My notes from PDC Session ES 16

Notes from ES 16: A lap around Windows Azure

Windows Azure is an OS system for the cloud

Background

“What is the cloud” it is a set of connected servers on which developers can

  • Install and run services
  • Store & retrieve data

To put it into perspective. Right now if you want to go build and run a desktop app.

  • Need to select hardware, find device drivers, write a file system
  • Write a job scheduler
  • Write an application installer
  • Etc.

Why are we all doubling up on this? We’re also replicating the same stuff with cloud services today.

  • We need to respond to hardware failures,
  • handle increases in traffic
  • Increase storage
  • Apply OS patches
  • Perform live upgrade on our service
  • And want to expand

Then we finally write some logic on top of all of this

On the desktop an OS helps abstract some of this away

Windows Azure is an OS in the cloud to help us just concentrate on writing business logic and not how to handle all the other stuff

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My notes from PDC08 Day 2 keynote

As i mentioned, i’m going to post up all of my notes from the PDC sessions i watch.

Day 1 keynote was about the cloud
Day 2 is all about client technologies

Summary

  • Windows 7 – new UI features, improvements in performance (They demo win7 running on a tiny notepad with 1Gb of ram with ½ the ram still available!)
  • WPF Improvements – RibbonBar control, multitouch. New WPF toolkit released today with visual state manager!
  • Visual studio 2010 will be built on WPF
  • Visual studio – Web.config. Improvement to support set up debug/release/staging config files
  • Live Wave 3 – new “Live Framework” wraps around Live services
  • Live Mesh improvements – Adding support for win mobiles and Macintosh in the next update
  • Office 14 – Is now really integrated into the web with live editing of documents being synced. But now have a fully featured office web, works in IE/firefox and has ribbon bar, looks like same app

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My notes from PDC08 Day 1 Keynote

I shared my notes internally at Readify and since there was such a good response to it, i’m going to post the notes online for all the keynotes and sessions I watch.

Summary:

  • New “Windows Azure”. Easy to build and debug on our own PCs with VS2008 and provision our apps into the cloud in minutes
  • Integration between on premise apps with the cloud, and seeing it more with windows server (on premise with Azure)
  • Identity federation. Using “Geneva” to federate from on premise Active Directory with your cloud services.
  • ALL of Microsoft products will be hosted online on Azure, being auto updated so we don’t have to worry about it (CRM, Exchange, sharepoint, OCS, etc.)
  • I think it is called Azure, because it is a bluish colour (so all of their apps are that colour) and that is the colour of the sky which the clouds are in? Or maybe I’m thinking too much…

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Silverlight MVVM + dependency injection

Update 2009/03/04: Here are 2 links that may help you with your understanding of MVVM

first 2 videos about implementing MVVM, one in WPF and the other in Silverlight http://weblogs.asp.net/craigshoemaker/archive/2009/02/26/hands-on-model-view-viewmodel-mvvm-for-silverlight-and-wpf.aspx and an article that delves into creating a fully functional app http://www.codeproject.com/KB/smart/Sonic.aspx

I attended a talk Jonas did last week on MVVM and it got me excited enough to explore it myself. His blog has a wealth of information, and it has all been summarised in his latest post. By reading his blog and many other bits and pieces around the web i was able to get this working myself. I’m going to put it all together into one blog post to give a complete look at how to incorporate all of it together. I aim to show how it all hooks in together and not just show a diagram saying that you should split things out.

Presumably you already have an idea of what Model/View/ViewModel is. The background and reasoning behind it is beyond the scope of this article, but here is an article I recommend. And also all of Jonas’s articles. But basically MVVM + Dependency injection allows your applications to be loosely coupled with the GREAT advantage that all of your code can now be unit tested, since the UI is just databinding to your classes.

Architecture

MVVM

The application is going to look like the diagram. It will be split up into the usual Model/View/ViewModel components, but I aim to show all of the supporting code that is needed to get it all working.

The application will be a HR system which just show a list of all the employees. I am just going to implement this single method to try and keep this example as simple as possible

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WPF links for beginners

When I was starting to learn WPF I kept a list in OneNote of all the links that I found useful, as I assumed that one day someone else would start learning WPF. Last week I trained a group of people in WPF and shared with them all of these links, so I thought I should share them with the world, I hope it comes in handy for those that have NO idea where they should start on their WPF journey.

WPF basics

History/reasons behind WPF
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480192.aspx

Getting started with WPF (branches off into many sub pages detailing styling, resources, binding, anything you need information on. Is the best place to go to for specifics)
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms742119.aspx

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Converting a DVD to Silverlight media with Expression Encoder

Recently i delivered some training and had it recorded on one of those new cam corders that record straight to DVD. I wanted to reencode my DVD into silverlight media using Expression Blend and then upload it to http://silverlight.live.com however I had some issues so I’ll explain how I got around them.
There are a few issues that need to be addressed

  1. You need a valid MPEG-2 codec installed on your PC so that Expression Blend can read the DVD video
  2. Due to some issues with Expression Blend, you will need to extract the file from the DVD to your computer before trying to import into Expression Blend (otherwise it may mistakenly say that the video is only 40seconds)

So first install a codec pack onto your PC. I recommend http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_lite_codec_pack.htm or http://www.cccp-project.net/

Right now you may just be able to import your DVD into Expression Blend. But if you are getting the incorrect timing issues, then try extracting the DVD to your hard drive first using http://www.videohelp.com/tools/VOB2MPG

Leave a comment if this helped you out

By David Burela

SOAK media links

Trying to collect as many links to news stories as I can. If i have missed some feel free to add them to the comments.

Television Interview
http://9am.ten.com.au/video.htm?vxSiteId=4a40990c-a06c-401b-8663-6f890bb8f3dc&vxChannel=9am%20Technology&vxClipId=1427_9am_590lg1_250708&vxBitrate=300&CMP=LEC-DANCEgetVideoLink – Interview with us Live on the David&Kim show on Channel 10

Media articles
http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Australian-students-win-global-software-competition/0,130061733,339290445,00.htm – Video
http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/soaking-up-their-win/2008/07/14/1215887537506.html – good article
http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,24018304-24170,00.html – *sigh* the article with me slated as the next bill gates. So embarrassing!
http://pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/id;1650429460;fp;2;fpid;1
http://news.smh.com.au/world/aussies-win-tech-prize-for-saving-water-20080709-3c86.html
http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Aussie-students-close-in-on-Microsoft-prize/0,130061733,339290390,00.htm
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=594143

Blog posts
http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080725/winning-the-imagine-cup-world-finals/ – Team member Long Zheng blogging about the Paris experience!

By David Burela