PowerShell Extension for Visual Studio Code August 2022 Update

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We are excited to announce that the August update to the PowerShell Extension for Visual Studio Code is now available on the extension marketplace.

This release adds a walkthrough experience for getting started with PowerShell in VS Code, more regression tests, a major LSP client library update, and includes a number of bug fixes!

Updates in the August Release

Note that these updates all shipped in our PowerShell Preview Extension for VS Code before shipping in our stable channel.

Some highlights of August releases:

For the full list of changes please refer to our changelog.

Getting Started Walkthrough

As a part of this release we have introduced a getting started experience for PowerShell in VS Code. This experience was designed through a series of customer surveys and interviews conducted by our summer intern. The walkthrough can be accessed on the Getting Started page in VS Code, or through the command pallette.

image

We look forward to getting more feedback on this walkthrough and learning how we can improve it.

LSP Client Library Update

This release also includes a major update to our LSP client library dependency, vscode-languageclient. The extension uses this library to start, connect, and communicate with the LSP server, PowerShell Editor Services.

By incorporating this update in vscode-powershell #4128 we were able to prevent a number of race conditions that could be encountered during startup, as the latest version of this library allows us to register our notification and request handlers before starting the server. The lifecycle management code was also given some much needed attention, and so startup and shut-down is now a more stable experience.

Please note that due to an upstream change, there is now a second notification when the server is stopped. We are working with the upstream team to de-duplicate this popup, and are also contemplating enabling a configurable auto-restart of the server.

Getting Support and Giving Feedback

While we hope the new implementation provides a much better user experience, there are bound to be issues. Please let us know if you run into anything.

If you encounter any issues with the PowerShell Extension in Visual Studio Code or have feature requests, the best place to get support is through our GitHub repository.

Sydney Smith and Andy Jordan PowerShell Team

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AWS and VMware Announce VMware Cloud on AWS integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP

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Our customers are looking for cost-effective ways to continue to migrate their applications to the cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS is a fully managed, jointly engineered service that brings VMware’s enterprise-class, software-defined data center architecture to the cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS offers our customers the ability to run applications across operationally consistent VMware vSphere-based public, private, and hybrid cloud environments by bringing VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) to AWS.

In 2021, we announced the fully managed shared storage service Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. This service provides our customers with access to the popular features, performance, and APIs of ONTAP file systems with the agility, scalability, security, and resiliency of AWS, making it easier to migrate on-premises applications that rely on network-attached storage (NAS) appliances to AWS.

Today I’m excited to announce the general availability of VMware Cloud on AWS integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP. Prior to this announcement, customers could only use VMware VSAN where they could scale datastore capacity with compute. Now, they can scale storage independently and SDDCs can be scaled with the additional storage capacity that is made possible by FSx for NetApp ONTAP.

Customers can already add storage to their SDDCs by purchasing additional hosts or by adding AWS native storage services such as Amazon S3, Amazon EFS, and Amazon FSx for providing storage to virtual machines (VMs) on existing hosts. You may be thinking that nothing about this announcement is new.

Well, with this amazing integration, our customers now have the flexibility to add an external datastore option to support their growing workload needs. If you are running into storage constraints or are continually met with unplanned storage demands, this integration provides a cost-effective way to incrementally add capacity without the need to purchase more hosts. By taking advantage of external datastores through FSx for NetApp ONTAP, you have the flexibility to add more storage capacity when your workloads require it.

An Overview of VMware Cloud on AWS Integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP
There are two account connectivity options for enabling storage provisioned by FSx for NetApp ONTAP to be made available for mounting as a datastore to a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC. Both options use a dedicated Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) for the FSx file system to prevent routing conflicts.

The first option is to create a new Amazon VPC under the same connected AWS account and have it connected with the VMware-owned Shadow VPC using VMware Transit Connect. The diagram below shows the architecture of this option:

The first option is to enable storage under the same customer-owned account

The first option is to enable storage under the same AWS connected account

The second option is to create a new AWS account, which by default comes with an Amazon VPC for the Region. Similar to the first option, VMware Transit Connect is used to attach this new VPC with the VMware-owned Shadow VPC. Here is a diagram showing the architecture of this option:

The second option is to enable storage provisioned by FSx for NetApp ONTAP by creating a new AWS account

The second option is to enable storage by creating a new AWS account

Getting Started with VMware Cloud on AWS Integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP
The first step is to create an FSx for NetApp ONTAP file system in your AWS account. The steps that you will follow to do this are the same, whether you’re using the first or second path to provision and mount your NFS datastore.

