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app  awesome  azure mobile  azure  mobile services  monetization  outlook  phone  read  rmv awesome  services  windows phone  windows 
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Preview: Marc LaFleur

The World According to Marc


Microsoft v2 Endpoint Primer

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 17:42:00 GMT

For some time now, Microsoft has had two distinct systems for authenticating users; Microsoft Account (or MSA) and Azure Active Directory (or Azure AD); MSA for consumer services and Azure AD for enterprise services. The v2 Endpoint allow applications to authenticate both Microsoft Accounts and Azure AD accounts using a single OAUTH 2 endpoint. This allows developers to build applications that are entirely account-agnostic. This article covers the basics of using the v2 Endpoint and OAUTH2 to authenticate users.


Super Simple Outlook Add-in

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 17:41:00 GMT

Building a very simple add-in using just a single HTML page, a couple of images assets and an XML manifest file that tells Outlook what to do. All stored on GitHub and hosted on Azure for free.


Edge Zoom Level

Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:40:00 GMT

I recently ran into a odd problem where the Edge browser’s default zoom level got stuck at 80%. This is how I fixed it. Full disclosure, this happened on an Insider build. As I signed up to eat this dog food, I can’t really complain when it tastes like… well, dog food.

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Live Writer [Mostly] Lives On

Fri, 04 Sep 2015 17:48:00 GMT

I include myself in a long list of Windows Live Writer lovers. I’ve tried switching to other editors on multiple occasions but always end up returning. To be perfectly clear, all of alternatives I’ve tied worked as advertised. And in many cases I seriously considered switching. In the end however, they all failed to match the ease and simplicity of Live Writer.


GridView and Gutter Squash

Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:48:00 GMT

There was a gutter in my window and it was mocking me and so I squashed it.


Web API Routing by Content-Type

Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:57:00 GMT

Implementing a custom Route Attribute for Web API that considers Content-Type. This allows for routing based on the data encoding being supplied by the HTTP Request, not just the path and parameters it was sent to.


Updating My PHP for WordPress

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:18:57 GMT

A few years ago I moved my blog to an Azure VM and it has been running flawlessly ever since. Thanks to WordPress' update process and automatic Windows Updates, there really wasn't much for me to manage. I have zero complaints.

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Quick Thing, To The Cloud!

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:56:48 GMT


A recently wrote about a little side-project I’ve been working on called Iotiva – a lightweight IoT backend using free and low-cost Azure resources. Here I’ll cover the basics of getting data from your “Thing” to the cloud. Wait. That sounded dirty….

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Azure, IoT, Maker, Free and Other Such Buzzwords

Sun, 14 Sep 2014 03:39:00 GMT

A few months back I got into a discussion with a coworker around the cloud and the Maker community. The question, was Azure (any cloud service really) too cost prohibitive an individual developer to justify? I didn't think so but to prove it I decided to skip any “back of the napkin” calculations (since napkins are notoriously unreliable finks when it comes to architecture and finances) and move directly to building an app.  My criteria was simple, stand up an app on Azure that could communicate with 15-20 “things” for less than $12 per month. I determined this amount scientifically; it is what it costs for a  Netflix family account.

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Breaker 7-6, This is Pi, Netduino Do You Copy?

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 05:29:23 GMT

I recently wrote about getting the a Raspberry Pi connected with Azure storage. This works well for when you have a full network stack to work with but what those scenarios where you don’t have this luxury? Here we’ll walk through one potential solution using the some super inexpensive radios, a Netduino 2 and the Raspberry Pi.

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Hello Azure, My Name is Pi

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:16:27 GMT

I’ve been working on a little project at home recently and I needed to get data from some remote sensors in to the cloud. I also happened to have a couple of Raspberry Pi units begging me to do something fun. So with an Azure account and Raspberry in hand it was time to write the next killer app, Hello World with Azure in the middle.

