Microsoft Posts

The Toptal Engineering Blog is a hub for in-depth development tutorials and new technology announcements created by professional software engineers in the Toptal network.
Josip Šaban
SQL Server 2016 Always Encrypted: Easy to Implement, Tough to Crack

Security has always been a primary concern for database experts, and with the advent of new, decentralized services, it’s become even more crucial. Microsoft addressed the need for an added level of security in SQL with the introduction of Always Encrypted functionality in SQL Server 2016.

In this blog post, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Josip Saban explains how Microsoft’s Always Encrypted concept works, how it’s implemented, and why developers can’t afford to ignore it.

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Demir Selmanovic
How to Make an Android and iOS App in C# on a Mac

In the past few years, Microsoft has pulled a few aces from up its sleeve. Yes, they messed up Skype, failed with smartphones, and almost succeeded with tablets. But, they did some really amazing things as well.

Relinquishing their closed empire approach, they open-sourced .NET, joined the Linux Foundation, released SQL Server for Linux, and created this great new tool called Visual Studio for Mac.

In this post, Head of Open Source Demir Selmanovic details how to make an Android and iOS app in C# on your Mac.

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Stepan Yakovenko
An Informal Introduction to DOCX

With approximately one billion people using Microsoft Office, the DOCX format is the most popular de facto standard for exchanging document files between offices.

While DOCX is a complex format, you may want to parse it manually for simpler tasks such as indexing, converting to TXT and making other small modifications. I’d like to give you enough information on DOCX internals so you don’t have to reference the ECMA specifications, a massive 5,000 page manual.

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Juan Pablo Scida
Hunting and Analyzing High CPU Usage in .NET Applications

Software performance in production is hard to analyze. Things can go wrong at any time, and code can start executing in ways that weren’t planned for. In these cases, what do we do? In this article, Toptal engineer Juan Pablo Scida analyzes a real scenario of high CPU usage of a web application. He covers all the processes and .NET code analysis involved to identify the problem, explains how the problem was solved, and most importantly, explores why this problem happened in the first place.

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Eugene Tsygankov
Eight Reasons Why Microsoft Stack Is Still a Viable Choice

In today’s world where there are a lot of choices for writing quality software, it’s easy to overlook some tools that are viable options in developing modern software. These software development tools, in competition with each other, often fluctuate in popularity and developer preferences. Many excellent tools are viable options for any given project. This article provides eight reason in favor of the Microsoft stack and why it is still a reasonable choice for software development today.

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Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Windows 10 Development: Addressing Old Problems And Opening New Doors For Developers

Windows 10 represents a departure from Microsoft’s traditional OS strategy. It’s not just a new operating system, it’s an automatic and free update for millions of Windows 8.1 devices. It’s also designed to address a number of user complaints related to the Windows 8.x UI. The changes aren’t just skin deep, as Windows 10 is not a mere redesign with a new UI and fancier apps; it might even mark the start of a new era for Microsoft, and in this post I will explain why.

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Ivan Matec
Azure Tutorial: Predicting Gas Prices Using Azure Machine Learning Studio

Machine learning has changed the way we deal with data. Data driven problems, that are difficult to solve using standard methods, can often be tackled with much more ease using machine learning algorithms. In this article, we will explore Azure Machine Learning features and capabilities through solving one of the problems that we face in our everyday lives.

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Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Toptal’s Selection Of Best Developer Blogs

You are what you read – and most Toptal members and blog subscribers are software developers. So what do you read? Where do professional developers get the latest information about how their peers work and think?

Today, we will be taking a look at a small selection of popular developer blogs frequented by Toptal developers. We’re counting on you (our readers) to expand the list in the comment section.

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Rodrigo Koch
SQL Database Performance Tuning for Developers

Database tuning can be an incredibly difficult task, particularly when working with large-scale data where even the most minor change can have a dramatic (positive or negative) impact on performance.

In mid-sized and large companies, most database tuning will be handled by a Database Administrator (DBA). But there are plenty of developers who have to perform DBA-like tasks; meanwhile, DBAs often struggle to work well with developers.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Rodrigo Koch provides developers with database tuning tips and explains how developers and DBAs can work together effectively.

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