Showing posts with label integration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label integration. Show all posts

Reading Notes #388

Suggestion of the week





  • How To Develop Apps Like PUBG (Apoorv Gehlot) - An interesting article that gives us an idea of how a game like pugs got that success, and who they manage that rapid growth.

Be more Productive by using Inline Code in your Azure Logic App

In a project using Azure Logic Apps that I am working on, I needed to manipulate strings. I could create APIs or Azure Functions, but the code is very simple and is not using any external libraries. In this post, I will show you how to use the new Inline Code to execute your code snippet directly inside your Logic Apps.

Quick Context

The Logic App will read a file from my OneDrive (it will also work with DropBox, Box, etc.). Here an example of the file:

Nice tutorial that explains how to build, using postman, an efficient API.[]

The goal is to extract tags, contained between the square brackets, from the text.

Logic App: Get File Content

From the Azure Portal, create a new Logic App by clicking the big green "+" button in the top left corner and searching for Logic App.

For this demo, I will use the Interval as a trigger because I will execute the Logic App manually.

The first step will be a Get File Content action from the OneDrive connector. Once you authorized Azure to access your OneDrive folder, select the file you want to read. For me, it's /dev/simpleNote.txt

Integration Account

To access the workflowContext the Azure Logic App required an Integration account. Next step would be to create one. Save the current Logic App, and click on the big "+" button in the top right corner. This time search for integration. Select Integration Account, and complete the form to create it.

We now need to assign it to our Logic App. From the Logic App blade, in the options list select Workflow Settings. Then select your integration account, and don't forget to save!

Logic App: Inline Code

To add the action at the end of your workflow, click the New step button. Search for Inline Code, and select the action Execute JavaScript Code.

Before copy-pasting the code into the new Inline Code action let's have a quick look.

var note = "" + workflowContext.actions.Get_file_content.outputs.body;
var posTag = note.lastIndexOf("[") + 1;
var cleanNote = {};

if(posTag > 0){
        cleanNote.tags = note.substring(posTag, note.length-1);
        cleanNote.msg = note.substring(0,posTag-1);
return cleanNote;

On the first line, we assign a variable note the content of the Get_file_content outputs. We access it using the workflowContext. This context has access to the trigger and the actions. To find the name of the action you can replace the spaces by the underscore character "_".

You can also switch to Code View, and see the name of all components from the JSON code.

Logic App: Use Inline Code Result

Of course, you can use the output of your Inline Code with other steps. You just need to use the Result from the dynamic content menu.

If for some reason the dynamic content list doesn't contain your Inline Code, you can always add the code directly @body('Cleaning_Note')?['body'].

Your Logic App should now look like this:


The Inline code is very promising. Right now it's limited to JAvaScript and cannot access variable nor loops. However, for simple code that doesn't require any references, it's easier to maintain and deploy. You can learn more about what is exactly covered or not here.
And it works as this result shows.

You prefer watching instead or Reading

I also have a video of this post if you prefer.


Let’s create a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI-CD) with Azure DevOps

I'm about to start a new project and want to have it with a continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD). I've been using VSTS for a while now but didn't have the chance to try the new pipelines. If you didn't know VSTS as been rebranded/ redefined as Azure Devops. Before going in with the real thing I decided to give it a try with a simple project. This post is to relay those first steps.

Get Started

Let's start by creating our Azure Devops project. Navigate to and if you don't already have an account create one it's free! Once you are logged-in, create a new project by clicking the New project blue button in the top right corner.


You will need to provide a unique name and a few simple information.

The Application

First thing first, we need an application. For this post, I will be using a simple Asp.Net Core site. For the repository, we have options. AzureDevOps (ADOps) support many repository: GitHub, Bitbucket, private Git and its own. Because the project I've created is public I decided to keep the code at the same place as everything else.

From the left menu, select Repos. From here if the code already exist just add a remote repository, or clone the empty one on your local machine, the usual. Create and add your code to that repository.


The Azure WebApp

The next step is to create a placeholder for our CD pipeline. We will create an empty shell of a web application in Azure with these three Azure CLI commands. You can execute them locally or from the Cloud Shell. (Don't forget to validate that you are in the good subscription)
az group create --name simplegroup --location eastus

az appservice plan create --name simpleplan --resource-group simplegroup --sku FREE

az webapp create --name simplefrankweb --resource-group simplegroup --plan simpleplan
The first command will create a Resource group. Then inside of this group we create a service plan, and finally we create a webapp to the mix.

