06 Jun 2011

Pepper: Issue causing crashes

Update 6 June 2011 15h30 (GMT +0200): All is working now, post left for archival purposes.

Pepper, everyone's favourite Visual Studio add-in for synchronisation of Visual Studio settings, is currently DOWN Sad smile and trying to use Pepper will cause it to crash Visual Studio Sad smile

Something has gone seriously wrong in the SQL Azure database that powers it and I’ve logged a call with Microsoft to have it investigated and repaired.

As soon as I have any updates, I will update this page. Thanks for your patience.

Updates:

Update 6 June 2011 13h45 (GMT +0200): Testing is showing the database issue is resolved however I am awaiting confirmation from Microsoft Support before I sound the all clear.
Update 6 June 2011 15h30 (GMT +0200): All clear. The cause was the database disappeared! Seriously, just gone. Couldn't see it in SQL management studio or in the Azure management portal and the web services Pepper uses couldn't talk to it either. During the Microsoft investigation the database reappeared and unfortunately support has been unable to identify what happened (or they not telling me... but I'm paranoid).
04 May 2011

It's official: Pepper uses Azure

Bruce Kyle, a Microsoft evangelist, wrote an article recently about the “Powered By Microsoft Windows Azure” logo and how you can earn the right to display that.

That may sound odd to some people – why can’t you say you use Azure if you do? Of course you can, but if you jump a few hoops with Microsoft you can use the official logo Smile 

PoweredByWA_border

But that is not all! Doing this also helps towards an ISV competence with Microsoft which gets you great assistance and free software from Microsoft, the opportunity to get $250 for marketing and also some other pieces of useful tidbits. One of those tidbits is a press release template, which is so odd for me too see as I am not in marketing, press or anyone else who does those – so lower down you can find mine Winking smile

So about those hoops, you maybe wondering how hard or easy this is? I took Pepper through the testing for both SQL Azure & Windows Azure and it took about 30min, reading Bruce’s article & watching a video. It is RIDICULOUSLY easy to do once you have your application built – SO GO. DO IT. BE POWERED BY WINDOWS AZURE!

Enjoy reading my first press release Smile with tongue out

For Release 22:00 SAST

4 May 2011

Robert MacLean Becomes a “Front Runner” With the Release of Its Latest Application, Pepper

Johannesburg, South Africa — 4 May 2011 — Robert MacLean today announced it will launch a new application using the Windows Azure Platform. Pepper in combination with the Windows Azure platform helps enable customers to backup, share and synchronize your Visual Studio 2010 settings between multiple machines from directly inside Visual Studio 2010 without any costs or requirements for you. The Windows Azure platform, Microsoft’s cloud services platform, provides Pepper with the ability to build, manage, and deploy cloud based applications.

“Thru the technical and marketing support provided by the Front Runner program, we are excited to see the innovative solutions built on the Windows Azure platform by the ISV community,” said Doug Hauger, general manager for Windows Azure Microsoft Corp. “The companies who choose to be a part of the Front Runner program show initiative and technological advancement in their respective industries.”

“Windows Azure platform provides greater choice and flexibility in how we develop and deploy applications to all developers, both on-premises or in the cloud” said Robert MacLean, Developer of Pepper

Pepper automates critical processes such as synchronization and backup of settings to the cloud, eliminating the need for local storage and lowering the chances of losing them.

#########

Product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Robert MacLean, [email protected]

23 Mar 2011

Pepper: A Visual Studio Settings Synchronisation & Backup Extension

pepperscreenshotPepper is a new free extension for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 that I have created to solve a major pain which I am calling SLM (setting lifecycle management Smile with tongue out). The problem is that settings inside Visual Studio are vast & complex, and configuring your IDE is a labour of love, taking years of fine grain tweaks. I can personally trace back my settings to sometime in 2005 and have been tweaking and fiddling ever since.

Once when I moved jobs I forgot to copy my settings and VS felt broken until an ex-co worker was able to get a backup of my old laptop restored and sent me the file. Wouldn’t it be great to have a backup system in the cloud? Say on Azure?

This brings about another interesting scenario, what if I have multiple machines? Can I backup on one machine and restore on another? Giving me a synchronisation system for Visual Studio settings?

Pepper does exactly that, it automates the export/import of settings and allows you to place them in a SQL Azure database!

This is the first release, and while it has had some beta testing it is not perfect so please, if you give it a go and it fails, let us know in the discussions.

Pepper is available in the Visual Studio Gallery, which means you can install it and keep it up to date inside Visual Studio too!

pepper