Category: Development

ArchitecturecommunityDevelopmentInfrastructureVideo

Microsoft Redefines Leadership in Top 100 Global Technology Leader list by Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has released their first Top 100 Global Technology Leaders list to define new criteria for determining leadership in the 21st century. They’ve already been tracking tons of metrics on companies all around the world for their clients, and have decided to combine it all to create this new list. Thomson Reuters feels they’ve created a first-of-its-kind ranking methodology for the technology sector.

Spoiler: Microsoft ranked #1! Read More

BlockchainDevelopment

Mastering Blockchain Book from Imran Bashir

Blockchain is a revolutionary, yet complex technology to understand. There’s tons of information online about both Bitcoin and Blockchain, as well as related technologies like Cryptography and others. However, often times there’s no really good substitute for sitting down to read a good book. Here’s a great book I found (and purchased myself) that walks through explaining what Blockchain is in great detail, as well as other surrounding technologies:

Mastering Blockchain: Deeper insights into decentralization, cryptography, Bitcoin, and popular Blockchain frameworks

Here’s the abstract for the book:

Blockchain is a distributed database that enables permanent, transparent, and secure storage of data. The blockchain technology is the backbone of cryptocurrency – in fact, it’s the shared public ledger upon which the entire Bitcoin network relies – and it’s gaining popularity with people who work in finance, government, and the arts.

Blockhchain technology uses cryptography to keep data secure. This book gives a detailed description of this leading technology and its implementation in the real world.

This book begins with the technical foundations of blockchain, teaching you the fundamentals of cryptography and how it keeps data secure. You will learn about the mechanisms behind cryptocurrencies and how to develop applications using Ethereum, a decentralized virtual machine. You will explore different blockchain solutions and get an exclusive preview into Hyperledger, an upcoming blockchain solution from IBM and the Linux Foundation. You will also be shown how to implement blockchain beyond currencies, scability with blockchain, and the future scope of this fascinating and powerful technology.

Happy Learning Blockchain! It’s really pretty amazing!

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfrastructure

Personal Assistants in the Cloud and Clippy’s Comeback!

Personal Assistants. Are they relevant, or just a fad like the Nintendo Wii? There seem to be personal assistants being added to everything, from smartphones, to watches, to speakers. And now, a Personal Assistant is coming to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft is reviving Clippy to be the Cloud Assistant you need for helping work with and maintaining your Microsoft Azure cloud resources. Read More

BlockchainDevelopment

Introducing Microsoft Coco Framework for Blockchain

Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. These cryptocurrencies use Blockchain to implement a secure, write-once-read-many transaction ledger. However, there are many benefits of Blockchain that can be realized for Enterprise and other uses. Although, the downside is that so far it’s been a bit difficult to implement Blockchain into a custom solution. For this reason Microsoft is building out the Coco Framework in an effort to make it easier to implement Blockchain technology for Enterprise solutions.

What is the Coco Framework?

The Coco Framework is NOT a blockchain ledger itself. Rather, Coco is a Blockchain ledger framework that leverages a combination of trusted execution environments, advanced cryptography and innovative blockchain-focused consensus mechanisms to open up new blockchain enabled scenarios across industries.

Here’s a short video from Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, where he describes what Coco Framework is and what it’s for:

To get the primary information from the video more easily, here’s a summary of the topics and points Mark makes in the above video:

What enterprises need from blockchain…

There are a few issues Enterprises have with being able to use a public Blockchain ledger for their own needs. Because of this, the Enterprise will need to implement their own Blockchain ledgers.

Here’s a list of some of the “traditional” Blockchain issues that Coco Framework is built to address and solve:

  • Throughput and latency – The overall throughput and latency of transaction validation within Blockchain has traditionally been a bit slow. Coco Framework addresses this and enables Blockchain to approach database speeds.
  • Confidentiality – Confidentiality is more of an issue and concern for Enterprises than it likely is with a public Blockchain ledger. For this reason Coco Framework offers Richer, more flexible, business-specific confidentiality models to be used.
  • Distributed Governance – A core fundamental of Blockchain is its Distributed nature. However, with a private Blockchain there needs to be adequate controls over this distribution. Coco Framework addresses this with Network policy management through distributed governance.
  • Non-Deterministic Transactions – To enhance the capabilities of Blockchain, Coco Framework extends support for non-deterministic transactions to be used within the system.

