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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Porting your Unity 5.2 game to Windows 10


    unity3d                                                                             Windows-10_Product-Family

    Unity recently announced support for Windows 10, starting with Unity 5.2. To help developers export their games and publish to the new Universal Windows Platform for Windows 10, I put together a quick tutorial.

    Steps discussed in this blog:

    1.Enable developer mode in Windows 10

    2.Enter game details in Unity

    3.Export to Windows 10 Universal format

    4.Build Solution in VS2015 w/ Win10 SDK

    5.Associate your app with Store App

    6.Add required images, e.g. logo, icon, splash

    7.Run WACK (Windows App Certification Kit)

    8.Publish to Windows Store!

    Lets get started

    1. Enable developer mode in Windows 10

    There is a different approach for development for Windows 10 devices. A developer license is no longer required for each device that you want to use to develop, install or test your app. You just enable a device once for these tasks from the settings for the device. That's it. No more renewing your developer licenses every 30 or 90 days!

    If you are still using a Windows 8.1 device to develop or test your apps with Visual Studio 2013 or Visual Studio 2015, you still need to get a developer license or register your Windows Phone.

    Enable your Windows 10 devices

    For Windows 10, you choose what tasks you want to enable on the device. This includes any devices: Windows 10 desktops, tablets and phones. You can enable a device for development, or just sideloading.

    Sideloading is installing and then running or testing an app that has not been certified by the Windows store. For example, an app that is internal to your company only. (Does the Windows store allow sideloading?)

    Note  If you sideload apps, you should still only install apps from trusted sources. When you install a sideloaded app that has not been certified by the Windows store, you are agreeing that you have obtained all rights necessary to sideload these apps and that you are solely responsible for any harm that results from installing and running these apps. See this privacy statement


    More details at

    2. Enter game details in Unity

    I'm making the assumption that you are familiar with already building a game in Unity3d this section focuses ensuring you have the right build settings configured for Windows 10

    In order to build Unity games for Universal Windows 10 applications (UWP) you will need:

    • Unity 5.2 or later
    • A Windows 10 machine
    • Visual Studio 2015 RTM, (the minimum version is 14.0.23107.0). Please note that earlier versions, for example Visual Studio RC, are not supported in Unity 5.2.
    • You’ll also need to install the Windows 10 SDK.


    For details of how to use Unity3d see 

    3. Export to Windows 10 Universal format

    What is Windows 10 Universal Apps?

    The Windows 10 Universal Apps platform was introduced in Windows 10:

    • With one app developers can now target a family of devices running Windows 10: phones, tablets, PCs and other upcoming devices.
    • There’s just one app store for all Windows 10 devices
    • There’s a common API across the entire family of Windows 10 devices

    More information is available here.

    How can I use Unity 5.2 to make Windows 10 Universal Apps ?

    Unity3d have added support for Windows 10 Universal Apps in Unity 5.2.

    Currently, you can export to Windows 10 Universal Apps by selecting the Universal 10 SDK from the Windows Store platform in the Build Settings Window as illustrated below:

    Unity 5.2 will export Visual Studio 2015 solution files which can then build and run on Windows 10 PCs plus Windows 10 phones and tablets. Three architectures are supported: ARM, x86 and x64. In addition, you can use .NET Core 5.0 in your game projects.



    For more details see 

    4. Build Solution in VS2015 w/ Win10 SDK

    To sell your Universal Windows app or distribute it to other users, you need to create an appxupload package for it. When you create the appxupload, another appx package will be generated to use for testing and sideloading. You can distribute your app directly by sideloading the appx package to a device. (What is sideloading?).

    For Windows 10, you generate one package (.appxupload) that can be uploaded to the Windows Store. Your app is then available to be installed and run on any Windows 10 device.

    (If you need to create an app package for a Windows 8.1 app, go here.)

    Here are the steps:

    1. Before packaging your app: Follow these steps to make sure your application is ready to be packaged for store submission.

    2. Configure an app package: Use the manifest designer to configure the package. For example, add tile images and choose the orientations that your app supports.

    3. Create an app package: Use the wizard in Visual Studio and then certify your package with the Windows App Certification Kit.

