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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.

 
Articles 13 (Prolific)
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Messages 1,015 (Master)
Q&A Questions 0
Q&A Answers 26
Tips/Tricks 14
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Comments 68

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GeneralConsuming a private nuget feed in an Azure DevOps build pipeline Pin
Dominic Burford2-Nov-18 7:55
professionalDominic Burford2-Nov-18 7:55 
GeneralBuild a Xamarin.Forms iOS mobile app using Azure DevOps Pin
Dominic Burford9-Oct-18 0:38
professionalDominic Burford9-Oct-18 0:38 
GeneralDeploy a Mobile app to Azure using Azure DevOps Pin
Dominic Burford21-Sep-18 6:30
professionalDominic Burford21-Sep-18 6:30 
GeneralSetting up my first build pipeline with Azure DevOps Pin
Dominic Burford19-Sep-18 5:06
professionalDominic Burford19-Sep-18 5:06 
GeneralChoosing a mobile application development platform Pin
Dominic Burford4-Sep-18 2:36
professionalDominic Burford4-Sep-18 2:36 
GeneralExecuting an AJAX request from an ASP.NET Core querystring parameter Pin
Dominic Burford20-Aug-18 6:05
professionalDominic Burford20-Aug-18 6:05 
GeneralBuilding a Document Manager with ASP.NET Core 2.1 Pin
Dominic Burford19-Aug-18 23:38
professionalDominic Burford19-Aug-18 23:38 
GeneralReducing the surface area of the client Pin
Dominic Burford26-Jul-18 22:32
professionalDominic Burford26-Jul-18 22:32 
GeneralUnderstanding what you're doing Pin
Dominic Burford26-Jul-18 4:24
professionalDominic Burford26-Jul-18 4:24 
GeneralSetting environments in ASP.NET Core Pin
Dominic Burford16-Jul-18 22:29
professionalDominic Burford16-Jul-18 22:29 
GeneralCreating a zipped deployment for an ASP.NET Core web application Pin
Dominic Burford29-Jun-18 0:59
professionalDominic Burford29-Jun-18 0:59 
GeneralI’m turning into a Microsoft fanboy Pin
Dominic Burford8-Jun-18 6:45
professionalDominic Burford8-Jun-18 6:45 
GeneralAdding a confirmation dialog to an ASP.NET Core 2.0 form page handler Pin
Dominic Burford7-Jun-18 5:34
professionalDominic Burford7-Jun-18 5:34 
GeneralUploading a file in ASP.NET Core 2.0 Pin
Dominic Burford1-Jun-18 5:07
professionalDominic Burford1-Jun-18 5:07 
GeneralASP.NET Core 2.0 Razor Page Handlers Pin
Dominic Burford15-May-18 1:01
professionalDominic Burford15-May-18 1:01 
GeneralMocking the HttpContext Session object in ASP.NET Core 2.0 Pin
Dominic Burford30-Apr-18 5:31
professionalDominic Burford30-Apr-18 5:31 
GeneralUsing ViewComponents in ASP.NET Core 2.0 Pin
Dominic Burford16-Apr-18 23:49
professionalDominic Burford16-Apr-18 23:49 
GeneralWeb application metrics with Application Insight Part 2 Pin
Dominic Burford10-Apr-18 23:50
professionalDominic Burford10-Apr-18 23:50 
I previously wrote about Azure Application Insights[^] in an article where I talked about how we would be using it within our ASP.NET Web API services. We use it in that context to monitor our services for such things as availability, performance and to record metrics such as the number of requests our services are processing. And Azure Application Insights gives me all of this, and a whole lot more besides.

This time round we were exploring logging engines for our latest ASP.NET Core 2.0 Razor Pages web application. We wanted something that would record the various events that our application would generate, as well as enable us to debug and diagnose errors and / or exceptions as they occurred.

