January, 2012 - Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

January, 2012


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Curricula Resources DVD and Online resources




    image    image

    DVD + On-line

    Windows Phone Programming in C# by Prof Rob Miles;

    WP7.5 update + extra modules
    This material contains a ten chapter textbook with labs, demos and step by step instructions on how to create Windows Phone 7 applications.

    1st & 2nd Year Programming courses

    Introduction to Game Programming with XNA and Windows Phone 7 by Prof Kelvin Sung (UW)

    WP7.5 update + new material

    This material is a 16-hour course designed to teach students how to build a 2D interactive video game.

    3rd & 4th Year (require background in data structure)

    Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Silverlight by Michael Iantosca.

    WP7.5 update + new material

    Students learn the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop a mobile application on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform using Microsoft Silverlight. 2nd & 3rd Year: background in programming needed (preferably C#, but C, C++, Java helps

    Designing for Windows Phone by Microsoft

    This material contains the following 7 lessons on how to design for the Windows Phone: METRO Design, Building WP7 Assets, Layout Controls in Expression Blend, Creating Animation and Basic Interactivity, Working with the Visual State Manager, Adding Data to your Application and Creating the Flickr4Fun app. [ HCI and Software Dev-t classes 1nd - 3rd Year: ]

    Azure Mobile Curriculum by Rob Miles

    Find out how Cloud computing works and what it brings to the Windows Phone user. The content will show you how to use the cloud for data storage and databases, farm out heavyweight tasks for cloud data processing and use the cloud to perform identity validation. [addition to above courses]

    If you would like to receive a FREE copy of the CD please email ukfac@microsoft.com with your University contact details and full UK postal address.



    Don't forget students can get great resources and developer tools for free from http://www.dreamspark.com and check up on all the latest offers and prizes via the Microsoft UK Student Blog and Facebook Group

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Hosting your Moodle on Windows Azure



    Moodle hosting in the Cloud via Windows Azure

    There are two projects currently available for hosting Moodle on Windows Azure, both on CodePlex (Microsoft's open source project hosting site, which hosts over 200,000 projects currently):

    http://moodle2azure.codeplex.com/ This is a port of Moodle 2.x Course Management System to Azure platform.

    http://moodleazure.codeplex.com/  Enable Moodle 1.9.9 to run on Windows Azure and SQL Azure

    Both of these projects are on CodePlex, there's a community of support on the site for advice as you start to implement and use them there are a number of other moodle associated codeplex projects and a whole forum on the Moodle community website for Windows users

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Update to Microsoft DreamSpark


    Today we made some exciting changes and improvements to DreamSpark, with the launch of a new site and rebranding of MSDNAA to Microsoft DreamSpark premium.

    DreamSpark is the first step for educators to make learning more motivating, relevant, and engaging for today’s students by providing no cost access to professional-level development, design, and gaming software.

    DreamSpark is:


    A unique opportunity for both students and educators to use the latest professional development, design and gaming software at no charge

    A chance to learn new technologies to excite students in classrooms

    Access to software and curriculum resources to help develop courses that will enable students to achieve their career goals after graduation

    A way to help educators expand their personal and professional portfolios and enhance classroom objectives

    For Students

    DreamSpark is simple; it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.

    DreamSpark gives Students the chance to develop world class software, web applications, cool and creative designs as well as amazing games. Microsoft believes that students can do amazing things if they only have the right tools.

    For Academics

    DreamSpark is about giving educators no cost access to Microsoft professional-level developer, designer and gaming software so they can reach, motivate, and ensure their students achieve their greatest potential. DreamSpark gives you the software and resources to ensure your classroom always has the latest technologies to challenge, motivate, and keep students engaged in new ways.

    Learning must be relevant, exciting, and engaging. DreamSpark is aligned with universities, associations, and employers to ensure that educators are able to discover, create, and deliver courses to students that lead to increased technical proficiency, employability and of course creates the next generation of technical leaders.