    4. Sideload your app package: After sideloading your app to a device, you can test it works correctly.

    Once you’ve done this, you are ready to sell your app in the Store. If you have a line-of-business (LOB) app, that you don’t plan to sell because it is for internal users only, you can sideload this app to install it on any Windows 10 device.


    for more detail see

    5. Associate your app with Store App

    A: From the Project menu, choose Store -> Associate App with the Store. If you do this, you can test purchase and notification scenarios in your app. When you associate your app with the Store, these values are downloaded to the app manifest file for the current project on your local machine:

    • Package Display Name

    • Package Name

    • Publisher ID

    • Publisher Display Name

    • Version

    If you override the default package.appxmanifest file by creating a custom .xml file for the manifest, you can’t associate your app with the Store. If you try to associate a custom manifest file with the Store, you will see an error message.


    for more details see 

    6. Add required images, e.g. logo, icon, splash

    Once you've created your app by reserving a name, you can start working on getting it published. The first step is to create a submission.

    You can start your submission when your app is complete and ready to publish, or you can start entering info even before you have written a single line of code. The submission will be saved in your dashboard, so you can work on it whenever you're ready.

    After your app is published, you can publish an updated version by creating another submission in your dashboard. Creating a new submission lets you make and publish whatever changes are needed, whether you're uploading new packages or just changing details such as price or category. To create a new submission for an app, click Update next to the most recent submission shown on the App overview page.

    App submission checklist

    Items that you are required to provide or specify are noted below. Some areas are optional, or have default values provided that you can change as desired.




    7. Run WACK (Windows App Certification Kit)

    To give your app the best chance of being published on the Windows Store, or becoming Windows Certified, validate and test it locally before you submit it for certification. This topic shows you how to install and run the Windows App Certification Kit. For more details on specific tests carried out by this kit refer to the following topics:


    If you are developing a Universal Windows app:

    • You must install and run Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10. (Windows 10 recommended)
    • You must install Windows App Certification Kit version 10, which is included in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 10.



    For more details see

    8. Publish to Windows Store!

    The Packages page is where you upload all of the package files (.xap, .appx, .appxupload, and/or .appxbundle) for the app that you're submitting. You can upload packages for any operating system that your app targets in this step. When a customer downloads your app, the Store will look through all of your app's available packages and will automatically provide each customer with the package that works best for their device.

    For details about what a package includes and how it must be structured, see App package requirements. You'll also want to learn about how version numbers may impact which packages are delivered to specific customers, and how packages are distributed to different operating systems.

    Uploading packages to your submission

    To upload packages, drag them into the upload field or click to browse your files. The Packages page will let you upload .xap, .appx, .appxupload, and/or .appxbundle files.

    Note  For Windows 10, you should always upload the .appxupload file here, not the .appx or .appxbundle. For more info about packaging UWP apps for the Store, see Packaging Universal Windows apps for Windows 10.

    If we detect issues with your packages while validating them, you'll need to remove the package, fix the issue, and then try uploading it again. For more info, see Resolve package upload errors.

    You may also see warnings to let you know about issues that may cause problems but won't block you from continuing with your submission.



    For more details see 

    Happy Game Making! Love to hear about your games..

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Fancy creating your own apps for Windows 10 but have no experience?



    Well, if you're willing to put in some work, Microsoft has debuted a new video series on its Channel 9 platform for absolute beginners to learn how to code for Windows 10.

    Your guide through the series, Bob Tabor from, walks you through how to create Windows 10 apps on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) – meaning you'll gain access to all the Windows 10 screens: PCs, phones, tablets, and even on a Raspberry Pi, HoloLens, and Xbox. Bob will challenge you with exercises, help you build a cheat sheet for future reference, and explain the techniques and concepts being used along the way in a simple, friendly manner.

    The series is made up of a total of 80 parts, and is geared towards helping new developers master the Universal Windows 10 platform.

    Prerequisite for the course is a understanding of C#, if your new to C# then see the C# Fundamentals Series to get started.

    Check out the Windows 10 development for absolute beginners series on

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Join the over 750 universities in 74 countries that have participated in the Microsoft Azure for Education programme.




    Empower faculty to leverage Microsoft Azure in teaching cutting-edge courses

    See all services available

    The Educator Grant is a programme designed specifically to provide access to Microsoft Azure to college and university professors teaching advanced courses. As part of the programme, lecturers teaching Azure in their curricula are awarded subscriptions to support their course.

    To apply for an Educator Grant, fill in this simple application form.

