Category Archives: Boston Azure User Group

Related to http://bostonazure.org

October Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Greater Boston area which you can attend in person and for FREE (or low cost).

Since this summary page is – by necessity – a point-in-time SNAPSHOT of what I see is going on, it will not necessarily be updated when event details change. So please always double-check with official event information!

updates: Added Tech Boston event + more details on Boston Azure

Know of any more cloud events of interest to the Windows Azure community? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let us know in the comments.

Events are listed in the order in which they will occur.

October Events

1. Mongo Boston

  • when: Mon 03-Sep-2011, 9:00-5:00 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Provided
  • cost: $30
  • what: The main Azure-related content is a talk by Jim O’Neilon using Mongo with the Windows Azure Platform – from the published program description: “MongoDB in the Cloud, Jim O’Neil – Developer Evangelist, Microsoft: MongoDB is synonomous with scale and performance, and, hey, so is cloud computing! It’s peanut butter and chocolate all over again as we take a look at why you might consider running MongoDB in the cloud in general and also look at the alpha release of MongoDB on Azure, a collaboration from 10gen and Microsoft.”
  • more info: http://www.10gen.com/events/mongo-boston-2011
  • register: http://www.10gen.com/events/mongo-boston-2011
  • twitter: @mongodb

2. Cloud Camp

  • when: Thu 06-Oct-2011, 5:15 – 8:30 PM (then after-party)
  • where: CloudCamp Boston #5 is Co-located with the OpenStack Design Summit. Intercontinental Hotel, 510 Atlantic Ave, Salon A (between Congress St & Fort Hill Wharf), Boston, MA 02210
  • wifi: (not sure)
  • food: (not sure, though food and beer were offered last time)
  • cost:
  • what: (from the event description on cloudcamp.org) “CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas.  With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place where we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions.  At CloudCamp, you are encouraged to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing.  End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.”
  • more info: http://www.cloudcamp.org/boston
  • register: here
  • twitter: (not sure)

3. Boston Tech: What Can Cloud Do for YOU?

  • when: Mon 24-Oct-2011, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: “You’ve probably seen the “to the cloud” commercial and are aware of the hype
    that makes cloud computing sound like the next best thing since sliced bread,
    but do you really know what cloud computing is? And what it’s not? When does it
    make sense? And when doesn’t it? What does it mean to us as software developers,
    startup entrepreneurs, and end-users? And how do you sort through all of the
    vendors and offerings to determine whose cloud portfolio offers the most value
    to you? We’ll look at all of these questions and more as we spend the evening
    navigating through the cloudscape.” (text taken from the Meetup listing)
  • more info: http://www.meetup.com/BostonTech/events/33357482/
  • register: http://www.meetup.com/BostonTech/events/33357482/
  • twitter:

4. Boston Azure User Group meeting: Cloud Architecture Patterns

  • when: Thu 27-Oct-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Featured talk: “There are some big ideas in software architecture that are particularly relevant for cloud platforms. In this talk we will introduce a few of these big ideas – eventual consistency, scale out, and design for failure – and discuss the implications of these big ideas on cloud application architecture generally, with specific examples of useful patterns and services drawn from the Windows Azure Platform.” There will also be a shorter opening topic.
  • more info: See our (new) Boston Azure Meetup.com site for more info
  • register: http://www.meetup.com/bostonazure/events/35904052/
  • twitter: #bostonazure

5. New England Code Camp #16

While not strictly an Azure-only event, there will be Azure content at this community-driven event. Hope to see you there!

Omissions? Corrections? Comments? Please leave a comment or reply on the Twitters!

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July Boston Azure User Group – Recap

The July Boston Azure User Group meeting had a tough act to follow: the June meeting included a live, energy-packed Rock, Paper, Azure hacking contest hosted by Jim O’Neil! The winners were chosen completely objectively since the Rock, Paper, Azure server managed the who competition. First prize was taken by two teenagers (Kevin Wilder and T.J. Wilder) whose entry beat out around 10 others (including a number of professional programmers!).

This month’s July Boston Azure User Group meeting was up for the challenge.

Hope to see you at the Boston Azure meeting in August (Windows Phone 7 + Azure), two meetings in September (one in Waltham (first time EVER), and the “usual” one at NERD), and then kicking off a two-day Boston Azure Bootcamp!

