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Обновляем приложение с Windows Phone 8.0 до 8.1 и универсального

MSDN Blogs - 2 hours 49 min ago

Если у вас уже есть приложения под Windows Phone 8 или более ранние версии OS, возможно, вы уже начинаете задумываться, стоит ли вам обновлять свои приложения до новой версии, каким образом это проще всего сделать и сколько это может занять времени.

Это простые вопросы, для ответа на которые мы опубликовали серию статей, описывающих основные сценарии обновления в пошаговом режиме.

Новая Windows Phone 8.1. Что делать разработчику приложений?

Обновляем Windows Phone Silverlight 8.0 приложение до Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Обновляем Windows Phone 8.0 приложение до Windows Phone 8.1(XAML)

Превращаем Windows Store приложение в универсальное

[Sample Of July 22] Add custom Message and HTTP headers to WCF method call in Windows Store apps

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 18 min ago
July 22

Sample Download : http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/How-to-add-custom-5cbbf066

This sample implements a WCF Service implementation and a client project in the form of a Windows Store app. The WCF Service is a simple Calculator service. The client side project only calls the "Add" method, but it shows how to add the MessageHeader and HTTP headers to the outgoing requests.

 

You can find more code samples that demonstrate the most typical programming scenarios by using Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework Sample Browser or Sample Browser Visual Studio extension. They give you the flexibility to search samples, download samples on demand, manage the downloaded samples in a centralized place, and automatically be notified about sample updates. If it is the first time that you hear about Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework, please watch the introduction video on Microsoft Showcase, or read the introduction on our homepage http://1code.codeplex.com/.

Tutorial: How to Train a Neural Network with Azure Machine Learning

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 33 min ago

I recently stumbled upon James McCaffrey’s session on Neural Networks from Build 2014 and I thought it was cool how he had implemented the back-propagation algorithm in C# for training neural networks. If you haven’t seen James’ session yet I will strongly recommend you to do so. It’s a great session that presents the idea of neural networks really well and demonstrates how you can implement and train your own using .NET and Visual Studio.

Immediately after watching the session I opened up Visual Studio to try and do what James had just done. Rather than the Iris data set, I used the Wisconsin Breast Cancer data set and after just a bit of trial and error I had trained successfully my own neural network with an accuracy of about 97-98%. I was pretty thrilled! I refactored some of James’ original code so if you want to try and replicate the example from his Build session, you can go ahead and take a look at the refactored solution, which I uploaded to GitHub. You should be able to just clone the repository and build the code yourself. Try it out:

After completing the example with the Breast Cancer data set by coding it myself, I thought of using Azure Machine Learning to do the same job. Azure ML is a new service in Azure and it offers an incredibly powerful set of tools for machine learning. It’s still in preview but the product is already so mature that you can go ahead and start working with it today. Since I already had my Breast Cancer data set, I wanted to see how fast I could train the same network using Azure ML instead of custom code in C#. And, oh boy, it was easy – and fast! I have recorded a tutorial of how to set up the experiment in Azure ML Studio so if you want to do the same, you can see how it’s done. Check out the video here:

Resources

Here are a list of resources I refer to in the video:

As always: Have fun playing around with Azure ML! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to write me a comment below or send me an email. I will be happy to help! :-)

~ あの感動を再び ~ de:code セッションビデオ公開

MSDN Blogs - 4 hours 41 min ago
やっと関東でも梅雨が明けたそうですね。ここまでジメジメな毎日で気持ちまでジメジメしていた感じでしたが、いよいよ本格的な夏到来! いろいろとアクセル全開で行きたいと思います。 さて、いろいろとお待たせしましたが、5/29-5/30 に開催した de:code のセッションビデオと資料が公開になりました。 トラック毎に Microsoft Virtual Academy (通称 MVA) というオンライン トレーニング サイトで閲覧できるようになっています。 Devices トラック Services トラック Tools & Languages トラック Architecture トラック Special トラック Sponsor トラック Technical Keynote   お盆休みや夏休みのスキマ時間にでも、ぜひ!! (あー、早く次回 de:code をやりたいなぁ・・・)...(read more)

Azure for Research Awards : Cloud et Big Data pour la recherche scientifique

MSDN Blogs - 5 hours 16 min ago

Depuis le lancement en septembre 2013 du programme “Azure For Research” à destination de laboratoires de recherche et universités, Microsoft a soutenu plus de 300 projets dans le monde, dont 11 en France :

Fort de cette dynamique,  nous maintenons ouvert l’appel à projet Azure for Research et lançons un nouvel appel focalisé  sur le service « Azure Machine Learning» : Les Data Science Awards.

  • Azure For Research Awards: la prochaine échéance est le 15 aout 2014. Tous les deux mois nous offrons jusqu’à 180,000 « core hours » de calcul et 20TB de stockage sur 12 mois aux meilleurs projets.  Voici la page de soumission et la page de FAQ.
  • Data Science Awards : sur la lancée de l’ouverture en juillet 2014 du service « Azure Machine Learning », nous lançons un double appel à projets à destination des  chercheurs et enseignants chercheurs « praticiens » ou enseignants du Machine Learning et de la « Science des Données », souhaitant tester et intégrer ce service dans le cadre de leurs activités de recherche ou d’enseignement. L’échéance unique est le 15 septembre 2014 :
  1. Data Science Instructional Awards: cet appel est destiné à doter les cours ou filières universitaires  de Machine Learning et Data Science de ressources Cloud uniques: un compte individuel « Azure Machine Learning » et 500GB de stockage Cloud pour chaque étudiant d’un cours ou filière qui sera sélectionné.
  2. Shared workspaces for research collaboration : cet appel est destiné à un groupe de chercheurs intéressés à héberger une collection de données dans le cloud et expérimenter et partager des modèles de prédiction avec Azure ML. Chaque projet retenu se verra accordé un « Workspace » Azure ML et 10TB de stockage Cloud pour ses données.

Pour plus d’information sur nos programmes  et rester connecté avec la communauté « Azure for Research » :

En résumé:

Issue with Application Insights Data Platform 7/22 - Resolved

MSDN Blogs - 5 hours 40 min ago

Final Update: Jul 22 2014 9:42 AM UTC

The team found that a cleanup task failed to be created on a number of servers via an automated process.  As a result, the disk filled up and resulted in internal connections being refused.  The team cleaned up the disks and will do a full root cause as to why the cleanup tasks failed to be created.  The team will also implement more robust monitoring around the drives themselves.

The result of this impact was dropped data on 7/22/2014 8:21 AM - 8:53 AM UTC.  There was also latency in the pipeline from approximately 8:15 AM to 9:01 AM UTC.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.

-Application Insights Service Delivery Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Initial Update: Jul 22 2014 8:32 AM UTC

Application Insights is investigating issues with the Application Insights data platform.  Customers may experience latency issues while using the ad-hoc search, usage, and F5 features. Our DevOps teams are engaged and actively investigating the issues. We will provide an update in next 3 hours or earlier.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.

