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College Orchestra Keys Up Classic Composers, Compositions

SPSCC Posts & Announcements - Sat, 06/13/2015 - 12:46

The South Puget Sound College Orchestra is planning a refreshing return to summer, performing classics by Beethovan, Smetana, Strauss and other notable composers. The orchestra returns to the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Mainstage on June 13.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 general admission. The concert is free to all SPSCC students, staff and faculty. Tickets will be available online at, by visiting the Washington Center for the Performing Arts box office, or by calling the Washington Center box office at (360) 753-8586.

The SPSCC Orchestra is a multi-generational orchestra made up of community musicians and credit-bearing students enrolled in the college and is led by Music Professor Charles “Chip” Schooler, a 30-year veteran of teaching music at Timberline and Olympia high schools.

*Posted on May 15, 2015 at 12:44 p.m.

10th Annual Student Art Exhibition Features Selected Student Works

SPSCC Posts & Announcements - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 15:29

The 10th Annual Student Art Exhibition will be held in The Gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts from May 11 through June 12. An opening reception will take place on Friday, May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Gallery.

SPSCC art faculty selects outstanding works from the studio art courses at the college. Featured works include ceramics, drawing, digital photography, sculpture, and more. A continuous slideshow featuring more student work will also be included in the exhibition.

The Gallery at the Minnaert Center is open Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact the Gallery via email at or call (360) 596-5527. Information about the Gallery is also available online at

'America' Takes Center Stage at Choir Concert

SPSCC Posts & Announcements - Wed, 06/10/2015 - 12:36

The sounds of America will ring through the halls of the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts this spring.

The South Puget Sound Community College Concert Choir and the Puget Sound Community Choir present their spring concert, Salute to America II on Wednesday, June 10 on the Minnaert Center Mainstage. The Department of Washington American Legion Band, led by Conductor Kevin Roberston and Manager/Associate Conductor Diana Appler, will be featured in the concert. The choir director is Molly McNamara and the piano accompanist is Jennifer Hermann.

The choir’s selections will include choral arrangements of American folk songs, show tunes, and patriotic classics. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. For more information, call (360) 596-5507.

*Posted on May 15, 2015 at 12:33 p.m.

Real Time scoring of streaming data using Machine Learning models

MSDN Blogs - 3 hours 34 min ago

Many a times while talking to customers on their IoT scenarios we have heard a common theme – “Given millions of sensors continuously emitting data, it is very hard to manage thresholds for alerting in case of issues. Every time the environment changes, we need to go change the thresholds manually. This is a very cumbersome process”. These customers want to be able to use a machine learning model that can automatically detect anomalies over time series data.

One of the companies who were doing social media analytics for sports domain were frustrated using sentiment analytics models. Here are some examples they gave, “this goal is sick”, is a positive sentiment in sports. Most generic sentiment analytics models gives it a negative sentiment. It is essential to be able to use domain and language specific models to give correct results. Similarly we have heard other use cases of using machine learning models over continuously streaming data, whether be it in fraud detection, recommendation or other use cases.

With Azure stream analytics we aspire to make it easier and easier to do analytics over your streaming data. Today we are announcing private preview for customers to be able to call machine learning models through azure stream analytics. Customers can use a very simple SQL like syntax to call the operationalized endpoint of their model. For ex. Customers can write a statement like,

Select Text, sentiment(Text), CreatedAt from input

where Language='English'

Text is the tweet coming in from a social feed like Twitter, and Sentiment is a user defined function to the endpoint for sentiment analytics model. Each Text is sent to the Sentiment model to be scored. Please see the demo of this in the following video starting at 1:05:00.

Similarly customers can write a query like,

SELECT AnomalyDetection(SystemTime, Temperature, 1) as TemperatureAnomalyResult, ID FROM aggTemperature

GROUP BY (TumblingWindow(minute, 5), ID)

Here a customer is sending 5 minute history of temperature events to an anomaly detection model.  Azure Machine Learning enables you to create a web service endpoint for your models - Our goal is to be able to simplify stream processing and machine learning integration to be able to call the operationalized models web service end point through a user defined function in SQL.