Details on ALL upcoming Boston-area events of interest to Azure folks (that I know about) can be found in this blog post about Boston-events in August and September. Those hosted by Boston Azure are also at www.bostonazure.org and the upcoming events page.

August and September Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Greater Boston area which you can attend in person and for FREE.

[Note – this post originally was mis-titled to say July and August instead of the correct August and September. I have not changed its URL, but did fix the title.]

Since this summary page is – by necessity – a point-in-time SNAPSHOT of what I see is going on, it will not necessarily be updated when event details change. So please always double-check with official event information!

Know of any more cloud events of interest to the Windows Azure community? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let us know in the comments.

Events are listed in the order in which they will occur.

August Events

1. Boston Azure User Group meeting: Special Guest John Garland on Windows Phone

  • when: Thu 25-Aug-2011, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Windows Phone 7 expert John Garland (a Senior Consultant at Wintellect) is the featured speaker. John’s presentation will show how the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 can be used to quickly create Azure-enabled applications for the Windows Phone platform.  This talk will also include a discussion of some of the new features available in the Windows Phone “Mango” release due later this Fall (update), and how they can be used to further enhance the experience of working with Azure-based applications.
  • more info: See the Boston Azure cloud user group site for more info, or join the (low volume) Boston Azure mailing list to keep most up to date
  • register: here
  • twitter: #bostonazure

September Events

2. Vermont Code Camp 2011

While not strictly a “Boston-area” event, this may be of interest still. I attended Vermont Code Camp 2010 as both an attendee (hitting lots of great sessions) and as a speaker (spoke about Azure, of course). There was a great deal of buzz and energy at the event. There was also major swag – some really good stuff. I don’t know what this year will hold, but they did set a pretty high bar last year across the board. I will be attending again this year (and have proposed a talk: Applying Architecture Patterns for Scalability and Reliability to the Windows Azure Cloud Platform). Hope to see you there!

  • when: Saturday, September 10, 2011 8am6pm
  • where: Kalkin Hall on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, VT
  • wifi: (I think so)
  • food: (Pretty sure)
  • cost: FREE
  • what: It’s a Code Camp! (from http://vtcodecamp.org/):  “Last year’s event had four rooms with sessions on .NET, PHP, Ruby, Python, and more. Two of the rooms had .NET topics and another had sessions on free/open source software. There was a fourth room where developers were introduced to various technologies that they may not use every day. Check back for details about Vermont Code Camp 2011 or follow us on Twitter.”
  • more info: http://vtcodecamp.org/
  • register: http://vtcodecamp.org/register/
  • twitter: @VTCodeCamp

3. Cloudy Mondays

  • when: Mon 19-Sep-2011, 5:00 – ?:?? PM
  • where: Venture Development Center, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA
  • wifi: (not sure)
  • food: (not sure, though food and beer were offered last time)
  • cost: FREE
  • what: (topics not posted yet, though generally cloud and cloud startup-related)
  • more info: http://www.meetup.com/Cloudy-Mondays/
  • register: here
  • twitter: (not sure)

4. Boston Azure User Group meeting in Waltham: Special Guest Thom Robbins!

In this special event, the Boston Azure User Group is combining forces with both the Boston .NET Architecture Study Group and the New England ASP.NET Professionals Group to host this talk from Thom Robbins. Note the location is Waltham (not NERD).

  • when: Wed 21-Sept-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at Microsoft Office in Waltham (201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA 02451 – come to the 6th floor) – ample free parking is available
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access is NOT available to attendees
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Special Guest speaker is Thom Robbins

Kentico CMS: A Case Study in Building for Today’s Web

Building software is a set of smart choices to meet the needs of your customers and the possibilities of technology.  Today’s Web demands that customers have a choice in how they deploy their applications. With over 7,000 websites in 84 countries, Kentico CMS for ASP.Net is delivered as a single code base for use as a cloud, hosted, or on-premise solution. With over 34 out of the box modules and everything built on a SQL Server backend – How did we do it?  What tradeoffs did we make? In this session we will answer that question and look at how to build a rich and compelling website using Windows Azure.

