Moving SharePoint Online workflow task metadata into the data warehouse using Nintex Flows and custom Web API

This post suggests the idea of automatic copying of SharePoint Online(SPO) workflow tasks’ metadata into the external data warehouse.  In this scenario, workflow tasks are becoming a subject of another workflow that performs automatic copying of task’s data into the external database using a custom Web API endpoint as the interface to that database. Commonly, the requirement to move workflow tasks data elsewhere arises from limitations of SPO. In particular, SPO throttles requests for access to workflow data making it virtually impossible to create a meaningful workflow reporting system with large amounts of workflow tasks.… [Keep reading] “Moving SharePoint Online workflow task metadata into the data warehouse using Nintex Flows and custom Web API”

Creating Accounts on Azure SQL Database through PowerShell Automation

In the previous post, Azure SQL Pro Tip – Creating Login Account and User, we have briefly walked through how to create login accounts on Azure SQL Database through SSMS. Using SSMS is of course the very convenient way. However, as a DevOps engineer, I want to automate this process through PowerShell. In this post, we’re going to walk through how to achieve this goal.

Step #1: Create Azure SQL Database

First of all, we need an Azure SQL Database.… [Keep reading] “Creating Accounts on Azure SQL Database through PowerShell Automation”

Azure SQL Pro Tip – Creating Login Account and User

With Azure Resource Manager (ARM), while creating an Azure SQL Database instance, we can only set up an admin account. As we all know, using this admin account is not safe in most cases. Therefore, we need to create another accounts with fewer privileges.

However, unlike MS SQL Server, Azure SQL Database has some restrictions. Those restrictions also apply to create login accounts and users. In this post, we are going to create login accounts with limited permissions on Azure SQL Database.… [Keep reading] “Azure SQL Pro Tip – Creating Login Account and User”

Highly available WordPress deployment on Azure

WordPress is the leading content management system today owning more than 50% of the market share. WordPress on Microsoft Azure is becoming a very popular offering with the ability to host WordPress as an Azure WebApp. While Microsoft has made the process of spinning up a WordPress site very easy with built in gallery images, running business critical applications on a cloud platform also introduces challenges in terms on availability and scalability.

WordPress Architecture

A typical WordPress deployment consists of the following two tiers:

  • Web Frontend – PHP web site
  • Backend Data store
    • Relational data store – Hierarchical entity store
    • Object data store – Used to store uploaded images and other artefacts

In order to guarantee high availability and scalability, we need to ensure that each of these service tiers are decoupled and can be separately managed.… [Keep reading] “Highly available WordPress deployment on Azure”

Azure Security Fundamentals: Azure SQL Database

Microsoft Azure has many Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) features, with one of the oldest being Azure SQL Database (which has had many variations on that name in it’s time!)

Over the last few months Microsoft has released a raft of updates to Azure SQL Database that bolster its security chops. As a result I thought it would be good to cover off some basic best practices along with an overview of the new features and how they can help you improve your security stance when implemented.… [Keep reading] “Azure Security Fundamentals: Azure SQL Database”

Azure SQL Database – Dynamic Data Masking Walkthrough


Microsoft recently announced the public preview of the Dynamic Data Masking (DDM) feature for Azure SQL Database that holds a lot of potential for on-the-fly data obfuscation that traditionally would have required either custom business logic or third party systems.

In this post I am going to take the opportunity to walk through how we can set this up for an existing database. For the purpose of this post I am going to utilise the AdventureWorks sample database for Azure SQL Database which you can download from Codeplex.… [Keep reading] “Azure SQL Database – Dynamic Data Masking Walkthrough”

How to fix 403 errors when managing Azure SQL Database from Visual Studio

I was recently trying to manage Azure SQL Databases via Visual Studio in a new Azure subscription and was unable to open the SQL Databases node at all and received the following error message.

Screenshot of Visual Studio error dialog.

The text reads:

Error 0: Failed to retrieve all server data for subscription ‘GUID’ due to error ‘Error code: 403 Message: The server failed to authenticate the request. Verify that the certificate is valid and is associated with this subscription.’.

and my Server Explorer window looked like this:

How Server Explorer Looked

I must admit that I don’t often manage my Azure assets via Visual Studio so it had been a while since I’d used this tooling.… [Keep reading] “How to fix 403 errors when managing Azure SQL Database from Visual Studio”