Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Microsoft releases new Azure services for Internet of Things (IoT) - Azure Intelligent Systems Service along with Analytics Platform

Microsoft releases new Azure services for Internet of Things (IoT) - Azure Intelligent Systems Service along with Analytics Platform and SQL Server 2014 in memory capabilities release. This shapes up there BI/Analytics strategy along with Cloud first/mobile first after failed attempt of mediocre release of Performance Point product few years back. :)

"The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that allows companies of any size to create a data culture and ensure insights reach every individual in every organization," quoted by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Personally, think this is one of the biggest pain point for most of client business where there is a need to "store and query big data" over cloud efficiently, quickly and cheap. There is a preview available for Azure Intelligent Systems Service to test only on request and registration.

News -
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/5658/20140416/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-talks-ambient-intelligence-announces-big-data-analytics-platform.htm


Below link shows how to use the Microsoft Avro Library and Hadoop scnearios to serialize objects and other data structures into streams in order to persist them to memory, a database or a file, and also how to deserialize them to recover the original objects.

Microsoft Azure site with various offerings and Big data sheet details:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/solutions/big-data.aspx#fbid=mEBV57JBsZA

-D

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to debug Azure hosted services using Visual Studio?

To add to the list of my previous blog article is how to debug Azure hosted services -
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee405479.aspx

Debugging Azure Service using Visual Studio and with Emulator express -
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ff683670.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn339018.aspx

HTH,  - DJ
 

Windows Azure Data Strategies and management - deciding factor

Interesting read to explore in detail on Windows Azure data strategies published here by Microsoft. Help you decide on pros and cons on Azure. Also will help you decide choose right approach and data management strategies.

Windows Azure provides several different ways to store and manage data. This diversity lets users of the platform address a variety of different problems. Yet diversity implies choice: Which data management option is right for a particular situation?
This short overview is intended to help you answer that question. After a quick summary of the data management technologies in Windows Azure, we’ll walk through several different scenarios, describing which of these technologies is most appropriate in each case. The goal is to make it easier to choose the right options for the problem you face.

Here -
  1. http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/windows/fundamentals/cloud-storage-scenarios/
  2. http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/solutions/data-management/#scenarios
Free trial to start with any of your Azure services on Microsoft as below -

http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/
SQL Azure:
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/services/sql-database/
Cache Service:
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/services/cache/
Storage:
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/services/storage/
HD Insight:
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/services/hdinsight/
Virtual Machines -
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/services/virtual-machines/

-DJ

Basic and architecture Windows and SQL Azure interview questions and answers...

Here is the list of basic and architectural Windows Azure interview questions and answers. Will uncover and add some more as we move along and learn. Intend to grow this list further....

What are the services provided in Cloud Computing/Azure?
Services provided would be basically three fundamental models: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).
 
What are the steps involved in creating a Windows Azure Project with Visual Studio?
Refer for detailed steps here -http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee405487.aspx 

What are various roles available in Windows Azure?
There are three roles (Web, worker, VM) available. Web and Worker roles are nearly identical: With Web and Worker roles, the OS and related patches are taken care for you; you build your app's components without having to manage a VM.

What are the three main components of Windows Azure Platform?  
  1. Compute
  2. Storage
  3. AppFabric
What are the benefits of Azure?
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) / Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) / Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Variable pricing - see here (Azure retail subscription pricing calculator
  • On demand and simple service procurement
  • More predictable solution environments
  • Small infrastructure management responsibility
  • Scalability with Global model - 15 global data centers (to date) and growing...
  • Security/privacy compliance – HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27007
  • Compatibility with existing development tools
What are the capabilities that are provided with Visual Studio?
  • Windows Azure Cloud Service Visual Studio Template
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee405487.aspx
  • ASP.Net web role
  • WCF Service web role
  • Worker Role with Service Bus Queue
  • Worker Role
  • Cache Worker Role – provides a dedicated cache
  • Integration with Emulators
  • Sophisticated debugging and tracing capability including remote debugging w/- SDK 2.2
  • Publish capability
  • Basic Azure component management in Server Explorer
  • Azure storage error log and application diagnostic analysis
What is Windows Azure compute emulator? 
The compute emulator is a local emulator of Windows Azure that you can use to build and test your application before deploying it to Windows Azure. 
  