Private Preview

We request customers to fill out the following questionnaire to be considered into this preview: We want to learn about your streaming and machine learning scenarios, however initially we will be prioritizing customers wanting to use scenarios Anomaly Detection or sentiment analytics into the preview. This is a very limited private preview, and the product team will be working closely with customers to enable their end to end scenarios. Please be sure to fill in any of your scenarios, as we will be expanding the scope and audience of our preview regularly.

Our expectation from the customers coming into preview is that we will be able to quickly bring their pipeline up, and have regular interactions for feedback. We will also be prioritizing customers who want to move to production as these functionalities get to public preview or general availability.  

For more information or giving feedback on azure stream analytics, please look through these resources -



The importance of staying current

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 15:42

One of my favorite aspects of Azure Service Bus, or most true cloud platforms, is the continuous delivery model that we as a product team use to constantly improve the service. We are capable of updating our service, while running, at any time. In fact we do it all the time and customers don't really see an impact because the way in which we do it. When people make a comment that something is 'like changing a tire driving down the highway' I have a little laugh because we change all the wheels, engine, and the drive-train.

The one part we can't change is the client that our customers use to communicate with our service. This is one reason many people like REST so much - there is no client. That said we still update our .NET client at a very regular basis. In fact twice just this month. The client package is located at

This is where we would like customers to play a part in improving our platform and hence their solutions. Updating to the latest NuGet package is ALWAYS THE BEST PRACTICE for Azure Service Bus. Some of these updates are small - like this week's which removes sensitive information from exceptions involving connection strings (and has zero signature change or impact to your code) - others are more significant - like improvements we've introduced to improve service performance for every service in Service Bus. This means that if you use Relay, Queues & Topics (messaging), Event Hubs, or Notification Hubs you should update your NuGet packages AT LEAST quarterly or better still every time you compile or deploy. That's the power and beauty of NuGet – it makes this easy.

If you're worried about 'things break when I update' you should know that we follow the  Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 guidelines. This means unless we increment the major number nothing will break. For more information how NuGet facilitates this please see

Even if you use the Azure SDK, you should still add Service Bus via a NuGet package and ALWAYS USE THE LATEST package. The Service Bus client is a sophisticated and powerful piece of software and like the service itself we are constantly improving it. If you were to have a support incident one of the first questions asked will be what client version you are using - and the first step towards resolution will be to update your client package.

Please - take the small amount of time to update your NuGet packages right now.

Azure: Securing your Web App (Website)

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 14:57
Sources MVA: Articles: Overview After reading this blog you will be able to create a Web App (Web Site) using Visual Studio 2015 and add WebJobs from the same Visual Studio solution (a solution makes up multiple projects). You will secure the Web App (Web Site) using two forms of security certifications. Work Description: You work for a company that needs to upload images to a web site, they don’t have much money and hope to test out the...(read more)

Beer & BigData at the Seattle Marketing Analytics Meetup

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 13:40
A huge THANK YOU to the eSage Group , Tina Munro and Duane Bedard for organizing the rather unique meetup last week at J&M Café. This was part of the eSage Group's Seattle Marketing Analytics Pub Series . The location was in what's listed as Seattle’s oldest bar: J&M Café in Pioneer Square . Details of the meetup: LINK   Nice turnout to hear @5h15h at tonight's Seattle Marketing #Analytics Meetup! #bigdata — Tina Munro (@TinaMunro) May 20, 2015 Also, Thank...(read more)

Case of Transaction Log backups not getting restored

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 11:13

I got a call from a DBA late night waking me up from deep slumber. They were restoring a critical database from backup and were getting the below error -


Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, Line 2

RESTORE LOG is terminating abnormally.

Msg 3441, Level 17, State 1, Line 2

During startup of warm standby database 'TestDB' (database ID 5), its standby file

 ('Q:\mssql\backup\TestDB\TestDB_20150419043800.trn') was inaccessible to the RESTORE statement.

The operating system error was '32(The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.)'.