About Thom Robbins

Thom Robbins is the Chief Evangelist for Kentico Software. He is responsible for evangelizing Kentico CMS for ASP.NET with Web developers, Web designers and interactive agencies. Prior to joining Kentico, Thom joined Microsoft Corporation in 2000 and served in a number of executive positions.  Most recently, he led the Developer Audience Marketing group that was responsible for increasing developer satisfaction with the Microsoft platform. Thom also led the .NET Platform Product Management group responsible for customer adoption and implementation of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio. Thom was also a Principal Developer Evangelist working with developers across New England implementing .NET based solutions. A regular speaker and writer, he currently resides in Seattle with his wife and son. He can be reached at thomasr@kentico.com or on Twitter at @trobbins.

5. Boston Azure User Group meeting: Special Guest Brian Prince!

  • when: Thu 29-Sep-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Brian Prince – from Microsoft, and co-author of the most excellent Azure in Action book – is our featured speaker.
  • more info: See the Boston Azure cloud user group site for more info, or join the (low volume) Boston Azure mailing list to keep most up to date.
  • register: (will open in early September)
  • twitter:

6. Boston Azure Bootcamp

  • when: Fri/Sat Sep 30 – Oct 1 (full days, but start/end times are tbd)
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Expected to be provided, but details being worked out
  • cost: FREE
  • what:This free event is a two-day, hands-on bootcamp with the goal of learning a whole lot about the Windows Azure Platform. The primary programming environment will be Visual Studio 2010 (a free version is available). Coding will be primarily done in C#. (Other programming environments and other languages are available for Windows Azure. If you plan to program in other than Visual Studio and C#, please let us know it advance in the “Any Other Comments” section of the sign-up form.)The two days will largely consist of a sequence segments where important general topics in cloud computing will be introduced, and the Windows Azure approach will be discussed in detail. Each of these segments will include both a lecture by an Azure expert followed by a hands-on lab where you code a basic solution to get these concepts to really sink in. Azure experts will be in the room to help you with any questions or issues during labs.At the end of this two days, you will have learned key cloud and Windows Azure concepts, and have hands-on experience building, debugging, and deploying real applications. You need bring your own Azure-ready laptop – or let us know on the signup form if you would like a loaner – or would like to pair with someone for the coding part.
  • more info: See the Boston Azure Bootcamp page on Eventbrite for more info
  • register: Registration is LIMITED BY SPACE register here
  • twitter: #bostonazurebootcamp

Omissions? Corrections? Comments? Please leave a comment or reply on the Twitters!

Using PowerShell with Windows Azure

At the May 26, 2011 Boston Azure User Group meeting, Joel Bennett – a Microsoft PowerShell MVP from the Rochester, NY area – spoke about PowerShell basics, then got into a bunch of useful ways PowerShell can be applied to Windows Azure. We had around 25 people at the event.

[Update 23-June-2011: Joel Bennett posted his slide deck from the talk.] 
[Update 05-July-2011: Added another handy link to post from Patrick Butler called Developing and Debugging Azure Management API CmdLets.]

Some of the pointers:

  • Go get the PowerShell Community Extensions (from codeplex)
  • You can use the PS command line to CD into folders/directories, look at files, etc. — but you can also look at the Registry or your Certificate Store as if they were directories!
  • There are no plural nouns in PS (e.g., get-provider, not get-providers)
  • Learn these commands first: Get-Command, Get-Help, Get-Member, Select-Object, Where-Object, Format-Table, … others you can learn later
  • Somebody needs to write a PowerShell Provider for Azure Storage
  • Joel created an open-shell WPF-ish PowerShell shell called POSH

Try some commands:

  • dir | get-objec
  • dir | fl *  —formats as lis
  • get-verb | fw -col
  • get-verb | fw -col 6 -groupby Group
  • Get-ExecutionPolicy
  • dir | where { $_.PSIsContainer } — where $_ is “the thing over there (directory)”
  • dir | select CreationTime, Name | gm
  • dir | select * —will look different than command above
  • $global:foo = “some value”
  • cd c:\windows\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0… see Help.format.ps1xml controls the default output formatting properties for object types not already known by PowerShell – can have property names, even script blocks in it – very powerful
  • # is single-line comment char; <# … #> for multi-line comments
  • You can create aliases for scripts
  • Powershell is an interpreted scripting language
  • Can access WinForms, WPF, lots of stuff.. though not Threading

