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New THROW statement in SQL Server 2012 (vs RAISERROR)

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 21:51

The new THROW keyword introduced in SQL server 2012 is an improvement over the existing RAISERROR() statement. Yes, it’s single ‘E’ in RAISERROR.

Both RAISERROR & THROW can be used in T-SQL code/script to raise and throw error within a TRY-CATCH block. Check my previous post for TRY-CATCH block, [link].

>> With RAISERROR developers had to use different ERROR_xxxx() system functions to get the error details to pass through the RAISERROR() statement, like:
- ERROR_NUMBER()
- ERROR_MESSAGE()
- ERROR_SEVERITY()
- ERROR_STATE()

let’s see an example:

-- Using RAISERROR()
DECLARE
@ERR_MSG AS NVARCHAR(4000)
,@ERR_SEV AS SMALLINT
,@ERR_STA AS SMALLINT

BEGIN TRY
SELECT 1/0 as DivideByZero
END TRY
BEGIN CATCH
SELECT @ERR_MSG = ERROR_MESSAGE(),
@ERR_SEV =ERROR_SEVERITY(),
@ERR_STA = ERROR_STATE()
SET @ERR_MSG= 'Error occurred while retrieving the data from database: ' + @ERR_MSG

RAISERROR (@ERR_MSG, @ERR_SEV, @ERR_STA) WITH NOWAIT
END CATCH
GO

Output:
(0 row(s) affected)
Msg 50000, Level 16, State 1, Line 15
Error occurred while retrieving the data from database: Divide by zero error encountered.

The RAISERROR() can take first argument as message_id also instead of the message. But if you want to pass the message_id then it has to be in sys.messages

>> With THROW the benefit is: it is not mandatory to pass any parameter to raise an exception.
Just using the THROW; statement will get the error details and raise it, as shown below:

-- Using THROW - 1
BEGIN TRY
SELECT 1/0 as DivideByZero
END TRY
BEGIN CATCH
THROW;
END CATCH
GO

Output:
(0 row(s) affected)
Msg 8134, Level 16, State 1, Line 2
Divide by zero error encountered.

As you see in the Output above, the error message thrown is the default one. But you can also add your customized message, we will see below.
Also passing the message_id won’t require it to be stored in sys.messages, let’s check this:

-- Using THROW - 2
DECLARE
@ERR_MSG AS NVARCHAR(4000)
,@ERR_STA AS SMALLINT

BEGIN TRY
SELECT 1/0 as DivideByZero
END TRY
BEGIN CATCH
SELECT @ERR_MSG = ERROR_MESSAGE(),
@ERR_STA = ERROR_STATE()

SET @ERR_MSG= 'Error occurred while retrieving the data from database: ' + @ERR_MSG;

THROW 50001, @ERR_MSG, @ERR_STA;
END CATCH
GO

Output:
(0 row(s) affected)
Msg 50001, Level 16, State 1, Line 14
Error occurred while retrieving the data from database: Divide by zero error encountered.

As per MSBOL following are the difference between RAISERROR & THROW:

RAISERROR statement

THROW statement

If a msg_id is passed to RAISERROR, the ID must be defined in sys.messages.

The error_number parameter does not have to be defined in sys.messages.

The msg_str parameter can contain printf formatting styles.

The message parameter does not accept printf style formatting.

The severity parameter specifies the severity of the exception.

There is no severity parameter. The exception severity is always set to 16.

NOTE: As per MS BOL for exception handling in new development work THROW must be used instead of RAISERROR.


Source: from my personal blog SQLwithManoj: http://sqlwithmanoj.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/new-throw-statement-in-sql-server-2012-vs-raiserror/

Office 365 - Ignite Technical Training in Sydney–April 2014

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:07

Office 365 Education is based on exactly the same platform as the full-blown enterprise-grade Office 365 system used by companies globally. One of the benefits of this is that you get the same Service Level Agreements for the cloud service that one of Australia’s ASX50 companies would get. And another significant benefit is that as a user, you get access to the same training programmes we provide for these big companies – like the Ignite training…

On 29 April, we’re running free*, three day technical training workshops in Sydney for all of the different components of Office 365, including the core Office 365 platform, Exchange, SharePoint, Visio, Project, as well as Yammer. And there is also a specific stream for developers who want to develop for the Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 App model.

Ignite Training in Sydney – who can attend

The Ignite training in Sydney is part of the global Ignite training programme. It’s open to Microsoft customers and partners, and is delivered at a deep-dive technical level by our key product experts who are coming over from the US.

For general IT professionals, the runs for a single day, on Tuesday 29 April, and finishes with a networking reception at the Hilton on Tuesday evening.

For developers, architects and IT implementation teams, there’s a much deeper agenda running Tuesday-Thursday, so you're going to need to be pretty technical to get the most out of the event. If you’re working in the IT team or app development team within an education institution or Microsoft Partner in Australia, then this is the event for you.

Ignite Training in Sydney – agenda

The Ignite training in Sydney runs from Tuesday 29 April, 9AM to Thursday 1 May, 5PM. There are a mix of one-day workshops, or three-day workshops (click on any link below for the detailed agenda for each session)

One day workshops

It kicks off on Tuesday morning with a keynote for everybody together, and then breaks after lunch into dedicated sessions:

  • Office 365 – an overview of Office 365 capabilities
  • Visio – an introduction session to Visio that demonstrates the scenarios it enables
  • Yammer – an overview of Yammer and how to drive and manage enterprise social network use
Three day workshops

These all start with the Tuesday morning keynote, and then from Tuesday afternoon through until the end of Thursday, there’s a series of different deep-dive streams for you to choose from, which include both presentations and hands-on labs:

  • Developer – including a session on developing mobile apps for SharePoint
    This session will be particularly useful for education customers who want to use Office 365 and SharePoint as a tool for automating some of the paperwork processes that currently slow down the
  • Exchange – including architecture, high availability, eDiscovery, security and hybrid models
  • Project – including key scenarios with Project Online, and the business intelligence reporting available
  • SharePoint – including architecture, search, customisation and upgrading to SharePoint 2013
  • Lync – including Lync and Skype integration, and deep dives on voice, mobility and security.

There’s full details of each of the streams on the Ignite Summit website

How to register for Ignite Training in Sydney

If you're from a customer organisation, then register here

If you're from a Microsoft Partner organisation, then register here

* Yes, the training is free to attend, but we’re taking the exceptional step of charging $600 for people who book a place and don’t turn up (waived if you let us know by 19th April). If you’ve ever turned up late at an event, and seen tens/hundreds of unclaimed delegate badges, you’ll know why…

AX Content: From content to conversation

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 15:12

In keeping with the tradition of looking back at the year that’s passing, this seems like a good time to note some changes that have started appearing in AX documentation, and offering a few thoughts that put those changes into perspective.

We’re starting to change the way we write procedural content so that instead of describing a set of steps that walk you through the completion of a single task, we’re showing how one task is often part of a larger business process as shown in this example. We believe that approach will make it clearer how AX can contribute to your overall business success.

We’ve also begun using diagrams that show where a procedure fits into a larger process that might comprise a number of procedures. However, the effort to identify instances where we can convey information more effectively by using graphics in addition to, or instead of, straight text is still in its infancy. So look for us to be using more graphics and diagrams in the future. Until those examples become more widely available, you can see examples of existing graphics on this Pinterest page.

We’ve also tried a new approach to writing conceptual information, using a question-and-answer format that we think will help provide some context to the kind of information that’s useful – and sometimes critical – to know before you start working through a process. You can see an example here. We believe the new approach places a greater emphasis on relationships of one process to another, and the relationship between AX and the successful completion of your organization’s business processes.

In our new task topics, we’re working to emphasize the relationship of one procedure to a larger process. And the Q&A format for conceptual information is intended to help users understand the broader implications of their actions in AX, beyond the steps necessary to complete a procedure. Why does a process have to be done at a specific time? What are the implications of one selection over another in a parameter form? What configuration settings will be difficult to change a month from now and why?

While that information was often included in our existing content, the changes we’re making are intended to convey that information with less text, and greater clarity, than we’ve achieved before. But saying that is our goal doesn’t mean we’ve realized it yet. To that end, we’re looking for your reactions to our work.

