Visual Studio 2015 Connected Services

Visual Studio 2015 RC Connected Services: Focus on Office 365 APIs and Walkthrough

“The new Add Connected Service dialog in Visual Studio 2015 enables you to easily connect your application to Azure Application InsightsAzure StorageAzure Mobile ServicesOffice 365, and Salesforce.

The Add Connected Service dialog contains all of the Connected Service providers currently installed and provides a way to get more information about the provider, the technologies it uses, and whether it’s supported in the current project. Other providers can be discovered in the Extensions and Updates gallery by using the Find more services… link.” –

I’ve got a walkthrough below of how to get up and running with Visual Studio 2015 Connected Services for Office 365 but this video does a much better job.

Seriously the above video from Jeremy Thake is fantastic but if you’re already this far and want to see the pics keep going…

Visual Studio 2015 RC Web Application

Visual Studio 2015 Add Service Reference

Add Connected Service Office 365 API

Register Your Web App With Office 365

Enter Your Office 365 Account

Choose Your Service

Choose Your Permissions

Integrate Office 365 APIs Into .NET Visual Studio Projects

Office 365 Service References Added and Output

Tim Ferro

Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2013 Update 1


On January 20th, Microsoft released Update 1 for Visual Studio 2013. It is mainly minor updates and bug fixes with no update to TFS (Full details here). According to Somasegar (Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft):

This is a targeted update, addressing some key areas of customer feedback since the Visual Studio 2013 release. For example, we heard your feedback about running Visual Studio in environments without IE10+, and have made several improvements to this experience in Update 1.

So what about TFS and Update 2? According to Brian Harry, Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server:

Update 2 is very close behind Update 1 and there will be a new version of TFS released for Update 2.

He went on to say:

We’re just wrapping up feature work on Update 2 this week and will soon be releasing our first CTP. We’re just beginning the process of polishing, bug fixing, etc. to release a solid Update.

So what is coming out with Update 2? Brian gave a sneak peek at that as well saying:

Our two biggest areas of investment in this release (2013.2) have been Agile Project Management (and general work tracking) and the next increment of Git tooling.

There you go developers! All the latest regarding Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 and 2

Tim Ferro

Carte Blanche (007) is a Fantastic Modern Bond

Carte BlancheThis is not your parents’ James Bond. Jeffery Deaver brings 007 into modern times in Carte Blanche! Re-imagined as a 30 something veteran of the Afghan war, James Bond is a member of a new organization protecting a post 9/11 world.

Once I started reading I could not put this book down. The book read like a modern Bond movie with cool technology, exotic locales, interesting women, and fast cars. It is action packed and it shares my title of “Favorite Book of the Year” (an award I just made up) with Chronic City.

I am now going to have a hard time reading 007 novels that aren’t set in modern times. Side Note: The next book coming out, Solo, is set back in 1969. So if you like the recent James Bond movies you will love this book (which will hopefully be made into a movie).

Tim Ferro

Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick is Fascinating

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted HackerTo all my friends in the technology field, this book is a must read. It was incredibly fascinating and I couldn’t stop reading (actually I listened to the audio book in my car but you get the idea)! My description of this book would not do it justice so here is the Book Description.

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies–and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats-it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.

Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI’s net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat and mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and an ultimate showdown with the Feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.

Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.

Tim Ferro

The Mythical Man-Month is the Bible of Software Project Management

“Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.” – Amazon description

I could not have described this better myself. This is the bible of software project management; your PMP is incomplete without reading this book. Some of this reads like a textbook but don’t let that keep you from finishing it. There are golden nuggets of information throughout this book and you will use that information your whole career. The graphs important to me involved development time estimation, frequency of bugs found over time, and of course the main graph of time to complete projects based on total developers. If you are involved at any level of the software development process, you must read this book.

Tim Ferro

Catch as Catch Can Review

If you love Catch-22, Closing Time, and the writing style of Joseph Heller like I do, then you must complete your fanboy knowledge of Joseph Heller and the world of Yossarian by reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for the following reasons:

  1. There are deleted scenes from Catch-22/Closing Time that add even more depth to the book and characters.
  2. The background of how this phenomenon came to be and what happened after is really interesting.
  3. The non-Catch-22 related short stories are great and are in the same Heller-esk writing style.

As you can see by my reasons for recommending this book, there are really 3 main types of chapters in this book. There are a number of unpublished or previously published short stories by Heller that are entertaining and well written in their own right. Second there are chapters that add to the worlds of Catch-22 and Closing Time. Finally there are chapters that give back-story of Joseph Heller, his life, and how that found its way in to his writings and what happened because of the overwhelming success of Catch-22.

I picked this book up from the library, read it, and returned it quickly without writing a full review. This is not as in-depth as I would like but it needed to be written. Check this book out of your local library ASAP!

Tim Ferro

Closing Time, the Long Awaited Review

If Catch-22 is your all time favorite book like me, then you must stop everything and read Closing Time immediately. This is one of the best sequels ever written and it took me by surprise right from the start.

We last saw Yossarian running out the door during the war, but this book waits decades to catch back up with our favorite character. Now in his 70s, Yossarian has lived an interesting life but still maintains his penchant for hospital nurses. His world these days is vastly different from the first book but it is filled with numerous characters, old and new. Milo and the Chaplain have had interesting lives as well as have ancillary characters from the first book, and the book is an eclectic mix of all their stories.

Towards the end, the book becomes harder to follow and characters begin passing away but once you finish it and reflect, you are left with a wonderful book and story. I could not recommend this book higher if you have already read Catch-22.

Tim Ferro

The Girl Who Played With Fire…

is the amazing sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! After a year or so break, our favorite protagonists are back at it with a mystery from Lisbeth’s dark past. It twists and turns and exposes more about her than she would want you to know. The climax at the end of the book leaves you hanging as to our heroines fate, but luckily the third book (of the Millennium Series) picks up immediately after this one ends. Another 10 out of 10 for Stieg Larsson.

Tim Ferro

Skinny Bastard, the Bro Version of Skinny Bitch

After reading, and reviewing, Skinny Bitch, I decided to read the “Bro Version” called Skinny Bastard. I liked this book better because it was tailored to males which was more pertinent to me, but also because it was longer and contained more information. If you have read either of these books, there is no real need to read the other, but if you haven’t, pick up the gender appropriate one and read away! Check out my review of Skinny Bitch for more information about both books!

Tim Ferro

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Gripping

Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. This book is riveting, dark, and deep. There are a number of incredibly interesting story arcs in this book that all interact seamlessly. At first there are separate stories of Lisbeth and Mikael and how they came to meet. Then there are their own personal issues. And finally there is the main mystery of the book; but then there is another story to wrap up at the end. Larsson blends murder mystery with interesting technology and character depth rarely seen. This first book of the Millennium Trilogy is a 10 out of 10.

Tim Ferro