Deploying Virtual Machines in Azure using the Service Manager and SMA Part I

Earlier this year I worked with Brad Watts on some automation: Deploying Virtual Machines in Azure using the Service Manager Self-Service Portal. Our primary VM deployment mechanism was System Center Orchestrator. I decided to do something similar using Service Manager Automation (SMA). This series of posts will take you through uploading a custom VM to Azure, configuring Azure so this VM can be deployed through PowerShell, deploying the VM in PowerShell, deploying the VM in SMA, and finally deploying the VM using the Service Manager Self-Service Portal. This might be a useful scenario if you’re using the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to deploy on-premise VMs and also want the ability to utilize a single portal to deploy VMs in the cloud.

Part I: Preparing your VM for upload, uploading it to Azure, and configuring Azure

Part II: Deploying your VM in PowerShell and SMA (posts on 8/25/2014 6:00:00PM CST)

Part III: Deploying your VM using the Service Manager Self-Service Portal (posts on 9/1/2014 6:00:00PM CST)



The following steps will take you through uploading a custom image to Azure with the necessary settings for scripted deployments. The steps might not be completely necessary as your Azure subscription might already have the following configured.

Create a new Affinity Group in Azure

  • In the Azure portal go to Settings, click on Affinity Groups, click Add, enter a Name/Region, and click the Check Mark


Create a new Storage Account in Azure

  • In the Azure portal go to Storage, click the Plus Sign, click Quick Create, select the affinity group created earlier, enter a URL, and click the Check Mark


  • In the new Storage Account we just created click Containers, enter a Name, and click the Check Mark


  • Take note of the container URL, we will need this later

Prepare your Virtual Machine

In my example I will use a Windows virtual machine that will later join a domain in Azure. I specifically used Windows Server 2012 R2 and when I was done installing updates and making other configurations I ran sysprep (as an administrator) and chose the options to Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE), Generalize, and Shutdown. The one thing to remember is to create the VM as a VHD and/or use the Convert-VHD cmdlet to convert from a VHDX.


Upload your Virtual Machine to Azure

  1. Install Windows PowerShell for Azure (under Command-line tools)
  2. Open Windows Azure PowerShell
  3. Type Add-AzureAccount and logon to Azure
  4. Type Add-AzureVhd –Destination “<yourcontainerURL>/<vhdname>.vhd” –LocalFilePath “<yourlocalVHDPath>”
    1. Example: Add-AzureVhd –Destination “” –LocalFilePath “\myservervhdw2012Base.vhd”
  5. Type Add-AzureImage –ImageName <YourImageName> –MediaLocation <pathtovhd> –OS Windows
    1. Example: Add-AzureImage –ImageName w2012Base –MediaLocation “” –OS Windows

Create a new Network and Domain Controller in Azure

  • In the Azure Portal go to Networks and click the Plus sign
  • Click Quick Create, name the Network, choose the appropriate Address Space/Location, and click the Check Mark


  • Create a new VM in Azure that is a domain controller and DNS Server on this network (we’ll join our custom VM instances to this domain)
  • Set this VM to use a static IP Address
  • Register that machine as a DNS Server in the Networks section of the Azure Portal

Cumulative Update #3 for SQL Server 2014 RTM

Dear Customers,
The 3 rd cumulative update release for SQL Server 2014 RTM is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:

CU#3 KB Article:
Understanding IncrementalServicingModel for SQL Server
SQL Server Support Information:…(read more)

Visual Studio 14 CTP 3

Dnes byla uvolněna třetí CTP verze Visual Studia s kódovým označením “14″ a spolu s ní rané sestavení .NET Frameworku vNext . Co je nového?

Vylepšená podpora nástrojů pro ASP.NET vNext – například unifikované API pro MVC a WebAPI (stejné controllery apod.), zlepšení výkonu, podpora Mono na Macu a Linuxu.
Integrace .NET Native – podpora volání WCF…(read more)

Your School, Your Way – Workshop the latest technologies for learning

Quality, free and relevant Professional Development workshops do not happen often.
This September and October Microsoft will be offering a hands-on workshops across Australia with the latest technology including Windows 8.1, apps, Office 365 and devices, including the latest Surface Pro 3.
Students learning on their own smartphones and tablets and in the cloud. Schools managing their own data and technology platforms. With so much changing in your school, deciding what’s right for your…(read more)

[Sample Of Aug. 18] How to move multiple emails in Office365

image image

Sample :

In this sample, we will demonstrate how to move the emails into the destination folder in the office 365.

