Encompass Best Practices for Development and Deployment

  1. Formulate Acceptance Criteria
    • Analyze the problem we are trying to solve
    • Write up a one or two-page Requirements Document
      • Include a diagram if possible
      • Use the document when validating requirements with the Business
      • Use the document when communicating with QA and Training
    • Come up with a solution
      • Reach out to fellow Admins and/or Developers to brainstorm
      • Document components that will make up the solution
        • plugin, codebase, custom fields, screens, etc.
  2. Come up with a Business Communication Plan
    • Do we need Compliance approval?
    • What users will be affected by the change?
    • Do we need Training involved?
    • Do we create a wiki that will help explain the feature?
    • Inform Support Teams
  3. Once Development is completed, the feature must pass:
    • Unit testing by the developer/admin
    • Dev Demo to Stakeholders
    • Code Review including
      • forms, code-behind
      • custom fields, biz rules
      • custom C# code
    • QA Testing by QA 
    • User Acceptance Testing by Stakeholder
    • Explicit Approval by Stakeholders Ideally via Email with Product Owner and Scrum Master Copied in the email
  4. Come up with a Deployment Plan – Build a list of steps that will be needed in order to deploy the feature depending on the work that was done. For Example:
    • Deploy Master Plugin
    • Import UW Summary Form
    • Import 2 Modified Custom Fields
      • CX.ModifiedFieldOne
      • CX.ModifiedFieldTwo
    • Import 3 New Custom Fields
      • CX.CustomFieldOne
      • CX.CustomFieldTwo
      • CX.CustomFieldThree
    • Import 1 modified Business Rule
      • Auto-Populate Closing Date Rule
  5. Come up with a Roll Back Plan – Build a list of steps that will be needed to put things back the way they were before your deployment. For Example:
    • Rollback Master Plugin
      • Get the latest from Master
      • Increment Version Number
      • Deploy Master Plugin
    • Rollback UW Summary Form
      • Import from Backup made just before deployment
      • Rollback 2 Modified Custom Fields
      • Import from Backup made just before deployment
      • CX.ModifiedFieldOne
      • CX.ModifiedFieldTwo
    • Remove New Custom Fields (if needed)
      • Delete CX.CustomFieldOne
      • Delete CX.CustomFieldTwo
      • Delete CX.CustomFieldThree
  6. Execute Rollback Preparation – For Example:
    • Backup UW Summary form by exporting the form only from Input Form Builder
    • Back up existing Custom Fields and Biz Rules modified by exporting them from Input Form Builder
    • Add all backups in the Jira Story that governs the feature you are working on (source control, separate conversation)
  7. Execute Deployment – Pair Up with someone whenever possible
    • Announce deployment in Release Chat/Team Chat
      • Announce all components and services 
    • Stage your Deployment objects (separate best practice) 
    • Execute Deployment Plan
    • Smoke Test (separate conversation)
    • Be aware of reports of things not working as expected in and around the area that your feature touched
    • Make sure to over Communicate in Release Chat or Telephone and not Email if you have questions or input on any existing issues or outages post your deployment

Windows 10 and lein self-install fails on Powershell – Solved

I am starting to learn Clojure and wanted to set up Leiningen on my Windows 10 professional.

Here is how I solved the Windows Security problem that was preventing me from downloading the github zip file needed.

Here is hoping that someone finds this solution helpful.

Using PowerShell running as Administrator, I was having trouble getting my REPL going:

PS C:\> lein repl

C:\Users\{YourUserName}\.lein\self-installs\leiningen-2.8.1-standalone.jar can not be found.
You can try running "lein self-install"
or change LEIN_JAR environment variable
or edit lein.bat to set appropriate LEIN_JAR path.

