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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.

Tuesday
May082012

Video case study: PrivacyCentral uses Ruby on Azure

I’ve been busy making videos of a few of the ISVs that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. This is the first of those video case studies.

The video is available here. Enjoy!

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Most consumers are unaware of the extent of publicly available, online exposures of their information – including phone numbers, current and past addresses, birth dates, home values, income level, religion, and relative names (including mother's maiden name) – all of which can easily be used for identity theft and other cybercrimes.

Like an antivirus for consumer privacy, PrivacyCentral exposes privacy threats to consumers, provides analysis and reports via a risk profile and risk score, and then empowers consumers with the ability to remove detected threats and monitor for future threats.

In this video, Privacy Central's CEO and founder, Zoiner Tejada, speaks with Microsoft Principal Architect Evangelist Brian Loesgen. Tejada discusses the benefits Privacy Central realized from building on the Azure platform, and how they run their Ruby crawlers on Azure. Tejada also goes on to share some lessons learned along the way during their development cycle, and offers up some tips for people new to the platform.

About Privacy Central

Privacy Central is a San Diego CA-based startup and is a member of Microsoft's BizSpark program, it is the first service to allow the consumer to regain full control over their sensitive information.

PrivacyCentral is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy, with powerful tools designed to make protection simple.

About BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business

Tuesday
Apr242012

A Tale of Two Emulators and a VM

I’m not sure how many other people on the planet may want to do this, but I developed a technique which I thought was really cool, and is somewhat non-obvious, so I thought I’d blog about it.

When I develop, out of years of habit, I always install my development environment in a virtual machine, leaving the host with just my productivity software like Outlook. However, the Windows Phone emulator is not supported in a virtual machine. This forced me into installing in my host machine, leaving me with 2 machines:

  1. Host machine, with Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  2. Virtual machine, with Visual Studio Ultimate, SQL Server, Azure tools

Fine. Not what I ideally would have liked, but I can live with that. I was developing a Windows Phone app that calls some RESTful services running on Azure, so my workflow was:

  1. Develop/debug/test RESTful service in VM
  2. Deploy service to Azure
  3. Work on phone app hitting that service live-on-Azure

That worked fine, until I ran into a situation where I was throwing an exception in the RESTful service (due to the data I was submitting), and I had not set up diagnostics for the Azure app. What to do next?

I reasoned that since the host and the VM were on the same network, I should be able to talk between them. However, that would mean using the Windows Phone *emulator* in my host to call into a service running in the Windows Azure *emulator* inside the virtual machine. Can that work? YES!!

Here’s how:

  1. In the VM, run Windows Advanced Firewall and set up inbound and outbound rules to allow full access to port range 81-82 (this is what I did, your mapping may vary, watch the messages as the Azure emulator starts)
  2. In the VM, run the cloud app containing your services, in debug mode with breakpoints set
  3. In the VM, attach to the Azure emulator process (DevFC)
  4. In the VM, do an IPCONFIG to see what your IP address is
  5. In the host, ping that IP address just as a reality check to ensure you can get there
  6. In the host, change your service base URI you are calling to match the VM (in my case it was http://192.168.1.7:82, remember the emulator does port remapping to avoid conflicts)
  7. In the host, run your app and call the service
  8. In the VM, notice that your breakpoint has been hit!

So there you have it: emulator-to-emulator communications with a VM hop in between. Using this technique, you can develop a Windows Phone app running against an Azure backend, debugging both sides at the same time. As an added bonus, you can do this without actually calling anything on Azure, or needing to re-deploy.

Enjoy!

Tuesday
Apr172012

DevCamp Irvine is this Friday April 20th

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I’ll be at DevCamp:Cloud this Friday at the UC Irvine campus. The L.A. event was sold out, and most stayed all day. Lots of good info.

See you there?

Register here at https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032507377&Culture=en-US

Thursday
Mar292012

DevCamp Los Angeles is tomorrow

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I’ll be at DevCamp:Cloud tomorrow March 30th in Los Angeles. See you there?

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032507376&Culture=en-US