Keep your Eye On Earth

Last November saw the release to web of the project I led for the 8 months previous. Eye  On Earth is a portal to the masses of environmental data that the European Environment Agency collect. Initially launched in 2008 as ‘Water Watch’ our team have re-designed and re-architected the system to allow extensibility to other…


XML Namespaces and Prefixes

This entry may be useful to people confused by BizTalk’s inclination to insert “ns0” into XML messages, or to anyone confused by XML Namespaces in general. Someone once asked me why their XML document wasn’t validating. They thought that it was because the schema was expecting messages with a default namespace of “uri:my-namespace” but the…


Introduction to SQL Server StreamInsight

StreamInsight is a platform being released alongside SQL Server 2008 R2 to enable the development of Complex Event Processing (CEP) applications. So what does that mean? If you have something which is giving output as an unbounded data stream (the example shown at PDC09 was a power monitor to a laptop, but this can be…


Ruby on Rails on Windows Azure with SQL Azure

I was recently talking to a customer about the possibility of moving a web site from Linux to Windows Azure. The hosting costs of the application are not excessive, and the customer is happy with the service received. Nevertheless they were very interested in exploring the hosting costs and potential future benefits of the Windows…


Running Memcached in Windows Azure

Memcached is a distributed cache used to help speeding up large scale web applications by taking pressure off the database. Memcached is used by many of the internet’s biggest sites.   A distributed cache is one of the things that I’ve been hoping to see released for Windows Azure for quite a while, and I…


Dynamic XML Reader with C# and .Net 4.0

Along with the new features of .Net 4.0 (including the long awaited Tuple classes, BigInteger, extra Code Access Security stuff, and a brilliant new feature Code Contracts) is the dynamic keyword. This keyword is designed to allow better COM interoperability. Although it probably won’t make an appearance in everyday programming, it will help with interop…