-Application Insights Service Delivery Team

Hello World!

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 2 sec ago

This is my very first post, in classic programmer's fashion :)

Windows Server 2012 (R2) 上で Lync Server 管理シェルが起動しない。

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 8 min ago

こんにちは。Lync サポートの久保です。

 

Lync Server 2013 は、 the Cumulative Updates for Lync Server 2013: October 2013 を適用いただくことで、

Windows Server 2012 R2 上でもサポータブルな環境として動作いたします。

 

Server and tools operating system support in Lync Server 2013
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg412883.aspx

抜粋: The Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems are supported with the Cumulative Updates for Lync Server 2013: October 2013.

 

Lync Server 2013 を Windows Server 2012 R2 で利用する場合に、次の図のように Power Shell のプロンプトが表示されない現象が発生する事があります。

 

 

これは、Windows Server 2012 (R2) の動作に起因しており、ショートカットの作り方に起因いたします。

回避策としては、以下の構文でショートカットを作成する事となります。

 正:

powershell.exe -noexit -command “cd $env:UserProfile; Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Modules\Lync\Lync.psd1′”

 

既定で作成されているショートカットは以下のように誤っています。 

誤:

powershell.exe -noexit -command “cd $env:UserProfile; Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Modules\Lync\Lync.psd1′

 

実際には以下の手順で回避可能です。

1. デスクトップ上で右クリックから [新規作成]-[ショートカット] をクリックします。

2. [項目の場所を入力してください] に前述の構文を入力し、[次へ] をクリックします。

3. 任意の名前を付けて [完了] をクリックします。

 

4. 作成してショートカットから Power Shell を起動して Lync Server で使用するモジュールが読み込まれている事を確認します。

 

なお、既定で作製されるショートカットを修正する場合は、以下のように修正します。

 

既定のショートカットの修正方法

==========================

1. [アプリ] のショートカットを右クリックし、[ファイルの場所を開く] をクリックします。

2. エクスプローラーでショートカットを右クリックし、[プロパティ] を開きます。

3. リンク先の末尾を修正します。

 

引き続き、快適な Lync ライフをお過ごしください。

Round up of the last year - guest post from Gerald Haigh

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 43 min ago

Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft series of education blogs.

Over a small chai latte and a piece of cake at Thames Valley Park the other day we agreed that I would write a round-up of my impressions of the academic year – and Microsoft year – that’s just come to a close.

As it turns out, that’s not easy; there’s just so much that it’s difficult to know where to start, what to include and what to leave out. The only way, I decided is to try to identify one or two trends – ideas that seem to me to be coming to fruition, or are planned or maybe no more than straws in the wind. These are personal to me, you understand.

So, for example, while you don’t have to be a genius to realise that the move to ‘one-to-one’ devices is in full flow, you need to look a little more closely to discover that the early mistakes are being taken on board and we are probably now into a second, more thoughtful phase.

Recently, for example, I blogged about Darrick Wood School in Orpington, where staff are still methodically working towards one-to-one fully two years after they decided it was the way to go. For them, it’s a careful process of trialling devices, putting learning first and bringing staff along.

 

As I point out in the blog, what we see at Darrick Wood is the precise opposite of the oft-reported policy in some schools of flooding the place with tablets in the hope that magical things will happen. Significantly, Darrick Wood is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school, which means that staff understandably want to be sure of the effects on learning.

Another thing I learned this year about tablets in the classroom is that it’s not all about apps. Not primarily anyway. The main point about giving a child a tablet – or any one-to-one device -- is that, thanks to effective Wi-Fi (which the school, thankfully, will have provided before even thinking about the devices) he or she will become effectively enrolled in a virtual, anytime/anywhere, internet-enabled environment which is a cloud-based extension of the classroom.

So, for example, I was able to write about Simon de Senlis primary where children and teachers were using Surface RT, Office 365 and the SharePoint based LP+4 learning platform to keep in collaborative touch with each other, giving and receiving feedback.

By contrast, basing a tablet policy on the availability of apps is sure to raise issues about control and consistency. IT staff in what I’m tempted to call an ‘app-happy school’ will tell you that every teacher has a list of favourite apps, with more arriving every day, and there’s a possibility that classroom work, and learning will become app-driven in a way that might be inconsistent with putting learning needs first.

One answer is to look first at apps that support teachers in their day-to-day work and hardly had I written that when a post appeared on the schools blog that’s evidently inspired by the same line of thought. Called, ‘See What’s APPening in Education’, it makes lists five Windows Store apps – ‘Class Policy’, ‘Test Policy’, ‘eBackpack’. ‘Edmodo’ and ‘Social Express’ that are aimed at classroom and learning management tasks and policies.

At the heart of so much that’s happening, I very quickly realised, is Office 365. Back in September, I wrote a blog called ‘The start of my Office 365 Education Journey’.

The blog relates conversations I had with Office 365 experts – people like Alex Pearce of BFC Networks and Microsoft Expert Educator Charlotte Beckhurst of Hartsbrook School. Talking to them made me realise that Office 365 is not just a resource, but a whole learning environment.

Now, it gathers momentum all the time, particularly since the ‘Student Advantage’ licensing scheme has made it so readily available to education. At Wymondham High School, for example, the student ‘O Team’ is pioneering the use of Office 365, spreading the word with a series of videos, and demonstrating just what a force for growth students can be given freedom and wise support.

Across the country, in fact, student groups – ‘The Offperts’ at Saltash.net School is another -- are showing qualities of leadership and creativity in technology that cause me to wonder whether leaders of other curriculum areas are always as aware of the possibilities.

One effect of the ready availability of Office 365 is that it introduces many more schools to Microsoft technologies that we’ve met in enterprising schools but haven’t been widely exploited.

Wymondham High, for example, is just one that’s using SharePoint Online to build a learning management ‘portal’ . ‘OneNote’, too, always a favourite among those who took the trouble to explore it, is now reaching a wider audience. The same thing is going to happen to ‘OfficeMix’ as the word goes around.

In most of my encounters with schools and colleges as the year went on I was reminded yet again of the presence and importance of the partner businesses that add so much value and expertise to the Microsoft offering. So, for instance, when I went to see Office 365 in action at St Birinus School in Oxfordshire and later at Sandymoor Free School in Runcorn

I realised just what a great contribution had been made in both implementations by Civica Education, and their great team of e-learning consultants, all with roots in the classroom.

Similarly, my blog about Furness Academy provided an opportunity to renew my contact with SharePoint consultants Novotronix, who have worked with the school to build a school portal using SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. There’s so much going on at Furness that I hope I’ll be able to return to their story in the new school year.

