Friday, December 8, 2017

Windows 10 IoT Core, C# & Azure IoT Hub for New England Microsoft Developers 12/7/2017

Just wanted to say thanks for inviting me to reprise my Boston Code Camp 28 presentation for the group last night (12/7).   I enjoy talking about development anywhere in the Microsoft stack, and I love that Windows 10 IoT Core + Azure IoT Hub spans a good range of it.  I have a bunch of other topics I'd be happy to share, especially in the Windows 10 domain. Check through this blog, I have a post for each that shares slides, but I know the presentation's a big part of the value of them.


These slides are really only a tweak of the BOSCC28 slides with the NEMD group title.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

MVP IoT with Windows 10, C#, Raspberry Pi and Azure IoT Hub

Boston Code Camp 28 is in the books as one of the greatest community events of recent times in my book.  Attendance was fantastic, we had amazing sponsors, and a ton of great speakers, but the thing that really made things hop was attendance.  I'm personally convinced it was the best attended Code Camp I've ever participated in.

As a presenter, I don't often get to attend as many of the amazing presentations as I'd like, but yesterday I found myself especially regretting that... there was just so much great content from so many great presenters. I did manage to get into more sessions than I usually do... how could I not?

Sure, you get a few "look at this cool stuff I can do" presentations.  These are great for folks looking for inspiration on the tough challenges.  I love the spirit of "look at this cool stuff you can do (if you apply your skills in a modestly different direction)".

This is why I do this MVP IoT presentation.  This presentation is about taking skills you already know and love (namely C# development) and applying them to what's classically though of as "embedded" development.  Yes, there's overhead in this approach...  you might have to use hardware that's slightly better equipped to handle Windows 10 IoT Core such as the Raspberry Pi 2b & 3b... but the difference is mute at small scale, and masked at large scale by not having to have a separate team with different skills. 

IoT apps on the Windows 10 IoT Core platform ARE Windows 10 apps.

The point I always try to drive home is IoT apps on the Windows 10 IoT Core platform ARE Windows 10 apps.  The very same exe you compile for your embedded device runs just as well on laptop, desktop, server, Windows 10 phone, et al.

I do regret the couple snags I had during my demos.  Still, someone approached me after the presentation with the idea that I should pre-record portions of my presentation in order to avoid these kinds of things.  I like to run live for several real reasons.  1)  I'm a coder, not a professional presenter... I don't often have time to polish my presentations to that level.  2)  Glossing over rough edges hides what development is.  Development is tough.  You have to have backup plans and contingencies.  My Raspberry Pi didn't want to connect to the guest WiFi, so I fell back to plan B, and moved on.  It's a real world scenario;  you hit a snag, but keep pressing on.

IoT is already about the last mile of the Sci-fi story, bringing Internet omnipotence to the fringes of reality, enabling the "Computer" of Star Trek (or the Cortana of the modern desktop) to reach it's potential (hopefully without becoming Skynet).
It's the stuff of science fiction... but it's not fiction.
Visual Studio 2017's ability to debug into a remote embedded device and make hot changes to a running executable is beyond top notch; it's the stuff of science fiction... but it's not fiction.



If you look through my post history, you'll see how this presentation has evolved over the past decade.  It's been an interesting evolution...  starting with connecting Windows Phone 7 to SharePoint.  Then Windows Phone 8 and SharePoint online (and the story got really muddy for a bit there).  Then CSOM hit and smoothed out the SharePoint side of things.  I changed the story to Field Enablement using Xamarin for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone with SharePoint as a back end for a bit. (It's a surprisingly compelling story, even if it's only academic).  Eventually I started focusing on UWP for Windows 10, and my love of small form factor development drew me back to Raspberry Pi. 

Finally, I'ved bridged off of SharePoint and started talking about Azure IoT Hub, which is the modern accepted best practice in the domain of this development stack.  This change happened so relatively quickly that if you notice, the synopsis for the session didn't mention it.  (  https://www.bostoncodecamp.com/CC28/sessions/details/16540 )

One can explore the code I developed for the demo at git hub, here:


That leads me to my final bit:  I am sorry I ran out of time in my presentation.  I was so psyched to show how to send telemetry back to Azure IoT Hub, and while I got to step through the code that sends updated reports, I did not get to explore any of what that looks like in the Azure IoT Hub portal, and didn't get to explore the event-driven API on the embedded side that allows you to send code with Device Twin down to a the device.