    · DreamSpark Pricing Model and usage

    Free for all students – simply self-subscribe to DreamSpark via http://www.dreamspark.com

    Free for all Schools being in the system and setup to provide their students verification solution
    This was is through domain, shibboleth, or Live@Edu validation
    Schools DreamSpark Administrators can request codes and give to their students

    For more details regarding Microsoft Dreamspark offering contact the DreamSpark support team

    NB. Licensing does not allow for the products to be used in class, and FREE licensing does not cover educators

    Changes to licensing and costs

    DreamSpark for Schools, College and Unis subscription is now available and priced at $99 FREE for EES customers – This change allows all DreamSpark software to be installed for teaching and learning on Institutional Lab machines and it’s a campus license as per EES so you only need to purchase 1 license and not 1 per school or faculty and if your a EES subscriber its included for FREE. (also it now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and is available for all taught discipline, previously this only covered students usage and not licensed for intuitional equipment)

    DreamSpark Premium – Previously MSDNAA so includes more products including Visio, OneNote and Project and is aimed at STEM FE and HE institutions and all IT Academy Subscribers. The cost has been reduced to $499 from £1000+ (also it now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and all lab installations)

    Microsoft was started when many of the founders were still students so we know that anything is possible. To make this happen, we are aligning with universities, associations, and other communities around the world to make sure that DreamSpark reaches everyone as fast as possible.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Announcing Visual Studio Achievements


    Bring Some Game To Your Coding lessons

    I thought you all may be interested in the following.

    Visual Studio is a ideal tools for schools, colleges and Universities for inspiring future developers, to enhance the experience Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, with the achievements students talents and learning are recognized as they perform various coding feats, which unlock achievements and earn badges which can be shared and displayed on social network profiles and web sites.

    Some examples of individual achievements include Regional Manager (have more than 10 regions in a single class), Close To The Metal (use 5 preprocessor directives), Stubby (generate method stubs 10 times) or Interrupting Cow (have 10 breakpoints in a file). All in all, there are 32 achievements awaiting to be unlocked, all of which are listed here. Here's what the 6 different badges look like:

    The Six Categories of Achievements


    Learn More About Visual Studio

    Visual Studio is a powerful tool with tons of features, many of which you may not know about. Earning some of the badges may result in learning about features you didn’t even know existed!

    Download It Download Now

    How It Works

    With the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, achievements are unlocked based on your activity. Your code is analysed on a background thread each time you compile. In addition, the extension listens for certain events and actions that you may perform in Visual Studio, reporting progress on these events to the server. When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up displaying the award. Each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. Students can then automatically tweet about achievements they earn and/or share them on Facebook.

    Get Visual Studio for FREE via DreamSpark 


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Beta release of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) SDK for Windows Phone


    Win7PhoneNew AWS_LOGO_CMYK

    Microsoft is pleased to announce the beta release of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) SDK for Windows Phone. Built by Microsoft as an open source project, this SDK provides developers quickly connect and integrate Windows Phone applications with AWS (S3, SimpleDB, and SQS Cloud Services)

    For more details please see “Beta of Amazon Web Services SDK for Windows Phone Released

    Getting started with the AWS SDK for Windows Phone:

    Getting started guide http://windowsphone.interoperabilitybridges.com/articles/getting-started-with-the-beta-of-amazon-web-services-sdk-for-windows-phone

    Getting Started video http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Interoperability/Getting-Started-with-the-AWS-SDK-for-Windows-Phone

    Samples walkthrough videos

    Video walkthrough of the samples provided in the SDK:

    1. http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Interoperability/AWS-SDK-for-Windows-Phone-S3-sample-walkthrough
    2. http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Interoperability/AWS-SDK-for-Windows-Phone-SQS-sample-walkthrough
    3. http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Interoperability/AWS-SDK-for-Windows-Phone-SimpleDB-sample-walkthrough

    WP7 Porting resources and API mapping:


    Leveraging your iPhone development expertise to build Windows Phone applications


    Leveraging your Android development expertise to build Windows Phone applications


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    System Center 2012 - Importance of Private Clouds within the Education



    Last week I had a  number of interesting discussions with Universities in relation to the importance of Private Clouds within the Education and the opportunity which public and private cloud offers institutions IT Services and academics. The opportunities presented are specifically in relation to agility and capability not only from a IT Services perspective but from a curricula adoption perspective, therefore enabling academics and researchers to use modern and appropriate technologies within teaching, learning and research.

    You all have Developers/Researchers/Educators in your institution, who need to complete project which require dedicated resources, to generally enable these projects resources are required. these resources are usually the following as a minimum:-

    • A Domain Controller (user accounts, authorization, security, rights and roles)
    • A Database Server (data storage for the apps be developed, reporting data, inventory, sales, etc)
    • A Mail Server (notifications, collaboration)
    • 1-3 Windows 7 Client machines for testing  20 – 100 Windows 7 in a lab situation

    To implement these generally requires a significant amount of time and resource, additionally there are a number of key milestones, which add delay and additional cost to each of the projects: 

    • Identifying hardware requirements
    • Ordering the hardware
    • Provisioning the hardware
    • Then delivering to the developers.
    • Installing the hardware with necessary software
    • Securing the software and network connectivity
    • Testing the software and hardware

    Therefore the amount of time between the request for resources and delivery of the resources could be weeks or even months. Not to mention that the resources available to undertake this work are limited and that developers are limited on what they can do until the resources arrive. Not very efficient or productive.

