Cloud4Good Project: Harnessing Azure Functions to aid in the search for missing children

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Children today are technology natives, harnessing technology to play, share, and learn. With this empowerment comes responsibility, both of parents and of the children themselves. Who kids chat with online and what they share can come at a price should it fall into the wrong hands. This challenge is something that keep CEO Amanda Pick and the team at Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) up at night as more and more predators are using online sources to lure children. Last year 45,000 children in Canada went missing. The sole mission of Calgary-based non-profit MCSC is to bring every child home. Part of their challenge is acquiring information on a child (such as last-known whereabouts and contacts) and providing that information to local law enforcement. Alongside members of the City of Calgary and Calgary Police, MCSC partnered with Microsoft in an innovation workshop to understand how Azure Functions, Xamarin, and DevOps best practices can better address their need to quickly provide police with information about children who are reported missing. The resulting application used the following services and practices: Azure Functions, Azure Storage, Continuous Integration, Infrastructure as Code, Visual Studio Team Services, and Xamarin Tools. The goal of the initial 4-day project was to enable MCSC to use automated Azure functionality to extract last-known coordinates, who the child was in contact with, and the sentiment of conversation from social-media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The innovation workshop team comprised members from Microsoft, MCSC, Calgary Police, and the City of Calgary. Attend this session to learn how Azure Function utilization was instrumental in acquiring information from the Twitter API which cut down research time from 30 days to 30 minutes to further aid police in the search for missing children. #Cloud4Good



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