Azure Cosmos DB Emulator on Docker

Microsoft instructions were fairly ok.

Couple of gotchas:

The output is quite different to the documentation.

  • It suggests the directory is C:\CosmosDB.Emulator\bind-mount
    It is actually at %localappdata%CosmosDBEmulator\bind-mount

The log was useful. The Data Explorer is available at the last endpoint in the log. For me it was http://<AnIP&gt;:8081/

Solution build configuration – create – configure – use in C#

  1. Debug and Release are predefined
  2. When in Debug – check if “Define DEBUG constant” is checked
  3. Use Solution -> Configuration Manager to create other configurations
  4. Use Project Properties – Build (Side) Tab – To add/edit Conditional compilation symbols

    Build - Conditional compilation symbols

  5. Use in C#

    #if DEBUG
    jsonFileName = “appsettings.Development.json”;
    #elif STAGING
    jsonFileName = “appsettings.Staging.json”;
    jsonFileName = “appsettings.json”;

  6. Easy to change config on VS top tool bar



TFS Agent Setup


PowerShell ISE .\config.cmd gets stuck at Connect:

Documentation suggests that you can run .\config.cmd from elevated PowerShell ISE.
This appears to get stuck at Connect:

Use Elevated VS Command prompt instead works.


Build: No agent found in pool Default which satisfies the specified demands:

Agent.Verion -gtVersion 2.115.0

Solution: Install Visual Studio.
Then I used a VS command prompt elevated as administrator to reconfigure the agent by using:
.\config.cmd remove


Build Failed: Failed to retrieve information about ‘NETStandard.Library’ from remote source ‘\\<old-server>’

Resolution was not to install .Net Core SDK
It was that the domain had changed and NuGet could no longer see the old packages UNC
Short-term resolution:
Include the packages in source control explorer
Remove the unavailable location from nuget.config

Long-term resolution:
Would be to move the packages to a new accessible location



Power BI Notes





Power BI – Templates – Also transferring PBI without data

Thanks to SQL Bristol Meetup Tue-20-Nov


Power BI Design Strategies

  1. Templates as good part of design strategy


Transfer Power BI without data

Was looking for a method to transfer a Power BI model between remote computers.

From the above talk, saving a Power BI as a template, strips all the data away and the file becomes much smaller.

The template may then be transferred to another machine.
Also, have put the template in Git source control – as it no longer contains data.

When the template is opened, it creates a new document and immediately reconnects to data sources and loads the data. The file may then be saved locally



SQL Azure cross database queries – evaluation

Existing documentation to create external database seems fine. Links include:


Error: “The option ‘IDENTITY’ is not supported with external tables for sharded data”
Remove the IDENTITY from the CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE id column


Using a different name in target

If the target is already using the external name you may want to use a different name. See this article. Add following to the with statement.

SCHEMA_NAME = ‘Sales’, OBJECT_NAME = ‘Quote’

One option is to create a view in the source with the desired name. Then in the target reference that. Works.


Slightly slower than using the source database, but pretty good – certainly usable in most cases.

Run SQL Server with Docker



    1. Developer machines
      On my developer machines I have installed various version of SQL Server. These run services in the background and are difficult to stop and uninstall.Containers offer the opportunity to install then destroy and start again.
    2. Development and Testing
      Store images/containers and then recreate
    3. Future: create images which derive from base images and store and share in a repository possibly in Azure Container Registry

Get Started:

Install docker for windows

Turn on virtualisation

Quickstart: Run SQL Server container images with Docker

Note on using PowerShell

Some docker commands do not work inside the ISE.
For those, or all commands use PowerShell console window

Connect from outside the container

From SqlCmd or SSMS

Use the IP address of the machine that hosts your container (probably your machine)

The function inspect gives information about the container, but not the host IP:
docker inspect

docker inspect –format ‘{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}’ <container id>



Restore a database into the image

Now, we have SQL running in docker, it would be useful to restore a database into that.

  1. Outside Docker
    Backup database
    Tip: SSMS backup in UI, but then “Script action to new query window” and store it
  2. Copy file into the running image
    Use Bash
    docker exec -it sql1 “bash”Then Linux commands to make directory
    Exit Bash
    docker cp MyDatabase.bak sql1:\var\opt\mssql\backup
  3. Inside Docker
    Restore database – use script – may need to Move files


Bake files into an image for reuse

docker commit sql1 sqltestco:sql2017
docker images

Clean up with:
docker rmi sqltestco:sql2017


Use image to create docker images

Now we have an image with our database in it. We may want to use it once or many times.

Keep changing the name and the port
I found that –name needs to come first

docker run –name sqltestco1 -d -p 1434:1433 sqltestco:sql2017
docker run –name sqltestco2 -d -p 1435:1433 sqltestco:sql2017

Now have 3 instances of SQL running.

As needed:

docker start
docker stop
docker rm


Push images to Docker Hub

docker images
docker tag <imageid>:<tagname> <dockerId>/<repository>:<tagname>
docker login (good idea to spell everything correctly)
docker push <dockerId>/<repository>:<tagname>

Took a few attempts – got there. Private repository.




Seem to get a conflict if other containers exist but are stopped. Possibly good practice to be aware of all containers with:

docker ps -a

Error response from daemon: … userland proxy

Error response from daemon: driver failed programming external connectivity on endpoint … Error starting userland proxy: mkdir /port…

Restart docker – fixed it for me.


See also

Pluralsight : Getting started with Docker on Windows




Upgrade TFS 2010 to 2015 on-premises

Was concerned this was going to be hard work, but turned out better than expected.

Really brief notes:


TFS Server 2015 will install SQL Server 2014 standard


Process template upgrades

If the TFS work items intranet console does not work then:

  2. Download process template
  3. I created .bat files to practice with a less significant project, then moved to main projects. Sample script below. Must be ran as administrator. May be remote to the TFS Server.
    Had to repeat for various work item types


cd C:\
set root="%programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE"
cd %root%
witadmin importwitd /collection:http://<server>:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection /p:"<project>" /f:"D:\Users\<user>\Documents\Visual Studio 2015\VS-TFS Process Templates\Agile\WorkItem Tracking\TypeDefinitions\UserStory.xml"
echo Done





Create an ODBC using a reg edit file

With thanks to:

Save following as a file e.g. MyODBCName.reg
Double-click to install into the registry

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"MyODBCName"="SQL Server Native Client 11.0"


Logging in .Net and My.Application.Log.WriteEntry does not write until flush

In app.config you need to remove the default listener:

<remove name=Default/>

Documentation on MSDN is ok, when testing you need to remember that the log will not write until either the application is closed, or the log is flushed. So:

My.Application.Log.DefaultFileLogWriter.AutoFlush = True