• Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Corona SDK coming to Windows devices thanks to open source ANGLE project

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    Corona SDK, the popular mobile 2D platform made by Corona Labs, now offers closed beta support for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft Open Technologies helped the Corona Labs team integrate the ANGLE project into Corona SDK to add support for Windows Phone 8. This allows the more than 300,000 developers using Corona SDK today to easily port their apps to Windows Phone 8 with minimum effort, extending their reach to millions of new users.

    Learn more on the MS Open Tech blog.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    More W3C Pointer Events Implementations with Dojo and IE11

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    The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard continues to gain traction, advancing support for interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions across the web. Further to our previous Blog where we highlighted the work the Dojo team are doing with Pointer Events, we can now confirm an implementation of Pointer Events has now been added to the patch list for Dojo Toolkit 2.0.

    Pointer Events makes it easier to support a variety of browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. The specification has earned positive feedback from the developer community -- many are already embracing it as a unified model for cross-browser multi-modal input.

    In our previous Blog on W3C Pointer Events, we highlighted feedback shared by members of the jQuery, Cordova, and Dojo communities. The team at Nokia are also excited about progress with the Pointer Events standardization work as Nokia's Art Barstow, Chair of the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group noted:

    Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, jQuery, Opera and Nokia are among the industry members working on the Pointer Events standard in the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group. Pointer Events is designed to handle hardware-agnostic multi user inputs input from devices like a mouse, pen, or touchscreen and we are pleased to see it achieve Candidate Recommendation status in W3C. Pointer Events is a great way for developers to enable better user interaction with the mobile Web and we are excited to see the various implementations around the Web that are already underway. Web developers can start coding with Pointer Events today and we look forward to further progress with the standard and adoption within the Web community.

    Pointer Events at //Build 2013

    During the recent //Build 2013 event, Jacob Rossi of the Internet Explorer (IE) team presented Lighting Your Site Up on Windows 8.1 which included guidance on how Web developers can use the capabilities of Pointer Events to make web sites ‘shine’ across many devices such as touch/mouse/pen, high resolution screens, and screen sizes from phones to desktops, taking advantage of sensors and other hardware innovations. The Internet Explorer 11 Preview implementation has been updated from Internet Explorer 10 to include the latest Candidate Recommendation specification for W3C Pointer Events - see Pointer Events updates in the IE11 Developer Guide for further details.

    As we continue to work with the vibrant Web community, we look forward to seeing even more Pointer Events support across a growing number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks – there’s more to come! To learn more about using and implementing Pointer Events, feel free to check out and contribute to the Pointer Events Wiki on Web Platform Docs which includes community generated polyfills, tests, demos, and tutorials, or join the discussion at #PointerEvents. Point. Click. Touch.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Hortonworks HDP -- Open Source Apache Hadoop Distribution is Enterprise-ready

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    Generally Available on Linux, Windows Server and Windows Azure.

    From: Gianugo Rabellino, Senior Director of Open Source Communities, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Great news! Hortonworks’ HDP for Windows is now generally available on Windows and Linux.

    Here’s what the Microsoft SQL Server team had to say about the GA release (The Beta was announced and released in March):

    “HDP offers customers a 100 percent Open Source Apache Hadoop distribution that is Enterprise-ready and interoperable across Linux, Windows Server and Windows Azure. For more details visit the Hortonworks website.”

    And here’s what Hortonworks had to say about the new release:

    “Built and packaged by the core architects of Apache Hadoop, Hortonworks Data Platform includes all of the necessary components to refine and explore new data sources, and find new business insights. As an ecosystem-friendly platform, HDP extends existing investments in applications, tools and processes with Hadoop.”

    Note that existing HDP for Windows users in Windows or Linux can migrate easily the Windows Azure-based HDInsight service when they’re ready to take advantage of the performance advantages and low operating costs of Hadoop on Windows Azure.

    We at Microsoft Open Technologies are glad to see this bridge open for customers’ big data needs.

    Congratulations to the Hortonworks and Microsoft teams on a job well done!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    VM Depot Crosses Another Milestone

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    In January of last year, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) launched VM Depot- a community-managed repository of open source virtual machine images for deployment on Microsoft Azure. The vision we articulated for this repository is that it be a place where "the community can build, deploy and share their favorite Linux configuration, create custom open source stacks, work with others and build new architectures for the cloud that leverage the openness and flexibility of the Windows Azure platform."

    Today, I am happy to report that VM Depot crossed the threshold of 1,000 images!

    MS Open Tech's success in attracting image publishers to VM Depot has encouraged us to turn our attention to making the site and its images even easier to use. Whatever it is you are looking for, there is a good change that you will find it on VM Depot and thus can deploy it to Azure. Earlier this week, we announced a new search feature to help you more quickly hone in on the right image for your needs. We will continue to work on improving integration with the Azure Management Portal to make it easier to deploy VM Depot images using a web browser.

    For those who prefer to use the command line for deployment and management, we support that, too. We continue to make improvements to the Microsoft Azure Node.js SDK, as we wish to ensure that developers will continue to have full access to VM Depot and Azure regardless of which operating system they are working on.

    For those just getting started with VM Depot, we have created a Site Walkthrough. Keep an eye out for a set of materials and documentation in the coming weeks which will help you make the most of this repository as it continues to expand.

    And let us know if there are specific areas that need more attention or support.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    AMQP 1.0 is one step closer to being recognized as an ISO/IEC International Standard

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    From Ram Jeyaraman, Senior Standards Professional, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and co-Chair of the OASIS AMQP Technical Committee

    Microsoft Open Technologies is excited to share the news from OASIS that the formal approval process is now underway to transform the AMQP 1.0 OASIS Standard to an ISO/IEC International Standard.

    The Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) specification enables interoperability between compliant clients and brokers. With AMQP, applications can achieve full-fidelity message exchange between components built using different languages and frameworks and running on different operating systems. As an inherently efficient application layer binary protocol, AMQP enables new possibilities in messaging that scale from the device to the cloud.

