BUILD 2015 Recap

Azure App Services

Azure Internet of Things

Azure Resource Manager

Azure Marketplace

Office

 Windows Store

Visual Studio Tooling

Universal Windows Platform

UX/Xaml/Graphics

Platform Bridges

Small Business Week

Small Business Week and Microsoft

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. See more @ sba.gov

We at Microsoft are helping as well. We have events scheduled all across the country at various Microsoft Stores and offices. At the Westfarms location starting Monday night, there are workshops and presentations to get your small business going.

Monday May 4th

  • 10:00am – Start Simplifying your Business with Surface Pen – Throughout this workshop, attendees will be able to see the benefits that Surface Pen will help aid their business, whether they are on the go, or in a workspace!
  • 6:00pm – Office in the Cloud – Come in and learn how Office in the Cloud, is your familiar office that you’re used to, now with the ability to work on virtually any device you use most!

Tuesday May 5th

  • 10:00am – Power Up Your Business with Surface – In this workshop, Microsoft shares key benefits of the Surface specifically for small and medium-sized business needs. Learn how this essential device delivers power, portability, and productivity with the versatility to work as both a laptop and a tablet. Want to know what the essential differences are between the MacBook/Macbook Air and Surface? Learn all about it. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience key Surface Pro features useful to business professionals with hands-on experience creating invoices, setting up meetings and editing a presentation.
  • 6:00pm – Put Your Business in the Cloud – Learn how Microsoft BizSpark can benefit your business. Why partnering with Microsoft may be the smartest move you ever make for your business. See how to leverage BizSpark for operational needs, web development, mobile gaming + more! Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that provides free software, support and visibility to help startups succeed.

Wednesday May 6th 

  • 4:00pm – Virtualizing Your Business with Office 365 and Azure – Understand the benefits of Office 365, and virtualizing your business in the Cloud, as well as how Azure can safeguard and keep your data secure!
  • 6:00pm – Workshop: Understanding the Benefits of SharePoint

Thursday May 7th

  • 6:00pm – Small Business Networking Event – Come in and network with other Businesses, Partners and resources to understand some tips on how to become a more successful business!

 

Open Source on Azure

Get Your Startup Running on Azure Using Open Souce and More!

When you hear the words “Microsoft Cloud” or “Microsoft Azure” do you think of the Microsoft Stack? All apps running .NET and Microsoft Windows Server? It can be. But it does not have to be. Ranging from PHP Websites to full Linux VM’s, Azure has plenty for your business or startup.

This is a round up of a few quick starts to get you up and running on Azure and using open source technologies.

Step 1: CloudDev Camp

To get going a good place to start is with the the CloudDev Camp. This is a few step learning plan that goes over the big areas to use the Azure platform for your startup. There are a bunch of tutorials focused around Microsoft, however, module 7 is a great session on Azure and the Open Source cloud services. Give the full course a look, you can perform many features using services rather than spinning up virtual machines for everything.

Step 2: Deploying Linux VM’s

Once you have the solid foundation of the cloud platform, you can jump right in to getting your envrionment set up.  Learn about the offerings that Microsoft has made available for Linux and FreeBSD-based IaaS solutions running in Microsoft Azure. Already setup with Linux or VM’s somewhere else? Learn hou you can migrate your existing Linux-based IaaS solutions from your private cloud to Azure.

Step 3: Open Source DB

Setting up a database is just not the ending but the begining. Learn the performance of how a database is impacted by the performance of the underlying resources. To reach optimal performance, cloud environments require the consideration of several constraints, unlike private datacenters.

Step 4: Networking Fundamentals

Technically this might be step 1 or step 2 (depending upon your solution). At some point you are going to want to learn how to network and commnicate between services and Virtual Machines. This course gets you going.

Step 5: Pick your focus

Now that you have a good fundamentals of what can be set up or consumed on Azure you can now focus on what your app or startup does best.

PHP for Azure

Check out one of the most popular server side scripting languages, the easy-to-learn PHP, which is used in many blogging platforms. Hear about the history of PHP, explore its pros and cons, and take a look at configuration and debugging

Java on Microsoft Azure

Curious about what Microsoft has to offer the Java community? You might be surprised! Join us to explore the latest tools and technologies to help Java developers get in the cloud with Microsoft Azure, like plug-ins for Eclipse and IntelliJ, along with a look at options in Windows and Linux for authentication, security, and continuous integration (CI).

A MongoDB Jump

Wondering what the buzz is all about with NoSQL? If you’re an open source developer and you want to store unstructured data, see why MongoDB, a scalable document-oriented database, is so popular in this arena, plus explore how to use it on Azure. Learn how to set up MongoDB and how to load data in bulk, do simple queries, scale for data with sharding, and much more. Experts Steven Edouard and Rami Sayar show you how easy it is to get up and running, as they explore NoSQL, Documents, Map Reduce, and scaling via C# and Node.js. Check out this course, watch some cool demos, and see if MongoDB is for you!

