Azure, MVC .NET, and a Sad Story for Microsoft

The number of technologies they have working together is brilliant! The number of bugs they have and deal with daily is brilliant and phenomenal. The attention they pay to some of the finer details is pathetic. If I did what they do with Azure at work, I would be in some serious verbal counseling sessions. Unfortunately, without true developer documentation, i.e., documentation that expresses the intent and direction and how-to for specific scenarios, apps won’t get written. If apps aren’t written, Microsoft won’t be used for apps that are written. That reduces their technology dominance. It reduces the consumers dependence on their technology.

Over the last several weeks, the documentation on the Azure website is really not working for me to merge, integrate, or allow Azure AD (active directory) to handle all of the Authentication (auth) for us. It seems, on the surface, like it should be easy, but (and maybe it is as simple as my colleague suggests and “seems like a piece is missing”), but my experience has been less than successful. I think someone needs to sit down with a Microsoft rep and actually attempt to use Azure and Visual Studios together in front of them. I know I’m a flawed human being and that, many times, I can over complicate some things, while at other times, I can break things down to their bear bones and make sense where others can’t see it.

This took me over a week to figure out, and that’s with my experience with AD Auth in my current position. *shrug* Something’s wrong, and that’s a Microsoft issue that they’ll have to figure out. I’m maybe not as smart as I hope to be. I don’t know. I just know that “one simple solution” is what should have been provided by those stupid download apps they offer, but the apps were not complete. The documentation referred to Visual Studios (VS) 2012 and VS 2013, which are, in very large ways, not the same as VS2015. It should not have been something for which I had to weed through 75 blogs (including the many Azure documentation pages) to get to….

This maybe is a place for Microsoft to learn from the experience, even though they have unfortunate tech writers from various parts of the world apologizing to us. “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.” “Yes, that’s now been addressed, thank you for letting us know. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.” and so on, when the people who are embarrassed for the developers’ inconvenience are not the ones that are responsible for it, are not the ones that put a product out and changed it midstream, who didn’t finish the product before they released it, when the product ABSOLUTELY is not “the product” without adequate and complete documentation and not documentation that refers to software that is 2-3 years out-of-date. I could go on, but I will spare you. I will say, that on the outside, Microsoft has something that some of us have dreamed of, but it fails when it can’t do what it is promising; as in, “here! do this and you’re done!” No. “do this” is not “done!”.

Microsoft has, for the last 5-6 years, been herding us/developers toward .NET MVC. VS is ready for it. VS works with it, but NONE of Azure is even close. “… eat your own dog food…” NONE of the examples or downloads are .NET MVC.

Last, a slightly separate, but, yet, related grumble/bitch…. Windows Phone app dev can’t use Portable Class Libraries, a Microsoft technology. My supervisor tells me that Windows Phone is a Nokia operating system and that this might be the reason for the incongruency. I don’t know. I just know that Microsoft needs to slow down and pay attention to some of their finer details if they want to dominate the field in technology and, in particular, “apps” and “mobile apps”.

About Ann Townsend

Ann is a published author, speaker, and LGBTQ youth advocate; and has been a professional web application developer since 1997. She holds a medical A.S.; a B.S. in Management with an Emphasis on Computer Science, Minor in Psychology; and a M.S., MBA with an Emphasis on Management of Information Systems. She is the recipient of multiple awards of recognition. Prior to working for a municipal government agency, she was the majority owner of two small businesses, including Gold Core Networks (GCN), a general partnership. Until 2013, GCN provided internet web hosting and web application development, servicing the Central Valley and multiple U.S. corporations. GCN contracts included a two year contract with the fourth largest school district in California, assisting in the implementation and augmentation of their accounting web application. She was also CEO and chief developer for Midas Accounting Packages, Inc., a niche-market, diverse, ahead-of-its-time tech start up with the primary product of an adaptable, multi-industry accounting web application. In 2007, Ann was hired by a municipal government agency as one of two implementation and 24/7 support personnel for its accounting web application and developer of multiple interfaces between disparate financial applications and systems across 13 departments. Since 2012, Ann has been the lead custom mobile and web application developer. With her current employer, she has developed and/or maintains seven custom in-production mobile and web applications, including an application to digitize, collect, track, and report on property base-year values; and a budget application to digitize, collect, track, and transparently report, enumerate, and document budgeted IT charges for all departments.