Day Three.

We enter day three of our challenge to create a new product in a week (read more about the challenge here).

Adam C (Architect & Project Lead):
Woke up to find the team already chipping away which was nice. Had a brief catchup with the team and things are pretty much on track. The only exception is Alex who is currently locked in a fierce battle with our old painfully complex API which requires a lot of patience.

James is cracking along too. Nothing like a pair of fresh eyes to keep us on the right path.

Another good stand-up. The team are starting to enjoy getting their teeth into the project now all the groundwork and planning is done. Everything is clear and the delay with the old API is only a couple hours which is good to hear (well done Alex).

My only concern at this point is the amount of work on the desktop client framework. I believe everything will be done but the improvements needed for the desktop framework are starting to mount up… And we only have very limited resources available to work on it.

Leon M:
What’s new? I’ve been starting work on the new product page for “Cloud Winch”, which is our current working title for the new product. We just rebuilt our website a month ago, and it’s just so much nicer to work with than our old site. We went full-Marie Kondo on it and scrapped everything that didn’t spark joy. Old website: 130 pages. New website 24 pages. Nice. We’ve made all the product pages super simple and formulaic too, so dropping in a new product page is a cake walk. I’m sure some SEO Guru out there would tell me I’ve not crammed enough keywords into the pages, but to be honest I’m pretty sure keyword stuffing doesn’t spark joy in the reader. K.I.S.S.
Adam C: 
Great morning so far – realised we had a genuine live bug which existed since we moved to elastic pools a couple weeks ago.
Leon M:
Our definitions of a ‘great morning’ are wildly different.
Adam C:
Well we fixed it before it caused any issues. But an interesting note with this – it turns out with elastic pools you cannot correctly create SQL LOGINS, which are what we needed to do for our legacy SPS Client (the new one is all API driven thankfully). However with this we actually killed two birds with one stone. We have moved over to SQL Users with Passwords (which will aid migration later of our DB) which was on my backlog and have also fixed the bug.
Leon M:
Wildly different.
Adam C:
Just realised we missed a bit in the planning, as we assumed the identity sync client was able to work with silent mode but sadly it was not. What was useful though, was after running through this issue with Paul (Ops Manager), we noticed a few bits that we can fix/adjust in the install process, which will ease other onboarding processes. So not only will it make Cloud Winch easier to install, it’ll make our Simple Sign-On, Surpass and IDx products easier to deploy as well.
Leon M:
Ok, so that’s a great morning.
Adam C:
It’s been a while since we’ve been through the onboarding process with a developer’s eye, so it’s good to see these little pain points and fix them as a part of what we are doing. Again it’s not adding additional work – as the requirement for this product is to ensure we have ability to silently set up the identity configuration – this needs doing anyway. Paul is current getting a lab together with VS for me to pick this up this afternoon. Hey look, Alex finished just in time 😉
Leon M:
Hero.

Lunch.

Adam C:
Everything is smooth so far. There’s a lot to do but it feels like we might actually make this. Changed the scope a bit for MVP to remove one of the requirements – it does mean there is a task administrators will need to do outside of the application but it seems unlikely we will be able to get the user selection UI in place before end of the week with only two members of the challenge familiar with WPF.

Leon M: 
Scope abbreviation?

Adam C:
Unfortunately, so.

Leon M: 
No biggy, we can always add that piece back in next week.

Adam C:
Exactly. Hmm, what is going on with my upload speed? Damn home broadband.

After a few unrelated work calls and the copying finally done I have spent most the afternoon getting the SPS (identity sync client) install task working silently. I found it was much easier to rebuild a silent process using the new desktop process task framework than to try and hack (not literally) the existing installer.
Since SPS is going to be deprecated soon in place of Agent, and Agent will have a silent install process, I felt it wasn’t worth the effort.
Leon M: 
Good call.
Adam C:
The team has done really well today. all expected tasks are done and we have two full days now to finish up. Once the SPS work is completed I feel we are on track (although might take me into the evening to wrap it up properly) and test it.
The license checks will be finished by mid-morning tomorrow by James. Lewis by lunch will have the biggest task of them all completed ready for review.
The aim tomorrow is for James to then move straight onto the last of the missing endpoints which is to control the syncs. We have sketched out these and have the DB calls all done and tested, so should be straightforward now.
With Alex finishing the task framework support for calling our API and MS Graph as a part of the core framework from tomorrow he will be continuing with the improvements. By end of play will be have the ability to do html mark-up in the UI elements of the task, along with some tweaks to the auto-tasks and added controls to auto/continue or stop/retry on each task.
Leon M: 
Impressed we’re already on the verge of getting into the UI.
Adam C: 
Yep. With any luck we at the EOP tomorrow may be in a position to give this a dry run on a new tenancy and have full automation configuring the tenancy for identity/SPS install and run the engine! That would be amazing.
Leon M: 
Tomorrow? That’s astonishing. I better crack on with the marketing.
Adam C: 
Just got back from my run. Dawned on me this would be running from a FileServer and not a domain controller so SPS would be remotely accessing the DC. Bit of an obvious oversight, doh, but not a problem from the current technology but it does change the automation a little. Thankfully Paul was able to quickly rewire the lab tonight for us to keep going.
We also found during this process that we were using an old namespace on the SPS, this has been updated so any new implementations will use the new iamcloud.net domain name rather than the old federate365.com. The server side was already configured for both but the old SPS installer put the old domain.

Leon M: 
Legacy woes. Good catch though.

Adam C: 
Thanks. Just got off the phone. Interesting curveball.
Leon M: 
Go on…
Adam C: 
Tom might be being called up to the Army. The TA have been seeing whether they can recruit him into the UK corona-virus response.
Leon M: 
Poor Tom. Let’s talk about that tomorrow. Never a dull day… By the way, any chance we can a sneak peak at the new client yet?
Adam C:

You can indeed.

Leon M:
Look at that beauty. Behold IAM Cloud Migrator Cloud Winch.
Day Four
Leon

Leon

New York City. (Quarantined).