There’s been so much else happening over the year that this personal review has only scratched the surface. Topics that I hope to focus on in coming weeks and months include the development of the Showcase Schools Programme and the increased engagement of teachers and students in Microsoft’s various learning, partnership and certification programmes. On the technology for learning front, I’m sure I’ll find more and more transformational Office 365 stories, driven, often, by Student Advantage. And did I mention Yammer? I’ve written about it in use both at Wymondham and in Further Education at the Isle of Wight College

Now that Yammer enterprise is available with Office 365, more and more institutions are going to discover that it’s potentially a game changer for communication and collaboration. So, as ever with Microsoft, it’s very much watch this space because there’s always something coming along to capture the imagination.

Round up of the last year - guest post from Gerald Haigh

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 43 min ago

Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft series of education blogs.

Over a small chai latte and a piece of cake at Thames Valley Park the other day we agreed that I would write a round-up of my impressions of the academic year – and Microsoft year – that’s just come to a close.

As it turns out, that’s not easy; there’s just so much that it’s difficult to know where to start, what to include and what to leave out. The only way, I decided is to try to identify one or two trends – ideas that seem to me to be coming to fruition, or are planned or maybe no more than straws in the wind. These are personal to me, you understand.

So, for example, while you don’t have to be a genius to realise that the move to ‘one-to-one’ devices is in full flow, you need to look a little more closely to discover that the early mistakes are being taken on board and we are probably now into a second, more thoughtful phase.

Recently, for example, I blogged about Darrick Wood School in Orpington, where staff are still methodically working towards one-to-one fully two years after they decided it was the way to go. For them, it’s a careful process of trialling devices, putting learning first and bringing staff along.

 

As I point out in the blog, what we see at Darrick Wood is the precise opposite of the oft-reported policy in some schools of flooding the place with tablets in the hope that magical things will happen. Significantly, Darrick Wood is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school, which means that staff understandably want to be sure of the effects on learning.

Another thing I learned this year about tablets in the classroom is that it’s not all about apps. Not primarily anyway. The main point about giving a child a tablet – or any one-to-one device -- is that, thanks to effective Wi-Fi (which the school, thankfully, will have provided before even thinking about the devices) he or she will become effectively enrolled in a virtual, anytime/anywhere, internet-enabled environment which is a cloud-based extension of the classroom.

So, for example, I was able to write about Simon de Senlis primary where children and teachers were using Surface RT, Office 365 and the SharePoint based LP+4 learning platform to keep in collaborative touch with each other, giving and receiving feedback.

By contrast, basing a tablet policy on the availability of apps is sure to raise issues about control and consistency. IT staff in what I’m tempted to call an ‘app-happy school’ will tell you that every teacher has a list of favourite apps, with more arriving every day, and there’s a possibility that classroom work, and learning will become app-driven in a way that might be inconsistent with putting learning needs first.

One answer is to look first at apps that support teachers in their day-to-day work and hardly had I written that when a post appeared on the schools blog that’s evidently inspired by the same line of thought. Called, ‘See What’s APPening in Education’, it makes lists five Windows Store apps – ‘Class Policy’, ‘Test Policy’, ‘eBackpack’. ‘Edmodo’ and ‘Social Express’ that are aimed at classroom and learning management tasks and policies.

At the heart of so much that’s happening, I very quickly realised, is Office 365. Back in September, I wrote a blog called ‘The start of my Office 365 Education Journey’.

The blog relates conversations I had with Office 365 experts – people like Alex Pearce of BFC Networks and Microsoft Expert Educator Charlotte Beckhurst of Hartsbrook School. Talking to them made me realise that Office 365 is not just a resource, but a whole learning environment.

Now, it gathers momentum all the time, particularly since the ‘Student Advantage’ licensing scheme has made it so readily available to education. At Wymondham High School, for example, the student ‘O Team’ is pioneering the use of Office 365, spreading the word with a series of videos, and demonstrating just what a force for growth students can be given freedom and wise support.

Across the country, in fact, student groups – ‘The Offperts’ at Saltash.net School is another -- are showing qualities of leadership and creativity in technology that cause me to wonder whether leaders of other curriculum areas are always as aware of the possibilities.

One effect of the ready availability of Office 365 is that it introduces many more schools to Microsoft technologies that we’ve met in enterprising schools but haven’t been widely exploited.

Wymondham High, for example, is just one that’s using SharePoint Online to build a learning management ‘portal’ . ‘OneNote’, too, always a favourite among those who took the trouble to explore it, is now reaching a wider audience. The same thing is going to happen to ‘OfficeMix’ as the word goes around.

In most of my encounters with schools and colleges as the year went on I was reminded yet again of the presence and importance of the partner businesses that add so much value and expertise to the Microsoft offering. So, for instance, when I went to see Office 365 in action at St Birinus School in Oxfordshire and later at Sandymoor Free School in Runcorn

I realised just what a great contribution had been made in both implementations by Civica Education, and their great team of e-learning consultants, all with roots in the classroom.

Similarly, my blog about Furness Academy provided an opportunity to renew my contact with SharePoint consultants Novotronix, who have worked with the school to build a school portal using SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. There’s so much going on at Furness that I hope I’ll be able to return to their story in the new school year.

There’s been so much else happening over the year that this personal review has only scratched the surface. Topics that I hope to focus on in coming weeks and months include the development of the Showcase Schools Programme and the increased engagement of teachers and students in Microsoft’s various learning, partnership and certification programmes. On the technology for learning front, I’m sure I’ll find more and more transformational Office 365 stories, driven, often, by Student Advantage. And did I mention Yammer? I’ve written about it in use both at Wymondham and in Further Education at the Isle of Wight College

Now that Yammer enterprise is available with Office 365, more and more institutions are going to discover that it’s potentially a game changer for communication and collaboration. So, as ever with Microsoft, it’s very much watch this space because there’s always something coming along to capture the imagination.

Round up of the last year - guest post from Gerald Haigh

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 43 min ago

Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft series of education blogs.

Over a small chai latte and a piece of cake at Thames Valley Park the other day we agreed that I would write a round-up of my impressions of the academic year – and Microsoft year – that’s just come to a close.

As it turns out, that’s not easy; there’s just so much that it’s difficult to know where to start, what to include and what to leave out. The only way, I decided is to try to identify one or two trends – ideas that seem to me to be coming to fruition, or are planned or maybe no more than straws in the wind. These are personal to me, you understand.

So, for example, while you don’t have to be a genius to realise that the move to ‘one-to-one’ devices is in full flow, you need to look a little more closely to discover that the early mistakes are being taken on board and we are probably now into a second, more thoughtful phase.

Recently, for example, I blogged about Darrick Wood School in Orpington, where staff are still methodically working towards one-to-one fully two years after they decided it was the way to go. For them, it’s a careful process of trialling devices, putting learning first and bringing staff along.

