May 20

I'm Speaking at the next CDNUG

In about two weeks (May 31st, 2018) I will be presenting at the next Chicago .Net Users Group meetup in Downers Grove IL. I'm looking forward to my first time attending and speaking at this group's meetup because I have heard good things of the group even all the way up here in Michigan from a few other developers in the .Net community.

I'll be giving my chat bot talk on "How to Build an E-commerce Chat bot with Azure Bot Framework". The talk was very well received at CPL this year, and today I am working on updating a few of the samples to give the session a small refresh. 

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May 19

Handle 3rd Party Analytics Scripts in a GDPR World with Kentico EMS

With the May 25th 2018 GDPR deadline looming it seems like every third email in my inbox is about either a privacy policy change, or a client asking for information about how to handle GDPR on their Kentico website. More than one of those emails have asked me how to handle GDPR compliance when it comes to analytics tracking scripts like Google Tag Manager, Universal Analytics, or Marketo. This is a bit of sticky situation in my mind because the personal data is not exactly stored in the Kentico website, but the website definitely serves the JavaScript code that starts to track the person. As far as I can tell, this is still very much a GDPR issue to deal with that you can't just ignore if you want to stay in compliance.

Now, Kentico 11 has a great new Data Protection app that makes it easy to handle GDPR compliance compared to most CMS's. However, the fully built in features are targetted mostly at Kentico functionality like Kentico E-Commerce, Kentico Analytics, and Kentico Activity Tracking. So I thought I would try out the new Data Protection functionality of tracking and applying consents on third party services instead. Keep reading to find out how easy it is to integrate these services with the Kentico to achieve GDPR compliance.   

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Apr 23

I'm Speaking at GLSEC 2018

SoftwareGR is once again hosting its annual software conference, the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference, known as GLSEC. Each year the conference is dedicated to building and enhancing the software industry in the West Michigan region. The conference brings hundreds of software professionals and business leaders together for a day of learning and networking. And once again I am happy to announce that I will be speaking for the second time at the event.

GLSEC 2018 takes place this year on April 30th, 2018 in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. This year the theme is on "Data Protection" or how to keep your company's data and systems safe and secure. The goal is help software developers understand the security risks that are always present whenever dealing with potentially sensitive or personal information, and how to create applications and systems that protect against that risk.

As a result of the theme, my session is titled "Doom, Gloom and the New GDPR, What's a Web Developer to do?". If this is the first time you are hearing about GDPR and reside in West Michigan, I fully recommend joining my talk to find out more about this important topic. Keep reading after the jump to see the full abstract of my talk.

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Mar 22

I'm Speaking at Code PaLOUsa 2018

One week from today (March 29th, 2018) I will once again be speaking at one of my favorite conferences of the year, Code PaLOUsa. CPL is a multi-day software development conference, located in Louisville, KY, designed to cover all aspects of software development regardless of technology stack. The conference schedule features presentations from many well-known professionals in the software development community.

I am pulling double duty with two sessions this year for the conference, "How to Build an E-commerce Chat bot with Azure Bot Framework" and "Serverless Architecture Shootout". The first talk about the Azure Bot Framework has me excited because it is the first time I have been able to give this talk, and I firmly believe that chatbots are an example of technology that every organization could use.

For the second talk about Serverless Architecture, I am calling in some backup to help me out (or crush… depending on how you look at it). Keep reading after the jump to find out more about both sessions and which special guest will debate me on the age-old discussion of who’s better at Serverless computing, Azure or AWS.

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Mar 10

.Net Core in Kentico MVC?

Lately I have been asked by quite a few developers, quite a few times, if it is possible to use .Net Core 2.0 with Kentico? This is especially true with developers who are going down the path of using MVC with Kentico. So I though instead of repeating the same story over and over, I would make my opinion known publicly on my blog. 

The official short answer to this question is unfortunately no. Currently with both Kentico 10 and Kentico 11 you need to still use the full ASP.NET Framework versions 4.6.x or 4.7.x. These framework versions basically set you up to also only use MVC 5 and not anything far along than that (sorry Razor Pages).

However, there is actually a little bit more to the story, and a bit longer answer to consider. Keep reading after the jump to get the full picture and maybe learn a bit more about where this is all going.

