Can you really use Azure SQL and add results to a Marketing List?

ByRob Peledie

Can you really use Azure SQL and add results to a Marketing List?

Simple answer…… yes.

Watch the video for a walkthrough.

Dont forget to Like and Subscribe please 🙂

ByRob Peledie

Competition Time!

October 1st marks the start of our competition! To win a pair of these awesome Beats Earbuds, just follow the instructions below

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Watch a video, and leave a comment

Thats it…. thats all you need to do.

Please make sure your subscriptions are public so I can see who’s won!

Draw will take place October 31st

ByRob Peledie

Free Microsoft Training!

Yep, you read that right…… Free Training.

Microsoft are offering some awesome training sessions, and some even come with a free certification exam at the end.

Check out the video

ByRob Peledie

New 5 Minute Friday Video Series

So Starting last week, I have begun a series of 5 minute videos on tech subjects. I have deliberately made the decision to keep them to around 5 minutes (not that easy!) so they can remain snappy, but at the same time, not put a massive load on my already busy schedule. Theyre basically going to be quick how to videos, on subjects that I have had issues with, or learned.

First one is up! please take a look, and if youre so inclined, Subscribe and Like.

Thanks

ByRob Peledie

1 Year of Working From Home

So, give or take a few days, many of us have been almost exclusively working from home for the last year. I know some organisations have allowed a staggered return, with minimal personnel in at the same time, but for the most part, many who work in the world of technology have been remote.

Prior to all this madness, not everyone had the opportunity to work remotely. Many organisations still felt that if you weren’t literally a bum on a seat from 9 – 5, then you couldn’t possibly be working. I had manager some years ago that didn’t agree with working from home as he said “if it was me (him) working from home, I’d be feet up watching the TV”….. well apparently he judged everyone by his own standards.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the last 4 years or so to run my own business and contracted, so the choice to work remotely has been more in my hands. Previously I worked at OVO energy, and they had an awesome view on this subject.

But the reality is, working from home occasionally is very different from working from home every day. Again, I’m very fortunate to have a separate Office cabin, so to some extent, it still feels like ‘Going to work’, but for many, working from home has been – working from the lounge, working from the spare bedroom, so I would imagine challenging at times.

Added to the challenges, is the lack of personal interaction. Yes we’re all dab hands at Teams, Slack and Zoom now, but there is still a gap. I know working in tech, and development specifically often meant it was good to chat things over with your team… bounce ideas around. Whichever way you slice and dice it, it’s not the same doing it over a video call.

On the other side of this argument is the subject of productivity. Personally, I find I am definitely more productive when not in an open office environment. Theres less distraction for a start. When I had a small team of developers, I would often get people coming up to ask them questions or just chat. You could almost guarantee that 5 minute chat lost 20 minutes of productivity, and if it disturbed the whole team, then……. well you can see the problem. So theres definitely less of that.

So what does the future hold for working from home? Well it seems (trying to give a cloud a silver lining) that for some organisations reluctant to allow people to work remotely, it’s been a blinding revelation. It’s very difficult to say “Working from home doesn’t work for us” when plainly we’ve all had to do it for. the last year! I really hope that for some it opens up this opportunity, that while it comes with challenges, definitely will give people a better work life balance. Cutting down on that commute. Cutting down on your carbon footprint! better productivity.

Whether you’re in the all at home camp or hybrid home/office camp, I really hope you get a good balance that works for you for however long this challenge goes on for.

p.s. these two numb nuts have helped

ByRob Peledie

Crypto Currency Blog Posts?

While my “Normal” day-to-day work revolves around Microsoft Business Solutions, mostly Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, I have a massive interest in Crypto Currency – Not just the potential for investment, but the whole concept of a decentralised platform.

So, with that in mind, I was thinking about sprinkling in the odd article on Crypto Currency dealing and Mining.

Question is……. would this be of interest? Leave a comment below.

ByRob Peledie

Well……That was 2020

Well that was a challenging year! Thats probably a massive understatement, and Ive been very fortunate, that even though I faced some early challenges as a small consultancy, we have kept working on projects throughout the year, and (at the moment) 2021 looks ok.

I will just say at this point, that I also know many consultants and contractors that have struggled with projects and contracts, and I really hope 2021 is better for you all.

