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Mike Benkovich is a former Microsoft evangelist who has spent his career helping developers explore and apply new technologies to solving information challenges. His website www.benkotips.com provides developers with resources to get started and work with technologies including cloud, data and devices. Follow him on twitter @mbenko.

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VS 2017 Launch Live Notes

Posted 3/7/2017 by Admin

Watching the live stream of the Visual Studio 2017 launch and 20 year anniversary party…thought I’d capture some of the notes of what’s going on and share the fun.

Visual Studio 2017 release

Developer Productivity - Kasey Uhlenhuth

  • Live Unit Tests
  • Exception helper
  • Find all references
  • New intellitrace tray of options
  • Ctrl+T for goto All
  • Code suggestions
  • Code Config file - map code styles and suggestions for environment
  • Support for tuples on methods
  • Improved refactoring
  • Indent guide visibility to method code is in even if not visible

.NET Core - Beth Massi

  • .net Tools for Core 1.0 in production
  • Migrate/Upgrade to new tools easy
  • Simplified csproj format which is human readable
  • References grouped by type…i.e. nuget refs, project refs, etc.
  • Application Insights
    • New add-in experience
    • Search and graph analytics in VS

Containers Docker - Scott Hanselman

  • Add docker support in VS right click on project
  • Run in docker if selected startup project
  • Debug, edit and volume mapping realtime from vs to docker
  • Publish to Linux docker or windows
  • Automatically references other docker containers dependent on
  • Debug across containers
  • Check out Ref application http://aka.ms/MicroservicesArchitecture

Xamarin : James & Miguel

  • Tizen new OS from Samsung for IoT devices…built on Xamarin Forms
  • Visual Studio for Mac Preview 4
  • New App templates
    • Mobile App added with best practices if checkbox Azure
    • Code for clients
  • Forms Previewer
    • Works if you have JDK 1.8+ on x64 installed (settings?)
  • Improved intellisense
  • Native animations in XAML
  • Forms inspector, when connected tp android emulator
    • Layers
    • Live edit of XAML

VS Mobile Center - Keith

  • http://mobile.azure.com
  • Xamarin Test Cloud
  • Add app…pick type
  • Add nuget & register app
  • Distribute sets up a team of testers/user community for builds
  • Build service
    • Pick sln
    • Provisioning profile
    • Certificate for signed builds
    • Trigger
  • Test service …
    • run automated UI tests
    • See devices tested on
  • Crash reporting
    • Usage & crash info
    • Stack dumps grouped by count
  • Analytics
    • Custom events

DevOps - Brian Harry & Donovan Brown

  • Continuous delivery
  • "Shift Right" = delivery improvements, production is part of the plan
  • TFS 2017.1 for on Premise installs
  • http://aka.ms/tfsimportdata
  • Donovan demo - any project, any platform
    • Create project
    • Import Git repo
    • View code
    • Setup build from templates or by scratch
      • Sources - where is repo? In TS or external?
      • Test settings
      • Code Coverage
      • Build agents - windows or linux
      • Search for build task
      • Marketplace for build tasks
      • Create your own extension
      • Variables
      • Create work items on failure
      • Track history/changes to build definitions
    • Release definitions
      • Infrastructure as code
      • Approvers
    • Dashboards
  • Data Migration - Partner with Red Gate
    • In VS RedGate ReadyRoll has tools by default
    • SQL Obj explorer, make changes and save
    • Tell ReadyRoll to refresh with changes, generate migration scripts
      • Add update statements for populating default values on existing data after modification
    • Add database scripts and changes that will happen on the database
    • Add the ReadyRoll task to deploy the database task
  • RedGate included in VS 2017 Enterprise
  • Pluralsight 1yr
  • DevOps Enterprise Accelerator offer

Adding HockeyApp feedback for Android to a Xamarin Forms app

Posted 8/20/2016 by Admin

I’ve been working on a project that integrates Xamarin with Azure Mobile Apps and uses HockeyApp to distribute the code to test devices. I wanted to add the feature in HockeyApp to allow users to be able to send feedback (including a screenshot) from within the app. On searching for an answer I found a number of good leads but nothing that connected them all so this post is intended to go thru what you need to do to add this feature to your app.

We start with an app that is created from the standard Xamarin Forms template in Visual Studio for cross-platform apps (this assumes you have Visual Studio 2015.3 with the Xamarin tools installed otherwise it will prompt you to add them).

image

The solution will look like this. Note I had to do a little work to use the Shared version of Xamarin forms with XAML in that I replaced the default App.cs file it includes with XAML versions of that and the MainPage.xaml. You can see the completed demo sample on GitHub here

image

To add HockeyApp’s feedback feature to our solution go to https://www.hockeyapp.net/ and sign up to create a new app. After an app has been created you can get the HockeyApp ID and use it in the MainActivity.cs code for the OnCreate() method when the application registers with HockeyApp. The process is fairly straight forward:

  1. Create a new app on HockeyApp (https://support.hockeyapp.net/kb/app-management-2/how-to-create-a-new-app)
  2. Add the HockeyApp component from Xamarin (https://components.xamarin.com/view/hockeyappandroid)
    SNAGHTML4b9e527[4]
  3. In the MainActivity.cs file of the Android project add a function to register HockeyApp with the AppID you created. We will call it from the OnCreate(). 
  4. private void InitializeHockeyApp()
    {
        CrashManager.Register(this, HOCKEYAPP_APPID, new MyCrashManagerListener());
       