You can give us feedback by using the Comments link in any topic in the Help that’s installed with AX. You can also rate topics and enter comments on the content that’s posted to TechNet and MSDN – or on this blog post – and you can send us email with any thoughts you’d care to share using the AX documentation comments mailbox (adocs@microsoft.com). A recent blog post also outlined ways that you can send feedback to us.

We wish you a successful year in 2014 and we look forward to hearing more, from more of you, in the coming year and the years beyond. Happy New Year everyone!

Office 365 sales training for partners

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:56

What's your diary like for April? How about investing one of your spare days in training for you and/or colleagues on Office 365, with a focus on strengthening your customer conversations about the transformation from traditional desktop software to cloud-delivered software services?

On 28th April 2014, we’re hosting a Drumbeat Sales Readiness day for our partners’ sales & pre-sales teams at the Sydney Hilton. Selling Office 365 requires a new way of selling, so in addition to sharing Microsoft best practices, programs, and selling tools, we will also present insights into the cloud services market and the opportunity for partners who invest in growing an Office 365 practice. 

There continues to be a fast adoption rate of Office 365 Education, with schools, TAFEs and universities opting to use Office 365 as the platform for many new services to their staff and students. The result is that opportunities are growing for Microsoft Education partners to deliver services to implement Office 365, and to add business value after implementation through integration, process simplification, and collaboration services.

Sydney Drumbeat Agenda

It’s a free, full day event, that includes many different scenarios for Office 365, and will guide partners through the pre-sales conversations surrounding Office 365, that will help you to deliver the Microsoft solution with your implementation and ongoing services to help customers get the best value from their Office 365 deployment:

  • Introducing the new Office and How to Demo
    The new Office provides a next-generation productivity experience for our customers.  Learn how to demonstrate the exciting features and benefits of the new Office with your customers. 
  • The Partner Opportunity
    The new Office represents a once-in-a-generation shift in technology and a new era of partner opportunity.  Microsoft Is front-running the industry transformation to the cloud and Office 365 is leading the charge.  Learn more about our investments in the new Office and how we have created new partner opportunities across the customer lifecycle.
  • The Benefits of Becoming an Office 365 Cloud Deployment Partner
    Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing business ever to the tune of $1 billion and counting.  And 3 out of 4 enterprise customers work with a partner to deploy their Office 365 service.   
  • Yammer, A New Opportunity for Partners
    IDC predicts the Enterprise Social Software market to reach $4.5B in revenue by 2016; most companies are expected to define their strategy within the next 12-18 months which provides Microsoft and its partners a great opportunity.  Learn more about the Yammer partner opportunity, how to sell the value of Enterprise Social to the business and how Yammer is transforming the way that companies work together.
  • Selling Office 365 - Why Use the Customer Decision Framework (CDF)
    The proliferation of devices, broadening workplace demographics and a transformative shift to the cloud are all trends impacting the way we work.  Office 365 clearly addresses all of these trends and is backed by a sales process that has helped grow a $1B business.  Learn how to sell to customers using the Customer Decision Framework, a sales process that enables partners to make the shift from traditional software selling to successfully sell Office 365 in the cloud. 
  • Selling Office 365 - Qualify the Opportunity with Cloud Principles
    Microsoft's Office 365 is built on a set of cloud principles that form how we position Office 365 to customers.  Become familiar with these principles and learn how to showcase the value of Office 365 cloud services across a breadth of real customer scenarios.  
  • Selling Office 365 - Sell with the Customer Immersion Experience (CIE)
    The Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) is a hands-on introduction to Windows 8 and the new Office.  For partners, it is an effective sales tool that provides customers with an opportunity to experience these powerful new productivity solutions for themselves.  Learn how the CIE simplifies customer conversations and provides business decision-makers with an opportunity to experience the full Office stack.
  • Selling Office 365 - Office 365 FastTrack
    Office 365 FastTrack is Microsoft’s new 3-step pilot and deployment process designed so customers experience service value early in the cycle, with a smooth path from pilot to full deployment within hours and no 'throw away' effort.
  • Selling Office 365 - Licensing Overview
    Microsoft's Office and Office 365 offerings have evolved greatly over time culminating in today's flexible licensing strategy built around Office 365.  Gain an understanding of the Enterprise offerings within the new Office, and how we license against top customer scenarios.
  • Office 365 Support and Communications
    Microsoft is strengthening its partner support and communications strategy to better enable our partners to sell, service and support customers.  Learn about new ways to enhance your service offerings and stay connected with the latest developments on Office 365.

Microsoft partners register here for Drumbeat Training in Sydney on 28 April 2014

The Drumbeat training is for Microsoft Partners only. But we are also be running a customer & partner technical readiness event for IT Pros looking to deploy Office 365. This Ignite Technical Summit event runs from April 29-May 1 at the same venue and details for this are here.

L’histoire du jeu vidéo à travers mes 30 ans d’expérience de joueur

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:38

Aujourd’hui, les jeux vidéo représentent sans aucun doute un bien culturel se positionnant sans problème au même rang que le livre ou le cinéma. Je me souviens pourtant que « petit », c’était loin d’être gagné. A vrai dire, il existe toujours aujourd’hui beaucoup de résistants s’obstinant à refuser d’admettre que le jeu vidéo est une forme d’art. Pourtant, il rapporte aujourd’hui plus que l’industrie du cinéma et propose parfois des expériences hors du commun voire onirique !

Concernant le chiffre d’affaire, cela est confirmé sur le site du SNJV : “le Jeu vidéo est la première industrie culturelle en France et dans le monde par son chiffre d’affaires

Par ailleurs, au même titre que vous avez sans doute des préférences cinématographiques ou littéraires, vous avez également des préférences sur le style de jeu vidéo auxquels vous vous adonnez. Cela constitue votre profil vidéo-ludique. Ceux qui me connaissent bien d’ailleurs savent à quel point ma culture vidéo-ludique est bien supérieure à ma culture littéraire.

En tant que « vieux » joueurs, je suis souvent nostalgique de la belle époque où l’on découvrait régulièrement de nouveaux types de gameplay et des bonds technologiques révolutionnaires. Or, j’ai l’impression que l’on tourne un peu en boucle depuis quelques années. Les fameuses “Next Gen” sont moins marquantes que ce que j’ai connu. Certes les graphismes sont un peu plus beaux mais je n’ai pas l’impression de vivre les mêmes engouements que nous avons connus par le passé.

Est-ce parce que je suis devenu un vieux con ? Peut-être. Malgré tout, j’ai envie de partager avec vous les jeux qui m’ont le plus marqué pour raconter l’histoire des jeux vidéo à travers le prisme de ma propre expérience. Je vais tâcher de choisir les jeux qui m’ont le plus marqué. Vous allez voir que nous en avons connu de grandes ruptures technologies et vous verrez aussi d’ailleurs que la France peut être fière de sa contribution à l’histoire du jeu vidéo ! Cryo, Kalisto, Infogrammes et Ubisoft, de grands studios français qui ont marqué l’histoire.

Note : pour mieux comprendre l’histoire du jeu vidéo, je vous conseille fortement la lecture de ce livre : La Saga des Jeux Vidéo . Il est captivant ! En attendant, j’ai essayé de mettre plein de liens dans cet article vers des ressources en français sur Wikipedia ou faire des vidéo YouTube.

L’ère Atari

Comme beaucoup, ma première expérience de jeu fut réalisée grâce à Atari. J’avais une console dont je ne trouve pas la trace sur Internet qui avait uniquement le jeu Pong en ROM. Elle avait 2 manettes noires avec un bouton orange qui coulissait du haut vers le bas pour faire bouger la “raquette” dans le jeu. C’est tout !

J’ai appris un jour horrifié que mon père l’avait revendu sur une brocante pour une bouchée de pain car elle trainait dans le sous-sol. Je suis sûr qu’elle vaut des millions aujourd’hui ! (ou pas).

Ensuite, bien sûr, l’arrivée de la mythique Atari 2600. Les 2 jeux dont je me souviens le plus sont Space Invaders et Pac Man. J’y ai joué des heures.

Les jeux sur 2600 avaient des graphismes vraiment rudimentaires et faisaient face à un défi technologique complexe. Pourtant, les créateurs de jeux arrivaient déjà à nous faire jouer des heures !