Thinking back though, it’s been a learning curve for many of us. Working from home with all its challenges. New ways of communicating (with the phrase of the year going to “You’re still on mute”). The challenge of not really seeing anyone, and only interacting virtually (I’m not a massive people person, but going from 80% onsite to 100% offsite has been a challenge even for me).

So what does 2021 look like? Well…. if we’re honest, we don’t know. It may improve…..as we sit here today on the last day of 2020, there is some hope on one side of the coin in the vaccines being rolled out….. on the other side, we do have many parts of the UK going in to Tier 4 lockdown…… so who knows.

So while we cant make plans in the same way we may have done in past years, I still think the turning of a year is a good point to reassess, reevaluate and plan for progress and forward movement……..You can always improve on a personal level, even if other things are out of your control.

So how about these 5 to get started….. maybe you have your own:

  1. Learn a new skill
  2. Teach it forward
  3. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone
  4. Read more books
  5. Get healthier
ByRob Peledie

Keep your Eyes on The Road

created by dji camera

If you’ve been working in the world of Microsoft Business Applications for a while, you’ll no doubt be used to change – CRM, xRM, Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Power Apps, CDS, Dataflex, Dataverse etc. Even icons, logos change!

It’s really important therefore that we keep up to date, not only with the updated terminology, but with changes in the platform, licensing and the roadmap ahead. It can be too easy to recommend a way forward, only to find that the option is potentially deprecated, or a better way to solve the issue is on the horizon.

Personally, I have to make time to read up on these changes, and potentially have a ‘play’ with the functionality, just to make sure my own knowledge and skills don’t become stale.

There are some awesome blogs, YouTube channels and of course Microsoft Documentation out there including:

Roadmap

Documentation

Microsoft Learn

So my advice….. take the time….actually…. make the time to keep up to date on the changes and updates. it’s well worth it.

ByRob Peledie

WaterScrumFall – Does it exist?….Should it?

So this is a serious question……and I know it’s going to provoke lots of comments and feedback, and probably a bit of old time flaming. The reason I ask is that, I’m agile through and through. It just works. If you’re managing a development team (and its done well), Agile just works. Everyone knows what they’re doing…. Stakeholders can see progress….. efficiency goes up.

But….

There is s legitimate case when senior management, boards and stakeholders ask the question “How long will it take and how much will it cost?”.  And I’ll caveat that question with the fact that we’re talking about a whole project, not just aspects of it….. so for example a complete end to end build of a Sales Solution or Customer Service, as opposed to a part of that.

In a traditional Waterfall methodology, you would potentially do all the planning, analysis, sizing etc up front for the whole project. In theory you would then know how long it will take to complete, and thus how much. The trouble with waterfall is that you’re front-loading all that work. often, by the time you actually come to develop, technology may have changed or business process has….. then you’re facing a dilemma…. do you develop against the old requirements/methods or change?

On the other side you have Agile or Scrum whereby smaller chunks of work are completed in sprints in an iterative cycle. The challenge there is its harder to predict time and cost some would say.

So then we have this concept of WaterScrumFall (I refuse to call it Wagile!!), whereby you run an agile/scrum methodology within a Waterfall wrapper.

Essentially, planning is done up front at a high level, deciding on the themes or epics, and Architectural roadmap. I would suggest at this level, experience will highlight “is this a 1 month, 3 month or 6 month piece of work?”

You’ll likely know the size and makeup of your team, so resourcing should be easy to calculate.

At some point, some detailed analysis of some of the stories, will feed in to your backlog – and this is almost your step-over point in to Scrum.

The Scrum process carries on in iterations, and sprints are managed in the usual way, with the final delivery effectively giving you the fall.

I think that works, and I have found that traditional organisations who fear Agile will step in to it with a sense of comfort. Once the Agile/Scrum process has been proven to work, velocity and cadence measured, then perhaps the outer wrappers of waterfall can go….

So heres the question…….Is there a legitimate place for WaterScrumFall? Would it work for you?

Drop some comments.

ByRob Peledie

Query Dynamics 365 / CDS Data With SQL

So fairly recently Microsoft announced the ability (in preview) to query CDs data with SQL – as opposed to Fetchxml as we have been used to with online.

I will write up a fuller discussion of this, once I have had a proper play, but there were some issues with setting this up, so I put together a short (ish) video to walk through the steps.