  1. Open the Amazon FSx service page.
  2. On the dashboard, choose Create file system to start the file system creation wizard.
  3. On the Select file system type page, select Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, and then click Next which takes you to the Create ONTAP file system page. Here select the Standard create method.

The following video shows a complete guide on how to create an FSx for NetApp ONTAP:

The same process can be found in this FSx for ONTAP User Guide.

After the file system is created, locate the NFS IP address under the Storage virtual machines tab. The NFS IP address is the floating IP that is used to manage access between file system nodes, and it is required for configuring VMware Transit Connect.

Location of the NFS IP address under the Storage virtual machines tab - AWS console

Location of the NFS IP address under the Storage virtual machines tab – AWS console

Location of the NFS IP address under the Storage virtual machines tab - AWS console

Location of the NFS IP address under the Storage virtual machines tab – AWS console

You are done with creating the FSx for NetApp ONTAP file system, and now you need to create an SDDC group and configure VMware Transit Connect. In order to do this, you need to navigate between the VMware Cloud Console and the AWS console.

Sign in to the VMware Cloud Console, then go to the SDDC page. Here locate the Actions button and select Create SDDC Group. Once you’ve done this, provide the required data for Name (in the following example I used “FSx SDDC Group” for the name) and Description. For Membership, only include the SDDC in question.

After the SDDC Group is created, it shows up in your list of SDDC Groups. Select the SDDC Group, and then go to the External VPC tab.

External VPC tab Add Account - VMC Console

External VPC tab Add Account – VMC Console

Once you are in the External VPC tab, click the ADD ACCOUNT button, then provide the AWS account that was used to provision the FSx file system, and then click Add.

Now it’s time for you to go back to the AWS console and sign in to the same AWS account where you created your Amazon FSx file system. Here navigate to the Resource Access Manager service page and click the Accept resource share button.

Resource Access Manager service page to access the Accept resource share button - AWS console

Resource Access Manager service page to access the Accept resource share button – AWS console

Return to the VMC Console. By now, the External VPC is in an ASSOCIATED state. This can take several minutes to update.

External VPC tab - VMC Console

External VPC tab – VMC Console

Next, you need to attach a Transit Gateway to the VPC. For this, navigate back to the AWS console. A step-by-step guide can be found in the AWS Transit Gateway documentation.

The following is an example that represents a typical architecture of a VPC attached to a Transit Gateway:

A typical architecture of a VPC attached to a Transit Gateway

A typical architecture of a VPC attached to a Transit Gateway

You are almost at the end of the process. You now need to accept the transit gateway attachment and for this you will navigate back to the VMware Cloud Console.

Accept the Transit Gateway attachment as follows:

  1. Navigating back to the SDDC Group, External VPC tab, select the AWS account ID used for creating your FSx NetApp ONTAP, and click Accept. This process may take a few minutes.
  2. Next, you need to add the routes so that the SDDC can see the FSx file system. This is done on the same External VPC tab, where you will find a table with the VPC. In that table, there is a button called Add Routes. In the Add Route section, add two routes:
    1. The CIDR of the VPC where the FSx file system was deployed.
    2. The floating IP address of the file system.
  3. Click Done to complete the route task.

In the AWS console, create the route back to the SDDC by locating VPC on the VPC service page and navigating to the Route Table as seen below.

VPC service page Route Table navigation - AWS console

VPC service page Route Table navigation – AWS console

Ensure that you have the correct inbound rules for the SDDC Group CIDR by locating Security Groups under VPC and finding the Security Group that is being used (it should be the default one) to allow the inbound rules for SDDC Group CIDR.

Security Groups under VPC that is being used to allow the inbound rules for SDDC Group CIDR

Security Groups under VPC that are being used to allow the inbound rules for SDDC Group CIDR

Lastly, mount the NFS Datastore in the VMware Cloud Console as follows:

  1. Locate your SDDC.
  2. After selecting the SDDC, Navigate to the Storage Tab.
  3. Click Attach Datastore to mount the NFS volume(s).
  4. The next step is to select which hosts in the SDDC to mount the datastore to and click Mount to complete the task.
Attach a new datastore

Attach A New Datastore

Available Today
Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is available today for VMware Cloud on AWS customers in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Canada (Central), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Milan), Europe (Paris), Europe (Stockholm), South America (São Paulo), AWS GovCloud (US-East), and AWS GovCloud (US-West).

Veliswa x

AWS Week in Review – August 29, 2022

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I’ve just returned from data and machine learning (ML) conferences in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. It’s been great to chat with customers and developers about the latest technology trends and use cases. This past week has also been packed with launches at AWS.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week:

Amazon QuickSight announces fine-grained visual embedding. You can now embed individual visuals from QuickSight dashboards in applications and portals to provide key insights to users where they’re needed most. Check out Donnie’s blog post to learn more, and tune into this week’s The Official AWS Podcast episode.

Sample Web App with a Visual

Sample Web App with a Visual

Amazon SageMaker Automatic Model Tuning is now available in the Europe (Milan), Africa (Cape Town), Asia Pacific (Osaka), and Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Regions. In addition, SageMaker Automatic Model Tuning now reuses SageMaker Training instances to reduce start-up overheads by 20x. In scenarios where you have a large number of hyperparameter evaluations, the reuse of training instances can cumulatively save 2 hours for every 50 sequential evaluations.

Amazon RDS now supports setting up connectivity between your RDS database and EC2 compute instance in one click. Amazon RDS automatically sets up your VPC and related network settings during database creation to enable a secure connection between the EC2 instance and the RDS database.

In addition, Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports managed Oracle Data Guard Switchover and Automated Backups for replicas. With the Oracle Data Guard Switchover feature, you can reverse the roles between the primary database and one of its standby databases (replicas) with no data loss and a brief outage. You can also now create Automated Backups and manual DB snapshots of an RDS for Oracle replica, which reduces the time spent taking backups following a role transition.

Amazon Forecast now supports what-if analyses. Amazon Forecast is a fully managed service that uses ML algorithms to deliver highly accurate time series forecasts.  You can now use what-if analyses to quantify the potential impact of business scenarios on your demand forecasts.

AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region now supports additional AWS services and EC2 instance types – Amazon SageMaker, AWS Application Migration Service, AWS Glue, Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA), and Amazon EC2 X2idn and X2iedn instances are now available in the Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Here are some additional news, blog posts, and fun code competitions you may find interesting:

Scaling AI and Machine Learning Workloads with Ray on AWS – This past week, I attended Ray Summit in San Francisco, California, and had great conversations with the community. Check out this blog post to learn more about AWS contributions to the scalability and operational efficiency of Ray on AWS.

Ray on AWS

New AWS Heroes – It’s great to see both new and familiar faces joining the AWS Heroes program, a worldwide initiative that acknowledges individuals who have truly gone above and beyond to share knowledge in technical communities. Get to know them in the blog post!

DFL Bundesliga Data ShootoutDFL Deutsche Fußball Liga launched a code competition, powered by AWS: the Bundesliga Data Shootout. The task: Develop a computer vision model to classify events on the pitch. Join the competition as an individual or in a team and win prizes.

Become an AWS GameDay World Champion – AWS GameDay is an interactive, team-based learning experience designed to put your AWS skills to the test by solving real-world problems in a gamified, risk-free environment. Developers of all skill levels can get in on the action, to compete for worldwide glory, as well as a chance to claim the top prize: an all-expenses-paid trip to AWS re:Invent Las Vegas 2022!

Learn more about the AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders from one of the inaugural members of the program in this blog post. The AWS Impact Accelerator is a series of programs designed to help high-potential, pre-seed start-ups led by underrepresented founders succeed.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS SummitAWS Global Summits – AWS Global Summits are free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS.

Registration is open for the following in-person AWS Summits that might be close to you in August and September: Canberra (August 31), Ottawa (September 8), New Delhi (September 9), and Mexico City (September 21–22), Bogotá (October 4), and Singapore (October 6).

AWS Community DayAWS Community DaysAWS Community Day events are community-led conferences that deliver a peer-to-peer learning experience, providing developers with a venue for them to acquire AWS knowledge in their preferred way: from one another.

In September, the AWS community will host events in the Bay Area, California (September 9) and in Arlington, Virginia (September 30). In October, you can join Community Days in Amersfoort, Netherlands (October 3), in Warsaw, Poland (October 14), and in Dresden, Germany (October 19).

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review! And maybe I’ll see you at the AWS Community Day here in the Bay Area!

Antje

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

VMware Skyline Announcements at VMware Explore 2022

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Tweet We have several exciting announcements we’re making at VMware Explore that further extend Skyline’s ability to boost customer productivity. Check them out below! Tighter integration and a streamlined Aria Universal Suite Experience (formerly known as vRealize Cloud Universal) Skyline will make it easier for customers to onboard to Aria Universal Suite with a streamlined … Continued

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Announcing the latest AWS Heroes – August 2022

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The global AWS community is filled with passionate builders, eager to learn and explore ways to build better and faster on AWS. Within the AWS community, a select few individuals truly go above and beyond to share their knowledge and inspire others through content creation, event organization, open source contributions, and more. These community leaders are called AWS Heroes, and today we are thrilled to recognize the latest cohort:

Alexey Grigorev – Berlin, Germany

Machine Learning Hero Alexey Grigorev works as a principal data scientist at OLX and he runs DataTalks.Club, a community of 20,000+ data enthusiasts. He has written a few books about machine learning. One of them is Machine Learning Bookcamp, a book for software engineers who want to get into machine learning. A big fan of serverless and AWS Lambda, Alexey likes teaching how to use Lambda and other AWS services for Machine Learning model deployment. He lives in Berlin with his wife and son.

Allen Helton – McKinney, USA

Serverless Hero Allen Helton is a Cloud Architect at Tyler Technologies with a sharp focus on serverless-first development. He has been working in tech since 2012, after graduating with a B.S. in Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas. Allen writes extensively about serverless on his blog Ready, Set, Cloud, where he shares everything from reference architectures to enterprise level production readiness tips. He also regularly engages on serverless topics on Twitter.

Liz Fong-Jones – Vancouver, Canada / Sydney, Australia

Community Hero Liz Fong-Jones is a developer advocate, labor and ethics organizer, and Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 17+ years of experience. She is an advocate at Honeycomb for the SRE and Observability communities. She led implementation of Service-Level Objectives and adoption of Graviton2/Graviton3 at Honeycomb, and co-authored Observability Engineering. She has served on the OpenTelemetry governance committee and on the SREcon steering committee. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her wife Elly, partners, and a Samoyed/Golden Retriever mix, and in Sydney, NSW. She plays classical piano, leads an EVE Online alliance, and advocates for transgender rights.

Scott Hsieh – New Taipei City, Taiwan

Data Hero Scott Hsieh, also known as Shu-Jeng Hsieh, is a Data Architect at 104 Corporation. He has been sharing content on dev.to and Medium for nearly 2 years and has spoken at 6 events including AWS Summit Taiwan, re:Invent re:Cap, and DevAx::Alliance, mostly on data topics. He became an AWS Community Builder in the end of 2020 and achieved 10 AWS certifications within 1.5 years. Additionally, Scott has created 5 CDK constructs for 5 programming languages which in total are approaching 100K downloads. He is active in the AWS User Group Taiwan Facebook group, and enjoys helping people to grasp AWS services with ease and learning from experts across different fields.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about the new Heroes, or connect with a Hero near you, please visit the AWS Heroes website or browse the AWS Heroes Content Library.

Ross

New — Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight

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Today, we are announcing a new feature, Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight. With this feature, individual visualizations from Amazon QuickSight dashboards can now be embedded in high-traffic webpages and applications. Additionally, this feature enables you to provide rich insights for your end-users where they need them the most, without server or software setup or infrastructure management.

This is a quick preview of this new feature:

Quick Preview of Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight

Quick Preview: Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight

New Feature: Fine-Grained Visual Embedding

Amazon QuickSight is a cloud-based embeddable and ML-powered business intelligence (BI) service that delivers interactive data visualizations, analysis, and reporting to enable data-driven decision-making within the organization and with the end user, without servers to manage.

Amazon QuickSight supports embedded analytics, a feature that enables you to incorporate branded analytics into internal portals or public sites. Customers can easily embed interactive dashboards, natural language querying (NLQ), or the complete BI-authoring experience seamlessly in their applications. This provides convenience for your end users to simplify the process of data-informed decisions.

Our customers want to be able to embed visuals from various dashboards into their applications and websites in order to bring forth deeply integrated data-driven experiences to enhance end user experiences. Previously, customers needed to build, scale, and maintain generation layer and charting libraries to embed individual visualizations.

With Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight, developers and ISVs now have the ability to embed any visuals from dashboards into their applications using APIs. As for enterprises, they can embed visuals into their internal sites using 1-Click Embedding. For end-users, Fine-Grained Visual Embedding provides a seamless and integrated experience to access a variety of key data visuals to get insights.

Here’s an example view where we can embed a visual using this feature in a sample web application page:

Sample Web App with a Visual

Sample Web App with a Visual

The embedded visuals are automatically updated when the source data changes or when the visual is updated. Embedded visuals scale automatically without the need to manage servers from your end and are optimized for high performance on high-traffic pages.

Get Started with Fine-Grained Visual Embedding

There are two ways to use Fine-Grained Visual Embedding, with 1-Click Embedding or using QuickSight APIs to generate the embed URL. The 1-Click Embedding feature makes it easy for nontechnical users to generate embed code that can be inserted directly into internal portals or public sites. Using APIs, ISVs and developers can embed rich visuals in their applications. Furthermore, with row-level security, data access is secured enabling users to access only their data.

To start using this feature, let’s turn to the Amazon QuickSight dashboard. Here, I already have a dashboard using a dataset that you can follow from the Create an Amazon QuickSight dashboard using sample data documentation.

Amazon QuickSight Dashboard Using Sample Data

Amazon QuickSight Dashboard Using Sample Data

Using 1-Click Embedding to Generate Embed Code

Amazon QuickSight supports 1-Click Embedding—a feature that allows you to get the embed code without any development efforts. There are two types of 1-Click Embedding: 1) 1-Click Enterprise Embedding and 2) 1-Click Public Embedding. With enterprise embedding, it allows you to enable access to the dashboard with registered users in your account. In public embedding, you can enable access to the dashboards for anyone.

To get the embed code via 1-Click Embedding, you can select the visual you want to embed, then select Menu Options and choose Embed visual.

Select "Embed visual" from Menu Options

Select Embed visual from Menu Options

Once you select Embed visual, you will get a new menu on the right side, which contains the details of the visual you selected.

Copy "Embed code"

Copy the Embed code

The Embed code section contains iframe code that you can insert into your application, portal, or website. Domains hosting these embedded visuals must be on an allow list, which you can learn more about on the Allow listing static domains page. This is a sample display of how the embed code is rendered:

Sample Display of Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight

Sample Display of Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight

When there is a change in the visual source within Amazon QuickSight, it will also be reflected within the web app or app where you embed your visuals. In addition, embedded visuals from QuickSight will automatically scale as traffic on the website grows.

From a customer’s perspective, 1-Click Embedding will help customers provide key data visuals from various dashboards in Amazon QuickSight for end users anywhere on their websites without requiring technical skills.

Programmatically Generate Embed URL

In addition to the 1-Click Embedding, you can also perform visual embedding through the API. To perform visual embedding through the API, you can use AWS CLI or SDK to call the API GenerateEmbedUrlForAnonymousUser or GenerateEmbedUrlForRegisteredUser.

You can use the GenerateEmbedUrlForAnonymousUser API to embed visuals in your applications for your users without provisioning them in Amazon QuickSight.

You can also use GenerateEmbedUrlForRegisteredUser API to embed visuals in your application for your users that are provisioned in Amazon QuickSight.

The API works by passing the ExperienceConfiguration parameter in DashboardVisual with the properties below:

{
    'DashboardId':'<DASHBOARD_ID>',  
    'SheetId':'<SHEET_ID>',  
    'VisualId':'<VISUAL_ID>'  
}

Then, to get the IDs for DashboardSheet, and Visual, you can find the value of these properties under IDs for Developers menu section for the visual you selected.

IDs for Developers

IDs for Developers

Using CLI to Generate Embed URL

After collecting all the required IDs, we can pass them as parameters. Here’s an example API command to generate an embed URL:

aws quicksight generate-embed-url-for-anonymous-user   
    --aws-account-id <ACCOUNT_ID>   
    --session-lifetime-in-minutes 15           
    --authorized-resource-arns “<DASHBOARD_ARN>”           
    --namespace default           
    --experience-configuration '{"DashboardVisual": 
        {
            "InitialDashboardVisualId": 
            {  
                    "DashboardId”:”<DASHBOARD_ID>”,  
                    "SheetId”:”<SHEET_ID>”,  
                    "VisualId”:”<VISUAL_ID”  
            }  
        }}'  

If the request is successful, you will get the following response. You can then use the EmbedUrl property within your web or application.

{  
    "Status": 200,  
    "EmbedUrl": “<EMBED_URL>”,  
    "RequestId": “<REQUEST_ID>”,  
    "AnonymousUserArn": “<ARN>”  
}

Using SDK to Generate Embed URL

In addition to the AWS CLI, generating embed URLs can also be done using the AWS SDK. Here’s an example in Python:

response = client.generate_embed_url_for_anonymous_user(  
    AwsAccountId='123456789012',  
    SessionLifetimeInMinutes=15,  
    Namespace='default',  
    AuthorizedResourceArns=[  
        '<DASHBOARD_ARN>',  
    ],  
    ExperienceConfiguration={  
        'DashboardVisual': {  
            'InitialDashboardVisualId': {  
                'DashboardId':'<DASHBOARD_ID>',  
                'SheetId':'<SHEET_ID>',  
                'VisualId':'<VISUAL_ID>'  
            }  
        }  
    },  
    AllowedDomains=[  
        'https://YOUR-DOMAIN.com',  
    ]  
)  

With API, you have the flexibility to configure allowed domains at runtime. From the example above, you can pass your domains in AllowedDomains property.

When the request is successful, the API will return a successful response, along with a URL from Visual Embedding that can be inserted into external web apps. Example response as below:

{
    "Status": 200,  
    "EmbedUrl":"<EMBED_URL>",  
    "RequestId": "<REQUEST_ID>”
}  

Using the API approach gives developers the flexibility to programmatically generate embed URLs. Developers can specify the access for visuals for nonregistered and registered users in Amazon QuickSight.

Demo

To see Fine-Grained Visual Embedding Powered by Amazon QuickSight in action, have a look at this demo:

Pricing and Availability

You can use this new feature, Fine-Grained Visual Embedding in Amazon QuickSight Enterprise Edition, in all supported Regions. For more detailed information, please visit the documentation page.

Happy building,

— Donnie

Taking Apart URL Shorteners, (Thu, Aug 25th)

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Ever get a "shortened" url (bit.ly, tinyurl.com or whatever) and stress about "clicking that link"?  Or worse yet, have that "Oh No" moment after you just clicked it?  Or possibly tripped over such a link during IR and have to investigate it?  Is there a way to look at the link contents without a sandbox with a packet sniffer (or fiddler or burp or similar)? 

New – AWS Support App in Slack to Manage Support Cases

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ChatOps speeds up software development and operations by enabling DevOps teams to use chat clients and chatbots to communicate and run tasks. DevOps engineers have increasingly moved their monitoring, system management, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery (CD) workflows to chat applications in order to streamline activities in a single place and enable better collaboration within organizations.

For example, AWS Chatbot enables ChatOps for AWS to monitor and respond to operational events. AWS Chatbot processes AWS service notifications from Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) and forwards them to your Slack channel or Amazon Chime chat rooms so teams can analyze and act on them immediately, regardless of location. However, AWS Support customers had to switch applications from Slack to the AWS Support Center console to access and engage with AWS Support, moving them away from critical operation channels where essential group communications take place.

Today we are announcing the new AWS Support App, which enables you to directly manage your technical, billing, and account support cases, increase service quotas in Slack, and initiate a live chat with AWS Support engineers in Slack channels. You can then search for, respond to, and participate in group chats with AWS Support engineers to resolve support cases from your Slack channels.

