From TeamCity to VSTS – My DevOps Journey – Part 2

In my last post I commenced my journey to integrate our old deployment process with the new shiny VSTS Release Management system. The whole story was about leveraging processes that were already working for us and the flow looked something like this:

deploy_pipeline

The previous step in the process involved getting TeamCity to grab the build output from VSTS and deploy it using our old deployment PowerShell. With this working, my next goal was to be able to trigger the whole process from Release Management so I could either pick the build I wanted to deploy or trigger it from a successful build in VSTS.

I thought, this is going to be mad easy.

Alas, it turned out to be a little more difficult…

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Partying on the Azure stack. Cortana, ML, Power BI and Azure Functions…

At Fred we pride ourselves on innovation and one of the key tenants of this is our annual Geekend. This is a 36 hour intensive hack fest in which we smash out a retail workflow using as much cool tech as possible in the interest of leveraging it in the coming year. This year I was playing with machine learning and attempting to use it to provide a demand forecasting solution for Dynamics AX.

The idea was to utilize an Azure ML model to predict and generate a list of items to order based on past sales. This was provided thanks to my co-worker and all round machine learning wizard, Praveen.

With the prediction engine in place we attempted to use as many other features provided by the Azure platform and came up with a pretty sweet story to tell. The components involved were:

  • Azure Scheduler
  • Azure Functions
  • Azure Machine Learning
  • Azure SQL
  • Power BI
  • Cortana Intelligence Suite

Although the final product set to be ordered would ultimately be consumed by AX master planning, for the sake of the demo we were just surfacing these results in a Power BI visualization.

Buckle up…

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From TeamCity to VSTS – My DevOps Journey

My team recently migrated to Visual Studio Team Services and as a result we have a goal to consolidate our deployment processes using the powerful Release Management framework. While this is the goal, for the moment I was interested in somehow getting our current build process in Team City to work along side our shiny new ALM provider.

Visual Studio Team Services and TeamCity. You would think they would go together like chocolate and lobster but with some work I was able to achieve a little unity…

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Things I Learned Today #3 – Moving Azure boxes to a new virtual network

While playing around with Power BI in the cloud I ran into some difficulties with authenticating with on-premise SQL Server Analysis Services. I found a great post showing how to get around this for a demo but it first involved connecting my box running the cube to an existing AD. To do this I had to get my existing VM on another virtual network. Apparently this isn’t just setting some magic configuration setting but it can be pulled off with a simple lift and shift operation.

This TechNet article shows you how to make it happen…

Next I’ll post the details of how to trick AD into playing nice with Power BI.

 

Things I Learned Today #1 – where.exe have you been all my life?

Since my memory isn’t what it used to be, I’m going to start blogging anything cool I learn on a given day. Even if nobody reads this it will be a good way for me to create a hit list of cool solutions to problems.

Today’s mad man is the where command on Windows. Here is the description of the command:

[blockquote source=”Command-line help”]Displays the location of files that match the search pattern. By default, the search is done along the current directory and in the paths specified by the PATH environment variable.[/blockquote]

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Xamarin and Android – Specific Solutions to Specific Problems #4

 

It’s been a while but I’m finally back with another one of my recent discoveries while working with Xamarin and Android. We are at the pointy end of our project so it has been hard to find the time to blog but luckily now that I do have some, I also have a lot of material banked up. Stay tuned…

I have list view inside a scroll view and I want to be able to be able to scroll both depending on which one I am touching.

In order to support devices with small screens, sometimes I resort to lazy man’s responsive design. I wrap the whole layout in a ScrollView element. While this works fine most of the time it does have an interesting time dealing with child elements that are also scrollable. The one I run into the most is the existence of a ListView inside a ScrollView.

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“Find was stopped in progress” while performing search in Visual Studio

This issue has been plaguing me for some time and I usually just work around it but today I finally found a fix. It has happened in Visual Studio 2010, 2013 and today it started occurring in 2013 RC. I found a fix in this Microsoft Connect thread and thought I would blog it as a few of the other guys at work had also encountered it from time to time.

I don’t know if this is the “official” fix but the following worked for me:

1. Find in Files for any search string.

2. As soon as it starts searching spam Ctrl – Scroll Lock.

3. Win