Here's the event that commits the post:

        private async void iotHubButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

        {

            try

            {

                using (var client = DeviceClient.CreateFromConnectionString(

                    $"HostName=BOSCC-IOTHub.azure-devices.net;DeviceId=GraniteStHacker;SharedAccessKey={Credentials.LuisAccessKeyFromAzurePortal}", 

                    TransportType.Mqtt))

                {

                    var twinProperties = new TwinCollection();

                    twinProperties["MeasuredTemperature"] = manager.MeasuredTemperature;

                    twinProperties["HeaterPowerOn"] = manager.HeaterPowerOn;

                    twinProperties["ACPowerOn"] = manager.ACPowerOn;

                    twinProperties["Device_BOSCC"] = DateTime.Now.ToString();

                    await client.UpdateReportedPropertiesAsync(twinProperties);

                    Console.WriteLine("Done");

                }

            }

            catch(Exception ex)

            {

                Console.WriteLine(ex);

            }

        }

    }

Click the image below to see the device I was using for the demo in Azure IoT Hub's Device Twin view.


Here's the resulting Device Twin JSON:
{
  "deviceId": "GraniteStHacker",
  "etag": "AAAAAAAAAAE=",
  "version": 8,
  "status": "enabled",
  "statusUpdateTime": "0001-01-01T00:00:00",
  "connectionState": "Disconnected",
  "lastActivityTime": "0001-01-01T00:00:00",
  "cloudToDeviceMessageCount": 0,
  "authenticationType": "sas",
  "x509Thumbprint": {
    "primaryThumbprint": null,
    "secondaryThumbprint": null
  },
  "properties": {
    "desired": {
      "$metadata": {
        "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-14T01:48:45.8322179Z"
      },
      "$version": 1
    },
    "reported": {
      "MeasuredTemperature": 74,
      "HeaterPowerOn": true,
      "ACPowerOn": false,
      "Device_BOSCC": "11/18/2017 8:34:08 AM",
      "$metadata": {
        "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-18T16:34:20.1258514Z",
        "MeasuredTemperature": {
          "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-18T16:34:20.1258514Z"
        },
        "HeaterPowerOn": {
          "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-18T16:34:20.1258514Z"
        },
        "ACPowerOn": {
          "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-18T16:34:20.1258514Z"
        },
        "Device_BOSCC": {
          "$lastUpdated": "2017-11-18T16:34:20.1258514Z"
        }
      },
      "$version": 7
    }
  }
}




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Intro to Natural Language Processing with LUIS

Here's the slides for the presentation I'm doing 11/16/2017 at the Granite State Windows Platform Developers (@WPDevNH) meeting in Salem, NH (at the Microsoft Store)

The group is primarily about Windows 10 app development (implying Universal Windows Platform, UWP).  That said, the group's been begging for sessions on AI and related services for some time.

Since I've been helping a client navigate LUIS lately, I figured an into to the LUIS service would be a nice way to break into this very useful service.

I reserve the right to tweak these slides up until I present them on Thursday, November 16th, 2017.


Please Join Us! 
RSVP HERE:

https://www.meetup.com/Granite-State-NH-WPDev/events/243099117/

UWP Equivalent for HttpUtility.ParseQueryString

Getting ready for my LUIS presentation at the Granite State Windows 10 Platform Devs Users Group (@WPDevNH), it made sense to demo LUIS using UWP rather than .NET classic.  (Join us, 11/16 at the Microsoft Store in Salem, NH...  https://www.meetup.com/Granite-State-NH-WPDev/events/243099117/ )

For a demo related to LUIS querying, I needed an alternative to System.Web.HttpUtility.ParseQueryString.  (based on this demo:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cognitive-services/LUIS/luis-get-started-cs-get-intent )

I did a simple decorator of a Dictionary, adding a constructor to parse using WwwFormUrlDecoder, and overriding the ToString() to put it back together...

I whipped one up relatively quickly, but decided this would be a decent quick post.  Here's my alt code:

using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Net;
using System.Text;
using Windows.Foundation;

namespace LUIS_Examples
{
    public class ParseQueryString : IDictionary<string, string>
    {
        private IDictionary<string, string> _internalDictionary = new Dictionary<string, string>();
        public ParseQueryString(string queryString) :
            base()
        {
            var decoder = new WwwFormUrlDecoder(queryString);

            foreach (var item in decoder)
            {
                _internalDictionary.Add(item.Name, item.Value);
            }
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            var sb = new StringBuilder();
            foreach (var aPair in _internalDictionary)
            {
                sb.AppendFormat("{0}={1}", WebUtility.UrlEncode(aPair.Key), WebUtility.UrlEncode(aPair.Value));

