Microsoft customers often ask us how we use our technologies for everyday activities. One great example is our use of Windows Azure for the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) Survey System. We ask companies who participate in an MTC engagement to complete a survey after their engagement has ended. We use the results of these surveys to improve future engagements.
MTC Survey System Overview The MTC Survey System is designed to automate survey result collection and the analysis of the data obtained from the surveys. The solution is paperless and allows customers to complete the survey on their own devices. One great benefit is that we receive the feedback about an event on the same date the survey was completed.
Evaluation form on different devices
Main Features of the MTC Survey System
Automatic generation of the QR-code in the form The solution automatically generates a QR code in the form, which eliminates the need to input links to the survey manually.
Support for all MTC engagement types worldwide The various MTC engagement types are supported in the form.
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Survey data is automatically imported into Microsoft Dynamics CRM for MTC reporting.
Supports bring your own device (BYOD) programsCustomers can use any device with a web browser to complete the form. This includes a smartphone, tablet, e-book reader device, or laptop. The interface automatically adjusts to the correct screen size and resolution. The solution has been tested on Surface RT, Window Phone 7 and 8, iPad, iPhone, Android, and in Internet Explorer 10, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox.
100 percent cloud solutionThe solution is fully deployed in the Windows Azure public cloud environment, and it uses the Windows Azure Web Sites and SQL Database features. The survey does not require installing hardware or renting a hosting service. As the load increases, the system can be automatically adjusted to scale.
A familiar tool to build reports Data reporting and analysis is done using Microsoft Excel 2013, a familiar business intelligence tool for our users. If you are building a similar solution, you may also use Excel add-ins, such as Power View, PowerPivot, GeoFlow, and Microsoft Power Query for Excel.
Solution Architecture The MTC Survey System uses a classical three-tier model. Each layer is not dependent on the other and has a well-defined role in the system.
MTC Survey System architecture
Use of Windows Azure The system uses Windows Azure Web Sites and SQL Database.
The system is currently in operation for one of the MTCs and one of the Microsoft Business Groups for surveying customers throughout Russia. However, the average daily consumption of Windows Azure resources does not exceed the maximum permissible limit of Windows Azure in “free” mode.
Windows Azure Web Sites statistics
The MTC Survey System used in Moscow has sparked widespread interest among managers around the world. Using the Windows Azure platform-as-a-service model, the system can flexibly scale up without any additional work or maintenance of the infrastructure. The system is monitored 24 hours a day by the Microsoft System Center Global Service Monitor cloud service.
In addition to the basic functions of the automated electronic collection of questionnaires and their processing, this project enables us to demonstrate usage scenarios and key benefits of the Windows Azure cloud platform.
Mikhail Bondarevsky is a Technology Architect at the Microsoft Technology Center in Moscow specializing in cloud solution architecture design. He helps enterprise customers envision and design complex application platform solutions. Prior to working as an MTC Technical Architect, Mikhail was Principal Software Developer Engineer specializing in .NET, Web and SharePoint technologies.