Windows

Getting Started local development with Azure Cosmos DB services – Part 1

May 20, 2017 .NET, Azure, Azure SDK, Azure SDK Tools, Azure Tools, Cloud Computing, Computing, CosmosDB, Data Services, Document DB, Emerging Technologies, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, PaaS, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, VS2013, VS2015, VS2017, Windows 10, Windows Azure Development, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windowz Azure 1 comment , ,

Azure Cosmos DB is a multi-API, multi-model highly scalable NoSQL database services from Microsoft Azure platform. In order to develop an application consuming Azure Cosmos DB requires an azure live subscription or emulator in your local machine.

The Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides a local development/test environment for Azure Cosmos DB development purposes. Using Azure Cosmos DB Emulator, you can develop and test your application locally, without needing an azure subscription or without subscription costs.

With this article I am going to take you through necessary steps and requirements to set up your local environment.

1. Pre-Requisites:

Azure Cosmos DB emulator has the following software and hardware requirements:

  • Software requirements
    • Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, or Windows 10
  • Minimum Hardware requirements
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 10 GB available hard disk space

2. Installation:

  • Download Azure Cosmos DB Emulator   (DocumentDb.Install.msi)   ** do not get confused by the name. Azure Cosmos DB is a super set of Document DB, and the DocumentDb emulator they tweaked a bit to support Cosmos Db.
  • Install DocumentDb.Install.msi

Additionally Azure CosmosDB emulator can be run on Docker for Windows. After installing Docker for Windows, you can pull the Emulator image from Docker Hub.

docker pull microsoft/azure-documentdb-emulator

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3. Start/Launch Azure Cosmos DB Emulator:

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After some time you can see the emulator started. When the Azure Cosmos DB emulator launches it will automatically open the Azure Cosmos DB Data Explorer in your browser.

The address will appear as https://localhost:8081/_explorer/index.html

Incase you have closed browser and later would like to open the explorer again, you can open the Data Explorer by right clicking on the taskbar menu.

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Now you can write some sample app to try it, or download already created sample applications from Microsoft depending on the preferred platform of your choice.

4. Limitation of Azure Cosmos DB Emulator: (or Differences between Azure Cosmos DB Emulator vs Real Cosmos DB Cloud Service)

Since the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides an emulated environment running on a local developer workstation, there are some fundamental differences between the emulator and an Azure Cosmos DB account in the cloud:

The following table is also helpful in determining when to use Cosmos DB Emulator and when direct cloud service. Depending on the choice of requirement, you would need to use associated services efficiently.


Cosmos DB Emulator Cosmos DB Cloud Service
Supports only a single fixed account and a well-known master key. Key regeneration is not possible. Supports multiple accounts and different master keys. You can regenerate keys any time from Azure Portal.
Non scalable Highly scalable
Does not support larger data sets Support for large data sets
Does not simulate consistency levels Different Consistency levels available
Does not simulate multi-region replication Configurable as part of the platform, as needed basis.
Does not support quota override feature Supports document size limit increases, increased partitioned collection storage etc.
Might not support most recent changes to Cosmos Db platform Most recent platform update will be available.

Hope this article was helpful for your initial start. If you would need to understand further on Azure Cosmos DB development follow the links. I will be writing further insights in later sessions.

.NET Framework 4.7–Released for All versions of Windows

May 3, 2017 .NET, .NET 4.7, .NET Framework, .NET Framework 4.7, ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, C#.NET, Caching, Cryptography, Extensions, Microsoft, Performance, Security, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, VisualStudio, VS2012, VS2013, VS2015, WCF, Web API, Web API v2.0, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, WinForms, WPF No comments

Microsoft has released next version of .NET Framework (do not get confused with .NET Core) .  Though the .NET Framework 4.7 was released as part of Windows 10 Creators Update a month ago. You can now install the .NET Framework 4.7 on other versions of Windows

Download the: .NET Framework 4.7  – Web installer  |  Offline Installer

.NET Framework 4.7 Developer Pack  In order to add support for .NET Framework 4.7 in Visual Studio 2012 or later we need to install Developer Pack.