    Apply now for Azure Educators Grant

    Join the over 750 universities in 74 countries that have participated in the programme.



    Get started in the cloud for free

    Microsoft works to help inspire students to chase their dreams and create the next technical breakthroughs by providing opportunities to train and use Microsoft developer and designer tools at no cost.

    Microsoft’s DreamSpark programme is specific for students that supports technical education through access to Microsoft software and developer tools free of charge. Microsoft Virtual Academy helps developers gain the knowledge needed to be a success through online training courses led by experts.



    Accelerate the speed of scientific discovery with Microsoft Azure

    The Microsoft Azure for Research programme accelerates scholarly and scientific research customised for academic, government and industry researchers to use big data computations, collaboration and data-intensive processing in the cloud. Take full advantage of the power and scalability of Microsoft Azure, a platform that supports frameworks such as Azure Machine Learning and programing tools including Linux, Python, Java, Hadoop and Microsoft .NET. Get access to a variety of tools and resources to maximise the benefits of cloud computing by the following:

    • Free access to Azure cloud computing and storage (submit proposals for Azure for Research Awards)
    • Training classes and webinars
    • Technical resources and support
    • Community discussion on LinkedIn (Microsoft Azure for Research group) and Twitter (@Azure4Research)

    For more information, visit

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Are you ready for a huge opportunity.. Develop and Host Office Add-ins



    Office Add-ins formerly Web Apps for Office. Are apps that run inside an Office application and can interact with the contents of the Office document using the rich JavaScript API, Office Add-ins are going to really popular with Office 2013, 2016 and Office365

    So what is Office Add In?

    Simply put an Office Add-in is a web app that you can host anywhere including your DreamSpark Azure Subscription which offers free web site. If you haven't activated your Free Azure Subscription follow this guide.

    Office Add-in overview

    Building your first Office Add-In

    Using VS Code to Develop Your Office Add-in!

    VS Code is a great tool to help you develop your custom Office Add-ins regardless if they are for Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and run in the web clients, Windows clients, iOS clients or on OS X! The following site has a full step by step walkthrough

    Using Visual Studio 2015 to Develop your Office Add-in! you can watch the following video tutorial

    What development languages are supported

    You can. You can use pure HTML, Angular, Ember, React, Aurelia, additionally VS Code has great support for TypeScript!

    Hosting Your Office Add-in Development

    Office Add-ins must be served via HTTPS; the Office application will not load a web app as an Add-in if it is HTTP.  Office Add-ins must be served via HTTPS; the Office application will not load a web app as an Add-in if it is HTTP. To develop, debug and host the Add-in locally, you need a way to create and serve a web app locally using HTTPS.

    So once you have built your add-in how do end users actually use it?

    Install the Add-in

    Office Add-ins must be installed, or registered, with the Office application in order to load. This is done using the manifest.xml

    How to Side Load Add-ins

    Here is a quick example of adding a Mail Add-ins

    Mail add-ins can be installed within the Outlook Web App. Browse to your Outlook Web App ( and login. Once logged in, click the gear icon in the top-right section and select Manage add-ins:

    Manage Add-ins

    On the Manage add-ins page, select the + icon and then select Add from a file.

    Add from File

    Deploying Add-ins to the Office 365 Tenancy's App Catalog

    All Office Add-ins (including Mail Add-ins) can be installed from your Office 365 tenancy's App Catalog site. Log in to your Office 365 Portal. In the left-hand navigation, towards the bottom, select the Admin / SharePoint option:

    Office SharePoint Admin

    From the SharePoint Admin Center, select the Apps option in the left-hand menu and then select the App Catalog. On the App Catalog page, select the Apps for Office option and upload the manifest.xml file.

    App Catalogue

    Install Content & Task Pane Add-ins in Word / Excel / PowerPoint

    Depending on the type of Add-in you created, you can add it to one of the Office applications. Task Pane and Content Add-ins can be installed in Word, Excel & PowerPoint. Mail Add-ins can be installed in Outlook.

    To install an Add-in within an Office application, select the Insert tab and click the Office Add-ins button, as shown here using the Excel Web App:

    Excel Add-in

    Using the Office Add-ins dialog you can select Add-ins you've uploaded to your Office 365 tenancy's App Catalog (listed under My Organization) or acquire Add-ins from the Office Store.


