Category Archives: General

How to: configure custom DNS names for multiple sub domain-based Azure web sites

This blog post shows how to configure multiple custom sub domain names to map to multiple Azure web sites.

Azure web sites supports multiple web sites (and at the moment you can run several free websites in the Azure web sites preview).

When a new site is created it gets a default subdomain name in the “azurewebsites.net” domain, so if you create a web site called “mysite” then it would be available as “mysite.azurewebsites.net”.

domainnamesinfreemode

It is also possible to configure custom domain names for the sites. To be able to use custom domain names the web site needs to be in the shared or reserved web site mode. Neither is free, you can see the current pricing information in the portal. (If you have an MSDN subscription or MPN association with benefits then you might get access to some resources as part of the subscription.)

websitemode

If you have several Azure sites and want to map them to several sub-domains for your custom domain it is possible and quite easy. However, the documentation about this has improvement potential, hence this blog post.

Scenario:

A custom domain “stefanjohansson.org” needs to be mapped to 3 different sites in Azure:

domain name Azure Site Azure DNS name
stefanjohansson.org myplainsite myplaintestsite.azurewebsites.net
test1.stefanjohansson.org my1sttestsite my1sttestsite.azurewebsites.net
test2.stefanjohansson.org my2ndtestsite my2ndtestsite.azurewebsites.net

Custom CNAME records

Step 1 is to set up custom “awverify” CNAME mappings from each domain to Azure for verification so that Microsoft knows that you own/can administer the domain.

Name Type Data
awverify.stefanjohansson.org CNAME awverify.myplaintestsite.azurewebsites.net
awverify.test1.stefanjohansson.org CNAME awverify.my1sttestsite.azurewebsites.net
awverify.test2.stefanjohansson.org CNAME awverify.my2ndtestsite.azurewebsites.net

once the CNAME’s are valid and can be read by Azure you can create A-records for the subdomains so that you can reach Azure using the custom domain names

A Records

Step 2 is to configure A records for the domains and sub domains.

First look up the actual IP-address (faked as 10.10.10.10 below) of the sites in the manage domains page of the Azure management dashboard.

Next, create the custom A records for the sub domain names in your DNS providers dashboard (such as your hosting providers administration panel/tool, your registrars website or your dns tool for internally hosted dns systems.)

Name Type Data
stefanjohansson.org A 10.10.10.10
test1.stefanjohansson.org A 10.10.10.10
test2.stefanjohansson.org A 10.10.10.10

Configure Azure Websites

Step 3 is to configure the new A records in the Azure websites dashboard. The configuration tool checks that both CNAME and A records are valid so it is not possible to add this before the configuration changes in the DNS-system has propagated.

The manage domains link is in the Configure tab of the site in the bottom toolbar as below

managedomainslink

Verification

Once the configuration is done the domain names should be visible in the Azure dashboard and you should be able to navigate to the custom domain name and be able to access your resources in the Azure web sites using your custom domain names.

twodomainnamesconfigured

 

More resources

(Also, please note that the sub domain names, Azure sites and ip-addresses used here are faked.)

How to: remove the WordPress link in the Twenty Twelve Infinite Footer

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Blog Meta

Updated Post:

(2013-02-23)

Ok, so the first try, described below, wasn’t really working out for me. The original files are updated too often during updates, meaning the link changes back all the time.

So, instead I use the CSS to override the original information.

Change the site CSS by going to the admin site, choose Appearance, choose Edit CSS.
the div holding the “Proudly powered by WordPress”-link and the “Theme: Twenty Twelve”-text uses the CSS-class “blog-credits”.
There are several approaches one might use to alter the appearance. I will use the quick and not so very sophisticated option of just removing the content. Since there is no information I need to replace the existing with, I’ll just use the display:none; CSS rule to remove it.

So, add the following code to the CSS Stylesheet Editor content and the information should stay hidden even after updates to the core files.

.blog-credits {
    display: none;
}

Original Post:

In the original plain Twenty Twelve theme for WordPress (currently in use on this site) there is an infinite scroll feature. This feature introduces a footer once it kicks in. That footer links back to WordPress. To change this footer credits information I did the following.

Please note that this will be overwritten when the theme updates. So this is a note to self once it updates and I wonder why…

Step 1, go to the WordPress dashboard.

Step 2, go to the Plugins editor

plugins_ss

Step 3, Choose the correct plugin to edit. The infinite scroll feature is in the Jetpack plugin.

edit_plugin_ss

Step 4, Choose the correct file to edit. The footer credits is defined in the “jetpack/modules/infinite-scroll/infinity.php”

choose_file_to_edit_ss

Step 5, change the credits lines to your liking. The definition of $credits is in the infinite blog footer function towards the end of the file.

rows_to_edit

A lingering question is if the infinite scroll is a good feature or if it should be removed and the blog front page changed back to the paging of old…

A comparison of OneNote and Evernote for Android

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Evernote Overview

This post compares the Android versions of OneNote and Evernote.

They are compared on a Swedish version of the HTC One X running Android 4.1.1

Version of Evernote app: 4.4.1

Version of OneNote app: 14.0.5602.300

Introduction to the apps

Both apps are available from Google Play for free. The Evernote one is available for both free and premium accounts and the standard differences between the account types are applicable for mobile apps (There are some differences such as pin code security and offline notebooks). The OneNote app is also free but requires an in app upgrade once you hit 500 notes.

