Issue with Application Insights Performance Metrics – 9/22

Update  9/23 04:30 UTC

We continue to investigate the root cause of the issue. The impact to the service has been low and in order to further reduce the impact we have increased service capacity by nearly 60 %.

Next Update: 9/24/14 00:00

- Application Insights Team

—–

Update 9/23 2:00 UTC

We continue to look into what the root cause is for the metrics pipeline data collector failing.  The team is looking at dump files and analyzing performance counters.

Next update: 6:00 UTC

- Application Insights Team

—–

Initial Update 9/22/14 22:40 UTC

We are investigating a High CPU issue with one our the metrics pipeline service for Application Insights. Most of the data is making through the pipeline but at times users may see gap in application performance data starting at 9/22/14 13:35 UTC. DevOps is engaged and working on the root cause and resolving the issue.

 

Next update : 9/23/14 02:00 UTC

We regret the inconvenience it may have caused.

Application Insights Team

Introducing ‘Work Wonders’ – Office 365 micro webinars

Microsoft have just launched ‘Work Wonders’ – a series of weekly, bite-sized, micro webinars designed to reveal just how much more you can get out of Office 365. Packed with tips, tricks and insights, each webinar reveals a brand new facet of Office 365 in concise, 15-minute sessions, wrapping up with a short Q&A for curious minds. Share the invite with your customers that may have just started using or are considering moving to Office 365 to inspire them on how it can change the way they work. The invite is in the files section of the Microsoft Australia Partner Community external Yammer network.

Job Object Insanity

Job Objects were introduced to Windows in Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 to allow an application to manage a group of processes.

One of the limitations of Job Objects is that a process can only belong to a single Job object.  This becomes an issue when you are attempting to manipulate a process which is already associated with a Job Object.  A process can be associated with a Job object through inheritance or via assignment (AssignProcessToJobObject API).  If you call AssignProcessToJobObject() to assign a Job to your process and it is already associated with a Job Object, the API will fail with error code 5 or “Access Denied”.  (Note, error code 5 could have another meaning).

It turns out that Windows uses Job Objects for various scenarios such as:

  • A process launched via the Run As Command (This is implemented by calling CreateProcessWithLogonW. CreateProcessWithTokenW() is a similar API except for it uses a token for the user’s identity)
  • Remote Desktop Client setting (mstsc.exe), “Start a Program”
  • The Task Scheduler

Based on the way Job Objects are designed, it may not be possible to disassociate a process from a Job.  (This is referred to as BREAKING AWAY)

If the Job wasn’t created with JOB_OBJECT_LIMIT_SILENT_BREAKAWAY_OK or if the child wasn’t launched with CREATE_BREAKAWAY_FROM_JOB + JOB_OBJECT_LIMIT_BREAKAWAY_OK, the process will not be able to disassociate from a Job.

If you can obtain a handle to the the Job Object, you could change the future behavior of the child process so that it could be broken away.  This requires the Job object to be named and the caller has to have the permissions to modify the Job object.  (This may not always be possible).

To address this limitation on Windows 8/Windows Server 2012, you can associate a process with more than 1 Job via a Nested Job.

See the following for more information on Nested Jobs:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh448388(v=vs.85).aspx

 

End of sprint – added rendertargets

New features added to Win2D this sprint:

Breaking changes:

  • NuGet packages are now marked as prerelease, so will only be visible in Manage NuGet Packages if the Include Prerelease (as opposed to Stable Only) option is set
  • Renamed CanvasBitmap.SizeInDips property to CanvasBitmap.Size
  • CanvasStrokeStyle.DashCap now defaults to Square rather than Flat
  • If you don’t specify a size, DrawText now defaults to 20pt (was 32)

A render target is a special kind of bitmap that you can draw onto.  First create one:

    CanvasRenderTarget renderTarget = new CanvasRenderTarget(canvasControl,
new Size(256, 256));

Then draw to it:

    using (var drawingSession = renderTarget.CreateDrawingSession())
    {
        drawingSession.Clear(Colors.CornflowerBlue);
        drawingSession.DrawText("Hello, rendertarget!", 0, 0, Colors.Black);
    }

The resulting bitmap can be displayed using DrawImage or a CanvasImageBrush.

Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP 2 Available

You can grab the download here .
If you do not want to click through to the release notes, there are two technology improvements:

Visual Studio now scans or rescans a solution and then updates the database much more quickly for large solutions. Therefore, the browsing process should be much more responsive, and you should experience fewer situations in which you are blocked when you perform browsing operations (such as Go To Definition ) on large solutions.
Visual Studio 2013 Update 4…(read more)

Quick Tips: Using Group Policy Objects as an Alternate Lync Policy Method

The following post was written Lync MVP Paul Bloem 

In Lync 2013 much of the user behaviour is managed by Policies such as found at CsClientPolicy. That’s really good for locking down users etc., however..

What if you needed to lock down – not the actual user but rather the device? 

Take for example a Citrix environment. When a user is logged on to their PC (Fat client) you want them to have full Lync functionality. Should the same user log in to a Citrix session you may want to remove the Audio and Video capabilities within the Citrix environment. Since the Lync Policies govern the user account it isn’t possible to give the user two profiles from a Lync perspective.

The answer is simple.

This can be done by Group Policy Object (GPO). The published Lync client bootstrapping policies can be found here, what I am outlining here are registry key entries not included in the TechNet article.

 By using GPOs you are given the ability to manage the Lync client behaviour within a Citrix Session, effectively achieving the concept of a second profile for the Lync user based on the GPO.

 The key we need is

HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftOffice15.0Lync 

or

HKCUSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftOffice15.0Lync 

 

Below is a list of DWORD entries I have found useful specifically when you want to manage Lync Clients based on where they are logging in to Lync from

 

Name

Type

Value

CommentUse Case

DisableEmoticons

DWORD

0 – False

1 – True

Simply a grey out the emoticon button

 

 

 

DisableIM

DWORD

0 – False

1 – True

IM icons and menus are removed

 

DisablePresenceNote

DWORD

0 – False

1 – True

Presence Note box is removed

 

PreventRun

DWORD

0 – False

1 – True

Had a request for this by the education industry. Apply when students are doing exams so Lync won’t run

TelephonyMode

DWORD

0 – Not Configured – Incomming PSTN Calls but not able to dial out on PSTN, also hides Keypad

 Work and Mobile options removed from menu

 

 

Keypad removed

 

 

1 – UC Enabled (Enterprise Voice + Lync calls)

 

3 – Dual Mode (Enterprise Voice + Remote Call Control + Lync   calls)

 

4 – RCC-Only Mode (Remote Call Control, no Lync calls)

 No Lync to Lync Calls, removed call Lync from menu

5 – IM and Presence Only (No audio or video calls)

 Audio and Video controls removed

 

NOTE

The regkey does not exist so needs to be added.

 

About the author

Paul Bloem is a Unified Communications Principal Consultant based in New Zealand. He comes from a traditional voice background having worked for a Telco for 9 years followed by 10 years at what was formerly named Siemens Enterprise Networks. Today he specializes in planning, architecture, and implementation of enterprise unified communications solutions. More specifically, most of his time is spent on the many faces of Microsoft Lync.  Read more articles on Paul’s blog or follow him on Twitter

About MVP Mondays

The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

 

 

 

Top 10 Microsoft Developer Links for Monday, September 22, 2014

  1. Brian Keller: Now Available: Update 3 refresh of Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine
  2. Esther Mosad: Getting the most out of Azure in your MSDN subscription
  3. Visual Studio Blog: Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP 2 (And More) Available
  4. Simon Timms: Evolving ASP.NET Apps – Evaluating the Code
  5. Rami Sayar: Part 3 – Building a Chatroom Backend with Node.js, Socket.IO and Mongo
  6. Rowan Miller: EF6.1.2 Beta 1 Available
  7. Ricky Brundritt: Cleaning up Visual Studio project folders using PowerShell
  8. Software Development Tutorials and Videos: The Importance of Agile Readiness
  9. developer.com: Leveraging Design Patterns for Productivity
  10. Eric Parvin: ASP Code and No Managed Code Option in Application Pool

2140

Issues with Codeplex 09/21-Mitigated

Update :Sunday, Sept  21 2014 07:15  PM UTC

We have put in an automated workaround to mitigate the customer impact. DevOps will continue to investigate to root cause this issue .

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Initial Update: Sunday, Sept  21 2014 04:48 PM UTC

We are currently investigating issues with codeplex.com downloads where users may have issues downloading content from the site.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

-MSDN Service Delivery Team

 

McKinsey on Unleashing the Value of Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics and Insights are changing the game, as more businesses introduce automated systems to support human judgment.

