Two days left for AzureConf 2014, if you haven’t registered for it yet now is the time to do it.

On October 21st, 2014, Microsoft will be hosting AzureConf, another free event for the Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Azure community members. Streamed live for an online audience on Channel 9, the event will allow you to see how developers just like you are using Azure to develop robust, scalable applications on Azure.

Community members from all over the world will join known speakers such as Michael Collier, Mike Martin, Rick Garibay, and Chris Auld in the Channel 9 studios to present their own inventions and experiences. Whether you’re just learning Microsoft Azure or you’ve already achieved success on the platform, you won’t want to miss this special event.

 

The Microsoft Azure Storage Team released their latest Azure Storage Client Libraries and Tools which now supports accessing the Azure Storage from Portable libraries which in turn means that you are now able to access Azure store from Window 8 phone and Metro style applications directly.

Following are some of the new features and highlights:

Azure Storage SDK for .NET v4.3.0
Added support for building Universal and Windows Runtime based Windows Phone applications.
Updated OData dependencies to v5.6.2 and Newtonsoft.Json dependency to v5.0.8
Readme | changelog

Azure Storage SDK for Python v0.8.4
Fixed the issue of incorrect content type on blob
Readme | changelog | [supports REST API protocol version: 2012-02-12]

Azure XPlat CLI v0.8.1
Readme | changelog
Added additional commands for working with File/Table/Queue and Blob Service (visit the changelog for a full list).
Added SAS support for storage container/blob/table and queue
Switched storage library to Azure storage module

Documentation
Monitoring, Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Guide | Link
PowerShell Storage cmdlets Documentation | Link

Today the Azure Media Services team announced a new tool, namely the Azure Media Services Explorer Tool.

The Azure Media Services Explorer Tool is a Windows Forms tool based on the Azure Media SDKs that can be used by non-developers to test media workflows, monitor activities on their Azure Media Services accounts, or do just about anything that the full API allows you to do today without writing a line of code.

capt1

You can find the installation package on http://aka.ms/amse.

What’s even better is that the full source code for this tool is published to GitHub which can really help you better learn the APIs and integrate features into your own applications.

Summary of features

Asset upload/download/management

  • Asset upload from files, folder, in batch mode, with a watch folder
  • Asset import from Azure Storage or from any http source
  • Asset download to local, and export to Azure Storage
  • Asset files management (upload or delete) within an existing asset
  • Duplicate/merge assets

Process assets

  • Encode with Azure Media Encoder (standard and custom presets, video stitching, audio or video overlay, etc)
  • Extract keywords and TTML caption files with Media Indexer
  • Generate thumbnails for your existing assets
  • Call any Media Processor generically
  • Manage jobs (progress, priority…)
  • List all available processors in your account

Live streaming

  • Enable live channels and programs (creation, start, stop, delete, reset)
  • Live preview playback, program playback

Publish assets

  • Dynamic encryption setup (AES, Common Encryption) and key/license delivery service
  • SAS and streaming locators creation/deletion
  • Playback assets with web based players (Silverlight, Flash, HTML5/Dash)
  • Manage streaming endpoints management (creation, deletion, settings)

Display and reporting

  • Display detailed information on assets (locators, protection), jobs (tasks), live channels, programs, streaming endpoints
  • Send email report for jobs and assets
  • Links to players and online documentation, and offline help file for Media Services

Note: you can select multiple assets, jobs, channels or programs for some features.

Read more about the new tool from here

image_thumb33Last month I had the opportunity to speak at a Microsoft event about best patterns and practices of Microsoft Azure development.

Today I noticed that most of the things we talked about at the event is included in a very nice book available for free from Microsoft Press:  “Patterns & Practices: Cloud Design Patterns”. So if you’re interested on how to build your software for Microsoft Azure this is a very nice starting point.

Containing twenty-four design patterns and ten related guidance topics, this guide articulates the benefit of applying patterns by showing how each piece can fit into the big picture of cloud application architectures. It also discusses the benefits and considerations for each pattern. Most of the patterns have code samples or snippets that show how to implement the patterns using the features of Windows Azure. However the majority of topics described in this guide are equally relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether hosted on Windows Azure or on other cloud platforms.

Additionally, there is sample code:

The example applications for use in conjunction with Cloud Design Pattern guide. It consists of 10 samples to show how to implement design patterns using the features of Windows Azure.
See the Readme for information about the sample code. Each sample has a corresponding readme for information about how to run the sample.
Note: The samples are simplified to focus on and demonstrate the essential features of each pattern. They are not designed to be used in production scenarios.

 

With Global Windows Azure Bootcamp only a few days away I just received confirmation of all the things we’re going to be giving away this Saturday and I must say that the list is long and contains a lot of interesting oferings from our sponsors.