 

As I point out in the blog, what we see at Darrick Wood is the precise opposite of the oft-reported policy in some schools of flooding the place with tablets in the hope that magical things will happen. Significantly, Darrick Wood is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school, which means that staff understandably want to be sure of the effects on learning.

Another thing I learned this year about tablets in the classroom is that it’s not all about apps. Not primarily anyway. The main point about giving a child a tablet – or any one-to-one device -- is that, thanks to effective Wi-Fi (which the school, thankfully, will have provided before even thinking about the devices) he or she will become effectively enrolled in a virtual, anytime/anywhere, internet-enabled environment which is a cloud-based extension of the classroom.

So, for example, I was able to write about Simon de Senlis primary where children and teachers were using Surface RT, Office 365 and the SharePoint based LP+4 learning platform to keep in collaborative touch with each other, giving and receiving feedback.

By contrast, basing a tablet policy on the availability of apps is sure to raise issues about control and consistency. IT staff in what I’m tempted to call an ‘app-happy school’ will tell you that every teacher has a list of favourite apps, with more arriving every day, and there’s a possibility that classroom work, and learning will become app-driven in a way that might be inconsistent with putting learning needs first.

One answer is to look first at apps that support teachers in their day-to-day work and hardly had I written that when a post appeared on the schools blog that’s evidently inspired by the same line of thought. Called, ‘See What’s APPening in Education’, it makes lists five Windows Store apps – ‘Class Policy’, ‘Test Policy’, ‘eBackpack’. ‘Edmodo’ and ‘Social Express’ that are aimed at classroom and learning management tasks and policies.

At the heart of so much that’s happening, I very quickly realised, is Office 365. Back in September, I wrote a blog called ‘The start of my Office 365 Education Journey’.

The blog relates conversations I had with Office 365 experts – people like Alex Pearce of BFC Networks and Microsoft Expert Educator Charlotte Beckhurst of Hartsbrook School. Talking to them made me realise that Office 365 is not just a resource, but a whole learning environment.

Now, it gathers momentum all the time, particularly since the ‘Student Advantage’ licensing scheme has made it so readily available to education. At Wymondham High School, for example, the student ‘O Team’ is pioneering the use of Office 365, spreading the word with a series of videos, and demonstrating just what a force for growth students can be given freedom and wise support.

Across the country, in fact, student groups – ‘The Offperts’ at Saltash.net School is another -- are showing qualities of leadership and creativity in technology that cause me to wonder whether leaders of other curriculum areas are always as aware of the possibilities.

One effect of the ready availability of Office 365 is that it introduces many more schools to Microsoft technologies that we’ve met in enterprising schools but haven’t been widely exploited.

Wymondham High, for example, is just one that’s using SharePoint Online to build a learning management ‘portal’ . ‘OneNote’, too, always a favourite among those who took the trouble to explore it, is now reaching a wider audience. The same thing is going to happen to ‘OfficeMix’ as the word goes around.

In most of my encounters with schools and colleges as the year went on I was reminded yet again of the presence and importance of the partner businesses that add so much value and expertise to the Microsoft offering. So, for instance, when I went to see Office 365 in action at St Birinus School in Oxfordshire and later at Sandymoor Free School in Runcorn

I realised just what a great contribution had been made in both implementations by Civica Education, and their great team of e-learning consultants, all with roots in the classroom.

Similarly, my blog about Furness Academy provided an opportunity to renew my contact with SharePoint consultants Novotronix, who have worked with the school to build a school portal using SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. There’s so much going on at Furness that I hope I’ll be able to return to their story in the new school year.

There’s been so much else happening over the year that this personal review has only scratched the surface. Topics that I hope to focus on in coming weeks and months include the development of the Showcase Schools Programme and the increased engagement of teachers and students in Microsoft’s various learning, partnership and certification programmes. On the technology for learning front, I’m sure I’ll find more and more transformational Office 365 stories, driven, often, by Student Advantage. And did I mention Yammer? I’ve written about it in use both at Wymondham and in Further Education at the Isle of Wight College

Now that Yammer enterprise is available with Office 365, more and more institutions are going to discover that it’s potentially a game changer for communication and collaboration. So, as ever with Microsoft, it’s very much watch this space because there’s always something coming along to capture the imagination.

Announcing Microsoft Dynamics Certified Software Advisor Incentive Policy and Program Changes

MSDN Blogs - 6 hours 58 min ago

Microsoft Dynamics is pleased to announce the following changes to the Certified Software Advisor Incentive program as outlined in the following documents:

The main areas impacted are:

  • Training Pack Annual Requirement – effective July 2014 MBS is launching enhancements to the Readiness Partner Program aimed at transforming the readiness experience for Microsoft Dynamics partners. Go to PartnerSource or Training Pack for further information.
  • Public Sector Revenue Eligibility Guidelines – effective July 1st, 2014 the CSA program will provide payments and revenue recognition for claims on public sector customers ONLY if those customers are located in countries on the CSA Approved Public Sector Country List (available at the hyperlink).  For more information click here.
  • CSA Incentive Program Exam Requirements Changes – effective January 1st, 2015. As part of the annual update to the CSA program, changes to the program’s exam requirements are in store, driven by new product versions and      accompanying exams (now available) and Microsoft’s goal to have Dynamics partners certified on the most current product version.  To learn more, refer to the CSA Guide for On-Premise Solutions or visit the Exam Requirements – What’s Coming page. 

 There are also new policies regarding:

Claim Payment Forfeiture Timelines - Microsoft makes every attempt to contact you regarding any issues related to, or preventing you from receiving your incentive payments.  As part of the regular monthly payment cycle, Microsoft will inform all partners who are missing portions of the required payment documentation – e.g., tax forms, bank details and/or invoices – before the payment cycle is complete. The best way to ensure the correct person in your organization is receiving these communications is to assign a member of your team as a Partner Incentive Manager in VOICE.

If the required information is received by Microsoft in time for the monthly disbursement payment will be released the same month. If the required information is received after the disbursement date, the payment will be included in the following months’ payment cycle.

For partners who fail to submit the required information, Microsoft will make incremental further follow ups for up to 3 times within 180 days post the initial notification. If the required documents are not received by Microsoft within the 180 day post the initial notification, the pending CSA Incentive payment will be deemed forfeited and no further notification will be sent to the partner.

Partner Claim Query Timelines - Partners who find a CSA incentive that may not have been processed according to the terms of Microsoft Dynamics Certified Software Advisor Incentive Schedule (located here) may ask for a review within the 90 days following the CSA Incentive Claim Date.

Please refer to the links provided to help you understand and implement these updates,but if you should have any questions please contact your Regional Operations Centre. 

