# Friday, May 23, 2014

Starting a software company involves a lot of risk, including (but not limited to) financial risk, technology risk, market risk, and timing risk. Microsoft is actively trying to remove at least some of the risk for startup companies who are developing a software product or service. Because the first few years of a company tend to have the highest risk, Microsoft is offering the BizSpark program to mitigate that extra risk until a company stabilizes. The BizSpark program is designed to provide free software, free cloud computing hour, and free access to technical resources to qualified startups.

Specific benefits of the BizSpark program are:

  1. Free Microsoft software, including Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office, and many more. BizSpark members can download many thousands of dollars worth of software for free for 3 years
  2. $150 a month of Microsoft Azure cloud computing hours. If you are not familiar with Azure, check out http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/ to see all the services that are available. There are too many Azure services to describe here, but startups often find Web Sites, Virtual Machines, and Azure Mobile Services useful in promoting or integrating with their products. If your demand increases, beyond this, there is even a chance to increase this to $5000 per month for one year.
  3. Free access to technical resources, such as Microsoft Technical Evangelists. Your local evangelist likely has regular office hours and can help you troubleshoot some of your technical issues.

There is absolutely no obligation or cost to joining the BizSpark program. At the end of the 3 years, you keep the software you have installed. There is no fee for the program and obligation to buy more software or Azure hours (although, we certainly hope that you do.)

To qualify, the company must meet the following criteria

  1. The company must be engaged in building a software product or service
  2. The company must be privately held
  3. The company must be less than 5 years old
  4. Annual revenues must not exceed $1 million.

More details about the BizSpark program are available at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/.

In the past, a startup was required to apply to the BizSpark program and wait for a response from Microsoft (sometimes for over a week). Now, however, I can provide a code to eligible startups that registers them in the BizSpark program immediately.

If you meet the above criteria and you would like to take advantage of the program, reach out to David Giard (dgiard@microsoft.com) and describe your startup’s product.

Friday, May 23, 2014 3:03:01 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, May 5, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014 9:28:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 21, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014 11:01:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, April 3, 2014

Like Day 1, there were a number of big announcements from Microsoft during the Day 2 keynote at the Build conference. The most exciting parts were the new features of Windows Azure (now “Microsoft Azure”), as that team continues to push out new features at an impressive rate.

My notes from the Day 2 Keynote are below. Just like yesterday, these are just my raw notes and it’s possible I missed or misheard or mistyped something. So back off, ok? ;)

Azure
    Create, Delete, Manage Azure VMs from within Visual Studio
    Enable Remote .NET Debugging on VM
    Use Puppet to manage Azure VMs
    Intelligent Routing with Traffic Manager
        Route user to closest data center
        Manage failover
    Provision Azure from Visual Studio
    Powershell editor in Visual Studio
        Azure deployment scripts
    Browser Link
        2-way communication between VS and any web browser
    Web Jobs
        Run Background tasks
        Web Jobs SDK
    Free SSL certificate with every web site instance
    Publish code from VS to Azure Mobile Services
    Single Sign on with Active Directory
    Enable Java on Azure
    SQL Azure
        Max SQL Database size 500GB (was 150GB max)
        Automatic backups
        Self-service restore
            roll back db to point in time
            Built-in feature. On by default
        Active geo replication
            Primary DB in read-write mode
            Secondary in Read-only mode
            In case of catastrophe, you can initiate failover
.NET and C#
    Visual Studio suggests refactoring
    Roslyn project is now Open Source
    Xamarin can use Roslyn Compiler
New Azure Portal
    Service Health
        Snapshot of global health of data centers
        Drill down via "blades" - flyout panels
    Visual Studio online integrated into Azure portal
        Team project
        Automated builds
        Source control
        Edit code in browser (syntax highlighting)
        Check in changed code
        Azure Resource Manager

Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:48:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, February 24, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014 6:01:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, January 20, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014 10:22:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, May 27, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013 7:08:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, May 6, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013 10:08:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 6:50:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 6:44:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, February 28, 2013

In this screencast, I show how to create an Azure Virtual Machine.

Azure | Video
Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:28:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Thursday, February 21, 2013

In this screencast, I show how to create an Azure Virtual Machine.

Azure | Video
Thursday, February 21, 2013 8:28:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Saturday, February 16, 2013

In this screencast, I show 3 ways to create a Windows Azure web site.

Azure | GCast
Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:46:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, December 17, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012 3:13:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, December 10, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012 3:46:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Thursday, September 27, 2012

Azure In Action by Brian Prince and Chris Hay has something for everyone. It provides a good overview of the use cases for Windows Azure and a high-level overview of the Azure architecture, which is useful for those new to the platform. It also provides many in-depth examples of Azure features, such as web roles, worker roles, and storage options.

The book also benefits from the light-hearted style of Prince and Ray, who are as entertaining in print as they are in person.

The only downside is that newer Azure features are not covered in this book and Microsoft is adding new features at a startling rate. As far as I know, no updated edition is in the works to cover these new features.

Still, the book remains relevant because of its focus on the uses of cloud computing and on the still-relevant core features.

If you are new to Windows Azure, this book is a good starting point.

Azure | Books
Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:38:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, September 3, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012 5:29:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, August 27, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012 11:54:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, August 12, 2012

I recently delivered a presentation titled “Persistence in the Cloud: How to Use Azure Storage” at the aspconf online conference. A recording of this presentation is available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/aspConf/aspConf/Persistence-In-The-Cloud-How-to-use-Azure-Storage.

