News,Resources,Video,Wintellect Blogs

Xamarin Mobile Development: Building Cross-Platform Apps for IOS, Android & Windows Devices

Wintellect

24 Mar , 2017   Video

xamarin mobile developmentXamarin Mobile Development

On Thursday Wintellect held a live hand’s-on webinar on Xamarin mobile development for building cross-platform apps including IOS, Android and Windows Devices. The agenda included an interactive and coding presentation from Jason Bell, including the mobile landscape and development options, the Xamarin development platform, Xamarin application architectural options and building shared application components.

The event was followed by a live Q & A session where attendees could ask Jason questions about best practices using Xamarin, or, any questions from what they learned in the presentation. One attendee asked which path they should take for mobile development between Xamarin and React Native. Jason stated the most important factor would be the language. With React Native they would be using JavaScript and if they moved forward with Xamarin, the language would be  .NET, C#, and potentially F#. A secondary factor is with React Native the API surface area that is available lags behind from what you would receive with Xamarin but depending on the app you are looking to build, it may be insignificant. Jason concluded that ultimately it would be the language preference and experience with that language that should be the determining factor when choosing between the two.… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Paraffin 3.7 – Support for WiX 4.0

John Robbins

14 Mar , 2017  

After a couple of requests, I added WiX 4.0 support to my Paraffin project, the file harvester, which makes maintaining installer projects a lot easier. As part of this update, I moved the code to Visual Studio 2017 and moved to .NET Framework 4.6.2. I nearly went down the path of making a .NET Core version of the console application, but will save that for another day.

Instead of rehashing the scope and purpose of Paraffin here, head over to your favorite search engine and search “Wintellect Paraffin” and you will find all the links that show how to use it. Also, if you don’t want to mess with compiling the application, head on over to the Releases tab page on the Git Hub project page and you can download the compiled binary along with it’s PDB file.

Thanks so much for using Paraffin! Who knew that a quick sample I wrote to learn about LINQ to XML would grow into a useful utility.… Read more

News,Resources,Video,Wintellect Blogs

Introduction to GraphQL & Relay Webinar

Wintellect

23 Feb , 2017   Video

Introduction to GraphQL & Relay

Learn how GraphQL improves upon Rest Services

In this week’s Introduction to GraphQL & Relay webinar attendees learned how GraphQL could help improve upon Rest Services by allowing them to view data as a graph. This data can also be queried to serve data in the shape and amount needed by the consumer. Relay was also introduced showing how it is a great framework for React applications to consume GraphQL services.

Through polling we found most attendees hadn’t used GraphQL so it was a very informative session for the audience to understand the benefits and how to use it. After reviewing the GraphQL code there was a live demo to experiment with the code followed by a demonstration of Relay and a final code review. We ended the session with a live Q & A so the audience could ask any questions regarding the topics discussed.

We hope you find the recorded webinar session above useful. If you want you can download the source code here. You can also download the slides here: Intro to GraphQL & Relay Webinar

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in learning more about our GraphQL and Relay in our On-Demand Online training, Instructor-led training, or consulting for your business, please send us an email.Read more

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News,Video,Wintellect Blogs

Introduction to Angular 2 Webinar

Wintellect

17 Feb , 2017   Video

introduction to angular 2

Jump start your Angular 2 development

Wintellect’s Eric Greene presented a live webinar this week an “Introduction to Angular 2” which included live coding demos. Angular 2 is the latest JavaScript UI framework for building cross-platform, single page applications. Utilizing TypeScript, the concepts of Web Components, Reactive programming with Observables, and advanced change detection powered by Zones – Angular 2 is the most cutting edge framework available today.

Eric covered the differences between Angular 1 and 2 as well as a live coding session for the essentials of building components, building templates, data binding and handling events.

We hope you find the recorded webinar session above useful. If you want to download the webinar source code you can find it in Github here and view the slides here.

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in learning more about our Angular On-Demand Online training, Instructor-led training, or Angular consulting for your business, please send us an email.Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

New WintellectPowerShell Version with Visual Studio 2017 Support

John Robbins

18 Jan , 2017  

We have a new version of Visual Studio coming soon so I did the work to update my WintellectPowerShell module to support it. And, what a huge adventure that turned out to be! I will discuss why its support for Visual Studio 2017 was hard a bit later in this blog entry. For those of you who are new to WintellectPowerShell, it is a module that brings a number of useful cmdlets for setting up symbol and source servers for Visual Studio 2013-2017 as well as WinDBG. Other cmdlets automatically download and extract all the lovely goodness of the SysInternal tools, automate the analysis of lots of minidump files, and so on. The module has been helpful to me over the years. You can look at all the source code on GitHub: https://github.com/Wintellect/WintellectPowerShell. To install WintellectPowerShell directly, execute the following command in PowerShell:

  1. Install-Module -Name WintellectPowerShell -Scope CurrentUser

If you have a previous version of WintellectPowerShell installed, you will see an ‘Authenticode issuer’ error when you try to update. The error is because since I last released a WintellectPowerShell build, my code signing certificate needed to be renewed. When PowerShellGet does checks a signed module, it checks all the certificate fields.… Read more

Wintellect Blogs

Running Spectron Tests in Visual Studio Team Services Build

Jonathan Wood

5 Jan , 2017  

Having end-to-end tests and running them locally can definitely be beneficial, but one of the main reasons to have them is to run them automatically during a nightly build. Getting these tests to run in Visual Studio Team Services isn’t trivial. Here’s some tips on how to get them going.

