Visual Studio. Create new project of Azure functions type and you are done. :)

Make sure you select:
  1. Http Trigger
  2. Authorization: Anonymous
  3. Function Runtime (2.x)
  4. Storage Account (Storage Emulator) standalone installer

You are ready to go. Press F5 to run your solution, you can see a command window firing up (which has lot of node.js work behind the scenes). Wait till it gives you the URL which mostly is http://localhost:7071/api/function1if you have not done any changes in the default out of the box app.


There is a pretty comprehensive documentation available.

Azure Functions pricing

 Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Connect to your broadband using win32 api using RasDial

So yesterday my router stopped working and new one will come in mail by today. Its one day that I was like without internet (not actually). I tried putting LAN directly to my laptop and connect to broadband. It worked like charm,  but the only problem I am facing now is connecting and disconnecting the connection. So, as a person who knows how to Google I tried finding a command to connect to internet by dialing up my broadband (PPPoE connection) and make it as a batch, just double click and it should work.

I found a command line utility called RasDial which is (RemoteAccessService). If you have already a network connection setup in your computer. you can directly open command prompt and type rasdial /? which gives you all the option to connect. If you have not done the setup yet you can check this link and do it.



Usage:
  1. Connection: rasdial <YourConnectionName>
  2. Status: rasdial
  3. Disconnection: rasdial <YourConnectionName> /disconnect
Pretty simple and straight forward. Please share what you think about it in the comments below.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

New to KQL? No problem its just like SQL

Well KQL is a query language used to query on Kusto, which is covered in the post Getting started with Kusto.




One Cluster can have multiple Databases and one Database can have multiple Tables. Before going forward let us assume we have a cluster named 'cluster1' and it has database with name 'database1' and database has tables with names 'table1', 'table2', 'table3','table4', 'table5'.

A kusto query usually comprises of  multiple operators and table or cluster name. Unlike SQL table name is not the first thing to be written in KQL. Below is a sample kusto equivalent of select top 5* from table1.
table1 | top 5

Since we are going to query on a big data source lets just add count or where clause to all our queries.

List of  5 basic operators to get started:

1. Project: To select the list of columns to show from the table.
example: table2 | project col1, col2 | take 10.

2. Count: To count the number of rows.
example: table1 | count.

3. Where: It is similar to where clause in SQL server. In KQL we use double equal, unlike SQL, for conditional check.
example: table2 | where col1 = = 'anyvalue'.

4. Take: It picks the number or rows mentioned. It takes rows in no specific order. It is suggested to sort the rows before using take. Limit can also be used for the same purpose.
example: table1 | take 5.

5. Sort (asc/desc): It is used for sorting the data in ascending or descending order, just like SQL.
example: table3 | take 5 col1 asc or table3 | top 5 col1 desc.


You can check out all the available operators/functions/entities at the Microsoft docs website.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Getting started with Kusto

What is kusto?

Well that looks like a difficult question to answer and its not answered clearly (atleast I was not able to find any answer for it). There are many versions of it.Some says its a tool, some says its a query language, docs says its a service. Lets, go with the docs version. Its a service to query over Big Data.
"It is based on relational database management systems, supporting entities such as databases, tables, and columns, as well as providing complex analytics query operators (such as calculated columns, searching and filtering or rows, group by-aggregates, joins)."


What is KQL?
 
KQL is acronym for Kusto Query Language, which can be used to query Azure Application Insight data. There is an open data source available online to query, it can be located at LogAnlytics.



How to Query?

Well to query you first need to learn the basics of KQL but dont worry if you already have worked with SQL or know about T/SQL, its easy to use. The syntax is little similar but there are few new keywords which might need to learn. New way of querying, it feels like mixture of SQL and Powershell to me. All the keywords are separated with Pipes '|' and output from the first query is input to the next one.
"A Kusto query is a read-only request to process Kusto data and return the results of this processing, without modifying the Kusto data or metadata. Kusto queries can use the SQL language, or the Kusto query language."
Where to write Query?

The next part is where can you write the query? Well kusto provides many ways/channels to query the data. All of them are mentioned below. Please select the one that suits your requirement. 😊
As I have mentioned in the article before about LogAnalytics. You can use a web UI to query or you can download Query Explorer. Well you can query over the application insight of your azure subscription also.

There are client libraries available in few languages, There is also an option to connect via Rest API, Client SDK's and KustoExplorer is an available native tool.

    .NET SDK
    Python SDK
    Java SDK
    Node SDK
    PowerShell
    R 

The content for Kusto can be found under names of Azure Data Explorer, Azure Log Analytics etc.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Microsoft is using Kestrel in Production for the new ASP.NET website

I could not help but noticed asp.net is now redirecting to a new website which is a sub-domain of Microsoft.com, so I got interested to check how many redirects actually happens when I type asp.net in browser. This is what I found out.

