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Preview: Nick Randolph's .NET Travels

Nick Randolph's .NET Travels

Continually looking for the yellow brick road so I can catch me a wizard....Join me as I explore the world of cool devices, neat technology and uber geeks. I spend most of my time talking about Microsoft related technologies such as the .NET Framework, SQ


Xamarin Development with Visual Studio 2017 Version 15.5

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 02:46:32 +0600

Normally I don’t bother posting anything about the progressive updates that roll out for Visual Studio 2017 but version 15.5 adds a bunch of new features that are set to make app development using Xamarin just that little bit nicer. Pierce has a great post covering a lot of the relevant updates - Over the last 6-12 months the debugging experience for Xamarin applications on both iOS and Android has got significantly better. I posted recently about my discovery that the Google Android emulator was actually quite good (…-Visual-Studio-Emulator-for-Android.aspx), and whilst the build and deploy process is still painfully slow on Android, it’s definitely getting better. Now with Live XAML Previewing supported in the emulator, at least the iteration whilst making UI changes will be quicker. I’ve also been using the remote iOS simulator – particularly at home where I use a remote build server that is on the other side of the room, it’s painful to have to deploy to a real device. I have seen some issues where debugging with the remote iOS simulator seems to just lock up but I think that was only an issue in the preview of VS mixed with the latest Windows Insider build (unfortunately neither team seems to care much about stability with their preview builds ). Whilst I’m talking about doing iOS development, the other significant improvement in 15.5 is the messaging regarding connecting to the Mac build agent. In the past this has been limited to success/fail; if you wanted any more details you really had to go hunting in the log files (usually it ended up being a result of a mis-match of SDK versions between the build agent machine and the machine with VS installed). The dialog for connecting to the Mac build agent has a nice progress information pane at the bottom that shows what step the connection manager is at and reports any issues – nice work MS, this is really, really useful!Ok, I can’t end this post without pointing to the fact that Microsoft has finally worked out how to get the elephant out of the corner of the room, and by this I mean the support for PCLs v’s .NET Standard for new projects. Prior to this release if you created a new Xamarin project it would create a PCL for your shared code (and yes, I’m ignoring the Shared Project option, cause this should never be selected), and it was rather painful to have to upgrade it to .NET Standard (see if you’re still on an older version of Visual Studio). Now when you create a new Xamarin project you get a .NET Standard library and you can pick which target platform(s) you want to target (I would encourage you to pick all, unless you have a particular reason not to!).Grab the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 and get coding! [...]

Authentication Redirection Loop with Angular Application and Azure Active Directory

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:23:24 +0600

Recently we ran in to some difficulty with an Angular application that was being retrofitted into a different environment. During the initial development the Angular application had been pushed to Azure for testing. However, the final resting place for the application was on a on-premises sever. Whilst the switch was relatively painless, with the only major change being to a persistent file storage instead of blob storage, we also had to shift from our development Azure AD tenant (the Angular application, and the associated services, uses Azure AD to authenticate and authorize users), to the client’s Azure AD tenant. This shift required creating two new application registrations within the client’s Azure AD tenant.Unfortunately after creating the new registrations, and updating the Angular application (and the corresponding services), any attempt to log in with valid credentials resulted in a continual loop between the Angular application and the Azure AD login prompt. In this case we were only using Azure AD to authenticate users and other than controlling access to the application services there weren’t any other permissions that users would have to agree to. In the past I’ve posted about how administrators have to grant permission to users within their tenant to access an application (see Usually there is an Azure AD login error when users attempt to sign in. In this case, for some reason we either missed the error message or it was being obscured by the automatic redirection between the Angular application and the Azure AD login prompt. We did end up finding the solution, thanks to the Azure AD team at Microsoft, who quickly identified the error in our Fiddler trace. The critical request/response was:RequestGET ResponseHTTP/1.1 302 Found Location: Object moved

Object moved to Styling the MediaPlayerElement and MediaTransportControls in a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Application

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 04:50:45 +0600

In my previous post, Building Media Applications for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) using the MediaPlayerElement, I covered the basics of building a UWP media application using the MediaPlayerElement. Towards the end of the post I showed how you can override some of the built in behaviour but I was yet to show you how you can adjust the visual style of the player or the controls. In this post I’ll do just that, I’ll show you where to find the built in styles and how to start customizing them, including some gotchas that you should be aware of.Ok, let’s get started by looking for the built in styles. Whilst Microsoft now do a good job of documenting the built in styles online (for example the styles and templates for the MediaTransportControls element is defined at, there is nothing like looking at what ships in the platform. For this we go to generic.xaml, typically located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\DesignTime\CommonConfiguration\Neutral\UAP\10.0.16299.0\Generic – Note that this may vary based on which platform SDK you have installed. Inside generic.xaml I’m going to locate the Style for the MediaPlayerElement: