Sunday, 27 June 2021

Azure Elastic Pools - DB creation, schema alignment for SaaS

Overview:  Provisioning and seeding databases is pretty straight forward however ensuring multi-tenant databases schemas are aligned is a little tricky.  Azure has the Elastic Job Agent service that has been in preview for many years and is a good service.  It is extremely useful for updating multiple database instances en-masse.

There are 2 common scenarios

1. Provision a new database for a client.  This involves 1) creating the SQL database instance either on a server or an elastic pool. 2) Update the new database with the appropriate schema 3) insert any seed data into the database.

2. Update groups or all database instances to a specific schema i.e. change schema for all clients.

Scenario 1 needs to apply the schema to multiple databases and Elastic Job is perfect for this.  Scenrio 2 also needs to update a single database and can use the same T-SQL code to ensure new dbs have the correct schema applied.

Elastic Job Agent:

A job can be created that uses T-SQL (from source control) to ensure the schema of target databases are updated to a specific schema version.  A dedicate database is used to monitor and manage the jobs.  I call this the "agent-elasticdb" database.  

Note:  The Target can be all databases on a server, elastic pools, groups of name database instances or a single database.

If a job has multiple target database's to update, the updates are run in parallel.    

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Post a message into a Teams Channel using any HTTP client

Overview:  I need to post messages into Teams channels from my application, it is extremely easy to do and took me 15 minutes. 

Steps to Post a message from Postman into a specific Teams Channel:

1. Setup a channel to accept POST requests

Add a connector to the Channel

Find the "Incoming Webhook" connector

Create/Configure the new Webhook

Copy the webhook endpoint

2. Send a postman POST HTTP request to push the data into the Teams Channel

3. Verify the result in the teams Channel
The custom message is displayed in the channel.

Tip: Format the card/message using these instructions.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

SaaS Azure Testing Thoughts


  1. API Automation - Postman, Newman
  2. UI Automation - Selenium
  3. IDE - Visual Studio 2019
  4. Test Organization - Azure DevOps Test Plan
  5. CI/CD - Azure DevOps

Code reviews:

Code review is used as a verification technique to ensure that each unit is coded as per standards and expected business logic and inline with coding standards and best practices.  Automate code review built into Azure Pipelines should include:  

  • WhiteSource Bolt - Scan packages for vulnerabilities.
  • SonarQube - Static Analysis, 
  • Blackduck - Open-Source Scanning (OSS) tool.  Used to look for license risks and unused references.
  • Checkmarx - Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tool benefits include: Detect security vulnerabilities, Improve developer practices, and reports on code ownership.  Static code anaylsis.  VeraCode is a competitor product.
  • BugSuite
Code should pass OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) shows the most common code vulnerabilities.  OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard) - framework for controls when building applications to cover functional and NFR's for web applications.

Unit testing:

Unit tests are written to ensure every unit of code is working as expected, and to prevent a defect from going to the next level on all C# code.  Xunit and Moq are the tools to be used for unit testing using the standard Arrange > Act > Assert pattern.

As long as Unit test coverage is high and of a good standard, I don't mind if the tests are written before the code (TDD) or as most developers tend to do the tests after the code is written.

API testing:

All API must use Postman collections and Environments for local testing.  The tests need to cover all API's dealing with authentication, authorisation, checking status codes, body responses, headers, data persistence, and post test clean-up.  Use Newman to integrate postman tests into Azure pipelines:

Selenium testing:

Code for UI must be automated where possible.

SonarQube: "automatic code review tool to detect bugs, vulnerabilities, and code smells in your code" SonarQube documentation

Code Smells:  Bloaters, OO abusers, ....

Checkmax detects potential security issues