Archive for April, 2011

I had the chance to speak at a Microsoft event this month (on April 6th) about the new mobile phone development platform unfortunately and due to my blog maintenance I wasn’t able to blog about it. Now that everything is back in order though, I can let you know about it and share some of the event’s content with you.

The event had three sessions and a demo fest where developers presented their applications.

On the first session Dimitris Gkanatsios gave an intro to the platform and spoke about the Pivot control, sensors (GPS, Accelerometer, Vibration), HTML parsing, WCF, Media Library, Navigation, Launchers and choosers, Isolated Storage and briefly talked about the market place and how can someone upload an application.

On the second one I got to speak on more advanced topics like Data Binding, Panorama Pages, RSS, Video, Notifications, Application Bars, Application Lifecycle, and the Web Browser control. You can find my slide deck here.

The third session was about XNA and how someone can use it to build killer gaming apps in 2D and 3D for WP7and was given by Ioanins Panagopoulos.

In the demo fest slot I got the chance to speak about the news application I’ve developed for www.zougla.gr that is going to be published really soon.

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If you missed the event, don’t worry you can still watch most of the sessions videos at www.techdays.gr really soon.


Microsoft announced today that the Caching service has been released as a production service.

The Caching service is a distributed, in-memory, application cache service that accelerates the performance of Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications by allowing you to keep data in-memory and saving you the need to retrieve that data from storage or database.

There are going to be 6 different cache size options for you to choose from, varying from 128MB to 4GB.

The prices of the different cache sizes are the following:

· 128 MB cache for $45.00/month

· 256 MB cache for $55.00/month

· 512 MB cache for $75.00/month

· 1 GB cache for $110.00month

· 2 GB cache for $180.00/month

· 4 GB cache for $325.00/month

In order for you to be able to start using the service and evaluate your needs though, there is a promotional period in which you will not be charged for the service for billing periods prior to August 1, 2011.

The service is billed on a monthly basis, based on the cache size you sign up for. You can also sign up for more than one cache and use these multiple caches in order to get a total cache size that is different or bigger than the standard cache sizes we provide.

To learn more about the Caching service please use the following resources:

· Windows Azure AppFabric Caching availability announced!! blog post

· Video: Introduction to the Windows Azure AppFabric Cache

· Video: Windows Azure AppFabric Caching – How to Set-up and Deploy a Simple Cache

· Windows Azure AppFabric FAQ on MSDN

· MSDN Documentation

You can access the service at: http://appfabric.azure.com.


Microsoft Hellas is holding a very interesting event in two weeks, on Thursday 12th of May, regarding application testing.

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If you are interested to learn how to load test your application, how to use lab management using Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server then harry up and register.


New beginning

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As you probably can see I’ve decided to spent a little time renewing my blog. So there are a couple of things that changed.

First I’ve upgraded the engine version to Subtext 2.5.2. This wasn’t painless, my blog engine was pretty old and the migration steps seemed to fail. I didn’t want to loose my data though and thus I persisted and managed with a couple of tricks to finally move my data to the new engine.

Second, the blog is now hosted on a different server. I wanted to move to a server on which I would have more control to do things. So I’ve moved to a dedicated machine where I can VPN/RDP on.

Last but not least, I’ve changed my blog theme to a new one to give my blog a fresh view. The theme was picked up from the Subtext Skin Bonanza 2011 project.

So let me know if you have any problems and drop my a line and let me know what do you think of my new skin.