Upcoming Events

Lots of great events coming up in the Carolinas: 1/18/2013  Charlotte, NC:  We’re hosting a Windows 8 “Office Hours” at the Microsoft Office.  More info here.  Essentially, if you’re looking for time to hack on a Windows 8 solution, work on ideas, test some stuff out, enlist some testers – we’re there for you.  1/19/2013  Columbia, SC:  Windows 8 DevCamp.   This event is really shaping up to be great!   Interesting sessions, and hands-on time in the ... [More]

Scrubbing UserId in Windows Azure Mobile Services

First, many thanks to Chris Risner for the assistance on this solution!   Chris is part of the corp DPE team and has does an extensive amount of work with Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) – including this session at //build, which was a great resource for getting started. If you go through the demo of getting started with WAMS building a TodoList, the idea is that the data in the todo list is locked down to each user.   One of the nice things about WAMS is that it’s easy to enforce ... [More]

Calling Stored Procedures from Windows Azure Mobile Services

I was surprised, yet delighted, that Windows Azure Mobile Services uses a SQL database.   Schema-less table storage has its place and is the right solution at times, but for most data driven applications, I’d argue otherwise. In my last post, I wrote about sending notifications by writing the payload explicitly from a Windows Azure Mobile Service.   In short, this allows us to include multiple tiles in the payload, accommodating users of both wide and square tiles.   In my a... [More]

Best Practice for Sending Windows 8 Tiles from Mobile Services

Those that know me know I am not a fan of javascript, in pretty much all of its forms (including node.js), however, I’m really digging Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS).  WAMS allows you to easily provide a back end to applications for storing data, authenticating users, and supporting notifications on not just Windows and Windows Phone, but also iOS with future plans of supporting Android soon. Now, I mention javascript because WAMS provides a slick node-like powered data service that makes it rea... [More]

Rock, Paper, Azure Re-launch!

I’m a little late getting this out (pesky vacations and all) but we re-launched Rock, Paper, Azure (RPA) a few weeks back with weekly competitions! What is Rock, Paper, Azure?  In short, it’s a game, primarily for developers.  It’s also a fun way to learn programming, as the concept is simple however winning is not.  You write code that plays a modified Rock, Paper, Scissors like game and tries to beat everyone else doing the same.   The code that you download has everything re... [More]

Windows 8 Pop Up (and Under), Setting up Family PC Settings

The worst best part about being the Microsoft guru when a new OS ships is configuring PCs for family members.   In Windows 8, it’s a big relief that the new start screen makes things inherently more secure and less worrisome, but in desktop mode and since I have family members who haven’t upgraded yet, I get asked about pop ups and pop “under” windows all the time, and configuring family safety settings.  The challenge is striking a balance between stopping annoying popups while allowing de... [More]

Azure this Week!

Lots of things going on in Windows Azure this week!  First up, I’ll be presenting at the TRINUG on Windows Azure on Wednesday, Nov. 14th 2012 .   If you’re in the area, stop by! This Wednesday, the corp team is also holding a Windows Azure conference appropriately named Windows Azure Conf,  be sure to check it out.    The event will be streamed online via Channel 9 and include a keynote from ScuttGu: On November 14, 2012, Microsoft will be hosting Windows AzureConf... [More]

A Windows 8 Feature You Won’t See or Talk About, but Everyone Loves

I’m going to talk about one of my favorite Windows 8 features – it’s one that everyone will love, but no one really knows much about.  In fact, it’s one that is so good, you’d think it’s a problem.  (Like, if you hit the power button and your machine _instantly_ slept, you’d think there is a problem, wouldn’t you?) I’ve got 2 disclaimers.  Obviously I work for MSFT so I’m biased, but the second one is, to Joe’s disgust, I actually have an iPad in house.  The excuse is that I have a larg... [More]

Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) Windows Azure Web Sites Explained

Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Windows Azure Technical Evangelist Brady Gaster conclude their Windows Azure Web Sites intro series by going over the differences between Azure and shared hosting, pricing, scaling, cpu consumption, the reserved vs. shared model, custom DNS, and much, much more. Watch Part 1 After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Start Your Free 90 Day Trial of Windows Azure Step #2 – Download the Tools for Windows 8 App Development Step #3 – Start bui... [More]

Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) What is Windows Azure Web Sites?

Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney welcome Windows Azure Technical Evangelist Brady Gaster to the show as they discuss Windows Azure Web Sites. In part one of this series, tune in as they chat about what it is, what its key benefits are for web developers and agencies, how the Azure Web Sites infrastructure works for easier site deployment, an intro to the web sites gallery, as well as a special announcement for .NET applications. After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Start Your F... [More]

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