Three ways to manage Azure from PowerShell

  1. Remoting
  2. WASM (Windows Azure Services Management commandlets) – superceded by http://wappowershell.codeplex.com/ – developed by Development Evangelist group (e.g., Vittorio)
  3. Cerebrata (3rd party, commercial)

Remoting:

  • Need to get some goodness in a Startup Script, along with crecentials
  • Set OS Family = 2 (so you get Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Need a certificate – can be self-signed

WAP PowerShell:

  • 36 Cmdlets
  • “the 80% library”
  • very good example

Cerebrata Cmdlets

  • Requires .NET 4.0 (which is different than baseline support for PS, which is .NET CLR 2.0
  • $70
  • 114 Cmdlets
  • Cerebrata
  • gcm –mo cerebrata | gr0up Noun | sort

Snap-ins need to be in the GAC – so put WAP PowerShell stuff where you want to keep them, since that’s where they’ll be built — or build the file in Visual Studio

  • Add-Module is for SNAPINS
  • IPMO is for ImportModule for Modules
  • ipmo AzurePlatform
  • gcm –mo AzurePlatform

PowerShell has something called “splatting”

  • Starting with a hashtable… put in the parms you’ll need
  • variables start with $
  • retrieving (splatting) starts with @

Both cerebrata and WAP are snap-ins

WHAT FOLLOWS… are somewhat random notes I captured…

Get-Certificate $azure | Get-HostedCertificateStore

Your personal profile for PowerShell lives in c:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\AzurePlatform as Startup.ps1 (?)

Two kinds of errors in PowerShell: 1. Terminating Errors (exceptions, can be “trapped” or use try/catch as of PS2) and 2. Non-Terminating Errors which are harder to deal with

$? ==> did the last command succeed

dir doesnotexist –ev er –ea “”

$er[0].categoryinfo

“Don’t Produce Snap-ins!” Here’s why: to figure out what is in there (get-command –Module

Get-Module –ListAvailable

– run the above on AZure and see “NetworkLoadBalancingCl…” – is this Azure relate

OTHER INTERESTING POWERSHELL/AZURE LINKS

 

May 2011 Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Greater Boston area which you can attend in person and for FREE (or at least inexpensively).

They are listed in the order in which they will occur.

Know of any more cloud events of interest to the Windows Azure community? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let us know in the comments.

1. New England Code Camp

  • when: Sat 07-May-2011, 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • where: Microsoft Waltham (Jones Road)
  • wifi: (unknown, but probably just for speakers)
  • food: Provided (usually pizza & salad)
  • cost: Free
  • what: Developer-focused mini-conference on a wide range of topics
  • More info & Register: http://thedevcommunity.org

2. Jeffrey Richter from Wintellect will be presenting a free, in-person Windows Azure Deep Dive

  • when: Mon 16-May-2011, all day
  • where: Waltham
  • wifi: (unknown)
  • food: (unknown)
  • cost: FREE (registration required)
  • what: Deep Dive on Windows Azure
  • More info: See Jim O’Neil’s blog post for details
  • Register: Note there are two ways to register from this page – in person, or webinar – the webinar is a link, but the in person event form is on this page directly: https://www.wintellect.com/Training/Webinar/Registration

3. NHDN – New Hampshire .NET – Concord

  • when: Wed 25-May-2011, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
  • where: New Hampshire Technical Institute 31 College Drive Concord, NH 03301, Grappone Hall, Room 106
  • wifi: not sure
  • food: I think they do dinner afterwards
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Demystifying the Cloud and an overview of Microsoft’s public cloud platform, Windows Azure
  • More info: here
  • Register: here

4. Boston Azure User Group meeting on PowerShell and how to use it with Windows Azure

  • when: Thu 26-May-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE (registration appreciated)
  • what: What is PowerShell, why do you care, and how can you use its awesome power to help with Windows Azure. PowerShell MVP Joel Bennett is the featured speaker.
  • More info: See Boston Azure cloud user group site for details
  • Register: here

Coming in June:

  • 24 Hours in the Cloud
  • Cloud Camp Boston
  • The Architect Factory
  • Boston Azure
  • Beantown .NET (Architecture Patterns in the cloud)
  • Hartford Code Camp
  • New Hampshire Code Camp
  • And more? Please let me know in the comments if you know about an event relevant to those who care about the Windows Azure Platform

April 2011 Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Boston/Cambridge area which you can attend in person and for FREE (or at least inexpensive).