    Submission for approval as an ISO/IEC International Standard builds on AMQP’s successes over the last 12 months, including AMQP 1.0 approval as an OASIS Standard in October 2012 and the ongoing development of extensions that greatly enhance the AMQP ecosystem.

    The ISO/IEC JTC 1 international standardization process is iterative, and consensus-driven. Its goal is to deliver a technically complete standard that can be broadly adopted by nations around the world.

    Throughout the remainder of this process, which may take close to a year, the MS Open Tech standards team will continue to represent Microsoft and work with OASIS to advance the specification.

    You can learn more about AMQP and get an understanding of AMQP’s business value here. You can also find a list of related vendor-supported products, open source projects, and details regarding customer usage and success on the AMQP website: http://www.amqp.org/about/examples.

    If you’re a developer getting started with AMQP, we recommend that you read this overview. For even more detail and guidance here’s a Service Bus AMQP Developer's Guide, which will help you get started with AMQP for the Windows Azure Service Bus using .NET, Java, PHP, or Python. Also, have a look at this recent blog post from Scott Guthrie, called Walkthrough of How to Build a Pub/Sub Solution using AMQP.

    Whether you’re a novice user or an active contributor the community, we’d like to hear from you! Let us know how your experience with AMQP has been so far by leaving comments here. As well, we invite you to connect with the community and join the conversation on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Stack Overflow.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Extensions and Binding Updates for Business Messaging Open Standard Spec OASIS AMQP

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    From:

    David Ingham, Program Manager, Windows Azure Service Bus

    Rob Dolin, Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

     

    We’re pleased to share an update on four new extensions, currently in development, that greatly enhance the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) ecosystem.

    First a quick recap - AMQP is an open standard wire-level protocol for business messaging.  It has been developed at OASIS through a collaboration among:

    • Larger product vendors like Red Hat, VMware and Microsoft
    • Smaller product vendors like StormMQ and Kaazing
    • Large user firms like JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bourse with requirements for extremely high reliability. 
    • Government institutions
    • Open source software developers including the Apache Qpid project and the Fedora project

    In October of 2012, AMQP 1.0 was approved as an OASIS standard.

     

    EXTENSION SPECS: The AMQP ecosystem continues to expand while the community continues to work collaboratively to ensure interoperability.  There are four additional extension and binding working drafts being developed and co-edited by ourselves, JPMorgan Chase, and Red Hat within the AMQP Technical Committee and the AMQP Bindings and Mappings Technical Committee:

    • Global Addressing – This specification defines a standard syntax for representing AMQP addresses to enable routing of AMQP messages through a variety of network topologies, potentially involving heterogeneous AMQP infrastructure components. This enables more uses for AMQP ranging from business-to-business transactional messaging to low-overhead “Internet of Things” communications.
    • Management – This specification defines how entities such as queues and pub/sub topics can be managed through a layered protocol that uses AMQP 1.0 as the underlying transport. The specification defines a set of standard operations including create, read, update and delete, as well as custom, entity-specific operations. Using this mechanism, any AMQP 1.0 client library will be able to manage any AMQP 1.0 container, e.g., a message broker like Azure Service Bus. For example, an application will be able to create topics and queues, configure them, send messages to them, receive messages from them and delete them, all dynamically at runtime without having to revert to any vendor-specific protocols or tools.
    • WebSocket Binding – This specification defines a binding from AMQP 1.0 to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) WebSocket Protocol (RFC 6455) as an alternative to plain TCP/IP. The WebSocket protocol is the commonly used standard for enabling dynamic Web applications in which content can be pushed to the browser dynamically, without requiring continuous polling. The AMQP WebSocket binding allows AMQP messages to flow directly from backend services to the browser at full fidelity. The WebSocket binding is also useful for non-browser scenarios as it enables AMQP traffic to flow over standard HTTP ports (80 and 443) which is particularly useful in environments where outbound network access is restricted to a limited set of standard ports.
    • Claims-based Security – This specification defines a mechanism for the passing of granular claims-based security tokens via AMQP messages.  This enables interoperability of external security token services with AMQP such as the IETF’s OAuth 2.0 specification (RFC 6749) as well as other identity, authentication, and authorization management and security services. 

    All of these extension and binding specifications are being developed through an open community collaboration among people from vendor organizations, customer organizations, and independent experts. 

    LEARNING ABOUT AMQP: If you’re looking to learn more about AMQP or understand its business value, start at: http://www.amqp.org/about/what.

    CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY: We hope you’ll consider joining some of the AMQP conversations taking place on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Stack Overflow.

    TRY AMQP: You can also find a list of vendor-supported products, open source projects, and customer success stories on the AMQP website: http://www.amqp.org/about/examples. We’re biased, but you can try our favorite hosted implementation of AMQP: the Windows Azure Service Bus. Visit the Developers Guide for links to getting started with AMQP in .NET, Java, PHP, or Python.

    Let us know how your experience with AMQP has been so far, whether you’re a novice user or an active contributor the community.

    Thanks—

    -- Dave and Rob

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Live from //build/: Windows Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites GA, Autoscale Preview and new Virtual Machines Images

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    Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Azure Web Sites are now generally available, offering a rich set of services for building what we call “Modern Applications.” Modern applications are invariably web based and accessible by a broad spectrum of mobile devices. Microsoft Open Technologies has taken an active part in these releases, contributing its expertise in bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies and building the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services and the Android Notification Hubs SDK.

    Windows Azure Mobile Services

    Windows Azure Mobile Services makes it fast and easy to build connected applications that scale and reach every user on every device. The Windows Azure team not only provides SDKs for building native Windows Store, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and HTML5 apps, but also open sources the Windows Azure Mobile Services SDKs on GitHub and offers a REST API developers can use to reach additional client platforms. Server-side extensibility allows apps to consume other Windows Azure services like blob and table storage and third party services like SendGrid and Pusher, as well as connect to on-premises systems.

    Windows Azure Web Sites

    Windows Azure Web Sites is the fastest way to build, scale and manage business- and enterprise-grade Web applications. It is flexible and provides support for multiple languages, frameworks and databases. It has the features needed for business-class web presence like SSL and authentication via Windows Azure Active Directory. Web agencies can create socially connected applications and automatically scale them as their campaigns grow. Visual Studio users will find that Windows Azure Web Sites provides the best-in-class experience for cloud development and deployment.