            }
            return sb.ToString();
        }

        public string this[string key] { get => _internalDictionary[key]; set { _internalDictionary[key] = value; } }

        public ICollection<string> Keys => _internalDictionary.Keys;

        public ICollection<string> Values => _internalDictionary.Values;

        public int Count => _internalDictionary.Count;

        public bool IsReadOnly => _internalDictionary.IsReadOnly;

        public void Add(string key, string value)
        {
            _internalDictionary.Add(key, value);
        }

        public void Add(KeyValuePair<string, string> item)
        {
            _internalDictionary.Add(item);
        }

        public void Clear()
        {
            _internalDictionary.Clear();
        }

        public bool Contains(KeyValuePair<string, string> item)
        {
            return _internalDictionary.Contains(item);
        }

        public bool ContainsKey(string key)
        {
            return _internalDictionary.ContainsKey(key);
        }

        public void CopyTo(KeyValuePair<string, string>[] array, int arrayIndex)
        {
            _internalDictionary.CopyTo(array, arrayIndex);
        }

        public IEnumeratorstring, string>> GetEnumerator()
        {
            return _internalDictionary.GetEnumerator();
        }

        public bool Remove(string key)
        {
            return _internalDictionary.Remove(key);
        }

        public bool Remove(KeyValuePair<string, string> item)
        {
            return _internalDictionary.Remove(item);
        }

        public bool TryGetValue(string key, out string value)
        {
            return _internalDictionary.TryGetValue(key, out value);
        }

        IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator()
        {
            return ((IEnumerable)_internalDictionary).GetEnumerator();
        }
    }
}


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UWP App Samples

I realized as I was presenting a guided tour of UWP App Samples that I'd come full circle on a set of presentations around my experience building Windows 10 UWP apps.   The overall process was kicked off in three decisions. 

1)  pick a framework (we settled on Prism + Unity),   

2) pick a control library (we went with the UWP Community Toolkit (which is since released 2.0 by the way, updated for 1710, Fall Creators Update... there may be another presentation in the works here)).

Finally,
3) we consulted the UWP App Samples.   ( https://github.com/Microsoft/Windows-universal-samples )

When it comes down to it, our goal was very ambitious, and we couldn't have accomplished what we did without these three key pieces.   I've presented each of them over the past several months at the Granite State Windows Platform App Devs meetup. ( https://www.meetup.com/Granite-State-NH-WPDev/ )

At the time of the presentation, the categories in the Open Sourced UWP App Samples project were these:

  • App Settings,
  • Audio/Video/Camera,
  • Communications,
  • Contacts and Calendar,
  • Controls/Layout/Text,
  • Custom User Interactions,
  • Data,
  • Deep links and app-to-app Communication,
  • Devices and Sensors,
  • Files/Folders/Libraries,
  • Gaming, Globalization and Localization,
  • Graphics and Animation,
  • Holographic,
  • Identity/Security/Encryption,
  • Launching/background tasks,
  • Maps/Location, Navigation,
  • Networking/Web Services,
  • Platform Architecture,
  • Speech/Cortana,
  • Threading,
  • Tiles/Toasts/Notifications
If your app will do anything remotely associated with any of the above functionality, you need to consult the related sample projects before beginning.  They aren't production-ready samples, but they are good samples, nonetheless.

These slides don't do any justice at all to the UWP Sample Apps project, it was really just something to throw on the big screen while folks gathered.

Monday, September 4, 2017

UWP Community Toolkit in the Wild

On August 17th, I reviewed use of the UWP Community Toolkit in practical application, used in several privately published apps. These apps were commissioned by Hewlett Packard to illustrate commercial uses of the HP Elite X3 Windows 10 Mobile phone. We checked out the code behind these apps with permission from HP.

The apps themselves focus on three core verticals:
1) Public Safety - apps to support officers in the field
2) Field Service - supporting a cable field service technician
3) Home Health - supporting a visiting care provider.

All show off Windows 10 UWP as a versatile platform, capable of easily adapting to phone, tablet, or desktop, as well as the HP Elite X3's additional ability to support various hardware expansion jackets and docking options.

The UWP Community Toolkit is an open source project designed to make Windows 10 the easiest platform to build great apps for. More information can be found here:

http://www.uwpcommunitytoolkit.com/

The official UWP CTK demo app is here:
http://aka.ms/uwptoolkitapp

The presentation itself was all demos, digging in on the CTK toolkit sample app, looking at it in a locally cloned git repo, and showing how we used the same controls in the X3 demo apps.

The UWP CTK is a great set of tools to jumpstart Windows 10 Dev with.  

Our next meeting on September 21st, (2017) we'll take a look at another great "Hit the ground running" UWP resource, the App Samples.

Prism and Unity, an MVVM and DI Knockout Combo

I recently had the opportunity to do UWP work for Hewlett Packard.  It was a really cool experience, building UWP apps for the HP Elite X3 Windows 10 based phone.

I'd also just rolled off a project prior-to that used Unity under the hood for Dependency Injection, so Unity felt like a natural extension. Prism as an MVVM presentation framework on UWP also felt like a natural extension of the MVVM framework we'd build on WPF in that same previous project.

Here's the slides from the June 22nd, 2017 presentation to the WPDevNH group in Salem, NH.