About the Author

Zach Gardner

I am a HTML5/JavaScript Consultant for Keyhole Software in Kansas City. I help large enterprises with Single-Page Application architecture as well as consulting on full stack development. In my spare time, I read anything I can get my hands on when I'm not playing Dad to a 1-year-old girl, or playing husband to my wife.

Application Security

Top Security Mistakes to Avoid in AppDev

Zach Gardner Architecture, Security Leave a Comment

Developing custom applications is one of the hardest professional endeavors, and making them secure is even harder. Malicious actors are constantly changing tactics and strategies, which, unfortunately, makes it impossible to completely eliminate any security threat.

There needs to be a balance between delivering features quickly to meet business objectives and mitigating security risks. Thankfully, these two goals are not mutually exclusive. This blog post dives into the top mistakes that can be made while developing custom applications.

These recommendations are different from what would commonly be seen in an OWASP list, and they should be used in addition to whatever security practices and procedures are already in place by an organization’s infosec department. These recommendations are also written from an application architect’s (rather than an enterprise infrastructure) perspective, so most of them aren’t covered by existing security checklists.

Batching Excel Files in Azure to Order DME

Batching Excel Files in Azure to Order DME

Zach Gardner Architecture, Azure, Cloud, Tutorial Leave a Comment

The steps described in this blog post allow for the adding of a Logic App on Azure to append rows to an Excel file. It took a lot of trial, and mostly error, to figure out how to describe what I wanted in the way that the Logic App would understand. Hopefully, the steps that I outlined in this blog post will save others the time it took me to come up with them.

Bridging the Gap: Azure App Insights to On-Prem Elastic Stack

Zach Gardner Azure, Cloud, Development Technologies, Tutorial 1 Comment

Recently, while working for a large healthcare client in New York, I ran into an interesting problem that had slim literature on how to solve it.

Our application is primarily on-prem, but it does leverage Azure for a few functions that are easier to solve in a cloud-native environment. We wanted to be able to monitor those functions using the same Elastic Stack that we use to monitor our on-prem application.

I was tasked with building a bridge between where our functionality logs to in Azure (App Insights), and getting that securely back into our Elasticsearch instance that powers our Elastic Stack.

This blog post will detail the solution I landed on. I hope it will be useful to others that need to solve a similar problem!

Genomic Analysis on Microsoft Azure

Genomic Analysis at Scale with Microsoft Azure

Zach Gardner Azure, Cloud, Programming Leave a Comment

When it comes to the science of genomics, Amazon’s AWS is by far the platform of choice for most organizations. But, just like in the musical Hamilton, Microsoft Azure is “young, scrappy, and hungry.”

It is driven to provide the tools and managed services that are needed to run genomics at scale, with HPC (high-performance computing) and storage being among the hardest facets of the field to get right.

This blog post will first briefly explain genomics. Then, we’ll dive into what Azure has to offer in this field.

Integrating Azure Functions with Cosmos DB SQL API in .NET Core 2.2

Zach Gardner .NET Core, Azure, Cloud, Development Technologies, Tutorial Leave a Comment

I am working on a project that leverages both Azure Functions as well as Cosmos DB. In trying to get both of these components wired together, I found that there are very few examples that work with the most recent versions of these components. I also saw examples that could work at a small scale, but don’t show industry-standard best practices, and would lead to performance issues if deployed in an environment with any meaningful traffic.

To that end, I put together this blog post showing how to set up an Azure Functions project in .NET Core 2.2 to integrate with Cosmos DB’s SQL API using its native tooling.