Blog Categories

Subscribe to RSS feed


Follow Microsoft Technologies on Pinterest

Posts Tagged ‘azure’

Azure Mobile Services – Offline Sync Now Available

Before I get into the details of the announcement on Offline Sync, let me take a moment for a quick introduction to Azure Mobile Services, as I don’t believe we have blogged on Mobile Services yet.  microsoft-azure-logo_11368901

With Azure Mobile Services, it’s easy to rapidly build engaging cross-platform and native apps for iOS, Android, Windows or Mac, store app data in the cloud or on-premises, authenticate users, send push notifications, as well as add your custom backend logic in C# or Node.js.

With Azure Mobile Services, you can easily authenticate your users with Active Directory, securely connect to on-premises resources like SAP, Oracle, SQL Server, and SharePoint, and leverage cross-platform frameworks like Xamarin and PhoneGap to build enterprise-grade apps.

Azure enables you to build mobile apps that can consume data from your own data center. With Hybrid Connections it is easy to access your data securely from your on-premises data centers, anywhere in the world.

Notification Hubs is a massively scalable mobile push notification engine capable of sending millions of push notifications to iOS, Android, Windows, or Nokia X devices within seconds. You can easily hook Notification Hubs into any existing app backend, whether that backend is hosted on-premises or in Azure. Read the rest of this post »

Video How-To’s in Office 365

Video Portal was announced back in November with initial push to “first release” customers and a global deployment available by early 2015. This portal powered by Azure Media Services provides adaptive streaming optimized for video playback for the device it’s being viewed on. Leveraging Office Graph, simple drag and drop interface, discover ability across enterprise search and Delve, integration with yammer conversations, and sharing capabilities on mobile makes this an intuitive and engaging knowledge management add in.

Below is a summary of Video Q&A with Microsoft team, MVPs, and community members:

Why does Office 365 Video need Flash installed?

Microsoft is working to add HTML5 video playback support in a future update. This will remove the current Flash dependency. For the initial release, we prioritized security of the videos’ playback stream. We are working with Azure Media Services on new player and detection tech that can get the right player (native, HTML5, or flash) and the right stream from Azure media services, so that we offer both adaptive streaming and security on latest mobile devices and browsers. For native iPhone app, we are using Azure Media Service SDK to support HLS. Browser playback doesn’t work currently for mobile devices because of flash. Read the rest of this post »

Windows Server 2003 End of Support Looms – A Webinar Recap

It’s no secret – Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14, 2015. Clock

Last week, Perficient, AppZero and Cisco teamed up for a webinar, Planning & Preparing for Windows Server 2003 End of Life. During the session, the speakers discussed the options and paths available when moving off Windows Server 2003, including the transition to a cloud model, benefits of Windows Server 2012, virtualization on Cisco UCS, and what exactly AppZero can do for your migrations.

First, Steve Andrews, a senior solutions architect at Perficient, explained exactly what end of support/end of life means: no updates, no compliance, no protection. But, the good news is, for those still on Windows Server 2003, there is the opportunity to transform your datacenter by transitioning to a hybrid cloud model, which Steve reviewed. He then showed attendees how to get started:

  1. Discover & Assess: Catalog and categorize apps and workloads
  2. Target: Identify destinations
  3. Migrate: Make the move

You have a variety of target options, from replacing the server hardware or virtualizing with Hyper-V to a new server, to relocating to a cloud service such as Azure IaaS or decommissioning if no longer in use. Read the rest of this post »

Azure Media Services: Live Streaming Video Experience

Did you watch the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics online? Maybe you caught a bit of the 2014 FIFA World Cup from the office on your laptop? Perhaps you watch an occasional Sunday Night Football game from the in-laws on your tablet. If so, you’ve consumed Azure Media Services Live Channels Media Streaming. ams

This service powers all sorts of public live media streaming services from NBC, the NHL, NFL, FIFA and many other partners. It has been available to us for a while now, in preview mode, and we at Perficient have been unable to discuss it – until now. On Thursday, Microsoft announced the general availability of Live Channels! Here’s a link to Scott Gutherie’s blog.