Next, I tried to command lein to self-install:

PS C:\> lein self-install
Downloading Leiningen now...
Exception calling "DownloadFile" with "2" argument(s): "The request was aborted: Could not create SSL/TLS secure
At line:1 char:145
+ ... che]::DefaultNetworkCredentials; $client.DownloadFile($a, $f)} "https ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : WebException

Failed to download https://github.com/technomancy/leiningen/releases/download/2.8.1/leiningen-2.8.1-standalone.zip

It is possible that the download failed due to "powershell",
"curl" or "wget"'s inability to retrieve GitHub's security certificate.
The suggestions below do not check certificates, so use this only if
you understand the security implications of not doing so.

The PowerShell failed to download the latest Leiningen version.
Try to use "curl" or "wget" to download Leiningen by setting up
the HTTP_CLIENT environment variable with one of the following

a) set HTTP_CLIENT=wget --no-check-certificate -O
b) set HTTP_CLIENT=curl -f -L -k -o

NOTE: Make sure to *not* add double quotes when setting the value

The suggested fix as you can see deals with getting around our inability to get GitHub’s security certificate.

This is really not the right thing to do from a Security perspective. The real problem as I understand is that GitHub only supports TLS 1.2.

In order for us to use PowerShell with TLS 1.2, I needed to do the following:

  1. In power shell, type in the following to find where your PowerShell profile lives:

    PS C:\> $profile

  2. I went to that location but did not see a file. I ran this test to see if my PowerShell detected a profile file:

    PS C:\> test-path $profile

    False means that the file is not there, but we already knew that right?

  3. Next, I created the PowerShell profile file like so:

    PS C:\> new-item -path $profile -itemtype file -forceDirectory: C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\WindowsPowerShell

    Mode LastWriteTime Length Name
    ---- ------------- ------ ----
    -a---- 10/27/2018 2:38 PM 0 Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1

  4. Once that command finished casting its spell, I did another test-path:

    PS C:\> test-path $profile

    It sees my profile ps1 script now! Progress is Good.

  5. Next, using Notepad, I opened the Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1 file. It was empty. I added the following line which allows PowerShell to use TLS 1.2 and saved the file:

    [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
  6. With renewed confidence, I tried to command lein to self-install once more:

    PS C:\> lein self-install
    Downloading Leiningen now...
    PS C:\>

    No news is good news. I thought. No error this time. What happened? Did it self-install this time?

  7. The only way to find out was to try running my repl once again, fingers crossed:

    PS C:\> lein repl
    Retrieving org/clojure/tools.nrepl/0.2.12/tools.nrepl-0.2.12.pom from central
    Retrieving org/clojure/pom.contrib/0.1.2/pom.contrib-0.1.2.pom from central
    Retrieving org/sonatype/oss/oss-parent/7/oss-parent-7.pom from central
    Retrieving clojure-complete/clojure-complete/0.2.4/clojure-complete-0.2.4.pom from clojars
    Retrieving org/clojure/tools.nrepl/0.2.12/tools.nrepl-0.2.12.jar from central
    Retrieving clojure-complete/clojure-complete/0.2.4/clojure-complete-0.2.4.jar from clojars
    nREPL server started on port 60194 on host - nrepl://
    REPL-y 0.3.7, nREPL 0.2.12
    Clojure 1.8.0
    Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM 1.8.0_191-b12
    Docs: (doc function-name-here)
    (find-doc "part-of-name-here")
    Source: (source function-name-here)
    Javadoc: (javadoc java-object-or-class-here)
    Exit: Control+D or (exit) or (quit)
    Results: Stored in vars *1, *2, *3, an exception in *e




Now you know how to overcome this problem Take care and Happy coding.




Microsoft Tech Net

Outlook Redemption (Redemption.dll) and Background Threading do not mix.

Outlook Redemption is a very nice library which allows access to many Outlook functions many of those not exposed via the Outlook object model. We are currently using Redemption in our application to add outlook appointments with reminders, pop email messages with pre-populated information, etc.

We wrapped the Redemption.dll into our own Singleton class and called it OutlookRedemption as you will see in the following code examples.

We have had a couple of situations where emailing from our application stops working or works intermittently and in both of those occurrences, the culprit was using the API in a back ground thread.