What is the difference between Web Sites versus Web Roles (Azure Compute Services)?
  • Web site uses .azurewebsites.net versus .cloudapp.net for web roles
  • Web sites offer very quick deployment, scaling and rollback
  • Web sites have out of box support for Git and other continuous publishing tools
  • Web sites have less capability than web roles e.g. no remote management, no traffic manager
  • Web sites are good for a 2-tier application architecture
  • 10 per region multi-tenant web sites are free
Which is the latest version of Microsoft Windows Azure? (March 2014) and what are some of the key features/capabilities that come along with SDK v2.2?

SDK v2.2 -
BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore
Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises.
Pricing - $5000 per month for 10GBps connection 
Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
 
What are Windows Azure Data Services? 
Windows Azure SQL Database Service provides -
  • Data replication – backups are only required for user / application errors
  • Relational data structures
  • Only SQL authentication
  • No always-on availability groups
  • SQL Data Sync for mirroring
  • No SQL Server Agent – use worker roles and windows workflow foundation (WWF)
  • Data Sharding – SQL Azure Database federation:
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh597452.aspx
  • Database backup and auomatic scheduled data backup to Azure Storage
What is Blob?
BLOB stands for Binary Large Object. Blob is file of any type and size.
The Azure Blob Storage offers two types of blobs –
1. Block Blob
2. Page Blob 
                                         
What is Windows Azure AppFabric? What are various services provided?
  • Windows Azure AppFabric is a part of the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform. Positioned by Microsoft as middleware, it provides several cloud computing services:
  • Access Control Service: Provides an easy way for web applications and web services to identify users, and grant access control to the applications and services.
  • AppFabric Applications: Provides tools and APIs for developing and hosting a composite application expressly for deployment through the service.
  • Service Bus: Provides secure connections between distributed and disconnected applications in the cloud.
  • Caching: Provides a distributed, in-memory, application cache service for Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications.
  • Integration: Leverages several capabilities of Microsoft BizTalk Server such as transforming messages from one format to another, or providing a queue for message passing.
What is a Queue in Azure terminology?
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-dotnet-how-to-use-queues-20/

Features provided by HDInsight?
Here's a quick start tutorial to get started and learn basics on HDInsight - http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/hdinsight-get-started/
  •  Provides nice way to also use Microsoft Office tools like Excel to view output using power query and more with power BI features.
  • HDInsight is our 100% compatible Apache Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Azure.  With HDInsight you can leverage data stored in Windows Azure Blob Storage or the native HDFS file system local to the compute nodes and crunch massive amounts of data.
    We now support Hadoop 2.2 clusters (in preview mode) with our HDInsight service.  This new update provides an order of magnitude (up to 40x) faster query response times, much better data compression (up to 80%), and enables you to leverage the benefits of YARN.
What are Azure app Services?
1 Media Services
.Net libraries (Media Services SDK) for uploading, storing, encoding, format converting, protection and delivery of media
2 Azure content delivery network (CDN) for Azure storage accounts -
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/media-services-dotnet-get-started/
3 Service Bus Explorer- .Net library and components for message communication processing. Architecture approach for communicating between on premise and private cloud to Azure Components.
http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Service-Bus-Explorer-f2abca5a

4 Queues (FIFO)  -
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/service-bus-dotnet-how-to-use-queues/

5 Topics and Subscriptions – Topic filters– Special implementation of a queue that uses a subscriber model -
 
6 Relays – provides capability to communicate to existing WCF corporate domain web services
7 Notification Hubs – pushing cross-platform back end notifications to mobile clients. Get started building these applications on Windows Azure and learn about notification hubs here -
http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/notification-hubs-windows-phone-get-started/
8 Scheduler (new) -
This is an exposed API for job operations and helps create jobs on a schedule:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn495651.aspx
9 BizTalk Services -B2B EDI in Azure
EAI in Azure
10 Active Directory -
Identity management in Azure
Can sync with access control service (ACS)
Can sync with on premise Active Directory
11 MSFT Active Directory Federated Services - https://corp.sts.microsoft.com/Onboard/ADFSOnboard.htm
http://sharepoint/sites/windowsazure/windowsazureinternal/Pages/ADFSAuthentication.aspx