So as its shown in the image below there are 3 redirects post which the new website opens up.







  1. http://asp.net
  2. https://asp.net
  3. https://www.asp.net

All of these are 301/Moved Permanently.

Another interesting thing I noticed is the server used is not IIS which was used before. Its Kestrel this time. Its the same server which David Folwer (who is also an awesome speaker) and Damian Edwards (used to pairs up nicely with Scott Hanselman on standup) mentioned a lot of time during ASP.NET community stand up.

The server is developed by the Asp.net team for .net core I believe and the new website runs on same.



Serialization.

Serialization.

It used to be a very important concept but looks like everything is taken care of nowadays by the framework. Still, I feel the need to mention the same as I found a lack of resources/ blog to guide about the process. what it means, how to do it etc.

what is serialization?

As per Wikipedia,

serialization (or serialisation) is the process of translating data structures or object state into a format that can be stored.

Serialization we do in usually is to convert our code to JSON/XML or converting JSON/XML code back to object. There is an awesome library available for handling JSON which is Json.Net. It is written by a guy named James Newton King who is from New Zealand and currently working at Microsoft on asp.net team.

I have planned a few post on same topic, out of which all deals with either converting your XML to the object of your choice or the object to the XML.

C# provides extensive support to XML, under the namespce System.Xml. More about the namespace can be explored at apisof.net

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Build Habits which you want to continue as Lifestyle!

Today if you check any social networking site (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) there are tons of accounts which pretend to be something which they are not, and most of us gets fooled by their appearance and want to start doing some thing these people are doing for example starting a morning routine. A morning routing is a thing which a person do once after he wakes up and that time of the morning usually qualifies as the 'Self time' because there is no disturbance at that time of any kind, If you manage to wake up at 5AM then there are good chances that your neighbourhood will be asleep and you can work on something which is important to you and you like to get finished. There are lots of such videos out there which make you follow such routines and habits but the only thing is they don't last longer. The problem I see with this approach is 'Anything which doesn't comes from within you, will not be able to mould you'.

The Habits as I mentioned in the title, should be chosen wisely. Simply picking up a habit that doesn't even align with your work schedule or the goal which you have is not going to help you in any manner. you should think twice or even few more times if you feel its required before picking any habit as they have a negative impact on you when you don't follow through.

The habit should be chosen with all the awareness that you want to really change that aspect of your life to something better. There is a nice book by Author named Charles Duhigg Book is "The Power of Habit". If you really feel you have to changes something I suggest you to read that book.

Any habit worked upon seriously for a long duration throughout lifetime becomes a lifestyle. A few examples are:
  • A habit of brushing your teeth at night daily in a long run is a lifestyle you live by.
  • Waking up early to spend some time peacefully with your self is a lifestyle.
  • Reading daily before going to bed is a good habit or a lifestyle if pursued for long time.
  • Eating healthy food is a good habit but a proud lifestyle when you say I have not eaten any shit food in last 5 years.
  • Walking 10k steps everyday.
  • Going to gym 4-5-6 days a week is a habit and a lifestyle to follow. 
  • Writing a Journal.
what kind of  habit lifestyle do you care to build?

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Scheduling meetings like a Pro!

It is a Sunday evening and a meeting reminder pops up on your mobile screen. It's damn annoying, but I have seen people doing it all the time. They schedule a recurring meeting without considering your weekend and that makes me go crazy. It's my day off, that meeting reminder popping on my mobile screen is the last thing I want to see.

This post is dedicated to those dummies who have certainly got promoted because of their hair greying but don't for sure know how to schedule a meeting.

For Office 365.

click 'New' on top left corner -> Calendar Event.





2. Fill in all the details you need. (Location, Title etc)
The title should be meaningful, something like 'Let's meet' doesn't make any sense if you are sending that invite to 5-10-20 people in your organisation. It has to make sense. Remember to cross-check your spelling because it is going to be there in the calendar for some time. You don't want to be wrong in that.
while adding people make sure you want them as an optional attendee or required one. Scheduling assistant can help you in determining whether the person you are inviting is available at that time.








Now the most important thing, making a meeting recurring without disturbing people at their weekend.




You can select 'Every workday' or select 'Other' from the dropdown if you want the meeting to occur on a specific day.






For MS Outlook.

Goto Home ->  Meeting. (Opens a popup dialogue)





Clicking on Appointment in the Meeting popup will open one more popup to help you schedule the appointment.

Recurring appointment - Daily.



Recurring Appointment - Weekly. It provides you with the option to select your weekdays.






Which Software/Application/Platform do you use to schedule meetings?