AzureFest attendees in Microsoft Canada's MPR room watch Cory Fowler and Barry Gervin at the front of the room.

AzureFest, the get-together where developers and aspiring developers learn how to use and deploy applications and databases to Azure, took place at Microsoft Canada headquarters in Mississauga on Saturday.

Cory Fowler stands beside the big screen in Microsoft Canada's MPR room

The event was held by our partners ObjectSharp and led by Cory Fowler, an Azure MVP. There was a morning sessions and an afternoon session, and my rough estimation of both events put the attendance at around 130 in total.

The AzureFest attendees, working away at their computers.

Each three-hour session consisted of a quick overview of the Azure platform, the distribution of all the necessary developer tools, signing up for an Azure account and using the prototyping-and-wallet-friendly Introductory Special and deploying that old ASP.NET MVC standby app NerdDinner and its associated database to the cloud. The three-hour format covered more practical ground than the typical one-hour conference session and gave Cory and the ObjectSharpies a chance to make themselves available for one-on-one assistance.

Cory taking the AzureFest attendees through one more example

In Case You Missed AzureFest…

If you couldn’t make it down to Mississauga to participate in AzureFest, you can still benefit from the AzureFest session. The ObjectSharpies are recording a version of Cory’s Azure deployment walkthrough and making it available online. Watch this blog for more details.

Try Azure and Get Some Money for Your User Group!

If you’re the member of a Canadian Microsoft User Group, you can help them make a quick $25 which they can use to fund their activities. All you have to do is:

  • Open an Azure account: either the introductory special offer or using the Azure benefit that comes with your MSDN subscription
  • Deploy an application – any application, including pre-written ones like NerdDinner – to Azure
  • Send an email to with the following:
    • A screenshot of your application running on Azure
    • The name of the user group to which you’d like to get $25
    • Feedback about your experience with Azure

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Visual Studio 2010 Event in Kitchener-Waterloo: Thursday, January 21st

Attention Kitchener-Waterloo residents: Better Application Lifecycle Management with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, presented by Dave Lloyd

If you’re in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and want to know more about Visual Studio 2010, you should check out the Visual Studio 2010 presentation by ObjectSharp and Microsoft on the morning of Thursday, January 21st.

Dave Lloyd of ObjectSharp will walk you through the goodies in the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 and how they can help you and your team with all those things you do in your day-to-day development, from collaboration to architecture to prototyping to testing and debugging.

You’ll also learn about the Ultimate Offer, which is a great way to level up your Visual Studio licence and MSDN subscription levels. This offer won’t be around forever!

This event is free-as-in-beer to attend; all you have to do is register. I’ve provided the details below:

How do I sign up for the event? Register here and enter this invitation key when prompted:


When is the event? Thursday, January 21st, 2010.
Registration takes place from
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Presentation takes place from
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Includes a continental breakfast buffet

Where is the event? St. George Hall
655 King Street North
Hall #2
Waterloo, Ontario

There’s free parking at the event in the lot just off King Street.


This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


“Silverlight on the Silver Screen”: Two Days Away!

"Silver Thunder" parody poster for "Silverlight on the Silver Screen"

Don’t forget that Silverlight on the Silver Screen, ObjectSharp’s free seminar on Silverlight 3, Expression and SketchFlow takes place in Toronto this Thursday at the Scotiabank Theatre. If you’d like to learn more about the rich-UI applications that you can build with Silverlight 3 and Expression and how quickly you can design and prototype user interfaces and interactions using SketchFlow, you’re going to want to catch this event. For more details about this event, see my earlier article on Silverlight on the Silver Screen and the Silverlight on the Silver Screen official site.


Silverlight on the Silver Screen: One Week Away!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

You’ve got to hand it to ObjectSharp: when they do a parody, they pull out all the stops:

"Silverlight on the Silver Screen" "Star Wars" parody poster

Next Thursday, June 9th – exactly one week from today — ObjectSharp will host Silverlight on the Silver Screen, a presentation on the upcoming revision of Silverlight, Silverlight 3, along with Expression Blend, SketchFlow, Windows 7’s touch technology, Microsoft Office SharePoint System (MOSS), Visual Studio 2010 and Team System. They’ll cover all sorts of things, including:

  • How to design user interactions with SketchFlow
  • Integrating rich applications using SharePoint and Visual Studio Team System
  • Building rich line-of-business applications with Silverlight and .NET RIA Services
  • Tying together rich media and advertising with the Microsoft platform
  • Touch tech with Windows 7 and WPF

There’ll be something for you, no matter which of the “Three Ds” – designer, developer or decision-maker – you are!

Silverlight on the Silver Screen will take place at the Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street West, just west of  John) on Thursday, July 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m..

Registration is free – all you have to do is visit the Silverlight on the Silver Screen registration page to sign up. I’ll see you there!


Silverlight on the Silver Screen: Thursday, July 9th in Toronto

Movie theatre with the Silverlight logo projected on the screen

The covers will be coming off our next generation of user experience tools and technologies on July 9th. That’s when Microsoft will be unveiling Silverlight 3, which gives you the all the goodness of RIA (Rich Internet Application, although you can use Silverlight to make desktop apps as well) with out the PITA (Pain In The Anterior regions).

To help promote Silverlight 3, we and our pals at ObjectSharp will be co-hosting Silverlight on the Silver Screen live at the Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street West, at John Street) in Toronto on the morning of Thursday, July 9th from 9:00 a.m. till noon (and yes, the event is free). The ObjectSharpies are early adopters of SIlverlight and have forgotten more about it than most people will ever learn. As seasoned pros, they’ll share their stories and wisdom about the next-gen version of Silverlight, as well as associated tech such as Expression Blend, SketchFlow and the touch technologies in Windows 7.

Joining them will be my friends from the DPE team, who’ll be there to talk about the opportunities offered by Microsoft’s “UX3” platform – they’re a great way for your development team and business to stand out in the crowd and give your customers a great user experience.

And yes, the accordion might make an appearance.

As I said earlier, the event is free and takes place on the morning of Thursday, July 9th. All you have to do to attend is register at the Silverlight on the Silver Screen page!

Movie poster-style banner for "Silverlight on the Silver Screen"