Regards, Global Operations Readiness

Training Events:

 

SQL Database のアクティブ地理レプリケーションの詳細

MSDN Blogs - 7 hours 13 min ago

このポストは、7 月 12 日に投稿した Spotlight on SQL Database Active Geo-Replication の翻訳です。

この記事は、ビジネス継続性と障害復旧について取り上げたシリーズ記事の第 1 弾です。初回であるこの記事では、ビジネス継続性の一般的なシナリオについて説明し、さらに SQL Database の Premium サービス レベルでご利用いただけるアクティブ地理レプリケーションの詳細についてご紹介します。アクティブ地理レプリケーションについてさらに詳しい情報を知りたい方は、情報量が豊富な Channel 9 のビデオ (英語) をご覧ください。Sasha Nosov と Scott Klein が、そのしくみや実際のビジネス シナリオへの応用について説明しています。

ビジネス継続性とは

ビジネス継続性とは、サービス中断が発生したとき (特にコンピューティング インフラストラクチャが原因の場合) に業務の運用を継続するためのしくみやポリシー、手順などのことを指します。

データベースという視点から見ると、サービス中断には主に次の 4 つの原因が考えられます。

  1. ローカルのハードウェアまたはソフトウェアの障害: ディスク ドライブの障害などによりデータベース ノードが影響を受ける場合です。
  2. データの損失や消去: 通常はアプリケーションの不具合や人為的なミスにより発生します。このような障害は本質的にはアプリケーション固有のものであり、インフラストラクチャでルールに従って自動的に検出したり軽減策をとることはできません。
  3. データセンターのサービス停止: 自然災害などによって発生します。この場合、代替データセンターへのアプリケーションのフェールオーバーを伴う何らかの地理レプリケーションが必要です。
  4. アップグレードやメンテナンスでのエラー: 計画していたアップグレードやメンテナンスの際にアプリケーションやデータベースで予期しない問題が発生したときには、データベースを以前の状態に迅速にロールバックすることが必要な場合があります。
Azure SQL Database がビジネス継続性を確保するしくみ

Azure SQL Database は、堅牢な高可用性データベース サービスとして基礎から構築されたもので、常にデータベースのレプリカを 3 つ以上保持し、応答の前に少なくとも 2 つのレプリカに対して更新をコミットするシステムを使用しています。この高可用性システムにより、上記のシナリオのうち 1 つめのローカルのハードウェアおよびソフトウェアの障害は解決されます。

現在プレビューとして提供している新しいサービス レベルの Basic、Standard、Premium では、以下に示す他の 3 つの問題を解決する機能を提供し、次世代のビジネス継続性を実現しています。

データの損失や消去: Basic、Standard、Premium の各レベルのデータベースでは、データベースを以前の状態に復元するセルフサービス型のポイントインタイム リストア機能がサポートされています。これにより、アプリケーションのエラーや人為的ミスによるデータの損失や消去からの保護が可能です。完全バックアップは毎週、差分バックアップは毎日、トランザクション ログのバックアップは 5 分ごとに実施されます。データベースのバックアップの保持期間は、Basic では 7 日間、Standard では 14 日間、Premium では 35 日間です。この機能では、最近削除されたものも含め、データベースを保持期間内の任意の時点に復元できます。

データセンターのサービス停止: Basic、Standard、Premium の各サービス レベルでは、データベースに対して、他のリージョンに存在する他のデータセンターで復旧する必要のある長期的なデータセンターのサービス停止に対する保護が実施されます。地理冗長ソリューションには次の 3 種類があります。

  • 地理リストア (Geo-restore) *: Basic、Standard、Premium の各サービス レベルで、最後に実施された日単位のバックアップの地理冗長コピーを使用できます。[*近日中にプレビューをリリース予定]
  • 標準の地理レプリケーション*: Standard および Premium データベースでは、ローカルの高可用性システムを拡張して、対となるリージョンでセカンダリ レプリカを作成し、保守を行います。このセカンダリはオフラインで、データセンターで障害が発生しない限りアクセスできません。障害が発生した場合はオンラインになり、アプリケーションがフェールオーバーに使用できるようになります。[*近日中にプレビューをリリース予定]
  • アクティブ地理レプリケーション: Premium データベースで提供するサービスで、データ損失のリスクを最小限に抑えると共に復旧時間も最短となる、最も高品質なソリューションです。これは標準の地理レプリケーションを拡張したもので、地理レプリケートされたセカンダリが最大で 4 つオンラインの状態で保持され、これらは常時使用できます。また、負荷分散を実行したり、レプリケートされたデータに世界中のどこからでも短いレイテンシでアクセスすることができます。アクティブ地理レプリケーションは、現在プレビューをご利用いただけます。

アップグレードやメンテナンスでのエラー: アクティブ地理レプリケーションを使用した場合に作成されるデータベースのコピーは常にレプリケーションが実施され、データベースやアプリケーションの更新やメンテナンスが行われる前の状態にすぐに固定できます。処理中または処理完了後に何らかのエラーが検出された場合は、このコピーにすばやく手軽にフォールバックできます。

各サービス レベルで使用可能なソリューションは異なりますが、データベースのサービス レベルは簡単にアップグレードやダウングレードができます。このため、たとえば、重要なアップグレードを行う前に Standard から Premium にアップグレードして、アクティブ地理レプリケーションを使用することもできます。アップグレード作業が完了した後は、データベースを元のレベルにダウングレードしてコストを抑えられます。

アクティブ地理レプリケーションの詳細

ここでは、アクティブ地理レプリケーションがどのような場面でビジネス継続性に有効かについて、そのしくみや活用方法を詳しく見ていきます。

図 1: Premium データベースでは、同一リージョンまたは異なるリージョンで最大 4 つの読み取り可能なセカンダリ レプリカが保持されます。

アクティブ地理レプリケーションのリレーションシップは、Azure 管理ポータル、PowerShell、REST API のそれぞれで作成および管理できます。ポータルでは、プライマリとセカンダリのそれぞれからレプリケーションのリレーションシップを管理できます。プライマリからは、各セカンダリのレプリケーションのステータスを監視できます。

図 2: Azure 管理ポータルでは最大で 4 つの地理レプリケーションのセカンダリを作成し、その状態を監視できます。

最大で 4 つの読み取り可能なセカンダリを、プライマリと同じ名前で、異なる場所に存在するサーバーに作成できます。セカンダリが最初に作成されるときには、その時点のプライマリの状態のままシードされます。いったん各セカンダリが最新の状態になると、その後はプライマリのコピーとして継続的に保守されます。他のすべてのデータベースと同様に、セカンダリ データベースは、通常の高可用性システムを使用してローカルで保護されています。

ローカルの高可用性レプリケーション モデルとは異なり、プライマリからセカンダリへの地理レプリケーションは非同期で行われます。プライマリに適用されたトランザクションはセカンダリにコピーされて適用されますが、この処理を待機する間にプライマリがブロックされることはありません。変更はバッファーに保存されるため、一時的な接続障害が発生したり、離れた場所にコピーするためにレイテンシが長い場合でも、レプリケーション システムは対応可能です。

