CODIAD – Self hosted cloud IDE for Microsoft Dynamics

When developing web resources for use in Microsoft Dynamics, I am a big fan of using Visual Studio with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), but for smaller organisations, or less experienced developers, sometimes this is overkill.  I know a lot of people who just make do with Notepad++, and why not, as it’s perfectly capable of editing code, syntax highlighting and formatting.

In my journey to discover and use as many self hosted web-based systems as I can (stay tuned for an upcoming post for more information), I wondered if there was anything that might help Dynamics developers.

That’s when I happened upon CODIAD ( http://codiad.com/ ) which is an online IDE for developing JS, HTML, CSS, XML and many more file formats.  It offers full syntax highlighting, project collections and an extensible plugin system.

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Chat Bots – Part Two

Part two of my Chat Bot series expands a little on the original blog post.  Again, this post is more of a demonstration than a how-to as there are plenty of articles on the Web on how to develop Chat Bots using the Microsoft Framework.

To see it in action, click on the chat area at the bottom of the screen and start typing.  If you need help, just type help to see a couple of sample commands.  The new feature in the Bot is that you can now report an abandoned vehicle.  Why, I hear you ask.  Well, in my line of work, reporting a dead animal, reporting dog poo, and reporting an abandoned vehicle is the very key to my day-to-day work (and other things)!  I kid you not 🙂

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Chat Bots – Part One

One of the new technologies that I have seen a lot of lately in the news, and tech blogs about Dynamics is the idea of using Chat Bots to improve customer service and to reduce the pressure on customer service front line staff.

I thought I would give them a go and see how they are created.

This post is primarily about my findings on how easy it was to create one, but is by no means a how to guide as there are plenty of resources on the internet.

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Forcing Internet Explorer out of compatibility mode

While developing some web resources for Dynamics, and also an external Web Portal, I was struggling with getting Internet Explorer to display properly, specifically using older browser versions such as IE7,IE8 and IE9. If I listen closely, I can probably hear you say “use the latest version of IE, upgrade, update and be done”.  Well, if I were in a position to make that happen, I probably would, however, like a lot of people out there working for structured companies, their base “corporate” desktop install never has the latest version of anything on it.

After much googling, I discovered that there is a specific meta tag you can use that causes Internet Explorer to use the latest standards, thus preventing any display issues.

So, in my web resources, I have added the following to the HEAD section and it seems to do the job quite nicely.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1">

For my web portal, I was able to achieve the same across all pages by adding the tag into the IIS settings. I used the GUI to do this, but I did notice that all it did was add it to the web.config file.

In IIS, within your web site/application, select the following option :

ieStandards1

And then add the following :

ieStandards2

The resulting web.config for the web site/application now contains the following :

<httpProtocol>
     <customHeaders>
           <add name="X-UA-Compatible" value="IE=edge,chrome=1" />
     </customHeaders>
</httpProtocol>