Sunday, August 12, 2012 5:52:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, July 20, 2012

Here is a video of the Azure Q&A Experts Panel at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Friday, July 20, 2012 3:00:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here is a video of Dennis Burton's Single Page, Real Time Web Apps Using Node.js And Windows Azure presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Thursday, July 19, 2012 3:00:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

Here is a video of Eric Boyd's BI In The Cloud With SQL Azure Reporting presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Thursday, July 19, 2012 2:55:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the aspconf online conference. I delivered 2 presentations: HTML5 is the Future of the Web; and Using Windows Azure Storage.

As promised, my slides and demos are available by clicking the links below.

   
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:43:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Here is a video of Jason Follas's Using Geospatial Data With SQL Azure presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 3:00:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, July 15, 2012

Here is a video of Michael Collier's Windows Phone 7 And Windows Azure – A Match Made In The Cloud presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Sunday, July 15, 2012 3:21:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, July 14, 2012

Here is a video of Mark Stanislav's Cloud Disaster Recovery presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 3:20:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, July 13, 2012

Here is a video of Brian Prince's Architectural Patterns For The Cloud presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Friday, July 13, 2012 3:17:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, June 14, 2012

Here is a video of Michael Collier's "The Hybrid Windows Azure Application" presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Thursday, June 14, 2012 3:43:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here is a video of Joe Kunk "Windows Azure Data Marketplace" presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 3:29:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here is a video of John Ferringer's "Office 365" presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 3:28:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, June 10, 2012

Here is a video of Jennifer Marsman's "Writing Your First Azure App" presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Sunday, June 10, 2012 4:26:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, June 9, 2012

Here is a video of Jennifer Marsman's "Azure 101" presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Saturday, June 9, 2012 7:22:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, June 8, 2012

Here is a recording of Brent Stineman’s keynote presentation at the 2012 Detroit Day of Azure.

Azure | Video
Friday, June 8, 2012 5:55:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:56:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 16, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012 4:02:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cloud computing has been a hot topic in the software industry for the past couple years. Many of us hear about cloud technologies such as Windows Azure, but don't know how to get started.

I wanted to make it easy to find that information, so I'm organizing a 1-day conference to teach people about Windows Azure.

The Detroit Day of Azure will take place Saturday March 24 from 8AM to 6PM at the Microsoft office in Southfield, MI.

14 speakers from 8 different states have agreed to deliver 19 presentations at this event. The speakers (listed below) are among the foremost Azure experts in the region. The list includes MVPs, Microsoft insiders, book authors, and people delivering real Azure solutions for their customers.

Dennis Burton
Michael Collier
Jason Follas
John Ferringer
David Giard
Joe Kunk
Jennifer Marsman
Jeff Nuckolls
Brian Prince
Mark Stanislav
Brent Stineman
Mike Wood
Chander Dhall
Eric Boyd

Azure MVP and Sogeti National Cloud Computing Lead Brent Stineman will deliver the keynote; then we will split into 3 rooms for the rest of the day, where you can choose from several great topics and speakers. Our plans are to record at least some of the conference on video. We may even live stream some of it, but that is still in the planning phase.

We will designate one room for programmers to build Azure applications. Attendees can bring a laptop and either work on their own project or work through the Azure labs, which we will provide for you. Many smart people will be around if you get stuck. Remember to download and install the Azure SDK and sign up for a free Azure Trial before you arrive!

Download Azure SDK
Sign Up for Free Azure Trial

As with any successful event, many people helped out. Onorio Catenacci, Jamie Altizer, Matt Ruma, Shelly Noll, Sukhdev Tur, Justin Baker, Akhil Mahajan, Brian Korzynski, Jelard Macalino, Jim Priore, and Falicia Starr have volunteered their time to help; while Microsoft, Sogeti, The Epitec Group, Telerik, and RIIS donated their money; while Pluralsight, Wrox, and O'Reilly donated products to give away.

If you have been attending the Great Lakes Area .NET User Group (where I was president the last two years), you won't be surprised to learn that we are serving some excellent food at this event. Included in the $20 admission cost is a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch from Lockhart’s barbeque in Royal Oak. We will also have some door prizes to give away at the end of the day.

More information on the Detroit Day of Azure is available at http://DetroitDayOfAzure.com. You can register at http://DayOfAzure.eventbrite.com/.

Space is limited and only a few tickets remain.

I'm very excited about this event and looking forward to it as an organizer, as a speaker, and as an attendee.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:45:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 2:54:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, June 21, 2011

At the June 15 meeting of the Great Lakes Area .Net Users Group, Microsoft Developer Evangelist Brian Prince delivered a presentation titled “A Lap Around Windows Azure”.

Here is that presentation:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:53:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:02:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010 1:41:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Episode 32

In this video, author and speaker Josef Finsel describes moving databases to "The Cloud" using Azure Table storage.  You can read more of his thoughts on the subject at http://azuredba.com/blog.aspx

11 mins, 9 secs

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 12:46:42 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, May 28, 2009

Episode 27

In this interview, Microsoft Developer Evangelist Jennifer Marsman describes Windows Azure and tells how to get started developing applications using this platform.

14 mins, 35 secs

Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:36:05 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)