Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Plutora Blog, Bart Copeland

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Silverlight, Apache

@CloudExpo: Article

Windows Azure Mobile Services

Windows Azure Mobile Services is the bomb, but how can we work with enum values?

Now, in order to do this, it makes some assumptions.  It looks at the JSON object, and if it sees a certain type of data, it creates a certain type of column to support the data.  The easiest thing that it could have done would be to just create text columns in the underlying SQL database, since any type of data can be stored as a string.  Instead, it does something quite a bit smarter, and creates data types that are quite a bit more “appropriate”.  Here’s the strategy that it uses:

JSON / CLR Data Type T-SQL Type in underlying SQL Azure database table
Numeric values (integer, decimal, floating point) float(53) – this is the maximum precision float.
Boolean bit
DateTime DateTimeOffset(3)
String nvarchar(max)

OK, so this is great.  Dynamic schema is pretty cool.  However…

When I work on a database schema, I often run into a case where I want to create a “code/decode” style table.  In my world, a “code/decode” table is typically a two column table, where the primary key is the “code” and the other column is a textual description.  The canonical example is a “States” table (in the US).  Like this:

Code Decode
AL Alabama
AK Alaska
AZ Arizona
IL Illinois
WY Wyoming

Then, with this table defined, I’ll just use it anywhere I need a State… like this:

Column DataType Notes
FirstName nvarchar(50)
LastName nvarchar(50)
Address1 nvarchar(100)
Address2 nvarchar(100)
City nvarchar(100)
State char(2) Foreign Key to State Code
ZIPCode char(5)

Now, in my current project, it wasn’t a state code that I needed, it was a “CurrencyType”.  And moreover, I wanted to be able to have an “enum” value of CurrencyTypes to be able to work with in my application.  This led me to wonder how WAMS could handle storing and retrieving an “enum” in the database.  It’s not immediately clear that it would know what to do with it as a JSON type.  The JavaScriptSerializer seems to turn enum values into an integer value, which would probably work, but I really wanted my underlying SQL table to store “IL” for Illinois, and not the number 14 as a 53 bits of precision float.  So, how can I turn my enum values into the underlying state codes as a 2 character string on the way in, and reconvert them back to my enum values on the way out?

To start with, here’s the (truncated) version of my enum for my CurrencyType.

public enum CurrencyType
{
	UnitedArabEmiratesDirham,
	AfghanistanAfghani,
	AlbaniaLek,
	//...
	UnitedStatesDollar,	
	//... 
	Unknown
}

Next, the secret sauce turns out to be an IDataMemberJsonConverter .  This interface exists within the Microsoft.WindowsAzure.MobileServices assembly, and has 2 methods that you need to implement – ConvertFromJson and ConvertToJson.  Here’s the type converter that I created to massage my enum into a string going in, and from a string back to the enum on the way back out…

First, the ConvertToJson method:

public IJsonValue ConvertToJson(object instance)
{
	if (instance is Types.CurrencyType)
	{
		switch ((Types.CurrencyType)instance)
		{	
			case Types.CurrencyType.UnitedArabEmiratesDirham:
				return JsonValue.CreateStringValue("AED");
			case Types.CurrencyType.AfghanistanAfghani:
				return JsonValue.CreateStringValue("AFN");
			case Types.CurrencyType.AlbaniaLek:
				return JsonValue.CreateStringValue("ALL");
// SNIP
			case Types.CurrencyType.UnitedStatesDollar:
				return JsonValue.CreateStringValue("USD");
// SNIP
			default:
				return JsonValue.CreateStringValue("XXX");
		}
	}
	else
		return JsonValue.Parse("null");
}

Next, the ConvertFromJson method:

public object ConvertFromJson(IJsonValue value)
{ 
	CurrencyType result = Types.CurrencyType.Unknown; 
	if (value != null && value.ValueType == JsonValueType.String) 
	{ 
		switch (value.GetString()) 
		{ 
			case "AED": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.UnitedArabEmiratesDirham; 
			case "AFN": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.AfghanistanAfghani; 
			case "ALL": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.AlbaniaLek;
// SNIP 
			case "USD": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.UnitedStatesDollar;
// SNIP 
			case "ZWD": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.ZimbabweDollar; 
			case "XXX": 
				return Types.CurrencyType.Unknown; 
			default: 
				return Types.CurrencyType.Unknown; 
		} 
	}
	return result;
}

Now, the only thing remaining is to decorate the CLR class that we’re using to hold our object with enough information to get the serializer to use our type converter as necessary.  In my case, the column for CurrencyType is contained in a class called FamilyGroup.  Here’s that implementation:

public class FamilyGroup
{
	public long Id { get; set; } 
	public string Name { get; set; }

 	[DataMemberJsonConverter(ConverterType = typeof(CurrencyTypeConverter))] 
	public CurrencyType CurrencyType { get; set; }
}

And that’s it.  We have our enum to work with in our code, we’re able to store and retrieve our values to WAMS and the data in the tables is readable to boot.