Ensuite, j’ai continué sur Atari 800XL. J’ai commencé la programmation sur cette bête en BASIC mais j’ai bien sûr surtout continué à jouer. Il fallait attendre 30 minutes que le jeu se charge depuis la K7. Cela faisait des bruits étranges et on priait que cela ne plante pas en cours de route (ce qui arrivait 1 fois sur 3…). Si tu perdais, rebelote pour des plombes de chargement depuis la même K7.

Le jeu dont je me souviens le plus est Ninja [Mastertronic] 1986 et je me souviens d’une manette Atari que j’avais et que j’adorais aussi :

Vous pouvez en retrouver d’autres ici : Les périphériques Atari

Ensuite, tous mes copains se sont mis à avoir des Amstrad CPC (464 pour les pauvres, 6128 pour les riches). J’allais donc squatter chez eux pour programmer et jouer sur leurs CPC. Les jeux qui m’ont le plus marqué : Double Dragon et Renegade.

Un peu plus tard, on a eu un Atari 520STE. Les jeux qui m’ont le plus marqué sur ST ? Xenon 2 et Another World bien sûr ! Retrouvez Xenon 2 en vidéo ici : Xenon 2 (Atari ST) Intro et début du jeu . Réalisé par les cultissismes Bitmap Brothers et proposant peut-être une des bandes son les plus célèbres du jeu vidéo. Another World m’a plus marqué pour le prodige technique qu’est Éric Chahi, une des figures du monde du jeu vidéo. Ce Monsieur a juste tout fait lui-même : code en ASM, musique et graphismes. Vous imaginez ? Faire un jeu tout SEUL ! C’était la belle époque. Cela arrive encore aujourd’hui sur les plateformes mobiles remarquez. Mais ce n’est pas vraiment pareil, on est souvent aidé par des middlewares puissant comme Unity 3D et des tonnes de ressources en ligne expliquant comment faire un jeu. Et globalement, si vous ne faites pas un jeu dit AAA (triple A) avec des centaines de personnes pour les machines de jeux modernes, point de salut. Another World marqua donc les esprits à l’époque dont le mien. Pourtant, j’ai toujours été mal à l’aise en jouant à ce jeu. Je n’ai jamais vraiment accroché.

 

Ensuite, j’ai failli m’acheter un CPC comme tout le monde. Mais mon voisin de l’époque, ingénieur système, m’en a dissuadé. « L’avenir, c’est le PC mon garçon ! » qu’il me disait. Mouais… Pourtant tout le monde joue sur CPC en attendant ! Mais j’ai quand même craqué pour un superbe IBM PC 8086, carte CGA 4 couleurs, 1 Mo de mémoire, 20 Mo de disque dur MFM et co-pro 8087 offert pour le pack !

L’ère PC

C’est certainement à cause de ce fichu monde du PC que j’ai claqué tout ce que je pouvais recevoir comme argent dans les « upgrades » de ma machine. J’allais jusqu’à revendre des trucs dans ma chambre pour financer de nouvelles cartes. J’ai passé aussi des heures à me battre avec l’optimisation de la mémoire via QEMM et l’ordre de chargement des drivers dans le config.sys !

Mais c’est surtout là où j’ai vu arriver les progrès technologiques les plus stupéfiants les uns derrières les autres.

J’ai commencé par jouer à un jeu qui m’a marqué à vie : Digger. Je ne sais pas pourquoi mais je m’en souviens comme si c’était hier et je pourrais encore vous fredonner les musiques. D’ailleurs, allez voir par vous-même sur Youtube : Digger classic game . Vous connaissez vous aussi forcément la musique.

 

Le jeu de voiture Test Drive 2 m’a marqué aussi. J’en siffle encore souvent la musique (même si personne à part moi ne semble la connaitre). Je me souviens encore de mon émerveillement en relançant le jeu quand j’ai changé ma carte CGA par une carte EGA. A moi les 12 couleurs supplémentaires !!! Pour les nostalgiques, une vidéo du jeu : Test Drive 2 (je suis over fan de la musique !).

Autre jeu mythique pour moi, le casse-brique Popcorn : sorti en 1988 avec la participation de Frédéric Raynal, excusez du peu !

Bref, en terme de gameplay, on voit déjà que l’on a découvert pas mal de choses avant les années 90 : casse-brique, jeux de voitures, flipper, shooter et jeux multi-joueurs sur la même console.

Arrive pour moi ensuite toute une série de jeux d’aventure, que l’on appellerait surement « point & click » aujourd’hui. 2 grandes séries m’ont marqué : celle réalisée par LucasArts et la série des Leisure Suite Larry de Sierra pour d’autres raisons.

Bien sûr, je place les LucasArts au-dessus du lot : Monkey Island, Indiana Jones 3 & 4 (Atlantis !), Day of the Tentacle sont ceux que je préfère. Mais celui que je préfère par dessus tout est Monkey Island 2 avec le célèbre Guybrush Threepwood. Monkey Island propose aussi sans doute ma musique préférée de jeu vidéo. Ma Sound Blaster Pro était aux anges avec cette musique même si je rêvais d’un Roland MT-32 (hors de prix). Ecoutez la différence entre les 2 sur MI2 : Sound Blaster vs. Roland MT-32: Monkey Island 2 . Quelques années plus tard, je craquerais pour un expandeur Yamaha XG pour mon AWE32. En écoutant les musiques et en parcourant l’univers de tous ces jeux, osez venir me dire qu’il n’y pas d’expressions artistiques dans le jeu vidéo.

 

Effet rigolo, Monkey Island eu aussi un effet bénéfique sur mon anglais. Les concours d’insultes dans le jeu m’ont obligé à passer mon temps dans le dictionnaire pour réussir à gagner. J’ai appris un vocabulaire de dingue grâce aux jeux d’aventure en anglais. Alors que l’on ne vienne pas non plus me dire que les jeux vidéo rendent abrutis !

Ensuite, beaucoup, beaucoup de jeux m’ont marqué sur PC à cette époque :

- Dune de Cryo pour l’univers et la musique incroyable. Et puis c’est Cryo quoi !

- Dune 2 de Westwood Studios qui est peut-être l’ancêtre de tous les jeux de stratégie d’aujourd’hui ! Ce jeu était une véritable drogue pour moi et pouvait ruiner mes nuits de sommeil. J’ai bien sûr joué aux suites comme Command & Conquer. Mais Dune 2 marque un véritable tournant dans l’histoire du jeu vidéo je trouve. Vous entendrez beaucoup de gens vous en parler. Si vous jouez à n’importe quel STR aujourd’hui, sachez que leur Papa, c’est lui.

- La série des Wing Commander ou le jeu de space opera qui ruine les performances de ta machine. Origin Systems était un peu les spécialistes en la matière. Je me souviens encore de la pauvre tête de mon 486 (un SX et pas un DX…) à la sortie de Strike Commander. J’étais bien sûr un super gros fan de la série d’autant plus que mon idole de toujours arrive dans l’épisode 3 : Mark Hamill !

- Alone in the Dark : un autre tournant du jeu vidéo, c’est juste l’ancêtre des Resident Evil et autres survival horror. Le moteur 3D de l’époque est révolutionnaire et le jeu bien flippant l’air de rien. Quand on voit la vidéo du jeu aujourd’hui : Alone in the Dark 1 (DOS) , on se demande pourtant comment a-t-on pu avoir si peur ?

 
 

Ensuite, grâce à mes 4 Mo de mémoire EDO de bourge, j’ai eu accès à d’autres jeux qui ont vraiment fait avancer le schmilblick surtout du côté des technologies de rendu :

- Commanche en 1992, simulation d’hélicoptère de NovaLogic utilisant un moteur Voxel Space qui tranchait avec les autres approches de la 3D. C’était beau !!! Un autre jeu plus tard me marqua par sa beauté saisissante utilisant cette approche Voxel : Outcast.