    Office Add-ins are a great way of providing extra features to Microsoft Office products.

    Office Add-ins are the perfect opportunity to showcase your development skills.

    Office Add-ins development experiences will be a highly desired skill set for potential employers.

    Software vendors who which to make available their services or products can use Add-ins to make their services native within Microsoft Office.

    A number of vendors are already developing add-ins for office which are now available to install at

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Know it. Prove it. Backstage Pass Sweepstakes campaign



    Building and sharing your Windows 10 development Skills
    Win you a trip to Seattle and a backstage pass to see all the exciting things happening across the Microsoft campus.

    The Microsoft Backstage Pass Sweepstakes winner will:


    • Visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy studios and chat with our experts
    • Explore the Microsoft Envision Centre with a private tour
    • Tour one of our data centres
    • Enjoy many other surprises

    Here's how to enter:

    Select a challenge and add it to your Learning Plan on MVA

    Developer's Guide to Windows 10

    Getting Started with Windows 10 IT Pros

    Introduction to Programming with Python

    Share your success!

    When your course is complete, share your success via Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #RockedIt

    Share on TwitterShare on Facebook

    This Sweepstakes starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on September 15, 2015, and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on October 15, 2015 (“Entry Period”). Entries must be received within the Entry Period to be eligible.

    The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes: $4,000. see for full T&C

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    I have DreamSpark Premium subscription which version of Windows 10 should I install?




    Hi this seem a pretty common question from students returning to University.

    ‘Which version of Windows 10 should I install from DreamSpark Premium?

    Well here the quick answer – choose -  Windows 10 (Multiple Edition)

    And here is why

    As a DreamSpark Premium Subscriber you get access to every version of Windows 10

    Windows 10 editions on include :-

    Windows 10 EDU
    Windows 10 (Multiple Editions)
    Windows 10 EDU N
    Windows 10 N (Multiple Editions)
    Windows 10 (Multiple Editions) Debug/Checked
    Windows 10 Features on Demand
    Windows 10 IoT Core for MinnowBoard MAX
    Windows 10 IoT Core for Raspberry Pi 2
    Windows 10 Language Interface Pack
    Windows 10 Language Pack
    Windows 10 N (Multiple Editions) Debug/Checked
    Windows 10 Symbols
    Windows 10 Symbols Debug/Checked

    So what are all these version?

    Windows 10 EDU

    Windows 10 Education is available just for education customers in volume licensing programs. Windows 10 Education includes features from Windows 10 Enterprise that are ideal for advanced security, and the comprehensive device control and management needs of today’s educational institution. Windows 10 Education also enables simplified deployment in the education space; this edition provides a direct path for many devices to upgrade from Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro.

    Windows 10 (Multiple Editions)

    Please note: This installation file contains Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Home.

    Windows 10 ( N)

    (N = Not with Media Player) suffixed to their names (e.g. Windows 10 N) and do not have media-related technologies like Windows Media Player or Camera.

    N editions lack at least the following functionality:

    • Play or create:
      • Audio CDs
      • Digital media files
      • Video DVDs
      • Organize content in a media library
    • Create playlists
    • Convert audio CDs to digital media files
    • View artist and title information of digital media files
    • View album art of music files
    • Transfer music to personal music players
    • Record and play back TV broadcasts after
    • Internet Explorer does not include playback for:
      • Adaptive streaming
      • Digital Rights Management (DRM)

    It is possible to add the missing functionality with third party software or with the Media Feature Pack, Groove Music and Xbox Video

    Windows 10 Features on Demand

    Windows 10 features on demand are additional feature options available through Windows Update. This download allows organizations to pre-configure Windows 10 installation software with these features prior to deployment. This download can also be used to install features from local media.

    Windows 10 IoT Core for MinnowBoard MAX

    This is the core OS image that powers Windows IoT platform on MinnowBoard MAX. Windows 10 IoT Core is the smallest version of the Windows 10 editions that leverages the Windows 10 common core architecture. This edition enables building low-cost devices with fewer resources. Development for Windows 10 IoT Core leverages the Universal Windows Platform.

