Blog Posts

Jul 19

How to Add Azure App Configuration and Feature Flags into Blazor in .Net 5

In case you haven't heard, Azure App Configuration is a newer service out of Azure that is billed as a tool that provides a way to centrally manage application settings. Azure App Configuration is not just another way to manage configuration files, in my opinion, it is a bit different because it actually provides a mechanism to easily modify your application's behavior at runtime with the click of a button. It does this through the use of Feature Flags which seamlessly connect to App Configuration and can easily be used through a few simple NuGet packages in your applications.

The ability to easily change my application's behavior would have been nice to have in a side project I worked on this year. I was creating a dashboard and scoring application in Blazor that I needed for a local event. II had two goals for this project. One, I wanted to learn how to use Blazor, and two, I needed to build something fast as I only had a few days to create a solution. Had I started with App Configuration in Blazor and utilized a Feature Flag, I would have saved myself from the production disaster that happened during the event.

Keep reading this blog post to find out How to Add Azure App Configuration and Feature Flags into Blazor in .NET 5.0.

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Jul 05

#034 - How Easy Is It for a Beginner to Build a GatsbyJS / Kentico Kontent Site?

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Adam Amran, Product Designer at Kentico Kontent, joins host Brian McKeiver. They talk about Adam's experience with creating a GatsbyJS site backed by the Kentico Kontent Headless CMS as a new programmer. Adam and Brian go into the story of how Adam needed to create a new website for a side project he was working on, Untools.co.

Being a Designer by trade, Adam wasn’t quite sure where to start as he only had basic programming knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. After forming the new idea for the project, creating his content model in Kontent, and settling on GatsbyJS as the right solution, the new site came together quickly and is now blazing fast.

Listen to the episode to find out what pitfalls happened along the way, and why Adam us now very happy with the result.

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Jun 27

#033 - The .NET Core Future is Now For Kentico Xperience 13

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, our host Brian McKeiver is joined by Sean G. Wright, Kentico MVP at WiredViews. Brian and Sean discuss the recently released beta 3 of Kentico Xperience, the digital experience platform offering from Kentico. They get into how the newest release will allow for full support of .NET Core, the most modern released version of .NET.

Sean and Brian also talk about what this technology shift means for MVC 5 or WebForms developers who are not yet well versed in .NET Core. Listen to the episode to gain some tips and insights on why .NET Core is different, and how to get started in Kentico and .NET Core if you are still in the Portal Engine of MVC 5 world.

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Jun 14

The Latest on Kentico 13 Beta 3 or Should I Say Kentico Xperience

This past Friday, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Kentico Xperience Product Director, Michal Kadák and Product Owner, David Komárek. Our goal was to discus the Kentico EMS to Kentico Xperience re-branding from an insiders standpoint. But we spent most of our time on Kentico 13 beta 3, including the reveal of long awaited release date of beta 3.

Michal and David and I were actually trying to record the next episode of my Kentico Rocks podcast. But, the technology gods frowned upon my OBS abilities /skills. The audio recorded with such a bad echo that it is unusable. You'd think after 30 episodes or so I would have figured this out by now, but 3 audio streams was too much for me. I promise I'll have it correct next time. Yet, technology be damned. The content of the recording was so good, and the timing so right, I couldn't wait to get this information out to the Kentico community. Instead I have went with plan b, and I have turned the audio recording into this interview style blog post.

Keep reading to find out David and Michal's thoughts on Kentico Xperience, what's included in Kentico 13 beta 3, and when you can get your hands on it.

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Jun 11

#032 - What's New in .Net, Azure Static Web Apps, and Kontent

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver discusses what's new in the .Net world post Microsoft Build 2020. He covers a bit about the Build announcements and how to watch them if you missed it, briefly dives into the new Azure Static Web Apps service from Azure, and ends up highlighting what's new in the Kentico Kontent Delivery SDK for .Net developers. Existing .Net developers who utilize Kentico Kontent do not want to miss this episode.

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May 25

.NET News & What's New for Kontent in .NET

It's May, and the means that many things in the US. People are looking forward to Memorial day, the opening of summer, the welcoming of warm weather, the end of the stay at home orders (unless you are in Michigan), and plenty more. However, it also means that the biggest event of the year is here if you are a .Net developer, that's right the annual Microsoft Build conference.

