Blog - About

About Architecture & Stuff

I thought that I would start off by introducing myself and letting you know a little bit about what I will be focusing in future posts.

My name is Bill Zack and I am an Architect Evangelist in the Developer & Platform Evangelism group at Microsoft.  Although I live in Connecticut I am based out of Microsoft's New York office.  I have written a few books and assorted magazine articles. Most recently I was a contributing author to the book Programming SQL Server 2005. I currently focus on presenting on the architecture of current and future Microsoft technologies at Microsoft events.

I am also pretty active in the area user group community, both as a user group leader and as a supporter of the local user groups.  Before I joined Microsoft I founded several user groups myself including the New York Enterprise Windows User Group and the New York City .NET Developers Group which I currently still run together with several other community leaders. I also founded the New York City Chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) and am on their International Board of Directors.  I started these groups before I joined Microsoft and still do run them even though I have "swallowed the blue pill". In fact my stock answer to people who asked me why I joined Microsoft is "I have been an unpaid evangelist for Microsoft for over 15 years.  I just decided that it was time I got paid." :-)

And that brings me to the focus of my blog.  There are two things that I am passionate about 1) Solving interesting architectural problems using Microsoft (and other) technologies, and 2) Helping to legitimize the IT Architecture Profession. My posts will probably alternate between the technical issues that confront Architects and the issues that affect the IT Architecture Profession as a whole.  The later will include topics such as: What is the difference between an Architect and a Developer? (And yes I have heard the joke: "about 10K a year"  That's not it. :-)); how does a Developer who aspires to become an Architect map out a career path to get there and what skills does an Architect have to have?  Indeed helping Aspiring Architects (and Developers) advance their careers is why I started the IASA chapter and this whole user group thing in the first place.

More to come later.

  • Architecture & Stuff

    The Future of Windows Azure AppFabric

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    Windows Azure AppFabric has an interesting array of features today that can be used by ISVs and other developers to architect hybrid on-premise/in-cloud applications.  Components like Service Bus, Access Control Service and the Caching Service. are...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Ignition Showcase 11.29.10

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    Keynote Starts December 2, 2010 at 9:00 pacific time Hear what’s coming next from Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie Training, labs & swag Online or in-person at Microsoft HQ, December 2nd 2010 It’s just like an extra day of PDC, dedicated to Silverlight Windows...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Design Patterns, Anti-Patterns and Windows Azure

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    It has been my experience that lots of things are possible and can be done in Windows Azure, however some things are relatively easy, some are doable with difficulty and some are normally to be avoided.  There is starting to be a lot of good guidance...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Azure SDK 1.3 Released with Many New Features!

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    Just Released: Windows Azure SDK 1.3 and the new Windows Azure Management Portal                                            ...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    SharePoint and Azure?

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              Of course SharePoint does not work in Windows Azure (yet), but there are ways to integrate with and leverage SharePoint capabilities with Windows Azure.   Here are some resources that illustrate...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Roger Heim Connects WCF With Mobile Clients On Connected Show #38

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    My friends   Peter Laudati & Dmitry Lyalin host the edu-taining Connected Show developer podcast on cloud computing and interoperability. After a two month break, they’re back! Check out episode #38, “WCF? Droid Does!” .  In an increasingly...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket–Enabling ISVs to Build Innovative Applications

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    The DataMarket section of Windows Azure Marketplace enables customers to easily discover, purchase and manage premium data subscriptions. DataMarket brings data, imagery, and real-time web services from leading commercial data providers and authoritative...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Ignition Showcase 11.22.10

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    Keynote Starts December 2, 2010 at 9:00 pacific time Hear what’s coming next from Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie Training, labs & swag Online or in-person at Microsoft HQ, December 2nd 2010 It’s just like an extra day of PDC, dedicated to Silverlight Windows...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 – Raising Collaboration to a New Level

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    Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 now delivers complete presence, instant messaging, conferencing and enterprise voice capabilities through a single, easy-to-use interface that is consistent across PC, browser, and mobile device. Administrators benefit from...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Ignition Showcase 11.15.10

