Southworks @ Microsoft //build/


It’s been a busy month preparing for //build/ , Microsoft’s annual developer conference. With the recent launches of Windows 8, Surface RT and Windows Phone 8, there’s a lot of cool stuff Microsoft is showing off at the conference. We’ve had the privilege of helping some awesome people create cool demos for the keynotes and breakout sessions. If you missed them live, you can visit Channel 9 to catch up on all the action.

Over the course of the today’s keynote by Satya Nadella, Scott Hanselman and Scott Guthrie showed several new technologies/features by updating the BuildClips Web application that lets users browse, play and upload personal videos.


1. Building and Extending Web Apps to Windows 8

Technology highlights: DotNetOpenAuth, Entity Framework 6, Windows Azure Tooling in Visual Studio, Web API and Windows Azure Web Sites

Using DotNetOpenAuth this ASP.NET application for handling videos supports Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft account authentication. While a SQL database is used for metadata, the videos are uploaded into blob storage, which easily scales to support required capacity. With the Azure Portal and Visual Studio it’s straightforward to publish the ASP.NET application to Windows Azure Websites. Once deployed you can scale the app through the portal by changing the mode to shared or reserved, and increasing the number of instances. By using Web API the application exposes an HTTP service that returns all videos. The Web API enables easy access to a broad range of clients, including Windows 8.

2. Using Windows Azure Media Services

Technology highlights: Windows Azure Media Services with Visual Studio and Windows 8

Consistent with other Azure services, you can easily manage Windows Azure Media Services right from the portal. With the latest update, you can even begin using Media Services to upload and encode videos without writing any code. But of course, you likely want to, and the demo shows how to consume the Windows Azure Media Services SDK in Visual Studio to create a Web application that ingests and encodes a video. Uploading the video into Media Services is a snap with the Windows 8 application.

3. Building N-Tier Cloud Services with Real-Time Communications

Technology highlights: Windows Azure Worker role and Windows 8 apps using SignalR

Using SignalR, the demo incorporates real-time, asynchronous messages from the video Web app to the Windows 8 client. With the Visual Studio project templates, it’s a breeze to add a Worker Role and update it to query the status of each video being encoding, and use SignalR to send it as tracing information to the Windows 8 client.

4. Deploying and Managing Windows Azure apps

Technology highlights: Windows Azure Management portal, Windows Azure Store, New Relic

This demo shows how to monitor and manage the Windows Azure Cloud Services that power the Windows 8 application. It also shows how to provision a partner services (e.g. New Relic) from the new Windows Azure Store.

Tune in and see what’s happening at //build/ – it’s a great time to be a developer with the new releases from Microsoft!


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