Add to this, advanced visualizations of Big Data, and throw in some power tools for motivated users and you have a powerful way to empower the front-line to better analyze, predict, and serve their customers.

McKinsey shares a framework and their insights on how advanced analytics can create and unleash new business value from Big Data, in their article:
Unleashing the value of advanced analytics in insurance

Creating World-Class Capabilities

The exciting part is how you can create a new world-class capability, as you bake Big Data Analytics and Insights into your business.

Via Unleashing the value of advanced analytics in insurance:

“Weaving analytics into the fabric of an organization is a journey. Every organization will progress at its own pace, from fragmented beginnings to emerging influence to world-class corporate capability.”

5-Part Framework for Unleashing the Value of Big Data Analytics

McKinsey’s transformation involves five components.  The five components include the source of business value, the data ecosystem, modeling the insights, workflow integration, and adoption.

Via Unleashing the value of advanced analytics in insurance:

1. The source of business value Every analytics project should start by identifying the business value that can lead to revenue growth and increased profitability (for example, selecting customers, controlling operating expenses, lowering risk, or improving pricing).
2. The data ecosystem It is not enough for analytics teams to be “builders” of models. These advanced-analytics experts also need to be “architects” and “general contractors” who can quickly assess what resources are available inside and outside the company.
3. Modeling insights Building a robust predictive model has many layers: identifying and clarifying the business problem and source of value, creatively incorporating the business insights of everyone with an informed opinion about the problem and the outcome, reducing the complexity of the solution path, and validating the model with data.
4. Transformation: Work-flow integration The goal is always to design the integration of new decision-support tools to be as simple and user friendly as possible. The way analytics are deployed depends on how the work is done. A key issue is to determine the appropriate level of automation. A high-volume, low-value decision process lends itself to automation.
5. Transformation: Adoption Successful adoption requires employees to accept and trust the tools, understand how they work, and use them consistently. That is why managing the adoption phase well is critical to achieving optimal analytics impact. All the right steps can be made to this point, but if frontline decision makers do not use the analytics the way they are intended to be used, the value to the business evaporates.

Big Data Analytics and Insights is a hot trend for good reason.  If you saw the movie Moneyball you know why.

Businesses are using analytics to identify their most profitable customers and offer them the right price, accelerate product innovation, optimize supply chains, and identify the true drivers of financial performance.

In the book, Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris share examples of how organizations like Amazon, Barclay’s, Capital One, Harrah’s, Procter & Gamble, Wachovia, and the Boston Red Sox, are using the power of Big Data Analytics and Insights to achieve new levels of performance and compete in the digital economy.

You can read it pretty quickly to get a good sense of how analytics can be used to change the business and the more you expose yourself to the patterns, the more you can apply analytics to your work and life.

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How to visualize a Basic Text Analysis using NER (Named Entity Recognition) about Any Web Page Content using Azure Machine Learning

Hi Everyone,
I am have made new experiment to use the NER (Named Entity Recognition) item in My Azure ML Account.
This Experiment Item can take use large amount of text and list out the possible Persons, Organizations and Locations in the given text.
This is a beginner’s step of working on text analysis.
The Concept is to point to a particular web page and the item will list out the possible Persons, Organizations and Locations in the given text.
So Follow the below content on how to make text analysis using NER Experiment item

in case you need visual step of creating an Azure Storage Account / ML account, Please refer to my earlier Blog

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/business_intelligence1/archive/2014/09/14/how-to-setup-machine-learning-and-run-a-linear-regression-model-on-the-azure-cloud.aspx

Login into the with your Live account to (https://manage.windowsazure.com/ )

Now click on Machine Learning, Go to the specified ML workspace name and click on “Sign-in to ML Studio”

Click a new experiment name it as “NER Named Entity Recognition – Copy”  ( You are free to use your own name :) )

Type “Reader” in the Search text box, you can drag the Reader icon in the workspace

 

Please specify data source: HTTP

In the URL specify http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft  ( You free to use your own web page link :)  )

And set it as URL

 

 

 

Now Drag the Named Entity Recognition experiment item under the Text Analytics into the Experiment’s area and Link the Reader  Output circle to Named entity Recognition Task Left input circle,

now Right Click the Lower Circle (Output Circle) in the Named Entity Recognition Task  and click publish as output 

 

Now Click Run, 

 

After successful execution visualize the Output 

This is just a simple way to visualize the result of a Text Analytics experiment item of Azure machine learning Account