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A Simple Content Enrichment Service

By: Chris Hettinger

Dynamics_crm_logoRecently, I worked on a project that required me to programmatically set up Field Security in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Field Security allows you to designate selected fields (of selected entities) to be “secure” – which means only a certain group of users can have access to it. This access is made up of three operations: read, update, and create, each of which can be granted separately. MSDN does a pretty good job giving an overview of how it works:   Read More…

Event: Road to the Cloud


The software industry is changing.

Many companies that have historically bought packaged software solutions are evaluating software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-backed software solutions to replace their legacy software.

This new cloud market presents tremendous opportunity for established software vendors. Capturing that opportunity brings not just technical changes, but fundamental shifts to your company’s business model.

Network, learn and share.

Join this event to learn from your peers in the industry that have leveraged the benefits of the cloud to build a successful business. You’ll hear from owners and leaders of successful software businesses about best practices and lessons learned, and gain insight about the cloud opportunity for a software business.  Read More…

visualstudio-wallpaper-05At one point I was coding on a hobby project, using Visual Studio Online for project management and source control. Because of the technologies involved, a large number of temporary files were being generated that I didn’t want checked in. Visual Studio’s TFS integration is pretty good at automatically filtering these kinds of files out and placing them in the Excluded Changes list in the Pending Changes window, but in my case the sheer number made it a pain to scan the Excluded Changes list for valid changes that I actually wanted to commit.

In my case, I didn’t want those temporary files to show up at all – not even in the Excluded Changes list. In order to gain control over which files TFS should ignore completely, I added .tfignore files to my solution. These allow you to specify which files, extensions and directories to ignore (or un-ignore!) from source control. If you’re familiar with the concept of .gitignore files in GIT, you should feel right at home.

Read More…

windows_Azure_logo12Microsoft has opened their two newest Azure regions on 27 October 2014 in Australia as detailed in their press release at New Microsoft Azure Geo opens for business in Australia. With two new regions on-line, Microsoft brings their total number of Azure data centres to 19 worldwide. The two new locations are located in New South Wales and Victoria and bring with the full Azure feature set including Compute, Geo-redundant Storage, and Data Services.  Read More…

Part 1: Creating a distributed system

I have recently been delving into the exciting world of distributed systems. From an architectural standpoint, distributed systems demand a different design approach than that of regular centralized applications. From a development standpoint, they provide a host of new and fun toys to play with. I have spent the last few months investigating some of the architectural styles and patterns associated with distributed systems. I have also been playing with some of the technologies used to implement these styles and patterns.  Read More…

SharePoint Server 2013 offers a completely new architecture for Workflow utilizing Workflow Foundation 4.5.  I’ve already covered the high-level changes in a previous post called “What Changed in SharePoint 2013 Workflow? Pretty Much Everything” and discussed how a SharePoint 2010 Workflow project would be designed differently in my post titled “Redesigning a SharePoint 2010 Workflow Project for SharePoint 2013.”  Both of these posts discuss the new reliance on web services for data in SharePoint Workflow.  While it’s obvious that Visual Studio workflows would interact with web services, SharePoint Designer 2013 offers web service communication, as well.  This post will detail the new actions available in SharePoint Designer 2013 for interacting with web services and how to use them. Read More…

Microsoft announced a significant and dramatic convergence of its Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 platforms during the Build 2014 conference.  Approximately 90% of the WinRT APIs are now converged between the two platforms. Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 includes features that enable developers to take advantage of this platform convergence. The Universal Apps project template is one of those features.  Read More…

On October 21st, 2014, Microsoft will be hosting AzureConf, another free event for the Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Azure community members. Streamed live for an online audience on Channel 9, the event will allow you to see how developers just like you are using Azure to develop robust, scalable applications on Azure.

AIS’ CTO Vishwas Lele will be leading the 4:40 PM session, titled “Latest advancements in Azure IaaS for Devs & IT Pros.” This session will discuss some of the recent advancements in #azure IaaS that have significantly widened the choices available to developers and IT Pros alike. Developers can remote debug an IaaS VM and run Windows and non-Windows workloads. IT Pros can take advantage of advanced networking features, use rich CLI tools and use a single pane of glass management across Azure and on-premises resources. Other speakers include Michael Collier, Mike Martin, Rick Garibay and Chris Auld.

Whether you’re just learning Microsoft Azure or you’ve already achieved success on the platform, you won’t want to miss this special event.

Register Now!

If you have a minute, take a look at last year’s session.   Watch AzureConf 2013 Recording now!

Attachments, Notes, and Annotations

How do you handle document storage and management in CRM? While this is a prominent feature in SharePoint, it is not as obvious or as easy to use in CRM. However, if you have a need to attach and manage documents in CRM, there is a provided option.

CRM offers a Notes field that can be turned on and associated to any entity. This Notes field is actually a reference to an entity called Annotation. The Annotation entity holds your file attachment and a reference ID back to the entity that the attachment belongs to. This feature is turned on by default for some of the default entities, but you need to turn it on yourself for custom entities.  Read More…