Live streaming is a very very cool, and rather difficult to harness technology. There are limitless application possibilities in today’s ever mobile, and connected world for live streaming. And up until now, actually using that technology – at a reasonable price point – was difficult. Read the rest of this post »

Webinar: Hybrid Cloud Storage Solutions – Lower Cost & Complexity

Storage StorSimple_MScomGraphic_590x590_Ais on the mind of many this holiday season. At home, if you are a parent, it’s a question of “Where are we going to store all these overwhelmingly large toys?” At work – it’s more likely to be a data issue.

If local storage is your issue, you probably know one of your options is a hybrid cloud storage appliance (on a side note, wouldn’t it be nice if we could store those toys in the cloud?).

Doing more with less has become the “new normal,” so it only makes sense that the demand for scalable, reliable, and secure cloud solutions is increasing.  One of the biggest challenges facing many of our customers is the tremendous data growth and the amount of storage management work required that data growth requires.

Join us on Tuesday, December 16, at 1 p.m. for a webinar, “Lower Cost & Complexity with Azure and StoreSimple Hybrid Cloud Solutions,” to learn how a hybrid storage appliance such as StorSimple can supply your organization with massive amounts of capacity and added functionality, all the while providing disaster recovery and reducing costs by up to 50%. Perficient Director Adetayo Adegoke will show you how you can seamlessly use a cloud-integrated storage (CiS) product to store commonly used data on premises and put more infrequently accessed data in Azure.

You can also take a look at the white paper, “The CIO’s Guide to Understanding Microsoft Cloud Services,” to learn more about Azure’s capabilities.

To register for the webinar, click here.
Lower Cost & Complexity with Azure and StoreSimple Hybrid Cloud Solutions
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
1:00 p.m. CT

Perficient & Partners In Health team up to implement Office 365

pihToday, Perficient announced it has been working with Partners In Health, a Boston-based nonprofit that delivers high-quality health care and serves impoverished communities around the world, from Haiti to Rwanda to Siberia, to deploy Office 365 at cost.

From the Press Release:

Founded in 1987, Partners In Health works to strike at the root causes of illness by weaving together clinical and social support for poor and marginalized patients, by training local healthcare providers in the communities they serve, and by advocating for global policy change. Upon receiving a grant for Office 365 subscriptions from Microsoft, Partners In Health selected Perficient to migrate its infrastructure to the cloud. For this initiative, Perficient is leveraging the experience of its award-winning Microsoft national business unit and Healthcare practice to deliver the Office 365 suite at cost to the client’s 3,000 users, including implementing Exchange Online for company-wide communication, Azure-hosted ADFS for identity management, and SharePoint Online for document storage and collaboration.

Deployment of Office 365 across sites in Africa, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Russia and the U.S. will further Partners In Health’s mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. It will also enhance cross-site communication and collaboration as the organization responds to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Cloud-based storage allows documents to be accessed at any time from any device in any setting, including those where bandwidth is limited. With a common email platform, information may be shared seamlessly among colleagues, partners and all others involved in the fight against illness and poverty.

And from Dave Mayo, CIO, Partners In Health:

“When looking at technology solutions providers, Perficient’s proven track record in the healthcare industry and demonstrated Microsoft cloud services expertise stood out immediately. Thanks to our partnership with Perficient, we are adopting a consolidated, reliable platform for colleague interactions – one that enables us to more effectively serve our world’s most vulnerable. We are immensely grateful for Perficient’s generosity and support of our efforts.”

You can read the full release for more details, including thoughts from Jeff Davis, CEO and president of Perficient, as well as Mike Gersten, VP of Perficient’s Microsoft national business unit.

In addition, Perficient’s Kent Larson has published a blog post that provides further insight into how Partners In Health is using Office 365 and Azure in its fight for global health. The post covers how Office 365 will have an impact, identity management using Azure, and the global roll out of Office 365. Keep on the lookout for future blog posts on the implementation!

Upcoming Webinar: Planning for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life

Still running Windows Server 2003? For a variety of reasons, there are many companies with Windows Server 2003 still in production. What does this all mean, really? “End-of-life” means Microsoft will completely end support for Windows Server 2003 including patches and security update. And when does this happen? July 14, 2015. 110314DoneWhen

Given the rate at which new security threats are introduced, it’s dangerous to run production services on a platform that has reached end-of-life. It’s also a compliance nightmare, as many clients in heavily-regulated industries will not pass audits if applications are running on unsupported operating systems.

