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  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Dive into the summer with MSDN: The Windows Azure Platform

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    We kicked off the MSDN Summer beginning of July 2011 where we invited you to dive into the Windows Phone 7 'Mango' developer tools, Visual Studio 2010 Application Lifecycle Management and HTML5.

    Now it's time for the 4th and last topic: The Windows Azure Platform

    The holidays are just about to end, but there's still time to boost your knowledge or learn something totally new.
    During these two weeks we'll be giving the fourth and final topic of these MSDN summer issues their place in the sun, namely the Windows Azure Platform. Click through and you'll find all the best material about the Windows Azure Platform, presented based on the amount of time you want to spend on it.

    You’ll find content fitted to be consumed in 30 minutes time, half a day or a full day or more. It goes from white papers to full training kits with samples and tutorials. We also included video recordings, books and top blogs to get your knowledge on the subject a level up.

    PS. Don't forget to take the quiz and win! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TheWindowsAzurePlatform

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2012 Developer Content Update

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    We’re almost ready to confirm 100% of the developer agenda for TechDays 2012, February 14th to 16th 2012. Take a look at the online session listing and speakers where you can see for yourself and have your preferred agenda in mind.
    Just in time for the end of the early bird, ending today!

    Top speakers

    This year we are welcoming some regulars as well as some new faces to the event. Speakers like Jeff Prosise, Bart De Smet, Brian Keller, Wade Wegner, Tarek Madkour, Matt Milner and more. Alex Turner is also back after a few years away, as is Nikhil Kothari the creator of Script#. From over the English channel we are welcoming Steve Sanderson and Richard Finn for the first time, as is Rob Miles joining us for the second year.

    Local speaker favorites and again a few new faces for TechDays: Gill Cleeren, Maarten Balliauw, Kevin Dockx and Sam Vanhoutte, and Peter Himschoot and Jurgen Postelmans for the post-conference deep dive.

    As for the keynote: we still have an announcement to be made there once we are ready to confirm.

    The big content themes

    Our big focus is giving developers get a head-start on the platform and tools such as the next generation of Visual Studio Tools and Languages, the main patterns and paradigms to build applications leveraging cloud services and targeting multiple devices.
    At the same time we also ensure there are enough sessions that go deep on current technology learning’s and real world architectures.

    Post-conference deep dive

    This year the developer deep dive on “Web Development Futures” is delivered by Jurgen Postelmans and Peter Himschoot from U2U. Peter and Jurgen prepared a full day of sessions focusing on Visual Studio 11 for web development, ASP.NET (4.5) Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC 4, HTML5 and WCF. If you are looking at how to leverage new tooling for HTML5 and JavaScript development, target multiple devices, take advantage of ASP.NET features you should not miss this deep dive.

    Techdays_352x193

    A grab at some of the sessions

    The Future of C# and Visual Basic (Bart De Smet)
    Today's trend of connected, service-oriented, cloud-centric applications forces us to rethink everyday programming tasks such as I/O, ensuring responsiveness and scalability. Asynchronous programming is an essential tool in achieving those goals, unfortunately lacking language support.
    With C# 5.0 and Visual Basic 11 this changes, thanks to the introduction of the new async and await keywords. Come and learn how to use those exciting new programming language features for a variety of asynchronous tasks, including the usage of new Windows 8 Runtime APIs.
    After covering caller-info attributes - a little language feature introduced in this iteration of the languages as well - we'll have a look at project "Roslyn", turning compilers into services that can be leveraged to write custom refactorings, great IDE experiences, meta-programming, REPLs, and more.

    Project Roslyn: Exposing the C# and VB compiler’s code analysis (Alex Turner)
    Until now, the VB and C# compilers have been used as black boxes. You put text in, and you get out a binary file. In our long-lead project, codename “Roslyn”, we’ll be changing that dynamic by building an API that exposes our compilers’ analysis engines. In this session, we’ll give an overview of the Roslyn project and share our early plans for the future version of the C# and VB compiler and language services. We’ll look at object models that can be used for code generation, analysis, and refactoring, and upcoming support for scripting and interactive use of C# and Visual Basic.

