Architects at Work


Architects @ Work!

Here in Microsoft’s TED (Technical Evangelism and Development) organization, we believe in hands-on architecture. A good part of our charter involves working with customers on amazing new applications that take our platform in new directions or demonstrate exciting new use cases. Here are some examples of “epic”
technologies and applications we’re working on now:

  • Our Nitrogen.io Internet of Things framework, originally developed for Raspberry Pi and now expanded to a wide variety of devices and protocols, is an easy way to securely connect devices using JavaScript and node.js. A number of the startups in our IOT accelerator (co-sponsored with American Family Insurance) are now using it to connect their gadgets to the internet. Check it out!
  • Several of our architects and developers hosted a small, construction-focused information provider for a hackfest in Microsoft’s Building 20, specially remodeled for these sorts of events. The actual data in this case had to remain on-premise for contractual reasons, but the search index (using SOLR) was hosted in the cloud, and  GPS-enabled, location-aware mobile client running on Azure’s Mobile Services (for iOS, Android and Windows Phone) was built. A cool example of a hybrid app!
  • As John notes in his blog, we hosted a number of companies for a hackfest around the actor-based framework called Project Orleans. While Orleans was originally created for gaming, we worked with, among others, a financial services company to help them with an innovative Azure and Orleans-based portfolio modeling application. The actor paradigm provides an easy on-ramp on to the cloud, a stateful middle tier, and transparent scalability – all of which make it attractive for large-scale cloud applications. We’re also seeing a lot of application for actor models in Internet of Things apps, where an actor can be a virtual reflection of a device, or group of devices.
  • As part of the Duke of York’s iDEA (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) program, we have been helping to develop a cloud-based STEM curriculum, with code and applications, for UK schools.
  • With a number of companies we are using new capabilities in Azure such as HDInsight and the exciting new machine learning workbench AzureML to unlock new insights in data. In particular, it’s now possible not only to capture but to analyze the reams of data produced by device telemetry to build, for example, applications that can predict the failure of a given part and schedule maintenance before the failure occurs.

We’re keeping busy, as you see! – And we have a lot more in progress, so stay tuned for more.

Comments (2)

  1. gduncan411 says:

    The nitrogen.io link above is borked. Kill the the www on the http://nitrogen.io/ URL…  🙂

  2. barrybriggs says:

    Thanks Greg. Fingers are well trained to do the www thing.

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