Tag Archives: Microsoft

#Build 2017 – some exciting things

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

I just finished watching the #Build 2017 keynote and I am really excited by all the new things that were announced in this occasion. There were so many cool things that at the end I started to forget those mentioned at the beginning. That’s why I thought of writing a //build 2017 keynote summary, to serve more for me remembering all the things that I need to keep up with during the next year.

One of the coolest thing is the new Azure Cosmos DB offering. Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database. With the click of a button, Azure Cosmos DB enables you to elastically and independently scale throughput and storage across any number of Azure’s geographic regions. It offers throughput, latency, availability, and consistency guarantees with comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs), something no other database service can offer. What this means is that you have a database where you can store documents, tables, graph data and many more in the same place and use really any DB API to access all the data in nearly real time.

Just to stay in the same database area, the announcement of Azure database for MySql was also a nice surprise. Basically, you get a MySql database as a service, without the need to take care of patching infrastructures and so on.

Further, Microsoft announced at //build 2017 the new Azure IoT Edge, a technology that’s meant to extend “the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.” It’s a cross-platform run time that runs on both Windows and Linux, and it will work on devices that are smaller than a Raspberry Pi. This will solve a lot of problems in IoT scenarios with really small devices, since this new features enables a more straight forward communication between Azure and devices.

Next, the announcement of the new Azure Portal App for iOs and Android, together with the built in full featured Bash shell in the Azure Portal was also a very intriguing announcement. First, the mobile app is not available on Windows 10 mobile devices (I know, there are few of them out there, but still….) and second, the first integrated shell is a Bash shell, not PowerShell (PowerShell will come “some time” in the future). On the other side, this underlines once more the heavy open source approach that Microsoft is showing during last years.

The remote debugging of production web apps using Visual Studio 2017 without any downtime was also a great thing to watch.

Let’s go to the AI part. I was already fairly familiar with Microsoft Cognitive Services, but the announcement of the custom vision API was really exciting. This enables developers to easily train their own vision machine learning models, providing the necessary training data. This really starts to look more and more like democratized AI, which should enable developers to build more and more intelligent applications.

The PowerPoint Translator was also a fairly cool demo, but for me it was not necessarily something new since exactly the same thing was showcased two years ago at the Build conference, but back then it was a Skype extension, called Skype translator. These two are fairly similar.

A final observation: almost all demos were made from MacOS laptops and iPhones.

Watching the //Build 2017 keynote was a very good time investment. I still dream to attend this conference in person at some time 🙂

New Microsoft datacenters in Germany officially announced

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, just announced in Berlin the new cloud strategy for Germany which includes two new Microsoft datacenters, one located in Frankfurt and the second located in Magdeburg. All major Microsoft Cloud services will be offered from the new facilities, including Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online. The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany will most probably go live in the second half of 2016.

The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany underline once more Microsoft’s commitment to data security and data privacy, making sure that all Microsoft cloud customers are able to meet their specific compliance and regulatory needs. The two datacenters are connected through a private network, so that the data flow is completely isolated from the internet.

Further, German and European customers will be able to choose between a global Microsoft cloud service and a local cloud service. If customers opt for the local cloud service, none of the data or metadata will be stored outside Europe. To make everything as transparent as possible, the German company T-Systems will act as a data trustee under German law. What this means is that T-Systems is the only one to decide who gets access to the data stored in the new datacenters and who doesn’t. This means that Microsoft itself won’t have any access to the data. Continue reading

Microsoft cuts back on unlimited OneDrive storage for consumers

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Around one year ago, Microsoft made a very bold announcement: unlimited OneDrive storage for all Office 365 subscribers, consumer plans included. And at that point, OneDrive suddenly became relevant within the cloud storage market. Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced on Monday that OneDrive storage for Office 365 consumer subscriber will go back to the 1 TB threshold.

So Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers won’t have unlimited OneDrive storage anymore and the new limit will be 1 TB, just as it was before last year’s announcement. This change takes effect immediately for all subscribers. Users that have a larger amount of data stored on their OneDrive will have one year time to move the exceeding data elsewhere. If users fail to move their exceeding data elsewhere, they will have read-only access to their OneDrive storage for another 6 months. What happens with that data afterwards is still unclear.  Continue reading

Why Windows Phone is more important than ever for Microsoft

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Last week Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, announced the reorganization of the Microsoft phone business, a process that will also cause the layoff of around 7.800 employees. A big part of the tech press started to make more or less accurate suppositions about what this means. So I read that phones are not important for Microsoft anymore or that the Nokia deal was a total failure. Strangely enough, most of this suppositions start from correct premises but in my opinion arrive to the wrong conclusions, simply because some analysts fail to see the wider picture and to fully understand the Microsoft strategy.

