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T-Mobile, in the States, used Windows Azure as the backend for their mobile application Family Room (you can read further in the whitepaper Mobile Operator Speeds Time-to-Market for Innovative Social Networking Solution published on Microsoft Case Studies). Now, you can bring the same concepts home to Canada by extending your mobile applications to the Windows Azure platform. If you haven’t done any work with Windows Azure yet, I invite you to check out AzureFest, a hands-on educational event designed by Canada’s own MVPs Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4) and Barry Gervin (@bgervin) from ObjectSharp. At AzureFest, you’ll see how developing and deploying applications to Windows Azure is fast and easy, leveraging the skills you already have (.NET, Java, PHP, or Ruby) and the tools you already know (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.).

AzureFest sessions are focused around web applications using .NET and Visual Studio, but the concepts are the same for mobile applications. You’ll learn everything to you need to know to get up and running with Windows Azure quickly including:

  • Overview of Cloud Computing and Windows Azure
  • Setting up the Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio
  • Setting up your Windows Azure account
  • Migrating a traditional on-premise ASP.NET MVC application to the Cloud
  • Deploying solutions to Windows Azure

You can use the learnings from AzureFest to migrate your mobile application’s backend services, if they exist, to Windows Azure or now have the background knowledge required for your next mobile application so that it can leverage the power of Windows Azure.

AzureFest is a hands-on event. This means that you’ll be following along in your own development environment and actually deploying your solution during the event. In order to get the most out of the experience, you’ll need to bring a laptop with you that is running Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7 with the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio installed. If you don’t have Visual Studio, that’s not a problem. The Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio will help you download Visual Studio Express for free.

You’ll also need to bring a credit card. Windows Azure activations require a credit card even for the trial period, but don’t worry, nothing will be charged to your credit card as the last part of the event shows you how to take down all of your Windows Azure instances.

We’re taking AzureFest across Canada, and will be coming to a city near you. Check out the listings below to get all the information you need about each of the cities. Don’t see a city that’s near you? Keep checking back as we will be adding more cities and dates as we confirm them. If you’d like to help organize an AzureFest in your city or at your user group, please contact me via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Where and When

Downtown Toronto
Microsoft Canada
Ernst & Young Tower
222 Bay Street, 12th floor
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 6:00PM – 9;00PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4), Barry Gervin (@bgervin)

Mississauga
Microsoft Canada
1950 Meadowvale Boulevard
Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:00PM - 9:00PM 
Click here to register

Presenters: Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4), Barry Gervin (@bgervin)

Vancouver
BCIT, Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
6:00PM – 9:00PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Jonathan Rozenblit (@jrozenblit)

Ottawa
Algonquin College Campus
1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa
Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:45PM – 1:30PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Christian Beauclair (@cbeauclair)

Calgary
University of Calgary, Rm 121 ICT Building
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB
Saturday, April 30, 2011 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Michael Diehl (@MikeDiehl_Wpg) and Tyler Doerksen (@Tyler_gd)
Moncton
Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce Board Room – First Floor
1273 Main Street, Suite 200, Moncton, NB
Friday, May 6, 2011 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4)

Halifax
The Hub
1673 Barrington St., 2nd Floor, Halifax, NS
Sunday, May 8, 2011 1:30PM – 4:30 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4)

Fredericton
UNB Campus
Room 317, ITC
Saturday, May 7, 2011 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4)

Quebec City
l'École National d'Administration Publique (ENAP), salle 4114
555, boul.Charest Est, Québec, QC
Thursday, May 12, 2011 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Frédéric Harper (@fharper)

Montreal
Microsoft Canada
2000 McGill College, Montreal, QC
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: Frederic Harper (@fharper)
Winnipeg
Online Business Systems, Assiniboine Room, 2nd Floor
200-115 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, MB
Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Click here to register

Presenters: John Bristowe (@jbristowe)
Waterloo
Coming Soon! Save the date!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Presenters: Jonathan Rozenblit (@jrozenblit)
Virtual Lunch and Learn Series
Online
Part 1: Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST, CST, MST, PST
Part 2: Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST, CST, MST, PST
Part 3: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST, CST, MST, PST
Click here to register

Presenters: Jonathan Rozenblit (@jrozenblit)

Make sure you register early as space is limited. Make sure to find me when you’re are the event – it will be an opportunity for us to chat about what you’re working on, possible projects to move to the Cloud, and how I can help you take your applications and skills to the Cloud.