Build and deploy applications using Microsoft Azure

Speaker: Matt Nunn, @mattnunn, http://www.thenunnery.us

Every company has to be a software company. Software allows us to do business. Companies that revolutionized business: Netflix, Uber, Skype, Amazon. The software they developed revolutionized the industry.

  
Developers are important, they have the ability to build software. Microsoft has offerings in all the places. Large number of services in Azure. Microsoft has a strong .Net platform. Lots of offerings in the open source too.

  
Azure is huge. It can be overwhelming. To understand what to use, the appropriate services. Azure has 3 core services: platform service, infrastructure service and datacenter infrastructure. You control everything, except maintaining the physical hardware. Some services are bundled together: IoT Suite,  AppService. A lot of choices to make.

  
Azure is an open cloud: all running in the cloud. Ability to run anything that you choose in the cloud.

  
MSDN subscribers: first-time cloud users can build a developer box in the cloud, e.g. running Visual Studio, and use as developer machine. Search for Visual Studio in the Marketplace. With MSDN you get up to 150$ in Azure credits. Connecting is simple: by remote desktop.

The Microsoft App Platform provides:

Mobility

To quote Satya Nadella, devices and device sizes change all the time. It’s actually about me and delivering the information to me. This is where the cloud becomes important.

Building mobile and web apps has challenges and we have to make sure that we, the developers, handle them: device proliferation (OS, dev tools, online/offline and sync), backend services (hosting services, legacy integration). Lots of things to think about. Focus on rich experiences (.Net, Desktop apps, WPF, UPW, Xamarin) or look at breadth of devices (browser-based). .Net and Xamarin share app logic across platforms. You can move to Cordova with HTML, JavaScript with the Cordova tooling in Visual Studio and deliver same UI experience.

Who’s my target? Consumer or Enterprise.

Consumer apps, like IMSA using Visual Studio and Azure for races with 20 race weekends and a fast time to market by going in only 13 weeks on the market with simultaneous launch on all primary mobile platforms.

Enterprise applications: we have Systems of record (SoR) always on premise, hard to access, no responsive design but today we have to deliver Systems of engagement build on top of SoR which allows you to deliver the modern UI without changing the backend.

Norman Bernhardt from pmOne, focused on business intelligence as well as on analytics, talks about the FareCloud airline solution with the challenge that the company wanted to grow but it’s a big load on the IT department. Different channels distributing the flights, old solution went from airline website to airline datacenter and directly to the booking system which was costly and with big load on the data center. First idea was building a cache and effort for the project was very high only for the hardware. It was suggested to move everything to the cloud, customer concerns about ata security and privacy but no security issues because this data is provided to customer and through the API. New solution uses Fare-/Availability Cache with Microsoft Azure Platform Services. Near-real time connect to sync data between booking and availability, 25 mil. get availability call per day to keep data synched. Network latency and answering times:  average answering times are 15 ms. Fallback important for customer: automatic problem detection and directs to old solution. Use public Microsoft cloud technology but build a private cloud, can be accessed via API and customer website. Significantly less costs using the cloud instead of improving the old solution. They recognized the opportunity and the possibility to grow the business, today they provide modules around the FareCloud for websites, resellers, reporting.

Use Azure App Service to build and scale great cloud apps: web, mobile, logic and API. It auto-patches. It auto-scales. You can use any language.

tryappservice.azure.com – between 1 and 24 hours to play in the sandbox.

If already using Azure: in Visual Studio when creating a new project => Microsoft Azure => Host in the cloud. Choose to which App Service to deploy. Within minutes done inside Visual Studio, deploy web app running on App Service. From inside Visual Studio, I can see everything in the Cloud Explorer: what’s deployed, what’s running on Azure.

Agility

Being agile is so important. The value of innovation decays over time. You have to innovate on a much faster schedule to keep up with the market. You have to get more agile over time. Agility takes a combination of the time to code business features and the time to build the “other stuff”. Don’t forget that you have people involved that have to become agile. Structure the team to work together with open space, put the team together, move the testers into the team so they work in a more agile way. It takes time to get started but you will get to deliver in a rapid time.

What is DevOps? Union of people, process and products to enable people to deliver fast. The heart of DevOps.

  1. Planning and adjust your plan on regular basis.
  2. Development and testing, do it together, continuous release, delivery and integration.
  3. Release management, release efficiently.
  4. Monitoring and learning, take feedback from the customer that will influence the next development cycle which becomes your backlog for the next cycle.

Tools: TFS and Visual Studio Team Services.

Problems seen in traditional dev and test in the cloud with challenges like longer infrastructure wait time, high costs and lower developer productivity.

Flexibility

It’s all about choice. Make sure that the tools and technology fit for you instead of vice versa. Microsoft offers a great variety of choices with the Azure Developer Platform with Release and Operate to code and monitor, Platform Services and Application Code.

Next generation app development is Azure Service Fabric. Not for everybody, it’s for highly customized solutions and unique tasks. Runs on top of Azure, in private cloud and other clouds like AWS. Maximum productivity and portability. The architecture is far more complex but for small single tasks that you want to scale broadly or access from different places.

On-premises too

Not everybody can go to the public cloud, perhaps you have to stay on-site. Azure Stack takes advantage of the public cloud capabilities on site in your own data center. Azure Stack offers the opportunity to use services in your own private cloud. You have control of how your private cloud looks like.

The ideal journey to the cloud

  1. Dev/test
  2. