List of Azure sessions at PDC 2010

Now that PDC has finished, I decided to collect all of the Azure sessions up so that I could tick off which ones I have viewed, and which ones I have yet to watch. Most them them don’t have the session available as a download, but they are all available as a live stream immediately!

CD07: Building Windows Phone 7 applications with the Windows Azure Platform
CS01: Building High Performance Web Applications with the Windows Azure Platform
CS02: Building Scale-Out Database Solutions on SQL Azure
CS03: Building, Deploying, and Managing Windows Azure Applications
CS04: Composing Applications with AppFabric Services
CS05: Connecting Cloud & On-Premises Apps with the Windows Azure Platform
CS06: Enabling New Scenarios and Applications with Data in the Cloud
CS07: Identity & Access Control in the Cloud
CS08: Inside windows Azure
CS09: Migrating and Building Apps for Windows Azure with VM Role and Admin Mode
CS10: Open in the Cloud: Windows Azure and Java
CS11: Windows Azure Storage Deep Dive
FT04: Building Web APIs for the Highly Connected Web
FT07: Lessons Learned from Moving Team Foundation Server (TFS) to the Cloud

By David Burela

My notes from PDC10 day 1 Keynote


Keynote 1

  • New IE9 preview out. No real news apart from they are putting a lot of emphasis on HTML5
  • There is a new profiling tool for Windows Phone 7!
  • New OData SDK

Keynote 2

All about Azure

  • Extra small instance ($0.05/hour)
  • Remote desktop
  • New “Virtual Machine” role. Take a Windows Server 2008 R2 image and upload
  • Enhancements to Azure Access Control Service. Can federate authentication to Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.
  • App fabric caching available
  • New Azure app composition service

Other links

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I’m presenting on Windows Phone 7 at the Melbourne Mobile SIG

I’ve done a few presentations on Windows Phone 7 now. I still haven’t processed and uploaded my talk on Metro UI concepts, but I’ll get it up next month.

I am doing another presentation next week in Melbourne, this time I convinced Jarred Sargent to join me as a co-presenter.


Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place
Melbourne, Victoria 3006

5:30pm onwards


Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s latest approach at the mobile phone market. It is a drastic shift away from their previous attempts at trying to bring Windows XP feel into the palm of your hand. The entire WP7 experience has been standardised to follow the “Metro” theme which embraces concepts such as discoverability, content over chrome, and touch as the primary input (without the fiddly stylus). Microsoft do not actually create these phones themselves, they create the software and hardware manufacturers produce the phones. Similar to how Google does it with Android.

Join David Burela & Jarred Sargent as they give an overview of what the Windows Phone 7 platform is and how to get started with it.

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Community report: Melbourne MXUG August

A few weeks ago I attended the MXUG hosted by Thoughtworks, the Melbourne X(any technology) User Group.

It was my first time attending MXUG, the group was mostly attended by Ruby on Rails and Java developers. There were over 40 people there but only myself and 2 other .net developers, it was a very different experience from my usual user groups. I thought that others might be interested in what goes in at a usergroup.

The evening was divided into 2 full talks, Pizza & beer break, and then lightning talks for anyone that wanted to stand up and talk. I’ve tried to give a summary of what topics were talked about.


The first talk was a full length one done by Robert who talked about Chef

Chef is a server configuration tool for *nix / BSD machines. You have a series of “cook books” which define server configurations, such as “have folders configured this way”, “must have apache installed”, “install php”, “xcopy from the drop folder”, anything you might do to usually configure a server.

All of the cookbooks sit in your GIT server, you then push the cookbooks to the chef server. The chef clients (the computers / servers installed with the chef client) then use the cookbooks to make recipes.

In a way you can think of it as being like TFS deployer for the *nix world.

The chef recipes are Ruby DSL. The chef system is smart enough to know the difference between Apt-get and Yum. You just say “get the apache package” and it will sort out how to get it. Chef uses CouchDB under the covers.


Lightning talks

Text to speech commands in your workflow

@BrentSnook did a quick 5 min talk on cool things they have been doing with text to speech commands.

On macs it is “say”, on linux it is “festival”.

e.g. say “hello” will make the computer read out ‘hello’ in the default voice.

Their idea was to put the say command into their scripts, so that you could hear when a build complets

rake | say “Build completed sir”

Cofee script

Danial then mentioned Cofee script for. He summed it up as “it is like javacript, but you hate it less”. He mentioned that it is a simpler syntax for lots of common things you’d have to try to code around, like have a reference to ‘.this’. It is compiled down to javascript.