セカンダリへのトランザクションの適用がプライマリのボトルネックにならないようにするには、セカンダリのパフォーマンスがプライマリと同等か、またはそれ以上である必要があります。

セカンダリは読み取り可能なので、独立した読み取り専用のワークロードをサポートしています。この機能により、複雑なクエリのワークロードの負荷を複数のデータベースに分散したり、アプリケーションがデータにアクセスしたときのレイテンシを世界中どこでも低く抑えることができます。

図 3: データセンターのサービス停止によりプライマリが影響を受けた場合、レプリケーションのリレーションシップが終了し、アプリケーションがセカンダリにフェールオーバーされます。

レプリケーションのリレーションシップは手動で管理されるため、任意の時点でリレーションシップを終了できます。プライマリから終了する場合は、即座に終了して保留中のトランザクションを破棄するか、または保留中のトランザクションをすべて適用した後に終了するかを選択できます。

データセンターのサービスが停止してプライマリに影響がある場合も、フェールオーバーは手動で行います。このため、フェールオーバーを実行するかどうか、およびどのタイミングで実行するかは管理者が決定できます。プライマリ データベースは使用できないため、この場合はセカンダリ データベースからリレーションシップを終了します。セカンダリからのリレーションシップの終了は常に即座に行われるため、プライマリが使用不能になった時点でまだコピーされていなかったトランザクションは失われます。データが失われる量は、プライマリで障害が発生した時点でどれほど活発にトランザクションが行われていたか、およびその接続でトランザクションのバッファー処理がどの程度行われていたかによります。レプリケーションのリレーションシップを終了するかどうかは、データ損失によって見込まれる損害とアプリケーションをバックアップすることによるメリットを考慮して決定します。

いったんセカンダリ データベースへのリレーションシップを終了すると、このデータベースは通常の読み書き可能なデータベースになります。この時点で、データベースに対するフル アクセスを所有するアプリケーションをフェールオーバーできます。各セカンダリはプライマリと同じ名前を持ちますが、個別のデータベースであり、異なるサーバーに存在するため、アプリケーションでは更新された接続文字列を再構成する必要があります。

フェールオーバー処理の管理が終了した後に、プライマリとして新しい本番用のデータベースに交換した以外は以前と同じ構成の地理レプリケーションのリレーションシップを再構築することがあります。この場合、使用しているアプリケーションとビジネス継続性のポリシーの要件となっている地理冗長性と負荷分散を必ず確保します。

図 4: セカンダリへの元のリレーションシップを終了した後は、新たに地理レプリケーションのリレーションシップを作成して、新しいプライマリを保護すると共に負荷分散の各要件をサポートする必要があります。

アクティブ地理レプリケーションは、さまざまなアプリケーションのアーキテクチャのパターンと統合可能です。この場合、どのレイヤーとコンポーネントが最もリスクが高く、どのコンポーネントが地理的に分散されるかがそれぞれのパターンで異なります。詳細についてはこちらの記事を参照してください。

まとめ

アクティブ地理レプリケーションは、強力な地理レプリケーション機能でデータセンターのサービス停止からデータベースを保護するだけではなく、他のビジネス継続性のシナリオにも有効です。アクティブ地理レプリケーションは、現在 Premium データベースでプレビューをご利用いただけます。

SQL Database のビジネス継続性の詳細については、アクティブ地理レプリケーションの記事をお読みいただくか、アクティブ地理レプリケーションでビジネスを保護する方法について説明している Sasha Nosov と Scott Klein の Channel 9 ビデオ (英語) をご覧ください。

アクティブ地理レプリケーション、およびこの機能によって可能となるビジネス継続性機能をご利用いただくには、新しいサービス レベルのプレビュー機能にサインアップしていただく必要があります。ぜひこの機能をお試しいただき、ご意見をお聞かせください。

 

Event: Imagine Cup Day at MOHAI, Aug 2, 2014 in Seattle

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 20:37

Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition

On Saturday, August 2, MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) and Microsoft will host Imagine Cup Day when the museum will open its doors to the public for free and the Imagine Cup world finalists will showcase their projects as part of a special one-day only event. Residents of Seattle are invited to meet the students and see their projects in action.

At the MOHAI Imagine Cup showcase, visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Imagine Cup project, and the team with the winning project will receive the Avanade People’s Choice Award: a $2,000 prize!

For details click here

App for SharePoint の Autohosted から Provider-hosted への移行

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 20:36
こんにちは。 以前よりチームブログでアナウンスされていましたが、App for SharePoint (SharePoint 用アプリ) で Autohosted (自動ホスト型) は廃止されました。(デバッグ実行は可能ですが、配置・展開などはできません。) このため、Autohosted で作成していた Remote App は、Provider-hosted (プロバイダー向けのホスト型) への Migration (移行) が必要です。 今回は、本件について多方面からご質問いただいてますので (全部にちゃんと回答できておらず、すみません)、以下に手順などを記載しておきます。 以下では、Office 365 (SharePoint Online) を想定して記述します。 Delivarables の構成 まず、手順を実施する前に、ベースの仕組みをちゃんと理解しておいてください。 以前、「 Apps for SharePoint 2013 の動作と概要 」でも解説しましたが、Autohosted では、クラウド上に発行される Web サイトや Database...(read more)

Visual Studio Online Update – July 21

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:32

Today we began deployment of our sprint 68 work.  There’s a bunch of really good stuff there.  I say “begun” because deployment is a multi day event now as we roll it out across instances.  Everyone should have the updates by tomorrow (Tue) afternoon.  You can read the release notes to get details.

Licensing

You’ll see that one part of the licensing changes I described a couple of weeks ago are now live – addition of Test Hub access to the Visual Studio Online Advanced license.  The remaining stakeholder licensing changes are still tracking to go live in mid-August.  Stay tuned for more.

Azure Active Directory support

The biggest thing in the announcement is the next step in our rollout of Azure Active Directory (AAD) support in VS Online.  We started this journey back in May with the very first flicker of AAD support at the Build conference.  We added more support at TechEd but I’ve stay pretty quiet about it because, until this week, there was no way to convert and existing account to AAD.  With this deployment we’ve enabled it.  Officially it’s in preview and you have to ask to get access to do it but we’re accepting all requests so it’s nothing more than a speed bump to keep too big a rush from happening all at once.  With these last set of changes, you can:

  • Associate your OrgID (AAD/AD credentials) with your MSDN subscription, if you have one, and use that to grant your VSO license
  • Create a new account bound to an AAD tenant
  • Bind an existing account to an AAD tenant
  • Unbind an account from an AAD tenant
  • Log in with either a Microsoft Account or and OrgID (AAD only or synchronized from you on prem Active Directory) giving you single sign-on with your corporate credentials, Office 365, etc.
  • I’m probably forgetting something but you get the point

