A SQL Saturday in Cambridge – Buck Woody’s Ragtime Database Workshop

The SQL Server community is really engaged. They are an active bunch on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, they help each other on forums, they attend conferences. But that isn’t enough interaction – the community started a grass-roots effort to hold local conferences on a Saturday. Free conferences. Odds are there’s one near you… http://www.sqlsaturday.com/default.aspx ……

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Windows Azure End to End Examples

I’m fascinated by the way people learn. I’m told there are several methods people use to understand new information, from reading to watching, from experiencing to exploring. Personally, I use multiple methods of learning when I encounter a new topic, usually starting with reading a bit about the concepts. I quickly want to put those…

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Big Data – A Microsoft Tools Approach

(As with all of these types of posts, check the date of the latest update I’ve made here. Anything older than 6 months is probably out of date, given the speed with which we release new features into Windows and SQL Azure) I don’t normally like to discuss things in terms of tools. I find…

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Application Lifecycle Management Overview for Windows Azure

Developing in Windows Azure is at once not that much different from what you’re familiar with in on-premises systems, and different in significant ways. Because of these differences, developers often ask about the specific process to develop and deploy a Windows Azure application – more formally called an Application Lifecycle Management, or ALM. There are…

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Team Foundation Server (TFS) in the Cloud – My Experience So Far

I recently joined a software development project that involves not only myself and other internal Microsoft employees, but a partner and a customer as well. We are building a hybrid solution that uses assets on premises as well as Windows Azure for processing. When we put the team together we picked a methodology (Agile) for…

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How Microsoft helps you NOT break your Windows Azure Application: Storage Services Versioning

One of the advantages of using Windows Azure to run your code is that you don’t have to constantly manage upgrades on your platform. While that’s a big advantage indeed, it immediately brings up the question – how do the upgrades happen? Microsoft upgrades the Azure platform in periodic increments, and the components that are…

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The Data Scientist

A new term – well, perhaps not that new – has come up and I’m actually very excited about it. The term is Data Scientist, and since it’s new, it’s fairly undefined. I’ll explain what I think it means, and why I’m excited about it. In general, I’ve found the term deals at its most…

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Big Data and the Cloud – More Hype or a Real Workload?

Last week Microsoft announced several new offerings for “Big Data” – and since I’m a stickler for definitions, I wanted to make sure I understood what that really means. What is “Big Data”? What size hard drive is that? After all, my laptop has 1TB of storage – is my laptop “Big Data”? There are…

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Creating a Distributed Computing System Using a Windows Azure Queue

The Windows Azure Queue component, like all Windows Azure components (Roles, Storage, App Fabric, SQL Azure) can be used by itself or with other Windows Azure components. That’s why I refer to Windows Azure as “Distributed Computing” rather than “cloud”. Having a distributed off premise queue has a lot of use-cases. An interesting use-case is…

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Rip and Replace or Extend and Embrace?

As most of you know, I don’t like the term “cloud” verymuch. It isn’t defined, which means it can be anything. I prefer “distributedcomputing”, which is more technically accurate and describes what you’re doingin more concrete terms. So when you think about Windows and SQL Azure, you don’thave to think about an entire product –…

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