Continuous Integration

The goal is to have the code to get to compile at every commit. From the left menubar, select Pipelines, and click the create new button. The first step is to identify where our code is, as you can see Azure DevOps is flexible and accept code from outside.


Select the exact repository.


This third step displays the YAML code that defines your pipeline. At this point, the file is not complete, but it's enough to build, we will come back to it later. Click the Add button to add the azure-pipelines.yml file at the root level of your repository.


The build pipeline is ready click the Run button to execute it for the first time. Now at every commit, the build will be triggered. To see the status of your build just on to into the build section from the left menubar.


Continuous Deployment

Great, our code gets to compile at every commit. It would be nice if the code could also be automatically deployed into our dev environment. To achieve that we need to create a Release Pipeline. And our pipeline will need artifacts. We will edit the azure-pipelines.yml to add two new tasks. You can do this directly in the online repository or just from your local machine; remember the file is at the root. Add these commands:

- task: DotNetCoreCLI@2
  displayName: 'dotnet publish $(buildConfiguration)'
    command: publish
    publishWebProjects: True
    arguments: '--configuration $(buildConfiguration) --output $(Build.ArtifactStagingDirectory)'
    zipAfterPublish: True

- task: PublishBuildArtifacts@1
  displayName: 'publish artifacts'

Those two tasks are to publish our application (package it), and make it available in our Artifact folder. To learn more about the type of command available and see example have a look the excellent documentation at: Once you are done, save and commit (and push if it was local).

From the left menubar, click on e the Pipeles, select Release, and clienk the New Release blue button. Select the template that matches your application. For this post Azure App Service deployment is the one we need.

The next thing to will be to rename the environment for something else than Stage 1, I named mine "to Azure" but it could be dev, prod or anything that make sense for you. Click on the Add an Artifact button.


You will now specify to the pipeline were to pick the artifacts it will deploy. In this case, we want the "output" of our latest build. And I renamed the Source alias as Drop.


To get our continuous deployment (CD) we need to enable that trigger by clicking on the little lightning bolt and enabled it.


The last step to configure the Release pipeline is to specify a destination. By clicking on the "1 job, 1 task" in the middle of the screen (with the little red exclamation point in a circle), that will open the window where we will do that.

Select the subscription you would like to use, and then click on the Authaurize button on the right. Once it's done go change the App Service Name. Click on it and wait 2-3 seconds you should see the app we created with our Azure CLI display. Select it, and voila!


Now add a file by checking out the code on your local machine or directly in Azure DevOps. Grab a badge from the build and/or release and copy paste it in the ReadMe. To get the code snippet of your badge, go to your build/ release definition, and click the ellipse button. Select Status badge and copy the snippet that matches your destination file (in our case the Markdown).


Now when you go to the Overview page, you will have a nice badge that informed you. It also works on any web page just use the HTML snippet instead.


In a video, please!

I also have a video of this post if you prefer.


Reading Notes #344


Suggestion of the week




The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Patrick Lencioni) - I really enjoyed this book. The fact the first the material was passed as a story adds a lot of perspective and to our comprehension. In the last chapter the author return to the theories and gives more details. I completely devour that book; I'm looking forward to reading more.



Reading Notes #340






Reading Notes #327






  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson) -Damn it's good!
    The title of the book let's me thought it will be very negative. Not giving a fu#*... But it's really not. Quite the opposite in fact. I really like the book and I'm planning to read/listen it another time in... One year. To see what changed.

Reading Notes #324






Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by [Tracy, Brian]Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Author: Brian Tracy

A short book that pushes to action. I really enjoyed it. A book to read and read again.


Reading Notes #322





Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life (Gary John Bishop)

I really enjoyed this book. Strong ideas. No repetition. It goes straight to the point. The narration is awesome.

ASIN: B0731QJ482

Reading Notes #312

IoT Hands-on Lab at Ottawa

Suggestion of the week




How to Automatically Generate Video Sub-Title in Another Language

I recently started a French YouTube channel. Quickly, I got a message asking to add English sub-title, and got also a suggestion to leverage Azure Logic App and some Cognitive Services to help me in that task. I really liked the idea, so I gave it a shot. I recorded myself and in twenty minutes I was done. Even though, it was not the success I was hoping for, the application works perfectly. It's just that speaking in French with a lot of English technical word was a little bite too hard for the Video Indexer. However, If you are speaking only one language in your video that solution would work perfectly. In this post, I will show you how to create that Logic App with Azure Video Indexer and Cognitive Services.