.... Cheers - DJ
  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Azure Starter Steps - Building your own first Azure application

As the next technology trend gets strong inclined towards Cloud Computing be it - Sales Force.com, Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, my curiosity towards technology increases and have made an attempt to learn more about it myself :) I needed to get this blog rebooted to a new start as well and think this is the right topic to learn, explore and share as I move along further too.
Focus here would be Microsoft Cloud technology stack - Azure. Here are few bytes that would be helpful for starters who would want to learn about Windows Azure and Cloud computing in general. Ofcourse, there are bunch of materials lying out there but this is one stop shop for everything you need to know about Microsoft Azure.

First, you can create your own Microsoft Azure Account and get free space on cloud - absolutely free! Microsoft has announced that it doesn't even require Credit Card information, only thing required is your cell number to validate your identity! It also provides retail subscriptions for Windows Azure. You would like to go here to sign up -
 

Benefits that come along with -
  • 30 day free trial
  • Pay as you go
  • 6 month plans - $500 per month minimum w/- discounts
  • 12 month plans - $500 per month minimum w/- greater discounts
  • VL Enterprise agreements
  • MSDN Subscription
  • Free credit depending on MSDN level up to $150 / month for Ultimate
  • Discounted rates
  • Microsoft FTE Azure employee pass was discontinued -> MSDN
  • Microsoft Internal Billing for sponsored Azure solutions
Once you have created your Azure subscription account, you can get started creating your first Azure application with easy steps- 
  1. Install Visual Studio and Azure SDK
  2. Sign in to Windows Azure in Visual Studio Server Explorer
  3. Create a Windows Azure Cloud Service Visual Studio project
  4. Enter project name
  5. Add ASP.Net Web role which would be Empty
  6. Add "default.aspx" web form
  7. Publish the Azure application from Visual Studio
  8. Access your application – http://.cloudapp.net/ from cloud and wola!
In addition, below you can find Azure Service Visual Studio Template:


It includes templates and components around Windows Azure services -
1 ASP.Net web role
2 WCF Service web role
3 Worker Role with Service Bus Queue
4 Worker Role
5 Basic Azure component management in Server Explorer
6 Cache Worker Role – provides a dedicated cache

Azure retail subscription pricing calculator:



Manage your portal w/easy to use Azure management portal:
 
 
More.... - DJ

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Microsoft officially releases Visual Studio 2013...

Microsoft officially releases Visual Studio 2013

 
Personally still haven't installed it myself but planning soon. Here are few highlights as read on MSDN forums and blogs on the new VS 2013 released:
     
New MVC 5 web application template and SharePointContext for SharePoint apps -
MVC web application template for app for SharePoint has been introduced since Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview. In this Visual Studio 2013 RTM release, the MVC web application template in app for SharePoint has been updated based on the latest one for MVC 5.
 
SharePointContext is a set of classes (in SharePointContext.cs/SharePointContext.vb) that provides a set of APIs to relieve you from the tedious steps of dealing with communication between SharePoint and web application.

Need to decide whether your app be authenticated with Windows Azure Control Services or a certificate (high-trust)? SharePointContext makes it possible for you to use the same snippet of code no matter which way you go.

Need efficient but safe strategy to cache the access tokens? APIs in SharePointContext provide a good pattern and the default implementation for you.

Which APIs can you use for hosting web and which ones for app web? API naming convention carefully designed in SharePointContext gives you an explicit view what you can use in which case. You can also easily extend the SharePointContext helper by subclassing to provide more advanced features to fulfill your scenarios.

Apart from the Visual Studio 2013 in-box release, the new SharePointContext helper is also included in
App for SharePoint Web Toolkit - NuGet package, which means you can install the package and leverage the helper APIs in any VS 2013 or VS 2012 project that you want to communicate with SharePoint. For the app for SharePoint projects that you’ve created with VS 2013 Preview, you can simply upgrade the SharePointContext helper to the latest by updating the App for SharePoint Web Toolkit NuGet package (which is installed in the web project when you created the app for SharePoint).
 
     
 
Support for Windows 8.1 app development: Visual Studio 2013 provides the ideal toolset for building modern applications that leverage the next wave in Windows platform innovation (Windows 8.1), while supporting devices and services across all Microsoft platforms. Support for Windows Store app development in Windows 8.1 includes updates to the tools, controls and templates, new Coded UI test support for XAML apps, UI Responsiveness Analyzer and Energy Consumption profiler for XAML & HTML apps, enhanced memory profiling tools for HTML apps, and improved integration with the Windows Store.
 
     
Web development advances: Creating websites or services on the Microsoft platform provides you with many options, including ASP.NET WebForms, ASP.NET MVC, WCF or Web API services, and more. Previously, working with each of these approaches meant working with separate project types and tooling isolated to that project’s capabilities. The One ASP.NET vision unifies your web project experience in Visual Studio 2013 so that you can create ASP.NET web applications using your preference of ASP.NET component frameworks in a single project. Now you can mix and match the right tools for the job within your web projects, giving you increased flexibility and productivity.


You can download Visual Studio 2013 here - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=306566 
 
 
-D

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Microsoft SQL Server CTP2 announced...

Microsoft SQL Server CTP2 announced...

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 brings to market new in-memory capabilities built into the core database and provides new cloud capabilities to simplify cloud adoption for your SQL databases and help you unlock new hybrid scenarios.
 
Key SQL 2014 Architecture features and improvements:
 
1.) Provides new disaster recovery and backup solutions with Windows Azure, enabling customers to use their existing skills with the on-premises product offerings to take advantage of Microsoft’s global datacenters.
2.) Code named "Hekaton" is now known simply "In-Memory" Online Transaction Processing (OLTP). In-Memory OLTP will let administrators move selected tables into main memory, thereby delivering performance improvements without having to touch the actual applications.
3.) Support for additional index types.
4.) Natively compiled stored procedures for efficient execution of business logic.
5.) New tools to help administrators access database performance so that they can determine which tables would most benefit from in-memory optimization.
 
Download Microsoft SQL Server 2014 here:
 
Here's more to In memory architecture overview of SQL server 2014 -
 
Tech net blog on how to get started with SQL 2014 -
 
Hardware Considerations for SQL Server 2014 (Microsoft does claim backward compatibility -if you can run your applications on SQL 2012, you can run on SQL 2014)-
 
Final release expected to be announced sometime later half of CY 2014, but will learn more from developer community as we play around this!
 
Pass Summit 2013 is going on now... stay tuned for more innovation!!!
 
Cheers - Dipesh

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Microsoft Server 2014 CTP1 features and download available now...

Server 2014 CTP1 available now
 
  • SQL Server 2014 takes an integrated approach to in-memory database technology. In-Memory OLTP, which optimizes performance of OLTP workloads, is fully integrated in the core SQL Server relational data
  • SQL Server 2014 introduces enhancements to two common database maintenance operations namely Partition Switching and Online Index Rebuild which greatly increases enterprise application availability
 
  • Extending Memory to SSDs:  Seamlessly and transparently integrates solid-state storage into SQL Server by using SSDs as an extension to the database buffer pool, allowing more in-memory processing and reducing disk IO.
  • Buffer pool memory, which plays key role in storing data pages and in turn reducing the I/O demand
  • Easy Cloud migration - New cloud migration wizard to easily move on premises SQL Server to Windows Azure
  • Easy Integration with Excel - "GeoFlow" - richer insights with 3D Visualization , faster insights and predictive analytics with data mining add ins in Excel
 
Download Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 -
 
Looking forward to get hands on too....
 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to upgrade Office 2013 on Surface RT to the final version?

How to upgrade Office 2013 on Surface RT to the final version?

The Microsoft Surface running Windows RT includes Office 2013 Home and Student Version which runs on the tablet's desktop. Out of the box it comes with the Review version of Office, but you can upgrade to the final version which is currently available, here's how.
 
 
Cheers - Dipesh
 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Entity Framework 6: now available

Entity Framework 6: Preview Alpha 2 released recently... few key features:

  • Async language support is now available for queries and updates when running on .NET 4.5.
  • Custom conventions now provide the ability to override the default conventions that Code First uses for mapping types, properties, etc. to your database.
  • Multi-tenant migrations allow the same database to be used by multiple contexts with full Code First Migrations support for independently evolving the model backing each context.
  • Using Enumerable.Contains in a LINQ query is now handled much more efficiently by EF and the SQL Server provider resulting greatly improved performance.
  • All features of EF6 (except async) are available on both .NET 4 and .NET 4.5. This includes support for enums and spatial types and the performance improvements that were previously only available when using .NET 4.5.
  • Start-up time for many large models has been dramatically improved thanks to improved view generation performance. 
Entity Framework 6 is the first open source release of Entity Framework being developed in CodePlex. The preview release of EF6 is also available on NuGet, and contains some really great features for you to try.

Entity Framework 5 release is available on NuGet and has following key features:

  • Enum support allows you to have enum properties in your entity classes. This new feature is available for Model, Database and Code First.
  • Table-valued functions in your database can now be used with Database First.
  • Spatial data types can now be exposed in your model using the DbGeography and DbGeometry types. Spatial data is supported in Model, Database and Code First.
The following new features are also available in the Entity Model Designer in Visual Studio 2012:
  • Multiple-diagrams per model allows you to have several diagrams that visualize subsections of your overall model.
  • Batch import of stored procedures allows multiple stored procedures to be added to the model during model creation.
- DJ

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Developing HTML 5 with JavaScript and CSS 3 applications - Jump Start videos and tutorials

Developing HTML 5 with JavaScript and CSS 3 applications - Jump Start videos and tutorials
 

Microsoft Virtual Academy is offering a free course and exam voucher that maps to Exam 70-480, This is a limited time offer and is on a first come first serve basis....


This course provides an accelerated introduction to HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript and helps students gain basic HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript programming skills. The course focuses on using HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript to implement programming logic, define and use variables, perform looping and branching, develop user interfaces, capture and validate user input, store data, and create well-structured applications. This course uses Visual Studio 2012, running on Windows 8.
 
 

 
(01) | HTML5 Semantic Structure 
Topics include Semantic tags, Forms, Audio and Video, Canvas and SVG. 

Click on the materials below. These materials are external documents and will be opened in a new window. Please come back to this track once you have reviewed it. 


(02) | CSS3 Selectors and Style Pro...  

 In this module, Jeremy Foster and Michael Palermo focus on CSS3 Selectors and Style Properties. Topics include Selectors, Combinators, Color properties, Text properties, and Box properties 


(03) | Advanced Layout and Animation...

 This module features Michael Palermo and Jeremy Foster covering the important areas of layout and animation. During the session, they cover Legacy layouts, Flexbox, Grid, Transforms, and Transitions and Animations. 


 (04) | JavaScript Core Capabilities 

 Jeremy Foster and Michael Palermo provide an overview of the core capabilities of JavaScript in this module. After an insightful overview of JavaScript, the session includes important information such as Variables, Functions, Function scope, Arrays, and Objects. 

 (05) | DOM Interactions
In this important module, Michael Palermo and Jeremy Foster focus on DOM interactions. This important module covers topics such as Querying the DOM, Manipulating the DOM, and Responding to events. 

 (06) | Advanced Topics
 After an effective discussion about Handling exceptions, they cover Promises, Web worker, Web sockets, Architecture patterns, and TypeScript. 

More on MS Virtual academy here ..http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/tracks/developing-html5-apps-jump-start?WT.mc_id=MSLS_HTML5OfferMVA


- DJ
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Real time Social media sentiment analytics...

Free tools and APIs available to check social media sentiment analytics (real time) - http://www.sentiment140.com/search?hl=en&query=microsoft surface ...You can change the query to your product, org name or yourself.

Microsoft has also provided tool - "Analytics for Twitter" (would need Power Pivot add-in)
- http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26213

The excel file will create a full fledged dashboard that is powered by data that it pulls from Power Pivot - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29074
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Phone that charges by itself when in stanby…WIP?