    Windows 10 IoT Core for Raspberry Pi 2

    This is the core OS image that powers Windows IoT platform on Raspberry Pi 2. Windows 10 IoT Core is the smallest version of the Windows 10 editions that leverages the Windows 10 common core architecture. This edition enables building low-cost devices with fewer resources. Development for Windows 10 IoT Core leverages the Universal Windows

    So if you want to upgrade your machine to Windows 10 please select Windows 10 (Multiple Edition)

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Creating a PHP web site with a ClearDB MySQL Database, all with a FREE Azure Student Account




    As a student developer, you can be NEVER aware of too many technologies, having an experience of a varity of services and technologies simply helps demonstrate your skills and competences.

    With the new offering from DreamSpark you can spin up web sites and databases using various technologies including PHP, Node.JS and .Net and MySQL.

    In this blog I will be talking about using PHP on a Microsoft Azure Student Sunscription using the free MySQL ClearDB Database.

    In this blog I will cover:-

    Step 1. Setting up Azure

    Step 2. Creating a new PHP WebSite on Azure

    Step 3. Configuring a MySQL database on Azure

    Step 4. Uploading files to Azure

    Step 5. Connecting a Github repo to Azure

    Step 6. Connecting a PHP app to a MySQL database on Azure

    Right lets get started

    Step 1. Setting up Azure

    Creating a simple Hello World PHP Web app running on a MYSQL ClearDB database hosted on Azure.

    In this blog we will be connecting to the database.

    Deploying the web site via FTP

    Setting up continuous integration and deployment through Github.

    Prerequisites please ensure you have signed up to and activated your Azure Subscription see this blog.

    Login into you Azure Portal via


    Step 2. Creating a new PHP WebSite on Azure

    Choose New Web + Mobile then select Web App as seen in the screenshot below.


    Provide an arbitrary URL name for your web site and click create


    This process should take a few minutes, after this your app should be up an running. In fact, you should see it in the list of Web Sites and it should have a status of "Running".


    Click the name of the app to enter its dashboard, and take some time to look around – get familiar with the various screens.

    The screen, designed to get you up and running with the most common features quickly, and the rest are self explanatory.


    If you visit your app in the browser now, you'll get an a successfully messgae. T


    This is fine. After all, we didn't do anything yet. Let's configure a database before moving on.

    Step 3. Configuring a MySQL database on Azure

    Go to Create – Data and Storage – MySQL Database

    We want to create a new MySQL Database,


    On the next screen of the wizard, give it a database name and select create


    After a few minutes later, the resource should be ready and linked.


    If you go to the dashboard now you should see your database


    To manage your database, click manage Database




    You can also use other tools such as Oracle's MySQL Workbench or any other SQL management tool if you prefer.

    When you create a MySQL database on Windows Azure, the database is actually created on ClearDB. ClearDB databases can be connected to remotely, and that's what we'll do.

    Download MySQL Workbench and opt to create a new connection. In the window, fill in the data from the previous screenshot – the host name, user name and password. You can even download SSL keys from ClearDB (see screenshot below) and use them in the SSL tab of the connection in MySQL Workbench to make your connection more secure.


    After pushing Test Connection, Workbench should connect successfully. After pushing connect, it should display an empty database.


    To set up a basic table with some sample data we'll be retrieving, paste the following SQL statements into the SQL tab in Workbench, and click the "Execute" button, represented by the thunderbolt icon in the SQL tab's toolbar. Naturally, replace "DatabaseName" with the name of your own database.

       1: USE `sitepoint01` ;
       3: CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `DatabaseName`.`hello_world` (
       5:   `data` VARCHAR(45) NULL,
       6:   PRIMARY KEY (`id`))
       7: ENGINE = InnoDB;
      10: USE `DatabaseName`;
      11: INSERT INTO `DatabaseName`.`hello_world` (`id`, `data`) VALUES (1, 'I was retrieved from the database!');
      13: COMMIT;

    We now have data in our MySQL database. Keep in mind that you can also use Workbench's excellent Model editor to build tables and relations graphically, then export it all directly to your remote database. Remember to save often, though – Workbench is a fantastic tool, but it can be very buggy and often crashes.

    Step 4. Uploading files to Azure

    Uploading files to Windows Azure apps can be done in two ways: through source control, or via FTP.

    Using FTP to upload files to Azure

    If you go to your web site dashboard, you can create a  FTP  account

    We will need to set up a FTP publishing/deployment account to try it out you can get the full url of the FTP and FTPs server from the Settings – properties screen

    Url should be in this format ftp://**************

    Under Settings – Publishing Deployment Credentials - create an FTP user.


