Is the public cloud still a bit hazy to you? This blog helps lift the fog.

6 Jun

When three developers with their heads in the cloud go to work on NET, Java and PHP, the stage is set for a fascinating roadtrip through Azure!
Hop on board and learn all about hosting apps and cloud data storage.

Like our bloggers, you have probably heard plenty of dry theory and unconvincing sales patter in your time. You undoubtedly prefer to get your information straight from the horse’s mouth with the kind of case studies and expert personal experience they provide.

Maarten has been busy putting together a whole load of reasons why those of you who work with .NET might be interested in tinkering with Azure.

François talks you through his personal journey from “cloud-sceptic, old-school Java developer to convinced, cloud-eager Java developer”.

Meanwhile, Michelangelo takes a developers’ perspective on how to run your PHP applications on Windows Azure, complete with spiffy diagrams and everything.

The beauty of the blog is that it’s interactive, so if you have any questions or comments, you can get involved right away.

Keep up-to-date with news on the capabilities of PHP, .NET and Java within Azure, and look forward to being part of a roadtrip through Azure with three friendly faces.

Check out the blog here, en stay tuned!

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Windows 8 RP: download and build your apps for Windows Store

4 Jun

Windows 8 Release Preview has been made available last week, representing another important quality milestone in the road to Windows 8 General Availability (GA).

In this post we provide you with the must-know information around what and where to download the bits, the tools and information on how you can count on our support in taking your app to launch.

Windows 8 Release Preview: downloads

  1. For Windows 8 downloads and ISO files you can go to http://preview.windows.com
  2. For developer downloads you’ll find the developer SDK with Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 RC and Expression Blend for Visual Studio, remote debugging tools, Live SDK and more: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229516.aspx
  3. New samples for Release Preview: Download sample app pack (300 MB)
  4. Updated documentation: http://dev.windows.com
    If you have read through the documentation previously you’ll see that a lot of the content has been updated, this includes both the developer documentation as well as UX Guidelines.

Changes with Windows 8 Release Preview: the most important resources

Belgian Apps?

If you have been following our local activities around Windows 8, ever since our developer event in March Windows 8 Developer Day and Night of Windows 8 (app-a-thon), you know folks are working hard on apps.

We are very happy to announce that two of our Belgian partners we’ve been working with since the early stages now made it into the Windows Store for Release Preview: Le Soir by Rossel and Slash Monsters by Fishing Cactus/Tokkun Studio. Le Soir is the first European newspaper in Windows Store!

fishing3lesoir1

Your app in Windows Store? Loads of stuff coming to you

As we get closer and closer to the next milestone for Windows 8, locally here in Belgium and Luxembourg we are preparing a bunch of ways to support you along the way into publishing that app in Windows Store by launch – you do want to take that first mover advantage.

How we’re helping you

Below you can find a collection of activities and resources coming your way. Or come our way by means of an App Clinic.

image Training events for developers and designers
Windows Camps and UX Workshops, check out our Metro map.
image Seaside coding at the Belgian Coast: Summer App-a-thons on Windows 8 Metro Style Apps.
When: 12 July (and 8 August in Antwerp)
app clinic App Clinics: join Evangelists, external developer or Metro UX consultants to discuss any questions on your mind regarding your app.By joining an App Clinic you are also on the right track to get access to App Excellence Labs.
Lab App Excellence Labs
When you’ve been in touch with us through an App Clinic and your application is polished enough go to review, you are invited to participate in an App Excellence Lab. This is a 2-hour review of you application with a Microsoft engineer and if you pass the requirements checklist you get a Windows Store Token!
Because the Store is still closed for public registration for now, this is the only way to get registered and reserve your app name for future fame.
Have an app ready? Register your interest via the App Clinic form (mention App Excellence Labs) .

We are looking forward to helping you take advantage of this huge new opportunity to reach millions of users worldwide.
It’s going to be a hot Summer!

Starting today you need Windows Phone 7.5 to use Marketplace

23 May

Today’s the day. This afternoon we started requiring Windows Phone 7.5 on phones to download, buy, update, or review apps in Marketplace. These changes will make Windows Phone OS 7.5 the minimum OS required to install new or update existing apps from Marketplace via the phone or Web.

If you are wondering why, I invite you to read this article.

If you do get the error, all you need to do is install the free Windows Phone 7.5 update. You’ll find all the information you need to do that, including an update checklist and easy step-by-step instructions, on Update Central. (Not sure if you have Windows Phone 7.5 installed? Here’s how to check.)

By the way, even if you don’t use Marketplace, there are still lots of great reasons to update. We made hundreds of improvements, big and small, in Windows Phone 7.5

Source : Windowsteamblog

MEET Windows Azure!

16 May

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Hear from Scott Guthrie and other senior technologists from Microsoft and the Bay area who will introduce you to Windows Azure and the latest in Microsoft’s cloud-based development technology.

Register HERE !!!

