Using MS Open Tech to Quickly Build Your Virtual Machine

Azure Marketplace is a great place to start your search for a Virtual Machine to start building your app or infrastructure on. However, these VM’s are sometimes vanilla and will need to be configured to your liking. Let’s use Rails as an example. In order to get a Rails app on a Virtual Machine there are a bunch of steps you will need to perform. First, create the operating system VM, Linux. Make sure that is up to date (sudo apt-update). Then you need to install Rails, Nginx, Unicorn, some sort of database like Postgres and dont forget permissions and users.

Having a custom install is cool but sometimes the situation does not call for that. There is MS Open Tech for that.

msopen

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation to advance Microsoft’s investment in openness including interoperability, open standards and open source.

At MS Open Tech, we focus on providing our customers with even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments. We believe that openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business.

We’re a diverse team of engineers, standards professionals and technical evangelists who are experienced and passionate in working with an equally diverse set of technologies from Microsoft and others.

Every day, we are powering interoperability and opportunity across developers, partners, customers and competitors.

We build open source code. We create interoperability bridges. We contribute open standards specs. We work with a variety of standards organizations such as: W3CIETFOASISEcmaDMTF, and open source communities including: JQueryMongoDB,Apache CordovaRedisApache, Qpid.NET Foundation, OpenJDKEclipseNode.jsCocos2d,  Web Platform DocsSymfony, DoctrineWebKitGitHubCodePlex and more.

Our team works closely across Microsoft business groups to support our customers’ journey in a mobile first, cloud first world.

As a result, you can do more and achieve more with the openness of the Microsoft platform.

  • You can build with the tool of your choice.
  • You can work across platforms.
  • You can collaborate through code.

There are Projects that MS Open Tech builds, HTML5 Labs that contributes to the Edge platform and VM Depot where a community managed repository of Linux and FreeBSD virtual machine images for easy deployment to Microsoft Azure reside.

You can search for a open source product or platform and most likely there is an image that is ready to go and deploy. Let’s use WordPress as an example.

  1. Search for WordPress and you will see a listing of results.
  2. Choose the result that best fits your need.
    wpubu
  3. Click on Create Virtual Machine (or if you are familiar with PowerShell you can get a deployment script)
  4. Login to the MS Open Tech website using one of the 3 Authentication methods.
  5. You can fill out the minimum to create an account on the MS Open Tech site.
  6. Accept the T&C and Click Save
  7. The next step is to link your Azure account with MS Open Tech to create the deployment. If you have your publication file you can upload it, otherwise you can click the Azure Publish Settings link within the copy and it will download one for you (as long as you are currently logged into the Azure portal).
  8. Once downloaded, you can now upload it to the site.
  9. Once that is connected, you now can configure some of the VM settings. DNS Name, Username/Password as well as region, storage accounts and endpoints.
  10. Once you are happy with your configuration, click I agree and Create VM. It should take a few minutes and your new VM will show up in your Azure portal.
  11. One thing to note. If you choose a VM with configured software you might need to read the README to find out usernames and passwords to certain products.

 

Developing for the Microsoft Band

I am embarking on a series on Developing for the Microsoft Band. If you are not familiar with the Band it is a product that is in its second iteration. With 11 sensors ranging from accelerometer and gyroscope to heart rate and skin sensor, the Band is a great device.

The first part of the series we will be looking at Web Tiles. Microsoft Band Web Tiles make it extremely simple to deliver relevant information to the Band from virtually any data source accessible through the web. Developers only have to write web tile code once to support multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android and Windows) since the Microsoft Health app takes responsibility for doing the rest – installing the web tile to the Band, accessing web resources for content, extracting and formatting the content, and delivering that content to the associated web tile on the Band.

A web tile, fully described by a “web tile package”, contains a variety of information including tile metadata, information needed to fetch data from the web and format it for the tile, and other resources associated with creation and updates of the tile.

Then we will dive into the SDK.