    Once done, make sure you have an FTP client installed on your machine – I'll use FileZilla for the purpose of this article.

    Connecting couldn't be more straightforward. Simply enter the credentials into the New Site dialog of FileZilla as shown below, and click connect.


    As soon as the directory tree opens, you can navigate to /site/wwwroot/

    you should 1 single file hoststarting.html remove this and upload your php file.

    Create Index.php in your favourite code editor and change the contents to the following:

       1: <?php
       2: echo "Hello World";
       3: ?>

    Then, upload index.php to Azure.

    Now if you visit your web app's URL (the URL can be seen in the Dashboard among the other data in the right hand side column), you should see the infamous Hello World message.


    Step 5. Connecting a Github repo to Azure

    To deploy via Github

    First step is add git ignore to the host directory you can download it here .gitignore and you need to create a in your favourite txt editor.

    These just make for a clean repository. Every repo should have a README file, no matter how trivial, and a .gitignore file which makes sure no junk is committed.

    If you're on Windows, and you haven't installed Git tools for Windows yet, do it.

    You can also download the Git Student Developer Pack from DreamSpark The GitHub Student Developer Pack assembles a great set of tools and services, free to students! Get your own domain name with SSL, explore crowdsourcing, email services, and much more. Combined with the free Visual Studio Community 2015 and Visual Studio Online, it’s an unbeatable combination to get your coding project off the ground. Get your GitHub Student Developer Pack today  These tools come with a bash app (among other useful items) which makes the Git repo setup process identical on all operating systems.

    Now cd into the app's local folder, and run the commands:

       1: git init
       2: git add .
       3: git commit -am 'First commit'


    Now create a new repository on Github. I called mine "mywebsite". Add the origin to the repo we just initialized locally, as per Github's instructions.

       1: git remote add origin
       2: git push -u origin master
    simply replace Lee/mywebsite with your details

    With our app's repo now online, let's configure it in Azure's management panel.

    Go to either the dashboard of your web site then setting then publishing – continuous deployment select Github,


    click next, authorize whatever Azure is asking you to authorize and find the repo you just created in the list of offered repositories.

    A few seconds should go by and the deployment should be ready. In fact, as soon as it finishes processing, your app's files on the Azure instance will already be updated.

    If you refresh the view in your FTP client now, you'll notice our README and .gitignore files are there too. It's all automatic. It really is that simple!

    Now whenever one of your another devs updates your Github app and you accept their pull request into the master branch, Azure will automatically take care of keeping it up to date.

    Step 6. Connecting a PHP app to a MySQL database on Azure

    When connecting to the database, we need to let PHP know which credentials to use to connect to MySQL. But if we include them directly into the file, everyone will be able to see our password in Github. Hence, create a config.php file in the app's local folder with the following contents (replace the credentials to match yours, of course):

       1: <?php
       2: // Replace with your own
       3: $sUsername = 'enteruser';
       4: $sPassword = 'enterpassword';
       5: $sHost = 'enterhostname';
       6: $sDb = 'enterdbName';

    To ensure these secrets never get commited simply add the following lines at the top of our .gitignore file – this addition simply ensure that git ignores your config.php file and settings.

       1: # Configuration
       2: config.php

    Finally, upload the config.php file to the server manually via FTP. This makes sure it stays put – it will be ignored by the auto-deployment and by our local Git repo.

    Now re-open the local index.php file, and change its contents to the following:

       1: <?php
       3: require_once 'config.php';
       5: try {
       6:     $oConn = new PDO('mysql:host='.$sHost.';dbname='.$sDb, $sUsername, $sPassword);
       7:     $oConn->setAttribute(PDO::ATTR_ERRMODE, PDO::ERRMODE_EXCEPTION);
       9:     $oStmt = $oConn->prepare('SELECT data FROM `hello_world`');
      10:     $oResult = $oStmt->fetchAll();
      12:     foreach ($oResult as $aRow) {
      13:         print_r($aRow['data']);
      14:     }
      16: } catch(PDOException $e) {
      17:     echo 'ERROR: ' . $e->getMessage();
      18: }
      19: Save

    , run git commit -am 'Reading from DB' in your app's folder, followed by a git push.

