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Archive for February, 2019

Azure DevOps – Getting started by committing a C# console project to Repo and set Policies

February 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Those who are hearing ‘Azure DevOps Services’ for the first time, its formerly known as ‘Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)’.

And Team Foundation Server (TFS) is now called ‘Azure DevOps Server’.

Below table gives the glimpse of how VSTS features represents in Azure DevOps.

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To know more about Azure DevOps refer this link

In this article, I am going provide the steps to sign-up for ‘Azure DevOps’ and explain how to on board a C# console project.

Pre-Requisite:

  • Microsoft account.
    • You can also use your 30 days trail Dynamics Account to login.
    • If you’re a Visual Studio subscriber and you get Azure DevOps as a benefit, use the Microsoft account associated with your subscription

Sign up for Azure DevOps:

  • Navigate to the VS Portal and click on ‘Get started for free’ as highlighted below

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  • Log in with your ‘Microsoft Account’

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  • Once you complete the registration, you will be redirected to Azure DevOps portal.

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  • A new Organization would have got created by now and to sign in to your organization at any time, go to https://dev.azure.com/{yourorganization}.

Create a New Project:

Once you got your Organization ready, next you need to create a new ‘Project’.

  • On the ‘Create a Project to get started’ form, provide your project name and set the Visibility.
    • Set the Visibility to ‘Private’ if you are working on a customer project which you would not want to expose to Public.
    • ‘Public’ visibility is meant for Open Source projects.

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  • Under ‘Advanced’ tab, I am going with ‘Git’ as my Version Control and ‘Agile’ as Work item process.
  • Your ready with Project and we are close to on board our C# console project.

Repos:

After you create a new Organization and Project, you can begin coding with Git using Repos.

  • Click on ‘Repos’.
  • As a first step in Repos, add ‘README’ or ‘gitignore’, as shown in below.Note that this step is optional but very effective house keeping step.
    • README – You can provide description and objective of your project.
    • gitignore – Will ignore unwanted files to be added to repos.
      • As an example you don’t need components like (Actual nuGet packages, .suo files which comes with VS).
      • I’ve added ‘VisualStudio’ option to the ‘gitignore’ which ignores all unwanted VS files.

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  • Click ‘Initialize’
  • Now you would see 2 files added to your Repo.
  • As mentioned, ‘.gitignore’ contain unwanted file extensions, auto populated. You can add/remove if you want.

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  • ‘README.md’, is a Mark Down file which is a combination of Text and HTML tags. Add your project description.
    • Denotes <H1> tag; ## denotes <H2> tag.

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Clone the Repo to your computer:

To work with a Git repo, you clone it to your computer. Cloning a repo creates a complete local copy of the repo for you to work with.

In this article, I am going to use ‘Visual Studio’ to Clone the Repo. You can also use ‘Command line’ commands using ‘Command Prompt’

  • Click ‘Clone’ and select ‘Clone in Visual Studio’ option under ‘IDE’.

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  • Now Visual Studio opens up and you might need to provide your Microsoft Account credentials.
  • In case if you get ‘Unauthorization’ error, you can connect as below from your VS ‘Team Explorer’.

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  • Once you complete the clone, the 2 files (i.e., .gitignore, README.md) would synced to your computer folder.

Commit C# Console Project to Repo:

Once you Cloned of your DevOps ‘Project’ to your local computer folder, below are the steps to add a new C# console project to Repo.

  • Create a new C# console application project and save at the same folder location where you cloned your Azure Project.
  • Now you would see the Console project in your Visual Studio.
  • You would notice #5 in the Visual Studio footer, which denotes 5 new files are new and not synced to your Repo.

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  • You need to commit the files to sync with your Repo.
  • Click on #5 icon and provide mandatory ‘Commit comments’ and choose ‘Commit All and Push’ option to commit and upload the C# console project to Repo.

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  • Now, go to your Azure DevOps portal and you would see your C# console project.

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  • You can also Edit the class files directly from DevOps portal.

Branch Policies:

As you would have noticed, Visual Studio did not allow me to commit the files until I provide the ‘Comments’. Its a policy implied by default by DevOps.

Lets see how to configure the policies.

  • Once you create a new Project, DevOps will create a default ‘master’ branch.
    • Refer article for more details on ‘Branch’.
  • Under Repos->Branches, select ‘Branch Policies’ from the Branch menu.

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  • You can configure appropriate policies mainly to improve the code quality.
    • Refer link to know more details on Policies.

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Grant access on Project to Users:

For every new project you add to DevOps Organization, a new Team gets created with naming convention {Project Name} Team.

  • Click on ‘Teams’ tab as shown in screen below and pick your Project team.
  • ‘+Add’ to add users

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  • Refer this link to know more details on managing Teams.

Service Hooks:

  • Service hooks let you run tasks on other services when events happen in your Azure DevOps Services projects.
  • For example, you can create an entry in Azure Service Bus when there Code commit happens.

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  • Refer this article for more details on ‘Service Hooks’

In my next article I will share the details on how to implement Build activities using Pipelines

🙂

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Dynamics Portals – Entity List – Integration using OData feed

February 17, 2019 Leave a comment

With Dynamics Portal’s Entity list ‘OData Feed’ option, we can expose the data in the form OData API, which can be further consumed by external applications.

