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Citizen developer tools are not just for citizen developers!
Blue Meteorite Monday Session (The rest of my slides will hav...
Citizen developer tools are not
just for citizen developers!
a.k.a
“Using Azure Functions and Cognitive ServicesTextAPI to...
Session
• The session will include a quick overview of the team play capabilities
of
• Microsoft Flow
• ModernTeam Sites
•...
Session
• But first, we’ll take a quick look into the bigger picture!
• What’s a citizen developer?
• How’s the developer’...
Who’s speaking?
• Antti K. Koskela, Escalation Engineer for
Valo Solutions
• From Finland, lived in USA in 2017, moved
to ...
Enter the …
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 6
Enter the Citizen Developers!
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 7
What’s a “Citizen Developer”?
An end-user, who creates applications, usually without
programming anything themselves.
• “A...
A typical Developer…
• Expensive
• Slow
• Creates more bugs than
features
• Constrained by IT/vendor
• Doesn’t understand ...
…vs the Citizen Developer!
• Understands business
• No code – no bugs?
• Limited only by their
imagination (and tools…)
• ...
But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter?
• “End of Software Development”
• “Citizen Developers are appearing at the workplaces”...
But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter?
• Death of programming and obsoleteness of programmers (by
automation, citizen develop...
But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter?
• “Low-code tools won’t be putting developers out of a job; on the
contrary, they have...
Wait..Which tools are we even
talking about?
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 14
A lot of tools to choose from!
Let’s stay on the Microsoft’s stack here, since even that’s a lot to deal
with!
1. Microsof...
A lot of tools to choose from!
• Microsoft Flow
• Built on top of Logic Apps
• Simple integration tool for “any white coll...
Flow + Azure Functions
• This session will concentrate on orchestrating and extending
(work)flows
• You could do a gazilli...
Advantages of Flow
• Run history is saved – you can always go back in time and rerun
something that didn’t work. Great for...
Azure Functions considerations
• Consumption plan is practically free for small usage
• 1 million executions and 400 000 G...
Azure Cognitive Services -Text Analytics API
• Detect sentiment, key phrases, and language from your text
• Powered by Mic...
Azure Cognitive Services -Text Analytics API
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 21
Modern SharePoint
• Finally, SharePoint that looks (kind of) good out-of-the-box
• It’s even responsive 
• “Back to basic...
Classic SharePoint is not dead either!
• If something works with Modern, it’ll usually work with Classic, too –
just requi...
How does this relate to real-life
business problems?
Case: Automatic MetadataTagging
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 24
The Problem
• The amount of data is surging (~90% of the data in the world has
been created in the last 2 years)
• To ensu...
The Solution
• Using ModernTeam Sites in SharePoint for document storage
enables collaboration
• SharePoint Search is dece...
Our StackToday (1/2)
• Modern SharePointTeam Sites
• Document Library used as a Data Source
• The only End-User Facing GUI...
Our StackToday (2/2)
• The whole stack is super cheap!
• SharePointOnline included in most licenses anyway, standalone
$5/...
How?
• A Flow attached to Document
Library will call theAzure
Function that’ll do the heavy
lifting
• A simple HTTP reques...
How?
• An Azure Function will run,
extract text, analyze it using
Azure Cognitive Services, and
then write the info back t...
Demo
• Case description: https://www.koskila.net/2018/03/20/resolving-
managed-metadata-madness-good-enough-to-win-a-hacka...
Further Considerations
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 32
Flow Custom Connectors
• Don’t want to configure multiple HTTP –requests with difficult
parameters after one another?You c...
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 34
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 35
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 36
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 37
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 38
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 39
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 40
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 41
Flow Custom Connectors
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 42
FinalWords
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 43
Caveats
• The stack’s evolving – no telling how long this will be valid or required
• You could replace text extraction wi...
What’s next?
• Microsoft Flow is getting more Managed Metadata capabilities – maybe
we won’t need the OfficeDev PnP / CSOM...
Resources & Further reading
• Documentation:
• https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/campaigns/developer-guide/
• Slides avail...
Let’s connect!
