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Wednesday
Jun272012

Video Case Study: MOC1 Solutions Brings Wireless Service Advisor To Windows Azure, Streamlines Auto Service Experience

This is the third in a series of video case studies I am doing with some of the ISVs I work with.

The video is available here. Enjoy!

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When MOC1 Solutions wanted to move their applications supporting automotive dealerships to the cloud, they chose Windows Azure.

In this video, Software Development Manager Alex Hatzopoulos and Architect Greg Cannon speak with Microsoft Principal Architect Evangelist Brian Loesgen. In this wide ranging conversation, they cover their experiences in ramping up their team, setting up their environments, and share other first-hand application migration experience gained while moving their flagship Wireless Service Advisor™ (WSA™) product to Windows Azure.

WSA uses wireless and mobile technologies to streamline and standardize the Repair Order (RO) write-up process. WSA enables a service advisor to greet customers at their vehicle when they arrive at the dealership service department. Using a tablet PC, the service advisor scans or hand-writes the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate number and transmits the information to multiple databases to retrieve critical customer and vehicle data related to that particular vehicle identifier – the critical data includes repair history, recommended services, warranty and recall information, and customer contact information.

Additionally, the WSA allows the service advisor to complete a full inspection process, handle customer's questions, and provide maintenance recommendations in a timely and interactive fashion, all while standing at the customer's vehicle. The customer can provide service authorization by signing the RO on the tablet PC so they can avoid having to wait for a printed copy. The WSA also allows for the preparation of a printed repair order as well as the update of the DMS database. The WSA presents a user-friendly front-end application that both effectively represents the entire Repair Order write up process and efficiently standardizes the Repair Order write-up procedure. The WSA™ accomplishes all this via an Azure-based backend.

About MOC1 Solutions

Based in in Glendora, CA MOC1 Solutions is a traditional ISV that was founded in 2005 and was incubated in MOC Products until June 2006 when the company was spun out as an independent private entity. MOC1 offers software applications used by automotive dealership service departments and vehicle service facilities.

Tuesday
Jun262012

Cloning Azure Virtual Machines

Azure Virtual Machines are still new to everyone, and I got a great question from a partner a few days ago: “I have an Azure Virtual Machine set up just the way I want it, now I want to spin up multiple instances, how do I do that?”

In the “picture is worth 1,000 words” category (and I don’t have time to write 1,000 words Smile), please see the following sequence of screen shots for the answer.

Things to note:

  • run sysprep (%windir%\system32\sysprep) with “generalize” so each machine will have a unique SID (security ID)
  • when you “capture” the VM, it will be deleted. You can re-create it from the image as shown below

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Sunday
Jun172012

San Diego CodeCamp June 23 and 24, I am presenting

CodeCamp San Diego is next weekend. I will be presenting “What’s new in Windows Azure” in a demo-loaded session. I will also do an espresso triple shot beforehand so I stand a chance of fitting all the Windows Azure goodness into a single session! There are also lots of other great Azure (and other) sessions.

It’s always a great **FREE** event, hope to see you there!

All the details are at http://SoCalCodeCamp.com

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Thursday
Jun072012

Signing up for preview features

Here’s where you go to sign up for the just-announced preview features….

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Thursday
Jun072012

Azure 1.7 SDK now available

Back here I debunked the myth that Azure is “a .NET thing”.

Should there be *any* lingering doubts, just take a look at the new SDK downloads page (that’s the EN-US version)! Our goal is to be the best cloud platform, bar none, regardless of choice of development tools or languages.

 

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Thursday
May312012

Meet Windows Azure event is June 7th (next week)

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Coming up next Thursday. Live stream starts at 1:00PM pacific time. Hear from Scott Guthrie and other senior technologists from Microsoft and the Bay area who will introduce you to Windows Azure and the latest in Microsoft's cloud-based development technology.

Tuesday
May292012

Video Case Study: iVoteSports – Making you part of the Game

This is the second in a series of video case studies I am doing with some of the ISVs I work with.

The video is available here. Enjoy!

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iVoteSports Baseball Edition makes you part of the action of a live Major League Baseball game using your iPhone or Android device.

In this video, iVoteSports CEO and co-founder, Dennis Peters, speaks with Microsoft Principal Architect Evangelist Brian Loesgen. Dennis discusses how iVoteSports delivers a consumer-oriented interactive social networking experience for sports fans while watching or attending sporting events, which creates a more engaging experience for fans. Dennis also goes on to share the Azure-based architecture that the mobile devices are interacting with, and discusses some of the unique challenges they needed to deal with.

About iVoteSports:

iVoteSports (http://www.iVoteSports.com) was established in 2011 in Santa Ana, CA. iVoteSports was founded to deliver interactive social networking experiences for sports fans.