ClickOnce Deployment Architecture

While continuing my research and learning of ClickOnce deployment, I came across a very interesting page that explains Click Once Deployment Architecture. The article describes how a ClickOnce installation is physically installed on a client computer.

Application Publication

Each application publication has:

  • A deployment manifest – A deployment manifest is an XML file that describes a ClickOnce deployment, including the identification of the current ClickOnce application version to deploy.
  • An application manifest – An application manifest is an XML file that describes an application that is deployed using ClickOnce.
  • All of the application files for that version.
The client computer must have the .NET framework 2.0 or later installed in order to do a ClickOnce deployment to that computer. The .NET framework can be deployed in a variety of ways including the ClickOnce Bootstrapper.

2011 Daytona 500 – NASCAR 14 Car Crash –

In Daytona Beach, Florida today, the 2011 edition of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup series race was ran. The winner was Trevor Bayne, who making his first start at Daytona became the youngest driver ever to win the famed race.  Trevor celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday. The former youngest driver to win a Daytona 500 was Jeff Gordon who was 25 years old at the 1997 event.

Trevor Bayne gave Wood Brothers Racing team their first Daytona 500 victory since 1976 and only the fourth overall victory in the last 20 years.

“Am I dreaming? Is this real? I don’t even know where to go.” said the stunned driver to his team at the end of the race as he drove his #21 Motor Craft Ford to victory lane.

2011 Daytona 500 Results

Here is a link to video of a 14-car crash which was the result of team mates Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann as they bumped on a “push” maneuver.


Learn more about NASCAR: NASCAR 101

News Sources: Stats.Com , FanHouse.Com

ClickOnce Deployment – Deploying multiple versions of the same application

According to Wikipedia, ClickOnce is a Microsoft technology that enables the user base to install and run a Windows Application by clicking a link in a web page. ClickOnce is a component of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and later and it supports deploying applications made with Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation.

ClickOnce attempts to bring the ease of deployment similar to web applications to the Windows user base. ClickOnce aims to solve three common problems with conventional methods of deploying an application:

  1. The sometimes difficulty of updating a deployed application.
  2. The impact of an application on a user’s computer system.
  3. The need for administrator permission in order to install or update the application.

WPF coding mutually exclusive Check Boxes with Data Binding

Last week I was coding a View that required for me to show two ChekBox controls which were mutually exclusive in the same way that two or more RadioButton controls that belong to the same group would interact.

My problem was that one Boolean property which came from a bit column in the database needed to drive which CheckBox would be checked: “Yes” or “No”.

In this example I attempt to show how to code two mutually exclusive checkboxes while binding to the Boolean property described above:


The Name of the Property in the Code Behind file that we are going to bind to is AddInsurance.

Here is the XAML code:

Creating a Singleton (Instance) Class in C#

In application development there are various situations in which it makes sense to code a class in a manner that it can be created (instantiated) once and used throughout the lifetime of the application. Generally this type of class is called a Singleton object.

When creating and object, CPU cycles are used up during the:

  • Creation of the Object
  • Initialization of the Object
  • Loading of the Object, including seed data from the dB etc.

How to uninstall the Zugo Toolbar

I was reading a post on ReadWriteWeb that lists Facebook’s top advertisers in 2010.

The number 3 Facebook advertiser on the list is a company that somewhat misleads people into installing a browser toolbar that is not easy to uninstall. I will let you read more about Facebook’s 3rd Biggest Advertiser in 2010 on your own.

If you are one of those people that does not know how to uninstall the Zugo Toolbar, here is a link to the Zugo website that may solve your problem: http://www.zugo.com/uninstall/

Good luck.

Include Application Name in Connection Strings

In addition to the SQL Server, Database, User ID and Password, you may want to include the Application Name in your connection string parameters. Application Name is an optional argument, but it can greatly help you to segregate the SQL that your application is executing from any other database calls that are being sent from other applications/processes.

Data Source=myServer;
Initial Catalog=myDB;
User Id=myUsername;
Application Name=myApp;

In example: