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Brian McKeiver's personal blog. This blog is mostly dedicated to Kentico CMS and ASP.NET development.

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    In just less than a month from now (August 10th, 2018) I will be speaking at Code on the Beach 2018 in Atlantic Beach, FL. I am very excited about participating at this event because it will be the first time attending for me, and one of the big draws of this event is that it is family friendly, so my family is making the journey with me. And don't forget any change to go to Florida is pretty nice when you live in Michigan.

    This time I will be giving my popular chat bot talk on "How to Build an E-commerce Chat bot with Azure Bot Framework". The talk was very well received at CPL this year and a few other events. For this instance I have added another new ability of the bot to show off as well.


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    It's been right around a year and half since my team and I decided to give this new Headless CMS thing a try. We really wanted to use it for a real world solution, not just a starter site. So for the original scope of the project, we leveraged Kentico Cloud to build www.CaseStream.net in 12 days. It was actually a lot of fun to create the new site because I was able to use the latest and greatest technology at the time. It was like a breathe of fresh air. 

    But that was in 2017, and time flies, ridiculously fast. Just ask one of my new employees who's 90 day review didn't exactly happen anywhere near 90 days, or 120 days.... Fast forward to where we are at here in the end of July 2018, and that's like 15 months that went by in a blink of the eye.

    Since that first release of www.CaseStream.net, Kentico has been rapidly improving Kentico Cloud, adding new feature after new feature. I have been keeping my eye on it, and been able to play with a few demos of the new features here and there, but it wasn't until about a week ago that I was able to put those features into real use. I'd say the feature that really got me motivated however was the new responsive image based API (named the Image transformation API) that Kentico Cloud released in June of this year. 

    After reading the documentation and excellent blog post on transforming images, I decided to fire up my code and try to add this feature feature to the site. That's when I realized I had a problem. Quite a bit had changed, and my code was in dire need of an update. But I always love a challenge.

    Keep reading after the jump to see how I leveled up my Kentico Cloud ASP.Net MVC site to .Net Core 2.1, the Kentico Cloud Delivery SDK 4.14, and added support for a few of those lovely new Kentico Cloud features.

     


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    Make sure you have read part one of Leveling Up a Kentico Project before continuing on. Reminder, in the first part, I reviewed mostly the coding issues of updating my Kentico Cloud ASP.Net MVC site to .Net Core 2.1, the Kentico Cloud Delivery SDK 4.14, and other technical issues with getting the solution running. But all that was really to get me ready to something much more intriguing.

    In the second part of this mini blog post series I will focus on how I added support for some new Kentico Cloud features.


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    In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis review the state of using ASP.NET MVC in the upcoming release of Kentico 12. Yes, that's right after a small hiatus, we are looking to revive the podcast. This time Brian and Bryan talk about why Kentico MVC is a first class citizen now in 2018, how an agency might start to transition from the legacy Portal Engine to MVC, and behind the scenes in BizStream's journey into MVC development. And for an extra special bonus, this time we recorded the session with live video as well. Listen and/or watch on to find out how you can start MVC in your own Kentico website development process now.


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    Being able to efficiently debug through source code is a critical aspect / skillset to performing the day to day duties of a .Net developer. Typically, using Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code makes this task very easy, however, for awhile now there has been a bit of a loophole to debugging through a full project. That loophole comes to light when a project has different dependencies that were referenced as NuGet packages. That's where traditional debugging stops (since those packages are compiled binaries and not true source code on a local machine).

    However, did you know there is actually a better way to handle this for certain NuGet packages? The answer my friends is SourceLink, a technology that allows you solve this issue. I recently had a chance to check this out first hand using the KenticoCloud.Delivery NuGet package since this package recently became SourceLink enabled. I mean why not, as I was doing a little maintenance on my headless CMS project anyways. Keep reading after the jump to find out how.

     

     


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    Wow I can't believe that I almost forgot to mention it here on my blog, but in little less than a week from now, October 10th-11th, Kentico developers, partners, employees, and customers will be meeting up in Chicago, IL for the 2018 version of Kentico Connection. I'm happy to announce that this will be the 7th time that I am speaking at the conference.

    The good thing is that I am just as excited about it as I was back in 2012. Why, you might ask? Well that is because this year's conference is centered around one of my favorite topics, the fact that Kentico 12.0 is about to release with first class support for ASP.NET MVC.

    This time I will be giving a session on how my team at BizStream has been utilizing Kentico EMS with the MVC development framework for a few years now, and what we were able to do with it for one of our customers, National Heritage Academies. Keep reading after the jump for the full abstract of my session.


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    In this How To guide, I will show you how to connect your Kentico MVC site to leverage Azure Blob storage for hosting and providing media library files. This process is not exactly new, it has been around since Kentico 8.0 or so, however, with the new focus on the MVC development methodology, it is not exactly as straight forward as the Kentico documentation mentions. Don't get me wrong, each small part of the Kentico documentation is 100% correct, but there is no great 100% holistic walkthrough for MVC based sites.

    Plus, the trend of hosting Kentico sites on Azure PaaS via Azure App Services is very much increasing. I would say at this point it is the most common way that we deploy Kentico sites at BizStream (sorry AWS and Rackspace lovers). The only down side of hosting on an Azure App Service is that each App Service filesystem is limited to 50 GB in total size. That's where Azure Blob storage comes to the rescue. You can offload your media libraries to get those site images, pdfs, and other downloads to a storage mechanism that does not have this size constraint. After all, the largest benefit of utilizing the Microsoft Azure cloud for hosting your Kentico MVC site really boils down to added performance and scalability that the cloud gives you.  

    Keep reading to see the whole process step by step of how to connect an external storage provider for Azure Blog storage on your Kentico MVC site.


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