January, 2009

  • DaveDev

    New local Philadelphia area Cloud Computing User Group – come learn about Azure



    Join the community...

    Cloud Computing User Group

    Join us for the second local meeting of the Cloud Computing User Group.  At this meeting,  we will be learning about how Cloud Storage works in the Azure cloud computing platform. We'll see how to store and retrieve BLOBs, queues, and data tables in code. We'll also see how to manage large amounts of data in a scalable way..

    Who Should Attend?
    Cloud computing has huge implications for both developers and business people.  This is your chance to get in on the ground floor and be part of the community that helps pioneer this exciting new area.


      February 2  from 6:00 - 8:00 pm


      Microsoft Malvern Offices
    45 Liberty Blvd Malvern, PA

    Please take a moment to register here so we can plan properly.  Pizza will be served at 5:30 and the presentation / demo will begin shortly after.

    Does cloud computing offer anything compelling for you, your business or your customers?


    Cloud computing with Windows Azure provides technologists with new options for where applications reside, how applications behave, and the business models that drive them.


    Cloud computing eliminates the need to predict traffic levels, purchase hardware or hosting capacity in advance, and keep os's patched. Applications are given the capacity they need on demand. You only pay for computing and storage you use.


    Some of the most difficult and costly things to achieve in I.T. such as high availability and ensuring scalability are no longer headaches the enterprise has to deal with. Scalability, reliability, and high availability come with the platform automatically.


    Developers no longer have to make a choice between the benefits of what can be delivered to users via the web versus traditional on-premises software. Microsoft offers the opportunity for developers to offer both with a software-plus-services approach. It is an industry shift that combines services on the Web with client and server software to deliver the best of both worlds.

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  • DaveDev

    Azure Issue Tracker available for download! Learn cloud programming the dev way - through code.



    If you’re still scratching your head and waiting for some real life Azure/Cloud computing examples your wait is over.  The team has posted a complete Issue Tracker sample up on Codeplex for you to begin playing with.  If you’re like me nothing ties together all the pieces and makes it real then actually opening up the code and seeing it.

    This is a great starter example too because it gives you a functional application you can use.  Before coming to Microsoft at my old company we actually used the ASP.NET 2.0 IssueTracker Starter Kit code that we customized for our own team.  I’m very curious now to see how well an application like this scales up using Azure.  Not to mention it uses ASP.NET MVC so you get to start working with that as well if you haven’t already!

    From the site…

    “ Azure IssueTracker demonstrates a real-world ISV scenario where you want to create and host a SaaS application for your consumers. This sample is being releasede in two versions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard version allows ad-hoc users to use LiveID federation with the .NET Access Control Service and authorize other LiveID users. This allows small groups of users to quickly provision projects and issue tracking capabilities.
    The Enterprise version of IssueTracker uses the same claims-based authorization capabilities as the standard version, but allows greater control by customers over claims and authorization decisions. Additionally, the Enterprise version offers more premium capabilities like onsite configuration and monitoring in true S+S fashion.

    The IssueTracker service itself is a very simple service - providing basic issue management and workflow capabilities. Because the service and the website are claims-aware applications, it allows for some interesting scenarios. Using a single set of claims and authorization logic, both active clients and passive web clients can consume the IssueTracker service. This architecture gives us the best of software on premises with rich UI capabilities as well as the broad reach of web clients - without changing a single line of code to support it.  “



    There are a few pre-requisites you’ll have to install first:

  • Geneva Framework
  • ASP.NET MVC Beta
  • .NET Services SDK
  • And of course you’ll need to get your free Azure dev account set up too.

    Check it out!

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  • DaveDev

    Obama Inauguration will be streamed live using Silverlight – get the details



    You may have already heard the announcement that the presidential inauguration committee has chosen to use Silverlight to stream the historical event today. 

    But you may not have heard everything and I wanted to clarify a few things.  I have been seeing posts on the internet of people saying that HD is available only on windows or that only windows machines can view the event.  This is entirely false.  All Silverlight 2 compatible machines can view this event and that includes Windows and intel based Macs.  Secondly the team worked very hard last night to get up a version running on Silverlight 1.0 that would allow both Linux and PPC based macs to view the event as well!  Miguel de Icaza has all the details on his blog here.  Awesome work guys this is great to see! 

    It’s always neat to find out how the streaming stuff works behind the scenes.  Events like the NBC Olympics and even the open source Podcasting Kit for SharePoint have shared details of their streaming.  There is also an Expression Encoder SDK you can utilize to do your own via .NET. 

    The team behind today’s streaming event is sharing some of those juicy technical details.  Check it out…

    “Tech Specs

    And as I promised earlier, I got the tech details on how the streams are encoded. Note there is manual stream selection in the lower right corner;


    There are quite a few encoders to handle the different streams, data rates, and to provide failover backups. All systems are quad-core, and use hardware preprocessing.

    • Onsite configuration: Dell Precision workstations with Osprey 230 capture cards
    • Offsite configuration: Dell 2950 with Digital Rapids capture cards.


    The encoders are running Windows XP and use Windows Media Encoder, with my recommended tweaks and registry key settings applied.


    • Video: Window Media Video 9 Advanced Profile (aka VC-1 Advanced Profile)
    • Audio: Windows Media Audio 9.2

    The audio was originally going to be WMA 10 Pro for improved efficiency, but we fell back to WMA 9.2 in order to have Silverlight 1.0 compatibility. Fortunately the audio feeds are either mono or might as well be, so we can win some efficiency back by encoding in mono.

    300 Kbps streams

    • Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 259 Kbps
    • Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 32 Kbps

    500 Kbps streams

    • Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 442 Kbps
    • Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 48 Kbps “

    You can view the live HD stream here and the Linux-compatible stream van be viewed here.  Enjoy!

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  • DaveDev

    XamlFest NYC Event open - February 9th and 10th


    Are you local to the NYC area and looking to get some hands on guidance for creating Silverlight and WPF applications?  How about a free 2 day hands on workshop? 

    Check out XAMLFest happening in the NYC Microsoft Technology Center:

    “Are you excited about the WPF but concerned about the learning curve?  Have you seen Silverlight but don’t know where to get started?  Or are you curious about how tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend help designers and developers work together to deliver great user experiences? If so, join us at XamlFest!

    XamlFest is a two day interactive event where you’ll learn about the platforms the tools and processes used to deliver differentiated user experiences. It’s a chance for you to mingle with UX minded Microsoft folks as well as industry leading design integrators.  It’s also an opportunity to pick up a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2 for you attendance.

    Each XamlFest day will start with interactive sessions by Microsoft and our design partners, followed by a free lunch and a chance to network, have some fun and win prizes. Each afternoon will be geared toward assisted development with instructor-led walkthroughs, or, better yet, come with your own project in mind and we’ll help kick start your very own proof of concept! “

    Looks to be a great Agenda…


    Register today  – this class is limited to only 30 lucky people!

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