We can move the emails to the specific folder to manage them. So we can follow these steps to implement it:

1. Create a search folder to collect the emails;

2. Get the search folder and destination folder;

3. Move the emails;



You can find more code samples that demonstrate the most typical programming scenarios by using Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework Sample Browser or Sample Browser Visual Studio extension. They give you the flexibility to search samples, download samples on demand, manage the downloaded samples in a centralized place, and automatically be notified about sample updates. If it is the first time that you hear about Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework, please watch the introduction video on Microsoft Showcase, or read the introduction on our homepage

Construct 2 Trivia Template

A while back I posted a five part series on how to create a trivia game using Construct 2 where I posted links to the Construct 2 solutions for each post.  Recently (as of a couple of days ago) I decided to post an updated Trivia Template to my GitHub.  I did this so that anyone can pull down the Construct 2 solution, leverage the template, and create some quick and awesome trivia games.  I spent a lot of time creating logic to read questions in from a text file (local or on a server), randomizing questions, and the overall UI of a trivia game.  In this post, I want to walk through the different things you can and should customize from my template.

The first thing to know is that this Trivia Template is built on top of the Game Template.  So, all of the logic from that template is included here.  If you haven’t seen my post on the Game Template, you can find it here.  I encourage you to take a look at that post, but I will try to cover everything here as well.

Let’s start with the general page navigation of the trivia template, which includes four pages: Home Page, Game Page, End Page, and About Page.  These pages are pretty self explanatory, but just in case, let me take a second to explain.  You start at the Home Page where you can either click to go to the About Page or press play to start the Game. When you lose or time expires, you are taken to the End Page where you high score is displayed. From the End page, you have the option of restarting the game or going back to the home page.  Simple enough I hope!


There is a lot going on in this template, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.  I will walk you through the things that you can/should customize.  First off, for global variables that have “**UPDATE**” in the description, you should…yep, you guessed it, update.  You can see an image of the ones from the game logic below.  These include the name of the file that holds your questions, the number of points to award the player for a correct answer, the length of the timer in seconds, and the number of questions that you want to read in from the file.


These variables are pretty straight forward, but remember that you can either use a local text file to hold your questions or load them from a server.  I am using the AJAX object here, so either way is fine.  Remember if you load from a server, your user will need internet connection.  The plus side there is that you can edit your questions file without having to repackage the game.  Up to you which route you choose.


Now, since I started talking about the file that holds the questions, this is a nice Segway into the formatting of the questions.  Here is an example.

Answer Choice 1;
Answer Choice 2;
Answer Choice 3;
Answer Choice 4;
Correct Answer;

Notice that the question, the four answer choices, and the correct answer all end with a semicolon.  Notice also that the each set of question and answer choices ends with the “|” character.  So, if you have multiple questions –which I hope that you do- they would look like this back to back.

When was Michael Jordan born?;
When was Kobe Bryant born?;

There’s already dummy data in the text file included in the template, so you can just follow the format from there.  Besides the aesthetics of the game (text size, fonts, background, etc.), that pretty much covers everything you need to know to get started.  One last thing to mention, however, is the this template is optimal for asking the user a subset of a given set of questions.  In other words, let’s say on average they can answer 15 questions in the length of time you determine for a round.  Then, you should have a total number of questions around 30 or so to pull from.  I designed the template this way so that the user wouldn’t see the same questions over and over.  It would be randomized.

I hope that it gives you a head start and makes things a little easier.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please add them below.  Alternatively, you can find me on twitter, @jquickwit. 

Construct 2 Generic Game Template

Just a few days ago, I decided to put a Construct 2 Game Template that I have been using in workshops on my GitHub page.  Honestly, don’t know why it took me so long to do so, but either way, there it is.  So that begs the question then, “What exactly is IT?”.

The game template is, as it sounds, a template for any generic game that you might want to build in construct 2. It adds a Home Page, an About Page, a Game Page, and an End Page. The logic there is pretty simple, you start at the Home Page and click for the About page or press play to start the Game. When you lose or time expires, you are taken to the End Page where you high score is displayed. From the End page, you have the option of restarting the game or going back to the home page.


This templates also takes care of some useful logic that is pretty standard in games. In addition to the layout navigation mentioned above, It displays the name of your game, keeps track of and displays time and score, including a high score in permanent storage. This means that when a user plays your game, sets a high score, closes the game, then comes back…the score is still there!  This part is essential if you want your users to compete for scores and have incentive to come back to your game.

So, with all of this taken care of, what do you have to add or customize to create your game, you might ask?  Great question!  The main thing is simply to add your game logic.  By default the Game Page just starts a timer for fifteen seconds, and when it expires, it moves on to the End Page.  Now, depending on the type of game you have you may or may not need a timer.  Whatever the case may be, you simply change the Event that triggers the navigation to the End Page.  It could be getting hit by a bullet or falling off a platform; the idea is still the same.  You will of course need to add your logic here to increment the user’s score as well.


The next steps are changing the global variables that have “**UPDATE**” in their comments.  You can see a couple in the screenshot above.  The point_bonus is simply how many points you award the player for some action; catching a coin, dodging a pipe, etc.  Next up is the timer, which stores the duration of the game in seconds.  Again, you may or may not need the timer.  If you don’t, then simply delete it.