Happy coding.

More Stories By Adam Hoffman

Adam is an technical evangelist working for Microsoft. By day, you can likely find him somewhere in the Midwest, driving to somewhere, ready to figure out how the cloud can save your family from certain doom, and make you rich and successful in the process. Before he started evangelizing, Adam was a Senior Developer Lead for Microsoft in Redmond, working on Office 365, BPOS, and Office Live. He misses Redmond, and the excitement of the mother ship, but the call of bitter cold and lots of snow in Chicago was too much for him, and he had to return.

Prior that that he developed software and ran teams for Thomson Reuters, Method Engine (which he co-founded), VSA Partners, Navigant Consulting, Andersen Consulting, and a couple of CASE tool companies way back in the day. His favorite possession is a clone of the original Altair computer, running BillG's 8K BASIC, which he's still intending to hook up to the cloud, someday, somehow.

You can read his Windows Azure Blog at http://stratospher.es, and tweeter-er him at http://twitter.com/stratospher_es.

Additionally, if you'd like to keep track of his cloud connected car, you can follow it on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cloudcar1.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
The causality question behind Conway’s Law is less about how changing software organizations can lead to better software, but rather how companies can best leverage changing technology in order to transform their organizations. Hints at how to answer this question surprisingly come from the world of devops – surprising because the focus of devops is ostensibly on building and deploying better software more quickly. Be that as it may, there’s no question that technology change is a primary fac...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Live Webinar with 451 Research Analyst Peter Christy. Join us on Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET In a world where users are on the Internet and the applications are in the cloud, how do you maintain your historic SLA with your users? Peter Christy, Research Director, Networks at 451 Research, will discuss this new network paradigm, one in which there is no LAN and no WAN, and discuss what users and network administrators gain and give up when migrating to the agile world of clo...
This week we're attending SYS-CON Event's DevOps Summit in New York City. It's a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery. But, even with the energy behind DevOps there's something missing from the movement. For all the talk of deployment automation, continuous integration, and cloud infrastructure I'm still not se...
I want to start by saying that, at ActiveState, we absolutely love Docker. We think it's phenomenal technology that is really becoming the global currency of the cloud. We've written about Docker a lot on the ActiveState blog – we've celebrated its birthday, discussed evolving technologies surrounding it, and shown how we've integrated Docker into Stackato. But, I wanted to share with you why we feel Docker alone is not enough for the enterprise. First, I'm going to discuss two underlying prob...
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult – let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and liv...
SYS-CON Media announced today that CloudBees, the Jenkins Enterprise company, has launched ad campaigns on SYS-CON's DevOps Journal. CloudBees' campaigns focus on the business value of Continuous Delivery and how it has been recognized as a game changer for IT and is now a top priority for organizations, and the best ways to optimize Jenkins to ensure your continuous integration environment is optimally configured.
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Jake Moshenko, Product Manager at CoreOS, examined how CoreOS + Quay.io fit into the development lifecycle from pushing gi...
I recently attended and presented at the east coast version of the Jenkins User Conference held this year in Washington, DC. The weather certainly fit the theme of the conference: The heat was continuous. The humidity was fully integrated with the heat. And, most importantly as you can see above, SWAG was out in full force. Right from the opening keynote by the founder of Jenkins, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, this conference was jam-packed with all the latest capabilities of Jenkins, including discussi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
One of the charter responsibilities of DevOps (because it's a charter responsibility of ops) is measuring and monitoring applications once they're in production. That means both performance and availability. Which means a lot more than folks might initially think because generally speaking what you measure and monitor is a bit different depending on whether you're looking at performance or availability*.
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, reviewed the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and shared insights into what the next five will bring. He also chronicled the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He delved into the "Hybrid Cloud" space and explained why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud' as part of their future strategy to achie...
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WHOA.com, an ISO 27001 Certified secure cloud computing company, participated as “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which took place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. WHOA.com is a leader in next-generation, ISO 27001 Certified secure cloud solutions. WHOA.com offers a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class cloud services for business including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Secure Cloud Desk...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ ...
One of the hottest new terms in the world of enterprise computing is the microservice. Starting with the seminal 2014 article by James Lewis and Martin Fowler of ThoughtWorks, microservices have taken on a life of their own – and as with any other overhyped term, they have generated their fair share of confusion as well. Perhaps the best definition of microservices comes from Janakiram MSV, Principal at Janakiram & Associates. “Microservices are fine-grained units of execution. They are designe...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...