Category: Development

Introducing Microsoft Coco Framework for Blockchain 5
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!

 

 

Microsoft Connect() 2017 Highlights and Announcements - Bring AI Everywhere 6
Data ScienceDevelopmentEvents

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

Microsoft Connect() 2017 Highlights and Announcements - Bring AI Everywhere 7Microsoft 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

Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification 8
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

Webinar Recording: Introduction to Building IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure 9
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

Azure Functions: Extend Execution Timeout Past 5 Minutes 12
Developmentserverless

Azure Functions: Extend Execution Timeout Past 5 Minutes

Azure Functions: Extend Execution Timeout Past 5 Minutes 13Azure 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

Run Azure Stack in the Microsoft Azure Public Cloud 14
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

Programming Arduino with Visual Studio Code 15
DevelopmentOpen Source

Programming Arduino with Visual Studio Code

Programming Arduino with Visual Studio Code 16Microsoft Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform, Node.js-based IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It’s been maturing into a really amazing development tool. It’s not really the tool itself as it’s all the amazing plugins or extensions that are being developed for it that are enable some really amazing functionality and development scenarios. One of these awesome extensions is the “Arduino for Visual Studio Code” extension. This extension adds the ability to program Arduino and Arduino-compatible devices using Visual Studio Code as an alternative to the Arduino IDE. Read More

Azure IoT Developer Kit Preview Started Shipping 17
DevelopmentHardwareInternet of Things

Azure IoT Developer Kit Preview Started Shipping

A couple months ago Microsoft announced the availability of the new Azure IoT Developer Kit Board. This is a board that has integrated sensors, buttons, OLED screen and a few other features. This board makes it even easier to get started developing Azure IoT based solutions without the need to solder, connect wires, or even really have any low level electronics knowledge. Recently, Microsoft started shipping out the first set of Azure IoT Developer Kit Preview version boards for application requests that were submitted over the last couple months. While it’s been stated there’s limited quantity, it’s unclear how many of these Preview version boards will be made available. Read More

OSS Spotlight: Swagger 18
DevelopmentOpen SourceOSS Spotlight

OSS Spotlight: Swagger

There have been a few approaches to make sharing and consuming Web Services easier over the years. Many developers have worked with WSDL and SOAP services, as they were extremely popular in the early 2000’s and the beginnings of the .NET Framework. However, everything has moved on to being REST based and using JSON these days. This is a huge difference, and web service discoverability and sharing has needed to change in big ways as well. Swagger.io is a project that helps make RESTful APIs more easily sharable, discoverable, and self-documenting. Plus, Swagger is cross-platform and supports every popular programming language/framework.

Swagger is a powerful open source framework backed by a large ecosystem of tools that helps you design, build, document, and consume your RESTful APIs.

Read More