Friday, July 31, 2015

Installing Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones (10.0.10166.0)

This is really welcome news for Nokia Icon users (Verizon Specific) who will be getting the full OS upgrade much later than other carriers.

Microsoft will be updating the Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile by the end of the year. Developers are expected to have their apps ported over to Windows 10 Mobile.

Microsoft wants to see billion or more phones running Windows 10 within 2 to 3 years.

Windows 10 OS is the same whatever device you use, phone, tablet or PC. All apps will look the same on all the devices, quite a feat!

You can switch from one device to another without loosing anything, whether it is music, video, YouTube whatever.

Check out here:
However if you have signed for Microsoft Insider then you can install the preview for the following devices:


This is really welcome news for Nokia Icon users (Verizon Specific) who will be getting the full OS upgrade much later than other carriers.

Here are couple of screen shots of this installation on Nokia Icon.

Get this important app on your phone from Windows Store.

Click and download using  Get preview build.

More detailed screen shots here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Microsoft Azure and RedPoint Global Campaign Management

RedPoint is a leading provider of Campaign Management providing data management and personalized customer engagement software that interacts across various channels using a single user interface.

Find out how RedPoint became a leader in cross-channel campaign management after giving your details here;

For such a global service dealing with big data, Microsoft is a natural fit as RedPoint recently announced support for Azure SQL Dataware house and Azure Data Lake Service.

You can start creating a RedPoint Campaign from the Microsoft Preview portal as shown using either the default Service Management Stack or the Resource Manager Stack.

Here is a brief summary of the RedPoint capabilities as found on the preview portal:

"RedPoint’s campaign management software enables marketers to design and execute customer interactions across any channel. Users can build omni-channel campaigns and set up real-time inbound marketing strategies – all from the same, intuitive drag-and-drop interface. All these cross-channel campaign management capabilities are built into one marketing automation product, including the ability to: select and segment audiences; design multi-stage emails, triggered campaigns, landing pages, mobile or social messages; do A/B testing with just a few clicks; coordinate work and align activities with easy-to-use collaboration and asset management features; easily track, analyze and use results to improve future efforts."

Hey! IFTTT now has Office 365 Channels

I posted recently regarding IFTTT. I did consider looking at Azure APP and IFTTT as a pair.  I created a few IFTTT items that worked well;  like as soon as I post to the blogger, a tweet is generated. That's good service, don't you think?

Did you see the big list of channels I posted?

You might have noticed the absence of Office 365 or Azure or anything of Microsoft. Now Microsoft's Office 365 has joined the IFTTT channels. Review this link here: It has a number of recipes and you can find anbout all of them here:

Here are the Microsoft related channels on IFTTT.


I would like to see MSFT's Health and Fitness app in the Fitness and Wearables category of channels.

A few more hookups to Mass Commerce sites

Microsoft should go all the way and link up with IFTTT in more ways like offering the DO buttons from the Microsoft Store. I have schematically shown what I have in my mind:

I insist, I don't work for MSFT.
I think if they change their slogan from "Mobile First, Cloud First" to "Investor First, Cloud First and Mobile First", then only you will see Apple and Google will take notice.
Summing up: This is a good thing. I tried to include OneDrive channel in my recipe to day and it could not find OneDrive. Perhaps they are still working on it.


Install Windows 10 on your laptop today - Part 1

Windows 10 insiders can access this page from here:

I accessed this page (I am an insider).
 Probably even if you are not an insider it could work.

The following page is displayed at this URL:


You can download a x32bit or a x64 bit version.

Since you will be creating your own installation media (using a USB drive or a DVD with a burner, make sure you have Internet connection.

You need a blank DVD or a blank USB storage device as data will be ove written.
You have to no the System Requirements (

Basically the minimum requirements are:

  • Processor:

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM
1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space:

16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card:
DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display:
You if you are running either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 update, Kindly read the requirements page as there are other upgradability feaatures needed.
Get Windows 10 app and check if your computer OS meets the requirements.
Get Windows 10 app link on your computer is here at the bottom of screen:

GetWindows10 app
Click on the icon to display a web page with radio buttons at the bottom
GetWindows 10 app02

 Download link is here:

Clicking Download button for the chosen architecture brings up the following wizard.


