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Working through things on other OSs

MSDN Blogs - 2 hours 3 min ago

We just shipped CoreCLR 1.0. That was a significant milestone for us – now we officially run on non Windows OSs and that’s very exciting. Folks who told me that they really missed using C# or wanted to use C# but couldn’t because they were not using Windows can now do so. Yay!

For GC it would seem like there shouldn’t’ve been much work to get it to run on non Windows because if you look at the GC code, it looks pretty portable – we don’t use any fancy language features in GC (I like this aspect a lot and will keep it that way); there’s a bunch of arithmetic operations on simple types, some locks (mostly implemented with low level stuff like Interlocked operations) and there’re a few OS calls (we have to goto the OS at some point). It turned out the last category actually created quite a bit of work for us which is what this blog entry is about.

GC uses a feature from the Windows VMM called the write watch. You can allocate pages with write watch specified (VirtualAlloc and specify MEM_WRITE_WATCH) and when modifications are made to those pages you can call an API to get back the addresses of the ones that have been modified. We use this to track modifications made to the pages for the GC heap while a background GC is in progress. We’ve used this feature since V1.0 and have hit 2 functional bugs in the 20+ years (it’s completely rare that we encounter bugs in the OS). I’ve needed to do things in the GC to compensate for its perf restrictions but that wasn’t too difficult.

So I looked around on Linux (I am just gonna use Linux from here on instead of other OSs for simplicity) and found this soft-dirty bit on the PTE which looked awfully like it should be exactly for this purpose – it tells you when a page was written to. But it’s very awkward to use – you need to manipulate some files to read and clear these bits yourself (which also made me very suspicious of its reliability). On Windows you just call an API to get the dirtied pages and clear the bits atomically which is easy and reliable. And to make things more difficult, it required admin capability to read for some recent versions of Linux till someone figured out that shouldn’t be the case. And it’s had a few bugs even though it hasn’t been that long since it was added. All factors considered, this didn’t seem like a promising approach so we abandoned it.

Then we looked into just simulating the implementation ourselves in user mode. We make pages read only and when they are modified we make them read write in the page fault handler. Obviously there’s perf concerns with this approach but this happens while the user threads are running so while it does regress throughput, it doesn’t make GC pauses worse – in fact it can make GC pauses shorter because we can make retrieving written pages much faster by making the addresses of written pages readily available when GC needs them. So it’s a tradeoff. Then we hit the infamous low limit of memory mappings that we then discovered other frameworks that work on Linux have also hit. If you have 2 adjacent pages are both RO, and now you make the 2nd page RW, it will create another page mapping for the 2nd page and make the original page mapping only for the 1st page (the equivalent of VADs on Windows). So if you are so unlucky and all your adjacent pages have different attributes, you can only address 256MB of virtual memory in your process which is a small amount of VA. With our tests that had 1+ GB heaps we easily hit this limit. In order to change this limit (which is recommended by other people who hit it) you need to be su. So, we abandoned this approach too.

What we ended up doing was modifying our write barrier code to record the modified pages so when you do obj.referenceField = y; the page obj.x is on is recorded. This obviously increases the write barrier cost but the tradeoff is it only records the pages that GC cares about instead of pages modified by anything (eg, if you do obj.integerField = 8; GC does not care about this modification). In general, I want to reserve write barrier changes for things that really need it (otherwise we just keep increasing write barrier which affects everyone) but this deserved it considering the situation we were in.

We also needed to deal with the OOM situations on Linux (to folks who are used to Linux this probably sounds pretty familiar). Aside from the policy aspect (eg, by default when the oom killer kicks, what the overcommit_ratio is set to), we also hit bugs that were very surprising to me. When we got OOM when trying to commit pages out of a range of pages that we already reserved (on Linux this is mmap with PROT_NONE), it actually unreserved the whole range. There are other things like if we use cgroups to limit memory, with some OOM settings it simply hangs when you’ve allocated too much memory. We are still in the process of understanding the OOM behavior on Linux in order to get to a more stable place.

Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

MSDN Blogs - 3 hours 3 min ago

With more than one billion people with disabilities in the world, Microsoft is passionate about accessibility and ensuring our products work for all our customers. Today we are excited to share additional details about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which represents a significant step forward in our effort to make Microsoft products accessible. We encourage anyone already running Windows 10 to upgrade when the update becomes available. We also recognize that we must continue to invest in accessibility and are committed to the continued improvement of built-in features like Narrator and Magnifier as well as the accessibility of experiences and apps like Cortana, Mail and setup. If you are a user of Assistive Technology and are still using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and want to wait to upgrade, don’t forget that you will still have the opportunity to upgrade at no cost even after the Windows 10 free upgrade period ends. We will have a page available on July 29 for people using AT to take advantage of the free upgrade offer.

We have already shared many of these details with our Windows Insider program over the last several months, so this blog post will recap those areas and share a few new things. Customer feedback through the Windows Insider program and from our users with disabilities has been essential to helping us focus our work in several key areas. These include improving the screen reading experience with Narrator, the accessibility of experiences and apps like Microsoft Edge, Mail and the Start menu, as well as better tools and resources for developers to build more accessible apps and experiences.

Improved Screen Reading with Narrator

As we’ve stated in a series of recent blog posts, a lot of changes with Narrator that you will see as a part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update were directly influenced by your incredible feedback. Those changes include:

Faster text to speech voices

We’ve added new voices to Narrator that offer a much faster top rate of speech. Our current voices average a maximum of roughly 400 words per minute. The new voices average nearly twice that at approximately 800 words per minute.

New languages in Narrator

We continue to add new international languages for Narrator, including Arabic and several Nordic languages. The following new languages will be available either with the corresponding international version of Windows or will be available for download.

Spanish (Mexico) French (Canada) Portuguese (Brazil) Arabic (Egypt) Catalan (Spain) Danish (Denmark) Finnish (Finland) Norwegian (Norway) Dutch (Belgium) Dutch (Netherlands) Portuguese (Portugal) Swedish (Sweden) Turkish (Turkey) More familiar keyboard navigation

Keyboard commands in Narrator are now more familiar to users of other screen readers. Some keyboard interactions have been simplified to ensure better ergonomics, making them easier to type.

Introducing scan mode

We’ve introduced a new navigation mode to Narrator called Scan mode. Scan Mode is turned on with a press of CAPS LOCK and SPACE. While you are in Scan mode you can press SPACE to activate an item of interest, such as following a link on a web page or pressing a button in an app.

Six levels of verbosity

Narrator now supports six levels of verbosity for giving you more details about the characteristics of text. You can cycle through these modes by pressing CAPS LOCK + CTRL + (PLUS). For example, at what we call Verbose mode 0 (zero), you will hear just the text. At verbose mode 1, you might hear if the text is a heading. At other verbose levels, you will get varying indications of other text properties, like text color or formatting.

Punctuation Modes

Narrator now gives you more control over how much punctuation you hear when reading text. CAPS LOCK+ALT+(PLUS) and CAPS LOCK+ALT+(MINUS) cycle through the settings for punctuation. The settings for punctuation include none, some, most, all and math along with default.

Now announcing AutoSuggest results

Many applications in Windows 10 offer automatic suggestions as you enter information. For example, when you start entering a search term in an application search box you may get suggestions based on what you are entering. With Narrator you will now get a verbal hint with an audio indication when these suggestions are available.

Feedback made easy

Pressing CAPS LOCK + E + E when running Narrator is an easy way to send us feedback. This shortcut will bring up a feedback form where you can submit comments and suggestions about your experience with Narrator.

User guides and documentation

Our documentation team has been working hard to update the resources available to those who are learning how to use Narrator. We are looking forward to providing improved and more complete documentation like an updated Narrator user guide that will be available online when the Anniversary Update is released.

Working to make apps and experiences more accessible

Along with many of these accessibility updates to Windows 10, most of our app teams have also been making regular updates. Below are a few of the notable highlights.

More accessible browsing and reading with Microsoft Edge

In a series of blog posts, the Microsoft Edge team has been providing detailed updates on their accessibility progress. For example, the team has already shared how work to support modern web accessibility standards is helping developers more easily build accessible sites. And with the introduction of Microsoft Edge’s new accessibility architecture, we are working to make Edge a more inclusive and reliable experience for everyone. The team has also been working closely with the most popular third-party assistive technology vendors to guide them through the transition to this new platform.

