Category Archives: Bits

Database DevOps

Microsoft’s Channel 9 Visual Studio Toolbox talks about bringing DevOps practices to the database.

Database DevOps with Redgate Data Tools

https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Visual-Studio-Toolbox/Database-DevOps-with-Redgate-Data-Tools

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Luke Fabish – Tame Your CSS with Some SASS

SASS.  I have toyed with SASS a little, and I do mean a little.  We have it built into one of our projects.  Usually when you create your styling you rarely need to go change it.  So those few times I have managed to figure things out.

Personally that is not good enough.  It is one of those topics I keep meaning to learn about and yet not have the time.  I received an email with a link to Luke’s article from Simple Programmer.  It is a long read, but it is worth it.

Tame Your CSS with Some SASS by Luke Fabish

Simple Programmer is a great resource as well.  I highly suggest you subscribe to his news letter.  You never know what you mind find in your inbox; today I found this article.  I went to Luke’s site and saw right away several more I would like to read.

Add Some Color to Your SSMS

Colors Are Spice For Your Eyes

Graveyard Trail

One of the definitions of color at Dictionary.com is

the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement or hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.

That is quite a mouthful for something we can just look at and instantly appreciate.  Colors are a natural occurrence.  Colors can spice up a day in the mountains making it more enjoyable compared to the bland look of winter or the constant lush green of summer.

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Easter Eggs in the Enterprise

Plastic Easter Eggs

Something I always enjoyed when I was younger was finding Easter Eggs.  I also remember the first time I found Easter Eggs in software.

I was really excited and thought I had found something unique.  Most of the time though it seems these fun little things are only in games.  Personally I would like to change that, or maybe just have it happen more often.

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Application Event Logging

The Art of Logging

Log Book

During my time as a Naval Nuclear Field Machinist Mate I did a lot of logging.  The data points we logged were not for busy work, they had a reason and a purpose.

Logging certain data points around the same time multiple times a day is a lot of data.  As you know this data lets you see trends, maybe detect a potential equipment failure before it happens.

Application logging in the enterprise is not much different.  The hard part is knowing what to log, where to log, and how to log it.  I hope this article will help you answer some of those questions.

 

 

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The Magic of Config Transformations

Fog, trees, and a lightWe have all used the magic of the Web.config transformations.  This is when we have our Web.config and connected to that is a version that does some work for release and one for debug; Web.Release.config and Web.Debug.config.  These are a great way to automatically have the correct target use the correct settings, especially connection strings.  Whether we use that or not and just leave it as something that looks cool is a different thing.

Did you know you can get this magic for your console applications as well?  I know, a web developer doing console apps?  As an enterprise one sometimes I find it is the best solution to some problems.  While it seems like a small thing I wished I had it in the console applications, I am happy to say that I have found it!

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Beware of Tunnel Vision

The Road to Nowhere

The Road to Nowhere

Recently I was working on an older project.  Nothing too big, just a really old Windows Service that consumed another third party SOAP web service.  I finally had the chance to do something we don’t get to do in the enterprise, improve old code without a user request due something broken or needing a new feature.  Yes for those that don’t know, if it isn’t broke you don’t fix it.

Working on this project I had become fixated on implementing something in a way that just could not be done.  Because I was so focused on the one path I could not see what was plain and simple in front of my face.  Little did I know I was on the Road to Nowhere.

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LINQ VS the NULL Monster

The Problem

I was working on a task, something that seemed just way too simple.  I needed to filter a List<T> on one of the values in the objects in the List.  I put my LINQ in place and started the tests.  This change needed to happen in different areas, but it was simple reuse of code and not a big deal and so was really only two places.  The tests returned the error about an object not set to an instance of an object.  I really don’t like that error.

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Open a Unity Project Using Right Click

Today I am attending an MVA on Building Windows 10 Games with Unity 5.  It is a lot of information and I will definitely have to re-watch some modules when the recording is released.

One of the presenters, Adam Tuliper, created a nice registry entry for Windows machines to open a Unity project with a right click.  For those that don’t know, Unity is folder based; not solution based like a Visual Studio project.  His registry script allows you to right click on a folder and open it as a Unity project.

http://completedevelopment.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/open-unity-5-project-with-right-click.html

The Danger of Null Values

I made a goof ball mistake today.  I was using LINQ to query a List<> and return the ToString() of the result.  As usual I was using FirstOrDefault() and I simply added .ToString() to the end of it.

fieldValue = (from d in customFields where d.CustomFieldId == fieldId select d.data).FirstOrDefault().ToString();

Of course things worked swimmingly until the Default (null) was hit. At that point I got an Object not set to an instance error.  I had to laugh at myself.

var fieldData = (from d in customFields where d.CustomFieldId == fieldId select d.data).FirstOrDefault();
fieldValue = fieldData != null ? fieldData.ToString() : "";