Road to Continuous Deployment Part 1 – Performance Testing

The next set of Articles are documenting a presentation I’m working on to demonstrate Continuous Delivery, and how in a world where CD is desired, it’s becoming increasingly important for the appropriate level of testing to happen. I’ll be breaking them down to tackle one topic at a time, finally building up to a full demo on how I feel CD can work. Firstly, I’m going to start with a problem CI/CD can address – Performance Testing. Not so much on how to performance test or how CI/CD can build systems that don’t require it, but how a continuous delivery pipeline...

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Monitoring Solutions for Scakka Applications

Over the past few days I have been looking into monitoring Scala and Akka applications, as a number of new integration projects at work are using this framework. Scakka is designed to allow easy building of concurrent applications, and is a great middle-ground for transitioning from OOP to a functional-based approach. The choices within this first investigation were between AppDynamics and a combination of Kamon, StatsD, Graphite and Graphana. So what are the two: AppDynamics (http://www.appdynamics.com): An Application Performance Management tool, capable of providing detailed analytics of a system, not just for the JVM but a variety of technologies, single...

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Using Spotify Docker Plugin on Windows

So recently I have been looking into using Docker to automate parts of my testing and deployment, Using my lightweight CEP component (https://github.com/foyst/smalldata-cep) that uses Siddhi under the covers as a basis to develop my skills in Continuous Integration / Deployment. Currently using Windows 10 on my personal laptop and never one to give up a challenge, I finally got Docker Toolbox running on Windows with version 1.8.2, with boot2docker and Docker Quickstart Terminal. My next goal was to configure Docker builds directly to my boot2docker VM using Spotify’s Docker Maven Plugin (https://github.com/spotify/docker-maven-plugin) as a step towards Continuous Integration / Deployment. The...

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Docker Toolbox and COMODO Internet Security

So after a couple of hours fighting trying to get the latest Docker Toolbox (1.8.2b) installed on my Windows laptop, I thought I’d share my adventure! tl;dr – disable ALL of your security software whilst installing. COMODO’s HIPS module was preventing changes being made to the file system, even though I thought I’d closed COMODO (right click and close) it was still interfering. Disabling this explicitly through the UI allowed me to install Docker Toolbox.   So after opening the DockerToolbox-1.8.2b.exe and allowing all of the requests coming through COMODO, I get this error message before any sight of a Docker...

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Checking Type mismatch in Recursive CTE – Collation at fault

Took me a while to figure out why there was a type mismatch in a CTE I was writing for in a query the other day, always think about collation, because although it’s in the background for most of the time it can always crop up when you least expect it! http://consultingblogs.emc.com/paulmcmillan/archive/2011/01/07/sql-collation-gotcha-1-recursive-cte.aspx

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WCF or ASP.NET Web API – Which to use?!

Found this interesting article when deciding whether to go with WCF or the newer ASP.NET Web API framework when creating new web services. the Web API looks good as the way to go when creating RESTful services, without all the complex and verbose configuration that comes with WCF. However, along with that you lose the extra configuration WCF provides you with, such as multiple transport types, duplex communication, message queues etc. So it’s definitely worth considering what the service will be used for before committing to one of them. http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/idof/archive/2012/03/05/wcf-or-asp-net-web-apis-my-two-cents-on-the-subject.aspx

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Repeating Matrix Column Headers in Reporting Services

Today my afternoon was spent going through a set of standard reports used by some of the customers that I work with, checking layout, formatting etc. I’d noticed that when a matrix spans over multiple pages, the column headers are not repeated. Foolishly I thought this will be a simple fix, surely just right clicking the group on the group selection at the bottom of report builder, then selecting repeat header… However, sometimes this isn’t the case, turns out you need to dig a little deeper than that! Try this… Select the matrix in question, click the down arrow near...

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COM woes – Retrieving COM class factory failed due to the following error: 80040154

I spent ages trying to figure out this problem, when trying to reference Microsoft Office Interop libraries in my project (For manipulating an Excel file programmatically). Turns out, the dlls I was trying to reference were 32-bit, and the platform my project was set to run on was 64-bit. As I was building this project on a 64-bit machine, Visual Studio set the default platform to be 64-bit. This is a simple fix: Go to the “Project” menu, select “Properties”, then click the “Build” tab on the side. From here you just need to select x86 from the Platform combo box and...

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Create SQL Table from .NET Datatable in C#

In one of my recent projects I needed to generate a datatable in C# whose fields could vary depending on which properties of a variable needed to be exported from the system. It needed to be able to generate the SQL CREATE TABLE script on the fly and create the table in the database, and then populate the table with the data to export, either using a SqlBulkCopy object or on a row-by-row basis. The tutorial below provides a good code base to developing this kind of functionality, as well as providing a link to a similar project on MSDN....

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