 

- Bien sûr arrive ensuite les FPS dont le plus célèbre fut Doom. Suite de Wolfenstein 3D, ce sont les génies John Carmack et John Romero qui sont derrière le moteur 3D. Considérez-les comme des rock stars dans le monde du jeu vidéo ! Véritable rupture technologiques, Doom fut aussi distribué en Shareware. Malin les petits gars à l’époque. Doom est pour moi aussi l’occasion de découvrir l’expérience multi-joueurs en réseau. Avec mes potes, on pouvait jouer des heures en réseau au 1er niveau de Doom II grâce à notre installation artisanale à base de câbles null-modem chainés en série. J’avais les yeux en sang après nos LAN parties et je faisais peur à ma mère. Un peu plus tard arrive bien entendu le célèbre Duke Nukem. J’ai aimé avant tout pouvoir y jouer en collaboratif en réseau. Je n’ai jamais eu l’impression de retrouver une telle expérience des années plus tard. On a plus tendance à se fracasser la tronche qu’à jouer en collaboratif aujourd’hui. C’est bien triste je trouve. Enfin bref, on peut facilement considérer que Doom, Duke Nukem et Quake ont posé les bases des FPS d’aujourd’hui.

  

Et vous avez vu ? Nous ne sommes même pas encore en 1995 et on a déjà presque bouclé tous les types de jeux vidéo que l’on connait aujourd’hui.

Allez continuons. Avant dernière rupture technologique sur PC : l’arrivée du support numérique. D’abord au format CD, puis DVD et aujourd’hui en dématérialisé, il a permis de stocker toujours plus pour apporter de la vidéo de qualité, des musiques enregistrées en studio et non plus jouées par la carte son et des textures et niveaux toujours plus photo-réalistes.

Le jeu qui m’a sans doute le plus marqué sur CD est The 7th Guest. Les graphismes étaient à tomber pour l’époque, la musique aussi et le jeu proposait des énigmes passionnantes dans un environnement flippant. L’énigme dont je me souviens le plus est celle où je devais inverser la position de 4 cavaliers sur un demi-échiquier sans jamais les mettre en situation d’attaque. Si tu n’avais pas une carte VLB (Vesa Local Bus) et un lecteur CD 2X, tu pouvais oublier. Une vidéo du jeu ici : The 7th Guest (PC) - Full Game . Un de mes meilleurs souvenirs ! La suite, 11th Hour n’était pas super. Plus tard, j’ai retrouvé un jeu similaire qui m’a mis à rude épreuve : Myst. Je me souviens avoir mis au moins 2h avec mon pote avant de comprendre quoi faire dans le jeu ! Mais quand tu as dépensé 400 Francs pour ton jeu, tu t’accroches… forcément. ;) C’est l’avantage de ne pas pirater ses jeux au passage… Tu les respectes bien davantage.

  

Je me souviens aussi d’Under a Killing Moon, un jeu d’aventure et l’un des premiers films interactifs avec 7 (!!!) CD, de MegaRace de Cryo ou de Star Wars: Rebel Assault qui utilisaient des environnements pré-calculés par-dessus lequel se claquait notre vaisseau/voiture. Vous voulez voir à quoi cela ressemblait ? Par ici : MegaRace - Maeva 1 - (Level 2) , Star Wars - Rebel Assault - Gameplay Part 1/4 . Bien sûr, vous vous doutez qu’en tant que fan de Star Wars, Rebel Assault m’a rendu complètement abruti.

  

J’aime bien aussi les jeux de caisse. Le 1er (The) Need For Speed était vraiment top. Il tournait nickel sur mon Pentium 75. Et vous vous souvenez du jubilatoire Carmageddon ? Gore mais drôle.

 

Enfin, la dernière rupture technologique fut apportée par les cartes 3D (ou GPU) et celle qui a vraiment changé la donne fut conçue par 3DFX. Ah… 3DFX, un mot qui résonne encore dans le cœur de nombreux gamers. C’est juste l’ancêtre de toutes les cartes 3D d’aujourd’hui. C’est eux aussi qui ont inventé le SLI !

    

Livré avec ma carte Voodoo 1 : Pod développé par Ubisoft est sorti en 1997. C’était juste la claque de ma vie vidéo-ludique. Un rendu exceptionnel en temps réel à 60fps comme vous pouvez le voir sur cette vidéo : 3dfx Voodoo 1 - POD - Planet Of Death - Canyon Inimaginable quelques mois auparavant même avec du MMX. Tomb Raider eu aussi son patch 3DFX qui le rendait magnifique.

 

Ensuite, pour être honnête, je n’ai souvenir que d’une succession de courses à l’armement : nVidia qui finit par gagner la guerre des puces 3D et quelques jeux marquant pour moi comme Half Life 2 (moteur physique et environnement sonore en 3D) ou Counter Strike. Mais je finis par me lasser du PC, des upgrades hors de prix tous les ans et des patchs sans cesse nécessaires. La Xbox me fera définitivement quitter le monde du PC.

Justement, regardons les consoles que j’ai eues avant mes PC ou en parallèle. Nombreux jeux cultes n’existant en effet que sur consoles.

Note : pour mieux cerner mon profil, sachez que je n’aime pas les RPG (même Zelda !) et donc les MMORPG par extension (genre WOW n’a aucun intérêt pour moi) et que je n’aime pas les jeux de foot vu que je n’aime pas le foot . Pour finir, je n’aime aucune des simulations du style Sim City, Power Monger & co.

Mes consoles

Alors pourquoi avoir des consoles alors que beaucoup sont convaincus que le PC apporte le meilleur du jeu vidéo ? Parce que les jeux proposés et l’expérience sont différents. Et puis tout le monde ne jure pas que par les FPS et MMO.

Par exemple, pendant longtemps, on ne se prenait pas la tête avec une console : tu branchais et ça marchait direct (cela a malheureusement bien changé…). Les manettes ont toujours été super bien étudiées. Et surtout, il y a Nintendo. Surement la marque la plus emblématique de toute l’histoire du jeu vidéo. Par ailleurs, comme je suis un gros fan des jeux de plateformes, pas d’autres choix que d’avoir une console.

En parlant de Nintendo, j’ai commencé par les fameuses petites consoles « Game & Watch » n’embarquant qu’un jeu et ressemblant étrangement aux DS d’aujourd’hui. J’avais par exemple ce superbe jouet :

Donkey Kong avec l’une des 1ères apparitions (ou la 1ère ?) de Mario. Aujourd’hui, des malades s’achètent ces jouets à prix d’or (j’aurais dû garder les miennes…).

Ensuite, l’Atari 2600 donc puis directement la Super Nintendo. J’avais acheté le pack Super Street Fighter 2 car je dépensais une fortune dans la version borne d’arcade à l’époque au lycée. Que de bons souvenirs sur la SNES. Mario bien sûr comme d’habitude mais surtout Mario Kart ! J’ai récemment retrouvé l’extension que j’avais achetée pour brancher 4 manettes. On y a joué des heures. Et j’y ai rejoué il n’y a pas très longtemps chez un ami et on s’est direct fendu la poire. Malgré la 3D « rotoscoping », c’était encore génial plus de 10 ans après. Regardez-moi ça sur cette vidéo : Review Super Mario Kart En plus de la version GameCube, je crois que c’est l’un des jeux sur lequel j’ai passé le plus de temps.

Sur SNES, je me souviens aussi d’avoir acheté des jeux NTSC car ils étaient en 60 Hz donc plus rapide que les 50 Hz de notre PAL/SECAM et d’avoir vu mon frère lutter sur Zelda entièrement en japonais !

Presque au même moment, nous avons eu la Sega Megadrive dont le principal intérêt était Sonic bien sûr. Mais j’avoue qu’à part Sonic, rien d’autres ne m’a marqué. Etrange, aucun autre souvenir. D’ailleurs, un nouvel arrivant japonais sur le marché de la console va avoir raison de Sega.

En effet, une nouvelle rupture arrive du côté de Sony avec sa PlayStation 1. Lecteur CD, puce graphique au top et jeux visant un public plus âgé, Sony voit juste et génère un raz de marée. 2 jeux m’ont marqué sur PS. Resident Evil tout d’abord. Qu’est-ce que j’ai pu sursauter avec ce jeu ! Pourtant si vous allez voir la vidéo : Vidéotest Resident Evil ( PS1 ) , rien de bien méchant. Mais pour l’époque, si. Ensuite, le 2ème fut Crash Bandicoot de Naughty Dog. Un jeu de plateforme en 3D vraiment au top. Et dire que c’est le même studio qui a ensuite créé la série des Uncharted sur PlayStation 3 et The Last Of Us. Juste parmi les meilleurs jeux auxquels j’ai pu jouer ces derniers mois. Un studio en or.

