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.


Windows Phone 7 Hands-On Lab in Ottawa: Saturday, October 2nd

Windows Phone Hands-on lab: photo of hands on a computer keyboard

If you’ve been meaning to take up Windows Phone 7 development but didn’t know where or how to get started and you’re in the Ottawa area, this event is for you! Join Microsoft Developer Advisor Christian Beauclair and DreamDigital’s Colin Melia as they present a hands-on lab this Saturday where they show you how to write apps for our new phone.

At this lab, you’ll:

  • Learn how to develop apps for Windows Phone 7 in Silverlight and XNA
  • Follow along at a workstation as Christian and Colin walk you through WP7 development
  • Get familiar with the software tools: Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone, Expression Blend and the WP7 emulator
  • Have an opportunity to try out a real live Windows Phone

This training lab will take place at Algonquin College (1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa). It’s free of charge, but you must register in order to be able to attend.

This is a hands-on lab, so space is limited – if you want to attend, register now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


This Saturday: SharePoint Saturday in Vancouver

sharepoint saturday vancouverCreative Commons photo by Jason V. Click the photo to see it on its original page.

Don’t forget that this Saturday, September 25th, is the first SharePoint Saturday in Vancouver!

It’s a FREE public event, and it’s a chance for people in the Vancouver area to dive into SharePoint. It promises to be an educational, informative and lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-oriented topics.

For more details, see my earlier blog entry on SharePoint Saturday Vancouver as well as the SharePoint Saturday Vancouver site and the registration page.

Thanks to Yaroslav Pentsarskyy for letting me know about this event!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


This Saturday: “Introduction to B.I.” in Montreal (Samedi .NET)

samedi .net in montreal

Don’t forget that a Samedi .NET event is taking place this Saturday, September 25th in Montreal: Introduction au B.I., or as they say en Anglais, Introduction to B.I.. As in Business Intelligence. For the full details, see my earlier blog entry and the event’s registration page. It won’t cost you much to attend; admission to the event is under $10.

Thanks to La Communauté .NET Montreal for putting on the event and to Microsoft Canada Regional Director Guy Barrette, my go-to guy for keeping me in the loop on Montreal geek events!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Windows Phone 7 Advanced Training Today!

Windows Phone 7 deviceI know that this is incredibly short notice, but I just heard about it myself:

Join us on September 21 2010 at 8.00 am PDT (11:00 EDT) for the first of two Office Live Meeting broadcasts.

The Microsoft Windows Phone 7 marketplace will open in October, and Microsoft wants to help you make your app the best that it can be. If you would like to ensure that you’ve considered key submission criteria and that your app is of the highest quality, this free live training is for you!

Join Rob S. Miles and Andy Wigley once again (both MS Press authors and MVP’s) for an engaging training on advanced topics for Windows Phone 7 application and game development.

We’re also including a session on Windows Phone Design and Designing with Blend, taught by Microsoft SME’s Bryan Agnetta and Jon Harris. Bryan is a Senior User interface Program Manager in the design studio for Windows Phone 7 team. His responsibilities include managing the Design Integration team and Program Manager for Application development in the studio. His 9+ year tenure at Microsoft has all been with the Windows Phone User Experience team. Jon is the Senior Product Manager for Expression Blend and SketchFlow. He joined Microsoft as the first User Experience Evangelist! And now 4 years later, 4 releases of Blend, 4 releases of Silverlight and a new release of Blend 4 for Windows Phone… you get the benefit of his expertise in this session.

The last hour is dedicated to the questions you have. We’ve pulled together a panel of Microsoft SME’s in addition to Rob, Andy, Jon and Bryan. Through the Live Meeting Q&A function, you can get all your Windows Phone 7 development questions answered real time.

Sign up for both Part One and Part Two to get full coverage.

Here’s the agenda:

Part One: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. EDT

Click here to register for Part One.