    Present Day Private/Public Cloud Opportunity 

    So the same scenario, Developers/Researchers/Educators in your institution have a project that needs dedicated resources

    Same Resources requested for same purpose. Now the IT staff can deliver these resources “on-demand” by selecting capable resources, much of which is virtualized, from a pool or library, and provisioned to those of the needs of the developers. Thus reducing the time between request and delivery to a matter of days or even hours.

    Furthermore, resources can be generalised and stored in a library along with scripts to customise the resources. The library can be securely exposed to requestors through a self-service portal. The requesters can be assigned roles that allow a requestor to search through resources or select a pre built VM environment along with customisation scripts to create the environment they need without direct interaction of the IT staff.

    The key factor being, you can have as much or as little automation as required for your own needs. Deployment and refresh times can be now reduced from months to hours with minimal staff intervention or support.

    The Private/Public Clouds now offer an opportunity to streamline and create agility in IT operations. IT as a Service is now truly available using resources on premise or cloud based hosted resources.. 

    With the current shipping versions of System Center products (and previous), we have always had individual products such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 or System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. Last week there were some big announcements regarding System Center 2012. Microsoft held a great event called Microsoft Private Cloud Day where changes to System Center 2012 were announced. If you missed the live stream, you can watch it on demand.

    As part of the announcements last week we are simplifying this and now and now offering System Center 2012 as a single product suite.

    There are two editions, System Center 2012 Datacenter and System Center 2012 Standard.


    As you can see from the figure above, both Editions include the same components. Both editions are also licensed per two physical processors. The only difference is the number of Virtual Machines supported per license

    • 2 for Standard
    • Unlimited for Datacenter

    If you have a minimal virtualization footprint, the Standard Edition may be just fine (school, department or a smaller faculty for example); if you have a large virtualization footprint (campus) and are looking for high density of VMs, then definitely go with Datacenter edition.

    Private/Public Hybrid Cloud

    Microsoft is leading the pack in building a global scale public cloud platform (Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Office 365) while also enabling customers to build their own private clouds (using Windows Server and System Center). As customers really start taking advantage of cloud computing methodologies, they have the flexibility of choosing the model that best fits their needs or a combination (Hybrid) and know that the two environments can be managed holistically from one management tool System Center 2012.

    Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of our Management and Security Division wrote a blog post that really does a good job of stating Microsoft’s strategy for cloud computing and how we see public and private clouds coming together.

    Additionally the on-demand webcast from last weeks event solidifies the Microsoft Private Cloud story using Windows Servers, Hyper-V virtualization, and the System Center 2012 Suite this was presented by Microsoft’s Server & Tools “Transforming IT with Microsoft Private Cloud” 

    You can start working with Microsoft Private Cloud solutions now.


    Download the Release Candidate of the System Center 2012 Suite

    Additional resources for more information on Private Clouds and System Center 2012

    The Official Microsoft Blog - System Center 2012: Where Public and Private Clouds Meet

    System Center 2012 – Product Site 

    System Center 2012 – Licensing Datasheet (PDF)

    System Center 2012 – Licensing FAQ (PDF)

    Enabling & skilling up your IT Support teams – Microsoft Virtual Academy and Microsoft IT Academy

    Providing appropriate software to students and educators -  EES + DreamSpark

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    .NET Gadgeteer Useful Resources & Links



    If your interested in developing new curricula in 2012, which will really stimulate your students then you need to have a look at  .NET Gadgeteer.

    The .NET Gadgeteer is an amazing  platform, so if your interested in teaching and inspiring students practically about electronics, microcontrollers, robotics and Computer Science.


    The .NET Gadgeteer is an ideal resources, as its name suggest the .NET Gadgeteer is based on the .NET Micro Framework, using C# as the primary development language.


    C# is available as part of Visual Studio 2010 and can be downloaded via existing MSDNAA subscriptions or via DreamSpark for Free by all UK Students.

    Who are the Manufacturers

    Gadgeteer boards and modules are primarily available from the following manufactures


    • GHI Electronics – .NET Gadgeteer mainboard, and supplier of many modules as well.