    Additional Service Updates

    Additional services are also coming to Windows Azure in preview, along with new Windows Azure Virtual Machines images (SQL Server 2014 and Windows Server 2012 R2) and enhancements to Windows Azure Active Directory.

    Auto scale, alerts and monitoring are now available in preview. These services allow you to monitor the health and availability of your applications, receive notifications when your service availability changes, perform action-based events, and automatically scale to match current demands.

    Last but not least, in today’s keynote, Satya Nadella gave a sneak peek into future enhancements to Windows Azure Active Directory. Windows Azure is working with third parties like Box and others so they can take advantage of Windows Azure Active Directory to enable a single sign-on (SSO) experience for their users. If a higher level of security is needed, you can leverage Active Authentication to give you multifactor authentication.

    Learn more

    To learn more on these announcement, visit the Windows Azure blog. You can also stream today’s //build/ keynote on channel 9.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    February Updates to the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse – SSL Support, plus new JDKs, Windows Azure configurations and more

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    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has released the February preview of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse. This release includes multiple updates since our October 2013 release, including SSL support, additional support for the latest versions of GlassFish and the Azul Zulu OpenJDK package, a new option to choose the A5 instance on Windows Azure, Windows Server 2012 R2, some tweaks to the menu, and a new “Auto” option for private endpoints. Have a look at the documentation update for full details.

    Support for SSL

    Instead of having the user manually configure every Java-based Web Application Server running on Windows Azure to accept SSL certificates and authentication, which varies from server to server, our Engineering team has developed what we call SSL Offloading. Offloading allows you to easily enable HTTPS support (one of our most requested features) without requiring configuration of SSL on your Java application server. Instead, SSL authentication is handled set up by the Toolkit automatically, using IIS + and Application Request Routing (ARR) under the hood in your VM. So after the decryption, your Java Web application Server receives (and responds with) just standard HTTP. This also works in conjunction with sticky sessions for session persistence and the ACS filter for user authentication.

    To enable SSL offloading, select the Worker Role you want to work with in Role Properties, then click on Enable SSL Offloading (HTTPS), as shown below. You will be asked to confirm an endpoint change to 443 (HTTPS) and provide a certificate. Note that this change will only happen for this role. This allows you to have some roles without SSL, for example for a Website home page, but other roles with SSL enabled for access only by authenticated users or requiring more secure communication.

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    Customizable certificate name (CN) in the self-signed certificate creation UI

    You may already be familiar with the Toolkit’s UI to easily generate self-signed certificates for testing purposes. (It’s recommended that you use a certificate verified by a recognized SSL certificate provider for staging and production to avoid users seeing browser warnings about untrusted connections and unsigned certificates).

    Previously, you could generate certificates with the same hard-coded Common Name (CN) for all new certificates. Specifying your own name helps track and manage multiple certificates in the Windows Azure portal used for different purposes (like SSL vs Remote Desktop). Here’s a sample of the enhanced UI in action:

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    Support for GlassFish OSE 4

    Glassfish OSE 4 joins the multiple versions of Tomcat, Jetty, JBoss and Glassfish OSE 3 as the latest option to include as part of your deployment package. As before, you can test your deployments locally in Eclipse before you deploy with full emulation.

    Here’s the full list of Application Servers recognized by the Toolkit in this release:

    clip_image003

    More Options for Azul’s Zulu Open JDK package

    In July we announced a partnership with Azul Systems, and in September Azul Systems released Zulu, an OpenJDK Build for Windows Azure leveraging the latest advancements from the open source community. Zulu has been an option under the 3rd party JDK Deployment Project options since September’s announcement, and since then Zulu v7 update 40 and now update 45 are available options that the Toolkit knows how to deploy automatically under the hood in Windows Azure, without you having to download them to your local computer first.

    Here’s an example of the new JDK selection, showing a deployment being configured with the latest version of Zulu selected to be part of the deployment package:

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    In other OpenJDK news, Java developers working with the latest Azul Zulu OpenJDK v1.7 package on 64 bit Windows Server machines can now automate the process using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI). Full details here.

    New Features when Publishing: Select a Target OS

    In the October release we moved the target OS from the project properties a more prominent place in the publishing process. In this release we’ve added Windows Server 2012 R2 support for the target OS:

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    A5 VM support

    In this release we’ve also added support for the Windows Azure A5 instance configuration. The A5, A6, and A7 instances provide larger amounts of memory more suited for high-throughput applications. Detailed configurations of these instances are available here.

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    A new Toolbar button look, and a new button for creating Self-Signed Certificates

    The engineering team engaged a designer to create new menu icons to match the standard eclipse “flat” look. They’re still all there in the same place, but they look a little different now. We’ve also added a button to the self-signed certificate creation wizard. The graphical face lift of the Toolkit is still a work in process with more coming later, primarily motivated by Windows Azure’s own latest graphical scheme updates.

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    Set private endpoint ports to Auto

    Now you can set a private port to “auto” for input endpoints and internal endpoints, the equivalent of using “*” as the private port number in CSDEF. Previously, you could only assign a specific port number. The auto setting lets you rely on Windows Azure, when appropriate, to assign a free port number to that endpoint.

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    Getting the Toolkit

    Here are the complete instructions to download and install the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, as well as updated documentation.

    Ongoing Feedback

    We listen and respond to the community, you are our compass to know we’re going in the right direction! We value your feedback on how we can make it make it easier to test and deploy your Java applications on Windows Azure and we appreciate code contribution proposals. As always, let us know how the latest release works for you and how you like the new features!  To send feedback or questions, just use MSDN Forums or Stack Overflow.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Need to discover, access, analyze and visualize big and broad data? Try F#.

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    Microsoft Research just released a new iteration of Try F#, a set of tools designed to make it easy for anyone – not just developers – to learn F# and take advantage of its big data, cross-platform capabilities.

    F# is the open-source, cross-platform programming language invented by Don Syme and his team at Microsoft Research to help reduce the time-to-deployment for analytical software components in the modern enterprise.

