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Mini-MSFT is back, with a post about Microsoft turning The Corner.  It’s interesting to contrast his point of view with that of MG Siegler over at ParisLemon.  Given my own perception of  Valley bias on the part of Siegler (he is one of the new voices of TechCrunch after all), it’s great to see that we’re making progress which is being met with receptivity and not suspicion.  Further, everyone is focused on the most important beneficiaries - customers. I have to admit, since returning to the company a little over a year ago, I have had this sense that things are looking up.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of frustrations for me, but that’s to be expected when you come from a tiny company where you were the founder and CEO to a large company where you a cog in a wheel. With the new fiscal year, I have a new role and a new team, and I plan on making liberal... (more)

SQL Data Services Rebranded to ‘SQL Azure’

Microsoft announced the rebranding of SQL Services to SQL Azure. SQL Server is the data platform of Windows Server so it made sense to align the name of the relational database platform of Windows Azure, SQL Azure. SQL Azure is built on the SQL Server technology foundation which delivers relational database capabilities in the cloud. The next CTP of now SQL Azure will be in August. You can, however, get started today with SQL Express. Over the next days there will be more details about SQL Azure, including posting the first round of SQL Azure Database documentation to MSDN. Also the SQL Azure prices will be announced on Monday. Related posts: Email Archiving in the Windows Azure Cloud Using SQL Data Services I wrote previously about the potential of SQL Data Services, the... SQL Data Services. Your Database in the Cloud. One thing in the Microsoft cloud I find real... (more)

Microsoft & NetApp New BFFs

Azure Session at Cloud Expo Microsoft and NetApp, its new BFF, have forged a new three-year pact that will see them collaborate on virtualization, private cloud computing and storage and data management in the name of reducing client costs, increasing their performance and reaching new levels of efficiency. ... (more)

‘Hey, This Windows Thing is Working’: Microsoft

Evidently 7 is Microsoft's lucky number. It knocked one out of the park when it reported its calendar Q4 results Thursday. Revenues steamed past everybody's expectation by like a billion dollars on the back on Windows 7 sales, netting earnings of $6.7 billion, or 74 cents a share, up 60%. It captured record revenues of $19.02 billion, up 14% year-over-year. Operating income came in at $8.51 billion, up 43%. Microsoft said it recognized $1.71 billion in deferred revenue from its Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program and Win7 pre-sales to OEMs and retailers before general availability on October 22. That contributed 14 cents to earnings. Without those deferred revenues, it did a light-ish $17.31 billion in total revenues and earned 60 cents a share. In a statement CFO Peter Klein pointed to the "exceptional demand for Windows 7." He added that "managing costs allowed us to ... (more)

Top Three Performance Problems in Custom Microsoft CRM Applications

After spending a lot of time focusing on Client-Side Web 2.0 Performance Problems it is time to focus on specific Server-Side Performance Problems. Last week I worked with a client that runs a custom application on Microsoft CRM 4.0 and experienced performance problems in their test environment. Individual web requests to query or update data took several minutes, with some of them eventually timing out. We analyzed some of these long running and failing transactions and in this blog I present my analysis and hope it will be beneficial for other MS CRM Developers. Quick Overview of MS CRM Microsoft CRM provides two core SDK interfaces (ICrmService and ICrmMetaDataService) that allows the CRM Developer to query and update data from the CRM Data Store. CRM provides a way to model any type of business object. The MetaData service provides access to the object entity typ... (more)

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Leaving Company Unexpectedly

Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates' hand-picked replacement as Microsoft's chief software architect and the father of the Azure cloud, is leaving the company. Steve Ballmer sent out an all-hands e-mail saying so Monday. Ballmer also said Ozzie will not be replaced. Ballmer calls his job "unique." In his place, Ballmer says Microsoft has "a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market." There is no explanation for why Ozzie is leaving or what he will do next. Ballmer says he has no plans. When exactly he departs is unclear; apparently he will be sticking around through a transition and paying some attention to the entertainment space before he leaves. Here is the e-mail: From: Steveb Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2010 To: Microsoft - All Employees Subject: Ray Ozzie Transition This past March marked a signifi... (more)

Microsoft Open Government - To the Cloud!