In addition to the work the team has already shared, we are also excited for you to try the improvements to the end user accessibility experience of the Microsoft Edge app and PDF reader. These include broad support for tagged PDF files, and a wide range of improvements to common daily browsing features such as address bar, tabs, windows, and favorites.

Mail

Since the initial release of Windows 10 last summer, there have been many improvements to the accessibility of the Mail app. The Mail team described many of these updates in a blog last February and has since that time continued to make progress on things like improving the account setup experience when using a screen reader.

Cortana

You can more reliably operate search and Cortana with the keyboard, including things like navigating using arrow keys and tab order. There are also Improvements to high contrast that make the Cortana UI more legible in all contrast modes. The team has also made a number of general fixes that improve the experience with Cortana when using accessibility tools such as Windows Speech Recognition, Narrator and other screen-readers.

Groove

The Groove team has delivered a number of key updates for low vision users like better support for high DPI scaling and better high contrast support, including better color combinations and the boxing of text when appearing on top of album art. In addition, the team has done work to make the app a better experience when using a screen reader by adding a number of new shortcut keys as well as fixing a number of bugs when using Narrator.

Making accessibility easier for developers

In addition to the progress being made with our apps and built-in accessibility features we have been making investments in the tools and reference materials that developers rely on to create accessible experiences within their apps and websites. Here are a few developer resources we have already made available or will be a part of the Windows 10 anniversary Update.

New Tools

Developer tools are essential to making accessibility just work. The Visual Studio App Analysis tool was updated to helping devs to find, triage and fix accessibility errors like flagging controls that don’t have an accessible name. We also introduced a new developer mode in Narrator. Narrator dev mode can be turned on when Narrator is already running by pressing SHIFT + CAPS LOCK + F12. When dev mode is turned on the screen will be masked and will highlight only the accessible objects and the associated text that is exposed programmatically to Narrator.

XAML Improvements

The XAML team has improved the support for Mnemonics within Universal Windows Apps (UWA’s) allowing for better Access Key customizations. For example, the developer of a shopping app can now assign a custom Access Key like P, that can be activated by pressing ALT then the letter P, in order to activate the purchase button.

Improved Documentation

And finally the team has worked hard to improve the discoverability and update the documentation we provide for developers. We recently relaunched the accessibility developer hub as well as general design guidelines and sample code for accessibility.

 

Most importantly, your feedback is imperative to getting accessibility right. Keep letting us know what accessibility features are important to you. If you are already running Windows 10, you can simply press CAPS LOCK + E (two times) to bring up a feedback form when using Narrator. Or, if you are technically minded, you can help us by becoming a Windows Insider and giving us feedback on the latest updates to Windows as we are building them.

Previous Blogs and Resources:

Windows

Microsoft Edge

Developers

June 2016 release notes

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 6 min ago

The Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the June release of Lifecycle Services.

NEW FEATURES

Ability to deploy Dev and Build/test environments

Starting today in the implementation project for AX 7, you can chose to deploy a Development environment or a Build and test environment.

Methodology improvements

In the Implementation project, you can now append your existing methodology with the methodology that is shipped by Microsoft.

  1. To append a methodology click onin your Implementation project methodology section and then select Append methodology.

  1. Select the methodology from the list of available methodologies, and then click Confirm.

Before:

 

After:

Now, you can customize the locked methodology by adding phase and tasks to the implementation methodology that is shipped by Microsoft for the new Dynamics AX.

Subscription estimator improvements

Starting today, you must complete the Microsoft Excel Usage profile and upload the profile to LCS to complete the subscription estimate for your implementation project.

You can download the Sample usage profile from the Subscription estimator page.

Click New estimate to upload the completed Usage profile.

 

 

You can download a completed usage profile from LCS at any time, make changes, and then upload the updated usage profile by clicking Edit.

 

Note: We have added additional questions and improved the validation experience in the Usage profile, to help us better estimate your needs.

Monitoring and Diagnostic feature updates

Starting in June 2016, Monitoring and Diagnostics features in LCS will be publically available to all environments that are deployed through LCS.

Note: Only Production environments that are deployed through LCS in Microsoft Managed Subscription will be actively monitored by the Microsoft Service Engineering team. All other environments do not have the monitoring features turned on.

In addition to the user activity troubleshooting feature (Activity Tab on the Environment monitoring page), we have added additional features specifically for SQL Troubleshooting, which can be accessed by clicking the Environment Monitoring link in the Monitoring section on the Environment Details page.

  • SQL Insights – This feature gives customers/partners the opportunity to troubleshoot SQL issues by looking at an aggregated view of the most expensive queries that were executed on the environment based on duration, logical IO, CPU, execution count and contention. This feature also provides an advanced troubleshooting experience by showing a trend of the selected query. Detailed metrics for the selected query are shown, along with the query statement and an option to download the query execution plan for diagnostics.

 

  • Just in time SQL Troubleshooting – This feature gives the customers/partners the opportunity to troubleshoot SQL issues in real time by locating the queries that are blocked and the queries are blocking. This feature also provides a view of aggregated lock information for the tables that currently hold locks on them.

You can ciew this by clicking on the SQL Now tab on the Environment monitoring page.

 

 

BPM and Task guides

The list of task guides that were made available with the February 2016 release of Dynamics AX has been published, and can be found here, New task guides available (February 2016).

BPM Integration with VSTS (Public preview)

  1. On the LCS portal, select the Preview feature management tile and turn on the feature named VSO WorkItem Mapping. This will enable you to preview the new BPM functionality.
  2. After you have configured Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) from the LCS project settings, go to your BPM library and on the left-pane, under Implementation views, click Review processes.
  3. Click Sync with VSTS.

This will synchronize the BPM library hierarchy into your VSTS project, as a hierarchy of work items (Epics, Features, …etc.). This is a one-way sync from LCS to VSTS that will keep your VSTS work items updated with any changes that are made in the LCS BPM library.

The VSTS work item types associated with LCS items can be configured from the VSTS tab in your LCS project’s Project settings. Work item type mapping (VSTS work item type) must be configured before a connection to a VSTS project is established.

 

Add requirements to a business process

As part of the fit/gap analysis stage of your project, in the Review processes view, you can select a business process line and add a requirement that is associated with the selected business process. This requirement will be stored as a requirement work item in VSTS.

The Process details page will list all requirements in VSTS that are associated with the current business process line. It also allows you to add a new requirement.

 

When you add a requirement,  enter a title and adescription, and assess whether it is a fit or a gap.

Configuration and data manager: Apply more than one data package at a time

Configuration and data manager is a tool that enables you to apply data packages to Dynamics AX cloud environment by using the AX data management framework. With this release, you can select more than one data package and apply them at once to a specific AX instance.

When you select more than one package and click Apply, you can choose whether you want to apply the packages sequentially or concurrently.

 

You should apply sequentially if the selected data packages depend on each other. If you select Apply sequentially, you will first be prompted to select the order in which the packages are applied. Use the sequence number drop down menus to define the order.

You can also enter a tag. A tag can be used as a keyword that will appear on the history page to indicate that these packages have been applied as part of the same job.

Experiencing Alerting failure for Availability Data Type – 07/01 – Resolved

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 10 min ago
Final Update: Friday, 01 July 2016 21:30 UTC
We’ve confirmed that all systems are back to normal with no customer impact as of 07/01, 9:30 PM UTC. Our logs show the incident started on 07/01, 7:37 PM UTC and that during the ~2 hours that it took to resolve the issue some customers experienced Alerting failure for tests running in the TX-San Antonio location.

  • Root Cause: Preliminary root cause analysis indicates an issue with underlying infrastructure running these tests.
  • Lessons Learned: We are investigating additional improvements to internal telemetry to speed diagnosis and tooling to aid in implementation of mitigation steps.
  • Incident Timeline: 1 hours 53 minutes – 07/01, 7:37 PM UTC through 07/01, 9:30 PM UTC

We understand that customers rely on Application Insights as a critical service and apologize for any impact this incident caused.

-Sapna

Advanced Service Bus with AMQP

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 52 min ago

This post was written by my team member Clemens Vasters.

The Advanced Message Queueing Protocol 1.0 is a standardized framing and transfer protocol for asynchronously, securely, and reliably transferring messages between two parties. AMQP 1.0 is the result of broad industry collaboration that brought together middleware vendors with many messaging middleware users. The technical standardization forum for the AMQP protocol and extension specifications is OASIS, and it has achieved formal approval as an international standard as ISO/IEC 19494.

The general availability of the AMQP 1.0 protocol implementation on Microsoft Azure Service Bus was announced in May 2013, with a compatible implementation being available on the on-premises variant Service Bus for Windows Server 1.1. At the end of 2014. we announced the general availability of Azure Event Hubs, whose primary protocol is AMQP 1.0, and in 2015 we put Azure IoT Hub into production that also uses AMQP 1.0 as its most universal flagship protocol.

Since Service Bus shipped its AMQP 1.0 support, we’ve made many improvements on our implementation of AMQP, fixing specification compliance issues, improving performance, and adding support for Web Sockets and support for claims-based authorization based on extension specifications that are in standardization progress at OASIS. We have collaborated with and contributed to the Apache Qpid Proton AMQP project for both C and Java. And we have created a super-compact, native-code AMQP stack called uAMQP available as open source for embedded devices.

Today, we are announcing our biggest AMQP 1.0 protocol update for the core cloud broker platform Service Bus since we shipped the initial protocol support, and at the same time we’re releasing fresh and comprehensive documentation for how we use AMQP 1.0 with Service Bus – and we’re explaining the protocol itself along the way so that you don’t have to chew through the committee specification.

The documented protocol additions bring the AMQP 1.0 implementation of Service Bus nearly up to complete parity with the proprietary SBMP protocol that has so far existed in parallel. The new capabilities available on top of AMQP 1.0 include lock renewal, browsing/peek, message scheduling and cancellation, session lock renewal, session state management, session enumeration, subscription rule management, and handling of deferred messages. Support for the Service Bus transaction capabilities will follow later this year.

The protocol documentation also explains in detail all Service Bus specific message properties, and the claims-based authorization interaction.

The design goal for all these extended AMQP 1.0 features is that they ought not require any changes to existing AMQP 1.0 protocol stacks. You can use all of these advanced features with the C and Java versions of Apache Qpid Proton including the various language bindings, with AMQP.NET Lite, with uAMQP, and with the nodeAMQP stacks.

The wire level documentation, which is the deliverable we are shipping today, can be found here.

Red Hat DevNation / Summit Trip Report– .NET Core 1.0 Releases!

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 58 min ago

What a week! If you didn’t hear, we released .NET Core 1.0 on Monday at Red Hat DevNation. .NET Core is a cross-platform, open source, and modular .NET platform for creating modern web apps, microservices and libraries that run on Windows, Linux and Mac. Congrats to everyone who made the .NET Core 1.0 release possible! This is a huge milestone for .NET that will take the platform another 15 years into the future.

You can watch the keynote where Scott Hanselman gets on stage and shows off the release of .NET Core running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (he starts a little after an hour into it).

Get started with .NET Core here: https://dot.net/core

Also check out our new C# interactive tutorials, documentation, and API reference!

I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel and running a booth with some fantastic team members at Red Hat Dev Nation & Summit. I have to say that people were genuinely excited (and frankly shocked) that .NET Core was available to RHEL developers. We had tons of swag that ran out the first day and a lot of people coming by the Microsoft area in general to learn about all the announcements that were made. Here’s a recap.  

Announcements
  • Announcing .NET Core 1.0 (made #1 on Hacker News!) – This release includes the .NET Core & ASP.NET Core runtime and libraries. We are also releasing Preview 2 of the corresponding tools and Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code extensions. The Visual Studio team also released Visual Studio 2015 Update 3. You need that release to build .NET Core apps in Visual Studio.
  • Announcing ASP.NET Core 1.0 – This new release is one of the most significant architectural updates we’ve done to ASP.NET.  As part of this release we are making ASP.NET leaner, more modular, cross-platform, and cloud optimized.  ASP.NET Core is now available, and you can start using it today by downloading it here.
  • Announcing Entity Framework Core 1.0 – Entity Framework Core (EF Core) is a lightweight, extensible, and cross-platform version of Entity Framework. This coincides with the release of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core.
  • Samsung joins the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group – The Technical Steering Group was created to help open up how technical decisions are made in the .NET platform as well as keep everyone on the same page as to the direction of the combined projects that make up the core components of .NET. In April, Red Hat, Jet Brains and Unity were welcomed to the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group. Monday we welcomed Samsung as they have contributed to our projects particularly in the area of ARM support.
  • Red Hat also announced that they are now actively supporting .NET Core 1.0 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, extending the benefits of .NET to the entire Red Hat ecosystem.
  • We also announced along with Red Hat and Codenvy that the language server protocol powering our Visual Studio Code editor, which supports over 100 programming languages, is now being adopted by tool creators and language providers across the industry. This means that any developer can have a consistent, productive editing experience for their favorite programming language on any tool – even if that tool isn’t Visual Studio Code.
  • Announcing new open source advancements for the enterprise cloud at Red Hat Summit – This week, we’re bringing some new firsts to market as well. On Thursday, we demonstrated SQL Server running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We are seeing strong interest in SQL Server on Linux private preview, and this development will extend the mission-critical enterprise benefits of SQL Server to Red Hat customers.
Press

As I mentioned above, the .NET Core release announcement made #1 on Hacker News and we had an incredible amount of traffic to the post.  We also had a lot of conversations and congratulations on twitter. Follow @dotnet on twitter and check out the hashtags #dotnetcore, #aspnetcore.

Fun watching @shanselman announce #dotnetcore release at @RedHatNews #DevNation , entire presentation in RHEL. pic.twitter.com/iEieRUitb5

— Jon Galloway (@jongalloway) June 27, 2016

We are ready for you #DevNation & #RHSummit at the #dotnetcore booth 101! cc/ @imjoshfree @ellism @PeterMarcu pic.twitter.com/rgGAOp9gS2

— Beth Massi (@BethMassi) June 28, 2016

My Take on the Red Hat Crowd

It was truly a wonderful and welcoming experience being at a conference where you never thought you’d be representing Microsoft. It was different but familiar at the same time. This is an enterprise developer conference and they share the same struggles as Microsoft enterprise developers. Containerization, heterogeneous systems, microservices, and modern cloud application lifecycle management are definitely the same struggles I hear at our own conferences. The crowd was very much interested in our technologies like SQL and .NET running on Linux as they look to move to modern workloads.

Special thanks to Todd Mancini @ToddMancini and Harry Mower @harrymower for your hard work on DevNation and the great partnership.

Enjoy!

Microsoft .NET Weekly 1

MSDN Blogs - 5 hours 18 sec ago
Scott Hunter – .NET Core shipped!

This week, Scott Hunter joins Bertrand to talk about the history of .NET Core, and about its future…

read more ASP.NET Monsters Episode 45: Generating Complex, Realistic Data For Tests and Prototypes

If you have complex object graphs that you’d like to use in your prototype or test data, chances are you have a swamp load of muck to write to wire those objects up, especially if you want your data to look realistic.

In this episode of the ASP.NET Monsters, James walks us through…

read more ASP.NET Monsters Episode 44: Developing with .NET Core on Ubuntu Desktop

.NET Core 1.0 is officially released and Monster Dave decides to take Linux for a spin. Join us for a tour of developing with .NET Core on Ubuntu Linux. Watch Dave show off his rusty Linux skills and see how he manages to solve a problem by debugging his test app with Visual Studio Code.

read more TWC9: .Net Fringe, DockerCon, New Visual Studio Installation, Edge Battery Power and more…

This week on Channel 9, Nikola and Vlad discuss the week’s top developer news, including;

read more When should I still use .NET Framework 4.x, instead of .NET Core?

Microsoft has recently released .NET Core 1.0 RTM.  With the acquisition of Xamarin in February, Microsoft has three major frameworks in the .NET family: .NET Framework, .NET Core and Xamarin. 

read more When should I use Xamarin, instead of .NET Core?