    Devices + Cloud: Using Windows Azure with Windows Phone, iOS, Android (Wade Wegner)
    So, you’re building apps that span multiple devices apps and you’re curious about what the cloud can offer. Is it possible to deploy scalable Web apps and services on Windows Azure? How about storing data in the cloud? Is it possible to use the cloud for push notifications to the device? In this session, you'll learn how to build Windows, Windows Phone, Android and even iOS apps that are backed by scalable cloud services with the Windows Azure platform. This demo-focused session will cover the end-to-end experience and address how to tackle issues such as authentication, storage and notifications across a wide range of devices.

    Developing HTML5 Applications with Script# Compiling C# into JavaScript (Nikhil Kothari)
    Script#, a free C# to JavaScript compiler, brings the power of Visual Studio and .NET Tools to build a productive and familiar development model for creating, testing and managing modern applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript along with popular frameworks such as jQuery. This session provides a hands-on look at using Script#, shares success stories and experiences from real-world use. More information about Script# is at http://www.scriptsharp.com and https://github.com/nikhilk/scriptsharp. Come learn about getting started, and contributing to the project.

    Windows Phone Fast App Switching, Tombstoning and Multitasking (Ben Riga)
    With Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) comes the ability for users to switch quickly between running applications. This dramatically enhances the end-user experience and will be expected by end-users. In this session you'll learn how fast app switching works and how to prepare your application for this functionality. Finally we'll cover how to incorporate background tasks into your applications for notifications, file transfers and audio.

    Silverlight, MVVM & WCF RIA Services: an architectural story (Kevin Dockx)
    At the start of each project, you’ll have to lay out your solution architecture - and it’s very important to “get this right”. Silverlight, MVVM & WCF RIA Services work nicely together, but as with each architecture, the best solution depends on your application requirements. What are your options in this case? What are the pitfalls? How can you tie these technologies together to provide you with a solid foundation for your projects? This is an in-depth session, based on real-life experience.

    Building services for your phone and tablet applications using WebAPI (Matt Milner)
    The Web API is a new framework for building web services in .NET. In this session you will learn how to use this framework by example as we build a service and show how it can be consumed from mobile clients such as tablets and phones.

    More details to be announced soon for the last set of speakers and sessions, we do have a few sessions under the covers that will make developers happy Smile

    So what’s your top list of sessions? I’ll aggregate some of the lists blogged by the community soon, so don’t hesitate to put up your list to be referenced.

    See you at TechDays!

    Note: schedule, speakers and agenda are subject to change.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Announcing first ISV Cafe event: join and get your free copy of Forza Motorsport 4

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    It looks like my colleagues are a fan of some gaming. Join them for the first ISV Café and spend an interesting evening on Dec 6th around Windows Phone Mango, SQL Server 2012, business sessions and partner cases. Full information follows below.

    image

    Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the very first edition of ISV Café, where networking meets Microsoft technology in a thrilling Forza Motorsport atmosphere. The event will take place at the beautiful ‘Espace Del Goutte’, located in Ophain near Brussels.

    In the presence of Joe Wilson, Sr. Director of the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft Western Europe, we race through a series of 15’ sessions, providing you a mix of business and technology topics.  Joe will kickoff the event and talk about the value of the ISV-Microsoft relationship.

    For the technology-minded, we first take a look at Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’: what’s new and what are the opportunities for ISVs.  In addition, we give you an overview of the next version of our data platform, SQL Server 2012 and highlight the licensing changes.

    But also for those interested in the business perspective, there is plenty to look out for. We first have a great session on how to enter the SaaS business: how does this impact your business model, financials, licensing, etc.  In a second session, Tri-Vizor presents their experiences in building a business in the cloud, resulting in winning the Supply Chain Partner Award!

    Of course as you all know, we never forget about the fun part here at Microsoft, closing everything off with a drink, where you’ll have the opportunity to network with other ISVs and the Microsoft ISV team.

    On top of that, the first 50 to race towards that registration button get a free copy of Forza Motorsport 4 on Xbox 360! So don’t hesitate and register immediately.

       

    Practical Details

       
    Date: December 6, 2011
    15:00 – 18:00
       
    Location: Espace Del Goutte
    Rue de Bois-Seigneur-Isaac 40
    1421 Ophain


    Agenda

    15:00 – 15:30

    Welcome

    15:30 – 15:50

    Key note: The value of the ISV-Microsoft relationship
    Joe Wilson, Sr. Director of the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft Western Europe

    15:50 – 16:05

    Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’
    David Hernie, Developer & Platform Evangelist / Jeroen Van Hees, Mobile Business Group Lead

    16:05 – 16:20

    Break

    16:20 – 16:35

    Introduction to SQL Server 2012
    Christophe Van Mollekot, ISV Partner Account Manager

    16:35 – 16:50

    Partner Azure case: Tri-Vizor “Supply chain award winner”
    Alex Van Breedam

    16:50 – 17:05

    Starting up SaaS business: knowledge, practice sharing
    Ben Piquard, Director Microsoft Innovation Center asbl

    17:05

    Closing drink

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    TechDays 2012: 80% of agenda online and 1 more week to benefit from 15% discount

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    Just 1 more week to benefit from a 15% discount on your ticket for TechDays 2012: the Early Bird pricing ends on December 21. Registrations are coming in strong, so be sure to secure your spot before we sell out!

    Top Speakers

    Developer Track
    Alex Turner

    Brian Keller

    Jeff Prosise
    IT Pro Track
    Corey Hynes

    John Craddock

    Adam Hall

    We are happy to confirm speakers like:

    - In the Developer track: Alex Turner, Brian Keller, Bart De Smet, Gill Cleeren, Jeff Prosise, Maarten Balliauw, Matt Milner, Ben Riga, Steve Sanderson, Nikhil Kothari, Rob Miles, Tarek Madkour, Wade Wegner

    - In the IT Pro track: John Craddock, Kurt Roggen, Ilse Van Criekinge, Adam Hall, Corey Hynes, Kim Oppalfens, Mike Resseler, Dan Holme 

    International speakers are teamed up with our local experts to give you a top content mix.


    TechDays program: 80% of agenda is finalized

    This year promises to bring a lot of new content from Microsoft. Looking at the next versions of tooling, languages, OS and management you know this is not a standard TechDays event. Our content is split into current and upcoming technology.

    Deep Dives (February 16)

    Peter Himschoot and Jurgen Postelmans (U2U) will be delivering a full day .NET 4.5 and Visual Studio (Dev11) Futures for Web Development Deep Dive covering all the latest and greatest in .NET 4.5, focusing on Web Development with ASP.NET, HTML5 and WCF.

    Rhonda Layfield will be delivering a full day deep dive covering all the different tools and techniques to deploy Windows 7, she will also cover the upcoming Windows OS deployment tools.

    Mike Resseler & Tom Shinder will deliver a full day covering private cloud topics, including Management and Operations of your private cloud infrastructure.


    About TechDays 2012

    Join our 10th anniversary edition in a new location (Kinepolis Imagibraine - Braine l'Alleud) and learn about:
    • Windows & Internet Explorer
    • Windows Server 8 & Hyper-V
    • Windows Phone 7 development
    • System Center 2012 & Windows Intune
    • Tooling and languages with Visual Studio, C# and VB Futures
    • Next generation apps
    • Cloud development with Windows Azure Platform
    • Web development with HTML5, JavaScript and ASP.NET
    • ...

    > REGISTER NOW

    Hope to see you at the TechDays 2012!

    Questions? Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or simply via e-mail.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Silverlight Analytics Framework

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    If you have been building Silverlight applications for public facing sites, chances are you need to measure its usage and in that way maybe monetize. Until now if you wanted to integrate analytics into Silverlight you were left to extra development effort or integration with JavaScript calls to the host page.