We looked at various logging engines such as ELMAH and Log4Net. Each would have satisfied our requirements, but when we looked into the feature set of Application Insights, there was absolutely no comparison. Application Insights won the contest hands down. Straight out the box it measures practically everything you need without writing a single line of code. On top of that, you can write your own custom events, traces, exception handlers etc.

I've added several custom logging methods for monitoring and measuring our application whilst it's running, as well as exception logging. All of this helps us to debug and diagnose issues, helps with development as we can add traces throughout the application, allows us to monitor and measure the health of the application and to generate exception reports when the application encounters errors.

Within the Azure portal, you can open your Application Insights blade and dice and slice this data any way you want. You can drill top down from your management summary type data (showing broad trends and metrics), right into the nitty gritty detail of an individual request or exception. The data can be filtered in an almost infinite number of ways and presented in multiple formats (or downloaded for offline use). And it's fast. Despite the vast amount of data that is collected, filtering it and querying is surprisingly fast. Even complex queries of the data are returned blazingly fast.

To use Application Insights you firstly need to download the Application Insights package from nuget. Once installed, you can then start using it in your application.

Here's a single example of a trace event I have implemented. I use it to trace the requests to our ASP.NET Web API services. We pass an event name, the duration of the request (so we can monitor for performance) and a dictionary of custom properties (which I use to pass the request arguments).

public class LoggingService
{
    private readonly TelemetryClient _telemetryClient = new TelemetryClient();

    public void TrackEvent(string eventName, TimeSpan timespan, IDictionary<string, string> properties = null)
    {
        var telemetry = new EventTelemetry(eventName);
        telemetry.Metrics.Add("Elapsed", timespan.TotalMilliseconds);
        if (properties != null)
        {
            foreach (var property in properties)
            {
                telemetry.Properties.Add(property.Key, property.Value);
            }
        }

        this._telemetryClient.TrackEvent(eventName, properties);
        this._telemetryClient.TrackEvent(telemetry);
    }
}
And here's the method being invoked within the application.
stopwatch.Restart();
try
{
    //make an request to a service
    var response = await new MyService().GetMyData(param1, param2);
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
    service.TrackException(ex);
    throw;
}
finally
{
    stopwatch.Stop();
    var properties = new Dictionary<string, string>
    {
        { "param1", param1 },
        { "param2", param2 }
    };
    service.TrackEvent("GetMyData", stopwatch.Elapsed, properties);
}
You can add traces for events, exceptions, diagnostics etc. All of this data is recorded and available for you to filter, dice and slice in any way you need it.

If you're looking for a logging engine in your application, then you need to check out Application Insights. It does everything we need and a whole bunch more, and is highly configurable and fast. The question is not why you should use it, but why you shouldn't use it!
"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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GeneralWriting flexible code in ASP.NET Core 2.0 Razor Pages Pin
Dominic Burford3-Apr-18 6:06
professionalDominic Burford3-Apr-18 6:06 
GeneralPerforming Code Coverage for .NET Core 2.0 applications Pin
Dominic Burford23-Mar-18 5:54
professionalDominic Burford23-Mar-18 5:54 
GeneralRe: Performing Code Coverage for .NET Core 2.0 applications Pin
Slacker00723-Mar-18 6:12
professionalSlacker00723-Mar-18 6:12 
GeneralRe: Performing Code Coverage for .NET Core 2.0 applications Pin
Dominic Burford23-Mar-18 6:15
professionalDominic Burford23-Mar-18 6:15 
GeneralBuilding ASP.NET Core 2.0 web applications Pin
Dominic Burford21-Mar-18 6:39
professionalDominic Burford21-Mar-18 6:39 
GeneralObtaining the authentication token returned from Azure AD B2C in ASP.NET Core 2.0 Pin
Dominic Burford16-Mar-18 3:03
professionalDominic Burford16-Mar-18 3:03 
GeneralVersioning a .NET Core 2.0 application Pin
Dominic Burford13-Mar-18 3:34
professionalDominic Burford13-Mar-18 3:34 

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