Keeping track of file versions has been a long time issue in the world of software. This remains true if you’re writing source code for an application, command-line scripts, or even authoring a book or documentation. Sure, you could just create .ZIP files with a date/time stamp naming convention, or even adopt some kind of server-based Source Control Management (SCM) system. However, there are a ton of issues that can occur with many of these solutions. These issues are the very reason Linus Torvalds (the creator of the Linux operating system) created the Git version control system. In fact, Linus created Git since all the other solutions available had failed at adequately managing the Linux source code. Read More
The last few years, RightScale has been surveying organizations and putting together the annual “State of the Cloud Report”. The survey includes data collected from 997 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations, and focuses on gathering information about their adoption of the Cloud. Some of the metric included in the report show the percentage of organizations utilizing multiple cloud providers, which cloud services they’re using most, and many more very informative metrics. Read More
The “Microsoft Build” conference is Microsoft’s annual developer conference. Build is the sister conference to the Microsoft Ignite conference. Ignite does have some dev content, but it’s primary focus is on IT Pros. The Build conference is where Microsoft focuses on the Developer community. They also make TONS of product announcements around Microsoft Azure, Xamarin, Visual Studio, and many other products / services at both of these annual conferences. At this years Build conference, scheduled for May 7 – 9, 2018, Microsoft will undoubtedly be announcing many great new features to their products and services, as well as providing some really great sessions on current and new technology! Read More
The book “Python Data Science Handbook: Essential Tools for Working with Data” published by O’Reilly and written by Jake VanderPlas is available for purchase in print, as well as being offered completely Free as an online eBook.
Here’s the book description from the publisher: Read More
Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-532 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Software Developer. Read More
Blockchain is a really interesting technology, but it’s mostly remained very difficult to implement. The “Programming the Blockchain in C#” free eBook is an attempt to make Blockchain development more approachable. And, it showcases using the C# programming language to write code and implement your own use of Blockchain.
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
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
You can purchase the book here: Amazon (Print or Kindle)
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!
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
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.