MyGet http://www.myget.org/ Every attendee gets 2 free months1 winner at each location win a 1 year subscription
JetBrains http://www.jetbrains.com/ 1 winner at each location win a free personal license to one of JetBrain’s .NET Products or IDEs (their choice) See www.jetbrains.com for a list, or it is included in the giveaway slides.
Blue Syntax http://www.bluesyntax.net 3 winners at each location win an Enterprise license to Enzo Cloud Backup
Infragistics http://www.infragistics.com/ 1 winner at each location win a Infragistics Ultimate License
Opsgility http://www.opsgility.com/ 1 winner at each location wins a voucher (up to $200) for an online course.
Cerebrata http://www.cerebrata.com/ 5 winners at each location win a license to Azure Management Studio
CloudBerry http://www.cloudberrylab.com/ 5 winners at each location win a license of their choice to CloudBerry Drive, Explorer Pro or Backup
Paraleap https://www.paraleap.com/ Every attendees gets 1 free month of Azure Watch
CODE Magazine http://www.codemag.com/magazine/ Every attendee gets a digital copy of the March/April issue of CODE MagazineEvery attendee gets 1 year free digital subscription to CODE Magazine
Zudio https://zud.io/ Every Attendee gets 6 months free
Stackify http://www.stackify.com/ Every attendee gets 1 free license. Install it and get a TShirt sent to you.
Wintellect Now! http://www.wintellectnow.com/ Every attendee gets a 2 week subscription. If they register before April 25th they can get a 50% discount.
FacetFlow https://facetflow.com/ Every attendee gets 2 free months when they sign up past the trial.
Appveyor http://www.appveyor.com/ Every attendee gets 2 free months with the purchase of any plan.

And that’s not all… register and find out what the big prize of GWAB Greece is…

AzureBootcamp_March2014_FY13

Registrations for the Global Windows Azure bootcamp in Athens are now open.

Now is the time for you to register in order to get up to speed on developing for Windows Azure. The class includes presenters and trainers with deep real world experience with Windows Azure, as well as a series of labs so you can practice what you just learned.

Hurry cause seats are filling up fast.

 

bootcamp-300x202In April of 2013 a bunch of MVPs held the first Global Windows Azure Bootcamp at more than 90 locations around the globe! Unfortunately Greece was not in the list of participants mainly due to bad timing.

This year though I’ve decided to organize the event for Greece, so we plan to offer up a one day deep dive class to help thousands of people get up to speed on developing Cloud Computing Applications for Windows Azure. In addition to this great learning opportunity the hands on labs will feature pooling a huge global compute farm to perform research for charity!

If you’re not familiar with the event you can learn more about it from this site http://global.windowsazurebootcamp.com/

Call for action

So, if you’re interested and you’d like to help in organizing this event for Greece I’m currently looking for a co-organizer and of course if you’d like to speak and have a topic you wish to present drop me a line and we’ll talk.

Looking forward to see you all there.

0009It’s been almost a month since this year’s ITPro|DevConnections and it’s been at least a couple of weeks since this post has been sitting in my drafts folder waiting to be published. A lot of things have changed this summer (but this is the topic of another post) and things have been pretty hectic so I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging. And haven’t been able to tell you all about this years’ ITPro|DevConnections.

For those of you that are still not aware of what ITPro|DevConnections is, every year around November the IT professionals community, www.autoexec.gr, in cooperation with the developers’ community, www.dotnetzone.gr, present a two days event with lots of parallel tracks! The event has been running for four years now, each year with more success. During these two days we get to speak a lot about all the cutting edge Microsoft technologies meet and discuss with fellow professionals and generally have a great time.  If you speak Greek then you can also hear how the event was captured by one of the largest TV networks in Greece (ANT1)

To organize for these two days we spend the whole year around planning and preparing for it. As well as try to find the necessary funds, as nothing is free, to minimize the risk of having to put money from our pocket. It comes without saying that it requires a lot of energy and it can get really stressful at times but it gets very rewarding at the end.

This year, around 600 IT professionals and developers attended the event, making it the largest community organized event in Greece. Although we faced a number of issues during the event, I believe that everyone was satisfied at the end with the quality of the content offered. Surely we’re learning from our mistakes and we’ll make ITPro|DevConnections even better next year.

My Session this year was about searching in the cloud. Boost your searching with Windows Azure.

Talking with a lot of customers I’ve discovered that one of the major pain points when developing or migrating their applications to Windows Azure is searching. A large majority currently used SQL Server Full Text Search for searching text in their database. Unfortunately SQL Server Full Text Search is not currently supported in Windows Azure. So in my session we explored our searching options and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each solution.

You can find my slide deck here…

I’m looking forward for next years event.

Summernote is a simple, clean and flexible WYSIWYG Editor that is built on top of jQuery and Bootstrap.

It supports Bootstrap’s both active versions (2 and 3) and has keyboard shortcuts for all major tasks.

Summernote WYSIWYG Editor

There is a powerful API which provides lots of customization options in means of design (width, height, active items..) and functionality.

The project also has integration samples for major scripting languages (PHP, Ruby, Django, Nodejs).

It was only last week, when I talked about Windows Azure mobile services in a www.dotnetzone.gr event at Microsoft, that I argued about the need business logic – data store separation and it seems that ScottGu might have been listening Smile

Today ScottGu announced a bunch of major ultra cool new features for Windows Azure Mobile Services which are:

  • Custom API support

  • Git Source Control support
  • Node.js NPM Module support
  • A .NET API via NuGet
  • Free 20MB SQL Database Option for Mobile Services and Web Sites
  • Android Broadcast Push Notification Support

If you want to find more about how these new features work visit ScottGu’s blog post or drop by next week at the TechEd Europe expo to show you Winking smile

I’ve got only one more thing to say, if you’re a mobile app /windows 8 developer you should definitely have a look …