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Awesome Android with Xamarin

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 04:45:00 GMT

I’ve been publicly developing an application I call RMV Awesome on this blog over the last few months. Since the initial release of the Windows 8.1 app we’ve migrated code to a Portable Class Library, ported to Windows Phone 8, added monetization, integrated Azure Mobile Services and tackled geo-location. Today we’ll take a look at bringing this awesomeness over Android using Xamarin.

The Worlds Most Simplistic Xamarin Overview

Xamarin has deep roots within the C# and .NET community. They are the same...
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Multiple Apps, One Azure Mobile Service

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 04:30:42 GMT

“Multiple Windows 8 apps, can they share the same Azure Mobile Services backend?”

This was the question I was looking to answer this week. I did the prerequisite search of the interwebs and found that this question has been floating around for a while now. What I didn’t find was a definitive answer. Let’s start off by solving that problem:
Okay, with that out of the way I need to add a bit of a caveat:
Let me explain

There are multiple scenarios that...
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Location, Location, Awesome Geo-Location

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:13:34 GMT

I’ve been publicly building an application called RMV Awesome for the last several months on this blog. Since the initial release of the Windows 8.1 app we’ve migrated code to a Portable Class Library, ported to Windows Phone 8, added monetization and integrated Azure Mobile Services.  Next we’ll tackle geo-location.

Since RMV Awesome is all about wait-times at various branches around Massachusetts, location is a logical feature. It makes a lot more sense to order the branch list based on distance...
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Solving an and Outlook Authentication Problem

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:46:32 GMT

I’ve been trying off and on for some time now to add my account which I use for personal email to Outlook 2013 so that I can see both my personal and professional calendars side-by-side in Outlook. I’ve used this set up for years but recently it stopped working. Every time I tried to add it Outlook would return an error.
Log onto Exchange ActiveSync mail server (EAS): The username or password you entered isn't working. Please try typing them...
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Awesome Azure Mobile Services

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 05:01:40 GMT

I love talking about Azure Mobile Services. It is one of those services that developers are always shocked is available from Microsoft. Why shocked? Well, Azure Mobile Services is a fully-baked backend for apps that delivers data storage, custom API's, scheduled jobs, authentication (Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google) and push notifications. Further more, it is truly cross-platform with SDKs available for Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Xamarin and Unity 3D. Oh, and did I forgot to mention that the pricing...
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Monetizing RMV Awesome!

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:43:14 GMT

NOTE: This is part of a series covering Windows Client development. Our sample application is RMV Awesome, an ironically named Modern UI application for keeping tabs on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. In this article we'll look at monetizing our creation.

Now that we have our Awesome app on both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 we should consider monetization. Monetization is the marketer's term for "make money with this thing". Money? Money sounds good, let's do that.

Disclaimer: Monetization is...
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Monetizing Apps

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:11:54 GMT

Monetization is one of the most important and confounding choices a developer has to make. I spend most of my day working with developers and organizations building commercial software. App monetization is one of those topics that seems to come up fairly regularly.

The art of monetization lies in striking the right balance between the app's perceived value and the customer's cost (in money, time or effort). The rub of course is that both the perceived value and the customer's cost are...
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The Magic of Font Icons

Mon, 06 Jan 2014 04:48:00 GMT

With the release of Windows 8.1 came a little noticed addition to XAML called FontIcon. It is a rather simple XAML tag designed to show a glyph from a specified font. At the same time came two other tags in a similar vain (SymbolIcon which shows a glyph from Segoe UI and PathIcon which displays a path).

On it's own, FontIcon isn't extremely useful. Most of the basic glyphs are already part of Segoe UI and most of the other symbol fonts...
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Moving to Windows Phone 8

Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:14:50 GMT

NOTE: This is part of a series covering Windows Client development. Our sample application is RMV Awesome, an awesomely named Modern UI application for keeping tabs on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles wait times. In this article we'll bring our sample application to Windows Phone 8.

Although both Windows and Windows Phone share a large number of concepts and components, they are still distinct platforms. There are a number of subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) differences in how each platform implements...
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