    Good news, last month at MIX the Silverlight Analytics Framework (SAF) was released. It supports a range of analytics vendors including Google Analytics, Nedstat, Comscore and many more.
    This framework is ready to be used directly in Expression Blend with custom behaviors so you can add tracking without having to write any code. You can use the framework for normal Silverlight sites and applications but it also integrates with the Microsoft Silverlight Media Framework so you can track media usage.

    Features:

    • Supports Out-of-Browser
    • Supports Offline Scenarios
    • Supports multiple analytics vendors simultaneously
    • Supports Design Tooling for Expression Blend
    • Supports A/B Testing
    • Supports Analytics in SketchFlow applications  

    Download and see more details at the framework’s homepage on CodePlex.

    Also recommended: watch the MIX 2010 session on the framework presented by Michael Scherotter who has done a great job with this framework.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    JIT for Christmas, Lumia 800 for WP7 project call participants

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    Some folks are getting an extra Christmas present this year Smile 
    Read further what my colleague David Hernie has the pleasure to announce! And don’t hesitate to participate next time.

    The Microsoft Innovation Center organized in 2011 four Windows Phone 7 project Calls. The objective of this initiative is to stimulate and support developer, student or company to develop innovative apps on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform.

       
    DSC_0682

    The contract was simple –

    • Participate to the training,
    • Subscribe to the Marketplace,
    • Develop at least 6 applications before Dec 31
    • Tweet about it on #wp7be & #micbelgique.

     

    I’m really pleased to announce

    1. Matthieu Vandenhende
    2. Glenn Versweyveld
    3. Alice Cloquet
    4. Bart Smets

     

    A phone is waiting for you at the Microsoft Office at Zaventem – 9th floor – Reception Desk. (Available from Tuesday noon)- Please come with a valid ID

     

    You want to participate to our next project call - Very simple

    Save the date, the next one will be organized in February after the TechDays.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    New Windows Azure Site and Features Available (cross-posting)

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    Cross posting from my colleague Bart Vande Ghinste’s blog.

    Yesterday Microsoft released the new Windows Azure Website with improved billing, management and SQL Azure capabilities. The site is in English today with localized versions planned to roll out next year

    A highlight of the new features include:

    • Implementation of “Spending caps” where you can eliminate the risk of being charged by setting a €0 cap or reduce risk of large bills from unexpected usage by setting a higher cap and receiving alerts as they approach the cap.
    • SQL Azure database size increased from 50GB to 150GB and lowered prices
    • SQL Azure also has a new sharding feature along with SQL Azure Federation that enables you to build applications that are virtually unlimited in size
    • Open Source Experience with an updated Java SDK, a new SDK for Node.js that makes Windows Azure a first-class environment and new limited preview of Hadoop on Windows Azure
    • Simplified billing/reporting experience that integrates directly into the Management Portal
    • ISO 27001 complaint (public certification coming next month)

    On Tuesday December 13th after European Business hours, Microsoft will be holding a special Windows Azure event for developers. Join us LIVE from the Microsoft Redmond Campus to learn how to get started building applications for the cloud from Microsoft technical leaders Scott Guthrie, Dave Campbell, and Mark Russinovich. More details can be found here.

    You can start building your application on it in some simple and easy to do steps:

    1. Setup an Account:

    Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.

    Note: With the new capping functionality available you are assured that no charging is happening once your trial offer has expired.

    2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

    Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/

    When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform.

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Azure Spotlight: Numeri’zik Robot Stream Goes Cloudy (cross posting)

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    Leveraging an interesting post from my colleague Nick with a case on Numeri’zik’s project on Windows Azure.

     

    Numeri’zik is a Belgian startup company that is involved in the digitization of media and new ways of communication. They are a member of the Microsoft BizSpark program, through which they have access to Microsoft software, support and a worldwide ecosystem of peers and partners.Numerizik Logo

    Robot Stream LogoCompanies need to communicate to their employees about internal events, organizational changes, HR-related announcements, etc. Often email or other electronic communication is not appropriate and a more personal approach is needed. However, bringing all employees together in one physical location may not always be possible for different reasons.