The Idea

Once a video is dropped in an OneDrive folder (or any file system accessible from Azure), a Logic App will get triggered and uploads the file to the Azure Video Indexer, generate a Video Text Tracks (VTT) file, and save this new file in another folder. A second Logic App will get started and use the Translator Text API from Azure Cognitive Service to translate the VTT file, and save it into the final folder.


The Generation

Before getting started, you will need to create your Video Indexer API. To do this, login to the Video Indexer developer portal, and subscribe at the Video Indexer APIs - Production in the Product tab. You should then get your API keys.


To get more detail on the subscription refer to the documentation. To know the names, parameters, code sample to all the methods available in your new API, click on APIs tab.


Now let's create our first Logic App. I always prefer to start with a blank template, but take what fits you. Any Online file system's trigger will do, in this case I'm using the When a file is created from OneDrive. I got some issue with the trigger. It was not always getting fired by a new file. I tried the When a file is modified trigger, but it didn't solve the problem. If you think, you know what I was doing wrong feel free to leave a comment :).

First reel action is to upload the file to the Azure Video Indexer. We can to that ery easily by using the method Upload video and and index, passing the name and content from the trigger.

Of course, the longer is the video the longer will be the process, so we will need to wait. A way to do that is by adding a waiting loop. Will use the method Get processing state from the Video Indexer and loop until the status is processed. To slow down your loop just add a wait action and set it at tree or five minutes.

When the file is completely processed, it will be time to retrieve the VTT file. This is done in two simple step. First, we will get the URL by calling the method Get the transcript URL, then with a simple HTTP GET we will download the file. The last thing we will need to do will be to save it in a folder where our second Logic App will be watching for new drop.

In the visual designer, the Logic App should look to this.


The Translation

The second Logic App is very short. Once again, it will get triggered by a new file trigger in our OneDrive Folder. Then it will be time to call our Translator Text API from Azure Cognitive Service. That's to the great Logic App interface it's very intuitive to fill all the parameter for our call. Once we got the translation, we need to save it into our final destination.

The Logic App should look like this.



It was much easier than I expected. I really like implementing those integration projects with Logic App. It's so easy to "plug" all those APIs together with this interface. And yes like I mentioned in the introduction the result was not "great". I run test with video purely in English (even with my accent) or only in French (no mix) and the result was really good. So I think the problem is really the fact that I mix French and English. I could improve the Indexer by spending time providing files so the service could understand better my "Franglish". However, in twenty minutes, I'm really impressed by the way, in turned out. If you have idea on how to improve this solution, or if you have some questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also watch my French YouTube video.

All the code is available online on Github - Cloud5VideoHelper.


Reading Notes #304







Reading Notes #298




  • #222: Patrick Lencioni—Getting Hiring Right (EntreLeadership Team) - It was my first episode of this podcast, but definitely not the last one. Very interesting speakers... nice books referenced... loved it.
  • Why Your Boss Makes You Punch a Time Clock (Suzanne Lucas Suzanne Lucas is a freelance writer who spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with t) - Most of us have to do timesheets... I'm sure that at one point, you asked yourself the reason about it. It's time read an answer, in this post.

Reading Notes #279



  • Contributing to .NET for Dummies (Rion Williams) - Another post where the author shares his experience (I love those. That's the real life); this one about participating in an open-source project.



Reading Notes #268




Reading Notes #255





Reading Notes #246





Reading Notes #210

2015-11-22_2132Suggestion of the week



    Reading Notes #208


    Suggestion of the week




    Reading Notes #186

    published by Gartner
    I finally watch most of the recorded sessions from Build, Ignite and MVPvConf, and I had more time to read.

    Suggestion of the week

    • Learning to git bisect (Rural) - Very, very interesting walkthrough, I never knew Git got that kind of feature.


    Microsoft is currently the only vendor to be positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service , Application Platform as a Service , Cloud Storage Services and Server Virtualization




    Note about the image of this week: This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request here.