    Big data definitively is big these days and we are excited about this new iteration of Try F#. Regardless of your favorite language, or if you’re on a Mac, a Windows PC, Linux or Android, if you need to deal with complex problems, you will want to take a look at F#!

    Kerry Godes from Microsoft’s Openness Initiative connected with Evelyne Viegas, Director of Semantic Computing at Microsoft Research, to find out more about how you can use “Try F# to seamlessly discover, access, analyze and visualize big and broad data.” For the complete interview, go to the Openness blog or check out www.tryfsharp.org to get started “writing simple code for complex problems”.

      

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech Releases Open Source Patch for OpenSSL to Enable HTTP/2.0 Secure Negotiation

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    As part of our commitment to the progress of HTTP/2.0 in an open and interoperable fashion, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has yesterday reached out to the OpenSSL community with a proposed contribution supporting Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) in the OpenSSL encryption libraries. We submitted a patch request to http://www.openssl.org/ that implements the relevant part of the HTTP/2.0 specification available at http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-http2-03#section-2.3.

    Security and encryption are critical components of the next version of the HTTP protocol. If you have been following the HTTP/2.0 effort, the industry is collaborating in the IETF Transport Layer Security Working Group (TLS WG) and ALPN has been adopted as a WG draft with a broad set of contributors including Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Orange. The latest working draft at IETF requires the use of ALPN as the mechanism for secure negotiation which means ALPN will now be a key part of HTTP/2.0.

    The availability of an open source implementation of ALPN in the most popular open source encryption library allows interested developers to verify the benefits of ALPN and its compliance with established TLS design principles. This was called out in our earlier prototype that introduced support in the OpenSSL library for ALPN.

    We will continue the technical conversation about this proposed contribution on the OpenSSL mailing lists as well as working closely with the IETF WG to collaborate in designing the next major version of the HTTP protocol. We encourage you to join in the discussion and participate in the HTTP/2.0 standardization effort.

    Adalberto Foresti
    Principal Program Manager
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    From HTML5DevConf: Pointer Events interoperability public demo of Firefox build integrating MS Open Tech’s contribution

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    Today, at the HTML5 Developers Conference, Microsoft demonstrated a build of Mozilla Firefox supporting Pointer Events. This Nightly build integrates Microsoft Open Technologies’ contribution to the Mozilla open source project to add support for Pointer Events, the new W3C specification to handle multiple input types in Web apps and sites. In his talk, Jacob Rossi, Program Manager in the Internet Explorer team, presented the steady progress toward interoperable support for Pointer Events through standardization at W3C, and highlighted MS Open Tech’s contributions to open source projects WebKit, Blink and Gecko.

    To learn more, read our full blog post here.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    An Update on Professional-Quality Video Captioning

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    I am really excited that Microsoft IE has taken another step forward enabling professional-quality closed captions for online video, to address evolving industry requirements for browsers and other software on Internet-connected devices. The IE team have just posted a blog that describes the latest milestone for Web-based accessibility -

    “In February 2013, Microsoft joined industry stakeholders in the W3C Timed Text Working Group (TTWG) to deliver the TTML Simple Delivery Profile for Closed Captions (SDP-US) profile specification.  SDP-US is based on Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) (a caption interchange specification that has been used in the professional video industry for years) and clearly defines key caption format features like layout, style, timing and content requirements. Internet Explorer was one of the first browsers to include early support for HTML5-based video captioning via the <track> element with TTML and WebVTT file formats.

    Professional-quality online video is a forthcoming reality, enabled by emerging Web specifications and powerful content delivery infrastructure. Captioning is an important building block for enabling professional-quality video, and Microsoft is actively working with industry partners to enable rich captioning experiences. If you are working on Internet video, we invite you to review the new SDP-US profile, join the industry discussion, start considering how your caption content can adapt to SDP-US, and let us have your feedback.”

    Now part of the MS Open Tech alumni, I have been proud to work with the IE team and industry experts in driving this important interoperability milestone.

    Monica Martin
    Senior Program Manager
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

     

     

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Developers and Citizens Can Now Harness the Power of More Open Data with CKAN and Windows Azure

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    Open data is becoming increasingly important for governments and public research. Based on the openness and interoperability of the Windows Azure platform, open data technologies are enabling more open data to be available in the cloud. CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) is one of the most popular open data platforms in use by Governments, universities and enterprises around the globe. Here at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. we are pleased to see open source platforms such as CKAN taking advantage of the scalability, flexibility, openness and interoperability features of Windows Azure.

    Deploy CKAN in the Cloud using VM Depot and Windows Azure

    CKAN is an open source, web-based data management system that makes data accessible by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, universities, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available. The CKAN project is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and implementations are commonly used as a public platform for various government data catalogues, such as the UK's http://data.gov.uk and US http://data.gov. Indeed, the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office) is using the capabilities of CKAN and Windows Azure to host their weather data archives and make the data broadly available via http://data.gov.uk/metoffice-data-archive.

    Developers wishing to deploy a CKAN installation in the cloud can now do so using the CKAN images available on VM Depot. Microsoft Public Sector and Microsoft Open Tech has partnered with OKFN who have provided CKAN Version 2 as an Ubuntu VM running on Windows Azure. There are two methods to install CKAN on Azure using the images available on VM Depot: through the management interface and using the command line tool. For a step-by-step guide to deploying CKAN on Windows Azure, see the CKAN Wiki.

    CKAN and Azure in Yokohama City

    Yokohama City, which is the largest city in Japan, recently published its Yokohama Open Data Solution using CKAN running with Windows Azure and supported by the Japan Linked Open Data Initiative. This is the first implementation in Japan of CKAN and Windows Azure for a local open data catalogue. As well as Japanese, the catalogue is available in several languages, including English – see more here http://data.yokohamaopendata.jp/en/.