        UpdateManager.Register(this, HOCKEYAPP_APPID);
        FeedbackManager.Register(this, HOCKEYAPP_APPID);
        Tracking.StartUsage(this);
       
    }

  5. Add a method to handle the feedback calls in the MainActivity class. In this implementation I’m also capturing a screenshot that can be added to the feedback process if the user chooses.
  6. public void HandleFeedback()
    {
        FeedbackManager.SetActivityForScreenshot(MainActivity.current);
        FeedbackManager.TakeScreenshot(MainActivity.current);

        FeedbackManager.ShowFeedbackActivity(MainActivity.current);
    }

  7. Implement an ISensorEventListener class to handle shake activity. Note that you need to implement both the Java.Lang.Object interface as well as the ISensorEventListener. I added an overloaded constructor to allow me to pass a reference to the MainActivity instance (parent) that uses this to handle sensor activity. We will also handle the 

  8. // --- Implement ISensorEventListener
    public class MyShakeHandler : Java.Lang.Object, ISensorEventListener
    {
        // --- Reference to parent activity
        private MainActivity parent;

        // Handle Shake from - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/23120186/can-xamarin-handle-shake-accelerometer-on-android
        bool hasUpdated = false;

        DateTime lastUpdate;
        float last_x = 0.0f;
        float last_y = 0.0f;
        float last_z = 0.0f;

        const int ShakeDetectionTimeLapse = 250;
        const double ShakeThreshold = 800;

        // --- In constructor set parent
        public MyShakeHandler(Activity context) : base()
        {
            parent = (MainActivity)context;
        }

        public void OnAccuracyChanged(Android.Hardware.Sensor sensor, Android.Hardware.SensorStatus accuracy)
        {
        }

        public void OnSensorChanged(Android.Hardware.SensorEvent e)
        {
            if (e.Sensor.Type == Android.Hardware.SensorType.Accelerometer)
            {
                float x = e.Values[0];
                float y = e.Values[1];
                float z = e.Values[2];

                DateTime curTime = System.DateTime.Now;
                if (hasUpdated == false)
                {
                    hasUpdated = true;
                    lastUpdate = curTime;
                    last_x = x;
                    last_y = y;
                    last_z = z;
                }
                else
                {
                    if ((curTime - lastUpdate).TotalMilliseconds > ShakeDetectionTimeLapse)
                    {
                        float diffTime = (float)(curTime - lastUpdate).TotalMilliseconds;
                        lastUpdate = curTime;
                        float total = x + y + z - last_x - last_y - last_z;
                        float speed = Math.Abs(total) / diffTime * 10000;

                        if (speed > ShakeThreshold)
                        {
                            // --- Call parent's Feedback handler
                            parent.HandleFeedback();
                        }

                        last_x = x;
                        last_y = y;
                        last_z = z;
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }

  9. In the MainActivity.cs OnCreate() function add code to add an accelerometer sensor recognition. Note that you also have to add usings for Android.Hardware and for HockeyApp.Android. The code for OnCreate() will look like this:
  10.         // --- Add Globals
            public static string HOCKEYAPP_APPID = "<HOCKEYAPP ID>";
            public static Android.App.Activity current;

            protected override void OnCreate (Bundle bundle)
            {
                base.OnCreate (bundle);

                // --- Register this as a listener with the underlying service.
                var sensorManager = GetSystemService(SensorService) as Android.Hardware.SensorManager;
                var sensor = sensorManager.GetDefaultSensor(Android.Hardware.SensorType.Accelerometer);

                current = this;
                sensorManager.RegisterListener(new MyShakeHandler(current), sensor, Android.Hardware.SensorDelay.Normal);
                InitializeHockeyApp();

     

                global::Xamarin.Forms.Forms.Init (this, bundle);
                LoadApplication(new App());
            }

  11. In the AndroidManifest.xml add permissions to the sensors
  12. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
      <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="15" />
      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" />
      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_MOCK_LOCATION" />
      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
      <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
      <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.sensor.accelerometer" android:required="true" />
      <application android:label="xForms-FeedbackDemo"></application>
    </manifest>

  13. In my scenario I also wanted a button on an about page that can be used to trigger the feedback logic from XAML. To make it work with a Shared code project in Xamarin Forms, I defined a DROID compilation definition so I can conditionally work with Android specific code
    image
  14. In the XAML page you want to add a feedback button connect to the MainActivity’s logic. 
  15. using System;
    using Xamarin.Forms;

    #if DROID
    using HockeyApp.Android;
    using XamFormsFeedbackDemo.Droid;
    #endif

    namespace XamFormsFeedbackDemo
    {
        public partial class MainPage : ContentPage
        {
            public MainPage ()
            {
                InitializeComponent ();
            }
            public void btnFeedback(object sender, EventArgs e)
            {
    #if DROID
                FeedbackManager.SetActivityForScreenshot(MainActivity.current);
                FeedbackManager.TakeScreenshot(MainActivity.current);

                FeedbackManager.ShowFeedbackActivity(MainActivity.current);
    #endif
            }
        }
    }

You can download the code from GitHub here.

Happy Coding!


KCDC 2016–Session info

Posted 6/23/2016 by Admin

It's great to be back in Kansas City for another Dev Camp. I wanted to share some info from my talks, including the deck (below). Enjoy!


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