Getting Started with Laravel Development on Windows Subsystem for Linux with VS Code: A Complete Guide

The Windows 10 Anniversary update gave a gift to developers in the form of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL as it will be referred to throughout this post. Starting with Ubuntu available first, there are now several flavors of Linux that can be installed on Windows 10 through the Windows Store. Previously for my Laravel development on Windows, I used the Vagrant and Homestead, installed on VirtualBox. Over time this setup has grown…

How To Fix Windows 10 Timeline Not Showing Any Items

The Windows 10 April update offers several new productivity features, the most notable of which is the new timeline. The timeline allows you to view and resume previous activities, both from the computer you are on and from other devices. For heavy users of Visual Studio and MS Office products on multiple devices, this could be a big productivity aid. Unfortunately, some users are having trouble with the timeline. After ensuring timeline is turned on…

Adding an Action Extension Icon to a Xamarin iOS App

Action extensions are a great way to more deeply integrate your app with iOS. While building these extensions is well documented, getting an icon to show up is not, particularly in the Xamarin iOS arena. Below along the bottom row is an example of some built in extensions that work with Safari: Note that the extensions are monochromatic. Your extension icon should have a transparent background, or else your icon will show up as all…

Exploring the UnitConvert API in .Net Core

UnitConvert is an API that we created that makes it easy to convert any plain text measurement to another compatible measurement, get information about the measurement, or compare with another measurement. Why is this useful? Here are a few scenarios where UnitConvert could be used: Translate your app’s speech recognition data/spoken units into a standardized format Detect if an input measurement is valid Help in storing measurement data as a standardized unit Build processes around…

Adding Touch ID, Fingerprint, and Windows Hello Authentication to your Xamarin Forms App

Recently, I worked on an application built with Xamarin Forms that needed to force the user to re-authenticate on every use for security reasons. It’s a pain to have to type out your password on a phone every single time you use an app, so the obvious choice was to allow the user to authenticate with Touch ID on iOS, fingerprint reader on Android (if available), and Windows Hello/PIN on UWP. Thankfully, GitHub user smstuebe…

Why You Should Use a Private VSTS Agent for Your CI Pipeline

We do a lot of ASP.NET Core projects that get deployed to Azure. Continuous integration and testing is important to us, so using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) made sense. For most of our projects, we have check-ins to certain branches of our git repositories automatically triggering publishes to Azure staging environments. We started off using a hosted agent for our continuous build/release pipeline. Hosted agents are great for basic build scenarios, especially if you don’t…

ElePass Now Enters Public Beta

In November, we started work on our first big idea as a software development group – to build a password manager tool designed for agencies and their workflow, ElePass. We spoke with several different agency leaders to understand what tools and processes were currently in use within their agencies and how to improve on those processes. We quickly realized that there are two key issues out there for agency leaders: (1) there isn’t an efficient…

Building your first Vue.js App with ASP.NET Core 2 and Vuetify

Vue.js (https://vuejs.org/) is a great front-end framework, especially for beginners. There are several single page application templates available from Microsoft through their “Microsoft.AspNetCore.SpaTemplates” package, including a template for Vue.js. This template works OK out of the box, but with a few small updates we can include some great material design components provided by Vuetify (https://vuetifyjs.com/) and hit the ground running.   Prerequisites We’ll use Visual Studio 2017 in this example. You could also do this…

Using ModelState for Validation with Vue.js in .Net Core 2

Controllers in .Net Core can keep track of the validation state of your models/view models through their ModelState property. While it’s very easy to do client-side validation in Vue js, server-side validation is a much stronger way to prevent data errors, and the built in ModelState capabilities provide this. Through a few steps and the right components, we can make this happen in a concise, repeatable way.   Step 1: ModelState Helper Under the hood,…

Creating a Filter for Custom Roles in .NET Core 2

Extending .Net Core 2 identity The role system built into newly created .Net Core 2 MVC apps when you select the “Individual User Accounts” option works great for most scenarios. However, there may be times when you need to pull roles in another fashion to meet your business need. Thankfully, it’s easy to hook up a helper that makes it trivial to guard controller actions based on role. The goal is to be able to…