Interesting ways by which a phone can charge by itself...Like it, when we will see this out in market is a matter of time I guess :)

Nokia's self phone charging prototype in works?...
  • New talked about prototype - self charging system from Nokia that is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves – the weak TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us. The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug it into the mains, according to Markku Rouvala, one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.
  • Nokia's device is somewhat less ambitious and is made possible thanks to a wide-band antenna and two very simple circuits. The antenna and the receiver circuit are designed to pick up a wide range of frequencies — from 500 megahertz to 10 gigahertz — and convert the electromagnetic waves into an electrical current, while the second circuit is designed to feed this current to the battery to recharge it.
  • The trick here is to ensure that these circuits use less power than is being received, said Rouvala. So far they have been able to harvest up to 5 milliwatts. Their short-term goal is to get in excess of 20 milliwatts, enough power to keep a phone in standby mode indefinitely without having to recharge it. But this would not be enough to actually use the phone to make or receive a call, he says. So ultimately the hope is to be able to get as much as 50 milliwatts which would be sufficient to slowly recharge the battery.
More... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/10/nokia-mobile-phone

Power through Solar cells under the screen -
Solar cells can fit just underneath the screen so that it take the source light and convert it into energy that can be consumed to charge the phone....
 
Charge your phone through your heat of the body -
Phones that can use an integrated thermogenerator that converts heat into energy. That means it could get a slight charge while sitting in your pocket against your leg and an even bigger charge when you have a temperature! :)

Dont believe, ALL three above can be "the" single alternate source for self charging phones, but why not all three? Could be a game changer next!

Cheers - DJ
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Microsoft Surface - tinker attitude?

Someone great sometime mentioned that you should NEVER buy version 1.0 of any NEW product unless you are super rich! :) Here's why it applies for Microsoft Surface reviews and unanswered questions -
  1. Several threads on Microsoft’s support forums detail issues relating to audio stuttering and random muting while the Surface is in use or on standby.
  2. Touch Cover and Type cover are as expensive as buying a new competitor's tablet :) now, hear that these can split open at the seam exposing wiring within.
  3. There still seems to be confusion with most of non IT consumers (well even IT :) on what is the difference between Windows RT v/s Windows PRO launch sometime in January 2013? Difference MSFT claims is that RT is for consumers and Pro is for business.. huh?
  4. Windows 8 Surface
  5. Not only that, which hardware to buy - Dell Surface or one from HP or Acer (if they make them happy :)) or the ones actually manufactured by Microsoft?



Technical sepcifications for Windows RT Surface and Windows Pro Surface on MSFT Site.
 
Help me Choose between Microsoft Windows RT vs Windows PRO Surface -

In addition, you cannot port existing Windows 7 or earlier OS applications to Win 8 RT because its not on Intel chips...doesn't the product become great by its applications? Office included is just home/school version ...very limited.Makes me think. Should wait for Windows PRO ...cost? $999?

All right, enough bashing of Microsoft...I LOVE Microsoft, but what are the answers that the company thinks to beat its competitor product?
  1. Why are there NO carrier plans (3G/4G) provided on Microsoft Surface? How do I get wifi enabled while on move?
  2. Why is there no 16 GB surface with low-cost option? Is that a Strategy to get a high permium product out make margins and then after 6 months reveal cheaper products with varied options.
  3. What is Microsoft's answer to Air? - Is it possible to print documents from Microsoft Surface?
  4. What is MSFT' answer to Voice search - be it on IE Bing or Surface?
  5. Cant' we make out difference between Vapor Mg (low resolution) v/s Apple's Retina?
  6. Where are the apps that WOW me? :)
Time will tell how Microsoft new Windows 8 ecosystem will change consumers bheaviour but as of now it seems Microsoft has put there billion dollar Windows business at test! Wish you good luck,

Cheers - DJ
 

Monday, November 05, 2012

FY13 plans for Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager, Forefront User Access Gateway, and Forefront Threat Management Gateway...

Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager, Forefront User Access Gateway, and Forefront Threat Management Gateway remains alive and Microsoft plans to grow them in FY13 and beyond. here is the article on technet that details more:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2012/09/12/important-changes-to-forefront-product-roadmaps.aspx

Discontinuing further releases of the following Forefront-branded solutions:
  • Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE)
  • Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint (FPSP)
  • Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (FSOCS)
  • Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG)
  • Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Services (TMG WPS)
 

My Internet Explorer 9.0 User experience reivew

Here is my Internet Explorer 9.0 User experience reivew :)

LIKE IT -

Pinned Sites - Dragging the IE window over the Windows taskbar in the bottom. Once pinned, next time when you click on it, opens the same program or web site directly. Very much similar to iphone apps made as bookmark or pinned on wall.

Tab isolation - Dragging and taking open tab (window) into new completely window that can be undocked or pinned to your favorites.

Download status - you can pause, cancel and view multiple downloads at the same time,

Tracking Protection - block sites tracking or following you to taget ads or to protect kids.

Hardware accelerataion, security and others.

Support for HTML5, CSS3, Canvas, location services, and SVG has made its way into Microsoft's browser.

Here is the HTML5 Test Suite Conformance Results page -
http://w3c-test.org/html/tests/reporting/report.htm

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Windows 8 for business?

Nice read below - not sure if you agree or disagree? :)


10 essential ingredients of a killer Windows 8 business PC -
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2013248/10-essential-ingredients-of-a-killer-windows-8-business-pc.html   Cheers-  Dipesh

Optimize the performance of Microsoft SQL Server environments


"Plan Explorer FREE and the launch of the new Plan Explorer PRO at 2012 Dev Connections in Las Vegas today, - will help for optimizing the performance of Microsoft SQL Server environments."

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor for
1. SQL Server delivers an advanced performance dashboard with relevant Windows and SQL Server metrics in a single view along with detailed insight of heavy SQL, blocking, deadlocks, and disk bottlenecks.

2. Analysis Services provides unparalleled insight into Analysis Services performance, including bottlenecks related to memory, storage systems, aggregation usage, queries and processing.
3. Event Manager is the ultimate scheduling, alerting and response system for managing SQL Server jobs, SharePoint jobs and other events that impact performance.

P.S: I do not recieve any compensation for writing or promoting these products but is merely interest...

Monday, October 29, 2012

IT: Winning the Retail War: How to Compete With Retail E-commerce Players

Winning the Retail War: How to Compete With Retail E-commerce Players

Accenture suggests 10 ways a multichannel retail approach can help in competing with retail e-commerce players.
Overview Today online retailers are the preferred choice for customers worldwide. Does this mean traditional retailing is over? No. Traditional retailers can too march ahead by offering a multichannel retail experience to customers. Online pure plays have changed the retail game with their new approach to technology, innovation and execution. To compete successfully with retail e-commerce players, Accenture recommends traditional retailers adopt a strategic thinking by applying key principles from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Download the PDF report from the site here - http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-winning-the-retail-war.aspx

OR watch the video here -
http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-winning-the-retail-war-video.aspx

Encryption, key, identity, fraud management and others from Thales...

One of the finest solution that I stumbled upon for database encryption from Thales -

1. Add new levels of assurance to database encryption by helping your organization effectively protect and manage encryption keys.
2. With Thales - nShield hardware security modules (HSMs), you can take full advantage of native database encryption capabilities and still add higher levels of assurance to key management activities, ensuring optimal security, efficiency, and guaranteed accessibility to encrypted data.
3. By storing encryption keys in a protected environment, separate from the database itself, nShield HSMs enforce separation of duties between security staff and DBAs.

More here -
http://www.thales-esecurity.com/solutions/by-technology-focus/database-encryption

Great ready solution for mobile payments, trust, key and identity management. Controlling Fraud and Protecting Intellectual Property solution from Thales.

The proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets not only gives consumers more choice, it also has the potential to dramatically expand the payments ecosystem, bringing new players such as mobile operators and handset manufacturers into the mix. Multiple payment advocates are competing for attention, with each party advancing a different vision for where the consumer’s electronic wallet—the trusted source of credentials—should reside: on a card, on a phone, or in the Cloud. These various approaches create new challenges and in some cases have the potential to establish new business models. The traditional role of banks in issuing physical cards that are mailed to users could be replaced by new classes of intermediaries such as Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) that provide over-the-air provisioning capabilities to mobile devices.