I encourage you to read the docs for details.  One thing I’ve asked be included in the docs and I’m still not satisfied with the clarity is one detail about binding an existing account to AAD.  If you have an existing account not bound to AAD then, by definition, you are using Microsoft Accounts.  When you bind you VS Online account to AAD, your identities have to be recognized by AAD to authenticate.  You have 3 options for each existing user of your account:

  1. Add the Microsoft Account as an “external identity” in your AAD.  All your data and in-progress work carries forward.  The draw back is that external Microsoft accounts won’t fully honor you AAD policies – like Two Factor Auth, Password policies, etc.  It’s still a Microsoft Account that’s been associated with your AAD, giving your AAD admin central control over access.
  2. If you created your Microsoft Account using the same email address as your AD/AAD identity (for instance, for me it’s bharry@microsoft.com) then, when you bind your VSO account to AAD, your Microsoft Account will be seamlessly rebound to your corporate identity.  All your data and in progress work carries forward and your login get the full set of AAD governance.  This is the “best” of the 3 options but requires that you created your Microsoft Account a certain way.
  3. If you can’t do #2 and you don’t want to do #1, then you can just add your AAD identity as a “new” VS Online user and remove your old Microsoft Account identity from the VS Online account.  To VS Online this is just like adding a new user and deleting an old user.  VS Online has no idea they are the same person.  This has the advantage of getting full AAD administration but the downside that in-progress work (checkouts, work items assigned to you, …) and other places where your old MS Account identity was associated need to either be deleted or reassigned to your new identity.  Work items can be reassigned.  Workspaces, shelvesets and stuff like that can be deleted.  History will always be associated with your “old” Microsoft Account identity.

So that’s a good segue to what’s left for us to do to really complete AAD support…

  1. Add the ability to migrate one identity to any other identity, thereby having all references in VSO changed to the new user (to get around the issue in #3).  This is on the backlog but is going to take a while.
  2. Add support for using AAD groups (to assign permissions, query work items, etc) in VS Online.  Today you can use AAD users, but you can’t yet AAD groups.  This feature is coming fairly soon (within the next few sprints).

I’m sure I’m missing something else we haven’t done yet but I don’t think anything big.  AAD support is ready for prime time for most user scenarios.

Account deletion

And I have to say something about account deletion.  Until this week, VS Online account deletions could only be done by contacting support – and we had to do a delicate dance to ensure that the person requesting a deletion had the rights to.  For the past few months, account deletion has been the #1 support request, with dozens of requests a month.  There are all kinds of reasons –

  • Merging multiple accounts into one
  • Moving from VS Online back to on-premises TFS
  • Wanting to just wipe everything out and start over (for instance after an evaluation)
  • Etc.

With this week’s deployment, account deletion is self service (assuming you are an account administrator).  However, it’s important to understand that all account deletes are “soft” deletes only.  Meaning the account is “marked for deletion” and no one can access it any more but it is *not* actually deleted.  It will be physically deleted, I believe, 60 days after you delete it in the UI.  This gives you a window to have your “Oh sh%t!” moment.  If you realize that you deleted something you did not intend to, you can contact support and they can “undelete” your account.  This is indicative of a general direction we are headed where all deletes are “soft” and you always have a time window to go back and recover it.  It will take us quite a while to get there on everything that can be deleted but we’ll make progress every chance we get.  Of course, if there’s some reason you *REALLY* need a VS Online account permanently deleted immediately, you can contact support to help you.

Conclusion

Oh, and lest I manage to avoid mentioning any feature in this deployment, check out the new trend reports.  They are very cool and make the VS online charting experience even more useful.  And, because I know several people will ask, yes, these charting enhancements will be added Team Foundation Server (our on-premises product).  If everything goes according to plan, they will be in TFS 2013.4 (Update 4) later this fall.

It’s a bunch of stuff.  Maybe you have to be a bit of a geek to appreciate all of it   We’ve been working on some of this for a good while and I’m really happy to see it all available.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

Brian

Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 3 がリリースされました!

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:29

みなさん、こんにちは。

2014 年 7 月 15 日(US 時間) に Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 3  が
ダウンロードセンターにリリースされました。次のリンクから Update Rollup 3 に
関する情報を確認することができます。

※ Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 用サービスパック 1 を適用済の環境にはこちらの
Update Rollup は適用できません。事情がありサービスパック 1 を適用できない環境
に対するパッチとなりますのでご注意ください。

マイクロソフト ダウンロード センター: http://www.microsoft.com/ja-JP/download/details.aspx?id=43665
Microsoft サポート技術情報 : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2930480
マイクロソフト アップデート (現時点で未公開): http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=2930480

各種スケジュール(US 時間)
• Dynamics CRM オンライン: オンライン環境は 2014 年春バージョンのため該当せず
• マイクロソフト ダウンロードセンター: 2014 年 7 月 15 日 に公開済み 
• マイクロソフト アップデート: 2014 年 8 月予定

Update Rollup 3  概要 
• Update Rollup 3 はアンインストールが可能です。
• クライアント用インストールパッケージをダウンロードセンターより取得した場合には、インストールに管理者権限が必要です。
  マイクロソフト アップデート(Windows Update) を利用した場合には、管理者権限は要求されません。
• 修正された内容等の詳細はサポート技術情報 2930480 をご参照ください。

Update Rollup 3 のモジュールは 06.00.0003.0106 (6.0.3.106) です。

Update Rollup サポートポリシー

Microsoft Dynamics CRM の全てのサーバーコンポーネントは、同じバージョンの
Update Rollup を利用してください。但し、複数のサーバーに対して順次展開中のみ
一時的に異なるバージョンの Update Rollup を利用することはサポートされます。

Outlook クライアントと Microsoft Dynamics CRM サーバーの Update Rollup に
ついては一致させることを強く推奨しますが、バージョンが不一致している場合
にもサポートされます。極力同じバージョンとなるよう計画的にアップデートを
行ってください。

尚、サービスパック 1 をご利用いただく場合は、サーバー、クライアントともに
サービスパックの適用をお願いいたします。

関連製品のバージョンについて

Internet Explorer や SQL Server, Exchange Server など Microsoft Dynamics CRM
に関連する製品のサポートされるバージョンは以下の技術情報を参照してください。

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2669061

- 中村 憲一郎

Cumulative Update #11 for SQL Server 2012 SP1

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 17:13
Dear Customers, The 11 th cumulative update release for SQL Server 2012 SP1 is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site. Cumulative Update 11 contains all the SQL Server 2012 SP1 hotfixes which have been available since the initial release of SQL Server 2012 SP1. To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit: CU#11 KB Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975396 Understanding IncrementalServicingModel for SQL Server SQL Server Support Information...(read more)

Microsoft Dynamics AX Intelligent Data Management Framework 2.0 released

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:41

We are happy to announce release of "Microsoft Dynamics AX Intelligent Data Management Framework 2.0" tool.

