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Editorial: Mike Zeff

Hi MSDN NZ Flash Reader

PDC10log
Last week Microsoft’s Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) was held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington and the focus was on the cloud.

Windows Azure Announcements

There were a plethora of announcements around Windows Azure. In fact so many that I’m going to provide a brief summary of most of them and then provide you some links where you can find out more information. These features will be released later this year or early next year and most are in beta or Community Technology Preview stage at the moment.

Extra Small Instance: If you just want to try Windows Azure or you only need to run smaller applications you can specify the Extra Small Compute Instance (ESI). The ESI has lower CPU, storage and I/O performance than the Small Instance (1.0 GHz CPU, 768MB RAM and 20GB of instance storage). It is also cheaper than the Small Instance at USD $0.05 per hour.
Full IIS and Elevated Privileges: The new Elevated Privileges functionality for the Web and Worker role will provide developers with greater flexibility and control in developing, deploying and running cloud applications. The Web role will soon provide Full IIS functionality, which enables multiple IIS sites per Web role and the ability to install IIS modules. Elevated Privileges allows developers to configure IIS on an instance or install an MSI package.
Remote Desktop: Enables IT professionals to connect to a running instance of their application or service to monitor activity and troubleshoot common problems.
VM Role: The VM role functionality is being introduced to make the process of migrating existing Windows Server applications to Windows Azure easier and faster. This is especially true for the migration of Windows Server applications that have long, non-scriptable or fragile installation steps.

SQL Azure Announcements

There were some SQL Azure announcements at PDC10 as well:
SQL Azure Reporting CTP: Enables developers to enhance their applications by embedding cloud based reports on information stored in a SQL Azure database.
SQL Azure Data Sync CTP 2: An update to SQL Azure Data Sync to enable synchronisation of entire databases or specific tables between on-premises SQL Server and SQL Azure.
Database manager for SQL Azure: As part of the Windows Azure platform developer portal refresh, we announced a new lightweight, web-based database management and querying capability for SQL Azure databases (formerly known as Project "Houston").

Windows Azure AppFabric
There were some great features announced for Windows Azure AppFabric as well but I’ve run out of room. Take a look at the Windows Azure FAQ and the Windows Azure AppFabric Team blog for more information.

Internet Explorer 9

Dean Hachamovitch showed off new features added to the latest IE9 Platform Preview (Preview 6). These included CCS3 2D transforms and there is a new Flickr Postcards demo that shows this off (this only works in Preview 6). The IE team continue to focus on standards support, including HTML5, and performance improvements as they work towards the Release Candidate.

Show off your Azure skills using New Zealand Digital Content

If you want a good incentive to learn more about Windows Azure then check out the "Best use of Windows Azure cloud computing services" category in the Mix ‘n Mash competition that opened today. The competition is a chance to show the world what you can do with New Zealand digital content and data. All you need to do for a chance to win $1,000 is to build a mashup hosted on Windows Azure (there are other competition categories as well).
Remember if you have an MSDN Subscription you already have access to Windows Azure for Development and testing, you just need to activate your access (send us an email if you are not sure how to do this).

Thanks for reading.

Mike Zeff

Mike Zeff
Technology Evangelist
Microsoft New Zealand
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