Time Subject
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. EDT Panorama and Pivots
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. XNA Deep Dive (includes a 10-minute break)


Part Two: September 21, 2010, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. EDT

Click here to register for Part Two.

Time Subject
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. EDT Bing Maps
4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Planning and Optimizing for Performance
5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. Windows Phone 7 Design and Design using Microsoft Blend
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Live Q&A Panel with Microsoft SME’s

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Le 25 Septembre: Samedi .NET– Introduction au B.I.

le business intelligence

samedi.netIf you’re in Montreal on September 25th and want to learn about developing BI applications – that’s BI as in “Business Intelligence” — La Communauté .NET Montreal’s Samedi.NET event, Introduction au BI, is exactly what you need.

Here’s what the event site says:

La Communauté .NET vous propose une journée de formation complète sur le B.I. Le but de la journée est de de faire un tour d’horizon des bases et des techonogies de B.I.  Le public cible est un développeur .NET ou un DBA n’ayant jamais fait de B.I. Le format de la journée est "hands-on" avec une série de démos ayant une suite logique.

And here’s my best shot at translation, courtesy of my high school French classes and youthful dalliances with a Quebecoise or two:

Montreal’s .NET Community will be presenting a day’s worth of information on BI. Its goal is to give you an overview of BI basics and technologies. The intended audience is a .NET developer or a DBA who’s never done BI before. It’ll be a hands-on event featuring a series of demos to illustrate the concepts.

Here’s the schedule – note that it’s subject to change:

  Sujet Conférencier
9h00 Mot de bienvenue et description de l’architecture du projet Éric Moreau
9h30 Concept de framework/préparation des templates (SSIS) Christian Côté
10h15 Chargement des dimensions et table de faits Sébastien Notebaert
11h15 Pause  
11h30 Description du cube Charles Verdon
12h00 Lunch (non inclus)  
13h00 Création du cube avec Analysis Services (SSAS) Charles Verdon
13h45 Utilisation et création de rapports avec Reporting Services (SSRS) David Myers (anglais)
14h30 Pause  
14h45 Utilisation et création de rapports avec Power Pivot Michelle Gutzait (anglais)
15h30 Questions et conclusion Christian Côté

The sessions will be presented in a classroom-style amphitheatre to make it easier to take notes. They recommend bringing paper and your favourite writing implement; while you can bring a computer to take notes, they can’t guarantee that electrical outlets will be nearby (bring an extension cord). Note that the event will not have internet access.

To attend the event, you have to be a member of La Communauté .NET Montreal, which you can join via their site. The registration fee for the event is $5 plus service charges, and as the event site says, “$5 c’est pas tellement cher”. (Loosely translated, that means “five bucks ain’t gonna hurt your wallet.”)

Want to find out more? Visit the event site for Introduction au BI.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Free Online Training for Windows Phone 7 Development

Bob Caswell from Microsoft’s Learning division told me about some free online training that’s available for developers wanting to get a head-start on Windows Phone 7 Development. Here’s the skinny from the Born to Learn blog:

Get Trained for FREE – Windows Phone 7 Jump Start

Windows Phone 7 Jump Start is a FREE virtual live class for developers interested in developing applications and games for Windows Phone 7.  The course is organized into four virtual instructor-led sessions that are of 3-hour duration.  They will be presented by forthcoming MS Press authors and MVP’s, Andy Wigley and Rob Miles. It will provide developers a jump start for developing Windows Phone 7 applications.  The labs will be completed offline with office hours access to the instructors.

The dates for these course sessions are:

  • July 20 – 11am (EST) / 8am (PST): Session One: Getting Started with Microsoft Windows Phone and Silverlight
  • July 20 – 4pm (EST) / 1pm (PST): Session Two: Programming Game Applications with XNA
  • July 22 – 11am (EST) / 8am (PST): Session Three:  Programming Applications with Silverlight
  • July 22 – 4pm (EST) / 1pm (PST): Session Four:  Review and Wrap Up

Space is limited, so go register for the course now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.