 

Après un bref épisode sur DreamCast, je décide de faire l’impasse sur la PS2 pour me diriger plutôt vers la Xbox. Heureusement, l’immonde grosse manette originale de la Xbox est rapidement remplacée par le contrôleur S bien plus agréable. Les 2 jeux que je retiens le plus : Halo et Kung Fu Chaos. Pour Halo, c’est la première fois qu’un FPS me plait sur console, j’adore l’id��e de pouvoir piloter des véhicules et le multiplayer en écran splitté ou en ligne est juste fabuleux. J’ai y passé beaucoup de soirées/nuits avec des amis. Ensuite, Kung Fu Chaos. Une sorte de jeux de combat/party games qui m’a fait pleurer de rire lorsque l’on y jouait à 3 ou 4. Un jeu super original et drôle que j’ai adoré. Malheureusement, aucune suite et je crois que le studio est mort après ce jeu. Quel dommage !

 

La Xbox m’a encore plus marqué pour son inauguration du service Xbox Live. Bien en avance sur les autres (et cela semble toujours être le cas), l’expérience fut vraiment innovante et d’excellente qualité dès le début. La possibilité de télécharger des démos de jeux était vraiment important et différentiant pour moi.

Sur la génération suivante, je n’ai pas pris de risque : PS3, Wii et Xbox 360. Je n’ai quasiment uniquement joué que sur 360 qui offrait souvent la meilleure expérience. La PS3, je l’avais uniquement prise au départ comme lecteur Bluray “pas cher”. Puis ensuite, j’ai quand même craqué pour 3 licences PS3 extraordinaires: Uncharted, God of War 3 et Rachet & Clank. Au final, je crois que c’est God of War 3 qui m’a le plus impressionné ces dernières années sur console tous jeux confondus. Un univers juste incroyable. J’étais déçu lorsque j’ai fini le jeu car j’aurais voulu que cela continue bien plus longtemps. Sur 360, des classiques : Forza, Dead or Alive, Halo, Gears of War, Dead Space, Burnout, etc. Mais un jeu m’a plu dès le début sur 360: Kaméo des studios Rare. Un jeu coloré et original. Dommage que les studios Rare n’aient pas fournis plus de leur créativité à la Xbox par la suite.

  

Je ne me suis pas encore fixé sur la génération suivante. Ce sera surement une Xbox One avec l’arrivée de Watch Dogs et de Titan Fall, les 2 jeux que j’attends réellement depuis des mois. Mais globalement, je commence à me lasser des consoles de salon et PC. C’est toujours la même chose.

 

En attendant, je suis revenu à mes 1ers amours en retournant chez Nintendo avec la 3DS. Et je ne suis pas déçu ! Je joue pour l’instant à Super Mario 3D Land et Donkey Kong. Cela faisait longtemps que je n’avais pas été autant accroché par une machine. L’inventivité, la créativité et le gameplay sont vraiment la marque de fabrique de Nintendo. Et franchement, ça fait du bien de jouer à un jeu coloré où on est pas obligé de butter des zombies dans un couloir sombre ! Et le relief rend super bien sur la 3DS XL alors que je trouvais ça mauvais sur la 3DS de “base”.

Conclusion

Vous voyez bien que l’on tourne quand même un peu en rond depuis quelques années en termes de gameplay et d’innovation. La WiiMote puis Kinect ont un peu bousculé le gameplay récemment mais pas vraiment le type de jeu. Peut-être que l’Oculus Rift arrivera enfin à nous apporter la fameuse réalité virtuelle dont on me bassine depuis que je suis gamin ? On verra bien. Et reste à voir si cela sera vraiment une rupture technologique durable. Je crois aussi beaucoup dans le Web dans sa capacité de distribuer les jeux autrement et d’y apporter de l’innovation. Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous mettons autant d’énergie dans notre moteur 3d WebGL Babylon.JS.

Sinon, perso, je commence à complètement saturer des FPS et autres Call of Duty qui n’innovent plus, ne prends plus aucun risque et se contentent d’essorer une licence. J’espère que l’on va enfin voir surgir de vraies nouvelles licences et de nouvelles approches de gameplay. Quantum Break semble par exemple un titre à suivre et je fonde de grands espoirs dans Watch Dogs.

Je ne joue quasiment pas non plus aux jeux sur mobiles/tablettes. Je trouve souvent leurs univers inintéressants et leur gameplay ridiculement pauvre. J’ai bien conscience qu’il n’est pas simple de trouver un gameplay efficace au tactile mais en tant que joueur, je ne veux pas trop le savoir. J’ai du coup l’impression que tous ces jeux pour mobile ne s’adressent pas à moi et vise un public plus large. En visant la masse, j’ai peur que l’on dénature l’esprit originel des jeux vidéo qui me plaisent depuis des années.

Malgré tout, force est de constater que je m’amuse toujours autant sur des concepts vieux de plusieurs dizaines d’années comme avec un bon vieux Mario par exemple. Je ne semble donc pas prêt à lâcher l’univers du jeu en espérant que les studios n’oublieront pas avec le temps des profils comme le mien.  

Et vous, quelle est votre histoire et quel est votre profil ?

David

Why do spammers spam? I try to explain it using the Moralization Gap

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:02

Don’t spammers know they are irritating the rest of us?

Lately, I have been thinking a little bit on why spammers spam. I have never conducted a large study of this, all of my research about their own explanations comes from my memory of articles I have read and videos I have seen of convicted spammers. They usually have a few explanations:

  • I did it for the money
  • I wasn’t annoying people
  • What I was (am) doing wasn’t illegal
  • You can always hit delete

I can understand the first motivation. It’s the middle two I want to examine. Many spammers think that they are providing a valuable service and that what they are doing isn’t that big a deal. Or, they minimize the irritation that they cause because the pursuit of money is more important.

Do spammers genuinely believe this? Or are they putting on an act? And if they do believe it, how can they possibly not know how annoying they are? And how much damage they are causing to the rest of the Internet? How can they possibly exist in the bubble that they do?

What can we learn from psychology?

I have a theory. I am going to try to explain it using psychology. This is only my theory, I am not trained in the psychological arts. Still, it’s my blog and I can write what I want.

One of the books I read this past summer was Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature.

In the book, Pinker looks at historical trends regarding violence amongst humans (it has declined), why it has declined, explanations about why it occurs in the first place, and finally strategies for reducing it in the future.

The sample size of spammers amongst the human population is small, but all of us humans are prone to the same sorts of errors and biases. One of these is the Moralization Gap. Here’s an excerpt from Pinker’s book:

When psychologists are confronted with a timeless mystery, they run an experiment. They asked people to describe one incident in which someone angered them, and one incident in which they angered someone. The order of the two questions was randomly flipped form one participate to the next, and they were separated by a busywork task so that the participants would answer them in quick succession. Most people get angry at least once a week and nearly everyone gets angry at least once a month so there was no shortage of material. Both perpetrators and victims recounted plenty of lies, broken promises, violated rules and obligations, betrayed secrets, unfair acts, and conflicts over money.

But that was all the perpetrators and victims agreed on. The psychologists pored over the narratives and coded features such as the time span of the events, the culpability of each side, the perpetrators' motive and the aftermath of the harm. If one were to weave a composite narrative out of their tallies, they might look something like this:

The Perpetrator’s Narrative:

The story begins with the harmful act. At the time I had good reasons for doing it. Perhaps I was responding to an immediate provocation. Or I was just reacting to the satiation in a way that any reasonable person would. I had a perfect right to do what I did and it’s unfair to blame me for it. The harm was minor, and easily repaired, and I apologized. Its time to get over it, put it behind us, let bygones be bygones.

The Victim’s narrative:

The story being long before the harmful act, which was just the latest incident in a long history of mistreatment. The perpetrator’s actions where incoherent, senseless, incomprehensible. Neither that or he was an abnormal sadist, motived only by a desired to see me suffer, though I was completely innocent. The harm he did is grievous and irreparable, with effects that will last forever.  None of us should ever forget it.

 

The psychologists next had a follow up wherein they had people come in and read a fictional account of a college student help another with some coursework. The first student reneges on his promise and the second receives a poor grade, has to change their major and switch to another university. The psychologists had the volunteers retell the story – some from the perspective of the first student (perpetrator), some from the second student (victim) and some from a third party (neutral) viewpoint. Both the victims and the perpetrators distorted the story to the same extent but in opposite ways, either omitting details or embellishing points to make their own characters look more reasonable and the other one to look less so. And this was for a fictional story!

The Self Serving Bias

This set of events wherein we minimize the gravity of our own infractions, and emphasize the damage of infractions committed by others is called the Moralization Gap. It is part of a broader phenomenon known as the Self-Serving Bias. This is when we interpret events in ways that are favorable to ourselves, but do not extend the same courtesy to others. From Wikipedia:

A self-serving bias is any cognitive or perceptual process that is distorted by the need to maintain and enhance self esteem. When individuals reject the validity of negative feedback, focus on their strengths and achievements but overlook their faults and failures, or take more responsibility for their group's work than they give to other members, they are protecting the ego from threat and injury. These cognitive and perceptual tendencies perpetuate illusions and error, but they also serve the self's need for esteem.

This is also called the Lake Wobegon Effect. Lake Wobegon is a fictional town where everyone thinks that they are above average drivers. When they told everyone who said they are above average that everyone else said the same thing, they stuck to their guns, insisting that they were above average. When the surveyors explained that it wasn’t possible for everyone to be above average and that people inflated their own abilities, the respondents were firmly committed to their own positions – everyone else was inflating their own abilities but they themselves were perfectly capable of assessing their own superior driving ability.

The reason why we do this is because it’s an evolutionary adaptation, a survival technique. It is persistent in humans because it was useful to us to get to where we are today. We can see why everyone else is a hypocrite because it helps cuts others down to size. Back when we were still hunters on the African savannah for hundreds of thousands of years, social status was crucial (it still is). People higher up the social ladder had better reproductive odds and the ones that were higher up survived to pass on their genes. If you could fake it your higher status, so much the better!

Of course, if someone else was faking it, showing their status (and therefore odds of attracting a mate to reproduce) was better than your own, it was in your best interests to point out they were hypocrites and not of a higher social standing than you. Better to push them down and pass on your genes then let them go on faking it and you pass on into oblivion.

By contrast, faking it was in your best interest. If you could convince others that you were the best, the top of the ladder, then your odds of reproductive success and passing on your genes would increase. And even better: rather than you faking it, if you genuinely believed you really were better than anyone else, you could thereby convince others even more convincingly. You wouldn’t have the tell-tale signs of deception like fidgeting, sweating, or needing to keep your lies straight. Thus, it’s in your own best evolutionary interest to believe in your own greatness regardless of whether or not it is true, and point out the hypocrisy of others to prevent them from getting ahead.

And that’s why the Self-Serving Bias exists. We exonerate ourselves while not granting the same leeway to others.

And this brings us back to spammers. The reason they don’t see why they are so annoying is because of this Moralization Gap. They are minimizing the damage of the infractions they are committing and the Self-Serving Bias prevents them from seeing it.

The Perpetrator’s Narrative:

What we are doing isn’t such a big deal: We have good reasons for doing it, we are making money and being a productive member of society. The damage is minor (only a few email messages) and easily repaired (hit delete). Just get over it and let bygones be bygones.

That’s why I think spammers don’t know (or don’t care) why they are so annoying – at one point they got into it and now they rationalize it with a feature of the brain that worked well in our evolutionary history but is now being used for the wrong reason.

That’s my theory.


Unfortunately, there is a twist

But there’s one problem: the problem of self-deception has its limits and it’s difficult to show that it exists in all cases. To test this, psychologists had a group of volunteers to help them evaluate a study where half of the people would get a pleasant and easy task (looking at photographs for ten minutes) while the others would get a boring and difficult one (solving math problems for 45 minutes). They then allowed the participants to pick what task they wanted to do and give the other task to another paired off participant.

Most participants selected the easy task for themselves and gave the difficult task to the other participant (who was actually one of the researchers). When given a questionnaire afterwards, most of the participants said that their choice was fair. However, when describing these actions to another group of participants, most of them said it wasn’t fair at all.

Up to this point, this is all consistent with the self-serving bias.

The researchers probed deeper. Did the “selfish” participants they really, deep-down think their choice was fair? Did their unconscious mind know of their own hypocrisy?

They tested this by tying up the participants conscious minds by forcing some of them to keep seven digits in memory while they filled out the questionnaire indicating whether or not their choices were fair. The truth came out: the participants judged themselves as harshly as they judged other participants. The reality was there all along, it just took some coaxing to bring it out. Be careful though, in the absence of ridicule/argument/time, the default state is for people to misjudge the harmful acts they have committed.

So, perhaps there is hope for spammers after all. Deep down, perhaps they do know that what they are doing is irritating (and illegal) but it is repressed in their unconscious minds.

Perhaps the final justification for why they spam is a Freudian slip – “You can always just hit delete.” Is this a tacit confession that the “service” they provide is not a service that everyone wants? Maybe. Spammers do use antispam filters to keep their mailboxes clean, they themselves do not want to be annoyed so they are aware to some extent what they are doing.

If only there were some way to make them memorize seven digits the next time they send out a spam campaign.

Using PowerBI to Visualize Real Time Airline Data

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:00
I have been curious about handling real-time flight data using Excel. One of the scenarios of interest in the Airline world is realtime data about flights, airports & delays. FlightStats.com has real-time data available on their site and interestingly also have an API that can be accessed using a developer account. To begin with I signed up for a developer account with FlightStats.Com via https://developer.flightstats.com/ .   The FlightStats API can easily be accessed using Power Query...(read more)

Série de séminaires sur le développement d’applications Windows Store

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:05

Mes collègues Sébastien BOVO, Christophe NASARRE-SOULIER, David COPPET et Michel MOLONGO animeront prochainement une série de séminaires sur le développement d’applications Windows Store dont l’annonce a été faite sur le premier billet d’un nouveau blog du service de support aux partenaires :
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/pasfr/

New Year, New Games

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:04

So, the year is almost over, and I was thinking, what better way to spend the last couple of days of 2013 than with some new Windows 8 games to play?  Hard to go wrong with that.  Anyways, I found four games that were all published in December that could use some play time!  Here they are…

Hang Me Christmas- a hang man game with a Christmas themed words to solve.  Christmas will be on your mind so that ought to make this one a little easier.  Just keep your Christmas cheer if you can’t solve a word :)

http://bit.ly/hangxmas

Hang Me World Capitals- not so specifically Christmas focused, but you can never have too many options for hang man games and themes.  This one as you might have guessed it deals with World Capitals.  Think you know your stuff?  Then try it out!

http://bit.ly/hangcapitals

Christmas Factory- Another Christmas themed game where you control Santa and try to keep him alive by dodging the crazy presents bouncing around.  The longer you survive the more points you get!

http://bit.ly/xmasfactory

Club Defenders- Again not Christmas theme, but pretty cool.  You have to protect your city from the enemies as they try to steal the ruby they claim to be theirs.

http://bit.ly/cubedefenders

There you are, four new games to try out before the year ends.  Enjoy!

Utilizando HTTPS/SSL com Cloud Services no Windows Azure

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 11:31

Olá pessoal,

Geralmente quando discuto a arquitetura de aplicações que tirem proveito dos benefícios dos Cloud Services no Windows Azure, muitas dessas aplicações precisam proteger conteúdos sensíveis, como, informações pessoais e dados de login das aplicações.

O processo para se utilizar HTTPS nas aplicações é bastante simples, envolvendo algumas tarefas no portal de gerenciamento e outras tarefas no Visual Studio, e pode ser resumido da seguinte forma:

Tarefas no portal de gerenciamento:

  1. Criar o Cloud Services
  2. Fazer upload do certificado digital

Tarefas no Visual Studio:

  1. Fazer referência à um certificado
  2. Adicionar um endpoint HTTPS utilizando essa referência

Entretanto, existe um pré-requisito muito importante que precisa ser satisfeito antes de iniciarmos os passos acima, que é ter acesso ao certificado digital. Se vc está fazendo a publicação de uma aplicação em produção, muito possivelmente vc já adquiriu o certificado digital de uma entidade certificadora e pode passar para os próximos passos. Agora, se vc está fazendo o deploy de um sistema que está em desenvolvimento, é bem provável que vc queira utilizar um certificado auto assinado (self signed certificate). Tecnicamente este tipo de certificado funciona, mas como ele não é assinado por uma entidade certificadora os navegadores emitem um aviso e seu uso não é indicado para ambientes de produção.

