Apr 09

I'm Speaking at GLSEC 2017

Every year SoftwareGR puts on the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference, known as GLSEC. The conference is dedicated to building and enhancing the software industry in the West Michigan region. The conference brings hundreds of software professionals and business leaders together for a day of learning and networking.

GLSEC 2017 takes place this year on May 22nd, 2017 in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. I have attended this conference multiple times, but am excited to annouce that this will be the first time I will be speaking at the event.

GLSEC normally has a specific theme that the conference centers around. Last year it was around Mobile technology, and there were some great sessions held around Native, Responsive, and other soft skills growth. This year the theme is on "Big Data". The goal is to explore how organizations across a variety of industries are collecting and utilizing big data to drive organizational behaviors.

As a result of the theme, my session is titled "Build a Big Data .Net MVC App in 30 mins". Keep reading after the jump to see the full abstract of my talk.

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Mar 12

Building a Kentico E-Commerce Chat Bot - Part 3

This is the third part of my blog post series on Building a Kentico E-Commerce Chat Bot. Make sure that you have read the part 1 and part 2 of the series before continuing. The goal of this post is to get down and dirty on the Azure side of the solution. We will walk through what it takes to get started with your very own Azure Bot Service, Bot Builder Framework account, and LUIS account.

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Mar 04

Building a Kentico E-Commerce Chat Bot - Part 2

This is second part of my blog post series on Building a Kentico E-Commerce Chat Bot. Make sure that you have read the part 1 of the series before continuing. The goal of this post is to review and setup of the Kentico e-commerce side of the solution.

 

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Feb 28

Building a Kentico E-Commerce Chat Bot

Chatbots or Bots for short, seem to have been all the rage since about early 2016 according to many technology publications. Apparently these bots will take over the world someday if you really believe the hype. As a big fan of automation, I have been keeping my eye on the tech as it has matured. But recently I finally had a chance to dive into it, and see how easy or how hard it is to create a bot.

Now there are many ways to build a bot, you can do it in just about any technology stack. However, being that I am an ASP.NET developer, I chose to use the Microsoft stack for my scenario.  Not surprisingly I also chose a scenario that can be easily accomplished using the power Kentico e-commerce solution as well.

Keep reading to see how I used the Microsoft Bot Framework, Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS), and Kentico to create an automated chatbot that allows you to check your recent order history, order status, and order tracking number in any Kentico e-commerce site. Oh and did I mention that some of the solution might even be using .Net Core

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Jan 31

Kentico MVC Quick Tip - Deployment to Azure Gone Wrong

Recently I was asked to help out with a strange issue that my team had with deploying a Kentico MVC site to an Azure App Service. At first glance everything appeared to have been deployed correctly using the documented process for deploying Kentico MVC sites to Azure. The first request brought up the normal invalid license screen that most new deployments start out with. Clicking on the add license button correctly routed us to the Kentico admin screen, and we were able to login using the administrator credentials. But that's when things got weird.

Instead of being brought to the normal Kentico Licenses application to enter the new license, we were presented with an empty dashboard and 20+ console errors in the browser. Keep reading to find out my quick tip on how we solved this issue and brought order back into the world. 

 

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Dec 31

Top 10 Kentico Related Posts of 2016

One more year has rolled by, and with it comes the chance to reflect on what has happened in the Kentico community and my own blog here at Mcbeev.com. The very first thought that comes to mind is that I can't believe that I have been blogging about Kentico for over 6 years now. Time sure does fly.

As for the Kentico community as a whole I would summarize this year as a year of maturity and stabilization. I'd say that a ton of effort was done by Kentico to become more known entity in the ASP.Net community, support standard ASP.Net tools and practices, and grow the number of developers out there who use Kentico in their projects. 

For Mcbeev.com it was a year of continued rhythms. I met my goal in terms of the number of blog posts for the year, came close to my goal for total number of Kentico related speaking engagements, and surpassed my goal for feedback on the content of the blog itself. I also, surprisingly, got to meet a number of new faces in person this year who said that they have been reading my blog for quite a while now and found it valuable. That makes it all worth it for me.

Keep reading to hear about the most notable events of 2016 for Kentico enthusiasts, as well as see my Top 10 blog posts of 2016. 

 

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Dec 12

Is Kentico 10 Performance for Real?

Last month's launch of Kentico 10 included some notable new features and enhancements to the Kentico EMS platform. I mentioned most of these items in my wrap up of the best Kentico month ever in my last post. However, one item stands above the rest in terms of enterprise scalability and high end performance. That item in my mind is the statement that "version 10 of Kentico can now handle 100 million contacts and one billion activities" 

Let that sink in for a few seconds, because that’s billion with a "B". That is a big statement, but exactly what does it mean? As a long time Kentico user, I have long been aware of the performance best practices that Kentico has published over the years, and a few unpublished hidden gems as well. So when I hear the word "handle" next to performance, I immediately start to think that it could be taken as a broad statement. My curiosity got the best of me, so I reached out to Michal Kadak, platform product owner at Kentico, and asked him to explain that statement in a more detailed way.

Keep reading to find out how Michal enlightened me on just how real Kentico 10 performance is.

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Nov 26

November 2016 the Best Kentico Month Ever?

I've been working with Kentico for quite a long time now, and I'm hard pressed to remember a more important and/or exciting month than this November for Kentico. Trust me, this isn't just the leftover turkey / high level of tryptophan in my system talking. Normally around this time of year, there would be a new major release of Kentico, and the usual enhanced features of Kentico EMS to be excited about. That would be expected item to discuss here at my blog. However, I really feel that Kentico has out done themselves this time around.  

Keep reading after the jump to find out why I feel November 2016 just may be the best month ever for Kentico.

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Oct 04

4 Expectations I Have for Kentico's New 404 Conference

In case you haven't heard, there is no Kentico Connection conference this year. 2016 will be the first time that Kentico does not throw global events in multiple regions around the world to talk about everything Kentico related. Instead Kentico has decided to push its comfort limits by taking a bit of an out of the box approach to its annual conference. This will be the first year for a new conference dubbed, 404.

The goal of this new event is to open some eyes to the human factor of web development and digital marketing and show attendees what happens when a project fails, highlight crucial mistakes of those failures, and turn the lessons learned into valuable shared experience for all. It will be the only event of the year for Kentico, but the key takeaway is that this event is different than past Connection conferences. 404 will focus on general web development and digital marketing (in two main tracks). The 404 conference is slated to be thrown in Las Vegas, at The Mirage, on November 2nd - 4th.

Keep reading to find out my expectations for what the 404 conference has to offer.

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Sep 26

Generate Realistic Test Data in Kentico

Recently I wanted to play around with some user specific scenarios in my Kentico instance for a presentation that I was working on. To do that I needed a Kentico 9 instance with a lot of various users, user settings, and role associations already setup. After firing up a few instances of Visual Studio and running locally, I realized that I didn't have any good sandboxes to play in. So I bit the bullet, and started down the path of automating the creation of a few hundred users.

I figured that there was no way it would take more than just a few minutes to do this task. It’s just creating a few users in Kentico which is like 4 or 5 lines of code in a for loop, right? As it turns out, there is a good way to do this, and then an even better way to do it using some freely available NuGet packages.

Keep reading after the jump to see some sample code that will make generating realistic test data in Kentico a breeze.

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