Application Insights in your WinForms? Yup!

Posted by Brandon on May 13, 2015 Tags: , , ,

Microsoft’s Application Insights is one hell of a tool. It was showcased a number of times throughout BUILD 2015 at the end of April and continues to make my jaw drop every time I see it shown off and look into my own instance of it.

However, if you’re a Windows Desktop app developer (Forms, Console, Service, etc.) – as most enterprise developers continue to be – you might get a feeling you’re being left in the dust by Microsoft with this new service.

Until now.

Enter my latest project: DesktopApplicationInsights. It’s really just a helper library on top of the App Insights Core API, but it does work pretty damn slick if I do say so myself. Since I have a feeling there will be a lot of thoughts and ideas around this once people see it, I’ve posted it on Github as well. Or if you’d rather just get crackin’ today, you can simply import the NuGet package and be logging telemetry within minutes.

Note that I have currently labeled the NuGet packages as beta since I am rapidly evolving the API and functionality so update often (and be prepared for breaking changes) :) Right now I have completed some “automatic” telemetry for some WinForms controls, but I do have plans to add the same for WPF constructs.

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Serve up Debug Symbols for your NuGet packages? Heck yeah!

image.png Posted by Brandon on January 12, 2015 Tags: , ,

While playing around with NuGet as much as I have been, I noticed something in the ‘nuget pack’ command that I thought was pretty interesting. A ‘-symbols’ flag.

“What’s this do?” I thought. So, naturally, I gave it a shot.

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Visual Studio Online builds & external dependencies

image_thumb.png Posted by Brandon on January 9, 2015 Tags: , ,

As you’ve seen me post before, I use the Multilingual App Toolkit in my Upload to YouTube app to localize it in to many languages. Since MAT is an installed extension to Visual Studio (and msbuild), however, setting up Upload to YouTube for CI and Release builds done in my Visual Studio Online account ended up being an impossibility.

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Create your own hosted NuGet server in Azure

image.png Posted by Brandon on January 7, 2015 Tags: , ,

Some time ago I wrote about how you could create your own local (private) NuGet server by simply putting your .nupkg files out on a server share to which you had access. But there’s a better way still!

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Auto-update your NuGet packages at build time

Posted by Brandon on November 28, 2014 Tags: 

NuGet is great. So great, in fact, that I’ve set up my own NuGet server in Azure to use during my personal development to share Common projects, etc. It’s insanely nice as now I can do my builds using packages from other VSO projects without any hassle.

But for my own personal development, and likely any private NuGet dev that my readers might be doing, it makes some sense to not only deploy libs as NuGet projects, but also configure the applications that use them to pull the latest version of the libs at build time. But NuGet doesn’t do this. By default, anyway… ;)

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Windows 10’s dangerous update – KB3001512

2014-10-05_1600.png Posted by Brandon on October 3, 2014 Tags: 

I’m not the only one reporting this issue, but I’ve also become aware of a few users not having problems. So, I thought I’d just post this as a PSA to people running the new Technical Preview who may be having problems with Store apps and their UIs.

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Get your own short url (and use it!)

2014-10-02_0817.png Posted by Brandon on October 2, 2014 Tags: ,

Got a blog? Want to make yourself a bit more noticeable around the interwebs? What better way to do it than your own short url (a la bit.ly, j.mp, goo.gl, etc)

** Note: If you’re not familiar with domain purchasing, hosting, and nameservers, this might get over your head. So read up on that first.

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Removing Ads with an IAP – the Declarative way

Posted by Brandon on September 26, 2014 Tags: , , ,

Microsoft’s XAML provides a way for us to define our UI in a declarative manner. Combined with databinding it means you should – in almost every case – never have to directly reference a UI control to accomplish some work. Add the MVVM design pattern in to the mix and I find myself “rethinking” any implementation where I think x:Name=”” is needed on a XAML control.

Let’s see how we can remove an ad control application-wide and upon purchase of its corresponding IAP without ever naming the control itself.

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Programmatically changing UI language in Windows Phone

Posted by Brandon on September 13, 2014 Tags: , ,

If you’ve done globally-focused development on Windows Phone, you already know that to change the display language, you have to do so in the Settings area of the phone, then reboot the emulator (or physical device) for the change to take effect.

What a pain. Wouldn’t it be better to change the UI language on-demand? Not to mention provide end users the ability to do so within your app as an added convenience. In this blog post, I’ll show you just how to make that happen.

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Testing disk space exceptions with CopyToAsync

Posted by Brandon on September 1, 2014 Tags: , ,

I got an error report from the field in Upload to YouTube where the user was getting an unhandled exception when I copied their Camera Roll video to temporary storage to hand off to Movie Maker for editing. Great catch, now to shore up the UX when this happens. Only problem is, I need to test filling up the disk during a copy. How could I possibly do this?

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