Search Results for "Eric Lang"

Testing Suspicious emails using Windows Sandbox

Co-workers often forward me emails when they are unsure if it is a valid email or something malicious. As one of the IT managers, I need to evaluate these emails in a safe environment. The tool I use for this is Windows Sandbox.
Windows Sandbox was added as a feature to Windows 10 with the May 2019 Update (version 1903). Every time you start Sandbox, it creates a Virtual Machine with a clean install of Windows 10. When you shut it down, the image is erased. This makes it an ideal environment for testing untrusted applications, links, and emails.
To enable Windows Sandbox, first make sure you have the minimum requirements:

Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, version 1903.
Hardware virtualization enabled in your BIOS
At least 2 CPU cores
4 GB of memory
1 GB of available disk space

Once the minimum requirements are met, click Start, then…

Talk UX 2018 Recap

Talk UX is an annual design and technology conference hosted by Ladies that UX Boston (LTUX). LTUX is a global organization that has created an international community of supportive and inspiring women in design and technology.
This year’s conference was held at the beautiful Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School. There were roughly 500 people following a single stream of presentations and discussion panels by women in leadership. UX leaders, designers and researchers as well as professionals not actively working in UX attended this event.

The Talks
 
Building Bridges Through UX Research
Laura Granka – Director of UX Google
Slides | Video
Laura described some methods that Google uses to stay true to their user-centered strategy. One method she talked about was Google’s immersion studies, in which product teams go to the users. Per Laura’s suggestion, Google fashioned a 15 passenger van into a usability lab to…

Microsoft Reinforces AI Vision at London Event

Microsoft’s vision for AI (artificial intelligence) is about people. It’s about amplifying human ingenuity through intelligent technology that will reason with, understand and interact with people and, together with people, help us solve some of society’s most fundamental challenges. This was the message shared on July 12 at an event in London by Harry Shum, Executive Vice-President of Microsoft’s AI and Research Group.
The event was attended by scientists, technology experts and journalists, who gathered to learn more about Microsoft’s AI intentions from Shum and other Microsoft executives, including Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director at Microsoft Research Labs, Chris Bishop, Technical Fellow and Laboratory Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Emma Williams, General Manager at Bing.
During the discussion, a number of announcements were made that further reinforced Microsoft’s focus on AI, including a new program that will make technology available to those working to…

BizTalk 2016 Feature Pack 1 Management REST API Tutorial

One of the great new additions of the recently released Feature Pack 1 for Microsoft BizTalk 2016 is a REST API, which can be used to administer BizTalk Server.  Longtime users of BizTalk may have experience with using ExplorerOM.dll or WMI based scripts to manage their BizTalk environment.  The REST API introduced in Feature Pack 1 provides a more flexible alternative, including a Swagger definition providing rapid implementation of an application to consume the API.  In this post, I will walk through the process of installing the API as well as using Swagger to generate a C# client and demonstrating a simple command.

Using T4 Templates to Generate C# Enums from SQL Server Database Tables

When building applications with C# and SQL Server, it is often necessary to define codes in the database that correspond with enums in the application. However, it can be burdensome to maintain the enums manually, as codes are added, modified, and deleted in the database.
In this blog post, I’ll share a T4 template that I wrote which does this automatically. I looked online first, and did find a few different solutions for this, but none that worked for me as-is. So, I built this generic T4 template to do the job, and you can use it too.
Let’s say you’ve got a Color table and ErrorType table in the database, populated as follows:

Now you’d like enums in your C# application that correspond to these rows. The T4 template will generate them as follows:

Before showing the code that generates this, let’s point…

Programmatically Deploying Dell Boomi Processes using the AtomSphere RESTish API and C#

While the Dell Boomi user interface is highly robust and user friendly there are times when using the user interface can prove to be quite tedious. One example that we have discovered to be an example of this are process deployments. In order to deploy a set of Boomi processes one must search for each individual process and deploy. This may not seem overly tedious if AtomSphere only has a few processes. But in some cases AtomSphere could have numerous applications each consisting of many processes. It is easy to see given the scenario how frequent deployments could prove to be very time consuming.
Luckily, there is an alternative to using the AtomSphere user interface. Dell Boomi offers a set of APIs (both REST and SOAP) that can be used for various sets of tasks and that includes deploying Boomi processes….

Xsd.exe, Arrays, and “Specified”

Microsoft’s XSD utility provides an excellent way to generate classes from schema definition files, but has a few quirks that can make using the generated classes a bit tougher. In particular, it serializes repeating structures as arrays rather than using the generic List class, and it serializes any element with a “minOccurs = ‘0’” with a separate “Specified” property (which must be set to true if the member is to be serialzied back to XML).
We frequently use serialization techniques here, and while there are some utilities out there that offer similar post processing, many of them are not free and/or difficult to package with a build (include an executable in the project? not ideal). In light of that, I wrote a PowerShell script (below) that can be included in source control and utilized in a post-build event. For example,
The /c…

WCF-SQL Polling and the ESB Portal

With the ESB Toolkit, BizTalk provides an excellent framework for handling exceptions that occur throughout the ESB. There are many built in facilities that are as simple as checking off a box to route failed messages to the portal, and within orchestrations you can easily build ESB Exception messages in catch blocks and route them to the portal as well.
However, these only apply if a message actually makes it to a pipeline or orchestration. For WCF SQL Polling receive locations, it’s possible that no message will ever make it to the pipeline – for example, if the procedure causes an exception to occur (perhaps by a developer intentionally using THROW or RAISERROR), the adapter will write the exception to the event log without providing a message for any pipeline or orchestration processing. Checking “suspend message on failure” doesn’t offer any…

Using SQL Server Sequences in Integration

The Challenge
An integration scenario requires a unique incrementing numeric identifier to be sent with each message (or each record in a message).  These identifiers cannot be reused (or cannot be reused over certain ranges, or cannot be reused over certain periods of time). A GUID is not suitable because it will not be sequential (not to mention that many legacy systems and data formats may have trouble handling a 128 bit number!).
The Solution
Integration platforms will have a hard time meeting this on their own – GUIDs work well because they guarantee uniqueness on the fly without needing to worry about history.  Messaging platforms typically deal in terms of short executions, and BizTalk is no exception. While persistence of a message might be handled (such as BizTalk does with the MessageBox), persistence of the entire execution process is usually not guaranteed.  Deployments,…

Observations on July 2015 PowerBI Release

The following observations come from the NYC SQL Server Meetup 9/1/2015 presented by Devin Knight of Pragmatic Works, augmented with my own discoveries. They assume the reader has basic familiarity with the prior PowerPivot, PowerQuery and PowerView products.
• This release debuts PowerBI Desktop (PBID). The significance of this is that PowerBI is no longer tied to Excel or Sharepoint, thus it no longer requires IT involvement (aside from giving access to data sources). It is a stand-alone app ala (but not part of) Office 365.  It is basically a bundling, divorced from Excel, of the prior PowerQuery, PowerPivot and PowerView products. Look and feel is very similar to these. It can be downloaded for free from www.powerbi.com
• The disconnect from Excel means it can have its own release cycle and not be constrained by having to render through Excel. There have reportedly…

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