As a developer, when should I use Xamarin, instead of .NET Core or .NET Framework?

read more

Announcing SQL Server Management Studio – July 2016 Release

MSDN Blogs - 5 hours 24 min ago

Today, we are very pleased to announce the first monthly update of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) following the SQL Server 2016 release. This update remains a fully-supported generally-available (GA) quality release. It includes support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, significant updates to SQL Server PowerShell and numerous fixes for customer-reported defects.

Get it here:

Download SSMS July 2016 release

  • The version number for the latest release is 13.0.15500.91

New in this release

  1. Support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse in SSMS.
  2. Significant updates to the SQL Server PowerShell module. This includes a new SQL PowerShell module and new CMDLETs for Always Encrypted, SQL Agent, and SQL Error Logs. You can find out more in the SQL PowerShell update blogpost.
  3. Support for PowerShell script generation in the Always Encrypted wizard.
  4. Significantly improved connection times to Azure SQL databases.
  5. New ‘Backup to URL’ dialog to support the creation of Azure storage credentials for SQL Server 2016 database backups. This provides a more streamlined experience for storing database backups in an Azure storage account.
  1. New Restore dialog to streamline restoring a SQL Server 2016 database backup from the Microsoft Azure storage service. The dialog eliminates the need to memorize or save the Shared Access signature for an Azure storage account in order to restore a backup.
  2. Improved support for SQL Server 2016 (1200 compatibility level) tabular databases in the Analysis Services Process dialog.
  3. Bug fix in SSMS query designer to allow adding tables to the designer if a user doesn’t have SELECT permissions on them.
  4. Bug fix in PowerShell module to enable loading of ‘SQLAS’ extension (Microsoft Connect item #2544902).
  5. Bug fix in the SSMS editor window to allow drag-and-drop open of Sql files (Microsoft Connect item #2690658).
  6. Bug fix in Profiler to fix Profiler crash when exiting. (Microsoft Connect item #2616550).
  7. Bug fix in SSMS to prevent crash when trying to edit a join link in the SSMS table designer (Microsoft Connect item #2721052).
  8. Bug fix in SSMS to enable database script generation for db_owner role members. (Microsoft Connect item #2869241).
  9. Bug fix in SSMS editor to remove the delay in closing a query tab if the server has gone offline (Microsoft Connect item #2656058).
  10. Bug fix to enable Backup option in SQL Server Express databases (Microsoft Connect item #2801910).
  11. Bug fix to add IntelliSense support for ‘TRY_CAST()’, and ‘TRY_CONVERT()’ functions (Microsoft Connect item #2453461).
  12. Bug fix in Analysis Services to correctly show the Data Feed provider for multi-dimensional Analysis Services models.

Please visit the SSMS download page for additional details, and to see the full changelog.

Known Issues

The full list of known issues is available in Release notes available here.

Contact us

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please visit our forum or Microsoft Connect page. You can also tweet our Engineering Manager at @sqltoolsguy on Twitter. We are fully committed to improve the SSMS experience and look forward to hearing from you!

Please join us in welcoming the July MVP Awardees!

MSDN Blogs - 7 hours 11 min ago

 

Today 1,085 technical community leaders around the world received an email announcing they’ve received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award. Congratulations to all!

Over the past year, they’ve demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products. The MVP Award is Microsoft’s way of acknowledging and supporting their outstanding contributions to the community.

Whether it’s through blogs or books, speaking engagements or Microsoft Channel 9 videos, user groups or forum participation, MVPs help an average one million Microsoft customers every day.

MVPs are recognized each quarter in one or multiple award categories for this annual award, which reflect the cross-team approach of Microsoft product groups. This quarter 29 MVPs were recognized in two award categories, including two MVPs who are new to the program.

Of the millions of people who contribute to technical communities each year, only about 4,000 are named Microsoft MVPs. They are nominated by Microsoft team members, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They reflect Microsoft’s global community, today coming from more than 90 countries and speaking more than 40 different languages.

Please join us in congratulating the new MVPs, and welcoming back the renewed MVPs. We are very excited to recognize your amazing accomplishments!

And if you know (or are!) an awesome community leader, go here to make a nomination.

 

Free Sequence Diagram Tool

MSDN Blogs - 7 hours 12 min ago

I happen to find one free online Sequence Diagram Tool at https://www.websequencediagrams.com/ 

The name is pretty easy to remember and it has little command like interface which translates your text to diagram. You may also be able to choose the format,

I find it very helpful and quick.

Namoskar!!!

Being a Consultant why it is so important to keep learning

MSDN Blogs - 7 hours 23 min ago

Being a Developer Consultant you keep on working hard on the projects for your customer. This demands a great deal of learning time. As a consultant you are a billable resource and simply cannot use your customer’s time and money to learn things. You need to learn thing while on run. In a meeting when someone is talking about somethings which you have no clue about you keep a note on that and as soon as you are out of the meeting you quickly glance through the resource available online. Remember one thing, no learning plan is sufficient unless there is a customer need. Because you will have no time to implement. Until you implement you will never get the level of confidence to be able to sell your idea based on that technology. Over the last few months I have learned a great deal of technologies and toolsets and was able to implement them in real project scenario. They are not “Hello World” solutions but they are real stuff which customer is planning to earn their revenue. Pretty serious stuff.

I happen to be pure Microsoft guy, but since my work demanded on work on some other environment I have been able to explore and work on things like, 

  1. JIRA – User Story and backlog management
  2. Confluence – Wiki for documentations
  3. Bamboo – Build Server
  4. BDD – using SpectFlow and Gherkin
  5. TDD using NUnit and FakeItEasy
  6. Psake
  7. Git
  8. Resharper

I am planning to write some of my experiences and to me is a journey to cherish. Sometime I wonder this world of information is so huge and time is the only constraint.

Namoskar!!!

Intro to DevOps: New certificate class at edX

MSDN Blogs - 8 hours 38 min ago

Enroll here: Introduction to DevOps.

You may have heard that the cool kids are adopting a new software methodology, named “DevOps”:

DevOps is the union of people, process and products to enable the continuous delivery of value to end users. It aims to create a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably, so you can innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. By taking this introductory DevOps course, you’ll be able to define DevOps, understand why you need DevOps, and learn how you can get started with DevOps. You’ll learn the key ideas and techniques to bring development and operations together to produce higher-quality software and deliver it more quickly.

This is a quick four-week class that requires two-to-three hours of effort per week. For demos and labs, the class uses Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and the Azure platform to illustrate the key concepts and practices of DevOps. Look over the labs on GitHub: EdX Intro to DevOps on GitHub.

Early reviews are good, e.g., “A fantastic course for DevOps beginners! It is very well designed and organized. The course materials are informative and very engaging. Highly recommended.”

$49 gets you a certificate that you can mount on your LinkedIn page.

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Export reports to PDF with improved support for international text

MSDN Blogs - 8 hours 39 min ago

Today’s post is from Andre Milbradt, an engineer who’s been working on Reporting Services and other BI products here at Microsoft since 1999.

For SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services we made a set of improvements to our PDF Renderer targeted at our international customers. Some of them were long-standing feature requests like copy/paste support for international characters or drawing vertically-stacked East-Asian characters. Others are paving the future for a better out-of-the-box authoring experience for our international customers.

Copy/paste support for international characters

International characters (characters outside of the ASCII range) are written out in PDF using their Glyph ID. A Glyph ID is the ID of a character’s vector drawing unique to a particular font. Hence Glyph IDs only have a meaning in the context of a given font.

To copy/paste characters in PDF (or search for them) document viewers need to know the reverse mapping of those Glyph IDs back to Unicode character codes. To achieve this the PDF specification has the notion of a ToUnicode mapping embedded in the PDF document (tutorial here).

The Reporting Services PDF Renderer never wrote out such mapping with the result that international customers are not able to copy/paste content. That has finally changed for SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services. Now the PDF Renderer writes out a ToUnicode mapping and subsequently fully supports copy/paste for international characters. The mappings themselves are optimized using character ranges to ensure a minimal increase in the size of the resulting PDF document.

There’s an infamous MDSN Forums thread from back in October 2008 about this issue (“a wagging donkey’s tail”). While it certainly took us a fair amount of time to get to it, it was always on our minds…

Drawing of vertically-stacked characters

Another feature that was often requested, yet missing for a long time, is the support for vertically-stacked East-Asian characters in documents produced by the PDF Renderer. It’s a layout that is used for Japanese, Chinese and Korean scripts. So far the PDF Renderer wrote them out by simply rotating the content, but not stacking the characters.

For SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services the PDF Renderer will automatically detect East-Asian characters and write them out vertically-stacked. This mode is enabled by setting the WritingMode property of a textbox to Vertical. Note that non-East Asian characters within a block of vertically stacked East-Asian characters are not stacked.

New DefaultFontFamily property in RDL

For SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services a new RDL property called DefaultFontFamily was added:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<Report MustUnderstand=”df” xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/reporting/2016/01/reportdefinition” xmlns:rd=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQLServer/reporting/reportdesigner” xmlns:df=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/reporting/2016/01/reportdefinition/defaultfontfamily”>
<df:DefaultFontFamily>Segoe UI</df:DefaultFontFamily>

</Report>

Note that for SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services micro-versioning was introduced. This allows us to support new features without having to revision the entire schema.

While this property is infrastructure that supports SSRS 2016’s updated visual styles, we imagined it might come in handy in future as we consider other enhancements. For instance, should the default font be culture-sensitive? For instance, should it be “Segoe UI” on an English machine but “Meiryo UI” on a Japanese machine and “JhengHei UI” on a Chinese machine? This might give international customers a better authoring experience right out-of-the-box with less reliance on font fallback, which can be complicated and ambiguous at times.

Please let us know what you think in the comment to this post.

Try it now and send us your feedback

Resetting the Management Reporter 2012 data mart (with CU15+ via Powershell)

MSDN Blogs - 8 hours 46 min ago
The release of Management Reporter 2012 CU15 has delivered a new way to reset (rebuild) the Management Reporter 2012 data mart using Powershell.

 

Please refer to the steps below as a guideline on how to leverage this new data mart reset process:

1. Before starting, make a backup of the ManagementReporter and data mart (ManagementReporterDM) databases before starting. Backups can be helpful in the case of diagnosing why the issue occurred after the rebuild occurs.

This process will require a user with dbo rights to the ManagementReporter and ManagementReporter DM databases.  The Powershell script is only supported using SQL Authentication.

This process will delete all of data in the data mart tables and remove the integration logs, remove the data mart connection information, and fix the dates for previous generated reports to be able to properly include transaction detail with the ManagementReporter database.

2. Log onto the machine where the MR Server components are installed and open Powershell as Administrator

3. Navigate to the Console folder

PS C:> cd ‘.Program FilesMicrosoft Dynamics ERPManagement Reporter2.1ServerConsole’

4. Import the module
PS C:Program FilesMicrosoft Dynamics ERPManagement Reporter2.1ServerConsole> Import-Module .Microsoft.Dynamics.Performance.Deployment.Commands.Integration.dll

Note: You can get additional help for each of the parameters by running Get-Help Reset-DatamartIntegration -Full

5. Run the below command. You can run get-help Reset-DatamartIntegration for more information. If credentials aren’t supplied, you will be prompted
PS C:Program FilesMicrosoft Dynamics ERPManagement Reporter2.1ServerConsole> Reset-DatamartIntegration -Reason BADDATA -ReasonDetail “Restored database from backup” -DatamartDatabaseServer sqlservername -DatamartDatabaseName ManagementReporterDM -DatamartDatabaseUserName sa -DatamartDatabaseUserPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString Thisisapass@word -AsPlainText -Force) -MRDatabaseServer sqlservername -MRDatabaseName ManagementReporter -MRDatabaseUserName sa -MRDatabaseUserPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString Thisisapass@word -AsPlainText -Force)

6. Agree to the below confirmation. It is recommended the process service is stopped, but not required in most cases.
WARNING: Resetting the financial reporting data mart will delete all data in the data mart as well as any supporting data in the financial reporting databases. The Management Reporter 2012 Process Service must be stopped on all machines that it is installed on before continuing.

Note: For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 customers no ERP data will be touched during this process. Only data within the data mart and ManagementReporter databases are impacted.

Confirm
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing operation “Reset-DatamartIntegration” on target databases.
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help (default is “Y”): Y

When the process starts, the Configuration Console will display a message that the initial integration is in progress. Once complete, you will see the message change to initial integration is complete.

You can review the log of previous reset activity in the Event Viewer with the following steps:
1. Open the Event Viewer
2. Expand Applications and Services Logs
3. Expand Microsoft
4. Expand Dynamics
5. Expand MR-Logger
6. Select Operational

The log will contain the date/time, username who requested the reset, and the reason details entered.

Raising the Bar – Personnel Screening

MSDN Blogs - 9 hours 36 min ago

Microsoft recently announced FedRAMP High and Department of Defense (DoD) Impact Level 4 accreditation. This has raised the security and compliance bar across the Azure Government environment. As part of our commitment to addressing the US government’s cloud needs we strive to provide every customer with an experience that meets the highest bar across all of our compliance achievements.

In screening, we are now screening all our operators at National Agency Check with Law and Credit (NACLC) as defined in section 5.6.2.2 of the DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG):

The minimum background investigation required for CSP personnel having access to Level 4 and 5 information based on a “noncritical-sensitive” (e.g., DoD’s ADP-2) is a National Agency Check with Law and Credit (NACLC) (for “noncritical-sensitive” contractors), or a Moderate Risk Background Investigation (MBI) for a “moderate risk” position designation.

The following table summarizes our current screening for Azure Government operators:

Microsoft personnel screening Description US citizenship Verification of US citizenship. Microsoft cloud background check (every two years) Employment history verification, education verification, Social Security number search, criminal history check, Office of Foreign Assets Control list (OFAC), Bureau of Industry and Security list (BIS), Office of Defense Trade Controls Debarred Persons list. National agency check with law and credit (every five years) Adds fingerprint background check against FBI databases. For additional information go here.

 

We also support Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) screening requirements.  Please see our Microsoft Trust Center for more information.

Notes from the ASP.NET Community Standup – June 28th 2016

MSDN Blogs - 9 hours 40 min ago

This is the next in a series of blog posts that will cover the topics discussed in the ASP.NET Community Standup. The community standup is a short video-based discussion with some of the leaders of the ASP.NET development teams covering the accomplishments of the team on the new ASP.NET Core framework over the previous week. Within 30 minutes, Scott HanselmanDamian EdwardsJon Galloway and an occasional guest or two discuss new features and ask for feedback on important decisions being made by the ASP.NET development teams.

Each week the standup is hosted live on Google Hangouts and the team publishes the recorded video of their discussion to YouTube for later reference. The guys answer your questions LIVE and unfiltered. This is your chance to ask about the why and what of ASP.NET! Join them each Tuesday on live.asp.net where the meeting’s schedule is posted and hosted.

This week’s meeting is below:

 

Asp.Net Core is released!   Go to https://dot.net and get it now!  Everyone’s going on vacation because its DONE!   No.. Not really, the team is at it planning and getting ready for the next features in the web framework.

The surprise inclusion in this release is a browser-based REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) for .NET at https://www.microsoft.com/net  From here, there’s a great set of tutorials and in-browser development experience for .NET.  We’re jazzed about this new way to present and teach .NET concepts.  You can now get started learning .NET without installing Visual Studio or and SDKs.  Or even get started learning .NET WHILE you wait for Visual Studio to install.

This week, instead of answering piles of questions about 1.0 RTM, Damian shared a live upgrade experience of the live.asp.net website that hosts the Community Standup.  It was a painless process and we’ll review some of the highlights of the changes Damian applied to the application.

Damian showed us a block of comments that he added to the bottom of the page to show some information about the environment that the application is running in.

Scott made a point that running small web sites in the cloud, like Azure Web Applications, don’t need x64 processing and can run very nicely in smaller x86 processes.

Damian showed us the staging environment for the live.asp.net site and how he can detect whether the Azure deployment (code named kudu) deployed his application and what the Git SHA hash for that deployment is.  You can see this code on lines 37-82 of the DeploymentEnvironment class in live.asp.net.   This SHA will match up with the SHA listed in the commits for the application on GitHub:

In order to protect the Dev version of the source that Damian had last modified, he created a new branch in his local source repository by executing the command:

git checkout -b rtm

This creates a new branch using a technique called “feature branches” where new features or experiments on your source code is performed in a local space where it is isolated from current working code.