Diagnose the operating system error, correct the problem, and retry startup.


If you look carefully at the error message – its saying that the standby file which it is looking for is “TestDB_20150419043800.trn”.

Strange!...This is the same backup file we are trying to restore using the below command -

restore log TestDB from disk = 'Q:\mssql\backup\TestDB\TestDB _20150419043800.trn' with recovery

How can this happen?


I suspected that this could be a problem with the restoration command used to put the database in standby. I asked the DBA, if he had the command which was used to put the database in standby mode. Unfortunately, the answer was a No. How could I confirm.

Ok, no problem. I asked him to send me the Default traces since I knew we track restore statements in the default trace file.

Hoping to find something useful, I opened the default trace and guess what I found –


Audit Backup/Restore Event       

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio - Query             

2 - Restore        

restore log TestDB from disk = 'Q:\mssql\backup\TestDB\TestDB_20150419043800.trn' with standby = 'Q:\mssql\backup\TestDB\TestDB_20150419043800.trn'


Looks like the DBA had restored the previous transaction log file with standby but by mistake specified the same transaction log backup file in the standby clause. It did not give an error but effectively what happened was that the .trn file was having the standby information.

Thinking that there was some corruption with the transaction log backup file, he had gone ahead and replaced the log backup file (which now had the standby information) with the original transaction log backup file. By doing so, we lost the standby information and we could not restore further backups nor recover the database since it was looking for the standby file which was no longer present.

In this case, the only option to get out of this situation was to restore the database from Full backup and apply the log backups.


Moral of the story – Database restore sequences are very sensitive, be very careful.



Are You an Integration Specialist?

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 10:40

Some people specialize in a narrow domain.  They are called specialists because they focus on a specific area of expertise, and they build skills in that narrow area.

Rather than focus on breadth, they go for depth.

Others focus on the bigger picture or connecting the dots.  Rather than focus on depth, they go for breadth.

Or do they?

It actually takes a lot of knowledge and depth to be effective at integration and “connecting the dots” in a meaningful way.  It’s like being a skilled entrepreneur or a skilled business developer.   Not just anybody who wants to generalize can be effective.  

True integration specialists are great pattern matchers and have deep skills in putting things together to make a better whole.

I was reading the book Business Development: A Market-Oriented Perspective where Hans Eibe Sørensen introduces the concept of an Integrating Generalist and how they make the world go round.

I wrote a post about it on Sources of Insight:

The Integrating Generalist and the Art of Connecting the Dots

Given the description, I’m not sure which is better, the Integration Specialist or the Integrating Generalist.  The value of the Integrating Generalist is that it breathes new life into people that want to generalize so that they can put the bigger puzzle together.  Rather than de-value generalists, this label puts a very special value on people that are able to fit things together.

In fact, the author claims that it’s Integrating Generalists that make the world go round.

Otherwise, there would be a lot of great pieces and parts, but nothing to bring them together into a cohesive whole.

Maybe that’s a good metaphor for the Integrating Generalist.  While you certainly need all the parts of the car, you also need somebody to make sure that all the parts come together.

In my experience, Integration Generalists are able to help shape the vision, put the functions that matter in place, and make things happen.

I would say the most effective Program Managers I know do exactly that.

They are the Oil and the Glue for the team because they are able to glue everything together, and, at the same time, remove friction in the system and help people bring out their best, towards a cohesive whole.

It’s synergy in action, in more ways than one.

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Speaking at ITDev/Connections

MSDN Blogs - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 08:05
ITDev/Connections, The Technology Conference. Happening September 14-17 at the Aria in Las Vegas. Come learn about the deep dark secrets of software updates in a full day workshop that I will be presenting. Want to understand SQL replication in ConfigMgr? I will discuss that too in a breakout session. more)

Crea tu juego de Torres de Defensa con Construct 2, pt IV

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 20:52

Tal vez se preguntarán ¿qué pasó con las 3 primeras partes de esta serie?

La respuesta es muy sencilla: Ya antes había creado un post que incluía los 3 primeros videos en español de creación de un juego de Torres de Defensa con Construct 2!!!

