Author: Kevin Miller

Software Creator

Kevin Miller
Kevin Miller

I am an Austin Texas based software developer flying his geek flag proudly. I work hard creating customer service and support software and web experiences. When I am not creating software or gushing about my toddler. I soak neck deep in Twitter, discover new music at Rdio, host "European" board game meet ups, and read nerdy stuff like Vernor Vinge.

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Posts by Kevin Miller:

TikaOnDotnet now supports Tika 1.7

February 6, 2015 TikaOnDotNet has been updated to the latest Tika 1.7. As always a Nuget has been published. Two things were great about this release. Jason Rotello did the heavy lifting grabbing an issue I had marked up for grabs and got it done. This is his second time updating the libray. Thank you very much Jason! It fixes a known problem where indexing mp4 video files would cause the file to be locked. Great way to end the week.

FubuMVC using ModifyChainAttributes

January 30, 2015 Let's take a look at a handy way to quickly modify a FubuMVC behavior chain by simply placing an Attribute on the action method. This technique is handy when you have a one off change you need to make to a specific action and rolling your own site wide convention is too much. The Problem FubuMVC uses content negotiation to control how your output model is formatted. Great stuff when you are creating endpoints to be used as an API for your fancy JavaScript framework of choice. We ran into a problem on a specific API endpoint which supports file uploads where IE9 would barf on a JSON response after uploading a file. In this case the response was not being consumed by the client. No big deal let's force the output to be XML to ensure that IE9 is…

FubuMVC Wisdom: Bottles and StructureMap Registries

January 29, 2015 FubuMVC Bottles are pretty great. You can mix code, web endpoints and views in a "Bottle" assembly. Package them up as Nugets and you can re-use application functionality between your web applications just by adding a reference to a Bottle assembly. Auto Import Referenced Bottle Registries It is a really common pattern when you are using an IoC container like StructureMap in your Bottle that you want a registry imported when your bottle is loaded. Add the following code to the StructureMap Registry which you use when spinning up your FubuMVC application and your Bottle registries will be imported. More On Bottles If you Like Josh Arnold has a post or two about Bottles. Also Jeremy Miller did a nice presentation on Bottles at Monkey Square.

TikaOnDotNet 1.4 Released as a Nuget

July 12, 2013 A while back I shared a post about how we were successfully able to use the excellent , yet Java based Tika text extraction library in our .NET based applications.  Along side that post I also created a GitHub repo where the code for TikaOnDotNet lives and is maintained. At Dovetail Software we continue to use this library with great success on the .NET platform. Externally I’ve gotten responses from people using the ideas in the project but often they have problems creating their own release or getting Tika up and running in their projects.  Today I gave the project some love and some polish and updated it to support being consumed as a Nuget package which makes it really easy to use from your code base. Let’s take a look at how to use Tika in your .Net projects.…

Getting a ASP.Net request URL into a log4net context

October 5, 2012 We make a lot of web applications and we use a lot of logging to diagnose problems on production systems. Often I find myself wishing I knew what URL was being rendered for a given log. In this post I’ll take you through a good solution for adding the current request URL to the log4net context. Better yet we will do this a configurable way so that you can turn this on and off when needed. One perfectly good way to do this would be to add a debug log to the start of each web request.  What I don’t like about this is that it can be tricky to scan logs with simultaneous requests and thus URLs being handled and keep track of which thread is being used to render what URL. Log4net has a context mechanism where you…

Dovetail Bootstrap – Now With Service

September 13, 2012 A customer recently asked me how to best create a Windows service using our Dovetail SDK. To me this sounds like a task for Dovetail Bootstrap. We have already provided a nice example of using Bootstrap of to build a web application. We did not, until now, have an example of using Bootstrap and Dovetail SDK to create a Windows service. Bootstrap makes it easy to pull data out of your Clarify database and Topshelf makes it easy to roll your own Windows services . Let’s put them both together and build an example Windows service that monitors case creation in your Clarify database.   If you'd like to skip right to the example you can find it in our Dovetail Bootstrap source repository.     Topshelf   At Dovetail we are big fans of Topshelf and its ability to easily create Windows services from plain .Net…

FubuMVC Hijacking Behaviors

April 24, 2012 Have you every wanted a convention to wrap an endpoint and conditionally transfer the original chain to a different one? No server redirect here just plain old hijack your currently scheduled response with another one. This is the FubuMVC equivalent of the classic ASP Server.Transfer. Here are a couple of examples on how to do this. Scenario: Web Service API Exception Handling We have a web services application where when things go wrong we want a pretty error page for the developer type who is consuming the service. You don’t want an ugly yellow and red YSOD you have too much style for that. Answer: Wrap the Behavior Chain In FubuMVC you can easily wrap one behavior with another. This simple convention pulled from Dovetail Bootstrap wraps all of our API actions with the exception handling behavior. The generic argument…

Dovetail SDK C# Helper Extensions

February 29, 2012 Dovetail SDK is quite useful for doing data access with your Clarify databases. When using our ClarifyGenerics there is some ceremony to the syntax there for backwards compatibility that always bothered me.  I’ve written a few helper extensions for Dovetail SDK that I use a lot these days so I thought I should share them with you.   ClarifyGeneric Extensions     I use these to help me filter generics in a fluent way. Create and Traverse to generics without needed a separate line to set which fields should be selected.   ClarifyDataRow Extensions     Row fields are plain objects but you always want to put them into a strongly typed variable. I use these to get at fields without having to do a lot of conversions and checking for DBNull.   An example of these extensions in play…

Automating Deployment For Clairfy Using Rake

February 6, 2012 Gary posted recently on Automating Deployment For Clarify. A customer recently had an automation need that I answered in a similar way but rather than using NAnt I pulled from our fancy favorite new build automation tool Rake. In this post we’ll take a look at automating common database setup tasks like applying schema scripts and executing arbitrary SQL using Rake. I hope you find it useful. Where is the Code? I put together a Dovetail Automation gist with everything you need to solve two problems. Applying  Dovetail Schema Editor schema scripts. Applying all SQL scripts in a directory. Check out the readme for setup and execution instructions. Next I’ll talk a little about what each task does. Applying Schema Scripts (apply_schemascripts) This task looks for a child directory named schema below where the rakefile.rb is located. Every file in…

Introducing Dovetail Bootstrap

January 24, 2012 Over the years we’ve grown a lot of infrastructure for building web applications on Dovetail SDK. These infrastructure pieces get used by a lot of different Dovetail products. Today we are launching Dovetail Bootstrap which packages up many handy capabilities like dynamic case history and case creation on top of common infrastructure like: model projection, authentication, logging, and session management. The core goal of Dovetail Bootstrap is to get Dovetail SDK developers up and creating web applications quickly. How do I get it? The code for Bootstrap is open and available on GitHub. Feel free to watch, fork and improve the code. We’d love to work with you to add great new things to Bootstrap. I recommend reading the ReadMe as it takes you through setting up a development environment. What Can Bootstrap Do? Bootstrap is not a product but…
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