Windows Versions and Support:

The .NET Framework 4.7 is supported on the following Windows versions:

  • Windows 10 Creators Update (included in-box)
  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 SP1

The .NET Framework 4.7 is supported on the following Windows Server versions:

  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

New Features in .NET Framework 4.7:

On a high-level below are the set of new features introduced in following areas:

Core

Networking  Default operating system support for TLS protocols*

ASP.NET

  • Object Cache Extensibility  (plug in new implementations of an object cache for an ASP.NET application by using the new ICacheStoreProvider interface. )
  • Memory monitoring (Developers can now write their own memory monitors to replace the default by using the ApplicationMonitors.MemoryMonitor property.)
  • Memory Limit Reactions. (Developers can now replace or supplement the default behavior by subscribing IObserver implementations to the application’s memory monitor.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) 

  • Ability to configure the default message security settings to TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2
  • Improved reliability of WCF applications and WCF serialization

Windows FormsHigh DPI support

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

  • Support for a touch/stylus stack based on Windows WM_POINTER messages
  • New implementation for WPF printing APIs

Also improvements in :

  • High DPI support for Windows Forms applications on Windows 10
  • Touch support for WPF applications on Windows 10
  • Enhanced cryptography support
  • Support for C# 7 and VB 15, including ValueTuple
  • Support for .NET Standard 1.6
  • Performance and reliability improvements

 

Additional References:

Visual Studio 2017 Install error– 0x80131500 – Failed to Deserialize packages

April 5, 2017 .NET, .NET 4.7, .NET Core 1.0, .NET Framework, .NET Framework 4.5.2, .NET Framework 4.6, .NET Framework 4.7, ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core 1.0, ASP.NET MVC, C#.NET, Microsoft, Troubleshooting, Visual Studio 2017, VisualStudio, VS2017, WCF, Windows, Windows 10 No comments

I was frustrated by this error when I am trying to reinstall Visual Studio 2017 after my visual studio got corrupted/failed during upgrade to 15.1 ( or after a previous installation failed due to low disk space).

There is a file called ‘state.json’ , in below mentioned path, which is creating this particular issue. 

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\Packages\Instances\<instance> 

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Solution:

  • Delete/rename the folder as is or rename ‘state.json’ file to ‘something.json’ .

Found from : https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/content/problem/2877/install-error-0x80131500-failed-to-deserialize-pac.html

Azure SDK for .NET 3.0 available for Visual Studio 2015/2017

April 2, 2017 .NET, .NET Framework, Add-In's, App Service, Azure, Azure SDK, Azure SDK Tools, Cloud Services, General, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, VS2013, VS2015, VS2017, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Azure, Windows Azure Development, Windowz Azure No comments

Windows Azure SDK for .NET, which include SDKs, basic tools, and extended tools for Visual Studio development for Azure Cloud enabled applications.  Microsoft has released latest Azure SDK for .NET along with Visual Studio 2017 (RTW). The new version v3.0 will support only Visual Studio 2015/2017, if you are using Visual Studio 2013 you can use Azure SDK for .NET v2.9.6.

You can have both the version side by side, by uninstalling earlier version first for Visual Studio 2013 and installing latest version to support newer visual studio.

There is not much major changes included in this release:

  • All the tools you need to do Azure development will be part of Visual Studio 2017 going forward.
  • For Visual Studio 2015 the SDK will still be available through WebPI.
  • Microsoft have discontinued Azure SDK for .NET releases for Visual Studio 2013 now that Visual Studio 2017 has been released.

Download: Azure SDK for .NET 3.0  – VS 2015   |  VS 2013 (v2.9.6 )   |  All Versions (including Java/Node.JS)

Visual Studio 2017 Released

March 7, 2017 .NET, .NET Core 1.0, .NET Core 1.0.1, .NET Framework, .NET Framework 4.6, ASP.NET, ASP.NET 4.5, ASP.NET AJAX, ASP.NET Core 1.0, ASP.NET Core 1.0.1, Azure Tools, C#.NET, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, SignalR, Visual Studio 2017, VisualStudio, VS2017, Web API, Web API v2.0, Windows, Windows 10 No comments

Microsoft has released today the latest version of Visual Studio.