• @koskila
• www.koskila.net
• https://github.com/koskila
@koskila | https://www.koskila.net 47
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Citizen Developer Tools @ Valo Solutions / Blue Meteorite Monday session

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So, the citizen developers have all the cool tools, and those that actually code for a living are left with legacy stuff? Not so fast! The same tools that Microsoft is targeting for citizen developers make development easier, faster and cheaper for everyone!

This session combines tools such as Flow, Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Functions with some actual simple development work to provide highly customized, Machine Learning powered analysis workflow for the newly baked Modern Team Sites in SharePoint Online. This demo-heavy session will look at real business scenarios, and how we can solve them using citizen developer tools and some code (Because we’re developers after all, right?)

After this session you'll know how to create rich and customized business automation processes that use the latest tools offered to us by Microsoft.

Published in: Engineering
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Citizen Developer Tools @ Valo Solutions / Blue Meteorite Monday session

  1. 1. Citizen developer tools are not just for citizen developers! Blue Meteorite Monday Session (The rest of my slides will have less text, I promise!) So, the citizen developers have all the cool tools, and those that actually code for a living are left with legacy stuff? Not so fast!The same tools that Microsoft is targeting for citizen developers make development easier, faster and cheaper for everyone! This session combines tools such as Flow, Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Functions with some actual simple development work to provide highly customized, Machine Learning powered analysis workflow for the newly baked ModernTeam Sites in SharePoint Online.This demo-heavy session will look at real business scenarios, and how we can solve them using citizen developer tools and some code (Because we’re developers after all, right?) After this session you'll know how to create rich and customized business automation processes that use the latest tools offered to us by Microsoft. @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 1
  2. 2. Citizen developer tools are not just for citizen developers! a.k.a “Using Azure Functions and Cognitive ServicesTextAPI to enrich a Flow that fills Metadata for new items in a Modern SharePointTeam Site”
  3. 3. Session • The session will include a quick overview of the team play capabilities of • Microsoft Flow • ModernTeam Sites • Microsoft AzureCognitive ServicesTextAnalytics API (using the recently published SDK) • Azure Functions (coupled with some helpful libraries). @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 3
  4. 4. Session • But first, we’ll take a quick look into the bigger picture! • What’s a citizen developer? • How’s the developer’s role changing? • And: Are we all going to be unemployed in a couple of months? @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 4
  5. 5. Who’s speaking? • Antti K. Koskela, Escalation Engineer for Valo Solutions • From Finland, lived in USA in 2017, moved to Montreal 2018. • Background in Fintech + accounting • A developer since 2004. • Bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. • Blogging at https://www.koskila.net @koskila | https://www.koskila.net
  6. 6. Enter the … @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 6
  7. 7. Enter the Citizen Developers! @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 7
  8. 8. What’s a “Citizen Developer”? An end-user, who creates applications, usually without programming anything themselves. • “A citizen developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT - - today, end users can build departmental, enterprise and even public applications using shared services, fourth- generation language (4GL)-style development platforms and cloud computing services.” • Gartner, 2009 @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 8
  9. 9. A typical Developer… • Expensive • Slow • Creates more bugs than features • Constrained by IT/vendor • Doesn’t understand business @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 9
  10. 10. …vs the Citizen Developer! • Understands business • No code – no bugs? • Limited only by their imagination (and tools…) • While a developer still waits for Visual Studio to start, a Citizen Developer has already hacked together an integration between 13 different systems using Flow. @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 10
  11. 11. But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter? • “End of Software Development” • “Citizen Developers are appearing at the workplaces” • Tietoviikko (Knowledge Week), 2018 • “Software Developers Will Become Obsolete” • Brain Food, 2016 • “Software engineers will be obsolete by 2060” • DanAuerbach, 2015 • “A new technology [5th GL] in software development [gives us] the ability to automate fully the development process from design to installation. - - Programming is better done by a machine than a human.“ • In “Can fifth-generation software replace fallible programmers?”, Philips, R, Computerworld, v 18, n 29, 1D/27-30, 16 July 1984 • “4th Generation Languages make programmers largely unneeded” • In “Applications Development Without Programmers”, James Martin, 1982 @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 11
