Configuring an ASP.NET site to use WS-Federation

After having blogged a couple of times about how to build a simple STS, how to use claims based authentication in MVC 4.5 and how to set up federation with Azure Access Control Service, I thought it might be time to post a quick walkthrough of how to set up a simple federation with an existing STS.

Why did I think of that right now? Well, the pretty awesome “Identity and Access Tool” extension to Visual Studio has been removed from later versions of Visual Studio, making setting up federation a manual task. Unless you do it as you set up your application... And having been playing around with federation for a couple of days now in a project that wasn’t set up from scratch, I decided to just add a quick blog post on how to do a simple set up with the least amount of effort.


Error handling in express

In my last post, I gave an introduction to using express to serve up your HTTP content to users. It walked through most of the features needed to get started, but there was one thing that was missing, but still very important, and that is error handling. However good you are at coding, you will get errors. It will obviously not be your fault, but you never know what the user manages to do… ;)

So it is definitely important for us to handle errors in a graceful way. Luckily, this is pretty simple to do… But first, we need to create a simple express-based webserver to work with…


Introduction to the node.js module express.js

My last post covered module loading in node…or at least try to cover the basics in an understandable way… This time, it is time to create something a bit more useful, a proper web application, using a module called “express”. And instead of me talking a whole lot about what I am about to talk about, let’s just get into it…

The first step is to install express. This is done using the NPM as always. The only thing to really decide is whether or not you want to install it globally using the -g parameter, or just locally. Me, I am just going to do it locally, so I use the following command

npm install express

If you install it globally, you can use express to create a “skeleton” application by running the following command

express -s -J <folder name>

This will give you a fullblown express app to start working with. But as I intend to explain the basics, I will start from scratch, and thus just install express to begin with.


Modules and module loading in node for n00bs

Ok, so in my previous post, I introduced Node to newcomers. And I am in now way condescending towards people new to Node. But, wait…Chris, you are always condescending!? Not quite true, but in this case I am definitely not, as I am myself a n00b in the area.

The goal with my blogging about node is to share the stuff I learn along the way, in a way that I think make sense to a C# dev like myself. It might not be the correct node lingo, and I might be wrong in some cases, but I just call it as I see it…

This time around, it is time to have a look at modules in node, and how we load them.


Getting started with Node.js or Hello World in JavaScript

Node.js has got a whole lot of attention for some time now, and I guess it is time for me to get myself an opinion on what it is, and why it is so cool. And while doing so, I will try and write some blog posts offering my opinion and learnings regarding the platform.

In this first post, I will walk through setting up the “environment” needed to build apps, build an initial “Hello World” app to see that it al works. But let’s start with the first question you will ask if you have never worked with Node. What is Node? Well, it is basically a application runtime built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime called V8. And what does that mean? Well, it means that you get a way to run JavaScript efficiently outside of the browser.


Configuring Azure Applications

Configuring your application when running in Azure can be a little confusing to begin with, I agree. However, it isn’t really that complicated as long as you understand what config goes where and why.

In Azure, you have 3 places that affect your configuration. Actually it is in more places than that if you count machine.config files and stuff like that, but I’ll ignore that now… And to be honest, it is only 2 places, but you need to tweak 3 places to get it to work…

When you create a new Azure web application project, you get 2 projects in your solution, one “cloud project” and one Web Application Project for example, and both have some form of configuration going.


Windows Azure Service Bus - Lost in Intro

I have recently posted a few posts on how to use some of the new features of the Azure Service Bus. They seem to have been somewhat popular, which is fun. They are however very light weight introductions, and not that I am going to dig a whole lot deeper at the moment, but there are a few little things I want to mention.Mainly around brokered messages.

As you know from the previous posts, a brokered message, is a message that is sent to the bus from a client, and picked up by a service at some point. The message can contain a body, which could be more or less any class that you would like, as well as metadata about the message. The only thing to remember with those things, is the fact that the message size is limited to 256kb.


Using the Windows Azure Service Bus - Topics and Subscribers

I guess it is time for another Azure Service Bus post. The previous ones has been relatively popular, so I thought I would do one more post to cover one last feature in the bus. (I say one last now, but I am pretty sure I will be back…)

Topics and subscribers are the basic units behind the Service Bus implementation of the pub/sub pattern. And as expected from a “simple” pattern like this, it should be simple to implement, and it is. The basics would be, create a topic, add subscribers that subscribe to messages from the topic, and finally push some messages to the topic, which are then relayed to the subscribers. Simple as…


Using the Windows Azure Service Bus - Queuing

I guess it is time for another look at the Azure Service Bus. My previous posts about it has covered the basics, message relaying and relaying REST. So I guess it is time to step away from the relaying and look at the other way you can work with the service bus.

When I say “the other” way, it doesn’t mean that we are actually stepping away from relaying. All messages are still relayed via the bus, but in “the other” case, we utilize the man in the middle a bit more.

“The other” way means utilizing the message bus for “storage” as well. It means that we send  a message to the bus, let the bus store it for us until the service feels like picking it up and handling it.

There are several ways that this can be utilized, but in this post, I will focus on queuing.


Using Azure Service Bus relaying for REST services

I am now about a week and a half into my latest Azure project, which so far has been a lot of fun and educational. But the funky thing is that I am still excited about working with the Service Bus, even though we are a week and a half into the project. I guess there is still another half week before my normal 2 week attentions span is up, but still!
So what is so cool about the bus, well, my last 2 posts covered some of it, but it is just so many cool possibilities that open up with it.
This post has very little to do with what I am currently working on, and to be honest, the sample is contrived and stupid, but it shows how we can use REST based services with the bus.