    Observe the deployment screen in your app's management panel – the deployment history will be growing with every push to the master branch. Your app should already be up-to-date – Azure instantly pulls the Github content.

    If you now re-visit your app's URL, you should get an "I was retrieved from the database!" message displayed.


    As you can see, building and deploying an PHP WebSite with a  MySQL database all on Microsoft Azure is really easy.

    You have also learn that you can have an automated deployment process set up in minutes, all hosted on a highly scalable and reliable infrastructure with built-in metrics and beautiful dashboards to make managing your app as easy as possible.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using the Student FREE Azure Account to Setup a WordPress Blog



    This blog is a result of a question on the computing at schools discussion forum, around schools setting up WordPress sites.

    The intention of this blog is to guide you through the  steps which show school teachers and students how to setup a free blog using Microsoft Azure.

    Step 1. Setup Your Free Microsoft Azure Account
    Step 2. Create a WordPress Blog
    Step 3.  Setup your WordPress Blog
    Step 4. Give Your WordPress Blog a New Look
    Step 5. Create Your First Blog

    1. Go to or and select Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark, Sign-in with your verified account, and then click Register Now.

    Verifying you DreamSpark Account

    1. Go to and select Create Account


    2. Sign-in with or create your Microsoft Account (eg: Hotmail, Outlook, or your Shibboleth academic login). On the Academic Verification page, select the best verification option for yourself, fill in the necessary data, and click Verify and then Continue. See here for more details instructions on account setup.



    Step 1. Setup Your Free Microsoft Azure Account

    1. With your verified account you can now start downloading Microsoft Azure


    2. Complete setting up your Azure account by providing the required information in the account setup page


    3 After a few minutes, your Azure account will be created. Click Start managing my service and get started creating web sites in the cloudimage

    4. Take the tour and get to know Azure moreimage

    5. Get the most out of your membership and checkout these free course to help you learn more.

    · Azure Fundamentals:

    · Azure Fundamentals - Websites:

    Step 2. Create a WordPress Blog

    1. Go to and login with your verified DreamSpark account

    2. Click New, Web Apps, and Azure Marketplace. Search for WordPress and click WordPress and finally Create


    3. Click Web App, enter a unique URL for your blog. Then enter a unique name in the AppService Plan and the Resource Group. Change the location to where you are and leave all other settings to their default values


    4. Click Database, then Legal Terms, then click OK to all open blades, and now click Create


    5.  You’ll see the following notifications and after a few minutes your new blog will be ready to go


    Step 3.  Setup your WordPress Blog

    1. Go to and login with your verified DreamSpark account

    2. Click your blog, then click the app, and the click Browse


    3. Finish configuring your blog by selecting the default language, completing the form and Install WordPressimage

    4. Your blog is now fully configured and ready for you to start making it your own. In the following learning cards, we’ll go through customizing your site. We’ll setup up a theme, add pages and content, and publishing live on the web.


    Step 4. Give Your WordPress Blog a New Look

    1. Go to and login. If you’re not taken to the WordPress dashboard after logging in, locate the button in the upper left hand area of the page, hover over it and click Dashboard. You can also go to it directly:


    2. Click Customize Your Site and then click Change on the Active theme


    3. Once you’ve selected a theme you like, go through each of the remaining settings and adjust the options to best fit the content you’ll be sharing. Once you have everything set the way you like it, click Save & Activate


    4. If you didn’t find a theme you like, you can install more to your site. Return to your dashboard, click Appearance and Add New Theme. Find something you like, and click Install and it will be added to your siteimage

    Step 5. Create Your First Blog

    1. Go to and login. If you’re not taken to the WordPress dashboard after logging in, locate the button in the upper left hand area of the page, hover over it and click Dashboard. You can also go to it directly:


    2. Click Write your first blog post to open the editor


    3. Complete the post by filling in the blanks. And you can either save the draft, preview the post, or publish it so others can see it. For more information, go to


    4. Once you publish your post, it’s live on the web and anyone can view it by going to

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Accessing Microsoft DreamSpark Azure account if you have onthehub DreamSpark Premium Account Already



    Microsoft DreamSpark now offers FREE Azure for all students via 

    However if your institution has a DreamSpark Premium subscription with an OntheHub ELMS will need to sign up for your Azure Subscription via


    Why do I need to sign up at

    The DreamSpark ELMS stores are hosted by Kivuto.  Kivuto supplies software to students from a variety of companies like Microsoft, Adobe etc and they don't use a Microsoft Account to validate students.