The new Visual Studio 2017 will help you develop apps for  Android, iOS, Windows, Web, and Cloud.  It will also help you use version management, be agile, and collaborate effectively.

Includes support for Xcode 8.3, iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2, and tvOS 10.2 tools and APIs in the Xamarin.VS Extension for Visual Studio 2017..

To know more about all the features included, please go through What’s New in Visual Studio 2017 

RTM VERSION 15.0
RTM BUILD 26228.04
RELEASE DATE 03/07/2017
RELEASE NOTES Release Notes

Download:

Introduction to IoT Hub

December 9, 2016 .NET, AMQP, Analytics, Azure, C#.NET, Cloud to Device, Communication Protocols, Connected, Connectivity, Contrained Networks/Devices, Device to Cloud, Device Twin, Emerging Technologies, Geolocation, HTTP 1.1, Identity of Things (IDoT), Internet Appliance, IoT, IoT Hub, IoT Privacy, IoT Security, KnowledgeBase, machine-to-machine (M2M), Machines, Microsoft, MQTT, Stream Analytics, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio Code, VisualStudio, VS2015, VS2017, Windows, Windows 10, Windowz Azure No comments

IoT Hub is a fully managed service from Microsoft Azure  as part of Azure IoT Suite that enables reliable and secure bi-directional communications between millions of IoT devices and your solution back end.

Azure IoT Hub are designed to provide following capabilities:

  • Multiple device-to-cloud and cloud-to-device communication options, including one-way messaging, file transfer, and request-reply methods.
  • Built-in declarative message routing to other Azure services.
  • A queryable store for device metadata and synchronized state information.
  • Secure communications and access control using per-device security keys or X.509 certificates.
  • Extensive monitoring for device connectivity and device identity management events.
  • Provides device libraries for the most popular languages and platforms.

hubarchitecture

Why IoTHub?

IoT Hub and the device libraries help you to meet the challenges of how to reliably and securely connect devices to the solution back end.

Real-world  IoT devices mostly have the following constaints:

  • Embedded systems.with minimal or no user interaction.
  • Remotely available, with less physical access. .
  • Reachable through the solution back end.
  • Limited power and processing capabilities
  • Intermittent, slow, or expensive network connectivity.
  • Use proprietary, custom, or industry-specific application protocols.
  • Created using a large set of popular hardware and software platforms.

IoT Hub provide solutions to meet all the above constraints of a connected device. In addition it also provides scale,  scalability and reliability. It also addresses most of the connectivity challenges through following capabilities.

  1. Device Twin:  With Device twins, you can store, synchronize, and query device metadata and state information, and these are stored in JSON format.  IoT Hub persists a device twin for each device that you connect to IoT Hub. This feature was introduced in Novemeber’16 with General availability of Iot Hub.
  2. Per-device authentication and secure connectivity. You can provision each device with its own security key to enable it to connect to IoT Hub.There by enabling you to manage or block devices as desired.
  3. Route device-to-cloud messages to Azure services based on declarative rules. IoT Hub enables you to define message routes based on routing rules to control where your hub sends device-to-cloud messages.
  4. Monitoring of device connectivity operations. You can receive detailed operation logs about device identity management operations and device connectivity events.
  5. Device libraries for most of the platforms with support for Programming languages like C#, Java, Python and JavaScript.
  6. Support for latest and widely used IoT protocols and provides extensibility: Protocols such as AMQP 1.1 or HTTP 1.1 and MQTT 3.1 are supported. We could also provide additional protocol translation using Azure IoT Gateway SDK at Device/Field/Protocol  Gateway layer.

Azure IoT Hub can bring more value to organizations to bring in their field devices to cloud with real-time data capture and bi-directional communication. It solves the problem of lack of proper communication infrastructure for devices to communicate or operate on real-time basis.  Pay per use, less investment infrastructure that would let you scale as you grow.

Do you feel some similarities between IoT Hub and Event Hubs service already exists as part of Azure Platform?  In my later articles I would be covering some of the major differences.

Useful References: