Now Open for Business: Sdkbin - the Marketplace for .NET Developers

A Better Way to Buy and Sell Business-to-Developer Software and Services

Sdkbin Logo - The Marketplace for Software Developers I formally introduced Sdkbin back on my personal blog in June, 2020, but it was not yet ready for Petabridge, its customers, or the users of the open source projects we support. As of September 30th, Sdkbin is now live and open for business.

So, what is Sdkbin?

A Better Way to Buy and Sell Business-to-Developer Software and Services

Petabridge has been in business for nearly 6 years and nearly all of our business comes from supporting Akka.NET and its users.

Among the products and services we sell:

Some of these services, such as code review and onsite training, are inherently bespoke - we have to tailor what we deliver to the unique needs of each customer.

But other services, such as Phobos and our Akka.NET Support Plans, are valuable because they are so standardized - pick a license / service level, a quantity, buy it, and use it. As we’ve learned over the course of time: it is very painstaking to build and run sales, fulfillment, renewal, and support operations for these services manually.

The manual experience is also suboptimal for our customers:

  1. It’s difficult to keep track of license keys, remaining support hours, and which team members have access to each of these through all of the separate systems we use for delivering these products and services (i.e. Freshdesk, MyGet, and Github;)
  2. Business continuity is an issue - if a key decision maker leaves then service disruptions often occur; and
  3. Managing renewals often means an arduous procurement process if...

The Current State of OpenTelemetry in .NET

OpenTelemetry vs. OpenTracing and the Future of Observability in .NET

In the past we’ve discussed why distributed tracing is becoming commonplace and the OpenTracing standard for instrumenting libraries and applications. In this post I want to touch on the emerging OpenTelemetry standard, which will become a common component used to instrument ASP.NET Core applications in the not too distant future.

OpenTelemetry logo

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry is the convergence of two competing tracing standards:

  • OpenTracing - developed by a community of APM vendors and library authors and
  • OpenCensus - developed by Google.

The goal is to provide a unified set of APIs library authors can include inside their applications in order to:

  • Propagate distributed tracing context, including the new W3C HTTP tracing standard;
  • Aggregate metrics (counters, meters, etc); and
  • Export metrics and trace data to a variety of different Application Performance Monitoring (APM) backends, which can be configured entirely by the application developer.

OpenTelemetry vs. OpenTracing

OpenTelemetry vs. OpenTracing

So what are the material differences between OpenTelemetry and OpenTracing? Why do we need another new standard?

The major technical differences are:

  1. OpenTelemetry’s core library is the Tracer implementation - the traces are created and correlated using OpenTelemetry calls and then only during the export process do the traces hit any vendor-specific code. This makes the performance of OpenTelemetry very consistent regardless of what vendors end-users choose. In contrast, with OpenTracing all of the real calls are done by a vendor-specific implementation of the OpenTracing APIs - so as a library author you could have a great set of benchmarks using a Zipkin OpenTracing library but not-so-great ones using a Jaeger OpenTracing library. I prefer OpenTelemetry’s approach here.
  2. OpenTelemetry supports metrics instrumentation in addition to tracing - a library author...

Akka.NET v1.4 is Available on .NET Standard 2.0

Akka.Remote Performance Improvements, Akka.Cluster.Sharding out of Beta, Akka.Cluster.Metrics, and More

As of this week, Akka.NET v1.4 is now fully available for users to use. We’ve published a detailed article on the Akka.NET website that describes what’s new in Akka.NET v1.4, but we wanted to capture some of the highlights here.

Akka.Cluster.Sharding and Akka.DistributedData are out of Beta

Akka.Cluster.Sharding has been used by Akka.NET users in production for years, mostly relying on the underlying Akka.Persistence storage engine to save all of the sharding state used to distributed entity actors evenly across the cluster.

Akka.Cluster.Sharding actor distribution

However, the reason why the module remained in beta for the past couple of years is because Akka.Cluster.Sharding’s alternate storage mode, Akka.DistributedData, which uses eventually consistent in-memory replication to manage cluster sharding state throughout an Akka.NET cluster, lacked a stable wire format and hadn’t been certified for production yet.