En serio, revisen ese post que incluye las bases de este tipo de juegos con Construct 2 y estarán listos para ver el siguiente video:


No olviden que pueden ver todas my sesiones en mi Canal en Twitch y todos los videos, en Inglés y en Español, son subidos a mi Canal en YouTube.

En la versión en inglés ya voy por el decimo quinto video, así que tengo un buen camino que recorrer para ponerme al día :) También he empezado a subir los archivos que he creado al Scirra Arcade, donde los pueden probar y descargar lo que ven el video. La versión que seguramente más se ajusta a lo que hemos visto es esta: 


Espero les agrade el video y recuerden que todos los comentarios en los videos son bienvenidos.




Crea tu juego de Torres de Defensa con Construct 2, pt IV

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 20:52

Tal vez se preguntarán ¿qué pasó con las 3 primeras partes de esta serie?

La respuesta es muy sencilla: Ya antes había creado un post que incluía los 3 primeros videos en español de creación de un juego de Torres de Defensa con Construct 2!!!

En serio, revisen ese post que incluye las bases de este tipo de juegos con Construct 2 y estarán listos para ver el siguiente video:


No olviden que pueden ver todas my sesiones en mi Canal en Twitch y todos los videos, en Inglés y en Español, son subidos a mi Canal en YouTube.

En la versión en inglés ya voy por el decimo quinto video, así que tengo un buen camino que recorrer para ponerme al día :) También he empezado a subir los archivos que he creado al Scirra Arcade, donde los pueden probar y descargar lo que ven el video. La versión que seguramente más se ajusta a lo que hemos visto es esta: 


Espero les agrade el video y recuerden que todos los comentarios en los videos son bienvenidos.




Experiencing latency for detiled telemetry data types - 5/23 - Investigating

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 18:58
Initial Update: Saturday, 5/23/2015 01:54 UTC

We are aware of issues within Application Insights and are actively investigating. Some customers may experience latency with all of the detailed data types  beyond SLA. Additionally some data queries may fail as well.

• Work Around: none
• Next Update: Before 5/23 06:00 UTC
We are working hard to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience.

-Application Insights Service Delivery Team

LCS will be attempting uninterrupted deployment on 5/30

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 18:23

We will be attempting uninterrupted deployment of LCS May release on 5/30. During this time all portals and services will be up and running but certain jobs such as customization analysis or uploading a BPM library will take a litter longer than usual to complete. We are fully equipped and ready for this exercise and do not expect you to experience any downtime or outages. Please bear with us in case this process induces any unplanned outages. 

Thank you for your understanding while we make LCS better for you. 

How to create an HTML Application to configure your IIS SMTP Username and Password settings

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 16:11

Like many IIS administrators, I usually install the local SMTP service on my IIS servers when I am setting up a new server from scratch. When I install the SMTP service, I configure it so that it only listens on the IP address of, so it can only send emails which originate on the server itself. What's more, I configure the SMTP service to relay all emails to a downstream SMTP service which can send emails out to the Internet. By configuring these options, I can write my ASP.NET, PHP, and Classic ASP applications so that they use the local SMTP service for all email-related functionality, which acts as a sort of message server for my applications. This system works great, and I have used this particular setup since the days of IIS 4.0. (Which was released in late 1997, as you may recall.)

That being said, in the interests of security, sometime ago I started using a downstream SMTP service which requires user credentials, (that way no one could use the downstream server anonymously). As an additional security step, I use an account which requires that the credentials are changed every 30 days or so. This is always a good security practice for a myriad of obvious reasons, but this meant that I needed to update the SMTP username/password settings in my IIS configuration settings every 30 days.

With that in mind, many years ago I wrote a simple VBScript application which I would use to update those credentials. At first I would simply enter the credentials directly into the script, then I would run it to update IIS, and then I would strip the credentials from the script. Needless to say, this was pretty low-tech - even considering that this was 17 or 18 years ago. I eventually updated the script so that it would use VBScript Input Boxes to prompt me for the credentials, so I no longer needed to store the credentials in the script itself. (Sometime after that I rewrote the script so that it would read the existing values from the IIS settings and pre-populate the input boxes.)