Setting up build definitions

When first setting up a build for your Spectron tests all the build definitions need to be manually entered. However, the first step is to actually specify what repository you want to use. This gets set when you start your first build definition.

New Build Definition

Select the “Empty” template when the dialog pops up.

Empty Template

From there you can then choose what repository you want to from VSTS or even choose a repository from GitHub.

Choose Repository

Here we can set up our steps to have our tests run. If you recall from our [first post on Spectron with our demo project I set up an npm run script to run our tests. In this case, we only have two tasks to create for our build definition:

  • npm install
  • npm run

NPM Install

NPM Run

Setting up the build agent

So the easy part is done. I only say that, though, because this next part was a bit tricky and wasn’t very well documented on what to do to get these types of tests to run.… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Unexpected Benefits of End-to-end Testing

Jonathan Wood

3 Jan , 2017  

End-to-end Testing

Testing where the entire application is tested in a real-world scenario such as communicating with the database, network, hardware and other applications.

The above is the general definition of what an end-to-end test is. Most of these tests are written to make sure general flows of the application that a user may take are working correctly and as expected. However, there are other benefits to running and writing these tests that may not be as well known.

Find bugs when writing tests

True, end-to-end tests are supposed to find bugs, but that’s mainly when you run tests that have already been written to make sure no bugs were introduced as the project is being developed on. However, there are a lot of bugs you can find when you’re writing end-to-end tests. In my experience, I’ve usually found an issue while writing an end-to-end test on a specific functionality that I’m testing.

Unit tests will do this, too, but end-to-end tests can find issues that aren’t always logical, such as UI issues and components not interacting as expected. This, to me, is probably the most useful thing about having end-to-end tests.

Find hard to detect issues

Applications depend on all components of the application interacting and working correctly.… Read more

Wintellect Blogs

Get Function Keys By Default with Parallels and a MacBook Pro Touch Bar

John Robbins

27 Dec , 2016  

Having purchased a 15 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar recently, I’ve been having a good time seeing how that Touch Bar can be used. With applications that know about the Touch Bar, it is an interesting UI approach. But with many macOS applications not having full Touch Bar support, I’ll reserve full judgment until most apps support it. I will say that the Photos app shows a tremendously useful way to use the Touch Bar.

One app I use all the time, the virtual machine program Parallels, does not currently support the Touch Bar, so whenever you are in it, you see the default Touch Bar view:

image

The only problem is that for Windows development, you really, really need those function keys. Sure you can press the FN key to have them come back, but I wanted the function keys to be the default. A little poking around in System Preferences, Keyboard settings, Shortcuts, showed the Function Keys section. I added Parallels Desktop to the list and, voila, now Parallels defaults to showing the function keys whenever Parallels has focus. Not the most earth shattering of tips, but one that certainly made my life better.

image

Now if only Apple would sell a Touch Bar external keyboard…… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Top NPM Packages for Spectron Testing

Jonathan Wood

27 Dec , 2016  

Spectron is a great tool for testing your Electron applications. However, some help is needed to get the full use out of it. This post will go through all of the npm packages I’ve found useful in my Spectron testing.

Jasmine Reporters

The default reporter for Spectron is to just log out to the terminal. That’s great, but I like pretty colors in my terminal, especially when they’re green for success and red for error. That’s where the jasmine reporters package comes in. Actually, there are a few reporters in this package. Not just one for the terminal. In fact, I use two reporters from this package – the terminal reporter and the JUnit XML Result reporter.

Why do I use the second reporter? Well, that reporter plays very well with the jasmine-xml2html-converter package. This package converts the XML results from the JUnit XML Result reporter into an HTML file with graphs and a much easier way to view the tests.

Gulp

Yep, the package to have build tasks in your JavaScript projects has been useful for running Spectron tests. Whether you’re using Jasmine, Mocha, or Karma for your tests, there are gulp versions.

Something I’ve used that seemed to help is to break up your gulp tasks to run tests by scenario.… Read more

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Wintellect Blogs

Introducing the Spectron Command Line Tool

Jonathan Wood

21 Dec , 2016  

After some Spectron experience there tends to be some things that can get repetitive when creating Spectron tests. I figured creating a tool to do just that would be handy to have. So I created the spectron-cli npm package.

Granted, this command line tool doesn’t do all that much. Currently, it only has two commands to it.

The “init” command will create an e2e directory, if it doesn’t already exist in the current directory it’s run in. It will also create two files in that directory for you – a test.spec.js file and a test.page.js file. These files will include templates to help you get started writing your Spectron tests.

The “add” command will just create a spec file and a page file with the name of your choosing inside the e2e directory.

The way the templates are laid out, however, you would have to include chai and chai-as-promised packages if you don’t already have them. These tests can be run with mocha or jasmine test runners.

So feel free to install the tool with npm install spectron-cli and see how it works for you (or just find ways to break it). It is open source so feel free to submit and enhancements or fixes or just create an issue.… Read more

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