Damian then walked through the installed for the .NET Tooling Preview 2, as he has not applied the latest patch to the machine he was demonstrating from.  To push his code to use the Preview 2 version of the dotnet command-line tool, Damian updated the global.json file to point to the new version of the tool:

Next, he updated project.json to reference the 1.0.0 version of his packages and the tools that were updated get pointed to a Preview 2 version:

There was a slight name change on one of the classes used for Authentication, the OpenIdConnectResponseTypes was renamed to drop the S on the end:

Finally, Damian applied an update for the system reflection information that we showed earlier as an output to his page:

With that change, Damian was able to run the application using the ASP.NET Core RTM.  A complete diff of the changes Damian made can be found on GitHub at:  https://github.com/aspnet/live.asp.net/commit/b94a26ad42a7763caf54f70a79b0c83b192a72ef#diff-274660eb4b1b1d963a330b471e10f41c

Damian and Scott went through the exercise of deploying the application to a Azure Web App staging slot.  The deployment took some time due to retrieving and loading all of the dependencies from NuGet, npm, and a non-optimized compilation process.

Looking Forward

Next week, we’ll talk about our early thoughts for the roadmap including SignalR.  There is a SignalR 2.2.1 servicing release for ASP.NET and the team will be starting on “SignalR Core”.  Scott pointed out new updates to Visual Studio Code that automatically adds the C# extension and debugger if you don’t have that installed and are working with C# files.  Next time, Scott suggested that the team reviews how to install daily builds of the SDK if you’d like to run with the absolute latest version of the tools.

Finding OneNote Class Notebooks

MS Access Blog - 10 hours 9 min ago

Today’s post was written by Paul “Lanny” Watkins, teacher at Ysgol Bae Baglan school and MIE Expert.

One of the hardest things I found being an ICT teacher was finding an effective way of providing written feedback to my students. When they produced work using applications such as PowerPoint or Word, it was easy to leave comments. However, when there was a change of topic it was rare that the students went back to revisit and act upon the feedback the teacher had provided. Whereas in other subjects, where students kept the same exercise book, they were able to access teacher comments and act upon them. However, through a combination of time constraints and a change in application, this practice was never promoted. We needed a way of providing quality written feedback, which students could easily access and then respond to, giving them the opportunity to improve their work. But finding the solution was easier said than done. We had tried a number of things within the department but nothing had allowed us to deliver what we wanted. And then we found it.

In early 2015, I attended the BETT show in London with fellow Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Stewart Davies. We had a number of things on our “shopping list,” but what we found wasn’t on our list. After looking at the devices on various stands around the exhibition, we decided to attend some of the sessions in the Microsoft arena, where Surface tablets were being used with OneNote. For me, OneNote had always been that application with the purple icon that appeared when you installed Microsoft Office. The OneNote users I knew used it to plan and organize their shopping lists. As I sat and watched and listened to the presentation, it was as if I had hit the jackpot. Through the demonstration of OneNote Class Notebook, I was seeing the solution to all of the problems that I had been facing. A colleague from another school was also at the exhibition. I quickly ran and found her and literally dragged her to a demo of OneNote Class Notebook using a Surface tablet. Her reaction was the same as ours, and the three-and-a-half-hour car journey back to South Wales was full of excitement as we discussed plans for the “New School,” the amalgamation of four schools to form a Year 3-16 “Super School,” which would later be named Ysgol Bae Baglan.

The following year was one of the most exciting of my career to date. When there is a change of system in a school or the way of working there is always degrees of fear and concern. However, in finding OneNote Class Notebook, we found a diamond! For me, it was the solution that ticked all the boxes that needed ticking. But more than that, OneNote could impact teaching and learning like nothing I had come across before. Next step: promote and implement it across school. It was time to roll up the sleeves!

The first thing to do was to get the students used to this way of working. I felt that getting them to change was always going to be a tough job, but the benefits were so evident. Once the Class Notebooks had been set up, students were given a walk through—and they got it! They could easily understand this new model of working. With a heavy focus on the web app version, students confidently created sections and copied work and resources from the Content Library. I couldn’t have wished for a better start. Now, the next stage: STAFF!

The mentality behind putting initial focus on the students getting used to OneNote as the platform for working was simple—there are more students than staff and it takes pressure off staff. By this I mean that pressure is taken off staff from having to show students how to use this new way of working while they are learning it themselves.

I received a phone call the day after the first OneNote training for staff. The head of the Design Technology department was asking if I could look at his Class Notebook! He had gone home and transferred his entire Year 10 Vehicle Mechanics course over to OneNote and was ready to go! It was a huge encouragement to me to see such enthusiasm. You could clearly see the thought process he had gone though in the structuring of the sections and pages and he had spent the evening transferring work to it. He was determined that his students were going to be working this way, and that’s simply what they did. The department has now moved their GCSE Vehicle Mechanics course completely to OneNote and are using it to great effect. A real encouragement to me right from the start!

One of the most difficult parts of encouraging colleagues to use OneNote is when they confront you with the question “Why should I?” Once such teacher leads with military precision. He has excellent results and has every right to challenge why he should change. Sometimes a simple challenge can have you sounding like a salesman. I knew that I if I could just get him using OneNote that would take care of the rest. Thankfully, we had a Surface Training Day planned for Bae Baglan, so this provided the perfect launchpad. The following weeks, the self-confessed “technophobe” spent more and more time using OneNote to plan his department’s scheme of work for September. The “how do I?” questions started to come, which always provided an opportunity to showcase other features. The final breakthrough occurred when he decided to take his Surface tablet to an exam board meeting rather than his file and pen. He admitted that he felt a little self-conscious being the only educator there using a digital device, but then he went to show me how he had inked and typed and taken photos and videos and had constructed his notes from the meeting in that way. From that point on he grew in confidence and is now working through developing his department’s Class Notebooks. Still with questions, but that’s good!

Then I have my right hand man, Scott Gorvett, a PE teacher with a passion for technology. I am so fortunate to have in my department someone like him teaching some ICT lessons. Why? Because he gets it! He sees straight away the benefits of the technology. When he was shown OneNote originally he simply turned and high-fived me. Scott has produced some amazing resources for his students and, in doing so, has enhanced their learning experience. I recently observed one of his lessons, where students were using OneNote as a digital portfolio through the Content Library, where students could access Office Mix videos providing guidance and direction to the students. What I love about Scott is that he is never content. He will always look at the tools that are available to him and think how he can bring the WOW factor to his lesson using them. In January, we had the task of running an introduction to OneNote session for all staff. I asked Scott to take the lead on this day. If staff were going to embrace it, hearing from him and seeing his enthusiasm would be essential. Scott agreed, provided I explain the structure of OneNote to them first. It paid off. There was such a buzz in the room, and Scott’s enthusiasm was infectious. Scott has since gone on to present the use of OneNote to PE teachers across Primary and Secondary Phases on a Physical Literacy course. A true OneNote Avenger!

In November 2015, Stewart Davies and myself were invited to present at an ERW consortium meeting. ERW is an education consortium involved in the advising of best practices in education for Primary and Secondary schools across a large geographical area of Wales. At this event, I had the opportunity to speak to school leaders on why schools should use OneNote, while Stewart demonstrated Outlook Groups. Through showing how OneNote is a “Whole School” solution and how using tools such as Office Mix can enhance teaching and learning, a number of schools have engaged in discussion and are now discovering the power of OneNote. When I have opportunities to share OneNote with colleagues, I always liken it to a ball of clay—you can take and shape it to suit your needs.

In March, we arranged our first TeachMeet in our locality. Being encouraged by the strong turnout, we had teachers showcasing how they use technology in their classrooms. With a focus on Sway, OneNote, Minecraft and having Microsoft’s Stuart Ball introducing the Microsoft Educator Community teachers, there was plenty of “food for thought” for those in attendance. As teachers spoke, you could see attendees taking pictures and scribbling notes, looking at each other with smiles and nods of approval. All of the teachers in attendance have access to Office 365 through their school, but through a quick show of hands we could see that there were many there that were seeing these amazing classroom tools for the first time. As teachers gave demonstrations of how they use them in their classroom, it was encouraging to see tweets being posted about how excited they were, looking forward to using these tools, or that they had been given plenty to think about and had lots of ideas swirling around in their heads. We are planning the next series of TeachMeets and can’t wait to see what teachers have been doing in their classrooms over the last few months.