Jumping ahead a couple of years, I decided to rewrite the script as an HTML Application, which offered me considerably more options from a user interface perspective. That script has been serving me faithfully for some time now, so I thought that it would make a good blog subject.

Using the HTML Application

Using the application is pretty straight-forward; when you double click the HTA file, it will present you with the following user interface:

The script will read any existing credentials from your IIS settings and use those to pre-populate the interface. If no existing credentials are found, it will pre-populate the interface with the username of the currently-logged-on user.

Clicking Update will update your IIS settings, clicking Reset will reset the values back to the last saved version, and clicking Close will obviously close the application, but only after it has checked if you have any unsaved changes.

Creating the HTML Application

To create this HTML Application, save the following HTMLA code as "Reset SMTP Password.hta" to your computer, and then double-click its icon to run the application.

<html> <head> <title>Reset SMTP Password</title> <HTA:APPLICATION APPLICATIONNAME="Reset SMTP Password" ID="ResetSmtpPassword" VERSION="1.0" BORDER="dialog" BORDERSTYLE="static" INNERBORDER="no" CAPTION="yes" SYSMENU="no" MAXIMIZEBUTTON="no" MINIMIZEBUTTON="no" SCROLL="no" SCROLLFLAT="yes" SINGLEINSTANCE="yes" CONTEXTMENU="no" SELECTION="no"/> <style> <!-- body,input
color: #000;
background-color: #fff;
} table,td,th
} --> </style> </head> <script language="VBScript"> Option Explicit ' Define the global variables. Dim objWMIService, objIIsSmtpServer Dim strRouteUserName, strRoutePassword Dim blnCancelBubble, blnPendingUpdates ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Initialization method for the application. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub Window_OnLoad ' Define the local variables. Dim objNetwork ' Set up the UI dimensions. Const intDialogWidth = 280 Const intDialogHeight = 220 ' Specify the window position and size. Self.resizeTo intDialogWidth,intDialogHeight Self.moveTo (Screen.AvailWidth - intDialogWidth) / 2, _ (Screen.AvailHeight - intDialogHeight) / 2 ' Enable events. blnCancelBubble = False blnPendingUpdates = False ' Set up some base objects for the local computer and default SMTP instance. ' Note that these settings can be customized for a different computer or SMTP instance. Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\.\root\cimv2") Set objIIsSmtpServer = GetObject("IIS://localhost/SmtpSvc/1") ' Retrieve the current username/password from the SMTP settings. strRouteUserName = objIIsSmtpServer.RouteUserName strRoutePassword = objIIsSmtpServer.RoutePassword ' Verify that a username was retrieved; otherwise, use the logged-on user. If Len(strRouteUserName)=0 Then Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network") strRouteUserName = IIf(Len(objNetwork.UserDomain)>0, _ objNetwork.UserDomain & "\","") & objNetwork.UserName Set objNetwork = Nothing blnPendingUpdates = True End If ' Store the username/password values in the UI. txtUsername.value = strRouteUserName txtPassword.value = strRoutePassword End Sub ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Implement the missing IIf() function. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Function IIf(tx,ty,tz) If (tx) Then IIf = ty Else IIf = tz End Function ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Click handler for the Close button. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub btnClose_OnClick() ' Test if we need to cancel bubbling of events. If blnCancelBubble = False Then ' Check if there are pending updates. If blnPendingUpdates = False Then ' If not, then close the application. Window.close ' Prompt the user to exit. ElseIf MsgBox("You have not saved your changes." & vbCrLf & _ "Are you sure you wish to exit?", _ vbYesNo+vbDefaultButton2+vbQuestion+vbSystemModal, _ ResetSmtpPassword.applicationName)=vbYes Then ' Enable event bubbling. blnCancelBubble = True ' Close the application. Window.close End If End If ' Specify whether to bubble events. blnCancelBubble = IIf(blnCancelBubble=True,False,True) End Sub ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Change handler for text boxes. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub Textbox_OnChange() ' Flag the application as having updates pending. blnPendingUpdates = True End Sub ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Focus handler for text boxes. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub Textbox_OnFocus(objTextbox) ' Select the text in the textbox. objTextbox.Select End Sub ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Click handler for the Reset button. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub btnReset_OnClick() ' Reset the username/password values in the UI. txtUsername.value = strRouteUserName txtPassword.value = strRoutePassword blnPendingUpdates = False End Sub ' ---------------------------------------- ' ' Click handler for the Update button. ' ' ---------------------------------------- Sub btnUpdate_OnClick() ' Catch bubbled events. If blnCancelBubble = True Then blnCancelBubble = False Exit Sub End If ' Verify valid data. If Len(txtUsername.value)=0 Or Len(txtPassword.value)=0 Then ' Inform the user that they made a mistake. MsgBox "An invalid username or password was entered.", _ vbCritical + vbOKOnly, ResetSmtpPassword.applicationName ' Cancel event bubbling. blnCancelBubble = True Else ' Store the username/password values for the SMTP server. objIIsSmtpServer.RouteUserName = txtUsername.value objIIsSmtpServer.RoutePassword = txtPassword.value objIIsSmtpServer.SetInfo ' Save the username/password values. strRouteUserName = txtUsername.value strRoutePassword = txtPassword.value ' Flag the application as having no updates pending. blnPendingUpdates = False ' Cancel event bubbling. blnCancelBubble = True End If End Sub </script> <body bgcolor="white" id="HtmlBody"> <div id="FormControls"> <table> <tr><td>Please enter your SMTP credentials:</td></tr> <tr> <td align="left"> <input type="text" style="width:250px;height:22px" name="txtUsername" id="txtUsername" onchange="Textbox_OnChange()" onfocus="Textbox_OnFocus(txtUsername)" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left"> <input type="password" style="width:250px;height:22px" name="txtPassword" id="txtPassword" onchange="Textbox_OnChange()" onfocus="Textbox_OnFocus(txtPassword)" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="right"> <input type="button" style="width:125px;height:22px" name="btnUpdate" id="btnUpdate" value="Update" onclick="btnUpdate_OnClick()" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="right"> <input type="button" style="width:125px;height:22px" name="btnReset" id="btnReset" value="Reset" onclick="btnReset_OnClick" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="right"> <input type="button" style="width:125px;height:22px" name="btnClose" id="btnClose" value="Close" onclick="btnClose_OnClick()" /> </td> </tr> </table> </div> </body> </html>