You can still use it with JQuery (that is about all he had time to mention).

Introducing browser automation to an existing codebase

Devs test own code has mixed results

Getting BA/testers to write tests is more useful, tools like cucumber help. The problem is trying to get a BA’s computer set up to run cucumber tests can be quite an ordeal.

he uses a .bat script to install prereqs onto a machine (tomcat, java, etc). then uses gems to install the rest.

Then he runs a command script to automate the browser. That way the BAs can see if the tests are working, and see that the system does work.

By David Burela

Who is on the Windows Azure team in Australia

I just noticed this blog post

It lists all of the Microsoft Australia staff that are working with Windows Azure platform. If you looking for a Microsoft contact to ask questions of, they would be a great place to start.

By David Burela

Community report: Sydney cloudcamp 2010 – Quest

The 6th lightning talk at the cloudcamp was by Guy Harrison (@GuyHarrison) from Quest software

He talked about how they are changing their SQL tool ‘Toad’ to work well with the new cloud databases and even how they are doing cross database queries and migrations.

By David Burela

Free Silverlight & Azure beta exams

Microsoft has 2 new certification exams coming Feburary 2011: Silverlight 4 and Windows Azure.

Microsoft has just announced the availability of the beta exams for both of these products. The exams are available to be taken until November 17 and are FREE to take. Previously these were only going to be available at PDC, but you can now take the exam at your closest Prometric venue

They are a great way to see what type of content will be on the exams. If you have never taken a certification exam before then this is also a good inexpensive way to experience the exam process.

Microsoft Silverlight 4

The free exam offer and codes

Information about what will be on the exam

Windows Azure

The free exam offer and codes

Information about what will be on the exam

By David Burela

Developer Blog Banter #2 response

This is my response to the 2nd Developer Blog Banter. The question asked is

How do you organise your tests. Do you separate your unit tests, integration tests and UI tests into separate projects? Do you do anything specific to keep track of your tests? What naming conventions do you use? Do you run them before a check in or is that what the build server is for?


Most of my testing efforts focus on unit testing. I structure it so that I have a unit test project per code project. For example


If it is a really small application with only a logic project and a host, then I will usually roll the tests into a single unit test project.

Naming conventions old

My naming conventions of my unit tests have change from project to project. On my last project I used to put all unit tests for a class into a single test class and do name each test something similar to this TheBusinessLogicCreatePersonMethodShouldReturnANewPerson()

However I found the names too long to quickly see what broke. Having them all the tests in a single TestClass combined with the tests being sorted alphabetically in the test results it would make it really hard to see what area of my code had broken.

Naming conventions new

I was talking to Damian Maclennen who showed me an example of how he is setting up his BDD tests. I took his approach of using extension methods and bastardised it into my new naming convention.

In my unit test project, I have a namespace for each logic class I am testing. E.g. Person

Inside of that namespace I have a TestClass for each method I am testing on that class. I name the test class with the method name and ‘Should’ appened to the end, e.g.

Finally I have all of my tests for that method inside that class. This brings it out so my tests look like

namespace DavidProject.BusinessLogicTests.Person
    public class CreatePersonShould
        public void NotCrashWhenPassedNull()

When I run my tests in Resharper, I will then see all of the tests nested nicely by class name, and then all of the tests for that method.

When do I run them?

Whenever I change a big chunk of code. I don’t practice TDD, I usually create tests and code together as I write (or slightly after I have finished writing the code).

I haven’t set it up to run them on the build server on my current project, that is something I’ll get running this week.

Other forms of testing

I don’t do automated UI tests as I feel the effort required to script them isn’t worth the pay off as they are very brittle.

By David Burela

Developer Blog Banter #2: How do you test your applications?

Last time we discussed how you organise your technology stack. This month’s discussion point is around testing your applications.

How do you organise your tests. Do you separate your unit tests, integration tests and UI tests into separate projects? Do you do anything specific to keep track of your tests? What naming conventions do you use? Do you run them before a check in or is that what the build server is for?
If you are not testing, then how would you like to test your apps if given the opportunity?

I apologise, it has been a while since the last Developer Blog Banter. I was too busy getting my applications ready for the launch of Windows Phone 7.

As usual, comment on this post when you join the Developer Blog Banter and I’ll add your response below


  1. David Burela – testing applicaitons
  2. Liam Mclennan – testing, huh! what is it good for?
  3. Tarn Barford – How do you test your applications?
  4. Eric Ridgeway – I can haz tests?
  5. Peter Gfader – How do you test your applications?

By David Burela