    Windows Azure and OData

    Data that is hosted on Windows Azure can also be published using the Windows Azure Marketplace which utilizes the OData open data protocol. For example, because the Windows Azure Marketplace provides support for OData, citizens and developers can easily analyze the aforementioned UK National Weather data using an OData feed which allows the use of tools such as PowerPivot within Excel. This provides unprecedented access to powerful meteorological data including hourly, daily, and five-day forecasts - see the Microsoft in Government Blog Big Weather, Big Data, and That Little Device You Carry for further details on how this data is being used. Based on a collaboration between Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, SAP AG, WSO2, and others, we recently announced that the OASIS OData Technical Committee initiated a public review of OData v4.0 which is expected to become an OASIS Standard in 2013.

    These open data initiatives add to the many open data projects based on Windows Azure. Together they facilitate openness and transparency in public data. This work provides an extremely solid foundation upon which open data services can be built. When coupled with our work on cross platform client side tooling, developers are provided with an environment in which new and exciting opportunities are revealed. We look forward to working with you as we strive to open yet more data.

    Ross Gardler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Mark Gayler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Thanks for a great one year anniversary!

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    Thanks to all our friends who sent us anniversary greetings and also those who joined us in the Valley last week to celebrate. It was great to reflect on the many open source and open standards projects with community and industry leaders in the house.

    The future looks bright as we look to collaborate on more openness projects with you!

     

    Anniversary patchwork

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech, W3C Pointer Events and the JavaScript Community at JSConf 2013

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    Adoption of Pointer Events Grows with Upcoming Implementation for Dojo Toolkit

    The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard continues to gain traction, advancing support for interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions across the web. Pointer Events makes it easier to support a variety of browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. The specification continues to receive positive feedback from the developer community -- many are already embracing it as a unified model for cross-browser multi-modal input.

    In our previous Blog on W3C Pointer Events, we highlighted feedback shared by members of the jQuery and Cordova teams. The Dojo team are also working on implementing Pointer Events in an upcoming release of the Dojo Toolkit:

    The Dojo team has been watching the progress of Pointer Events in the W3C standardization process as it moves to Candidate Recommendation. We see Pointer Events as a great way to unify the disparate models that exist today for mouse, touch, and other pointer devices. Our team looks forward to implementing Pointer Events in the 2.0 release of the Dojo Toolkit. – Bill Keese, Dijit Project Lead

    Last month, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) made the first step towards interoperable support for Pointer Events in Blink by submitting a formal Intent to Implement to enable our engineering team to actively collaborate and work toward a positive adoption of Pointer Events by the Blink developer community. Earlier this year, MS Open Tech published a Pointer Events prototype for WebKit on HTML5 Labs and submitted the patch to the WebKit developer forum - we plan to continue our collaboration with the WebKit community.

    Pointer Events at JSConf 2013

    Last week I was privileged to join around 700 participants at the 5th Annual JSConf (and CSSConf) which took place on Amelia Island, Florida. The sold out event was packed with excellent presentations, demonstrations, and entertaining activities throughout. Congratulations to organizers Chris and Laura Williams and their family for hosting such an outstanding event!

    I attended the event for Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), alongside representatives from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and DPE teams. Internet Explorer and Windows Azure both provided sponsorships for the Conference. In addition to learning about the world of JavaScript and meeting new friends, there were plenty of opportunities to share the latest news about W3C Pointer Events with the JavaScript community. W3C Pointer Events is an emerging standards specification that defines a device-independent approach to handling pointer input from devices like a mouse, pen, or touchscreen.

    On Tuesday night, MS Open Tech and the Internet Explorer team hosted the ‘Reach the Beach’ Welcome Reception that took place right on the beach complete with an evening campfire and roasting of s’mores – you can see some photos below. During the Reception, Pointer Events gift boxes were handed out to celebrate the recent achievement of Pointer Events advancing to Candidate Recommendation (CR) status within W3C. Each gift box included a capacitive pen stylus, an Artist Edition 3500 mouse, and a screen cloth to represent the multi-model input support provided by the W3C Pointer Events specification.

     

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    On Wed May 29th, Josh Holmes (pictured above) of the IE team presented Pointer Events in his session ‘Touch Me, I Dare You’. Josh provided an overview of Pointer Events, and gave a demonstration using a Bricks paddle game to show how easy it is to code for multi-modal input using the Pointer Events specification. There were several questions after the presentation and it was evident that developers were particularly interested in the cross-browser platform support provided by Pointer Events. Josh referenced the Pointer Events polyfills that can be found on Web Platform Docs at http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/PointerEvents – here’s a code sample below.

              // these are the polyfill events for hand.js.

               Event(leftOverlay, "pointerup", function() { if(Game.canStart()) { Balls.release(Player.ONE); } }, false);

               Event(rightOverlay, "pointerup", function() { if(Game.canStart()) { Balls.release(Player.TWO); } }, false);

               Event(leftOverlay, "pointermove", Game.movePaddle, false);

               Event(rightOverlay, "pointermove", Game.movePaddle, false);

                    }                             

    To showcase some of the cool innovation that can be done with W3C Pointer Events, last week an article was published describing an immersive website experience that resulted from a collaboration between the IE team and renowned Everest explorer David Breashears - IE piggybacks on Everest celebration to showcase new browser tech. Everest: Rivers of Ice is a new Web site built in HTML5 and CSS3 for touch screens and highlights the kind of modern Web experiences that can be created incorporating Pointer Events.

    We welcome the Dojo team to the growing list of JavaScript libraries and frameworks working with W3C Pointer Events and we look forward to their upcoming implementation in Dojo Toolkit 2.0. As we continue to work with the vibrant JavaScript community, we look forward to seeing even more Pointer Events support across a growing number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks – there’s more to come! To learn more about using and implementing Pointer Events, feel free to check out and contribute to the Pointer Events Wiki on Web Platform Docs which includes community generated polyfills, tests, demos, and tutorials, or join the discussion at #PointerEvents. Point. Click. Touch.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Windows Azure Service Bus Interoperable Implementation of OASIS AMQP Transitions to General Availability

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     GENERAL AVAILABILITY: We are pleased to share the news that AMQP 1.0 support in Windows Azure Service Bus has transitioned from Preview to General Availability (GA).  AMQP 1.0 is a secure, reliable, and open binary protocol for business messaging.  The AMQP 1.0 specification was approved in the fall of 2012 as an OASIS Standard is being considered for forwarding ISO/IEC JTC1 to become an international standard.