Building Apps with Node.js

In this course see step-by-step demos and get practical tips and detailed explanations. By the end of the day, you know how to set up Node.js on your Windows machine, develop a web front end with Express, deploy an Express app to Azure, use Socket.IO to add a real-time layer, and bring it all together

MEAN Stack Jump Start

Want to build scalable web apps quickly and easily? Check out the MEAN stack, a collection of technologies (MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js) that fit well together to provide a solution that allows for a full-stack JavaScript implementation of web applications. Popular experts Helen Zeng and Steven Edouard walk you through MEAN and create “Chirp,” a Twitter clone. They integrate MongoDB into a REST API with Node.js and Express and then connect that with an AngularJS front end. They even deploy the live app to Microsoft Azure via GitHub. Check out this practical primer on MEAN, and learn to build an end-to-end web app, all using JavaScript.

Mobile Apps to IoT: Connected Devices

With the incredible growth of devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), you know that mobile apps present a huge opportunity. Windows Azure Mobile Services lets you build a back end for your mobile apps in minutes

Migration of AWS to Azure

If you fell in love with Azure (which I am sure you did by now) you might want to move some of your existing VM’s on over. This module does that.

Embrace Open Source Technologies to Accelerate and Scale Solutions

This module focuses on open source technologies on Azure. Walk with engineers through how to best deploy and manage a Linux environment with tools you know and use today. Learn how to use your existing Chef and Puppet configurations and how to scale new ones to massively scale and deploy your solution. Wrap the day with a look at the new capabilities of containerization with Docker.

Exploring Microservices in Docker

Enjoy updating monolithic applications? Probably not! Take an in-depth look at a different way to architect that can help you update your site in milliseconds. Microservices, supported by Microsoft Azure and offered as a service, are highly scalable, resilient, and composable units of deployment for modern applications. Self-contained for fit and purpose, they are a key part of the world of continuous delivery and DevOps.

Game Panel Discussion

Microsoft @ UConn Stamford DMD

UConn Stamford Digital Media & Design Program presents:

Microsoft – Game Design & Development
Panel Discussion
April 9th, 2015

Prospective students, applicants, or current majors in the DMD program, are invited to attend our Digital Media Career Series at UConn Stamford. Learn from industry professionals about the digital media careers and internship opportunities that exist right here in the New York metropolitan tri-state area.  We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, which will allow you to see other event announcements and UConn Stamford DMD happening.

To attend this event, you must RSVP to Katie Huntington (Kathryn.huntington@uconn.edu) and include ‘DMD Stamford Digital Media Career Series’ in the title of the email.

Make sure to mark your calendars for this exciting event!

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Want to learn more about careers in Game Design and Development?

Join the UConn Stamford Digital Media and Design program on April 9th as they host Microsoft, and a number of game developers for an info session on careers in game design and development. If you’re interested in working as an independent game developer, a designer at a company like Microsoft Studios, or how games are being utilized in the world of business, you should consider attending this event.

This event will be in a panel discussion format, including the following individuals:

MODERATOR: Joshua Drew, Microsoft – Sr. Technical Evangelist New England
PANELISTS:

  • Jason Walters, Microsoft
  • Adnan Agha, Nevernaut Games
  • Vivian Allum, Nevernaut Games
  • Brian Johnstone, Darkwind Media

Jason Walters is a game developer and creative coder, living in NYC, whose work ranges from full body interactions to immersive virtual worlds. He uses code as a tool of artistic expression and enjoys working at the intersection of art and technology. He is self-taught and experienced in a variety of languages, open source technologies, game engines, and design tools (2d and 3d). Jason has worked with emerging artists, boutique studios, and most recently the advertising industry where he was hired as the second Creative Technologist at BBDO. At BBDO he helped shape the Creative Technology department, specialized in rapid prototyping, and gave interactive creative direction on projects for At&t, Exxon, GE, FedEx, and more. He is currently working at Microsoft in NYC as a Games Evangelist. To learn more, please click HERE.

Adnan Agha is the designer and programmer at Nevernaut Games. Having worked on SlashDash since its initial conception, he’s witnessed and been a huge part of its evolution over the last two years. He works on everything from fine-tuning the movement to dealing with cloud storage on the Xbox One. He has a one-eyed cat named Cow.

Vivian Allum is a programmer at Nevernaut Games. She has a computer science and game design background and utilizes both in her work. Vivian has also been a part of the SlashDash project from the start when it was still a school project. She works in all areas, from bug fixing to adding in more features,including programming in artistic assets and dealing with cleaning up code.

Brian Johnstone graduated in 2008 from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Software Engineering. Darkwind Media was founded in 2007 with 3 other RIT students. Johntone started a graduate degree while the company grew and by 2009 it was his full time job. Darkwind Media started doing non-game visualization contracts before eventually doing some contracting for NVIDIA.  After that, they began contracting for Unity Technologies and in 3 years ported their engine to 6 platforms and ported over 100 game titles. Darkwind has worked on many excellent games including Kona’s Crate, Skylanders: Cloud Patrol, Deus Ex: The Fall, and Republique. Currently Johnsone is focused on their upcoming premier 2D Roman decapitation simulator called Wulverblade.

Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio – Part 3

In part one we did the setup. Part two we did the coding. Now we will continue some of the coding but also start looking at some configuration options.

Step 1: More Services

Lets finish up the rest of the services. We are basically mimicking what we just did for the Occasions API call for the Results and Details. If we look at the API we find the endpoint to get all drinks by occasion is /drinks/for/occasion_id. We have a route that mimics that /drinks/:filter/:id We can use this route, controller and service over and over again by changing the filter based on what we want returned. Read more “Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio – Part 3”

Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio – Part 2

In part one we setup our development environment by downloading Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition. Installing Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova. And stubbing out our app. If you did not do any of those steps, no worries, head on over to part one and then make your way back here.

Lets reset a bit on our project. We are starting to look at building an app that will be able to run on iOS, Android and Windows. There are a couple of ways to doing this, natively or cross platform approach. If we were to build a native app for 3 platforms we would have to code in 3 different languages and use 3 different IDE’s. (Not counting a tool like Xamarin). We are also looking at the multiple stack developer who has a lot of “web” knowledge. They know how to build web apps and their skills can translate well to this cross platform development. We will be using HTML and JavaScript to build this app. Most importantly, we will be using Visual Studio to create our cross platform app.

The app can be anything, but in this example it is a drink recipe app. Categories -> Results -> Details. That is the flow of our app. We will be using a theme from Bootstrap to make it look pretty and responsive for multiple screen sizes. AngularJS will be our JavaScript MVC Framework for the back-end. We left off with a basic “barebones” app structure that we will build upon.

Lets Begin

Read more “Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio – Part 2”

Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio

If you don’t know it already, mobile apps are all the rage. From social networking to pictures and videos to gaming, the app ecosystem is where you want to be. But what if you are a “one-stack” developer? What if you only know HTML/JavaScript? What if your expertise lies in Web Development? Well, they all have their challenges but over the next few articles I will try to demystify the mobile development process especially when it comes to cross platform development. The “one-stack” developer has is a bit easier. They know what the hardware will be. They know the screen size and capabilities of the device. They can reuse code over and over again and create some high quality apps. The “multiple-stack” developer has an advantage as well. They know how to code for multiple platforms. They know what may or may not be possible for each of the platforms. Lets look at the “stacks” and define them a bit.

Read more “Building Cross Platform Apps with Visual Studio”

Hartford Area Microsoft Events

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I wanted to share these upcoming events in the Hartford and Danbury area.

Building Websites in the Cloud

Learn how to use Microsoft Azure, our global cloud solution, to power your websites

This workshop will show you how to quickly create web applications using popular frameworks such as WordPress, Joomla, NodeJS, PHP and more. You will learn how to create and deploy a website using Visual Studio Online. Other features such as cloud services will be discussed how to take your website to the next level.

Time: Monday, March 16, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Microsoft Store, 211 Westfarms Mall, Farmington CT (located on the upper level between Center Court and Macy’s)

Time: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Microsoft Store, Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury CT

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These workshops  are “hands-on” optional. You can attend and learn without participating in the labs. The labs will be provided at the end of the workshop. If you are particpating in the labs you will need the following:

 

Microsoft Cloud Dev Camp

Master the new Microsoft Azure features and services to build, deploy and move apps to the cloud

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to master the latest Microsoft Azure development tools and technologies. Join us at an expert-led Microsoft Cloud DevCamp and leave with code running in the cloud! DevCamps are fun, FREE events for developers, by developers. That means no fluff or filler – just valuable coding skills you can immediately put into action.
More information here.

Time: Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Location: Microsoft’s Office, Hartford at 280 Trumbull Street, Hartford CT

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The Cloud Dev camp is intended to be “hands-on”. The following is required for attendance:

Note – you MUST bring a laptop to participate in this event. In addition:

 

Mix Master 2000: Intel Edison, NodeJS, Apache Cordova App

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I got an Intel Edison with a breakout kit along with a SeeedStudio IoT kit. Getting the Edison up and running was straightfoward but once that was complete the next step was “what to build?”. How abut a temperature app? Or a sound sensor? Or a blinking light. None of those thrilled me. Plus I wanted to do something totally different. I am more of an “app” guy so I started thinking about ‘apps’ that can communicate with the Edison. What can I send over to the Edison? Hmmm.

So I started where I always start for brainstorming app ideas, Programmable Web and Mashery. I scoured their listing of API’s to find one that jumped out at me. I did find one. The Absolut Vodka Drink Recipe DB. I can get drink recipes and send them to the LCD screen. This could come in handy instead of fumbling through a recipe book, or even an app. Have the LCD attached to either the shaker or the base and scroll through the steps needed to make the drink.

Read more “Mix Master 2000: Intel Edison, NodeJS, Apache Cordova App”