Windows Azure Mobile Services Webinar [Hebrew]

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a one-hour webinar on Windows Azure Mobile Services. If you follow my blog, you already know that this is one of the technologies I am most excited about. In the webinar, we covered the basic capabilities such as data access, push, and authentication, and had time to discuss some additional (newer) features like Custom API and Notification Hubs. We have mostly seen demos from Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but the backend we built is also perfectly capable of dealing with iOS and Android clients. The demo app I used is my good...
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Talk from Visual Studio Live! Orlando: Windows Azure Media Services

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This morning, I gave a talk on Windows Azure Media Services at Visual Studio Live! Orlando. This is my fourth Visual Studio Live! conference this year, but the first time this session was selected for the conference agenda. It's based on my experiences from the last year or so, that I spent understanding customers' needs and tailoring custom solutions and POC applications that use Windows Azure Media Services. In the talk, we looked at the basic feature set of Windows Azure Media Services: video on demand, managing media assets, encoding assets to a variety of output formats including smooth streaming,...

Capturing Dumps of Windows Azure Web Sites

Monday, July 1, 2013

Among the hundreds of new feature announcements at Build, one gem is hidden in plain sight: an improvement to the Kudu platform (Windows Azure Web Sites) which enables you to capture a dump file of your website’s process across the wire. No more remoting into the destination VM, fiddling around with tool downloads, and putting the dumps in a shared FTP folder. You can now generate a minidump – or even a full dump if you need to – by hitting a diagnostics endpoint on your website. Specifically, if you set up a Windows Azure Web Site at...
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Node.js and Windows Azure: A Love Story

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Node.js and Windows Azure work great together. Windows Azure is a perfect host for running Node.js web sites, web services, and other kinds of applications. In my AzureConf and Visual Studio Live! talks this year I’ve been telling the story of this integration, and figured it would be a good idea to document some of the demos I use. Shameless plug: I will be delivering the Node on Azure talk again at Visual Studio Live! Redmond in August. There is still time to register with an early bird discount and an additional speaker discount if you use the...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 4: Push Notifications

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In the previous posts we explored data and authentication on the backend and client-side. This post explains how the Rent a Home application uses push notifications on all four platforms to let users know immediately when a new apartment listing is added. First, it's important to understand the general model used by all mobile platforms for push notifications. The mobile application calls a set of local APIs to obtain a push token, referred to as channel URI, registration id, or device token on the various platforms. The mobile application then has to send that push token to the backend, which...
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Building the Next YouTube: Windows Azure Media Services

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My third (and last) talk at the SELA Developer Practice was about Windows Azure Media Services. If you haven't explored it yet, it's a SaaS offering for uploading, encoding, managing, and delivering media to a variety of devices, scaled by the power of Windows Azure. A couple of months ago this blog featured a detailed overview of one of the proof-of-concept workflows I built with Windows Azure Media Services, so I won't repeat myself. If you are considering Windows Azure Media Services for your own application or service, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help. If...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 3: Authentication

Monday, April 8, 2013

Last time around, we explored the user interface and the server script for our apartment listings application. Today we'll see how to add authentication to the mix, and limit certain operations only to authenticated users. This is particularly important in the Rent a Home application, because you don't want anonymous users deleting and updating apartment listings! In fact, you'd probably want only the user that created an apartment listing to have the right to update or delete it. NOTE: Windows Azure Mobile Services is configured by default to enable any user with the application URL and application key to perform...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 2: UI and Data

Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the previous installment, we saw the general UI of the application. We'll now turn to see how that UI was implemented on all four platforms. If you're looking for a quick start or documentation on Mobile Services, you should take a look at the Windows Azure Mobile Developer Center. Android The model class for apartment listings on Android is the following: public class Apartment implements Serializable { private int id; private String address; private boolean published; private int bedrooms; private double latitude; private double longitude; private String username; //Getters and setters omitted...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 1: Introduction

Friday, March 29, 2013

For my Visual Studio Live! talk on Windows Azure Mobile Services, I decided to go beyond the "todolist" quick start samples and implement an application that illustrates more framework-specific and platform-specific features. The application is called "Rent a Home", and helps users share apartments for rent and view apartments for rent on a map around their location. Although this is not a production quality application -- for one thing, there is no way to contact the apartment owner! -- it's a more realistic illustration of why you would want a shared backend for your mobile application on all four...

Taking Windows Azure Media Services on a Real-World Spin

Sunday, January 20, 2013

During the last few weeks I have been involved in a very interesting project with lots of potential, using Windows Azure Media Services. In a nutshell, Windows Azure Media Services supports encoding, management, and streaming of media from Windows Azure, in a completely hosted solution. The client requested a proof-of-concept end-to-end solution that involves uploading existing media assets to Windows Azure, encoding them to smooth streaming formats, and delivering them to an audience using Windows computers, iOS devices, and Android devices. (The client’s current solution involves shipping of media files to a third party company, which takes care...