Canada Does Windows Azure: Connect2Fans


I believe that the best way to learn is to learn from each other, so I’m always on the search for stories of Canadian developers who have either built new applications using Windows Azure services or have migrated existing applications to Windows Azure. This is the story of Connect2Fans.

Points of Interest

  • [02:06] Looking underneath the covers of Connect2Fans
  • [02:27] Commentary on using MongoDB running in Windows Azure worker roles rather than using SQL Azure
  • [02:53] How Windows Azure allows Connect2Fans to exist
  • [03:05] Background on being in the ticketing space and needing resources to handle the type of loads the industry deals with, the financial requirements, and why the Cloud is an obvious fit for this type of business.
  • [04:50] Development and technical advantages of Windows Azure as well as a comparison of Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services
  • [05:15] Discussion around developers focusing on writing code rather than attempting to be “ad-hoc network admins”
  • [06:24] Pros of Platform-as-a-Service and Windows Azure
  • [07:03] Misconceptions of a product with “Microsoft” and “Windows” in its name not being able to host PHP
  • [08:00] Running WordPress (PHP) on Windows Azure with no problems
  • [09:10] PHP and the Windows Azure development experience
  • [09:52] Working with different platforms (Facebook, iOS, Android, Windows Phone) consuming web APIs in Windows Azure
  • [12:08] Interesting architecture considerations for communications between devices and Cloud services
  • [12:50] Getting started with Windows Azure/Ramp up process using MSDN and StackOverflow
  • [14:28] Gotchas encountered while ramping up and developing Connect2Fans
  • [15:40] Architecture considerations – knowing the differences between apps on-premises and apps in the Cloud
  • [17:43] Tips and tricks for getting started/learning path to get into the Cloud
  • [19:48] Tips and tricks for migrating existing applications to the Cloud
  • [22:10] Jason’s thoughts about the Cloud and advice to developers


  • PHP-based WordPress front end website
  • .NET-based APIs consumed from various platforms
  • Storage for digital assets in Windows Azure Storage
  • Data stored in MongoDB databases on Windows Azure Worker Roles
  • Scaled infrastructure to support real-time synchronization between scanner devices

logoConnect2Fans set its mission to create a platform which artists, athletes, entertainers, organizations and teams of all sizes can use to sell a variety of products directly to their fans. Using a PayPal account, any individual or small entertainment enterprise can enjoy the power of the Web to sell event tickets, CDs, MP3s, and other memorabilia directly to their fans. This direct-to-fan sales approach dramatically reduces the present day costs for both buyers and sellers. C2F only charges the seller a very modest fee for this transaction service. What the buyer sees is what the buyer pays; no more annoying add-ons.

Jason Lavigne is the Lead Software Architect for Connect2Fans and a co-founder of the company. He has been developing software on various technologies, including Microsoft, for over 25 years and most recently in the event ticketing segment of the entertainment industry.

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