Windows Azure Best of Build 2012

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Windows Azure in the Day Two Keynote

 If you have not had a chance to watch anything from Build yet I would highly recommend starting with theday two keynote with Satya Nadella. These are some of the riskiest (and best) demos I've seen at a Microsoft conference to date. Beyond the risk and showmanship they really demonstrated how developers can use Windows Azure to make great applications. There were five major demos for Windows Azure that highlighted many of the ways developers can build connected applications and highly scalable back ends to create impressive applications.

 Mobile Services Demo

In the first demo Josh Twist from the Windows Azure Mobile Services team shows that in just a few lines of code he can take an already useful Windows 8 application and extend it to store data in the cloud, authenticate via Twitter, and send notifications using Windows Notification Services. Best of all he showed that Mobile Services now supports Windows Phone 8 by demonstrating the same app running on the phone.

 ASP.NET and Windows Azure Websites Demo

After Josh, Scott Hanselman demonstrates building and deploying an ASP.NET 4.5 site with Windows Azure Websites that allows for video upload to Windows Azure storage. Some of the new capabilities in ASP.NET 4.5 are highlighted such as Facebook authentication, Web API, Async and OData. Scott also demonstrated some of the fantastic new tooling in Visual Studio 2012  such as page inspector and the new Windows Azure storage functionality.

 Windows Azure Media Services, Cloud Services and SignalR

Scott Guthrie starts with the application Scott Hanselman had just deployed. He extends it even further to use Windows Azure Media Services to automatically encode the videos on upload. Using a few lines of code Scott demonstrates how you can utilize the Media Services API to store, encode and publish video. This demo was really exciting because Scott demonstrated the technology live by recording the audience and uploading to the service where Media Services encoded it and made it available to stream. Scott also shows how you can use cloud services and SignalR to make a much more dynamic experience on the client that scales out to thousands of users.

 Team Foundation Service

Jason Zander shows how using the newly released Team Foundation Service to create and manage a product back log, track issues and also announced that TFS is now free for up to five developers. Jason showed how it is easy to setup continuous integration with Windows Azure Websites.

 Big Data Analysis

Dave Campbell shows how to dig deep and analyze data created by your application by analyzing  trace logs captured from the application demonstrated in the previous demonstrations using tools such as Excel, Hive and HD Insight. He shows how you can quickly create a hive table using LINQPad and then query and chart that data using Hive integrated tooling in Excel and PowerView.  He puts all of the pieces of the puzzle together by creating a video recommendation engine based on the data collected.


"Ask the Gu"

After the keynote Scott Hanselman interviewed Scott Guthrie and took questions on Windows Azure. This is a great session to watch because Scott gives an outline of everything that was announced leading up to and at Build.


Windows Azure @Build Technical Sessions

Beyond the keynote was a ton of deep technical sessions focused on Windows Azure.

There were a total of 24 sessions focused on Windows Azure that were mostly delivered by the very people that design and build the product.


The Top 5 Windows Azure specific sessions in popularity:

Windows Azure Overview by Scott Guthrie

Developing Mobile Solutions with Windows Azure Part I by Josh Twist

Introduction to Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service by Mark Russinovich

Windows Azure Internals by Mark Russinovich

Developing Mobile Solutions with Windows Azure Part II by Nick Harris and Chris Risner



P.S. The source code for the keynote demos should be available within the next week.

Keep an eye on for updates.

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