Archive for category: TechEd 2012

TechEd 2012 (#TEE12), Amsterdam — Day 4

29 Jun 2012
June 29, 2012

Last day at TechEd – today it will be an day!

First Session: Microsoft ASP.NET and the Realtime Web (Brady Gaster)

This gotta be SignalR – hopefully with cool demos. Actually they forgot the SignalR part in the title, the whole thing is about it.

Okay, first demo is SignalR with Kinect. Kinect detects a person, takes a picture, the picture is uploaded to azure and the link to the picture is pushed to “subscribed”, open browser.

9 demos.

Supported clients: JQuery, Native .NET, WP7, iOS, Silverlight, WinRT, Android.

Supported hosts: ASP.NET, OWIN, Self-hosted

Supported backplanes: SQL, Redis, Service Bus

Benchmarks: 40.000 persistent connections (40% CPU utilization) – goal for version 1.0 is 100.000 concurrent open connections.

The demos showed how to build basic applications (totally easy), use diffrent hosts and scale it on Azure.

Brady rocked the stage, really like his style – infotainment on a very high level!

Second Session: Identify & Fix Performance Problems with Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate (Benjamin Day)

Session about the different methods to stress test a Web Application.

Web Performance Test => record actions and play them back

Load Test => mix of Web Performance Tests and Unit Tests (important: The Browser Mix just changes the User Agent, they are not using a real browser)

Limits if you run it from Visual Studio: 250 simultanious user, limited to 1 CPU. If you need more get Test Controller and Test Agents.

I used the Load/Performance Tests in VS2010 and I couldn’t identify a lot of new stuff.

Last Session:  ASP.NET Roadmap: One ASP.NET – Web Forms, MVC, Web API and more (Brady Gaster)

MVC, Web Forms and Web Pages will have the same featureset. There will be a new Visual Studio Web Project template where you can choose what you want and after that nuget will pull the current version and create your project.

Async everwhere => Threads will be released and IIS can serve more requests.

Validation: UnobstrusiveValidationMode property of a page can enable html5 validation

Optimization: CSS / JS  Bundle & Minification: just set debug=false in the web.config and things are compressed, bundled. Supports Coffeescript and LESS.

Model-Binding: ASP.NET controls get a property ItemType to bind strongly typed entities. No more EVAL, good.

DynamicControl => bind it against a string property and it creates a label, an input field and validation. If you bind it against a DateTime prop, guess what its an DateTimeControl then  – slick.

Final notes – TechEd 2012 is over!

TechEd was awesome as expected. Saw a lot of new technologies, new products – that will help me a lot in the future. The location and everything around was decent – very good speakers & sessions, too!

Next TechEd will be booked – thats for sure!

TechEd 2012 (#TEE12), Amsterdam – Day 3

28 Jun 2012
June 28, 2012

Third day at TechEd, not getting more sleep here but coffee keeps us going!

The delegate party was in the AJAX Amsterdam soccer arena – private public viewing style.

First Session: Best Practices for Building Your Website for Scale with Microsoft SharePoint 2012 (Spencer Harbar, @harbars)

At first I thought “Why isnt he talking about User Profiles, Sync or something – he is Mr. UserProfiles for me.

Key messages:

Capacity Planning, Architect Scale, Pilot & Test, Deploy, Monitor & Validate, and repeat.

Output caching increases the Throughput massively – goal is between 80% and 90%.

Common bottlenecks:

Web front-end: CPU, Memory, Disk I/O, Disk space

App servers: Disk I/O, Memory, CPU

Database servers: DB locks, Disk I/O, CPU, Memory, Disk space


Web server memory: Output cache (compiled pages), Object cache (SPQuery)

Web server disk: BLOB cache

See if Site Collection Output Cache is working: Site Collection settings => Enable debug cache information on pages (then check html source after page rendering, there should be comment ) – Gotcha is that Developer dashboard is not longer working because that guy is cache too.

Monitor the cache trimming, if there is a lot scale up the web frontend servers (=> more memory or make the items stay longer in the cache).

If Web frontend CPU is utilized for more than 80% the response time is impacted (Spence’s example was 7 times slower with CPU above 80%).

ASP.Net Post-Cache substitution (partially cached pages)

That was surprising: SPList.GetItems(SPQuery) is not cached – you have to cache it yourself. Same is SharePoint client object model.

Blob cache: Store on separate drive, increase size and lifetime if possible

CDN: If the site is internet facing load jquery and modernizr from big CDNs.

IIS Compression: STRONGLY recommendation to enable static compression. Consider dynamic compressions.

Content Deployment: Dont use it for high availability, Site relaunch/redesign, schedule the load from write operations – its not made for that.

Content Deployment Best Practices:

  1. Content Deployment + SQL Server Enterprise. Central Administration: Tick the box to use sql snapshots
  2. Custom solution must be “aware” of Content Deployment

Variations – Best Practices at Scale

  1. Avoid “Multilingual Afterthought Syndrom – what a name.
    1. Set up Variations early on, otherwise you have to copy a lot
  2. Consider On-Demand Page Propagation

TechEd Expo

Needed a pause and took the time to discover the different booths. Very interesting products (even useful ones) arround, some I will try. Had a great discussion at the Microsoft booth, could ask a lot of questions (and I got them answered, awesome!). One thing I wanted to know is if you could run Hyper V on a Windows 8 non-Server version – you can with Hyper V Client. Thats good new for me, bad news for VMWare Workstation.

