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DotNet Weekly
Liquid Newsletter Template Week:33
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Articles we enjoyed

Cool (and Free) Tools for Entity Framework
Now that Entity Framework is open source, the development community is able to contribute code to it at But don’t limit yourself to looking there for tools and extensions. There are other great tools, both commercial and community-driven, that can help you achieve more with Entity Framework. In this column, I want to highlight some of those tools and extensions that come from the community. They’re all free and available through the Visual Studio Gallery (for IDE extensions) or NuGet (for code libraries). There are even some from members of the Entity Framework team that are pet projects and external to the official bits.

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Use a Microsoft Account to Create Web Apps Protected by Azure AD – With VS2013 Update 3
Back in December I have posted an article which described a limitation of the organizational identities support in the ASP.NET project templates in Visual Studio 2013. In a nutshell. The ASP.NET project templates in Visual Studio 2013 have the ability to automatically create an entry for your application in Azure Active Directory – so that your project is created already configured to perform web sign on from the very start. That task requires a write operation in the Azure AD of choice, hence Visual Studio needs to acquire a valid token for performing it. To do so, it prompts you – the developer – for a valid account with administrative privileges in the target directory.

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Avoid the Bug as Task anti-pattern in TFS
For the last few months I have been working with a large financial customer in the Netherlands that has been steadily adopting Work Item Tracking in TFS. I have learned that you should avoid the Bug as a Task anti-pattern. The customer that I have been working with is fairly large and there are quite a few ALM Consultants helping them out. My task was to on board one business line of about 120 people and ~10 teams. Incidentally, these teams are, for the most part, Java teams. As with any enterprise there are things that departments can decide for themselves and things that are handed down from on high. In this particular company they are fond of ‘laterals’. A ‘lateral’ is a group of people who get together to make arbitrary and unilateral decisions about how a process should be implemented. The problem arises when they start prescribing the “how” and not just the “what”. They start making technology decision oh “how” things should be implemented, not nessesarily understanding the ramifications. I call this ‘educated ignorance’.

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Leveraging existing code across .NET platforms
Over the last few years, consumers and enterprise employees are using more devices than before which run different operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. As a result developing apps for different platforms is almost a requirement now. With the release of the .NET Portability Analyzer extension we are integrating the ability to reason about portability of your existing code into your development environment. This will allow you an easy way to understand how portable your code is and get recommendations to write your code so that your code just works across platforms.

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Videos we favorited

Episode 326 – Rob Gibbens on Xamarin 3.0

Rob Gibbens of Xamarin University explains significant changes in the recently-released Xamarin 3.0.

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Libraries and Tools to the rescue


IIS and ASP.NET have upload limitations in file sizes. To overcome issues raised by big file uploads checkout resumable.js Read more

Web-based real-time SQL Server Performance Dashboard

SQL Server Performance Dashboard (SSPD) is a small open source web app that shows you performance & problems of one or more SQL Server instances and their databases in near real time. It uses the Dynamic Management Views (DMV) to gather useful data from the verbose output and combines them with utility stored procs in order to get meaningful, easy to understand information out of them. You can use it to quickly spot blocking queries, who is blocking who, expensive query that are consuming high CPU or disk, see if there's unusual locks, very high disk activity and so on. Read more

Events/Webinars/Seminars you shouldn't miss

Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript Jump Start

If you want to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build rich, native apps on a new and exciting platform, look no further. Get the details from Microsoft experts in this fast-paced, two-day course, complete with demos and a look at design considerations for screens from 4 to 40 inches! Read more

The Modern Web Platform Jump Start

Devs, want a primer on the latest capabilities and features available in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript? Discover the basics you need to create websites, web apps, and even native Windows apps. Dive deep into modern web APIs and tour libraries you can use to build anything from the simplest to the most complex apps. Read more

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