Category Archives: Single sign on

Windows 8.1 Updated Reources and Tools

With Windows 8.1 also come lots of updates to the tools and templates that you can use to create Windows Store apps. These updates can help cut down the work in your development and test cycles.

 

Get the updated tools described below at our Windows 8.1 page.

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New or updated in Windows 8.1

General updates

Area Description of update
Support for updating your Windows Store apps to Windows 8.1. Migrate your Windows 8 app to Windows 8.1. This may first require updating your app code for Windows 8.1.
Windows Store app templates We’ve updated all templates for Windows 8.1, and we’ve added a new Hub template too.
Azure Mobile Services and push notification wizards
  • The Services Manager makes it easy to connect your app to Azure Mobile Services or Microsoft Advertising.
  • The push notification wizard makes it easy to set up a Azure Mobile Service to send push notifications to your app.
App bundle support Now you can combine resource packages (like multiple scales, languages, or Microsoft Direct3D feature levels) into a single .appxbundle file for submission to the Windows Store. For your customers, this means that your app is only deployed with the resources they need for their device and locale.
App validation on a remote device The Create App Package Wizard in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 now makes it easy to validate your app using Windows App Certification Kit 3.0 on a remote device (such as Windows RT PCs).
Create coded UI tests using XAML Write automated functional tests for testing Windows Store apps using XAML and the cross-hair tool.

Note  Touch interactions are now supported for controls.

New Visual Studio theme/ and Visual Design We’ve added a third theme, Blue, to the existing Light and Dark themes. The Blue theme offers a mid-range color scheme reminiscent of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Also, based on user feedback, we’ve enhanced all themes with additional color and clarity in icons, revised icons, more contrast across the development environment , and clearer segmentation of regions within the environment.

 

Diagnostics

Area Description of update
Mixed-language debugging For Windows Store apps that use JavaScript and C++, the debugger now lets you set breakpoints in either language and provides a call stack with both JavaScript and C++ functions.
Managed app debugging The debugger now displays return values. You can use Edit and Continue in 64-bit managed apps. Exceptions that come from Windows Store apps preserve information about the error, even across language boundaries.
Asynchronous debugging improvements The call-stack window now includes the creation stack if you stop in an asynchronous method.
Native “Just My Code” For native code, the call stack simplifies debugging by displaying only the code that you’ve created.
DOM Explorer
  • The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) editor supports improved editing, Microsoft IntelliSense, inline style support, shorthand, specificity, and notification of invalid properties.
  • The Computed and Styles panes have been enhanced.
  • The DOM Explorer supports search, editing as HTML, IntelliSense, and undo stacks.
JavaScript Console The console now supports object preview and visualization, new APIs, multiline function support, IntelliSense, evaluation of elements as objects or HTML, and legacy document modes.
JavaScript Memory Profiler
  • Dominators view shows memory allocation retained by each object.
  • The profiler notifies you of potential memory leaks caused by detached or disconnected DOM nodes.
JavaScript UI Responsiveness
  • The Details pane includes hyperlinks to event source locations, plus a chart showing the percentage of time that each child event contributed to the selected event’s overall duration.
  • You can now expand instances of Layout and Style calculation events to display the HTML elements that were affected by the operation.
XAML UI Responsiveness For C#/VB/C++ XAML-based Windows Store apps, the XAML UI Responsiveness tool allows you to diagnose performance issues related to app startup and page navigation, panning and scrolling, and input responsiveness in general.

 

JavaScript editor

Area Description of update
Completion of enclosing character pairs The editor automatically inserts the closing character when you type a left brace (“{“), parenthesis (“(“), bracket (“[“), single quotation mark (“`”), or (“””). A smart auto-format and indent of your source is also made as it auto-completes.
Editor navigation bar This new UI feature helps you identify and move through the important elements in your source code. New for JavaScript developers, the navigation bar will highlight important functions and objects in your source.
Deprecation notes in IntelliSense. If a Windows API element has been deprecated in Windows 8.1, IntelliSense tooltips identify it as “[deprecated]”.
Go To Definition for namespaces You can right-click a namespace you use in your code (such as WinJS.UI) and then click Go To Definition to be taken to the line where that namespace is defined.
Identifier highlighting Select an identifier (for example, a variable, parameter, or function name) in your source and any uses of that identifier will be highlighted in your source code.

 

C++ development

Area Description of update
Windows Store app development for Windows 8.1
  • Boxed types in value structs

    You can now define value types by using fields that can be null—for example, IBox<int>^ as opposed to int. This means that the fields can either have a value, or be equal to nullptr.

  • Richer exception information

    C++/CX supports the new Windows error model that enables the capture and propagation of rich exception information across the Application Binary Interface (ABI); this includes call stacks and custom message strings.

  • Object::ToString is now virtual

    You can now override ToString() in user-defined Windows Runtime ref types.