    SEED logo

    • Seeed Studio  – Maker of numerous sensor modules, from gyro and compass to accelerometer and GPS.


    Community and Microsoft Sites

    There are a number of excellent resources available online to begin your Gadgeteer adventures and to ask questions about .NET Gadgeteer hardware or software:

    • .NET Gadgeteer Site -  Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio/Visual C# Express. Build all manner of electronic gadgets quickly and easily with .NET Gadgeteer!
    • TinyCLR Gadgeteer Forum – Run by GHI, this forum is dedicated to .NET Gadgeteer topics, and is very active, with a number of smart and friendly folks from the community pitching in to help newcomers get started.
    • Seeed Studio Forum – Technical support and device device drivers for Seeed products.
    • Official .NET Gadgeteer Forums –  The official Microsoft Research team responsible for Gadgeteer
    • Core Gadgeteer API documentation – API resources and information, this is a good place to start.
    • Gadgeteer Source on Codeplex – when documentation alone isn't enough, you can always check out the source code to see what's really happening under the covers.
    • Skewworks – Supplies additional software useful in .NET MF and Gadgeteer projects, including UI libraries and operating environments that allow for running multiple applications without reflashing.


    Here are some good blogs on .Net Gadgeteer:

    Supplies & Parts, for bigger better projects

    Although you can do a great deal with just a mainboard and a few modules, eventually you're going to want to go beyond, and for that you'll probably want some additional gadgets to your projects, things like a breadboard, jumper wires, LEDs one of the best places in the UK to get these items in the UK for your Gadgeteer projects is http://coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/ They have a vast array of accessories, from LEDs to header pins, jumper wires, servos, motors. 

    So 2012 looks a very interesting year for curricula developments using .NET Gadgeteer

    More importantly .NET Gadgeteer is a neat way of introducing students of all ages to STEM.

    Happy New Year!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Cloud based development for Office365


    With the launch of Office 365, which includes Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online, there is a now a huge requirement and market for graduates with the skills of how to develop for Office365.  The following blog outlines a number of great resources available for developers to help get you started developing on the platform.

    So what is Office 365

    Office 365 provides a communication and collaboration service in the cloud that you can leverage to build custom solutions for SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. In this session, you’ll learn about this new cloud service and the breadth of solutions that can be developed using the same skills, tools and SDKs you use today when building on-premises solutions.

    I have Live@edu and not Office365 what is the difference?

    office365 vs Live

    for more details on see - www.microsoft.com/liveatedu/office365

    So how do you develop for Office365

    First, for Office client-related development, there is a short white paper Guidance for Office Development in Office 365 this paper identifies a number of things which you need to have top-of-mind relating to the Office clients and Office365 SharePoint Online. The most significant callout is managing remote authentication in your Office client add-ins. Since Office365 SharePoint Online is not in your Active Directory domain, you need to be able to pop the credential prompt for Ofiice365 when you need to access data in your add-in for the end-user. This white paper points you to a code sample you can use with the SharePoint Client Object Model and talks you through the pattern for how to implement it in your add-in. Additionally, you should keep a copy of the SharePoint Online Developer Guide handy to use as a reference for all things related to basic SPO development. Or you can access it online as well.

    Some videos available on Channel9 you might want to watch for Office365 information are:

    Dedicated Office365 training resource - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/Office365TrainingCourse