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Feb 10

I'm Speaking at Orlando Code Camp 2018

I'm happy to announce that I have been selected to speak at the 13th Annual Orlando Code Camp on March 17th, 2018 at Seminole State College. The code camp is a free, one day learning event for programming professionals and students with a focus on .NET and other related technologies. This year the Orlando Code Camp features 89 Speakers, 91 Sessions, and 13 Tracks on a diverse range of topics, and I am happy to be one of them.

My session for this conference, "Serverless Architecture Shootout", has me really excited. I get to do my favorite thing, which is debate the age old question of who does it better, Azure or AWS.  Keep reading after the jump to see the full details of how I will present on which platform reigns supreme.

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Jan 28

Why Kentico.Glimpse is a Must Have Tool for Kentico MVC Developers

Recently I was tasked with troubleshooting a problem with one of our Kentico MVC projects that we were working on. The issue was that, at a high load, the performance of the front end MVC live site was not scaling very well. This was an issue that I had not really seen before in our Kentico MVC projects because typically Kentico’s API caching system does a really great job at making sure sites are very high performing.

As long as you follow best practices for Kentico MVC development you are usually pretty good on the performance side, well, that is until a client loads a 5 MB image file on the home page, but alas, that is a different story for a different blog post.

The root issue seemed to be that the Time to first byte (TTFB) was relatively high in the first few tests and didn’t efficiently drop as much as we would like on the primed cache hits. This was a clue that it was something to do on the server-side rendering of the page, before the HTTP response was even being sent down to the browser. And with any asp.net database backed CMS, this usually points to something being up with the SQL database calls that it takes to render the page.

Keep reading to see how I used the fantastic Kentico.Glimpse debugging tool to solve where the slowness was on this Kentico MVC project.

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Dec 26

Kentico MVC Quick Tip - Fix Broken Insert Link Button

Last week, a developer that I work with here at BizStream came to me seeking some quick help on one of our Kentico MVC projects. When he showed me the issue, I was initially quite surprised because the thing that wasn't working, was inside of the Kentico admin interface. It had nothing to do with our custom code on the live site. The issue existed when editing content with WYSIWYG content fields, something that has always "just" worked in Kentico since the very first version. Specifically, the problem boiled down to creating links inside of the content field that targeted internal site pages using the Insert link button's dialog picker. 

The expected behavior of the Insert link button dialog would be to allow a content admin to navigate the Kentico content tree, find an internal page that the link should target, and with a simple click of the Save & Close button the CMS will generate a correct relative URL to the that page of the tree. Dead simple right?

Well in this case, no matter what page we chose in the picker on our Kentico MVC the dialog always generated the link with an href that was "~/" instead of the correct URL path to the content page. Crazy right?

Keep reading after the jump to see what was causing the issue and how to resolve it.

 

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Nov 30

11 Reasons to Feel Good About Upgrading to Kentico 11

If you or your company uses Kentico to power your website, chances are you’ve seen the marketing that Kentico 11 will be released in a mere 11 days from now, on December 11th 2017. Yes, that’s a lot of elevens in a row right there, and there might be a small coincidence that I planned this blog post for to go live today. 

I have made few posts before about new version releases of Kentico, in fact it's turning into a little bit of an annual activity for me, but each new release is worth talking about. I can say that not just because I am a Kentico enthusiast, but really because each major release of Kentico tends to add something that community is demanding. Typically it is a deepening of the Online Marketing feature set, more configurability of the e-commerce APIs, or performance enhancements that Kentico users and developers want, and for as long as I can remember Kentico has always moved the ball forward with each of the major releases. 

Keep reading after the jump to find out if Kentico 11 delivers yet again on this strong history.

 

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Oct 31

A Google Chrome Extension for Utilizing Kentico Cloud Content in the Browser

This past week I was able to attend the Kentico Roadshow conference in Chicago. I attended a few different sessions, but the morning session by [A]'s founder Cruce Saunders and afternoon session by Get Started's founder Marty Drill got me thinking quite a bit about Content Modeling and the beginning phases of a web project. This process is something that we do often at BizStream and it typically involves creating a set of wireframes that illustrate how content might look on a page or view.

In fact, the very first task I had to do back at the office the next day was to review a set of wireframes for a new project we are working on. And it dawned on me in that meeting, that wireframing could be thought of as another channel for content to be used. What if we could quickly grab the content from Kentico Cloud, since it existed already, and leverage it in these wireframes instead of Lorem Ipsum text. And thus, my idea was born to create a browser extension to easily grab content from Kentico Cloud and simply copy and paste it into our browser based wireframing tool.

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