C++11 standard compliance Compiler support for ISO C++11 language features

  • Default template arguments for function templates
  • Delegating constructors
  • Explicit conversion operators
  • Initializer lists and uniform initialization
  • Raw string literals
  • Variadic templates

Updated Standard Template Library (STL) to use the latest C++11 features Improvements to C99 libraries

  • C99 functionality added to
  • Complex math functions in new header, <complex.h>
  • Integer type support in new header, ; includes format string support for “hh”
  • Support for variable-argument scanf forms in . C99 variants of vscanf, strtoll, vwscanf/wcstoll, and isblank/iswblank are implemented.
  • New conversion support for long long and long double in <stdlib.h>
C++ REST SDK Modern C++ implementation of Representational State Transfer (REST) services. For more info see C++ REST SDK (codename “Casablanca”).
C++ Azure Mobile Services SDK The shortest path to a connected C++ app with a Azure backend.
C++ AMP SxS CPU/GPU debugging (for WARP accelerator), enhanced texture support (mipmaps and new sampling modes), and improved diagnostics and exceptions.
IDE productivity features
  • Improved code formatting.
  • Brace completion.
  • Auto-generation of event handler code in C++/CX and C++/CLI.
  • Context-based member list filtering.
  • Parameter help scrolling.
  • Toggle header/code file.
  • Resizable C++ project-properties window.
  • Faster builds. Numerous optimizations and multi-core utilization make builds faster, especially for large projects. Incremental builds for C++ apps that have references to C++ WinMD are also much faster.
App performance
  • Pass vector type arguments by using the __vectorcall calling convention to use vector registers.
  • Reduction or elimination of CPU/GPU data transfer in C++ AMP.
  • Auto-vectorization improvements.
  • C++/CX optimizations in allocations and casting.
  • Performance tuning of C++ AMP runtime libraries.
  • New: PGO for Windows Store app development.
Build-time performance enhancements Compiler throughput improvements for highly parallel builds.

 

 

HTML design tools

Area Description of update
CSS animation The timeline editor helps you create CSS animations.
JavaScript behaviors Add JavaScript event listeners to any element without writing code. Choose from a list of supplied event handlers or create your own.
Custom font embedding Create a branded experience by using custom fonts for HTML text.
Data binding Set the data binding for any template.
Rules and guides Create custom guides.
Border radius Easy-to-use handles on each element help you create rounded corners and ellipses.
Searching and setting CSS properties The search box lets you set CSS property values directly and quickly.
Finding elements with CSS syntax The live DOM search now supports CSS syntax. For example, you can automatically select all elements with class “myclass” by searching for “.myclass”.

 

XAML design tools

Area Description of update
XAML editor improvements The XAML editor in Visual Studio 2013 includes IntelliSense for data bindings and resources, smart commenting, and Go To Definition.
Rulers and guides Create custom guides.
Better style editing support Edit styles and templates in the context of the document where they’re used, even if they’re actually defined in another, shared location.
Sample data support The data panel enhances sample data support in XAML projects for the Windows Store. This includes the ability to create sample data from JSON content. For an example of how to set this up, see the updated Windows Store app project templates for XAML.
View state authoring The device panel in Blend for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 supports updated view states properties and requirements to support variable minimum widths.

 

Windows App Certification Kit 3.0

Use the latest version of the Windows App Certification Kit to test the readiness of Windows Store apps for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 before on-boarding, and for the Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 Windows Desktop App Certification.

We’ve also updated the Windows App Certification Kit to give you a smooth experience. For example, you can now run tests in parallel to save time, and you have more flexibility in selecting the tests you run.

New validation tests

As with previous releases of Windows, we’ve revised the kit content to include more validation, helping to make sure that Windows apps running on the latest update are well behaved. Here’s a high-level breakdown of the new tests.

Test Description
Direct3D additional check Validates apps for compliance with Direct3D requirements, and ensures that apps using C++ and XAML are calling a new Trim method upon their suspend callback.
Supported directory structure Ensures that apps don’t create a structure on disk that results in files longer than MAX_PATH (260 characters).
File extensions and protocols Limits the number of file extensions and protocols that an app can register.
Platform appropriate files Checks for packages that contain cross-architecture binaries.
Banned file check Checks apps for use of outdated or prerelease components known to have security vulnerabilities.
JavaScript background tasks Verifies that apps that use JavaScript have the proper close statement in the background task, so the app doesn’t consume battery power unnecessarily.
Framework dependency rules Ensures that apps are taking the right framework dependencies for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

 

Test reports

We’ve made a number of changes to the test report generated by the Windows App Certification Kit. These reports include new information, are easier to read, and provide more links to resources that can help you resolve issues. Significant additions and updates include:

  • Expanded error-message details.
  • Actionable info for supported and deprecated APIs.
  • Details about the configuration of the current test device.
  • A language toggle (if the report is localized).

For more information on how to use this kit, see Using the Windows App Certification Kit.

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The “Hybrid” SharePoint Online Model

Hybrid

The hybrid approach is not merging information from two different site collections into one. Or making sure an on-premise document library has the same content as the document library in an online environment. So what does hybrid technically mean then? It basically means we have two separate environments that act and operate completely independent of each other.

SharePointOnline
SharePointOnline

 

Even the SharePoint service applications such as the user profile service, managed metadata service, and search cannot be shared between the on-premises farm(s) and SharePoint Online environment. Instead, administrators should choose to either fully deploy a service application in only one location, or configure an instance of the service in each environment. But still there are ways to integrate functionality between the two environments.

The idea is that you first segment the different workloads from SharePoint across the on-premise and online environment. You often see that the commodity services like collaboration on team sites, news sites, projects sites and so on are stored in the Online environment, while the more advanced scenario’s often remain on-premise (think of BI capabilities, Fast Search or advanced custom solutions).

 

So where does the hybrid word come from then? It basically means that we stitch these two environments together using the same look and feel, so that the end users have a complete transparent and rich experience and do not notice the difference between working in the on-premise environment or in the online environment. They can only see the difference by looking at the URL.

Single Sign On

In order to have such a complete transparent and rich experience from an end user perspective, it is important that the end users only need to authenticate once. This can be accomplished by implementing and configuring single sign on. Once this has been set up there is a trust relationship between the on-premise and online environment. This will make sure that if the end users that already authenticated in the on-premise environment (Active Directory), don’t need to re-enter their password in the online environment. So navigating between the on-premise and online environment will be transparent without password prompts. Should you require more information on how this technology exactly works or need more information on how to implement it, please see the following links:

 

How Single Sign-On Works in Office 365
http://community.office365.com/en-us/w/sso/727.aspx

Prepare for Single Sign on:
http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/ff652540.aspx

Plan for and deploy Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 for use with single sign-on
http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/ff652539.aspx

Single sign-on: Roadmap
http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/hh125004.aspx

Deploying and Configuring ADFS 2.0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwHIKlAPV0g

Questions about Single Sign On (SSO) with Office 365 for Education
http://blogs.technet.com/b/educloud/archive/2011/09/23/questions-about-single-sign-on-sso-with-office-365-for-education.aspx

Video Screencast: Complete setup details for federated identity access from on-premise AD to Office 365
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx/archive/2011/01/24/video-screencast-complete-setup-details-for-federated-identity-access-from-on-premise-ad-to-office-365.aspx

Branding

So how do we give these two environments the same look and feel (branding), so that the end user doesn’t notice the difference? This is not as simple as it sounds. In order to make the environments look and feel the same, you would need to design and apply the same master pages, use the same icons, images and style sheets. Next to that you need to make sure the global navigation of both environments will integrate seamlessly by linking to each other’s environment.

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More detailed information and things to consider when branding a SharePoint Online environment can be found here.

Search

Search is one area which has some integration capabilities. Thought the integration is not ideal, as we can’t share the relevance of the search results between the two environments. But what we can do is to have either two search boxes, one for on-premise content and one for the online content, or use federated search. With federated search you can do one search query, but get two separated results from two difference content sources showing up in two separate result sets. Below is a screenshot of search results from SharePoint and search results from Bing.

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Obviously you can customize the search results page and its layout so that it will fit your needs. Bear in mind though, that you can only setup federated search in an on-premise environment and is not available in the Online environment (see also the Microsoft SharePoint Online for Enterprises Service Description). More info about the search integration capabilities can be found in the whitepaper “Hybrid SharePoint Environments with Office 365”.

 

 

User profile

A user’s my site and my profile should exist in a single environment only to ensure that there is a single correct and complete source of user data. Although the user profile service cannot be shared between environments, it is possible to link on-premises SharePoint User Profiles to Office 365 and vice versa. So whichever environment a user is currently browsing, if they access their own or another user’s profile, it will redirect to the environment that is hosting the service. More information on how to implement user profiles and my sites in a hybrid environment can be found in the whitepaper “Hybrid SharePoint Environments with Office 365”.

 

Business Connectivity Services

Since the November update of SharePoint Online, we can connect to Line Of Business (LOB) data stored in either your on-premise environment or in Azure using the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) component. As long as you have your LOB application exposed to the web, you should be able to hookup the data into SharePoint Online. For more information about BCS in SharePoint Online, please see the following resources:

Introduction to Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint Online
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh412217.aspx

What’s New for BCS in SharePoint Online
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh418045.aspx

SharePoint Online Developer Resource Center
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/gg153540.aspx

 

 

 

Integrating other components

Though it can be challenging to accomplish forms of integration for other SharePoint components between the two environments, there are techniques and strategies to take into account when you are planning and designing for a hybrid environment. A lot more detail about these techniques and strategies can be found in a blog post soon to follow on the power of Prointsm in SharePi