Lately I’ve been reading a lot about IoT as I believe that this is the next big leap towards Ubiquitous computing and I find it very challenging and intriguing. In my readings I found a lot of useful resources, one of the greatest one though is ConnectTheDots.

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ConnectTheDots.io is an open source project by Microsoft Open Technologies created to help you get tiny devices connected to Microsoft Azure and implement great IoT solutions taking advantage of Microsoft Azure services such as Azure Stream Analytics, Machine Learning or HD Insight.

As part of the project you will find code samples, configuration scripts and guides that will help you set up tiny devices and configure Microsoft Azure services to make the most out of the data produced by your devices.

Starting with a basic scenario, the intent is to make the project grow with more devices types, more scripts to provision and configure Azure services and more “Getting Started” guides to help you implement full end to end solutions yourself.

As a first sample, we have created a simple end to end solution, from device all the way to a Website, that consists in displaying in real time on a web page raw temperature and humidity data generated from an Arduino board equipped with a weather Shield as well as alerts and processed data generated by Microsoft Azure Stream analytics based on the raw data from the device. We are using a Raspberry Pi, acting as a gateway, to send the data from the sensor up to Microsoft Azure Event Hub service. Azure Stream Analytics

Check out the Wiki to try out your first project!

It’s been quite a while since the release of www.zougla.gr windows 8 metro application but haven’t gotten around building it for Windows Phone as well. With Universal apps and having designed the app to be modular it has gotten really easy to move it to the windows 8 platform too, so I decided it was time to give some time into it.

So today I’m happy to announce the brand new ZouglaGR free windows Phone 8.1 application is available at the Windows phone app store. If you’re interested in getting all the latest news in Greece as they happen then this app is the one for you.

Hope you like it.

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10835330_904691899541590_3754265912323387839_oLast week I had the opportunity to discuss Azure Mobile Services in a Code for fun meet up held by dotnetzone.gr.

I really enjoy these community driven events as they’re so much different from all the rest I’m presenting.

They’re more relaxed and interactive more like a discussion than a monologue,  between colleagues sharing their experiences on a particular technology.

It’s more about coding and so much less about PowerPoints. In this last event I only showed only 4 slides 2 of which were the title and the thank you one. The rest of the time I’ve spent it coding together with the participants.

We’ve organize them in such a way that each one picks up from where the previous one ended, so there’s a sense of continuum. For example we first built a Windows 8 App using HTML / TypeScript and in my session we used Azure Mobile Services to build a backend for it.

We’re ending these sessions with Pizzas :-)

I really encourage you to be part of this, I can guarantee you, you’ll really enjoy it too. Plus if you want you can take the stage as well. We’re open to anyone who would like to share with us his experiences in building software.

For those of you who couldn’t attend the last session I’m sharing the source code of the Backend Azure Mobile service we built.

This Thursday 4/12 at 19.00 I’m going to be presenting Azure Mobile Services at the Code for fun meetup

Except from getting to know all about this new exciting Microsoft Azure feature, this event is an opportunity to get together with other fellow professionals share experiences and news and have fun (pizzas included).

For those of you that haven’t registered yet, harry up and register, let’s catch up and share our news.

ITpro14Another very successful ITPro|DevConnections event was completed this weekend.

A big “thank you” to all of you that participated in one way or the other. Your participation makes us stronger and gives us strength to continue.

For those of you that attended my presentation and/or are interested on How to achieve the best SQL performance in Azure I’m posting the material (Silde Deck and completed demos) here as promised and hope you find it useful.

Demos

See you all next year.

ITPro|DevConnections

Yes, it’s that time of the year, just two days left for the largest IT event in Greece.

The IT Professionals community, autoexec.gr, together with the developers one dotNETZone.gr, is organizing once again the well known technology celebration. Join us – 29th and 30th November in Metropolitan Expo (near Athens International airport) to discuss and learn all about current and future technological trends from the best speakers in the market in two full days and five parallel tracks!

This year my session is all about scaling SQL server workloads. Talking with a lot of customers I’ve noticed that, one of the largest challenges faced when moving their SQL server workloads in the cloud is relational database performance. To address those challenges I ‘ve decided to talk about all the different offerings Microsoft Azure offers. So in my session I’m going to be talking about scaling up / out your SQL Azure database to creating your own Database infrastructure (VMs) and showing advantages and disadvantages.

For those of you that still haven’t register there are only a few sits left so harry up or you’ll miss all the fun..

See you there.

This session is so awesome, I just had to post it here so that I can play it over and over again…
What great times are we living…

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.

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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