MS Build 2020 happened last week, with a new virtual only format, and with tons of new announcements as it always does. For .Net developers who weren't paying attention the biggest announcements being Blazor WebAssembly has officially made it to its first production release, Azure Static Web Apps preview, .Net 5 preview 4 is out, the unveiling of .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI), C# 9.0, Windows Forms Designer for .Net Core, a Microsoft Bot Framework update, and updates to our favorite developer tools like Visual Studio and Code. Honesty, there is a ton more as well. 

With the announcement of so many cool .Net things, it got me thinking, how could Kentico Kontent developers take advantage of these new things, and also what else is new or updated in the Kontent world for .Net projects and solutions. The rest of this post is where I will cover that very thing, plus mention how we might be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest from MS Build 2020 as well.

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Apr 30

Kentico MVC Page Builder Do's and Don'ts

Kentico 12.0 (and really Kentico 12.0 Service Pack 1) has brought many welcome enhancements to the Kentico platform when it comes to the ASP.Net MVC development style. But the one true killer feature when it comes to MVC is the Kentico MVC Page Builder. The drag and drop Page Builder allows content editors to create content and control page layout very easily. Combine that with the ability to create MVC page templates, easy to use A/B tests, and easy to use Personalization variations, and you don't have much excuse not to use it in Kentico 12.

Even though this feature is pretty new, time has moved on since last summer, when service pack 1 was officially released. That means developers have most likely had enough time to enjoy the pleasure of working with the system, as well as the pain of dealing with the system when it doesn't quite behave as designed. I know personally I have lost more than just an hour or two to a weird random JavaScript error that kept the Page Builder from loading, or some weird Content Security Policy error that prevented the Preview mode from even loading the Page Builder. The list goes on from there.

I have also seen the beauty of the system working in advanced ways, such as MVC Page Builder widgets being crafted out of ReactJS that makes front end developers happy or MVC widgets that pull from structured data in the Content Tree to allow for full content reusability and flexibility, and my end clients raving about how easy it is to build landing pages out of the Page Builder. This list goes on too.

Since the feature has been out for a bit now (and matured quite nicely), and I have seen the good and the bad, I felt it time to create a list of what I will call the Do's and Don'ts of Kentico MVC Page Builder to help other Kentico developers and Kentico partners out there get the most out of the system.

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Mar 31

#031 - Kentico Kontent Management API Review

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver talks about Kentico Kontent's API capabilities. The goal is to talk about a lesser publicized Kontent API, the Management API. Brian discusses why you might want to use the Management API for importing content, reviews how to call the Management API v1 from the .Net SDK that Kontent provides, and demo's a real world Blazor app that upserts content items through the Management API v2.

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Mar 22

.Net 5.0 Preview 1 with Kentico 13 Beta 2 - A Double Phoenix

If you have been listening to some of my recent podcast episodes, you have been hearing how I have been excited for a bit now about the Kentico 13 Beta 2 release and how it sets up Kentico EMS for the future. You may also have heard me talk about the future of .Net and why it matters to the .Net development community and why .Net Core is better than ASP.Net MVC 5 on the full .Net 4.x Framework.

Well I decided to put my money where my mouth is over the weekend. I was inspired to give the absolute latest bleeding edge scenario of .Net technology a try with the Kentico 13 Beta. I wanted to download Kentico Phoenix, install a clean version of it, and attempt to run .Net 5 Preview 1 as my front end MVC live site connected to Kentico. That's right, to hell with the 18-year-old full .Net Framework. Sorry young .Net Core 3.1, I am even skipping right past you too. I'll take the 6-day old version of .Net 5 (the successor to both). 

Or, as I aptly have termed this scenario, let’s create a Double Phoenix. Get it? .Net 5 is .Net Core reborn just like Kentico 13... Yeah, I know it's cheesy, but it’s a catchy hashtag for sure #DoublePhoenix.

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Mar 14

#030 - JavaScript Unit Testing and You

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver interviews Ondrej Polesny, Kentico Kontent developer evangelist, and Michal Vanzura, lead QA engineer on Kentico EMS. Brian, Ondrej, and Michal discuss the value of unit testing for software developers, what's the difference between unit testing, integration testing, and functional testing, and review a few options for performing JavaScript based testing with Jest and Cypress.

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