    COMMITMENT TO OPEN AMQP ECOSYSTEM: Microsoft Corp. and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) were active participants in the development of the core AMQP OASIS Standard and continue to play an active role in the OASIS AMQP and AMQP Bindings and Mappings Technical Committees. We are committed to continuing contributions to the work on global addressing, management, and AMQP over WebSockets, all focused on growing the open, interoperable ecosystem for AMQP.

    TRY AMQP: We encourage you to try AMQP 1.0 with the Windows Azure Service Bus using .NET, Java Message Service (JMS), Python, PHP or C.

    Thanks very much for reading and for more news on Azure, AMQP, and MS Open Tech, visit the Windows Azure Team Blog, AMQP.org Announcements, and the MS Open Tech Team Blog.

    Brian Benz, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
    Rob Dolin, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    ActorFx v0.50 – more stability, scalability, extensibility, Inter-Actor programmability and a new MapReduce demo for our cloud based Actor Runtime

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    By the ActorFx team:

    Claudio Caldato, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Joe Hoag, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft Open Technologies Hub

    Brian Grunkemeyer, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft Open Technologies Hub

     

    The ActorFx team is happy to announce that the ActorFx v0.50 is available now, with several improvements since our v0.40 release in March. We also have a great new demo available, based on an algorithm employing MapReduce-like functionality.

    ActorFx provides an open source, non-prescriptive, language-independent model of dynamic distributed objects for building highly available data structures and other logical entities via a standardized framework and infrastructure. ActorFx is based on the idea of the mathematical Actor Model for cloud computing. Have a look at the CodePlex site for more information.

    This release contains some significant improvements:

    · Stability: We fixed a few bugs to eliminate deadlocks and race conditions.

    · Diagnostics: we added support for Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) and now ActorFx emits new ETW event types that can be used to diagnose issues at runtime.

    · Scalability: we implemented port sharing and per-node assembly caching

    · Inter-Actor Programmability: we added the ability for actors to create and delete other actors

    · Extensibility: We did some refactoring and added a StatelessActorApp that will enable us to implement alternative persistence mechanisms based on Azure Tables, SQL Azure and others in the future

    With the v0.50 release we also added a new demo: WordCount. WordCount demonstrates ActorFx’s ability to effect dataflow-type computations over dynamic topologies, employing a MapReduce-type algorithm to count the occurrences of all words in a selected set of textual documents.

    WordCount launches three classes of actors: mapper actors, reducer actors, and an aggregation actor.  Each are populated with the necessary logic to perform their respective functions by sending an assembly containing actor methods to each.

    The WordCount sample demonstrates many of the advantages of ActorFx:

    · Actor behavior is assigned via the passing in of an assembly containing actor methods.

    · File names and progress messages are passed from one tier to the next using actor-to-actor method calls.

    · Status information is emitted and collected using ActorFx pub/sub mechanisms.

    Details on how to run the WordCount application can be found in the CodePlex site.

    We are already working on the v0.60 release and on some new demos that show how ActorFx can be used on a wide range of scenarios. As always, we welcome input from the community. For those of you who are using ActorFx in implementations, we’d like to hear more about how it’s useful to you and how it can be improved.

    We are looking forward to your comments/suggestions, and stay tuned for more cool stuff coming in our next release!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech is expanding into China!

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    Today I’m happy to report that Microsoft Open Technologies is expanding its presence to China with a new subsidiary – Microsoft Open Technologies (Shanghai) Company Limited (MS Open Tech Shanghai), headquartered in the Minhang District of Shanghai. Below are the full details of the new subsidiary and office. We’re thrilled to kick off 2014 with this investment in China and look forward to investing in the local market, partnering with the open source communities, and through the development of programs and software, promoting a vibrant technology ecosystem.

    Check out the news on our new blog: http://aka.ms/openinchina

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    April Updates to the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse– Azure SDK 2.3, Tomcat 8, New Zulu versions, and more!

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    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has now published the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse (by Microsoft Open Technologies) - April 2014 release. This update accompanies the release of Azure SDK 2.3, which is a pre-requisite. You will be offered the option to install it automatically when you create the first project after installing the toolkit.

    This release includes multiple enhancements since the February 2014 release, including support for new versions of application servers (Tomcat 8), JDKs (Azul Zulu v1.7 update 51 and v1.6 update 47), support for larger, bigger memory Azure instances (A8 and A9), improved handling of SSL and HTTPS, and in-place upgrading of deployed applications.

    Have a look at the msopentech.com Blog post for more details.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Greetings Symfony Live - New tools for Symfony developers on Windows Azure

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    I Hope everyone at Symfony live in Portland this week is having a good time – I wish I could join you in person!

    I wanted to share some exciting news about recently released updates to Windows Azure tools for Symfony that Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has been supporting.

    Benjamin Eberlei’s Azure Distribution Bundle project simplifies the deployment of Symfony applications on Windows Azure by managing the packaging for Azure, and handling deployment of assets and distributed session management.

    Since the original project was released in June 2012, the bundle has been integrated with the latest Windows Azure SDK for PHP. Symfony is also now easier to deploy to websites on Windows Azure, facilitated in part by Composer integration during deployment.

    If you’re an experienced Symfony developer, the bundle is a great starting point for Symfony on Azure, as it has detailed instructions and documentation for getting started with Windows Azure and how to interact with Windows Azure instances and service building blocks.

    So have fun at Symfony Live this week, and check out these new tools and demo for Symfony on Azure when you get a chance. Let us know what you think!

    Brian Benz

    Senior Technical Evangelist

    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Vagrant and Hyper-V Provides Managed DevOps Work Environments

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    imageMS Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech) has released code for Vagrant that brings initial Hyper-V support to this very popular DevOps tool.

