Microsoft IoT Grove Kit (Azure Certified)

If you're interested in getting started with IoT, here's an interesting new kit from Seeed: the Microsoft IoT Grove Kit.

Note that this kit DOES NOT include the Raspberry Pi board. You have to purchase it separately.  Also, I haven't used it personally.

Here's the product description:

Building an IoT project on your Raspberry Pi has never been an easy task for many developers. This is due to the messy hardware connections involved, and complicated software programming. Seeed and Microsoft have worked together to alleviate some of these challenges by introducing the Microsoft IoT Grove Kit.

The GrovePi+ cape included in the kit is fully compatible with your Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 that both run Windows 10 IoT Core. With the easy-to-use Grove system, you are now able to connect up to 15 Grove modules to your Raspberry Pi simply through the Grove interfaces on the GrovePi+.

In addition to the high performance sensors and actuators, the kit contains a 5 inch HDMI Display and a RGB LCD with a backlight. The Microsoft IoT Grove Kit is a powerful platform on which to begin your exploration on the Internet of Things.

In other words, the kit uses the Grove system and comes with a board called the GrovePi+ that connects to a RaspberryPi.  From there, you connect the sensors to the GrovePi+ with the provided cables.

The kit includes a 800x480 touchscreen that you connect with and HDMI cable.  A USB cable is needed for the touch capabilities.

There's a C# driver library available on Github and as a Nuget package.  Here's the code reading from the temperature sensor and displaying the info on the LCD display:

using GrovePi;
using GrovePi.Sensors;

var tmp = DeviceFactory.Build.TemperatureAndHumiditySensor(Pin.DigitalPin3, Model.Dht11).TemperatureInCelsius();
var temperature = "temp: " + tmp.ToString("F2") + "C";
DeviceFactory.Build.RgbLcdDisplay().SetText(temperature).SetBacklightRgb(0, 255, 255);

If you're starting with Windows Core IoT development, you may want to download issue 48 of the free MagPi Magazine that has tons of Windows 10 Core IoT content.

Now for the "Azure Certified" part, I have absolutely no clue on why this kit is certified to work with Azure.

UWP Community Toolkit 1.0

Microsoft announced a cool new open-source toolkit for UWP apps called the UWP Community Toolkit.  The toolkit includes helper functions, custom controls and app services.  There's even a sample app that you can install to easily preview the toolkit capabilities.

Free online event: Xbox app development

Curious about UWP app development for Xbox?  Microsoft is holding a free 5-hour online training event on August 30th 2016.

Schedule (Pacific time)
09:00 - Kick off
09:35 - Getting started with App Dev on Xbox
10:00 - XAML Apps on Xbox
11:00 - Web Apps on Xbox
12:00 - Designing for Xbox
13:00 - Dev Center and publishing UWP apps
14:00 - Expert panel

For more info and to register, click here

Visual Studio Talk Show: ModSecurity et IIS

Nous discustons avec Joel Hébert de son expérience avec ModSecurity et IIS. ModSecurity est un pare-feu applicatif web qui ajoute des fonctions de sécurité pour le serveur HTTP Apache, IIS et Nginx. C’est un logiciel libre distribué sous la licence Apache 2.0.

Joel Hebert est un architecte logiciel qui réside à Ottawa. Il se passionne pour la sécurité et l'architecture. Il est un MVP ASP.Net et est un des leaders du groupe d'utilisateurs à Ottawa. Il aime partager ses connaissances du piratage, des tests de pénétration et d'audit en continu sur les vecteurs d'attaque modernes de sécurité.

Finally! Long path support (MAXPATH) in .NET Framework 4.6.2

Finally, the latest version of the .NET Framework (4.6.2) supports long file paths!  You can get a list of all the improvements and the download links here.

NativeScript vs Xamarin

I haven't had the time to play with Telerik's NativeScript yet and I was thinking it was something similar to Cordova where the app is coded in HTML/JavaScript and rendered in a web view.  Boy was I wrong!  What shed a light on this was Telerik's Burke Holland's NativeScript And Xamarin article that does a fairly good job at comparing both technologies considering that NativeScript is a Telerik technology (Telerik also has a Xamarin controls suite).

Xamarin Dev Days coming to Montreal

Xamarin Dev Days is coming to Montreal on Saturday September 24th 2016.

Xamarin Dev Days provide attendees with an intense, hands-on learning experience. Spend the morning exploring mobile development with sessions from Xamarin, our technology partners, and members of your local developer community, then roll up your sleeves for an afternoon dedicated to diving into code.

Here's the agenda:

9:00AM Registration
9:30 - 10:10AM Intro to Xamarin
10:20 - 11:00AM Xamarin Forms
11:10 - 11:50AM Xamarin + Azure
12:00 - 1:00PM Lunch
1:00 - 4:00PM Hands on Lab

Registration is free but places are limited.  The event is organized by the Montreal .Net Mobile Developers user group.

Visual Studio Talk Show: Azure Redis Cache

Nous discutons avec Francois Boucher de mémoire cache, en particulier de la solution Azure Redis Cache. Redis (de l'anglais REmote DIctionary Server et du jeu de mot avec Redistribute) est une base de données clef-valeur en mémoire vive qui en plus d’être scalable offre de très hautes performances. C’est une solution qui est développé par la communauté en code source ouvert (Open Source).

Francois Boucher est un professionnel Microsoft Azure chez Lixar qui possède plus de 15 ans d'expérience dans l'industrie informatique. En plus d’être récipiendaire de la reconnaissance Microsoft Azure MVP, il fait partie du groupe des Microsoft Azure Advisor et il est certifié MCPD Windows Azure Developer. Une voix de confiance sur Microsoft Azure, Frank partage ses expériences avec Microsoft Azure sur ses deux blogs, (en anglais) et (en français). Frank a également collaboré avec succès à des projets open source tel que Azure User Management Console (AUMC), Kindle Coupures et Kindle Coupures Extractor.

Internet of Things and Azure - DevTeach session slide deck

Here's my slide deck for my Internet of Things and Azure session at DevTeach 2016.

Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Press has released a free 180 pages Power BI ebook titled Introducing Microsoft Power BI. The authors, Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo, are also hard at work writing their next Power BI book titled Analyzing Data with Power BI and Power Pivot for Excel available later in 2016.

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