    Numeri’zik has built the Robot Stream application, which provides companies and institutions with an Enterprise Radio that gives them an innovative, fun and informal way to communicate with their employees. Through Robot Stream, you can integrate information messages in a music stream and target them at all or specific groups of employees, regardless of their location. Whether it’s in the coffee corner, during lunch in the cafeteria, on the PC or smartphone, you can reach anyone, anywhere in the organization.

    With support from the Microsoft Innovation Center in Mons, Numeri’zik has developed the Robot Stream solution using Microsoft’s Cloud Computing platform. The streaming server is hosted in Windows Azure and which can communicate with an on-premise Robot Stream appliance (NumeriBox).

    By leveraging Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Numeri’zik can offer its customers a solution that is highly available without having to invest in and manage a server infrastructure. At the same time, as the number of Robot Stream users fluctuates the platform can flexibly scale up or down, optimizing the operational cost.

    Follow Numeri’zik:

    clip_image006[4]clip_image008

     

    Do you want to be the next one to feature your cloud application here?  You can get started with the Windows Azure platform in 2 easy steps:

    1. Setup an Account:

    Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the free trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.
    Note: With the new capping functionality available you are assured that no charging is happening once your trial offer has expired.

    2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

    Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/

    When all steps are executed successfully you should have your first application running on the Windows Azure Platform. Let us know about it and maybe you’ll be in the spotlights!

    clip_image0046

  • Katrien's MSDN Blog

    Deadline approaching for student competition “The Imagine Cup 2012” (cross posting)

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    If you are a student or a teacher, this is something you should make sure to read. My colleague Lieve Goedhuys has the full post on the Academic Belux blog.

    Leveraging the information below:

     

    image The StudentsAppsVenture contest has just been closed, or another very renowned international competition is waiting for you : “Imagine Cup 2012”. In addition to the prestigious category “Software design”, there are 4 other very interesting competitions in which you can participate as individual student or in groups up to 4 participants.

    Sign up for the Imagine Cup. It is an amazing experience!

    What makes it so exciting ?

    • You work on a topic that interest you the most – though related to “millennium development goals” ( eradicate poverty and hunger, education for all, sustainability, improve maternal health, reduce child mortality, ..)
    • You will use all various skillsets : project management, technical development and communication skills
    • You discover in-depth the technology and will be encouraged to go the extra mile, via e-learning and or coaching
    • You will be able to network with peers ( participating students and academic coaches)
    • Big prizes : the best Belgian teams in each category will be able to join the international contest in Sydney from July 6-10. Travel and participation costs will be completely covered for you. On top of that, the best international team (being the winners of each category) can win a prize ranging from 3.000USD up to 25.000USD!

    How can you participate ?

    There are different categories, with focus on different technologies. You will certainly find the category that fits best your core skills/interest.

    Have a look at the different categories, presented in a nutshell.

    You can still register, but act now : select carefully your category and topic to work !

    Category

    Short description

    Rules

    DEADLINE for registration and 1st round

    Software design

    In this ultimate category, participants will develop innovative, dynamic and powerful software applications. It is the ideal competition to demonstrate your ideas and technical ingenuity.

    info

    March 13, 2012

    Windows Phone Challenge

    Develop a Phone App (Imagine Cup theme). Ensure it is a practical application with a strong content and an appealing look and feel.

    info

    March 13, 2012

    Azure challenge

    Use the Azure Cloud computing platform in an innovative way to develop a powerful web application that answers one of the challenges of the millennium targets.

    info

    March 13, 2012

    Game design: Xbox/Windows

    Create a “fun game” that illustrates the Imagine Cup themes. Above all, the game should be fun to play and illustrate how technology can impact positively the world in which we live.

    info

    February 14, 2012

    Game design phone competition

    Develop a creative and technically unique phone game in line with the Imagine Cup themes. Do not forget a high fun factor !

    info

    February 14, 2012

    For all categories, except Software design, the will be a first and second round, managed completely by Microsoft Corp. Please read carefully through the info on each category to find out:

    Good luck.. and hope to see you and your teammates in Sydney !

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