As a new Microsoft Teacher Ambassador, I wanted to try and get a better picture of how teachers are using OneNote in the classroom across the country. Something that we were not good at was communicating and speaking to each other (ironic, really, considering how many different methods of communication we have available today). Since the Welsh Government presented schools with a free Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called “HWB,” communication has been encouraged through social media for sharing ideas and inspiring each other using the hashtag: #hwbdysgy. Through using this hashtag, I came in contact with Holy Name Primary School—a small school with eight teachers who have been a huge source of encouragement and inspiration to myself and to others. This school is a prime example of teachers taking their professional development into their own hands. A group of teachers had taught themselves how to effectively use Office 365—with a heavy focus on OneNote across the school. Through hours of conversations, they shared some amazing examples of how they are using OneNote across the school. They stated, “OneNote has revolutionized the way we work!,” something that so many are saying who have discovered OneNote. As a school, they have successfully encouraged all staff to engage with Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts to embed what they have learned into their teaching and are now training teachers from other schools. Reading their social media activity is a highlight of my day.

It has been a journey—I guess you can call it the first leg. The next leg of the journey is already underway. Read “OneNote transforms the way we work as a staff” by Stewart (@StewartJJDavies) to learn more.

When people say that OneNote has changed the way they work, and they use the word “revolutionized,” you need to realize that they are telling the truth and are not exaggerating. With the continual development of OneNote with the Class Notebook and Learning Tools add-ins, education has been provided with a solution for the whole school, all subjects, all ages and all abilities. Top that off with Microsoft’s ear being constantly open to educators, and I don’t know what schools would want to or need to look anywhere else.

—Paul “Lanny” Watkins

The post Finding OneNote Class Notebooks appeared first on Office Blogs.

Cumulative Update 11- SCM Nuevas funcionalidades

MSDN Blogs - 10 hours 50 min ago

Buen dia para tod@s, recientemente fue liberado el Cumulative Update 11 (CU11, KB 3157865 ) para AX 2012 R3 y como todo cumulative update contiene una serie de hotfixes importantes pero también  nuevas funciones o mejoras a las actuales. En el caso específico de los módulos relacionados con la Cadena de Suministros (Supply Chain) existen una serie mejoras en Inventarios, Master Planning, Warehouse Management y Transportation Management como por ejemplo:

  • MRP: Se modificó la forma en que AX verifica la circularidad en listas de materiales (que un artículo sea componente de si mismo) para permitir escenarios en los que esto sucede pero el componente tiene una dimensión de articulo distinta a la del padre (Master Products y Variants), dicho de otra forma, es necesario que al menos exista esta diferencia para no detectar circularidad. Existen algunos pre-requisitos para que esto funcione así:
    • Instalar el KB 3089402 (o bien el CU11)
    • Que el articulo utilice costo standard
    • Que el BOM Check – Circularity check strategy = Optimize for High Complexity
    • Asegurarse que la tabla ReqItemLevel esté vacía antes de la ejecución de la primera corrida de MRP y después ejecutar un full MRP (sin filtros) en modo de Regeneración.
  • WMS: Es posible ejecutar una oleada usando Multi-Threading. El cambio fundamental es que ahora es posible ejecutar de manera paralela en batch una oleada para un mismo almacén y con ello mejorar el performance de la generación de oleadas con alta complejidad. Como siempre, es recomendable antes de habilitar cualquier funcionalidad que utilice multi-threading (MRP, Inventory Closing, etc.) que validen algunas consideraciones importantes, de otra manera la utilización de esta funcionalidad podría ser contra-producente como por ejemplo:
    • ¿La infraestructura  es suficiente?
    • ¿Mi ambiente es virtual? Tanto el host como los servidores virtuales tienen suficiente capacidad de procesamiento?
  • WMS / Production Control: Ahora es posible reportar como terminado (RAF) por numero de serie para artículos que se manejan con esta dimensión de seguimiento.

Les sugiero que descarguen y prueben este CU11 y a la vez darle una mirada al documento donde están detalladas todas las funcionalidades nuevas del CU11, lo pueden consultar en esta liga:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=808037

El KB 3157865  que contiene el CU11 lo pueden descargar de partnersource https://mbs2.microsoft.com/Knowledgebase/KBDisplay.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;3157865

LCS: https://fix.lcs.dynamics.com/Issue/Resolved?kb=3157865&bugId=3746009&qc=6a28487496c57739f7a7017e68f5f1bed675e5c0a98e403913a8126a21b0bfd

Espero les sea de utilidad.

 

Visual Studio “15” 中的新工程类型: Desktop to UWP Packaging Project

MSDN Blogs - 16 hours 16 min ago
Tags Tags:

[原文发表地址]: Announcing the new Desktop to UWP Packaging Project for Visual Studio “15”

[原文发表时间]: May 17, 2016

在2016年的开发者大会上,我们发布了桌面应用转换器,它可以让你把已有的桌面应用程序转为通用的Windows平台应用程序(UWP)。

通过桌面应用程序转换器,所有的Windows平台开发者可以用到很多重要的改进更能。首先,你可以把已经存在的Windows桌面应用程序或游戏转换为UWP包,这样用户可以容易的安装你的应用程序,并且可以体会无缝隙更新。一旦转换成UWP应用程序模式,桌面应用程序将有权访问以前无法访问的的通用Windows平台的API,例如动态磁贴和消息推送功能。

 

Visual Studio “Desktop to UWP Packaging Project” 简介

Visual Studio “15” 为这个新的工程提供了支持,这样可以使它更容易地创建和测试那些通过Desktop Bridge直接从Visual Studio中进行转换的应用程序,使你的开发体验更有效率:

· 该工程有一个配置文件,当你编辑桌面应用程序的binaries文件后,它允许Visual Studio直接部署更新到UWP应用包。

· 当你在Visual Studio中按下F5,就可以直接启动并调试UWP应用程序。你可以在已有代码中设置断点并进行单步执行。

 

启用对“Desktop to UWP Packaging Project”的支持

想尝试此功能,需确保你已经设置了使用桌面应用程序转换器。

 

创建新工程

你会发现在新建项目对话框中有一个新的工程类型,你可以将其添加到你已有的桌面应用程序解决方案中,它的输出是通过转换器运行的。

在Desktop to UWP Packaging project中有个Package Layout的新属性,通过配置该属性来指定你的代码的生成输出的路径,以便将其复制到 UWP 中:

 

从桌面应用程序到UWP应用包程序的一些部署更改

这个工程也 会包含一个映射文件(AppXPackageFileList.xml), 用于指定要从现有应用程序的输出文件中复制文件输出到UWP应用包。你需要配置这个文件去复制你的应用程序要用的文件并指定那些会在Visual Studio中被修改的文件(比如.dll, .exe 或其他一些源文件)。

 

调试应用程序

你可以设置该工程作为启动项目,并且按F5开始调试。桌面应用程序会被生成,然后该工程会从生成的输出中复制文件,并在已经更新的UWP应用包中启动调试器。

 

后续步骤

请查阅MSDN article Dev Center article,它会提供有关你如何利用此工作流的详细信息。我们很期待听到您的反馈意见,以便于我们了解如何才能在把你的Win32/.NET的应用程序改为通用的Windows应用程序这方面做得更好。

鉴于您当前所用的是该工具的预览版,所以我们非常热衷于听到你的经验和收到你的反馈。若提供一些有关功能的建议,最好是提交在Windows Developer UserVoice 网站上。需要反馈问题和报告bug的话,请进入Developing Universal Windows apps forums。

How schools use technology effectively in the classroom

MSDN Blogs - 16 hours 23 min ago

The following was originally posted on the Guardian’s Microsoft Partner Zone, and was written by Anthony Salcito.

Teachers share their stories of how Microsoft technologies help promote innovation in teaching and learning in their classroom

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) is an exclusive programme created to recognise global teacher visionaries who are paving the way for their peers in the effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes.

MIE Experts work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education. They advocate and share their thoughts on the effective use of technology in education with peers and policy makers. They provide insight for Microsoft on new products and tools for education, and they exchange best practices as they work together to promote innovation in teaching and learning.