We are going to look into the Microsoft Band SDK which will allow third-party application developers to harness the power of Microsoft Band. The SDK gives developers access to the sensors available on the Band, as well as the ability to create Tiles on the Band and to send notifications to these Tiles from their applications. Through the SDK, you, as an application developer, will be able to enhance and extend the experience of your application to your customers’ wrists. This opens up a whole new dimension of interaction and enables new, richer scenarios for your applications that make use of the capabilities of the Band.

Applications that work with Microsoft Band make use of the Microsoft Band SDK to communicate with the Band. The application logic runs on the host OS (iPhone, Android, Windows), and remotely controls the UI of the Band as well as receives contextual information and sensor data from the Band.

The features offered by the Microsoft Band SDK are as follows: 

  • Multi-platform support 
  • Sensor data subscriptions 
  • Tile creation and management 
  • Tile notifications 
  • Custom layouts 
  • Haptic notifications 
  • Band theme personalization

The SDK is also supported on a wide range of platforms. They include Windows Phone 8.1 and later, Windows 8.1 and later (Store Apps) iOS 7 and later, Android 4.2 (API 17) and later.

Channel 9 Video

band-vid

More Info:

Part 2: using Android

Microsoft Ventures Northeast Events

Microsoft Ventures (MSV) info event in Boston and New York is taking place soon. You’ll get to learn about the next MSV Accelerator focused on Machine Learning, network with MSV folks from Seattle, and learn how to apply. Please find details below.

NEW YORK
DATE: October, 21, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: NYU, Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship
REGISTRATION: http://aka.ms/domoredata-nyc

BOSTON
DATE: October, 22, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: Venture Café
http://aka.ms/domoredata-boston

Since we assume you’re coming straight from work, light apps and drinks will be provided. RSVP while there’s still room!

Microsoft Ventures

Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies. We’re focused on building partnerships with venture funds, angel investors, incubators, accelerators, corporate executives, and at the core startups, as well as run its own accelerators around the world. Our goal and objective is to help scale and grow startups by giving them a great working environment, access to mentors and service providers, free technological tools and connecting them to Microsoft’s customers and business partners. The next batch of the program opens on Feb 2016 and it’s going to be themed around Machine Learning and Data Science. We will be targeting startups that are a more mature than previous batches – such that raised $1M-$1.5M, with an existing product and maybe even initial traction.

 

The 4-month program offers the following unique and distinctive benefits to the startups:

  • No Equity Program – all the benefits in the program are totally free, takes no equity or any other type of payment or special rights in the companies.
  • Access to Microsoft facility in downtown Seattle, the startup hub in the city.
  • $25K no-strings attached one-time gift to cover travel and living expenses
  • Technology agnostic – companies can be accepted to the program using any technology they want. It’s up to the company to decide whether they use Microsoft’s technologies to boost their growth or use any other infrastructure that fits their need.
  • Having said that, startups that choose to use Azure will enjoy the help of the ML product group in architecting their solutions to the right size and using the cutting edge services Azure ML offers.
  • Access to the Microsoft distribution channels – Microsoft Ventures is committed to help startups who have relevant products to our customers and partners get connected to them through our massive distribution channels. In addition, startups will receive assistance in getting set up on the Azure Marketplace allowing the Microsoft sales reps to sell their solutions with higher incentives.
  • Free of Microsoft Azure – startups in the program will be automatically enrolled to BizSpark Plus program and be credited for $500K of cloud usage (storage and compute) for 3 years, to be used in their own pace. This allows the startup to focus on the crucial business aspects of their company.

What’s in it for Microsoft?

From the experience Microsoft Ventures has acquired in the last 3.5 years, working with hundreds of startups from all around the world, we noticed startups are choosing to use Microsoft’s infrastructure because they see the great value in partnering with us. We would like to give more startups the opportunity to enjoy the values we provide them and create more partnerships for Microsoft.

 

Apply today at aka.ms/domoredata