The Microsoft Dynamics AX Intelligent Data Management Framework (IDMF) lets system administrators optimize the performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX installations. IDMF assesses the health of the Microsoft Dynamics AX application, analyzes current usage patterns, and helps reduce database size.

 

Supported products:

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

 

Download link:

https://informationsource.dynamics.com//RFPServicesOnline/Rfpservicesonline.aspx?ToolDocName=Microsoft+Dynamics+AX+Intelligent+Data+Management+Framework+2.0%7cQJ4JEM76642V-8-1796 

 

Document link:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh378082.aspx

 

Next update:

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Management Pack Authoring in the VSAE - Tips and Tricks

MSDN Blogs - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:00

I started authoring management packs (MPs) in System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) when the 2007 version was released. At that time the Authoring Console was not out so I had the pleasure of learning to author in the XML directly. This was difficult at the time but I’m thankful I went through it because I still use those skills today. Another important skill that helps when authoring management packs is having a development background. At least being able to development PowerShell scripts will prove valuable because at some point scripting will be necessary in order to create an advanced custom management pack.

Tip # 1 – Don’t re-invent the wheel

The System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions (VSAE) can be challenging to use if you’ve never authored management packs before since it really does require some knowledge of the XML schema. This brings me to my first tip, if you aren’t sure how the XML should look then find and/or create something similar. Sometimes you can use the console, another authoring tool, a blog, or my personal favorite – searching a directory of exported management packs. In my lab I import and create lots of MPs. I will periodically use PowerShell (Get-ManagementPack | Export-ManagementPack –Path c:\temp\mps) to export all the MPs into a directory that I then use to search for examples usually using the name of the module I’m trying to use in my management pack.

Tip # 2 – Create portable solutions

My next tip involves making your VSAE solution portable. I almost always save my VSAE projects to Team Foundation Server (TFS) so if you have access to one I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t it’s still a good idea to make your VSAE projects as portable as possible. If you get a new machine, need to use the VSAE on another machine, or share your project with someone else they might get errors when trying to open or build your project. This is because certain items in your project, like the key you use to seal your MPs or the MP references you use, might not exist in the same place or at all on the machine you’ve moved your project to. You can fix this and I usually do it for all the projects I create:

  • Copy any referenced management packs (In Solution Explorer under your project\References), the key you use to seal your MP, and any other necessary files and aren’t explicitly added to your project to a directory at the same level as your management pack solution (solution name.sln file). I use Resources as my directory.
  • Close the project in Visual Studio
  • Go to the project folder and open the <Your Project Name>.mpproj file in a text editor
  • Find anything with a static path like c:\ and change it to ..\Resources\<filename>

Save the project file and reopen Visual Studio. Be sure to do the same thing if you add any additional references to the management pack. Now you should be able to copy this entire VSAE solution to another machine, open, and build it without errors.

Tip # 3 – Create a naming convention and stick to it

Some of the authoring consoles and certainly the product consoles do a poor job of naming items in a management pack. They either use GUIDs or ignore the namespace of your management pack. I tend to use Custom.Example.MyMP for the MPs I author. If I need to add a class then the ID would be Custom.Example.MyMP.MyClass. If I need to add a rule then the ID would be Custom.Example.MyMP.Rule.MyRule. This makes navigating the MP and finding items in it much easier. If I start my MP in another console and pull it into the VSAE I usually fix the IDs to adhere to my convention above.

Tip # 4 – Organize your solution

I create folders under each project for the type of items I plan to put in it. If my solution creates multiple MP files then I add new projects to the same solution. This makes your solution more modular and easier to navigate. Here is an example of one of the more recent MPs I wrote.

Tip # 5 – Keep your language packs in the same MP fragment as the items it refers to

I find it much easier and portable if every MP fragment (mpx) I create contains its own language packs section for the items that exist in that mpx. Here is an example of a rules fragment I created, notice that I also chose to put the Presentation section for the alert that the rule creates in the same mpx as well.

Tip # 6 – Always reference code files from the MP XML

If your MP contains scripts, TSQL, etc… then reference the file containing your code from the MP XML rather than pasting it directly into the MP. This makes the MP much cleaner and the code separate from the XML until it’s compiled. Here is an example of both PowerShell scripts and TSQL queries that I reference in the MP:

To reference the file from the MP XML you must use the IncludeFileContent along with the path to the file like I did below:

Tip # 7 – Snippets are your friend

Funny story, earlier this year I was sitting in a hotel lobby bar in Washington, DC and “The” Kevin Holman called me. Kevin asked me how I would author ~200 performance collection rules. My answer, as usual, was that it depends. Is this a one time thing or are you regularly going to have to create these? If this is a regular occurrence then PowerShell might be the best way to do it. However, if this is something that you just need to do once then Snippets are the way to go. He was hesitant because he hadn’t really used the VSAE yet but I talked him into giving it a shot… About a week later Kevin posts a blog on how to do it: How to use Snippets in VSAE to write LOTS of workflows, quickly!

Tip # 8 – The Management Pack Browser is a hidden but very useful feature

To get to the Management Pack Browser you can click on View\Management Pack Browser. You can also right-click on any module in your MP and choose “Go to Definition”. This helps if you need to see what parameters you can pass into a module. The MP Simulator can also be launched from the Management Pack Browser. Just right-click on any monitor, rule, or discovery and choose MP Simulator. Also, once you launch the MP Simulator if you want to see additional tracing from the module you need to right-click in the whitespace under “Start Simulation” and check “Enable Tracing for the whole workflow”.

Tip # 9 – Stick with Empty MP Fragments

With the exception of snippets I rarely use anything other than empty mpx files when authoring in the VSAE. I find the limited UI for some of the items to be more confusing than just authoring directly in the XML. If more UI work is done in the future then I might change my mind.

Tip # 10 – The VSAE isn’t always the right tool for the job

Today I almost exclusively use the System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions (VSAE) to author both SCOM and System Center Server Manager (SCSM) management packs. There are some exceptions to this:

  • Instance level overrides, or anything that requires a GUID in the XML. It is easier to do this in the console since it finds the right GUID for you.
  • Views and dashboards. I find this cumbersome to try and do outside of the console.
  • Forms in Service Manager. The Service Manager Authoring Tool works best for this.

In most cases, especially if I am sharing the code, I will start creating these exceptions in the consoles but might later pull what I authored into the VSAE and clean up the XML.

 

New to Management Pack Authoring?

  1. Learn PowerShell first if you don’t already know it, you will need it at some point
  2. If you’re authoring MPs for Service Manager then it might also be helpful to learn Orchestrator and/or Service Management Automation (SMA)
  3. For System Center Operations Manager, start with Silect’s free MP Authoring Tool
  4. For System Center Service Manager, start with the SCSM Authoring Tool
  5. Check out Brian Wren’s video series on MP Authoring

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