    Vagrant managed work environments can be controlled by a single, consistent workflow, to help you maximize the productivity and flexibility of your team. Alongside industry-standard provisioning tools such as shell scripts, Chef, or Puppet, Vagrant supports a range of end-to-end management and deployment scenarios to create a single, consistent workflow that spans your entire team:

    Developers can define and build virtual machines (VMs) that contain everything required to get work done. These VMs are disposable and consistent and thus ensure that you, and all your colleagues, are developing in the same environment. As the Vagrant documentation points out this means you can say goodbye to "works on my machine" bugs.

    Operations engineers can use these same disposable environments and consistent workflows to develop and test infrastructure management scripts. Vagrant plays well with whatever operations tooling you use. When that tooling is designed for interoperability between platforms, such as Chef and Puppet, Vagrant really sets the operations team free.

    Designers can use Vagrant to ensure that they are working in the exact same environment as the rest of their team, regardless of their chosen host operating system. Designers can run a simple command to bring up the latest configuration and thus will no longer be working in an environment that differs from the development or deployment environments used by the rest of their teams.

    The Vagrant community has been asking for Hyper-V support for some time, in hopes of extending the experience across a heterogeneous platform environment. MS Open Tech are working with the Vagrant project to further enhance this work, specifically we are working on packaging, provisioning shell, and Chef & Puppet bootstrapping.

    We encourage interested parties to get their hands on the Vagrant Hyper-V provider, play with it, examine it and provide us with feedback!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Pointer Events Progress: Mozilla and Blink Communities Reach a Significant Engineering Milestone

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    As stated in the Blink 2014 goals, the Blink team considers Pointer Events as one of their priorities to improve the mobile Web platform experience. And it has recently shown evidence of their commitment to Pointer Events by checking in touch-action functionality into the code base and making it available through an experimental flag.

    Likewise, the Mozilla Firefox team has approved a patch submitted by Nick Lebedev from Akvelon that implements the same functionality. This is the result of months of great work in the OSS community where multiple engineers from different companies contributed their design ideas and engineering insights.

    Learn more on Pointer Events progress reading our latest blog post on our new Web site : http://aka.ms/pointereventsinfirefox

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Vagrant Supports Hyper-V "Out-of-the-box"

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    Our code providing Hyper-V support to Vagrant has been included in the latest Vagrant 1.5 release, and so users need not install Hyper-V support separately.

    Mitchell Hashimoto, creator of Vagrant and Founder of HashiCorp, said “This is an example of why Vagrant is open source. Our users asked for Hyper-V support and MS Open Tech stepped up to provide it. Including Hyper-V support in the Vagrant 1.5 release was a no-brainer once MS Open Tech had released their code as open source.”

    Full details on the MS Open Tech blog.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    After Pointer Events, here comes Interoperable Panning Experiences through CSS Scrolling Snap Points

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    Today, Microsoft submitted a new proposal to the W3C – “CSS Scrolling Snap Points”, designed to enable well-polished panning experiences for touch and other input devices, based on APIs introduced in IE10 and improved in IE11. This submission comes on the heels of Pointer Events, as one of the ways Microsoft is advancing the Web by providing rich immersive experiences across browsers on different platforms.

    Jacob Rossi and Matt Rakow, Program Managers at Microsoft, describe in their blog post how only 2 lines of CSS enable Snap Points in the Internet Explorer to deliver experiences like swiping through a list of photos or pages of an article.

    “CSS Scrolling Snap Points” submission demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to advance touch on the Web by contributing this innovation. You can follow and contribute to the conversation on the W3C mailing list.

    Asir Vedamuthu Selvasingh, Principal Program Manager - Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
    Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager - Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Free Webinar on October 16 - MongoDB, Jaspersoft and Windows Azure: Building Open Source Reporting and Analytics in the Cloud

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    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., Jaspersoft and MongoDB have teamed up to deliver a webinar on building open source reporting and analytics for your NoSQL solutions in the Cloud. Join our free webinar on October 16 to see how to deliver interactive reporting, analytics, and dashboards for MongoDB on Windows Azure, enabling rapid, meaningful, actionable insights for NoSQL data stores.

    In this webinar we will cover:

    • An overview of Windows Azure
    • An overview of MongoDB
    • The Jaspersoft BI Suite
    • Key considerations in selecting cloud vs. on-premises data systems

    The webinar is 1pm EST, this Wednesday, October 16th, so Sign-up now!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    New Bing Translator Plugin lets users localize your WordPress site into the language of their choice

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    Good news for WordPress developers and webmasters!  Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has released a new Bing Translator plugin that lets you apply the power of Bing Translator to any WordPress site running version 3.8 or later. Visitors can translate your site into their preferred language in one click without leaving the page once this light-weight, cross-browser plugin is installed. This plugin also provides options for a setting a color scheme, as well as an option to allow visitors to suggest translations.  Check out the Blog post at msopentech.com for more detail. 

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Oracle Database, WebLogic Server and JDK are now Generally Available on Windows Azure

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    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc, is pleased to share the news that select Oracle Software is now Generally Available on Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V.

    This means that Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and Oracle now provide best in class, end to end support for customers running Oracle software on Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V. You can now use one of Windows Azure’s license-included Oracle images for Windows with full support, and you can still use your existing licenses to run Oracle software on Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in either Windows or Linux.

    Microsoft Windows Server has long been an important Oracle supported platform.  Last September at Oracle Open World, Oracle and Microsoft extended that support by providing certification and support for Oracle applications, middleware, Database, Java and Oracle Linux on Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure.  

    For more information, please have a look at the following resources:

    Overview and Licensing Information at windowsazure.com

    Overview and Licensing Information at oracle.com

    A list of Oracle Virtual Machine Images for Windows

    Support Policy for Oracle Images Provided by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Oracle Cloud Licensing Policy at oracle.com (PDF)

    Oracle Self Service Kit

    How to use Oracle images on Windows Azure

    Pricing Details

    We’re excited that we’re providing this important service with Oracle’s partnership. We’d like to hear what you have to say! Please share comments here.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Kinect Common Bridge update

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    The newest release of Kinect Common Bridge makes it even easier to track faces and recognize speech in your C++ applications with Kinect for Windows.