Overview of user interface

Create a note overview:

Evernote

0-evernotecreatenote

Create a note in Evernote.

OneNote

0-onenotecreatenote

Create a note in OneNote

Creation process

The creation process is a bit different between the two platforms.

Evernote creates empty notes that you can enter text into. images etc. are attachments to the note and doesn’t show up inline in the note. In the note you can change text to bold, italics and underlined. you can add ordered and unordered lists and checkboxes. You can move the note to another notebook and you can add tags from the tags taxonomy with ease.

OneNote creates empty notes that you in the chosen notebook. it is not possible to move the note to another notebook in the app. it is not possible to add the various tags that are available in the desktop version. Images are added to the note inline so that it is easy to relate text to a specific image.

Android features

Evernote is a more evolved Android app. it has both several widgets and support for shortcuts and shares. OneNote only has the app and everything you can do is done within the app – interaction with the features of the Android operating system is an area of opportunities for improvement.

Share feature

In Android a key feature is the possibility to send information from one app to another, just chose share from something and send it on to another app. For storing information this is a very important feature to support. Evernote has the possibility to share to a new note and OneNote doesn’t support the share feature at all.

sharefeaturescreenshot

Above: Able to share a tweet into an Evernote note…

Shortcuts

From a start page/panel on Android it is possible to add both widgets, applications and shortcuts. Evernote has very good support for shortcuts to notes and saved searches etc. From the Android add shortcut interface you can create a shortcut to an existing note but you can also create shortcuts from almost everywhere in the app. so if you have a specific view or a search that you want to have direct access to from a start panel you can create it and save it directly from the app.

evernotesearchandshortcuts

Above: Evernote search and a folder of lists as shortcuts to search results on a panel in Android.

 

evernotefolderofshortcuts

Above: Evernote folder with shortcuts to search results.

With the flexibility of shortcuts it is easier to work with a GTD approach of one note for each task/to do item. It is also easy to mix results so that you can have a specific shortcut to the list of groceries to be bought and a list of all items in the Actions Pending list for Now and At the office etc. You can even search out all notes in the Actions Pending book that have unchecked checkboxes so that you can be sure nothing gets away unchecked.

Widgets

The Evernote Widgets are available here at Google Play if you don’t have access to them.

Another key area of Android is widgets, application features that display directly on a start page/panel. Evernote has several different to choose between and use, including handy shortcuts to create new notes from audio capture and photos. OneNote has no support for widgets. Once you place a widget on a panel you have more customization options to suit your needs.

evernotewidgets

Above: Evernote Widgets in Android.

Cloud Storage

Both apps gives you the opportunity to store the information you write in the cloud. OneNote stores the information in a file on your SkyDrive. Evernote stores the information in an account database associated with your account. With the file approach of OneNote it is easy to delete, move, send the file etc. With the database and service approach of Evernote it is easy for external parties to create apps that you can use. No matter what app you use they both provide you with access to all the information stored in the cloud.

Storage space available is the same as for the Evernote accounts and OneNote. The difference is that Evernote is limited to a maximum upload per month (free: 60MB, premium: 1GB) and OneNote uses the storage space that you have on SkyDrive (Free 7GB start (down from 25GB), 20/50/100GB available for purchase).

OneNote 2013 compatibility: It says in the app information that it is compatible with OneNote 2010 but I have tested it with a OneNote 2013 workbook without any issues.

Offline Access

Evernote app has an offline access mode for premium accounts so that you can choose what notebooks should be available offline in Android.

OneNote files are synchronized and if they are opened in the app they should be available offline as long as they have been synched. The actual OneNote files are available through the SkyDrive app.

Compared to the Desktop Applications

OneNote is a very feature rich desktop application. Evernote is feature rich but a bit different on the desktop. On Android the roles are reversed, Evernote is the more feature rich app. Even basic feature such as bold text seems to be impossible in the OneNote app, whereas Evernote app has all the features expected from an Android app…

Additional Apps

Both Microsoft and Evernote have related apps available:

Microsoft / OneNote

  • OneNote
    The main app
  • SkyDrive
    remote access to files in the cloud
  • on{X}
    programming behavior’s on Android. One of my favorite apps.
  • Lync
    for communications, unfortunately still in the 2010 generation
  • Xbox SmartGlass
    works together with your Xbox, not very feature rich at the moment

Evernote / Evernote

Updating the Blog

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Blog Meta

Some meta about the blog itself.

I have been using the DejaVu theme by MySiteMyWay for a while but haven’t been that happy with the theme, the features, the look and feel, available updates and the update process. Any day now WordPress will release version 3.5 and with it the new 2012 default theme. its already available and very much less is more in the default look and feel. Since I currently don’t publish much more that normal blog posts about SharePoint, SQL Server and BI in general I thought I’d try the new theme for a while.

Some things aren’t working the same way, search and links to additional social media sites are in need of updating. I hope that the new version of WP will add some new features and that a similar Theme, with additional features, will become available.

I have also started with a series manager to see if some posts can be managed in a series manner. Lets see how that works out. I might need to post a proper series to get it working?