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    Keynote Starts December 2, 2010 at 9:00 pacific time Hear what’s coming next from Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie Training, labs & swag Online or in-person at Microsoft HQ, December 2nd 2010 It’s just like an extra day of PDC, dedicated to Silverlight Windows...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Microsoft Ignition Showcase Update 11.08.10

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    Why Ignition Showcase? Ignition Showcase is a site focused on building and enhancing the vibrant ecosystem of Independent Software Vendors and start-ups on the Microsoft platform.  The goal of Ignition Showcase is to bring together the right people...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Ignition Showcase Highlights - 11/1/2010

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    Headline In this Issue: Windows Phone 7 Windows Azure BizSpark News CRM Update Follow Ignition Showcase   Windows Phone 7 Announcements!   Windows Phone 7 PDC10 Sessions Windows Phone 7 Applications Certifications Requirements Published Windows...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Can Windows Phone 7 Multi-Task?

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    They say that Windows Phone 7 can't multitask. They're wrong. If you are in New York on October 21st Charles Petzold will give a programmer's perspective on the multitasking features of Windows Phone 7, including tombstoning, asynchronous operations,...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Phone 7 Will Be Available To Consumers November 8th!

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    Today we announced that Windows Phones will be available for consumer purchase thru At&T November 8th! Make sure your app is ready in time for consumers by following the below timeline: Oct 11: Participating early certification developers will receive...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Phone Marketplace and Launch Update

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    Windows Phone Marketplace Update: We’ve given Marketplace an overhaul so that the quality of the developer experience in distributing apps and games matches our commitment to the customer experience on our new phone. The fair and transparent policies...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Develop Windows Phone 7 Apps with Visual Basic?

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    Ever since we first announced the application platform for Windows Phone 7, there was a loud chorus of Visual Basic developers asking if and when they would be able to build apps for Windows Phone 7.   That wait is over.   You can now download...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Microsoft Releases Open Source Tools for the Cloud

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    Microsoft makes commitment to Openness in the Cloud: Releases new OSS tools for Windows Azure New tools and SDKs expand choices for PHP developers targeting Windows Azure   Microsoft has announced the availability of a new set of developer tools...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Phone 7 Training Kit is Available

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    Windows Phone tools for developers are ready . Now it’s time for you to start building your own Windows Phone application. There are no more excuses, no reasons to postpone. Get the tools and start writing your app today! As part of our efforts to help...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Halo Reach Debuts

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    Earlier this week we released “Halo: Reach,” the thrilling prequel to the iconic “Halo” trilogy that became a global entertainment phenomenon and defined a generation of gamers over the past decade. Not since the debut of “Star Wars: Episode I” have fans...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Creating High Performing Silverlight Applications for Windows Phone 7

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    Compared to a desktop or laptop PC, a Windows Phone 7 device has a more limited amount of CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) power.   To make Silverlight run well on a Windows Phone 7 device, many changes have been made to the Silverlight graphics...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    New SQL Azure Website

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    We are pleased to announce the launch of the new SQL Azure website -- bookmark this now! www.microsoft.com/sqlazure .     This new site will improve customer experience with faster discovery of relevant and richer information on SQL Azure. The...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools Released

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    The final release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools is the culmination of hard work on the part of many talented people. We couldn’t, however, have done it without the help of the community. The feedback we received since our initial release in March...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Windows Phone 7 – Starting the Fire!

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    Do you have a great idea for an app to run on Microsoft’s new mobile phone, Windows Phone 7? Do you have an app running on another platform such as iPhone or Android and want to greatly increase the reach and profitability of your app? We can help. All...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Free Windows Azure for One Month

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      Want free access to Windows Azure for a month to try out a new idea?  Now you can: Learn about the Windows Azure platform with no steep learning curve With Windows Azure you pay only for what you use, scale up when you need capacity and pull...
  • Architecture & Stuff

    Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals in New York

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    It's a theme of global proportions. Imagine Cup 2011 Theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems. It might sound lofty. And perhaps a little ambitious. But when it comes down to it, this year's theme couldn't be more relevant...
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