Lets take a scenario,

  • You have a public facing Dynamics Portal where people gets registered, which get stored as ‘Contacts’ in Dynamics CE instance.
  • You need to share all the ‘Active Contacts’ to your back end team which uses an Excel sheet to manage data.

It can be achieved by enabling OData feed on Entity List by following below steps:

  • Open your Entity List and go tot ‘OData Feed’ section. (Refer my previous articles on how to create an Entity List)
  • Enable the ‘OData Feed’ option along with below details
    • Entity Type Name : Your Dynamics entity schema name
    • Entity Set Name : Can be anything but as a best practice provide plural name of your Dynamics entity.
    • View : Select the view.  The structure of your OData feed would be determined based on the view you pick.

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  • Once the ‘OData Feed’ enabled, you can get all the oData feeds enabled on Portals by forming URL -> {Your Portal URL}+”/_odata

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  • Now access the ‘Contacts’ oData feed by forming URL -> {Your Portal URL}+”/_odata“+Entity Set Name (i.e., contacts)

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How to consume the oData API in Excel:

  • Copy the OData set URL
  • In the new Excel sheet, go to Data -> Get Data -> From Other Sources -> From OData Feed

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  • Paste the OData URL and click ‘OK’

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  • Click ‘Load’ to load the data to excel sheet.

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  • If you want to Transform data like replace ‘Null’, click on ‘Transform Data’

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  • Your excel sheet shall looks as below once the data loads.

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Note:

  • The OData API URL is accessible anonymously with no authentication prompted.

🙂

 

 

Dynamics Portals – Entity List ‘Map View’

February 16, 2019 2 comments

Dynamics Portal’s Entity List has an option to pin the records on a Map based on the Address of those records.

How does ‘Map View’ looks on Portal:

  •  With ‘Map View’ enabled, you will get a Map (bing/google) and matching records will be pinned on the map (i.e., Refer 1 pinned on the Map below).

Portal_Map_1

How to set up ‘Map View’:

  • On the ‘Entity List’ form, check the ‘Map Enabled’ checkbox.
  • In ‘Entity Field Mappings’, map the address fields from ‘Contact’ entity (As my entity list mapped to Contact).

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  • Under ‘Settings’ section, provide below details
    • Map Type : Bing/Google (I chose ‘Bing’ for this article)
    • Credentials : Bing API credentials (You need to login here with your Live/Outlook account and generate the Key)
    • Portal_Map_5
    • Default Center Latitude : This is important. Geo coordinates where you want your map start from (I took ‘New Jersey’ coordinates as Default)
    • Default Center Longitude : This is important. Geo coordinates where you want your map start from (I took ‘New Jersey’ coordinates as Default)
    • Save
  • On Portal, you will notice a Map loaded with ‘Default Center Latitude’ and ‘Default Center Longitude’ (i.e., ‘New Jersey’ in this example).

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  • In the ‘Address’ search box, provide ‘New York’ and click ‘Search’.

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  • As I configured Contact ‘Rajeev Pentyala’ with ‘New York’ coordinates (Refer screen below), Contact showed up in above screen.

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  • You can click on ‘Get Directions’ to get directions between Searched city (i.e., ‘New York’) and Default coordinates (i.e., New Jersey).

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🙂

Dynamics Portals – Portal Checker

February 16, 2019 Leave a comment

‘Portal Checker’ has been added as part of Portal capabilities version 9.1.1 for Dynamics 365 CE apps.

Portal checker for Dynamics 365 for CE Portal is a self-service diagnostic tool that can be used by Portal administrators to identify common issues in their portal.

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  • In the Portal administration screen, click on ‘Diagnose and resolve problems’

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Portal checker helps to identify issues with your portal by looking at various configuration parameters and provides suggestions on how to fix them.

Refer this article for more details

🙂

 

Dynamics Portal – Configurations packaging and migrating to different instances

February 16, 2019 Leave a comment

In Dynamics CE, to move Customizations and Configurations from one instance to another, we rely on Solutions.

How about migrating Dynamics Portal configurations from one instance to other?

  • As we know, Dynamics Portal development involves several configurations and Customizations to achieve a desired experience for portal end users.
  • To migrate Portal configurations from the source Dynamics CE instance, and then importing it into the target Dynamics CE instance, you would need to use the Configuration Migration tool and a portal-specific configuration schema file.

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Refer this article for detailed explanation.

🙂

Dynamics Portals – Entity List not rendering on Web Page

February 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Other day I faced a strange issue in my Portals, where my Entity list NOT rendering on the Web Page. The story goes as below.

  • I have an Entity List ‘Contact’ with 2 views configured.

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  • Created a ‘Web Page’ and set the ‘Entity List’ to ‘Contacts’ and ‘Published State’ set to ‘Published’

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  • Go to Portal and refresh the Web Page but there is no trace of ‘Entity List’

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  • Initially I suspected Cache Issue, hence I reopened and cleared the Cache but still no luck.

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Fix:

  • Portal’s ‘Content Editor’ came to my rescue.
  • On the Portal, navigate to the ‘Web Form’ and click on ‘Edit’ from ‘Content Editor’ menu.

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  • In the ‘Edit Contact List’ screen, set the ‘Entity List’ to the ‘Contacts’ entity list and Save.

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  • That’s solved the issue and I could see the ‘Contacts’ entity list rendered on the ‘Web Page’

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Note:

  • I don’t have reason or explanation what caused this behavior. Alternately you can try Restart the portal if you have O365 ‘Admin Center’ access.

🙂