The first thing to understand is that the whole concept of “mobile” has changed. Nowadays, “mobile” is not about the device anymore, but about the mobility of the experience. And this is precisely the strategy Microsoft is going for: enable a truly great mobile experience across devices. This is why Microsoft invests a lot of effort in apps for Android and Google, apps that are meant to enable users to have a great Microsoft cloud experience even on non Windows devices. Back in the days of the Nokia deal, “mobile” was everything about the device itself. In this perspective, acquiring Nokia was the best thing Microsoft could have done at that time. Sure, expectancies were very high and I personally also thought that this would increase the Windows Phone market share in a consistent way.  Continue reading

Microsoft and Docker announce new innovations for Azure IaaS

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Around one year ago Microsoft and Docker started a great partnership meant to continuously innovate and bring new cool features to Azure IaaS that enable organizations around the world to build their next generation cross platform apps. Trying to enumerate all the new features brought to Microsoft Azure in partnership with Docker is not easy at all, but some of them include Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers, Docker VM Extensions for Linux on Azure, Docker CLI support on Windows, Compose and Swarm support on Azure, Visual Studio Tooling for Docker.

These days at the the DockerCon North America Microsoft and Docker announced and demonstrated some new features and updates that take the partnership to a next step.  Continue reading

Bing just redefined the online video search

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Well, yes, you read it right and I am fully aware of all implication when I am saying that Bing just redefined the online video search. At first I didn’t notice it at all, but this morning, when going through all the tech news I stumbled upon this report and I went straight ahead to test it myself.

So, today Bing released some major updates to its video search engine which redefines the online video search. One of the cool new features is that you are able to preview the video, with or without audio, right from the search result page, so you may be able to check first if a certain video is what you were looking for or not.  Continue reading

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 faster than the Ipad Air 2

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet seems to be the fastest flagship tablet according to which.co.uk. Even if the Ipad Air 2 ist the best selling tablet at the current time and Apple enthusiasts claim that it is also the fastest one, it seems that some specific speed test revealed something else: the Surface Pro 3 is 20% faster than the Ipad Air 2.

To assess a tablet’s speed, which.co.uk used the industry-recognised Geekbench software. It puts tablets’ processors through their paces by seeing how quickly they can complete simulations of real-world tasks. Continue reading

Microsoft and VMWare working together on Pester open source project

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

Jeffrey Snover announced at Ignite that Microsoft and VMWare are jointly working together to contribute to an open source project called Pester. Pester is a BDD based test runner for PowerShell which provides a framework for running Unit Tests to execute and validate PowerShell commands and scripts.

But what does this mean? Well when we create some PowerShell scripts, we also have to test them heavily before we use them in production. But testing PowerShell scripts is not always easy since in some cases these scripts interact with critical processes that might bring our test environment to a total failure in just few seconds. And we would need a lot of time to rebuild it.

With Pester this is not a problem any more because we are able to test our script in an isolated framework that will also send out some hints whether our script is performing the expected actions generates the expected results. So Pester is a great tool to safely test and validate PowerShell scripts.

Now, if I did not misunderstand anything, Pester will be shipped by default with Windows 10, which is another great news!

If you want to find out more about Pester, you may refer to the GitHub Wiki. Also on GitHub you may be able to track the progress use the resources other contributors have created and contribute yourself to this project.

Modern productivity powered by Microsoft

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

During the first ever Microsoft Ignite conference we saw a lot of new and impressive features, capabilities and products that will be rolled out shortly or were rolled out on May 4th during the keynote. A major focus was put on modern productivity. Nowadays the workplace is changing fast and productivity needs to be boosted to a whole new level to respond to some challenges like the mobile workforce and the need to collaborate efficiently across geographical boundaries. With the release of Office 2016, Exchange Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2016, Skype for Business Server 2015 and taking advantage of the Office 365 productivity suite, modern productivity is basically redesigned. Here are some new features that will boost end user productivity right away.  Continue reading

Microsoft Partner Technical Services for technical trainings, pre-sales support and advisory services

Published by:

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

I received a lot of questions regarding my day to day job at Microsoft, so I thought it would be useful to write a post about what I am really doing. So, within Microsoft there is an organization called Microsoft Partner Technical Services (PTS). As you may guess, this organization is dealing with Microsoft Partners. We are a bunch of consultants spread over all the world basically and we help Microsoft partners show to their end customers the value added by the Microsoft Cloud (and not only). Microsoft Partner Technical Services comes to our partners with 3 basic offerings: technical trainings (delivered mostly via live webcasts), pre-sales support and advisory services.

Technical trainings

As already stated, technical trainings are mostly offered via live one to many webcasts where consultants share their knowledge on different topics that emerge as very important for the partners. But these trainings are also meant to keep our partners updated about what’s new in the Microsoft cloud, because in the cloud there is something new every day. Here you can find an overview of some trainings available world wide. To register for them you have to be, of course, a Microsoft Partner.  Continue reading