How to find Visual Studio 11 Sales Training

11 May

visual-studio

 

Are you interested in the new possibilities Visual Studio 11 offer, the application lifecycle management or the customer value it delivers and sales opportunities it offers?

Look no further, we lined up three interesting online partner trainings for you:

Visual Studio 11: What’s New

Visual Studio 11: Application Lifecycle Management – Delivering Continuous Value

Visual Studio 11: Customer Value and Sales Opportunities

 

Happy training!

How do I build multi-tenant SaaS solutions?

10 May

Software as a Service (SaaS) is, simply put, software deployed as a hosted service and accessed over the Internet.  As an ISV, providing your software as a service to your customers has a great number of benefits for both you and your customers. 

One important benefit of SaaS comes from the potential to increase your addressable market by lowering the cost of providing your software per customer (“catching the long tail”).  Line-of-business software tends to be custom-tailored to meet individual customers’ needs—potentially including on-site installation and service visits from vendor service teams—and often requires dedicated server hardware, and support staff to manage it. The cost of providing this kind of dedicated attention contributes to the minimum price at which you can afford to sell the software. But for every large enterprise that purchases a line-of-business solution, there are dozens of smaller and medium-sized businesses that could benefit from such a solution, but that cannot afford the expense.  By providing your software as a service, the total cost of providing your software to your customers can be lowered significantly.

Cost of providing software per customerIncrease your addressable market

For a more detailed overview of architecture strategies to catch the long tail, there is a great MSDN article here (it dates from 2006 but is still very valid).

Of course, when thinking about software as a service, the concept of cloud computing comes to mind: being able to allocate compute and storage resources flexibly, in a matter of minutes, and paying only for the resources that you need.  To maximize the newly addressable market, you are looking at lowering the cost per customer.  One way to achieve this is to build a multi-tenant solution.

But wait, haven’t always been told that building multi-tenant applications is a really difficult thing to do?  On top of all the application business logic complexity, you have to invest in automated provisioning and scaling of the infrastructure, tenant metering and billing, identity federation, etcetera.  This is where the Windows Azure platform and the Cloud Ninja & Cloud Samurai projects can accelerate building multi-tenant cloud-based SaaS solutions.

CloudNinja - Windows Azure Multi-tenant Sample 

The Cloud Ninja Project is a Windows Azure multi-tenant sample application demonstrating metering and automated scaling concepts, as well as some common multi-tenant features such as automated provisioning and federated identity.  Key features of this project are: metering and metering charts, automated scaling, and federated identity.

Cloud Ninja architecture

To further assist you with the metering of tenant resource usage in a multi-tenant solution on the Windows Azure platform, there is now the Cloud Ninja Metering Block.  The need to meter and monitor resource usage at the tenant level is a common requirement for multi-tenant solutions. This metering data is commonly used to enforce quotas, set pricing, understand solution cost breakdown by tenant, generate alerts, or identify tenants which may be abusing the solution.  The metering block ships as a hostable runtime component that can be deployed and hosted in an on-premise windows services, console application; or to Windows Azure either in it’s own role or as part of another role for an existing solution. The metering block comes with a number of providers for collecting metering data from existing logs, and can be extended with custom providers for collecting metering data from other sources, such as custom logs, views, etc…

 

Cloud SamuraiWhen looking at the Cloud Ninja sample application, you may think: “I already have an application, do I really have to redesign my entire application? Isn’t there an easier way for existing applications?”.  Enter the Cloud Samurai project!  This complete code sample demonstrates a hosted multi-tenant approach on Windows Azure for existing web applications that leverages the IIS Application Request Routing (ARR) extension.

Cloud Samurai architecture

Did I already mention that the Windows Azure platform embraces not only .NET developers but is an open platform?  For ISVs or developers that are building Java-based applications and want to leverage the power of the Windows Azure platform, the people at Persistent Systems have developed multi-tenant sample application, called CloudNinja for Java, written in Java which would help the Java community to develop Java applications for Windows Azure. The CloudNinja for Java application will empower Java developers to implement best practices and design patterns required for Java multi-tenant applications on Windows Azure.

 

Are you already providing your software as a service on the Windows Azure platform? Get started now.

1. Setup an Account:

Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the free trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.

2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/

Adifo, first BeLux SQL 2012 compatible ISV

9 May

Home

Adifo Software, Gold Competent ISV Partner, is our first Belux ISV partner completing the SQL server 2012 compatibility process. Adifos’ BESTMIX® line of products has been proven compatible with Microsoft newest SQL server technology. The BESTMIX® line of products guides customers from the first idea for the development of a product until it is production ready, taking into account quality requirements, regulatory compliance and company interests.

BESTMIX has been specifically designed to run on a SQL Server Database engine and by investing time in testing the app on SQL2012 Adifo cleared the path for lighthouse customers. Way to go!

At the moment this article is published, also Adam Software and SmartDoc have passed the SQL 2012 compatibility test and join Adifo as SQL2012 early adopters. Who’s next??

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