They are listed in the order in which they will occur.

Know of any more cloud events of interest to the Windows Azure community? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let us know in the comments.

1. SQL Saturday #71

  • when: Sat 02-Apr-2011, 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • where: Babson College
  • wifi: (unknown)
  • food: Provided
  • cost: Cheap (registration required)
  • what: All about SQL and related topics
  • More info & Register: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/71/eventhome.aspx

2. Cloud Platform Bake-Off led by Kyle C. Quest

  • when: Fri 15-Apr-2011, 10:00 AM – ??? PM
  • where: Hosted at Cafe On the Common, 677 Main Street Waltham, MA (but please DOUBLE CHECK the location at Meetup.com listing)
  • wifi: (unknown)
  • food: (unknown)
  • cost: FREE, but pre-registration appears to be required
  • what: “Putting different cloud platforms head to head is one of the original ideas for Cloud Hackathon. I’m sure lots of people are curious how each platform can measure up to its competition.” This is a coding/hacking event on Windows Azure plus Amazon EC3, Google App Engine, and maybe others.
  • More info: See Meetup.com for details
  • Register: See Meetup.com

3. Boston Azure User Group meeting with David Makogon as featured speaker

  • when: Thu 28-Apr-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Exact topics to-be-announced, but they will be awesome 🙂 David Makogon from Microsoft will be featured speaker
  • More info: See Boston Azure cloud user group site for details (soon)
  • Register: (soon)

Boston Azure Marketing Write-up

Recently the nice folks at Boston User Groups offered to feature the Boston Azure User Group as a “user group of the month” on their home page. Since we put some real thought into how to describe what we do, I decided it was worth posting here as well. Comments on this post are welcome.

 

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What is the Windows Azure “cloud” platform?

You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about “the cloud” these days. The cloud is a big topic, with many vendors vying for attention. Not only does Microsoft have many of its own applications running in the cloud – Microsoft also offers a modern, robust platform on which developers and IT Pros can build and deploy cloud applications. This is known as the Windows Azure Platform.

What is the Boston Azure User Group?

The Boston Azure User Group is a community with a common interest: learning about cloud computing, especially focused on the Windows Azure Platform. This community has been holding regular, in-person meetings with talks, discussions, and hands-on sessions since October 2009.

Most meetings include an invited expert speaker or two and usually span multiple Azure-related topics. We also get together sometimes to develop software – what better way to learn about Windows Azure than to write code for a real solution?

What topics do we cover? Anything related to the Windows Azure Platform is fair game – from how it works (Blobs, Queues, Roles, SQL Azure, Service Bus, AppFabric, .NET, Java, PHP, … on and on) – to how real applications use it (which were some of our best talks: from a university research project needing massive scale out to run a simulation, to real businesses running on the platform today) – to announcements, demos, tools, related technologies, and business scenarios.

How do I learn more about the Boston Azure User Group?

We welcome new members – whether you are new to the cloud or new to Windows Azure, want to hear some advanced talks on specific topics, or want to join us for some coding or hackathons – anyone interested in welcome. We also try to reserve a little time at meetings for mingling and everyone is invited to meet up afterwards for a cold beverage at a nearby (walking distance) location.

If you’d like to check us out, visit the user group’s web site – which is itself a Windows Azure application (the source code is on CodePlex).

Please feel free to join our (low volume) mailing list (http://bit.ly/bostonazuremail), follow us on twitter (@bostonazure), or join us for the next meeting (details at www.bostonazure.org).

Meetings are held at the Microsoft NERD Center, in Kendall Square, Cambridge. There is a parking garage in the building, free parking nearby, and is only a short walk from the Red Line train stop.

Meetings are free. Pizza is provided. An RSVP is appreciated.

What if I can’t make it to a Boston Azure meeting?

Want to bring a Windows Azure talk to your user group members? Feel free to contact Boston Azure user group leader Bill Wilder (@codingoutloud or codingoutloud2011@gmail.com) to set up a talk for the user group you run, or a user group you think would be interested. Topics are flexible – what is different about your software architecture in the cloud, what’s new in data storage in Azure, introduction to the Cloud and Azure, or others – let’s talk.