O Visual Studio possui uma ferramenta que facilita a geração de certificados auto assinados, é a ferramenta Makecert (na verdade o Makecert pode ser instalado com vários SDKs). Vc pode gerar um desses certificados utilizando a seguinte sintaxe:

makecert -sky exchange -r -n "CN=<Nome do certificado>" -pe -a sha1 -len 2048 -ss My <Nome do certificado>.cer

Para entender melhor o exemplo acima, vamos ver detalhes de todos os parâmetros utilizados:

  • -sky exchange: indica que o certificado pode ser utilizado para encriptar os dados;
  • -r: cria um certificado auto assinado;
  • -n “CN=<Nome do certificado>”: indica o nome do certificado;
  • -pe: marca a chave privada como sendo possível de ser exportada;
  • -a sha1: algoritmo utilizado para assinatura;
  • -len 2048: tamanho, em bits, da chave do certificado;
  • -ss My: indica em qual certificate store o certificado será salvo;
  • <Nome do certificado>.cer: arquivo que terá o certificado salvo.

Com o certificado criado, podemos voltar para os passos elencados anteriormente no portal de gerenciamento e depois no Visual Studio.

A primeira tarefa no portal de gerenciamento é a criação do Cloud Service. Acredito que a maneira mais fácil de criar um Cloud Service é através da opção Quick Create do portal de gerenciamento. Para isso, acesse a opção New, Compute, Cloud Service, Quick Create e forneça o nome do Cloud Service, que terá uma URL no formato <NomeDoCloudService>.cloudapp.net, e também a região que ele estará localizado.

O próximo passo é fazer upload do certificado gerado no portal de gerenciamento. Para isso precisamos exportar o certificado no formato .pfx, conforme os seguinte passos:

Abra o gerenciador de certificados do Windows executando o comando certmgr.MSc

Encontre e abra o certificado que foi gerado com o Makecert.

Acesse a aba Details e em seguida clique no botão Copy to File…

No wizard, escolha a opção para exportar a private key.

Mantenha as opções padrão apresentadas e forneça uma senha quando tiver a possibilidade.

Por último, forneça o endereço que o arquivo será exportado e finalize o wizard.

Agora devemos fazer upload do certificado no portal de gerenciamento. Abra o Cloud Service recém criado na guia de certificados e escolha a opção upload:

Na tela apresentada, forneça o arquivo .pfx exportado e a senha utilizada:

Com isso vc deve ter um resultado similar à tela abaixo. Copie o thumbprint, destacado em amarelo na imagem, que ele será utilizado nos próximos passos dentro do Visual Studio.

Já no Visual Studio, abra as propriedades da sua Web Role e adicione um novo certificado informando o thumbprint do certificado que foi feito upload.

Feito isso, é hora de adicionar é hora de adicionar um endpoint Https fazendo referência para esse certificado, que pode ser escolhido na lista de seleção da coluna SSL Certificate Name.

Agora é só fazer o deploy do seu projeto e acessar a sua aplicação via Https.

Como estamos utilizando um certificado self signed, é bastante provável que o seu navegador gere uma mensagem de erro ao acessar o endereço. Para acessar a aplicação deve-se escolher a opção de continuar.

Abs.,

RG

Quick news: Microsoft Press books receive awards from the Society for Technical Communication

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 10:29

We’re happy to announce that six books from Microsoft Press have received awards from the Society for Technical Communication – Puget Sound Chapter’s 2013 competition!

This annual contest recognizes outstanding technical communication produced in the region. Each entry receives a thorough evaluation by judges who provide feedback and ratings based on STC’s international standards on a wide range of criteria, including technical content, achievement of purpose, editing, visual design, and production.

Here are the Microsoft Press books that received awards this year. Note that all three of our Excellence Award winners move on to the International Competition.

 

Award

Book title

Team

Excellence Award

Software Requirements, Third Edition

Authors: Karl Wiegers, Joy Beatty

Editors: Devon Musgrave, Carol Dillingham

Excellence Award

CLR via C#, Fourth Edition

Author: Jeffrey Richter

Editors: Devon Musgrave, Carol Dillingham

Excellence Award

Windows 8 Plain & Simple

Author: Nancy Muir

Editor: Kenyon Brown

Merit Award

Exam Ref 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

Author: J.C. Mackin

Editors: Karen Szall, Valerie Woolley

Merit Award

MOS 2013 Study Guide for Microsoft Word

Author: Joan Lambert

Editor: Rosemary Caperton

Merit Award

Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012

Author: Mitch Tulloch

Editors: Karen Szall, Carol Dillingham

Hacking to build diverse teams of technological innovators

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 09:15

 Hacking to build diverse teams of technological innovators
 Americas Datafest hackathon demonstrated that technology experts, working in partnership with subject matter experts, could generate creative and promising ideas that can make a difference.

...(read more)

Top 5 MVP Monday Posts of 2013

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 09:08

1. Virtual Directories: Exchange 2013

By Exchange Server MVP Manu Philip

A virtual directory is used by Internet Information Services (IIS) to allow access to a web applications in Exchange 2013

Autodiscover Service, ECP, EWS, ActiveSync, OWA, OAB, Powershell are the available virtual directories through EAC.

You can manage a variety of virtual directory settings on Exchange 2013 including authentication, security, and reporting settings. I am explaining here, how you can manage the Virtual Directories through Exchange Admin Center. I have also included some example PowerShell cmdltes to show how to manage those resources: Click here to read the full post.

2. Windows Azure Service Bus Connection Quotas

By Microsoft Integration MVP Damir Dobric

In the era of devices and service Windows Azure Service Bus will play definitely a more important role. However the huge number of devices which can connect to the bus in a practical and hypothetical scenario might be an issue. Observing the huge number of connections is not an easy task and it can bring any technology to the limit.

Windows Azure Service Bus is designed to observe a huge number of connections. We know Service Bus provides the solution but in a typical scenario you cannot just simply connect millions of devices to it and expect that it just works. Fortunately for some specific scenarios there are solutions which just work out of the box. The good example is Service Bus Notification Hubs. Click here to read the full post. 

3. Introduction to C++ 11 in Visual Studio 2013

By Visual C++ MVP Alon Fliess

I just had a conversation with one of my colleagues. He told me “I have started looking at C++". "I didn’t realize that it is such a productive language”, he added. You see, my colleague is a gifted C# developer, and he knew that C++ is an "old" language that one uses to program Operating Systems, Drivers, High Performance algorithms, communicate with hardware devices and make your life interesting but also complicated. My friend was born the year that Bjarne Stroustrup invented C with Classes, the first name that he gave to C++, at AT&T Bell laboratories.

For a C# developer, C++, in many cases, is the legacy code that you need to interop with. For me and many other veteran developers, C++ is one of the sharpest tools in our toolbox. As a Windows developer, I tend to choose the right tool for the job, be it C++ native code, C# with .NET or even JavaScript. Click here to read the full post. 

4. Enhanced Presenter View in PowerPoint 2013

By PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Bajaj

Most presenters just cram their slides with text – you may have seen such slides often, characterized by so much text that they look like a Word document repurposed as a slide – or even worse, it may appear as someone just copied tons of data from an Excel sheet and put in on a single slide! Of course, each of the slides would receive awards for competing in a “Fill-up-your-slide” contest.

OK, there’s no such contest – yet there are entrants for such contests everywhere. So the question that needs to be asked is why do presenters assume that their slides need so much text? There are several answers – and most of these get repeated each time I ask this question in my training sessions: Click here to read the full post. 

5. Using SharePoint PropertyBag in the Context of Search

By SharePoint MVP Nicki Borell

The Property Bag is a “store” within SharePoint which can be used to places information’s and metadata. Property Bag is a hierarchical structure starting at farm level and goes down up to list level.  Microsoft itself uses the Property Bag to store configuration settings and information’s. For details see that msdn article: Managing SharePoint Configuration

For common information’s about the Property Bag please refer that msdn sites:

Click here to read the full post

About MVP Monday

 

The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

Faster Live Migration with RDMA in Windows Server 2012 R2

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 09:03

Today I want to go deep on faster live migration using RDMA.  In the past I have talked about faster live migration with compression – which is the default option for live migration in Windows Server 2012 R2 – but to me, faster live migration with RDMA is the more interesting topic to discuss.