With the US Government announcing a 'Cloud for Clunkers' migration plan for Cloud computing, and also an Open Government initiative to make agencies more transparent and responsive to the public, this overlap area is a very fertile zone for driving adoption of the technology and new models. Needless to say Microsoft is one vendor offering a powerful solution set for the requirement. They offer a Gov 2.0 resource centre, where there are tools like case studies, news, and articles that explain what Open Government is, and even an implementation plan template so that agencies can document their own strategy and business plan for achieving compliance with the OG Directive. Their white paper 'The Way to Go Gov 2.0' (22 page PDF) provides a comprehensive overview of what's involved, covering various points such as: Examples of how agencies are using Twitter et al, to delive... (more)

Microsoft and Third Party Software

Well, you may also call this the work of a Virtual Microsoft Evangelist. I am using virtual evangelist in the sense of not being connected with or paid for by Microsoft in any way  (except my familarity with its products). In here, I Iist the articles I wrote for a number of years on Microsoft products and how they connect with third party software.  Articles related to Microsoft technology with Oracle, SQL Anywhere, ColdFusion, Sun Microsystems and Crystal Reports. 2005 Exploring OLAP Cube with Visual Basic Crystal Report from OLAP Data Introduction Using DTS: Import From/Export To a Non-Microsoft Database 2006 Querying SQL 2000 Server with ColdFusion Connecting to SQL 2005 Server from the Java Studio Creator JSP Basics with Java Studio Creator 2 for VB Programmers JSP Consumer for a Visual Studio Created Web Service Using Sun Java Studio Creator Migrating an MS Acc... (more)

New Features in PowerBuilder 11.5

In the previous articles in this series, we looked at FDCC changes (part 1) and GUI enhancements (part 2) in PowerBuilder 11.5. In this article, we'll be looking at the enhancements that were added to PowerBuilder 11.5 that are specifically related to .NET targets. The one thing we won't be covering in this regard is the .NET security enhancements that were covered in a previous PBDJ article: "Applying Code Access Security in PowerBuilder .NET Applications" by Maggie Lv. Strong Named Assemblies The .NET framework allows the author to sign an assembly so that it has a "strong name." Such signing provides a number of benefits including: Verification of the integrity of the assembly. The .NET runtime will ensure that the assembly being loaded has not been modified. Versioning. You can have several different versions of the assembly installed and each application will u... (more)

Business Apps Example for Silverlight 3 RTM

Continuing in our discussion of Silverlight 3 and  the brand new update to .NET RIA Services and the update the example from my Mix09 talk “building business applications with Silverlight 3”. You can watch the original  video of the full session  The demo requires (all 100% free and always free): VS2008 SP1 (Which includes Sql Express 2008) Silverlight 3 RTM .NET RIA Services July '09 Preview Also, download the full demo files and check out the running application. Today, we will talk about Rich Data Query.    Rich Data Query Next up, let’s talk about data query.  Nearly every business application deals with data.   Let’s look at how to do this with .NET RIA Services.   We will start out in the web project.   For this example I will use an Entity Framework data model, but RIA Services works great with any form of data from plain olld CLR objects to an xml file, to web ... (more)

Business Apps Example for Silverlight 3 RTM and .NET RIA Services

More updates on my Mix09 talk “building business applications with Silverlight 3”. You can watch the original  video of the full session The demo requires (all 100% free and always free): VS2008 SP1 (Which includes Sql Express 2008) Silverlight 3 RTM .NET RIA Services July '09 Preview Also, download the full demo files… In the original demo I showed getting your data from a database directly from the web tier.  Many enterprise customers have found that it their systems are more maintainable and secure if they isolate the database access behind a set of web services possibly in a DMZ.  This means that no apps talk directly to the database.   Yet there is often a need to add application specific validation and application logic as well as data shaping and aggregation in the web-tier.   To show this, I have refactored the example application from the first part of thi... (more)