Double clicking the above displays the Wizard whose steps are shown here.


Looks like you can upgrade without creating media. However I have two more laptops, a tablet and two phones, I decided to create a media. Click Next to display the following:


I entered the details for my present laptop, I may need to get x32 version later for one of x32 bit laptops. This one is a Professional OS, x64 bit.

Click Next to display the following:


I used a Kingston 8GB USB external drive.

Click Next.


Clicking Next starts downloading the file to the USB Drive.

These are the contents of the USB drive. It took nearly  3 hours and 20 minutes to download.


The properties of the setup file displays the following:



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Standard setting Microsoft Power BI enters GA

PowerBI 2.0 was released recently (  According to the link there appears to be two items, Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop. Power BI Visualization framework and its library will be available on GitHub as well.

Review articles on\using previous version here:

Power BI Unchained
Spin out a cutting edge report with Power BI
Visualizing data on SAP's SQL Anywhere
Excel data visualization with Power BI

Power BI Service: Cloud Hosted Bi and Analytics
Power BI Service download is from this link.

I used Sign-in on the above linked page with my personal acccount. It appears you cannot use just your Microsoft account (that anybody can get for free) but the Office 365 or enterprise account.


However this did not work for me. I am trying to resolve this issue with Microsoft.
Well, the mantra, 'five seconds to sign up, five minutes to WOW' did not work for me. I shall WOW later.

Installing the Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop can be downloaded from here:

Install double clicking the Windows Installer Package PBIDesktop_x64 (55.6MB).

Agree to licensing terms. Accept default location. After one or more screens page with Install button will be displayed. Click Install. User Control Access window is displayed. Click OK. Progress page is displayed.

PowerBI Desktop is installed quite rapidly.


A new desktop icon replacing the one from the preview version is created.

Launching the application displays the following window.


Dismiss the start up screen and you will see the Power BI Desktop with the 'ribbon'.


Happy Visualizing Data!

How does this stack up against Tableau and Qlik?

Review all the data sources from which you can get data for visualization here.


Supply chain efficiency improvement with RFID technology and Microsoft Azure

Shipping is one area where movements are fast and errors can be costly. Combined with volume and variety keeping track of which container went where can be very challenging.

RampRFID uses RFID tags on equipment which actually do the moving of containers and keeping track of container movement on Microsoft Azure by storing information on SQL Azure database. The tracking is automated thanks to the RFID tags and data get stored on Microsoft Azure.

RampRFID recently implemented the Azure + RFID tags based solution in Australia:

Learn more about RampRFID's Products and Solutions here:
  • RFID Solutions:
  • RFID Asset Tracking
  • RFID Vehicle Tracking
  • RFID Inventory Tracking
  • RFID Project Materials Tracking
The verticals from Ramp's web site:
Oil, Gas & Mining – RFID solutions to track personnel, assets and vehicles leading to higher levels of safety and efficiency.

Construction – RFID solutions to track and automate the materials handling processes and improve inefficiencies.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods – Item level RFID solutions to automate manual processes, enabling retailers to improve the speed and precision of receiving, matching, restocking and cycle counts.

Transport & Logistics – Technology delivering real-time visibility, up-to-date information and control of all operational processes in the port and maritime supply chain.

Healthcare –  RFID solutions providing real- time asset management, personnel tracking, proximity detection, and environment monitoring to reduce the risk and cost of providing excellent healthcare.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Install Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop

In order to develop Windows Desktop applications such as Win 32 Console applications you cannot use the Visual Studio Express 2015 Community.

For the templates supported by Visual Studio Express 2015 Community review this  post. Visual Studio Express 2015 Community also has a Windows node in the templates, but that allows
you to create Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 applications only as described in this post.

However to create Windows Desktop and console applications you need to install Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop.

This post describes the details of this installation.

You can download this free edition from this location  and you may have to do some registering.


Double click the downloaded executable to begin installaiton. You require 3GB space for this application.