The goal of faster live migration with RDMA is to take advantage of RDMA network acceleration in order to give you the fastest live migration possible.  We actually do this by taking advantage of SMB Direct – and actually perform the live migration over the top of SMB in this environment.

Not only does this give us access to RDMA network acceleration, but it also gives us access to other SMB benefits like native multi-channel support.  This all comes together to allow us to reach amazing speeds, with practically zero CPU overhead in the process.

Unlike live migration with compression, live migration with RDMA is not affected by the workload inside the virtual machine.  The primary thing that will affect the speed of your live migration is how many connection you have, and how fast those connections are.

So what do you need to do to get this working?  Well – simply put you need an environment that supports SMB Direct.  Thankfully Jose Barreto has already done a very detailed series of blogs on how to get SMB Direct working – so you can follow the directions here:

Once you have it all setup – you can utilize the new performance counters that we have under “Hyper-V VM Live Migration” to monitor live migration activity over SMB Direct:

Note – you can actually enable live migration over RDMA on a system that does not support RDMA.  In this case you will get live migration over SMB (not SMB direct).

Cheers,
Ben

How to Modify Security Inheritance on Active Directory Objects using PowerShell

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 08:28
A couple of weeks ago I was working with a customer analyzing a number of user accounts affected by AdminSDHolder protection. User accounts that are members of privileged groups such as Domain Admins end up being modified so they are protected by AdminSDHolder. There is a property named AdminCount that usually has no value that is set to “1” once an account is added to a privileged group. In addition the inheritance flag is unchecked so the account no longer inherits permissions from...(read more)

Microsoft CityNext: Turning Microsoft Kinect into a physical therapy tool

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 08:16

In many cities around world, officials are looking for ways to cope with the cost of caring for an aging population. The challenge will require health organisations to reimagine how they deliver care and track results. Often officials are worried they’ll be faced with a choice between lowered costs and improving care – but the city of Esbjerg, Denmark, found a way to do both.

Esbjerg is the first of about 20 Danish cities that are rolling out a solution from Welfare Denmark that uses Kinnect for Windows and Microsoft Lync 2010 to allow patients to perform their physical therapy exercises from home. The Kinect’s camera allows physiotherapists to monitor patients’ progress through a routine incorporating any of 103 different exercises. In addition to verifying that the regimen is being followed, a therapist can use Microsoft Lync 2010 to offer feedback to provide specific instructions and ensure a routine is performed correctly.

By allowing patients to do their therapy exercises in the comfort and safety of their own home, care providers can dramatically lower the cost of providing such services. In one case, a patient in Esbjerg was able to complete three months of therapy for almost $2,500 less than it would cost to provide the same service at a medical facility.

But the savings may not be limited to less expensive treatments. Welfare Denmark says that these kinds of telemedicine solutions can help prevent health problems from reoccurring, which means fewer costly hospital visits.

”This generation of elderly people are not interested in going to elderly homes,” says Ulrik Møll, Managing Director of Welfare Denmark. ”We can help them remain at home and rehabilitate in a modern way through this solution.”

Microsoft CityNext: What does Big Data mean for the future of cities?

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 07:58

Transformation is a major theme of Microsoft CityNext. To meet the unique challenges faced by urban areas, local governments must find new and better ways of doing business, instead of trying to simply do the same old thing a little bit better.

But it’s one thing to say cities will need to transform. It’s another to actually do it.

Where will these pathways to transformation come from? How will cities learn how they need to transform? One answer is that they’re come to a better understanding of their resources (and their citizens’ needs) via Big Data analysis, says Microsoft Worldwide Government Industry General Manager Joel Cherkis.

By analysing city data, local government leaders can implement a city-wide dashboard to see where resources are being allocated – and spot problems like water leaks and power outages. When resources are allocated wisely, cities can save money – often seeing results within a year’s time, says Cherkis.

Big Data can also help cities engage citizens. When local governments make data public, it can increase citizen confidence in government by increasing accountability. It can also help get everyday people involved in solving local government problems, Cherkis says. But Big Data analysis doesn’t have to just be used in a reactive way. Once a city has library of historical data, it can begin to make projections about things like traffic patterns. This helps the city project how it will need to spend money on infrastructure in the future, but it can also help businesses work more efficiently, accelerating economic growth.

Watch more of Cherkis’ talk in the video below, for insights into other ways Big Data can help cities – and how Big Data can work together with other important technology trends, such as cloud technologies.

December 2013 Release of MFCMAPI and MrMAPI

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 07:35

The December 2013 Release (build 15.0.0.1040) is live: http://mfcmapi.codeplex.com.

It’s been a while. I’ve been busy while I was gone. All dialogs got a visual refresh with collapsible panes. New windows cascade now. I finally implemented a viewer for messages. And most important of all, I went out and got myself a snazzy new icon for Christmas:

Here's a change list - see the Issue Tracker on Codeplex for more details, or look at the code:

  • Automatic handling of Body Streams (no more Right Click/Open as Stream!)
  • New windows cascade
  • Profile export
  • Hex editor small file import/export
  • SetColumns experience overhauled – no more confusing initial dialog
  • Single item viewer: used for viewing properties on MSG files, recipients, embedded messages, etc.
  • Suppressed expected MAPI_E_NOT_FOUND errors from the table view (while expected, these errors confused too many people)
  • View Panes: part of the dialog refresh – these collapsible panes make the Hex Editor and many other dialogs much more useful
  • Paste from OneNote now works (this is a problem in how OneNote handles the clipboard, but I can handle it now)
  • Icons group on the taskbar properly now – Windows 7/8 broke this
  • New app icon
  • All internal icons refreshed
  • Several painting glitches fixed
  • Upgraded projects to Visual Studio 2013

Enjoy.

There's no seating up there, so you just have to hang on for dear life

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 07:00

I dreamed that through a friend, I got to join a handful of other people atop Prince Charles's carriage as it wound its way through London. There was no seating up there, so you just have to hang on for dear life. When we reached Buckingham Palace, the assembled crowd and reporters swarmed the carriage for an opportunity to meet the Prince. This provided a sufficient diversion to allow us to climb down from the roof and sneak into the palace undetected.

We've come to the end of the year, so that's all for Monday dream blogging. For those of you who hated it: You can uncover your eyes now.

Announcing RAP as a Service for Dynamics CRM

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 12/30/2013 - 07:00

I am pleased to announce the General Availability of RAP as a Service for Dynamics CRM. This Microsoft Premier Service takes our existing Health Check to the next level with on-demand data collection and analysis to give you the flexibility to check and re-check the state of your system whenever you want as many times as you want with regular updates to best practice guidance for up to a year.*

The best part is you still get to work with the same experienced Dynamics CRM Premier Field Engineers who deliver Health Checks today to make sure you understand the assessment results in the context of your specific deployment and make sure your questions get answered.

This service is available for a single deployment of Dynamics CRM 2011 with up to 5 Organizations and up to 5 Dynamics CRM Application Servers.**

Support for Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM On Line should be available later in 2014 - I'll provide an update when dates are determined.

What is available in RAP as a Service for Dynamics CRM?

We are checking the following categories:

  • Dynamics CRM system configuration and settings
  • SQL Server and database configuration
  • Event logs information
  • Operating system information and settings
  • Operational Excellence

Learn more about RAP as a Service here:

https://services.premier.microsoft.com/raas

RAP as a Service Blog:

https://spsites.microsoft.com/sites/ITOE/ST/RaaS/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=149

More information about RAP as a Service for Dynamics CRM is available here:

https://services.premier.microsoft.com/raas/crm

  • Datasheet
  • Prerequisites

Talk to your Microsoft Technical Account Manager (TAM) if you’re interested in getting started with RAP as a Service for your Dynamics CRM environment or if you just want to know more about it.

* An active Microsoft Premier Support contract is required to use the online portal and tools.

** RAP as a Service for Dynamics CRM can be used to assess a single Dynamics CRM deployment. This service is available for deployments with more than 5 Organizations / Application servers, but these are considered custom engagements that must be scoped with an engineer.

Thanks,

Brian Bakke

Microsoft Premier Field Engineer

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