Taken from Daily Edventures, UK MIEE’s share their journey with vice-president of Microsoft Worldwide Education, Anthony Salcito.

“We have the chance to sculpt such a bright future for the next generation.” – Jose Kingsley, UK

Jose Kingsley grew up dreaming of being a teacher. So it’s no surprise that he’s now tirelessly committed not only to ensuring successful outcomes for his young students from diverse cultures, but to helping his fellow teachers discover the value of teaching with technology.

To fulfil those commitments, Kingsley takes full advantage of the resources and opportunities that come with being a MIEE – from participating in the Microsoft E2 Educator Exchange (E2) in Budapest to being an active member of the Microsoft Educator Community (MEC).

“I believe that Microsoft allows us as MIEE’s to work through challenges we face, making it personalised, Kingsley says. “[Attending E2] was almost like being back in school myself. It was on returning to school the week after and drawing up an action plan that I realised just how much I had taken away. I felt like I had enough to write a whole new curriculum, I kid you not.”

That new curriculum had a lot to do with putting the power of learning in the hands of his students – an approach Kingsley brings to life using programs like Skype in the Classroom (Kingsley started the #SkypeMeet series) and Sway.

“Giving children ownership of their learning empowers meaningful learning,” he says. “Using the MEC, as MIEE’s we have the opportunity to create a continuing professional development (CPD) programme that entirely suits the learner’s need. I adopted this attitude within my classroom, giving children the power to make decisions about what they wanted to learn. The motivation and confidence of my children have increased massively and they feel prepared to take risks and learn from mistakes.”

Kingsley’s passion for teaching is palpable, especially when he reflects on his students’ future.

“I teach five- to six-year-old children,” he tells us, “and it is makes me immensely proud to see their excitement about using technology within their everyday learning. They often enjoy telling me that if they presented their learning using Office 365, the outcome would be enhanced. Always in the back of my mind is that question: What impact will this have on their future? This is a question that I cannot answer, but I can prepare them for.”

Read the full interview here.

“OneNote has enabled us to work with different people, different cultures, and just collaborate and share with students what’s going on outside the classroom.” – Lee Whitmarsh, UK

For art educator and new Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (#MIEExpert) Lee Whitmarsh, technology is a means to an important end: helping his students experience art as fully as possible, and in a global context.

I was excited to chat with Whitmarsh at the recent E2event, after I’d looked at his project using OneNote to support creative collaboration. (Here’s a great Office Mix detailing the project, “Creating a photography A-level teaching and learning hub.”)

“OneNote,” he says, “has enabled us to work with different people, different cultures, and just collaborate and share with students what’s going on outside the classroom.”

But how does it work in the realm of art education?

“Through photography – it’s such a visual medium, that students are getting to see visual literacy from different areas and [it changes] how all the students see their environment. They’re able to take [what they’ve seen] on board, and then apply it to what they’re doing in their environment.”

And it’s all happening inside OneNote.

“We first set it up and thought about not what the technology can do, but what it needs to do for the students,” Whitmarsh says.

When it came to setting up the collaboration space, his students were thinking big.

“The students – innocently – said, ‘Why do we have to [only] collaborate with each other? Why can’t we go wider?’” says Whitmarsh. “So we just tried it, and we have a wonderful IT department that found a way to actually get students in Seattle (Lynnwood high school) within our OneNote. We do cross-collaboration links, we do peer review, self-review, and we’re going to set up a Skype session to put names with faces.”

Whitmarsh wasn’t at E2 just to share his project, he was also focused on collecting new ideas, some that he might share on his blog.

“It’s been beyond what I thought it would be,” he told me. “It’s been inspirational. To see all the educators from across the world so passionate, so open to ideas, and talking to you about what they’re doing – sharing and listening. It’s just been revolutionary.”

Here’s to revolution, and to teachers like Lee Whitmarsh who are leading the way.

Enjoy the full interview here.

Computational thinking takes hold – even in the youngest of students – Henry Penfold, UK

Kodu, Minecraft and Skype-a-thons: just three of the many ways that MIEE Henry Penfold uses technology with his primary school students. Penfold is an enthusiastic proponent of these technologies in his classroom, and he’s not shy about sharing why.

“Their growth mindset and their attitude towards it is fantastic,” he says. “With Kodu particularly, they go, ‘right, I’m going to solve this,’ because it’s quite manageable. With the blocks, they can drag and really see it visually.”

Penfold is passionate about getting students involved in computer science, and he has seen some big changes after just a few short years of bringing ICT into his classroom.

“Computing is so important in society,” he says. “Children have their tablets at home, so they are constantly revolved around computers. Digital literacy is so important for giving them the tools for later on when they’re learning, and later on in life. It’s amazing how much they use that technology. I see, particularly, the practical side.”

And with the computer science now mandated as part of the UK curriculum, Penfold has also noticed a difference in how his students speak on a daily basis. “I hear, ‘Right, I’ve just done some de-bugging … I’m going to tinker with this to make it better.’ It’s almost become its own language,” he notes.

As veterans of the recent Skype-a-thon – which was a huge hit in his classroom – trying new technologies is now de rigueur in Penfold’s classroom.

“My children absolutely love being able to talk with other people,” he says. And while their Skype was also in the UK, that didn’t matter. “Just the differences between what Southampton was like and what Wales was like … it’s like a field trip for children that don’t get out as much.”

Next up? “We are hopefully going to Skype someone from Pixar,” says Penfold. “[Skype] makes that thousand miles seem like no distance at all.”

Watch the full interview here.

Turning the tables on technology training in Scotland – Natalie Lochhead, Scotland

It’s not unusual for teachers to train other teachers to leverage – and make the most of – technology. In fact, we know it’s one of the most effective ways to scale knowledge. But Natalie Lochhead has taken the concept to the next level by using the expertise of her young students (primary 4-7) to turn that tradition on its head.

As part of the Digital Leaders programme , a wide network of schools throughout the UK that train teachers and students in ICT, Lochhead’s students teach full-class lessons to fellow students, and support teachers as they work to adopt 1 to 1 approaches in the classroom. All of this is made possible by Glow, Scotland’s national digital learning environment.

“My proudest moment in my career has been watching my digital leaders grow into amazing, confident and skilled young people,” Lochhead tells us. “I know that no matter that they do when they leave school, they will have success.” She goes on to say: “[I love] watching them training their teachers, connecting online with other educators via Glow and generally being awesome. They have made such an impact on our school becoming genuine leaders in technology. I am so proud of every one of them.”

Lochhead’s Digital Leaders are trained each Wednesday at lunch time, and then train other classes and teachers on that particular skill. To date, they’ve taught Windows 365, the basics of using a tablet and Kodu. They’ve participated in Scotland’s Kodu Cup and Hour of Code, and have even been featured in the Chamber of Commerce Business Matters Magazine. To keep track of all their activities, Lochhead maintains a class blog.

This impressive educator’s students aren’t the only ones transferring technology knowledge. As a MIEE, Lochhead shares her approach through the MEC and participates in events like last December’s meeting of UK Showcase Schools and MIEEs. She also publishes helpful tutorials, like this one on creating animations in the classroom.

Natalie Lochhead isn’t the first teacher to recognize students’ capacity to teach, but in building a formal program to support this potential, she’s making a big difference.

Read the full interview here.

Want to be a MIEExpert?

Read more about the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme.

Self-nominations for 2016-2017 are now open!

Before you fill out and submit the self-nomination form, you will need to complete two tasks:

  1. Join the Microsoft Educator community and complete your profile. You will need to submit the URL to your public profile as a part of the nomination process. You can find your URL by going into edit pskypatrofile and looking under “basic information”.
  2. Create a two minute Office Mix, video or Sway that answers the following questions in a manner that creatively expresses what makes you a MIEE. To share the Mix/video/Sway in your nomination, you will need to post it somewhere that allows you to create a URL to share it.
  • Why do you consider yourself to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert?
  • Describe how you have incorporated Microsoft technologies in innovative ways in your classroom. Include artifacts that demonstrate your innovation.
  • If you become a MIE-Expert, how do you hope it will impact your current role?
Once you have completed those two tasks, complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open until July 15, 2016.

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