That's all that there is to it, although you might want to restart your SMTP service after you have made these changes.

Additional Notes

On a related topic, I get asked from time to time why I like to use HTML Applications (HTMLA) for some of my scripting examples, and the answer is quite simple: it is very easy to create powerful scripts in a very short amount of time which have sophisticated user interfaces and no compilation requirements.

I use Adersoft's HtaEdit as my IDE for HTMLA, which allows me to do normal development tasks like configuring project options, setting breakpoints, and stepping through my code.

Note: Click the image above to open it full-size in a separate window.

That being said, I have been experimenting with creating user interfaces in PowerShell, and it looks like it has some real promise for creating great UIs, too. But for now I only use PowerShell to create command line scripts, I use HTMLA to create cool UIs for administrative scripts, and I use C# to create "real" applications.

Azure Web Apps (Web Sites) and WebJobs using the Azure Preview Portal

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 15:14
In todays blog, you will be learn  now to use the Azure Preview Portal to create a simple and to upload a webjob to the web app (web site).  The webjob will of the powershell type and is fully functional, I didn’t add the code since it is only three lines that you can cut and paste if you want to.  If you don’t have access to Azure right now, I added enough screens that you could simulate the workflow if you are studying for the 70-532 exam.   The screens shown are the latest...(read more)

Project and Project Server Spring Round-up

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 14:39

Busy times, so have not produced a round-up blog for a couple of months – so here goes with a review of the spring in Project Land!

