• Windows Azure Import Export Service

    Posted Nov 7th, 2013 By in Cloud Computing With | No Comments Windows Azure Import Export Service

    Whoa. This sounds to be a promising value add – the Windows Azure Import/Export Service. Essentially securely ship hard disk drives to a Windows Azure data center. Once received, Microsoft will transfer the data to your Azure storage account. This is a great opportunity to import and export massive amounts of data more effectively, rather than trying to chew up valuable bandwidth.

    Here are some resources that you can reference regarding this new service:

    I am curious how many organizations will take advantage of this feature.

  • Tyler Doerksen – Azure Websites vs Cloud Services

    Posted Nov 7th, 2013 By in Cloud Computing, Office 365 With | No Comments

    A big shout-out and thank you to Tyler Doerksen for his recent “Azure Websites vs Cloud Services” post. This was a very timely post because I’ve recently had a number of people asking me that very question.


    I encourage you to head on over to Tyler’s post for a fuller explanation of the major differences between Azure websites and cloud services. For a quick reference, here is the table that Tyler uses to demonstrate the differences:

    Scale Out to Multiple Instances Without Redeploy Yes Yes
    SSL Yes Yes
    Visual Studio Integration Yes Yes
    Deploy from TFS On-Prem or Online Yes Yes
    WebMatrix Support Yes No
    Fast Deployment Yes No
    Instances Share Content and Configuration Yes No
    Multiple Deployment Environments (Production and Staging) No Yes
    Network Isolation No Yes
    Support for Windows Azure Traffic Manager Preview No Yes
    Support for CDN No Yes
    Remote Desktop Access No Yes
    Execute Start-Up Tasks No Yes

    Thanks again Tyler!

  • The 2013 Fall Season

    Posted Oct 6th, 2013 By in Miscellaneous With | No Comments

    It’s been awhile since posting, so to kick things off again for the blog, here’s a summary of how the Fall 2013 season is shaping up.

    E-Town Festival

    A couple weeks ago I volunteered for the E-Town Festival. E-Town is a  “…conference where educators meet entrepreneurs, explorers meet economists, and evangelists meet entertainers … and together we challenge the future of everything“. My roles varied from greeting attendees and answering inquiries, to corralling vendors at the Capital Ideas sponsored food truck feast. All in all, it was a great experience where I was able to make a lot of new friends, professional contacts, and even rub shoulders and chat with the presenters.

    Edmonton .Net User Group

    The 2013-2014 season of the Edmonton .Net User Group (EDMUG) is shaping up to be a fun one. My role as both VP and Sponsorship Director sees me wearing few hats. Edmonton has a great .Net community, and each meeting brings out plenty of like minded technology professionals. I’ve already put my bid in to present three topics this year which will include the likes of LightSwitch, Azure, and PowerShell.

    Coding with a Conscience

    Coding with a Conscience is a group of like-minded developers who come together to help non-profits achieve success through technology. I am really excited to be a part of this. Our first journey will be one where we are going to be helping a wonderful organization named Free Footie. Created by Tim Adams, Free Footie  is a free after school soccer league for kids. The team of Coding with a Conscience volunteers are partnering with Tim to create tools that will help Free Footie support the administration and growth of the league.

    More LightSwitch

    Of course I am doing a lot of LightSwitch stuff. The blog has been a bit stale lately, and that’s only because of how heads-down I’ve been with learning and playing with new stuff. I have a number of ideas for LightSwitch based articles, and I’ll be making a more diligent effort to present those in the near future. Visual Studio 2013 is having some say in all this too. There is a lot of new features in VS2013 that are article worthy. I just don’t want to push an article out there too soon. Who knows what may change.

    Azure, Azure, and more Azure

    Over the past year I have been very deep into the Windows Azure world. I even went as far as signing up with other cloud services providers to do some comparisons – so that I could be more objective in what I have to say about Azure. Even after doing that, I have an even more evangelistic view of Azure today than I did a year ago. In fact, I’ll be presenting Azure at one, or probably more, EDMUG meetings this season.

    Visual Studio 2013

    Not sure if this is a fault, but I like to get my hands on and play with the latest/greatest development tools. Visual Studio is one of those. These past few months has seen me putting Visual Studio 2013 through it’s paces. As I move along with more LightSwitch articles, the content will likely be in the context of using Visual Studio 2013.


    My daytime gig has me re-inspired with a new found passion for SharePoint. We have seen a dramatic pick-up in SharePoint business, especially SharePoint 2013. Richard Bourke and Rob Pukanich are each SharePoint gurus. Their passion for SharePoint is infectious, and has me discovering some great and powerful features in the new SharePoint 2013 – something that is invaluable as I move along with my teaching escapades at the local polytechnic (NAIT).

    Other Stuff

    What else?

    Well, our oldest daughter, Alexandra, is continuing her studies at the University of Alberta. With this being her second year, she is starting to find what interests her and where her passions are. She really enjoys the arts; hence her blog and the 365 day challenge that she put herself on.

    Our youngest, Kaitlyn, is in grade 9 and with the community league basketball season under way, as well as the upcoming school team play, she is keeping us busy with car rides to practices and games.

    My wife Linda has been very busy with her photography business and her volunteering. I don’t know how she does it all. I could use some of that endless energy she seems to have.

    Coby seems to have his Fall all figured out. In fact, he’s already started on his planned activities…





  • Deconstructing Cloud by A. Bilobrk

    Posted Aug 27th, 2013 By in Book Review With | No Comments

    The steep learning curve to today’s cloud computing leaves many people scratching their heads, wondering what opportunities do exist with the cloud. If you are still unclear about what today’s cloud computing really means, then you need to read Deconstructing Cloud by Andrea Bilobrk.


    This eBook provides an objective and unbiased look at how the cloud is can transform the way your organization operates. For you c-level people out there, this should be a go to resource. Unlike most cloud computing books, this one is exceptionally easy to read and should be the first reference point for anyone wanting to demystify what cloud computing can do  for your business.


  • Windows Phone App Studio – More Tools Citizen EUAD

    Posted Aug 9th, 2013 By in Windows 8 With | No Comments Windows Phone App Studio – More Tools Citizen EUAD

    (header image courtesy of Microsoft)

    Microsoft has announced the Windows Phone App Studio (Beta), a browser based tool  that will allow you to create a Windows Phone application without writing any code.

    WindowsPhoneAppStudio001(Image courtesy of Microsoft) 


    I wish I heard about this earlier, such as when I learned of LightSwitch several months before the first beta was out. No matter. I’m a fan already, and will likely be on this bandwagon before GA is even announced (pending the receipt of an invitation code I requested of course…hint, hint).

    Most of you who follow my blog already know that I am big champion of the “Citizen Developer“. This tool seems to reinforce what the research is saying. End user application development (EUAD) is on the rise. Tools like these are being delivered to meet an increasingly hungry market of latent developers.

    How long do you think it will be before Google creates a similar tool for Android, and Apple for iOS?

    For some time now I’ve been holding off on buying a Windows Phone. My Samsung Android phone meets my needs today. This new Windows Phone App Studio may just push me to get the Windows Phone now. Is this a strategic move by Microsoft?  Of course it is.

    Much I like I did with LightSwitch, I’m going to keep on eye on this and see how it progresses. I suspect this particular offering is one of, or an iteration of, other tools that will progressively enable more EUAD capabilities. It would seem logical that this would evolve into a tool for creating Windows 8 applications, possibly even integrate some of the LightSwitch development techniques. Who knows.

    Interesting and exciting times indeed.

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