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Dominic Burford - Professional Profile



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I am a professional software engineer and technical architect with over twenty 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 am also an avid cyclist who enjoys reading, listening to music and travelling.

 

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GeneralManaging your Azure resources using Powershell scripting Pin
Dominic Burford13-Mar-20 6:42
professionalDominic Burford13-Mar-20 6:42 
GeneralIntroduction to Azure Cognitive Search Pin
Dominic Burford28-Feb-20 5:39
professionalDominic Burford28-Feb-20 5:39 
As part of my research into technologies to support the new web application that I am helping to build, I have been looking into Azure Cognitive Search (ACS). I came across this technology by accident while reading through an issue of Code magazine[^]. In that article, the author explains how the technology can be used to perform powerful queries across your data, even leveraging fuzzy logic and AI capabilities.

Quote:
Azure Cognitive Search is the only cloud search service with built-in AI capabilities that enrich all types of information to easily identify and explore relevant content at scale.
The article then goes on to give a step-by-step guide as to how to setup and configure a simple instance of ACS. This got me thinking how I could implement this in our own applications where we regularly mine large data sets using disparate ad hoc queries. I won't go into a detailed description of setting up or configuring ACS as there are already plenty of articles online that do this including this one[^]. In particular look at the 10-minute quickstart articles on that page.

The basic premise is to create a new instance of ACS, and as part of the configuration you connect to your data. Once you have connected to your data, you can then create Indexes. These are where the magic happens. By creating an Index onto your data, this allows you to query your data using the powerful capabilities of ACS. You can add AI capabilities if you so wish by enriching your data as part of the configuration.

For example, if your data includes images of vehicles, you can enrich your data to be able to search on the vehicle's registration number. ACS will use its pattern recognition to locate the vehicle registrations from within the images. You can then search through the image data for vehicles that match specified vehicle registrations. This is just one simple example of how you can enrich your data and leverage the powerful AI capabilities of ACS.

You are able to write simple queries using SQL-like syntax including the following commands[^]
search=
searchMode=
searchFields=
queryType=
$skip=
$top=
Using the power of OData expression syntax, you can then filter and order the results of your data using the following commands[^]
$filter=
$orderby=
$select=
If you need fuzzy logic search, you can implement Lucene query syntax very easily. This gives you the ability to search for data where the user may have mis-typed a name or email address for example. If the user meant to type "Fred" as the search term, but accidentally typed "Frod" then using Lucene fuzzy logic you are able to return all such close matches (and you can also define how close a close match is too). See this article[^] for more details.

You can implement your queries using the REST API[^] or the Azure Cognitive Search .NET library[^]

However you decide to implement ACS in your application, it gives you a powerful, yet simple view onto your data allowing you to return everything from a simple SQL-like query to full blown fuzzy logic / pattern matching / AI capabilities. All from the same, consistent APIs.

I haven't even scratched the surface of this technogy. My intention was merely to pique your interest and hopefully get other developers to explore ACS for their own applications. I'll keep exploring this fantastic technology and hopefully write future articles on how I have used it within the applications I am developing. In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, I can't recommend this technology highly enough.
"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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GeneralUpdating the version number in your .NET build pipeline Pin
Dominic Burford24-Feb-20 5:33
professionalDominic Burford24-Feb-20 5:33 
GeneralFinding a solution to an Azure web app deployment problem Pin
Dominic Burford23-Jan-20 23:51
professionalDominic Burford23-Jan-20 23:51 
GeneralStructured Logging Pin
Dominic Burford24-Dec-19 1:28
professionalDominic Burford24-Dec-19 1:28 
GeneralEnabling TLS 1.2 on your .NET application Pin
Dominic Burford11-Dec-19 23:11
professionalDominic Burford11-Dec-19 23:11 
GeneralThe new version of the app is (almost) ready for release Pin
Dominic Burford7-Nov-19 23:28
professionalDominic Burford7-Nov-19 23:28 
GeneralChunking your lists into multiple smaller lists Pin
Dominic Burford11-Sep-19 3:40
professionalDominic Burford11-Sep-19 3:40 
GeneralWriting flexible filters for your data using Predicates Pin
Dominic Burford16-Jul-19 6:11
professionalDominic Burford16-Jul-19 6:11 
GeneralRe: Writing flexible filters for your data using Predicates Pin
Slacker00716-Jul-19 22:09
professionalSlacker00716-Jul-19 22:09 
GeneralRe: Writing flexible filters for your data using Predicates Pin
Dominic Burford17-Jul-19 1:17
professionalDominic Burford17-Jul-19 1:17 
GeneralBlocking Asynchronous Code Pin
Dominic Burford4-Jul-19 22:11
professionalDominic Burford4-Jul-19 22:11 
GeneralDesigning and implementing flexible RESTful services Pin
Dominic Burford14-Jun-19 0:50
professionalDominic Burford14-Jun-19 0:50 
GeneralWriting asynchronous code with .NET Pin
Dominic Burford10-Jun-19 3:34
professionalDominic Burford10-Jun-19 3:34 
GeneralWeird Minification Behaviour in ASP.NET Core Pin
Dominic Burford28-May-19 3:54
professionalDominic Burford28-May-19 3:54 
GeneralThe Importance of Structure and Dilligence Pin
Dominic Burford24-May-19 6:14
professionalDominic Burford24-May-19 6:14 
GeneralWhen should you rewrite that legacy application? Pin
Dominic Burford22-May-19 0:03
professionalDominic Burford22-May-19 0:03 
GeneralImproving Your SQL Stored Procedures Pin
Dominic Burford2-May-19 5:47
professionalDominic Burford2-May-19 5:47 
GeneralPassing a list of items to a SQL stored procedure Pin
Dominic Burford27-Mar-19 0:55
professionalDominic Burford27-Mar-19 0:55 
GeneralSoftware development is like plumbing Pin
Dominic Burford8-Mar-19 5:12
professionalDominic Burford8-Mar-19 5:12 
GeneralVersioning a .NET Core 2.2 application Pin
Dominic Burford7-Mar-19 5:04
professionalDominic Burford7-Mar-19 5:04 
GeneralUsing tags with push notifications from Azure Notification Hub Pin
Dominic Burford17-Feb-19 23:21
professionalDominic Burford17-Feb-19 23:21 
GeneralSending Push Notifications with Azure Notification Hub Pin
Dominic Burford25-Jan-19 4:34
professionalDominic Burford25-Jan-19 4:34 
GeneralUnit testing a Xamarin Forms mobile app Pin
Dominic Burford13-Jan-19 21:59
professionalDominic Burford13-Jan-19 21:59 
GeneralApple development sucks Pin
Dominic Burford8-Jan-19 1:09
professionalDominic Burford8-Jan-19 1:09 

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