With the AWS Support App in Slack, you can integrate AWS Support into your team workflows to improve collaboration. When creating, updating, or monitoring a support case status, your team members keep up to date in real time. They can also easily search previous cases to find recommendations and solutions and instantly share those details with all team members without having to switch applications.

Configuring the AWS Support App in Slack
The AWS Support App in Slack is now available to all customers with Business, Enterprise On-ramp, or Enterprise Support at no additional charge. If you have a Basic or Developer plan, you can upgrade your support plan.

For connecting your Slack workspace and channel for your organization, you should have access to add apps to your Slack workspace and an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user or role with the required permissions. To learn more, see examples of IAM policies to manage access.

To get started with the AWS Support App in Slack, visit the AWS Support Center console and choose Authorize workspace.

When prompted to give permissions to access your Slack workspace, you can select your workspace to connect and choose Allow.

Now you can see your workspace on the Slack configuration page. To add more workspaces, choose Add workspace and repeat this step. You can add up to five workspaces to your account.

After you authorize your Slack workspace, you can add your Slack channels by choosing Add channel. You can add up to 20 channels for a single account. A single Slack channel can have up to 100 AWS accounts.

Choose the workspace name that you previously authorized, the Slack channel ID included in the channel link and the value that looks like C01234A5BCD where you invited the AWS Support App by /invite @awssupport command, the IAM role that you created for the AWS Support App.

You can also set notifications for how to get notified about cases and choose at least one of the options in New and reopened cases, Case correspondences, or Resolved cases for notification types. If you select High-severity cases, you can get notified for only cases that affect a production system or higher by the severity levels.

After adding a new channel, you can now open the Slack channel and manage support cases and live chats with AWS Support engineers.

Managing Support Cases in the Slack Channel
After you add your Slack workspace and channel, you can create, search, resolve, and reopen your support case in your Slack channel.

In your Slack channel, when you enter /awssupport create-case command, you can create a support case to specify the subject, description, issue type, service, category, severity, and contact method — either email and Slack notifications or live chat in Slack.

If you choose Live chat in Slack, you can enter the names of other members. AWS Support App will create a new chat channel for the created support case and will automatically add you, the members that you specified, and AWS Support engineers.

After reviewing the information you provided, you can create a support case. You can also choose Share to channel to share the search results with the channel.

In your Slack channel, when you enter the /awssupport search-case command, you can search support cases for a specific AWS account, data range, and case status, such as open or resolved.

You can choose See details to see more information about a case. When you see details for a support case, you can resolve or reopen specific support cases directly.

Initiating Live Chat Sessions with AWS Support Engineers
If you chose the live chat option when you created your case, the AWS Support App creates a chat channel for you and an AWS Support engineer. You can use this chat channel to communicate with a support engineer and any others that you invited to the live chat.

To join a live chat session with AWS Support, navigate to the channel name that the AWS Support App created for you. The live channel name contains your support case ID, such as awscase-1234567890. Anyone who joins your live chat channel can view details about this specific support case. We strongly recommend that you only add users that require access to your support cases.

When a support engineer joins the channel, you can chat with a support engineer about your support case and upload any file attachments to the channel. The AWS Support App automatically saves your files and chat log to your case correspondence.

To stop chatting with the support agent, choose End chat or enter the /awssupport endchat command. The support agent will leave the channel and the AWS Support App will stop recording the live chat. You can find the chat history attached to the case correspondence for this support case. If the issue has been resolved, you can choose Resolve case from the pinned message to show the case details in the chat channel or enter the /awssupport resolve command.

When you manage support cases or join live chats for your account in the Slack channel, you can view the case correspondences to determine whether the case has been updated in the Slack channel. You can also audit the Support API calls the application made on behalf of users via logs in AWS CloudTrail. To learn more, see Logging AWS Support API calls using AWS CloudTrail.

Requesting Service Quota Increases
In your Slack channel, when you enter the /awssupport service-quota-increase command, you can request to increase the service quota for a specific AWS account, AWS Region, service name, quota name, and requested value for the quota increase.

Now Available
The AWS Support App in Slack is now available to all customers with Business, Enterprise On-ramp, or Enterprise Support at no additional charge. If you have a Basic or Developer plan, you can upgrade your support plan. To learn more, see Manage support cases with the AWS Support App or contact your usual AWS Support contacts.

Channy