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.


“BieberSmash” at Tonight’s Canada’s Technology Triangle .NET User Group Meeting

bieberTonight, I’ll be in Kitchener speaking at the Canada’s Technology Triangle .NET User Group Meeting, where I’ll be talking about game programming on Windows Phone using XNA.

Assisting me – albeit indirectly – will be Justin Bieber, in sprite form. Starting from the humble “File –> New”, I’ll code up some simple 2D gaming fun where we’ll learn about XNA and 2D game development basics and play with pop’s most annoying star in the process!

Some details about the event:

  • Where: Manulife Financial (25 Water St. South, Kitchener)
  • Day: Wednesday September 29th, 2010
  • Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
  • Note: Please Register for the Event as we order Pizza and Pop based on Registration as of 12pm (Noon) on the day of the Event.

Photo of Justin Bieber courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Fredericton .NET User Group / OData on September 22nd

fredericton .net user group

The Fredericton .NET User Group’s site is live (and looking good, too!). If you live in or around Fredericton and are a .NET developer, be sure to bookmark both their site and Twitter account. They’ve got announcements about upcoming meetings as well as developer job listings for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

(And don’t forget to register for TechDays Halifax, taking place November 2 – 3, while the early bird rate of CAD$349.99 still applies!)

Next Meeting: OData (Wednesday, September 22nd)

open data protocol

On Wednesday, September 22nd, the Fredericton .NET User Group’s meeting topic will be on OData and present by Andrew Trevors of SwiftRadius, an IT consulting company and Microsoft Certified Partner in Fredericton. OData, short for the Open Data Protocol, and it’s a web protocol for querying and updating data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. It applies and builds upon Web technologies such as HTTP, Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) and JSON to provide access to information from a variety of applications, services, and stores.

The protocol emerged from experiences implementing AtomPub clients and servers in a variety of products over the past several years. OData is being used to expose and access information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, relational databases, file systems, content management systems and traditional Web sites.

OData is consistent with the way the Web works – it makes a deep commitment to URIs for resource identification and commits to an HTTP-based, uniform interface for interacting with those resources (just like the Web).   This commitment to core Web principles allows OData to enable a new level of data integration and interoperability across a broad range of clients, servers, services, and tools.

OData is released under the Open Specification Promise to allow anyone to freely interoperate with OData implementations.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.