Despite the fact there are not that much SharePoint sessions here, the coverage of SharePoint experts (MVPs, SharePoint Master and even SharePoint Architects) is quite high (to name some: Spencer Harbar, Todd Klindt, John Ross, Randy Drisgill, Steve Fox, Paul Stubbs, Radi Atanassov, …) – had a great discussion about SignalR, FAST Search, SharePoint Ignite for vNext,  SharePoint vNext beta (they told me exactly nothing…). To sum it up: I had fun.

Second Session: Building HTTP Services with ASP.NET Web API (Sayed Hashimi)

Best reason to use Web API: Interoperability (use on phones, browsers, clients, … ) and SCALE.

Sayed’s demo was pretty slick, he used knockoutJS to visualize and bind the data. As benefit of the service you get content-negotiation (xml or json or whatever if the client requests it without overhead) and odata support: filter and query without implementing them, neat! Just mark methods returning entities with [Queryable] and return IQueryable objects. I literally can see this in SharePoint WebServices in SharePoint ‘15 – this will rock. You need .net 4 for it, so no out-of-the-box benefits for SP2010.

And finally there will be an API Explorer for that – will be a nuget package, cool.

Third Session: Creating Robust, Maintainable Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio 2012 (Brian Keller)

I hoped we see the demo recorded from the new IE, but Brian choose to show a small wpf app. No big deal, I hope the functionality is comparable. A lot of new features added to coded UI tests, seems like its usable in VS 2012 – I tried it in VS2010 but it was too slow and cumbersome to invest time. I’ll retry it with VS2012, looks straightforward.

If your test fails you can see screenshots why the test failed or even record them during your test.

TechEd 2012 (#TEE12), Amsterdam —- Day 2

27 Jun 2012
June 27, 2012

Second day at Teched.

Keynote: Windows 8

Lots of different features of the new Windows 8 are shown. Windows 2 GO demo was cool – you can boot an entire Windows from usb 3.0 stick. If you unplug the stick you have 60 seconds to replug it and everything continues to work.

First Session: Introducing the New Visual Studio 2012 Unit Testing Experience (Peter Provost)

Peter showed some new features of the new Visual Studio – looks great. Hoping that new SharePoint has proper support of the new Fakes/Shim test stuff. Would bring SharePoint development to a new level – higher quality for many of us. Many of this you could have used with some effort, it seems like things are getting much easier and faster.

As I am live writting – at the end Peter told the audience that there will be a Test Emulation Library for SharePoint Unit Testing – this is good news!!!

Second Session: From Development To Production: Optimizing For Continuous Delivery (Chris Patterson)

Developer talk focused on Azure and TFS 2012 (Preview).

Key messages:

  1. Use the framework you want to use
    1. MSTEST, Nunit, xUnit and Others
  2. Unit tests drive quality
  3. Use Isolation Framework (“Fakes” is deeply integrated into VS2012)
  4. Iterate everything (Plan, Develop, Test)

Take aways: Lots of new features for Devs – all will profit from that.

Lunch session: Integrating SharePoint and Project Server 2010 – Deployment Approaches, Integration Options and making the most of the SharePoint Enterprise Features.

Lunch was short for this session but I wanted to see what you can do with that powerful combo. At Alegri we are using Project 2010 and SharePoint together but I have the feeling we are only using 20% – it seems like we are.

Key take aways: Change the master page and loose support! Workarround is to use the delegate control in the page head to add css/jquery to style stuff. Lots of additional work.

Fifth session: Advanced SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Troubleshooting (Todd Klindt)

One of the most anticipated sessions for me.

Different upgrade scenarios, db attached upgrade deliveres good results. Start with SP2007 SP2 – for SP2010 most recent is CU Feb 2012 (start slipstreamed, except language packs!). Important if you attach UserProfile start with RTM (rumors ("smart people told me") are there are problems with it if you go post SP1).

Always run preupgradecheck – large list issues (workflow history could be very large and prevents workflows to start in SP2010).

Orphans: Delete them on SP2007 (several times with stsadm) then test-spcontentdatabase

Use MSDN ULSViewer to analyze problems – time for a logging feature at
Use powershell for everything – Todd loves powershell and he is not a Dev!

If you see ID 75802 its Fab40 – check if you can delete it on the SP2007 side. DONT move them to SP2010 – huge side-effects if you do so.

Upgrade performance is limited by IO – fast disks => fast upgrade.

Get rid of unused document versions.

Themes: Install themes in SP2007 before mounting content database, otherwise you cant change your MasterPage in SP2010.

Memo to myself: Listen to Todds podcast frequently – that was the best session so far at TechEd 2012.

Sixth session: Exploring the Power of Page Layouts in SharePoint 2010 WCM Sites (John Ross, Randy Drisgill)

Page layouts are a powerful concept for SharePoint.

Pros: Encapsuling data based on a contenttype, inheritance if you want it, deployable, searchable.

Cons: No versioning

If you crate it with SharePoint Designer, things tend to be created in the content database and you pay a performance price for that.

If you create it with Visual Studio take care that the contenttype id is correct (wow, very long),  copy it from the url in the content type gallery or with CKSDEV in Visual Studio.

Next session: Microsoft delegate party.

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