In our next Azure ‘n’ Action session, we will explore how many companies are leveraging Software as a Service (SaaS) and Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to lower their operational costs. Did you know that by extending your on-premises Active Directory into Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD), your users can authenticate to Exchange, Lync and SharePoint SaaS by using Windows Azure Active Directory managed accounts, and stop requiring federation back to your on-premises data center by leveraging DirSync with password sync? This allows you to take advantage of Microsoft’s facilities, […]

Since PaaS and Windows Azure have both been in the news recently, thanks to a favorable report from Gartner, I thought it might be good timing to revisit a whitepaper I wrote on PaaS. And particularly, look at the differences between Azure IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS. There’s been a lot of talk about the different cloud-based services available today, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). While each of […]

Windows Azure BizTalk Services is a cloud-based integration service that provides Business-to-Business (B2B) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) capabilities for delivering cloud and hybrid integration solutions. With the latest release of Azure BizTalk Services, only the XML and text content-types are supported. JSON, on the other hand, is getting ubiquitous, so this blog post describes on how to add support for JSON by extending the Azure BizTalk Bridges using the message inspectors. Some of the use cases might be interacting […]

I’ve been reading a lot about the sweeping organizational changes at Microsoft. It’s always interesting to analyze and attempt to interpret their strategy and internal politics. (For example, why is the Dynamics business still separate? Is it being positioned to be sold? Probably not, but fun to consider.) However, I am more drawn to the larger changes the re-org is enabling. The external press always seems to be negative about the actions of Microsoft’s executive leadership ever since Bill Gates left.  […]

Technology is advancing rapidly, and with its advance comes new and useful ways to complete everyday tasks. In this post I’d like to talk about some of the benefits of replacing the paper- or desktop-based ways of an employee whose job is performed primarily in the field. (Home health workers or field service technicians, for example.) Quality custom software that’s designed to meet the specific needs of a business is easy to adapt and should have minimal adoption time and […]

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the general availability of its offering of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). They join an already-crowded market of IaaS providers, but this offering gives all companies the ability to offload workloads that have traditionally run in a company data center to the cloud. Welcome, Microsoft — the water is fine. This announcement also represents a major chunk of Microsoft’s family of Azure offerings…and in my opinion, a stepping stone many companies simply must take in moving out […]

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft’s strategy for SharePoint 2013 is cloud-based, SaaS, Hosted Services or whatever you want to call it.  Whatever the name, the outcome is that custom, server-side code is no longer the way to go in the SharePoint world.  This brings into question the fate of one of the workhorses of SharePoint since 2003: the Event Receiver.  Microsoft has done a great job of exposing web services and creating the Client Side Object Model to enable scripting, but that doesn’t work when your application needs to […]