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What is the “ApplicationInsights” package in Windows 10 universal apps, and do you need it?

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When you create a new Windows 10 universal application in Visual Studio, you might have noticed that a reference to Microsoft.ApplicationInsights is added to the references folder. In fact, there are three Nuget packages, and one ApplicationInsights.config file in your project. So what is this, and can you remove it? What’s ApplicationInsights? ApplicationInsights is an […]

Skinning WinForms: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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This may come as a shock to you – it certainly did to me – but it seems we provide over 50 skins to choose from for your WinForms projects. Well, I knew there were quite a few – you should see the number of pizzas we have to ship in to the graphic designer team when we do a new major release so they can update them all – but frankly this has got a little out of hand. Consider this: we’ve been shipping skins now for some ten years, and over that time the general way we
as computer/tablet/phone users view UI has changed dramatically. Like it or not, a modern flat style is de rigueur these days. All you need to do is look at Windows 10 and Office 2016, both very recently released, for what I mean. The problem is that pretty much all of the unique look-and-feel styles we ship at the moment (like, say, Halloween or Valentine) are very old-fashioned just from that particular perspective: they are decidedly not flat. And that’s what we hear from our customers about our skins: end-users want the same flat style they see in their smartphones and...(Read whole news on source site)

PhantomJS for SharePoint and Office365 at Collab365

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Great news everyone! Collab 365 Global ConferenceCollab 365 is a free online conference that's just around the corner - this is run by the team behind last year's successful SP24 conference (which was the craziest 24hours - around the clock and around the world). time, the guys are less crazy and will instead have 12hours spanning over two days.  (So a total of 24 hours).PhantomJS: Headless Browser for SharePoint and Office 365 I have been having a lot of fun locally presenting this topic in the Office 365 Saturday events around Australia, and will be presenting this online at Collab 365. My
session is scheduled for 08 October (day 1 - my time), 12PM-1PM.  Please check your local time.  In Australia, this conference spans 08-09 October. is an interesting tool.  It is free - and it is basically browser that you can script to automate many things, without a UI.  I cover scenarios and scripts that will allow you to use it effectively with SharePoint On-Premises and Office 365.If you are a developer - this is a great tool to add to your toolset.  Even if you aren't - as long as you aren't scared of a bit of scripting, you...(Read whole news on source site)

Better Density and Lower Prices for Azure’s SQL Elastic Database Pools

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A few weeks ago, we announced the preview availability of the new Basic and Premium Elastic Database Pools Tiers with our Azure SQL Database service.  Elastic Database Pools enable you to run multiple, isolated and independent databases that can be auto-scaled automatically across a private pool of resources dedicated to just you and your apps.  This provides a great way for software-as-a-service (SaaS) developers to better isolate their individual customers in an economical way. Today, we are announcing some nice changes to the pricing structure of Elastic Database Pools as well as changes to the density of elastic
databases within a pool.  These changes make it even more attractive to use Elastic Database Pools to build your applications. Specifically, we are making the following changes: Finalizing the eDTU price – With Elastic Database Pools you purchase units of capacity that we can call eDTUs – which you can then use to run multiple databases within a pool.  We have decided to not increase the price of eDTUs as we go from preview->GA.  This means that you’ll be able to pay a much lower price (about 50% less) for eDTUs than many developers expected. Eliminating the...(Read whole news on source site)

Become a Better Learner at Work

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Improve Your Ability to Learn

Research has found that learning agility – the ability to grow and to use new strategies – is a good indicator of whether someone can be a high performer. Learning-agile employees are
able to jettison skills and ideas that are no longer relevant and learn
new ones that are. To cultivate learning agility in yourself, try:

Innovating. Seek out new solutions. Repeatedly ask yourself “What else?” and “What are more ways I could approach this?”Performing.
When faced with complex situations, look for similarities to your past

projects. Practice calming techniques, and listen instead of simply
reacting.Reflecting. Seek out input from others. Ask colleagues what you could have done better.Risking. Look for “stretch assignments” where success isn’t a given.Avoid defending. Acknowledge your failures and capture the lessons you’ve learned....(Read whole news on source site)

A Windows 10 UWP app to receive temperature data from a Raspberry PI2 and control a fan using the Azure Service Bus

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Part 5 of Reading temperatures & controlling a fan with a RP2, Azure Service Bus and a Microsoft Band Intro
You cannot deploy apps to a Microsoft Band directly, so there is always a kind of app running on the device to which it is paired on which the code is actually running. Typically this is a phone, but there since this is a Universal Windows App, there is no reason why it could not run on a PC, like this screenshot shows :). Yet, I have found out that although you can pair a Band to a
PC, it will insist on connecting to the app before showing a UI, so you cannot actually use it with a PC. So for the time being, you should use a phone. This blog post will talk about the setup of the app itself, actually excluding most of the stuff related to the Band - and concentrate on how to setup a reasonably componentized app. This app also uses dependency injection, as discussed in my post about the app on the Raspberry PI2, but this one makes full use of the MVVM pattern - to be more specific,...(Read whole news on source site)

Entering the brave new world of VR

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that the dream of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences has accelerated in recent months/years with the evolution of newer and more modern technologies and techniques. Many companies, Kickstarter’s and freelance coders / architects are steadily bringing about the Reality …