I attended the MPUG Seattle chapter meeting last evening in Bellevue – Reporting Made Easy – good to catch up with Tad and also meet Nate and Dave and Bill Dow from Microsoft who organized the event.  Bill asked if I’d present at a future MPUG event – I’d welcome topics that folks might like to hear about.

Yesterday posted about the Office 2016 Preview – and updated today with some language stuff.

Ignite happened – useful links for Project sessions here - Recorded Session on Project from Ignite 2015

March April and May Updates went out – best place to catch all of these is the Project Support blog – – then look in the top right for each product to see all update information since release.  We also did a webcast for the March updates - Project Webcast on Tuesday 10th March 2015

I posted about some OData errors you might see – fixed in a couple of weeks or so - Project Server 2013- OData gives a Data Model error in Excel with large datasets

We made some changes in Project Online to help with performance - Project Online- Performance guidance and updating custom fields

I explained some jumbling of icons you might see at times - Project Online- What’s with the ribbon icons getting jumbled-

and I described an issue with saving your Enterprise Global – but that issue should have gone away.  The benefit of Project Online – I know what version you are all on, so I don’t have to assume that some of you might be seeing old bugs because you haven’t patched!

Back in March I posted about some changes to the publish features in SharePoint which impacted saving project sites as templates -

But that’s enough about me – what have the rest of project bloggers been up to?

  • I finally updated the link to Treb’s new blog at his Tumble Road site and he has new posts on Chaos Management and Resource Management as well as links to ‘Trebinars’ – some you’ve missed and some coming up -
  • Sam Huffman posted on Duration Demystified - as well as a link to the Preview
  • Prasanna has been busy with posts on the new resource engagements feature coming to Project Online and Project Server 2016, as well as posts on vacation tracking, milestone payments, an automated check-in of projects using Nintext and a great Curah feature on performance references for Project -
  • PJ posted on Enterprise Calendar use cases, how o delete old Status Reports and also a link to the SharePoint 2016 announcements -
  • Peter too has been very busy – articles on his experiences switching to an iPhone to use Office as well as one of Sensei’s applications, a great post on getting usage analytics from your Office 365 tenant, a link to the PowerBI preview as well as recorded training on building your first reports in Project Online.  Most recently a link to a couple of the Ignite sessions -
  • Paul’s recent postings gave us an Ignite day by day account – very pleased to see him at my session!  Annoyed by Lync (Skype for Business) status in Project?  Paul covers how to disable it.  More great scripting examples, tis time covering access to SharePoint lists from PDPs.  A good explanation of date differences one might see with manually scheduled tasks depending where you look – and his announcement of his MVP status renewal for the 3rd year -
  • Oleksiy posted about the PowerBI preview too, along with some great examples, and another post on using a 3rd party app for getting time data into a project plan (not in a Project Server scenario) -
  • Nenad blogged about getting the critical path into the timeline, updating to status date, duration and the effect on different working hours, task splitting, status dates, multiple critical paths, units and defaults, manually scheduled summary tasks – and finally – assigning resources to summary tasks!  Great work Nenad
  • Michael’s posts for the spring were articles on a PowerShell summit in Charlotte and limitations of the timesheet comments field
  • Khurram is actively posting again – with some Ignite overviews and a great post about removing gaps between web parts -
  • Guillaume posted a reminder about the reporting database schema, put together a great reference article including my CU pages as well as other useful links for each version, some active directory sync tips, an explanation of why your project site timeline may be updating (or even showing!), some limitations of delegation and finally how to bulk update EPTs – busy indeed! -
  • Ben posted about the top 5 reasons to go for Project Online – not sure if San Servolo, Tanqueray & Red Wine were 3 of the reasons – or just one. Earned value and dependencies were the other spring topics for Ben -
  • Andrew posted about killing the default PWA (No projects were harmed…) , Strategic Planning, IoT in Oil and Gas, and his role as chief heckler at a very fun reporting session at Ignite -
  • Alexander blogged about a macro for setting baselines across Project Server, large scale EPM deployments and a virtual lab for replication Project Online reporting in SQL Server -
  • Alex’s post included details of the new Workflow Health page, the Appies (you’ll have to look), The Project Online roadmap, a round-up of Ignite and a link to the 2016 preview -
  • Tim covered crating master projects and subprojects, as well as graphical indicators -
  • Erik updated his ‘resources’ page, drilled into Visual Reports, discussed Power BI and Project Online – a hot topic this spring, explained custom bar styles, came up with a great idea to use OneDrive to share resource he comes across and covered Ignite from afar -