If you are looking for some guidance around the best ways to analyze your inventory of Windows Server 2003 systems, plan to migrate, and the options you have, join us on Tuesday, December 9 at 1 p.m. CT for a webinar, Planning and Preparing for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life.

Experts from Perficient, AppZero and Cisco will team up for the one hour session to discuss those options and paths available when moving off Windows Server 2003, including:

  • Virtualization Hyper-V on Cisco UCS
  • Transitioning to a cloud model – private, public and hybrid
  • What AppZero can do for your migrations
  • Capabilities and benefits of Windows Server 2012

To register for the webinar, click here.
Planning & Preparing for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
1:00 p.m. CT

Anglebrackets Conference – Day 3

I have been fortunate to attend this year’s Anglebrackets conference in Las Vegas. (See my coverage of Day 1 here and Day 2 here.)

The following are my notes from the Day 3 keynote, “Conversations with Microsoft.”

image_dbbecd7b-9298-4dde-993a-acd9d9461515The speaker: Steve Guggenheimer, corporate VP and chief evangelist.

A lot of changes at Microsoft over last year. New CEO, Satya Nadella

Not changed: We always be partner-led

Our Core – productivity platform for mobile-first, cloud-first world

4 engineering units at MS

  1. Devices platform.

Converging Xbox, Windows , WP and RT into single platform. Universal apps and One Windows.

VS 2015 preview is out. Demo: creating universal app from template.

  1. First-party devices (Surface, Lumia phones, Band, etc).
  2. First-party services (Office 365, Bing, Yammer, Skype, et). Cross-platform APIs and SDKs.
  3. Azure 

Microsoft Developer approach:

  • Innovation
  • Agility
  • Openness

Demo: VS2015 – targeting multiple devices with Apache Cordova plugin for VS. Using Android emulator for VS.

Demo: using remote IE (Azure service for testing on IE) on Mac, iPad and Android tablet.

Announcement: Open sourcing .NET Core Runtime and Framework. .NET running on Linux and Mac. Free VS 2013 Community edition.

Read the rest of this post »

Anglebrackets Conference – Day 2

I have been fortunate to attend this year’s Anglebrackets conference in Las Vegas. (See my coverage of Day 1 here.)

The following are my notes from the Day 2 keynote, The Integration of Technologies with Office 365. The speaker: Rob Leffers, the director of program management for the Office 365 apps team.

– Our vision
– What’s next
– Futures
– Calls to action

– Office
– Visual Studio
– Azure

Connect to Office 365 services
– Users and groups
– Files
– Mail
– Calendar
– Contacts

Build using an open platform
– Azure
– .Net
– Android
– iOS
– Html5
– Xamarin

Robust Office 365 APIs
– designed for openness and flexibility
– Consistent development platform
– Powering a world of devices

Read the rest of this post »

Anglebrackets Conference – Day 1 Keynote

I’m lucky to be able to attend this year’s Anglebrackets conference in Las Vegas and I’ll try to cover the conference in this Perficient blog as much as I can. Today was the opening day of the conference, which actually consisted only of the opening keynote. The speaker was Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise group at Microsoft. He was wearing his signature red shirt. His keynote was titled, “The Cloud For Modern Business.”

image_dbbecd7b-9298-4dde-993a-acd9d9461515The following are my notes from his keynote:

Mobile first, cloud first.

Why cloud? Cloud enables:

1. Quick and easy deployment.
– No need to wait for provisioning. Demo: database deployed in Azure in few clicks. Sharepoint server farm deployed in few seconds.

2. Elastic capacity.
– no need to buy infrastructure
– unexpected load easily managed
– global coverage with unprecedented scale
Example: XBox One game Titanfall is completely cloud powered. 200,000 VMs were spun off on launch day.

3. Pay only for what you use
– no upfront costs
– no long-term commitment
– no wasted capacity
Example: slide with a typical web site usage pattern (a saw) illustrating unused capacity. Azure allows to avoid that by allowing automatic scaleup and down.

4. Enable new business value
– engage customers with web and mobile
– big data analytics
– machine learning Read the rest of this post »