    This is the first update to the open source Kinect Common Bridge (KCB) released recently by MS Open Tech to make it simple to integrate Kinect for Windows scenarios and experiences in creative software development. The openFrameworks and Cinder communities have already adopted the Kinect Common Bridge. If you have been using either framework and experimented with KCB, you will find yourself right at home with its added capabilities. In the spirit of “focusing on the cool stuff” that motivates creative developers, starting the sensor and displaying a simple video treatment with face tracking can now be achieved in less than 10 lines of code! Incorporating Kinect for Windows magic in software experiences couldn’t be any easier…

    To learn more about this update of Kinect Common Bridge, read our post on our new blog: http://aka.ms/KCBUpdate

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Using Chef to Manage Windows Azure Resources

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    Chef Logo

    Chef is an open source DevOps tool built to address hard IT infrastructure challenges. The team at Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech) has been hard at work collaborating with Chef the company to enhance Windows Azure resource management capabilities. The latest knife-azure release (v1.2.2) brings a number of bug fixes and some important new features to Chef that focus on provisioning and managing optimized clusters of virtual machines and other Windows Azure resources.

    Knife is a Chef command line tool that provides an interface between a local Chef repository (which holds various data objects that describe resources) and a Chef server (which acts as a hub for configuration management). With Knife, you can manage many aspects of your infrastructure. The latest 1.2.2 update of knife-azure adds support for Windows Azure virtual networks and affinity groups to Knife.

    Virtual networks make it possible to create logically isolated sections of Windows Azure which can then be securely connected to on premise clients and servers. A virtual network makes it easy for you to take advantage of Windows Azure’s scalable, on-demand infrastructure while providing connectivity to data and applications on-premises. For example, you could use a virtual network to:

    Extend your datacenter in the same way that you would set up and connect to a remote branch office. You retain control over the network topology and configuration, and manage it in the same way you would your on-premises infrastructure.

    Build distributed applications hosted in a hybrid environment, maintaining secure connections with on-premises infrastructure without the creation of custom codes. For example, a web application hosted in Windows Azure can securely access an on premise database server or authenticate users against an on premise directory service.

    Remotely debug your applications by creating a direct connection between your local development machine and virtual machines hosted in Windows Azure. This allows you to troubleshoot and debug them using the same tools you would use for on-premises applications.

    The second major addition in this knife-azure release is the ability to manage affinity groups. Affinity groups enable you to configure your infrastructure so that there is a higher degree of co-location within a datacenter. This ensures there is minimal latency between servers and thus optimize performance.

    Full details of the supported Azure functionality in knife-azure (along with installation and configuration notes) can be found on the knife-azure GitHub project pages. It can also be retrieved as a Ruby Gem.

    To learn more about Chef and Knife Azure check out this interview and demo on Channel 9 (Chef section starts at 7m 28s).

    Why not take Chef and Windows Azure for a spin? You can sign up for a free trial subscription of Windows Azure, if you don't already have one.

    Let us know what you think!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Tutorial: Finding Virtual Machine Images for Windows Azure in VM Depot

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    For users of VM Depot, our repository of community managed Virtual Machines for Azure, we have added significant enhancements to the search feature of the website. With this expanded search capability, it is now easier than ever to find an open source, Linux-based, virtual machine for Windows Azure.

    Search and you shall find

    Basic search functionality has not changed. You can still type into the search box on VM Depot and hit return. The results will include all virtual machines that contain your search term in their description, title, tags or other common fields.

    Sorting Results

    Using the sorting options available you can make the most interesting images rise to the top of the list as described in the table below.

    This approach works well if you know precisely what you are looking for. However, with over 900 images to choose from it can be difficult to find what you need. For this reason we have added a new search language to the site. This feature allows you to conduct much more targeted searches.

    Sort Option Description
    Featured Featured images are ones that MS Open Tech have, at some time, flagged as being of special interest. This sort option is perhaps the most useful if you don’t know precisely what you are looking for.
    Date Added This sort order puts the most recently added images at the top of the list. As such is most useful if you know what you are looking for and thus have a fairly narrow search, but need to find the most recent image.
    Name Sorting by name displays the resulting list in alphabetical name order. This is useful if you have a large number of results and want to skip through the pages to a specific image name.
    Platform The platform is the base operating system used in the image. Sorting on platform lists images in alphabetic order of platform and thus can help you find an image based on your preferred operating system. Whilst this sort order can sometimes be useful you might prefer to narrow your results to your chosen platform (see the description of our search language below).
    Rating This option lists images in order of their user rating. That is the most highly rated will appear at the top of the list. This can help ensure that images that have been tested by end users are displayed first, however, don’t be put off by images that have not yet received a rating.

    Power Searching within the VM Depot repository

    The new search features of VM Depot allow you to use a number of qualifiers (see table below) to construct more specific queries. This makes it possible to target specific information stored alongside each VM Depot virtual machine image.

    The available qualifiers include:

    Qualifier (these are case-sensitive) Description
    tag (or keyword) Images can include descriptive tags (keywords), defined by the publisher (e.g. CMS, blog, forum, app server).
    package Search for a VM that contains a specific package (note that this is not a complete list of packages on the image, they are the ones the publisher has chosen to draw attention to)
    region Search for images available in specific regions.
    platform Look for a VM built on a specific operating system.
    name Limit the search term to the virtual machine image name.
    description (or desc) Limit the search term to the description of the image.
    publisher Look for images from a specific publisher.
    rating Only return images with this rating (or higher) – takes a non-integer number from 1 through 5.

    As an example, to search for an image that includes the python language you would use the search term "package:python". To limit results to ones using the CentOS operating system you would use "package:python platform:centos".

    In addition to the various qualifiers available we also provide two different operators. The one used in the example above (':') means “contains”, that is, if the identified qualifier contains the string then it is considered a match. For example, “package:python” means “return all VMs that contain any package with the string ‘python’ within its name”. This search will match “python” as well as “python1.7”. You can also use the operator ':=' which looks for an exact match, rather than a partial match.

    VM Depot has a huge range of images available for easy deployment to Windows Azure. We invite you to use the new search feature the next time to wish to access and deploy an image from the repository.

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