Today I attended Microsoft Azure Tour in Washington, DC and I’m glad I did because there was a number of pretty interesting sessions. It’s impossible to rehash everything, but my favorite four sessions were:
Approximately 6 months ago I needed to upgrade my development notebook and faced a dilemma which one to buy. As a for a long time developer working primarily with Microsoft operating systems, frameworks and development environments the obvious choice was “a Windows notebook”. But which one? I really like Lenovo’s W Series, but they moved a touchpad off center in the latest 15″ models and it was a huge turn off for me. And then a friend of mine recommended to get a MacBook Pro. What? A Mac?
After few more conversations I finally decided to buy one. After developing on it for almost half-a-year I’m ready to share my experience with it.
The source code for this post can be found at https://github.com/DmitryZinchenko/blog-WrappedHttpActionResult .
So, you are in the middle of your iteration or heavy refactoring. The API documentation is not ready yet but you deployed your ASP.NET Web API application (Release build) to remote server for dev testing. Your UX teammates started using it periodically checking browser’s Developer Tools Network tab.
As long as they see 200 OK or 404 Not Found – everything is clear and fine. But once in a while you get 400 Bad Request and 500 Internal Server Error and you wish you could get a hint what have caused it.
I have recently finished watching excellent Pluralsight course Getting Started with CloudFlare™ Security by Troy Hunt and got so intrigued by it that I wanted to get more familiar with it. Fortunately I already had Web App running on Azure that was configured with custom domain name and SSL certificate. It turned out to be a perfect continuation from the previous post.
So, what is so special about CloudFlare? Here’s a short list of fascinating features that were of particular interest to me that are available in free and paid plans.
CloudFlare makes site safer by:
- Enabling SSL Support for your site
- Redirecting visitors to HTTPS/SSL
- Offering HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
- Protecting against DDoS attacks
- Protecting against XSS and SQL injection attacks
- Protecting against content scrapers or content thieves
- Protecting against bandwidth thieves
- Reducing spam comments
- Limiting content from suspicious visitors
CloudFlare makes site faster by:
- Providing CDN services
- Offering custom caching options
- Improving a web page’s window.onload time
- Providing Always On functionality
As a side benefit, making your site faster improves its web search ranking.
These are just few awesome features provided by CloudFlare. The full list can be found on Overview page.
I’m reading Learning Windows Azure by Geoff Webber-Cross, following the examples and got to the chapter where I need to configure a custom domain name for the Azure Web App and upload SSL Certificate. I have not done it before, so it turned out to be an interesting experience.
The author did not mention what domain name registrar he used but he mentioned that he got SSL Certificate from GlobalSign. Since I already had an account with GoDaddy, I decided to buy a domain name and SSL Certificate from it. Another difference from author’s experience is that I’m doing the development in Windows 8 Pro virtual machine (Parallels) on MacBook Pro.