With the addition of the above mentioned capabilities, Coco Framework offers a trusted foundation when integrating existing Blockchain protocols to deliver enterprise-ready ledger solutions. Coco enables complete solutions to be delivered that open up broad, high scale scenarios across many different industries.

Coco Will be Open Source

Currently, (at the time of writing this) Microsoft has not yet publicly released the Coco Framework. However, Microsoft is planning to release the Coco Framework to Open Source in early 2018. Along with their open approach to Blockchain, Coco will be compatible with any Blockchain ledger protocol, and will be able to operate in the cloud as well as on-premises.

Happy Blockchaining!

 

 

Data ScienceDevelopmentEvents

Microsoft Connect() 2017 Highlights and Announcements – Bring AI Everywhere

Microsoft Connect() is a virtual conference that is meant to Inspire developers to build the apps of the future. Today, Day 1 of Connect(), started with a keynote from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group sharing how Microsoft is empowering developers to lead the new digital revolution by creating apps that will have a profound impact on the world. There are lots of feature announcements and other great content and highlights included in Connect() in addition to the inspiration given by Scott and others. This post lists out some highlights of some of the things announced and discussed at Microsoft Connect() 2017. Read More

DevelopmentOpen SourceOSS Spotlight

Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification

A while back I wrote an OSS Spotlight post about the Swagger project. In short, Swagger is “the world’s most popular API tooling”. It’s a powerful open source framework backed by a very large ecosystem of tools that help you design, build, document, and consume your RESTful APIs. The Swagger v3.0 Specification was contributed to the OpenAPI Initiative, and thus Swagger has been merged with OpenAPI. Basically, Swagger is now OpenAPI. Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentVideo

Webinar Recording: Introduction to Building IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure

Here’s a webinar I hosted for Opsgility recently titled “Introduction to Building IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure”. In this webinar, I provide an overview of building Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with Microsoft Azure. I discuss the different services within Azure IoT Suite for building IoT solutions, as well as general architecture patterns used to build manageable and maintainable IoT solutions in the cloud. In addition to all the amazing Azure cloud capabilities, it also covers the basics around IoT prototyping hardware using Raspberry Pi and Arduino hardware platforms, as well as using Visual Studio to build Windows 10 UWP apps that can run on the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system. Read More

Developmentserverless

Azure Functions: Extend Execution Timeout Past 5 Minutes

Azure Functions is the Serverless compute option within the Microsoft Azure platform. One of the biggest benefits of Azure Functions, and Serverless compute, is that you only pay when your code is actually executing. However, there has been a limitation of Azure Functions in the duration of how long a Function of code can run. This execution time was limited by a hard limit originally set to 5 minutes. For background processes that can be very limiting under certain circumstances. Thankfully, there has recently been an update to Azure Functions that allows you to configure your Azure Functions “maximum execution timeout” to be a little higher! Read More

Azure StackDevelopment

Run Azure Stack in the Microsoft Azure Public Cloud

The Azure Stack announcement we’ve been waiting for for about 2 years has finally come; Microsoft announced the ability to order Azure Stack hardware from partners is available. There also another feature / product that was a part of that announcement that is really an amazing release that is part of the Microsoft Azure Stack ecosystem. The other feature is the Azure Stack Development Kit. The Azure Stack Development Kit, while not meant for production environments, can be used to install and run Microsoft Azure Stack on your own slightly less resourceful hardware without requiring you to purchase an expensive Azure Stack system. The Azure Stack Development Kit allows you to run Azure Stack on your own hardware for Development and Testing purposes. An additional scenario that is enabled is the ability to host Azure Stack in Microsoft Azure. What?! Yes, you read that correctly. Keep reading; I’ll explain Why and How this is done. Read More