The last variable you will need to update is the name of your game, as shown below in the Start Event Sheet.  The Start, End, and About will all display the name stored in the Game_Name variable.


Lastly, you want to customize the look and feel of the game.  You can change the size of the texts, the fonts, the background, etc.  Whatever you need to do to make your game look the way you want.  Nothing in this template is final.  It is up to you to leverage whatever you can to create your game.  I just want to make that process as easy as possible for you.

I hope that this gives Construct 2 users a jumpstart to creating their games.  If you have any comments or suggestions for things to add to the template, please do so below.  Alternatively, you can find me on twitter, @jquickwit.

??????????????DreamSpark ??????Microsoft ????????????????

個人学生用 DreamSpark をお使いの皆さまに重要なお知らせです。

DreamSpark では、Windows ストアのサービスをはじめとした開発者向けソフトウェアやパートナー特典をいっそう簡単にご利用いただけるよう、登録プロセスの向上に取り組んでいます。その取組みの一環として、DreamSpark では2014 年 7 月 1 日 よりMicrosoft アカウントを使用するシステムに更新しています。

既にDreamSpark アカウントをお持ちの方は、今すぐMicrosoft アカウントへの紐づけをお願いします。

  • 9/30までは、既存の DreamSpark アカウントと、お手持ち(又は新規作成)の Microsoft アカウントを紐づけできます。
  • 9/30を過ぎると、既存の DreamSpark アカウントと、お手持ち(又は新規作成)の Microsoft アカウントとの紐づけができなくなるため、新規に DreamSpark アカウントを登録する必要があります。その場合は、改めて学生認証が必要となります。

既に DreamSpark のアカウントをお持ちの方には、DreamSpark アカウントを Microsoft アカウントに手軽に紐づけできるシンプルなプロセスをご用意しています。次回 にサインインするときには、必要な手順を詳しく説明しているメッセージが表示されます。このプロセスはわずか 5 分で完了する予定です。Microsoft アカウントを持っていない場合は、このプロセスの一環として作成できます。

DreamSpark にアクセスできなくなることがないよう、今すぐ にログインしてアカウントを紐づけてください。2014 年 9 月 30 日 までにこの関連付けが完了しない場合は、新しいアカウントを作成して学生認証を再度行う必要があります。 に今後もアクセスできるよう、今すぐ対応をお願いします。詳細については、この変更に関してよく寄せられるFAQを参照するか、DreamSpark サポート事務局までお問い合わせください。

尚、以下が新しくなった、DreamSpark サインインページです。

DreamSpark アカウントを既にお持ちの方は、②に従って紐づけを行ってください。


  • 既存の DreamSpark アカウントでサインイン
  • Microsoft アカウントへの紐づけの案内が表示されるので、「今すぐ紐づけ」をクリック
  • お手持ちの Microsoft アカウントでサインイン
    もし Microsoft アカウントをお持ちでない場合は、ここで新規に作成します。
  •  ユーザープロフィールを更新して完了(プロフィールの更新は任意です)

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2: VBA and the Action Pane

Lucas Miller - Click for blog homepageHello!

I just want to first take a second to introduce myself since this is my first post on the Developing for Dynamics GP blog.  My name is Lucas Miller and I’ve been supporting Microsoft Dynamics GP since 2005.  Like much of the team I’m based out of Fargo, ND, USA.  I’ve been married for almost 2 years and my wife and I are expecting our first in just under 3 weeks as of this writing.  My main focus has been on the system side, but the last couple years I’ve been focusing on import tools (e.g. Integration Manager and eConnect) and I was deeply involved in the Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client development and readiness efforts.

We’ve recently seen a couple questions on both the community forums and in support cases regarding the ability to add resources that are contained in the new Action Pane that was introduced in GP 2013 R2, to VBA. 

When you go to Microsoft Dynamics GP > Tools > Customize > Add Fields to Visual Basic… you will see that your mouse cursor changes to symbolize you are now adding fields to VBA rather than simply selecting them.  The problem arises when you hover over a button on the Action Pane, for example the Save button.  You’ll notice that the cursor changes back to an arrow.  You’re not allowed to add the field to Visual Basic, which can certainly hinder customizations that many of our customers and partners want to create.

The solution that we’ve found for this issue is to go to the Microsoft Dynamics GP > User Preferences window and change the Window Command Display option to Menu Bar. 

You then need to log out and back into Dynamics GP to finalize this change.  You are then able to add your buttons to VBA just like you could in previous versions.  Just to refresh your memory, here’s what the Action Pane looks like:

And here’s the Menu Bar:

This change should only be required to get the fields into VBA initially.  After the development task has been completed the customizations should work the same for users who are using Menu Bar, Action Pane Strip or Action Pane.

Hope this helps for those of you who are looking into Visual Basic to meet your customization needs in Dynamics GP 2013 R2!