    • Developing in the Cloud with Office 365 Office 365 provides a communication and collaboration service in the cloud that you can leverage to build custom solutions for SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. In this session, you’ll learn about this new cloud service and the breadth of solutions that can be developed using the same skills, tools and SDKs you use today when building on-premises solutions.
    • Developing for SharePoint Online with Sandbox Solutions Sandboxed Solutions are the development paradigm for SharePoint Online. In this session, you’ll learn about sandboxed solutions including how to develop, debug and deploy solutions. You’ll also learn the breadth of solutions that can be developed in the sandbox and strategies for developing common scenarios that are not enabled in the sandbox.
    • Building Workflow Solutions for SharePoint Online Building Workflow solutions for SharePoint Online allows you to automate collaboration-centric business processes and surface them to your users via SharePoint Online. In this session, you’ll learn the differences between declarative and code-based workflows, design a workflow using Visio 2010, implement that workflow in SharePoint Designer 2010 and customize the workflow using Visual Studio 2010 and custom actions.
    • Developing SharePoint Online Solutions with the Client Object Model The SharePoint Client Object Model provides libraries for programmatically accessing SharePoint Online via Silverlight and JavaScript. In this session, we’ll go deep into the Client Object Model and show you how to develop solutions using both Silverlight and JavaScript.
    • Leveraging Excel and Access Services in SharePoint Online Excel and Access Services provide powerful features for building SharePoint Online solutions. In this session, you’ll get an inside look at both Excel and Access services and how each can be accessed programmatically when building SharePoint Online solutions.
    • SharePoint Online Branding Customizing an intranet site with your company’s identity and branding can help create a more effective collaboration experience. SharePoint Online allows users, designers and developers to customize the look and feel of a site. This can range from simple changes like setting a site logo and Theme to completely changing the user experience with custom styles and Master Pages. In this session, you’ll learn how to make these customizations to brand your SharePoint Online site.
    • Developing Communication Solutions for Lync Online In this session, you learn how to integrate Lync features into your WPF and Silverlight clients much in the same way that Office and SharePoint do, including presence, contact lists and click-to-communicate features. You will also learn how to extend Lync communications to include data and features from your client applications much in the same way that Outlook 2010 does with the "IM" and "Call" features within an email.
    • Developing Messaging Solutions for Exchange Online In this session, you'll learn how to integrate Exchange Online mailbox data such as mail, calendar and task items as well as Exchange Online services such as the free-busy service into your applications using an easy to discover and easy to use managed API.

      Additional Resources

    • SharePoint Online Overview In this video, you'll learn about the customization and solution development opportunities for SharePoint Online.
    • Exchange Online Overview In this video, you'll learn about Exchange Online as a service and how you can build messaging solution in the cloud using the Exchange SDKs.
    • Lync Online Overview In this video, you'll learn about Lync Online and a service and how you can build communication solutions using Lync 2010 and the Lync 2010 SDK.
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Great tool for using multiple machines with a single mouse and keyboard


    I was recently visiting a institution, and meet with an lecture who announced how impressed he was with using Mouse without Borders.

    So I thought I should share this great FREE software with you.


    So what is Mouse Without Borders 

    Mouse without Borders in a nutshell, allows you to reach across your PC's as if they were part of one single desktop.

    For example the academic had a laptop and slate on his desk, using Mouse Without Borders he could use a single mouse and keyboard to move between the two screens on his desk, even though each of the devices were attached to different screens, what’s more, using mouse without borders you can move files between the 2 computers simply by dragging them from one desktop to another. In fact you can control up to four computers from a single mouse and keyboard with no extra hardware needed.

    Mouse without Borders has been developed by Truong Do who by day is a developed for Microsoft Dynamics. What interesting is that Mouse without Borders has been developed as part of Microsoft wide program that encourages grass roots invention, tinkering, ideas and incubation of projects entitled the Garage. In The Garage,employees get together after hours to build whatever they dream up and the results are often impressive. 99.9% of the Garage projects either ship as part of a Microsoft project or remain internal.

    Mouse without Borders is easy to setup and in addition to enabling drag and drop of files, you can lock or log in to all PCs from one PC for more information on Mouse without Borders see the following video.

    You can download Mouse without Borders for FREE here Download Now [1.1mb]

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Teched Europe 2012 Registration now open



    Come to TechEd Europe, unplug from your day job, & dive into the thousands of learning & networking opportunities

    In addition to over 400 sessions with Microsoft and industry speakers, TechEd offers you face-to-face connections with thousands of your peers who share your challenges. TechEd is the forum to gain the expertise and insights that will help you get the most from your IT investments.
    TechEd offers 4 days to:


    • LEARN in-depth about the latest technology trends and how you can leverage these effectively in your business
    • DISCOVER the future of Microsoft’s products, technologies, solutions and services directly from Microsoft’s leaders with news, announcements, and demos
    • NETWORK with Microsoft and industry thought leaders, and fellow delegates that share your technology interests and business challenges
    • PLAN the features and architecture to support your business goals and product roadmap

    Need Even More? Attend a Pre-Conference Seminar

    By arriving a day early on Monday, 25 June and registering for the special Pre-Conference Seminars you will get in-depth training and insights on the Microsoft technologies and products that power your business. Select from 10 different topics taught by John Craddock, Kate Gregory, Steve Fox, Mikael Nystrom, Kent Agerlund, Alberto Ferrari, Richard Hundhausen, and more!

    Register NOW for TechEd Europe

    Register Now or visit europe.msteched.com and learn more

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