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A decade of helpful technical content

This is an archive of the posts published to LessThanDot from 2008 to 2018, over a decade of useful content. While we're no longer adding new content, we still receive a lot of visitors and wanted to make sure the content didn't disappear forever.

LessThanDot Blog Archive

This is an archive of the LessThanDot blog posts. We’re no longer actively adding new content, but have kept all of our existing content available in static form. Thanks! At it’s peak, LessThanDot was serving up helpful content to over 100K visitors/month. We’re glad that we have been able to help so many folks troubleshoot problems, create solutions, and learn. While many of us have fallen off on posting over the years, we still see a lot of traffic visiting LessThanDot.


Replacing Trace Flags 1204 and 1222 with the Extended Events system_health Session

Deadlocks in a SQL Server instance are problematic. They can cause application errors, slow performance, and unhappy users. As a DBA or developer, it’s very helpful to be able to find deadlocks, review what caused them, and fix it permanently, if possible. How do you find deadlocks? Over the years, there have been various methods, depending on what tools were available in SQL Server. Many of us used to run a Profiler or server trace to capture the Deadlock Graph event – useful if we knew when they were occurring (or they occurred all the time).


Adding User-Managed API Keys to ASP.Net Core 2 w/ Cosmos DB

I’m building the foundation for an ASP.Net Core 2 site with Cosmos DB as the back-end store and want to build in the idea of user-manageable API keys. In the past two posts, I’ve added interactive registration and login to the application using built-in Cookie and Twitter middleware on top of custom authorization logic and Cosmos DB. In this one, we’ll be adding endpoints that require API Keys that can be created and revoked by the user.


Adding Twitter Authentication to an ASP.Net Core 2 site w/ Cosmos DB

I’m building a B2C website with Cosmos DB as the back-end store and starting with common elements like Authentication. In my prior post, we connected the Cookie Middleware with custom membership logic and a standard username/password login method. In this one, we’ll be extending the system to also allow users to register and login via a third party provider (Twitter). 3 Authentication Scenarios: User/Pass, Twitter, API Keys In this post I’ll also start exploring User Authentications as a separate document collection, rather than as additional fields on my User document.


Custom Authentication in ASP.Net Core 2 w/ Cosmos DB

I’m building a B2C website with Cosmos DB as the backend store. This site will have a number of different authentication mechanisms, but I’m newer to ASP.Net Core 2 and the authentication changes since the prior version so I’m going to start with a basic Cookie and Login authentication system. This is the second post in a series documenting the creation of this project. If you haven’t worked with custom authentication in ASP.


ASP.Net Core 2 w/ Cosmos DB: Getting Started

I am building the basic foundation for a B2C web application, using ASP.Net Core 2 and Cosmos DB. Along the way I’m going to need authentication, source control, CI/CD, … but first I have to start learning what’s changed in ASP.Net Core 2 and how to use Cosmos DB beyond the 5-minute console application demo. There aren’t a lot of ASP.net Core 2 and Cosmos DB blog posts out there, so I thought we could do this together and hopefully my experiments and errors will help you get there faster.


LaunchReady: Don't Get Distracted, Getting Stuff Done

I built LaunchReady in my spare time, continuing to work fulltime during the day, spend time with the family in the evening, and jump online or hit the trails occasionally with friends. I also had a bunch of ideas, which served as interesting distractions from making it actually work. In this post I’ll share a few of the tactics I used to stay balanced, get past the distractions, and find motivation when things seemed impossible.


\"North to Alaska\"

I’m excited and privileged to announce that I’ll be a Technical Lead on Tech Outbound Alaska this August! Tim and Amy Ford have been putting together high-quality SQL Cruise events since 2010. I’ve attended three, and each one has been better than the last. (Make sure to read about my experiences on SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015 and SQL Cruise Caribbean 2016!) At the core of Tech Outbound is technical training.


LaunchReady: Focus on the Customer

When I started LaunchReady, it didn’t even have a name. I had a general idea of what I wanted a system to do, but didn’t have a good handle on the target audience and what they would want. I had some general ideas on how to build the software affordably, but nothing with a total row at the bottom. I was excited to jump in and try to build some of the I personally wanted, but realized that led to a system that I could only describe to myself (and likely minus some very obvious features, as well).


Meet LaunchReady: A SaaS Product That Almost Was

Once upon a time, there was a growing organization that had the usual challenges as new folks came on board and started trying to learn a complex domain. At the time, I imagined a product that combined UI Automation and a focus on fast feedback to serve as a safety net for these folks, but couldn’t find what I was looking for in the market. Last summer I started to build it, but ultimately didn’t get it to market.