  12. 12. But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter? • Death of programming and obsoleteness of programmers (by automation, citizen developers, higher level languages, AI) has been proposed at least from the 80s! • Excel is the biggest software development environment (and the most dangerous one) anyway. @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 12
  13. 13. But why it doesn’t ACTUALLY matter? • “Low-code tools won’t be putting developers out of a job; on the contrary, they have the potential to help developers do better work.” • -Mike Fitzmaurize,Vice President ofWorkflowTechnology for Nintex, 2017 • Citizen Developer tools are not useful just for Citizen Developers • Tools like Flow make the lives of “actual” developers easier, too! • And when the tools won’t do the trick anymore, a developer will get to (have to) export them to “real” development tools and fix them. @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 13
  14. 14. Wait..Which tools are we even talking about? @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 14
  15. 15. A lot of tools to choose from! Let’s stay on the Microsoft’s stack here, since even that’s a lot to deal with! 1. Microsoft Flow 2. Azure LogicApps 3. Azure Functions 4. Azure App ServiceWebJobs @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 15
  16. 16. A lot of tools to choose from! • Microsoft Flow • Built on top of Logic Apps • Simple integration tool for “any white collar” • Azure LogicApps • More hardcore integration tool • Code view available • Flows can be exported to be “full-fledged” logic apps • Azure Functions & Azure App ServiceWebJobs • Code-first integration services (and much more!) • Azure Functions are serverless – and easily boltable to Flow/Logic Apps! • Webjobs are more classic solution – console apps you can run in an App Service @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 16 Great resource: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-compare-logic-apps-ms-flow- webjobs
  17. 17. Flow + Azure Functions • This session will concentrate on orchestrating and extending (work)flows • You could do a gazillion other things, but we’ll need to start from somewhere! @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 17
  18. 18. Advantages of Flow • Run history is saved – you can always go back in time and rerun something that didn’t work. Great for debugging and iterating! • Easy-to-use, fairly well-tested integrations available out-of-the-box • Easy to extend, too • Custom connectors • HTTP requests to send and receive data from almost any source @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 18
  19. 19. Azure Functions considerations • Consumption plan is practically free for small usage • 1 million executions and 400 000 GB-s time/transfer are FREE • After that €0.000014/GB-s & €0.169 per million executions • Maximum runtime of 10 minutes! • Scalability’s great (even though it still loses to AWS Lambda Functions) • Running a function in an App Service • It isn’t serverless • Max runtime unspecified – but long! • Azure Function can be durable (stateful) • https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/durable-functions- overview @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 19
  20. 20. Azure Cognitive Services -Text Analytics API • Detect sentiment, key phrases, and language from your text • Powered by MicrosoftCognitive Services, machine learning and AI algorithms in the cloud. • DetectTopics used to exist – it was great – but we’ll be using key phrases today instead • Learn more: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive- services/text-analytics/ • Also noteworthy: MachineTranslation in SharePoint, and Bing Translator, are powered by Cognitive Services @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 20
  21. 21. Azure Cognitive Services -Text Analytics API @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 21
  22. 22. Modern SharePoint • Finally, SharePoint that looks (kind of) good out-of-the-box • It’s even responsive  • “Back to basics” • Only does what SharePoint does well • Excellent file storage (used byTeams & Groups), decent web interface, and a mobile app • Uses other services for everything it’s bad at: • Calendars from Exchange, tasks from Planner, IM and discussions viaTeams orYammer • Webhooks + SPFx = decent extensibility @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 22
  23. 23. Classic SharePoint is not dead either! • If something works with Modern, it’ll usually work with Classic, too – just requires some sweat, tears and clever workarounds • Publishing infrastructure makes things a bit complicated: • Bad/no support for fields like “Page Layout” or “Publishing Page Content” @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 23
  24. 24. How does this relate to real-life business problems? Case: Automatic MetadataTagging @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 24