It takes less time than the Visual Studio Express 2015 Community. You can launch it soon after installation and it takes a little while to prepare the IDE.


Here are the Installed Templates in this edition.
Installed templates01

Visual C# -Classic Desktop


Visual C# - Test
  • Unit Test Project
Visual Basic -Classic Desktop

Visual Basic - Test
  • Unit Test Project
Visual C++


Visual C++ - CLR


Visual C++ - General
  • Empty Project and
  • Makefile Project
Visual C++ - Test
  • Managed Test Project
  • Native Unit Test Project
Visual  C++ - Win32
  • Win32 Console Application
  • Win32 Project
SQL Server
  • SQL Server Database Project- Get more templates here using the link
Visual Studio Solutions
  • Blank Solution

Sunday, July 26, 2015

C++ Win 32 Console projects in Visual Studio Community editions

Visual Studio Express 2013 Community edition was released  in Novmeber 2014.

Details of this are in the following posts:

Visual Studio Express 2015 Community was released recently in July 2015

The Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 project templates are not
available in the default installaiton. You need to install by
updating Visual Studio Express 2015 Community as described here

However when it comes to creating C++ Win32 Console projects there is no problem in using the Visual Studio Express 2013 Community as it provides the correct templates. However the  Visual Studio Express 2015  Community does not provide the templates.

Review here for developing a C++ Windows Console application using Visual Studio Express 2013 Community.

In order to develop C++ Windows Console application you will need to install Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows Desktop edition which provides the necessary template.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 apps with Visual Studio 2015 Community

In my previous post I made a premature remark regarding Windows Phone apps. I remarked, "For developing Windows Phone applications you may need to install a different version of Visual Studio.
I was wrong.

Well, it turned out that some of the software support is not installed by default and you need to install them clicking on the link you find for many of the templates like 'Windows, Python, F#, etc.".
I tried to install support for Visual C++ under other languages and the following was displayed.


I clicked Install to install the necessary components.


Well you need to close the IDE which allowed you to come to the above. Click Continue. The following features will be installed.


Clacking Next brings up the next window. Note that you need an additional 2GB space.

Now you are ready to update your tools. Click Update. Here is an intermediate state of installation.

The install is completed.

The next time you launch VS 2015 Community you will see the following:



This effectively adds all Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 templates for all languages including JavaScript.

This installation updates Visual Studio 2015 Community in Control Panel|.| Programs.

Here are some more details:

Visual Basic templates now available include the new and classic as shown.


These are the Windows 8 related templates (Windows 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Silverlight). Note that the scroll is only halfway. There are many more templates.

These are the Windows Classic Desktop templates.
to be continued..


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Details of installed project templates in Visual Studio 2015 Community

After installing Visual Studio 2015 launch the application to display the start page.


Click on New Project to open the New Project window as shown.


It is displaying Visual Basic separately from other languages and the reason for this might be that Visual Basic was used recently, or perhaps this is the default New Project page in VS 2015 Community.

The number and types of Visual Basic templates are as shown here:


Visual Basic templates are fewer than C# project templates because there are templates for Android and iOS in C#.


For Android there are application templates for Wearable and WebView.


For iOS as well, Apple Watch template project is available.


However for iOS Mobile applications templates use Xamarin. Forms.


Both Type Script and JavaScript project templates requires Tools for Apache Cardova which you can get by choosing the option.

For Python templates you need to install Python tools for Visual Studio and install Tools for F# for F# templates.

In C++ you can install support for both Android as well as iOS. Of course for MFC and Extensibility project templates you can install the requires tools. However for Windows templates -Windows 8.1 and WindowsPhone 8.1 can be installed.

I am not sure how these are going to change after the debut of Windows 10, perhaps a new version or an update. For developing Windows Phone applications you may need to install a different version of Visual Studio.

Xamarin is going to play a key role in cross-platform development using Microsoft Visual Studio and perhaps you may want to read more about Xamarin and its resources here:

Android Apps with Visual Studio
C# Universal Coder
Cross-Platform Apps Protection Status