How to use Azure AD Single sign on with Cypress

The challenge

At my current assignment we recently introduced Azure active directory based single sign on(SSO). Since we are building a React app we were able to leverage the react-adal library and implementing SSO on the front-end side was a matter of hours instead of days.

This however did pose a challenge for our end-to-end tests. We aim to perform a cycle that is as complete as possible in our end-to-end tests and decided that a valid JWT token and its validation should also be part of that suite. Cypress is our end-to-end testing tool and this offers a recipe for testing applications that use single sign on. Unfortunately this recipe didn’t provide us with a working solution, mainly because the (react-)adal library utilizes cross origin iframes for (re-) authentication. Cypress also runs the application under test in an iframe so we cannot leverage the existing iframe detection offered by react-adal.

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Pub-Sub messaging with AWS SNS and SQS

When setting up a new application or platform, one of the most important things that you will need is messaging. As every part of the platform has a certain need for data, either realtime or after the fact, messages from other services within the application boundary need to be processed as efficiently as possible. This inter-executable messaging can go from simple notifications about something that happened in a domain (‘customer X changed his name to Y’) to a queue of outstanding jobs that are to be executed by workers. In any architectural case, be it (distributed) monolith, microliths, microservices or anything in between, messages will be there.

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Why I chose Rust

Why did I choose Rust? Rusts’ memory management introduces a steep learning curve. Its ecosystem isn’t developed as much as that of some other languages. Yet, Rust performs great, comes with some of the best support for web-assembly, and still manages to be an expressive language. Let’s review these properties in the context of an actual use case.

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Speech Recognition and Synthesis in the Browser

With the recent upsurge of Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, speech recognition and synthesis have become an increasingly important tool in the developer’s toolbox. Working with speech data can not only improve the accessibility of your application. It can also increase conversion in your webshop, especially when customers shop on their mobile phones. Native apps have a large advantage in this space, as Apple’s SiriKit and Google’s Assistant SDK can get you up and running in a few minutes to hours.

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Building an AR app in a day

Recently we did a Techrally day at one of our clients, Intergamma. The client provided a couple of subjects of their interest, from voice search to automated classification. With a team of 4, we decided to build an augmented reality mobile app which shows DIY assembly instructions to help a customer ‘on the spot’. Did we succeed? Read on…

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TDD in React

It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the pace JavaScript frameworks pop up nowadays and I believe it’s good to have some focus. For me, this means the big three as defined in this post and more specifically doing basic TDD with React. Read more →

Kubernetes and on-demand CI builders

Let’s say you’ve got a CI/CD pipeline and you would like to run builds in containers. You could just configure Docker on one of your machines and point your builds there, but why not use something a bit more scalable? Enter Kubernetes, a leading container orchestration platform, which luckily offers several options for using its self-contained pods as on-demand CI builders. Things like sharing sources between containers and networking will be handled for you, so all you’ll have to worry about is specifying the desired image.

In this blog, I’ll be exploring two of those options in commonly used CI tools, namely Gitlab and Jenkins, and will explain how to configure the Gitlab-runner or Jenkins Kubernetes plugin to run on-demand CI builders on a Kubernetes (or “K8s”) cluster.

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The behavioural economics of bugs in robots

All contending teams, without exception, experience a moment at which all members are standing around the table, looking at the robot; this is not what’s supposed to happen. Shouldn’t be a surprise, we told them in advance there would be bugs. Unfamiliar with the codebase and the hardware, it is now their job to find the bugs and fix them. They do know what the robot should do: ‘it should follow the black line, once you press the start button’.

We have been doing these robot challenge workshops for a while now. They’re great fun, for creating a shared understanding between business and IT, or experiencing an acceptance test-driven approach to software development. The mBot robots bring a highly visible aspect to the software’s behaviour.

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This one crazy DevOps language you should learn (during Advent Of Code)

Random bits I learned about an underappreciated language by having fun during Advent Of Code.

This Friday the 2017 edition of Advent Of Code started, a daily treat of small programming puzzles for the holidays. Kudos to Eric Wastl for creating such a fun competition!

Last year I wanted to add a DevOps theme to my participation, so I choose to write solutions in the most important DevOps language. No, not Go. No, also not Python. Definitely not Java. Number one of course is… Bash: present in all Linux systems, almost all Docker containers, heck, even in Windows now. Gluing together systems for almost 30 years. [More…]