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Dominic Burford - Professional Profile



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I am a professional software engineer and architect with over eighteen years commercial development experience with a strong focus on the design and development of web and mobile applications.

I have experience of architecting scalable, distributed, high volume web applications that are accessible from multiple devices due to their responsive web design, including architecting enterprise service-oriented solutions. I have also developed enterprise mobile applications using Xamarin and Telerik Platform.

I have extensive experience using .NET, ASP.NET, Windows and Web Services, WCF, SQL Server, LINQ and other Microsoft technologies. I am also familiar with HTML, Bootstrap, Javascript (inc. JQuery and Node.js), CSS, XML, JSON, Apache Cordova, KendoUI and many other web and mobile related technologies.

I am enthusiastic about Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Application Life-cycle Management having configured such environments using CruiseControl.NET, TeamCity and Team Foundation Services. I enjoy working in Agile and Test Driven Development (TDD) environments.

Outside of work I have two beautiful daughters. I enjoy cycling, running and taking the dog for long walks. I love listening to music and am a fan of Rush and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to name a few.



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GeneralSoftware Architecture Challenges Pin
Dominic Burford17-Feb-17 1:31
professionalDominic Burford17-Feb-17 1:31 
GeneralGetting the Most Out of Your Unit Tests Pin
Dominic Burford9-Feb-17 9:21
professionalDominic Burford9-Feb-17 9:21 
GeneralBuilding a strong development team Pin
Dominic Burford8-Feb-17 6:31
professionalDominic Burford8-Feb-17 6:31 
GeneralLast pieces of the mobile app in the Web API puzzle Pin
Dominic Burford27-Jan-17 5:03
professionalDominic Burford27-Jan-17 5:03 
GeneralSerializing .NET types that contain DateTime Pin
Dominic Burford22-Jan-17 18:53
professionalDominic Burford22-Jan-17 18:53 
GeneralClearing the Dead Letter Queue on an Azure Service Bus Queue Pin
Dominic Burford16-Jan-17 8:57
professionalDominic Burford16-Jan-17 8:57 
GeneralMigrating ASP.NET Web API services to the Azure platform Pin
Dominic Burford10-Jan-17 2:45
professionalDominic Burford10-Jan-17 2:45 
GeneralProcessing Azure Service Bus messages using an Azure Function Pin
Dominic Burford4-Jan-17 9:10
professionalDominic Burford4-Jan-17 9:10 
When investigating using Azure Service Bus for our messaging architecture, I wanted some mechanism whereby I could receive and therefore process the messages that were added to the service bus queue. At first I wasn't sure how I would achieve this. As the various components involved in a service bus architecture have no direct means of communicating with each other, then there is obviously no way that the receiving application can know when a message has been added to the service bus queue by a client application. Therefore what is needed is a polling mechanism that will continuously poll the service bus queue looking for messages that have been added.

I didn't want to have to rely on local infrastructure, but wasn't sure what Azure had to offer. After some investigation, it seemed that the two most likely candidates were Azure WebJobs or an Azure Function. I decided to use an Azure Function as this seemed the best fit for what I was looking for. They are cloud hosted functions that have in-built support for listening to Azure Service Bus message queues. They also support a wide range of other Azure events and processes.

If your needs are fairly straight-forward, and you just want some mechanism for processing your Azure Service Bus messages, then Azure Functions are a good fit. If your requirements are more complex, then you may want to investigate Azure WebJobs. This article[^] proved instructive whilst setting up my Azure Function. I have two Azure Functions configured. One for testing and one for production. My unit tests post messages to the test Azure Service Bus queue, which is polled by the test Azure Function for messages. And conversely, I also have a production Azure Function which listens to the production Azure Service Bus queue for messages.

If your function needs to reference a third-party assembly or one of your own assemblies, then you will need to upload the assembly to the Azure Function. This article[^] explains the process. If you are referencing your own assembly, then you may want to investigate the various ways you can amend your continuous integration pipeline so that the assembly is kept up-to-date. I have added a new step to our Team Foundation Server 2015 build which invokes a batch file that FTPs the required assembly to our Azure Functions. Alternatively, Azure Functions support continuous integration from Gitub, Dropbox, Bitbucket to name a few. So keeping the assemblies used by your Azure Function in synch with your source code is simple. In fact, you can configure your Azure Function to consume not just assemblies, but the code itself from your continuous integration pipeline.