  25. 25. The Problem • The amount of data is surging (~90% of the data in the world has been created in the last 2 years) • To ensure that data in organizations is useful, it needs to be found easily • A great “Enterprise-y” solution has been metadata tagging! • However, users generally hate doing that manually • Automatic solutions are either cumbersome to maintain, expensive to develop, or both • Many required metadata fields will cause users to migrate to shadow IT solutions (like DropBox) @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 25
  26. 26. The Solution • Using ModernTeam Sites in SharePoint for document storage enables collaboration • SharePoint Search is decent, but thorough metadata tagging makes it a lot more useful • UsingAzure Cognitive Services we can fill the metadata fields automatically – without any user interaction at all! • Content will be found and users will be happy  @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 26
  27. 27. Our StackToday (1/2) • Modern SharePointTeam Sites • Document Library used as a Data Source • The only End-User Facing GUI • Microsoft Flow • Launches via webhook, calls an Azure Function, finally sends a notification • Azure Function • Contains the actual program logic • Azure Cognitive Services • TextAPI used to analyze text for Key Phrases @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 27
  28. 28. Our StackToday (2/2) • The whole stack is super cheap! • SharePointOnline included in most licenses anyway, standalone $5/user/mo (including 1Tb of OneDrive!) • Cognitive Services free (for a small monthly quota – commercial plans starting from ~$70/mo) • Azure Functions billed per usage, my monthly cost for my demos has been $0.02 • See  • Flow free for personal, basic use @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 28
  29. 29. How? • A Flow attached to Document Library will call theAzure Function that’ll do the heavy lifting • A simple HTTP request to Azure Function – could create a custom connector, too! • Finally, notifies admin of the execution and the creator of the file. @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 29
  30. 30. How? • An Azure Function will run, extract text, analyze it using Azure Cognitive Services, and then write the info back to SharePointOnline @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 30
  31. 31. Demo • Case description: https://www.koskila.net/2018/03/20/resolving- managed-metadata-madness-good-enough-to-win-a-hackathon/ • Video: https://youtu.be/G0kESOlBBjk?t=109 • Code: https://github.com/koskila/KeyphraseExtraction @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 31
  32. 32. Further Considerations @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 32
  33. 33. Flow Custom Connectors • Don’t want to configure multiple HTTP –requests with difficult parameters after one another?You can automate some of that stuff with custom connectors! • Custom Connectors can be shared between teams, so if you have a great API you want to publish to your colleagues, it’s fairly easy to share @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 33
  34. 34. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 34
  35. 35. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 35
  36. 36. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 36
  37. 37. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 37
  38. 38. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 38
  39. 39. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 39
  40. 40. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 40
  41. 41. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 41
  42. 42. Flow Custom Connectors @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 42
  43. 43. FinalWords @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 43
  44. 44. Caveats • The stack’s evolving – no telling how long this will be valid or required • You could replace text extraction with Azure OCR – but last time I tried, the custom library worked better. • TextAnalysis is interesting – sometimes it works better, sometimes it’s not that accurate! • For shorter documents, it doesn’t work well at all @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 44
  45. 45. What’s next? • Microsoft Flow is getting more Managed Metadata capabilities – maybe we won’t need the OfficeDev PnP / CSOM library to write to the document library soon? • However, it’s even missing from the JavaScript libraries, so eh, you never know.. • Azure Functions can now be run in user context – but with Flow this is super finicky! Couldn’t get it to work here – even passing cookies between HTTP actions is forbidden. • See: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Flow-Discussion/Passing- Cookies-Between-HTTP-Actions/td-p/69761/page/2 • See if you can figure it out?: https://docs.microsoft.com/en- us/sharepoint/dev/spfx/web-parts/guidance/connect-to-api-secured-with-aad @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 45
  46. 46. Resources & Further reading • Documentation: • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/campaigns/developer-guide/ • Slides available: • <placeholder> • Code available: • https://github.com/koskila/KeyphraseExtraction • Description of Case 1: • https://www.koskila.net/2018/03/20/resolving-managed-metadata-madness- good-enough-to-win-a-hackathon/ @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 46
  47. 47. Let’s connect! • @koskila • www.koskila.net • https://github.com/koskila @koskila | https://www.koskila.net 47

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