    As Microsoft Azure requires a Microsoft Account to get access to Azure, we can't automatically reconcile all the registered email address from with a Microsoft Account because there's no guarantee that's the email address they have associated with their Microsoft Account.

    So if you try to access Azure services from your academic email registered to your onthehub store you will receive the error below. which states ‘This Offer is only available to DreamSpark members’


    Students with a DreamSpark premium subscription who’s institution have a onthehub store need to activate a additional account to access the FREE Azure services.

    This account will NOT impact your access to your institutions onthehub DreamSpark premium resources.

    Here how to Get Access to DreamSpark Azure services

    1. Go to and select Create Account


    2. Sign-in with or create your Microsoft Account (eg: Hotmail, Outlook, or your Shibboleth academic login). On the Academic Verification page, select the best verification option for yourself, fill in the necessary data, and click Verify and then Continue. See here for more details instructions on account setup.


    With your verified account you can now start downloading Microsoft Azure

    3. Go to and setup your Azure account


    4. Get the most out of your membership and checkout these free course to help you learn more at

    Beginner Courses

    Azure Fundamentals:
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Future Decoded 10–11 Nov 2015 Excel London–FREE Event




    This year we're doing it bigger and bolder!

    Get free tickets

    In 2014, we gave you a tantalising glimpse into the future - this year we're doing it again.

    Future Decoded 2015 will host 10,000 of the brightest Business Decision Makers, Developers, IT pros and Partners from across the UK and Europe. Attendees will be taken on a journey to decode the future of business and technology whilst gaining tangible insights in making sense of the latest social and economic changes. The Expo and Conferences will be taking place at the fantastic ICC Capital Suite, at the ExCel centre in London and will take place over two days: Tuesday 10th November 2015 for Enterprise, Partner and SMB audiences and Wednesday 11th November 2015 for Technical and Developer audiences. Last year the event had almost 9,000 attendees and saw a social reach of 52 million.

    Watch this space for keynote and session announcements, leading up to the big event.

    Tuesday 10th Nov - The Business Day

    Get tickets

    If you're a large or small business or a valuable Microsoft partner, the Future Decoded Business day is perfect for you. We have scheduled a variety of activities to enable you to gain as much value as possible from your time at Future Decoded, including...
    • A series of customer success stories where you can hear directly from your peers about their transformation journey, sharing their insights and experiences.

    • A tailored selection of roundtables and briefings to explore key trends, identify opportunities, address common challenges and spark new ideas.

    • Presentations from our Partners and Microsoft Product Groups, with experts available in our Expo to help you decode 'the art of the possible' and apply within your organisation.

    Wherever you are on your journey - digital transformation, enhancing customer experience, gaining data insights or becoming a truly modern business - there will be presentations and breakout sessions to empower you to reach your destination successfully, at the Future Decoded Business day.

    Tuesday 10th November 2015

    08:30 - 09:45

    09:45 - 12:00

    11:00 - 19:30
    Expo Open

    12:15 - 16:15
    Breakout Sessions

    16:45 - 17:45
    Closing Keynote

    17:45 - 19:00

    Wednesday 11th Nov - The Technical Day

    Get tickets

    If you're a developer, an IT professional or any other kind of propeller-head then the Future Decoded Technical Day is the place for you. Where else can you hang out with 4,000 like-minded folks and get...
    • Keynotes from top industry leaders presenting their vision on topics across Cloud, Web and the Future of Computing.

    • Deep technical tracks with world class speakers across programming languages, web, data, internet of things, cross platform apps and also Microsoft technologies like Windows 10 and Visual Studio.

    • Short, snappy demo sessions from leading UK Microsoft Researchers and Most Valued Professionals.

    Whether you build or manage bits that run on a device, in a browser, on a server, in a database or anywhere else, we've got something for you at the Future Decoded Technical Day.

    Wednesday 11th November 2015

    08:30 - 09:45

    09:45 - 12:30

    11:00 - 19:30
    Expo Open

    13:00 - 16:30
    Breakout Sessions

    16:30 - 17:30
    Closing Keynote

    17:30 - 19:00

    Agenda and sessions will be confirmed see

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