You will probably want to amend the default function code that is created when you first configure your Azure Function. Here is an example of a very simple Azure Function.
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.ServiceBus.Messaging;

public static void Run(BrokeredMessage message, TraceWriter log)
    log.Info($"C# ServiceBus queue trigger function processed message: {message.MessageId}");

        if (message != null)
            //do something with the message here

            log.Info("Completing message.");
    catch (Exception ex)
        log.Info($"Exception occurred: {ex.Message}");
By definition an Azure Function should not be monolothic, but instead should be highly cohesive (just as when writing any function). So keep your Azure Functions short and focused.

Whilst testing the performance of processing messages using the Azure Function, I found it was significantly faster than when using local infrastructure. They are blazingly fast.

Azure Functions are very flexible and can be used in conjunction with many processes and tasks within the Azure ecosystem, so they are well worth checking out if you are looking at hosting your own processes.
"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." - C.A.R. Hoare

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modified 4-Jan-17 15:26pm.

GeneralThe Structure of an Azure Service Bus message Pin
Dominic Burford30-Dec-16 3:11
professionalDominic Burford30-Dec-16 3:11 
GeneralMy Introduction into Service Bus Architecture Pin
Dominic Burford21-Dec-16 6:40
professionalDominic Burford21-Dec-16 6:40 
GeneralAdding resilience to your services by implementng a retry pattern Pin
Dominic Burford19-Dec-16 1:10
professionalDominic Burford19-Dec-16 1:10 
GeneralAuthenticating Web API services with JSON Web Token Pin
Dominic Burford13-Dec-16 2:26
professionalDominic Burford13-Dec-16 2:26 
GeneralDeploying to Azure with Team Foundation Server 2015 Pin
Dominic Burford9-Dec-16 2:29
professionalDominic Burford9-Dec-16 2:29 
GeneralCatch me over on Medium for my latest blog posts Pin
Dominic Burford7-Dec-16 1:15
professionalDominic Burford7-Dec-16 1:15 
GeneralWeb application metrics with Application Insight Pin
Dominic Burford25-Nov-16 10:03
professionalDominic Burford25-Nov-16 10:03 
GeneralHow to Pick Your Battles on a Software Team Pin
Dominic Burford16-Nov-16 2:33
professionalDominic Burford16-Nov-16 2:33 
GeneralComplete 360 Testing Pin
Dominic Burford27-Oct-16 2:49
professionalDominic Burford27-Oct-16 2:49 
GeneralCompleted the ASP.NET Web API build pipeline Pin
Dominic Burford24-Oct-16 1:18
professionalDominic Burford24-Oct-16 1:18 
GeneralOne code-base for all mobile platforms is a pipe dream Pin
Dominic Burford12-Oct-16 18:42
professionalDominic Burford12-Oct-16 18:42 
GeneralRe: One code-base for all mobile platforms is a pipe dream Pin
Member 1280340119-Oct-16 9:29
memberMember 1280340119-Oct-16 9:29 
GeneralRe: One code-base for all mobile platforms is a pipe dream Pin
Dominic Burford19-Oct-16 21:26
professionalDominic Burford19-Oct-16 21:26 
GeneralOur apps have gone live Pin
Dominic Burford11-Oct-16 18:54
professionalDominic Burford11-Oct-16 18:54 
GeneralFive truths about software development Part IV Pin
Dominic Burford13-Sep-16 2:44
professionalDominic Burford13-Sep-16 2:44 
GeneralIsolating unit tests using Dependency Injection Pin
Dominic Burford11-Aug-16 22:01
professionalDominic Burford11-Aug-16 22:01 
GeneralCould this function be unit tested without modifying it? Pin
Dominic Burford4-Aug-16 1:41
professionalDominic Burford4-Aug-16 1:41 

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