The Thales solution is based on the GlobalPlatform Card Specification Version 2.2 and EMV Card Personalization Specification (CPS V1.1), providing the ability to establish a secure session with the Secure Element (SE) based on Global Platform Secure Channel Protocol 02 (SCP02) and to prepare secure messages for the SE.

More here - http://www.thales-esecurity.com/solutions/by-technology-focus/mobile-payments

Watch Windows 8 Surface launch event and Surface dropped on stage!


Windows 8 RT Surface live event webcast
link above -  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/windows/liveevent2.aspx

Watch Windows 8 Surface Launch Event Webcast

(Start from 48th  minute to see the event,
Scan to 3 hour :20 minutes to watch Surface
dropped on stage!)
 
 

SCM 101

Supply Chain is key to almost all organizations, and few key modules that one must be aware of while working on Supply Chain implementation. These are basic modules that one would need to learn to understand the SC business. Will talk in detail on each in coming days,

Modules -
  1. Planning and Forecasting
  2. Production Planning and scheduling
  3. Materials management and Stock movement
  4. Order to Cash Cycle - Order, Fulfillment and Financials
  5. Inventory management
  6. Distribution Centers (D/Cs)
  7. Supply Chain management
  8. Logistics and Transportation management (Shipping and Carrier management)
  9. Supplier quality check
  10. Reverse Logistics  - Returns and Repair
  11. Customer Service/Care
 - D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Knockout js for MVVM and MVC web applications

Assisting Ryan, I learned how cool Knockout java script library is! :) It really seems to be easy in adopting and faster UX development esp. for MVVM and MVC web applications.

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/ASPNET-MVC-With-Community-Tools-Part-11-KnockoutJS (MVVM, knockout session 20 minute video on ASP.NET MVC With Community Tools Part 11: KnockoutJS)


Practice here if you dont have it installed - http://www.knockoutjs.com// (tons on step by step instructions and tutorials)


Cheers - DJ

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Accenture Quarterly results - 4th quarter

Accenture triggered 5% on the stocks today just before the announcement of its 4th quarter results. Accenture PLC's (ACN) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings jumped 37% as the consulting company reported strong bookings.

For the quarter ended August 31, company posted a profit of $611.9 million, or 91 cents a share, up from $445.5 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier beating market expectations of 88 cents a share in profit.
Accenture's revenue increased 23% to $7.17 billion. Net revenue, which is before reimbursements, also rose 23%, to $6.69 billion. In June, the company gave an upbeat net-revenue outlook of $6.4 billion to $6.6 billion. Operating margin rose to 13.8% from 13.2%.

Here is an overview-

-- Fourth-quarter revenues increase 23% in U.S. dollars and 14% in local currency, to $6.7 billion; quarterly EPS increase 38%, to $0.91; free cash flow is $1.2 billion --


-- For full year, revenues increase 18% in U.S. dollars and 15% in local currency, to $25.5 billion; EPS increase 28%, to $3.40; and free cash flow is $3.0 billion --

-- New bookings are $8.4 billion for fourth quarter and $28.8 billion for full year --

-- Company increases semi-annual cash dividend 50%, to 67.5 cents per share;

--Board of Directors approves $5 billion of additional share repurchase authority --

-- For fiscal year 2012, Accenture expects net revenue growth of 7% to 10% in local currency and EPS of $3.80 to $3.88, an increase of 12% to 14% --
 
New bookings were $8.4 billion, its highest quarterly bookings ever. Accenture's CEO Pierre Nanterme said the achievement reflected strong demand for Accenture's services, although he said the company is closely monitoring the economic environment.

I think also heard, that the people hire this year was over 70,000 along with GDN and the biggest book value was the Nokia deal this quarter.

Strongest Revenue growth seen as follows -
Resource Operating Group (18%), followed by PRODUCTS (16%), Financial Services (13%) and EMT (Electronics Media and Telecommunications) (13%) and Health Services OG (12%).

Also, Accenture’s total cash balance grew strong @ $5.7 billion, compared with $4.8 billion at Aug. 31, 2010.
http://newsroom.accenture.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5296

Download PDF here - http://newsroom.accenture.com/article_download.cfm?article_id=5296