Plenty of reading there for everyone – and a lesson for me that I should do this every month and not have to do a big catch up!

Save the day with a Visual Basic, C#, or F# T-Shirt!

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 14:25

F# enthusiasts might be interested in this post on the .NET blog by program manager Anthony D. Green.

Mads and Dustin showed off these stylish little numbers at BUILD and ever since we've been getting pinged by community members wanting to know where they can get their very own so they too can show their passion for their favorite programming language(s).


These were originally team t-shirts from years ago and every time one of us wears one of them out at a talk or a conference without fail you let us know how much you'd love to get your hands on one. Finally Visual Basic MVP Jim Wooley shot me a tweet saying "Just put it on already!". Great idea, Jim! We actually lost the pattern but I've come up with a couple of different designs based on the original I want to share with you and hear what you think.

To continue reading (and to see the F# shirts), please see the full post on the .NET blog.

The Visual F# team is now publishing to the unified .NET Blog, along with Roslyn, ASP.NET, the core .NET Framework team, and others.  This will give Visual F# content much more exposure, with posts shown alongside those of other key .NET technologies.

Please update your bookmarks and RSS readers.  We will continue to cross-post here for a few months during the transition.

Free Development Tool: “Visual Studio Code” runs on OSX, Linux, Windows OS

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:48
Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their core code-edit-debug cycle. Visual Studio Code is the first code editor, and first cross-platform development tool - supporting OSX, Linux, and Windows - in the Visual Studio family. Some of the key features that I like were: - Code editing redefined and optimized for building and debugging modern web and...(read more)

Worldwide Partner Conference – Why I love to spend 4 days with you!

MSDN Blogs - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:09


This year’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) will take place in Orlando, Florida between July 12 -16. This is by far the most favourite part of my role at Microsoft, as I get to host the Microsoft Australian Partners who travel over to the USA. WPC is my chance to ensure you all know how special you are to the Microsoft Team.

WPC rallies over 14,000 of Microsoft Business Partners from 140 countries across the globe, all of which sell customised Microsoft products across many different industries and business segments. It is 4 days and nights of networking and conferencing, which can involve many sessions, meetings and a massive amount of new connections, I try and ensure this all runs like clock-work for the 180+ Australian’s attending. Everything is planned breakfasts, lunches and coffee breaks are all utilised to ensure you get the most out of your 4 days.

There are many things I love about WPC, from sitting in the keynote presentations with Australian Partners to learn about the roadmap and latest product innovations to building connections with new partners and finally reconnecting with partners who I have not seen in a while.

This year I am most looking forward to hearing about Microsoft’s vision for the future from both Satya Nadella and Kevin Turner as well as helping partners discover new business opportunities to increase their profitability.

I am always pleasantly surprised by the value I personally receive from attending WPC it gives me a clear view of your business and how our direction fits in with your business direction and your needs.  I love it when you learn about the benefits of working with Microsoft and most of all I love it when partners connect with other partners to make new business opportunities.

Finally let’s not forget about the hundreds of business and product sessions you get to choose from each day, the many evening networking events that are held throughout the city, the hundreds of Partner exhibits and Microsoft exhibits on the Expo floor, there is something for everyone to take part in and learn from.

This year’s celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® is going to be extra special. In addition to great food, live entertainment, exciting rides, and fireworks, you’ll be able to take advantage of photo opportunities with a host of your favourite Disney characters. We’ll have the park to ourselves for the whole evening, so come ready to enjoy a fun-filled night of celebrating our partnership!

I hope to see you in Orlando.




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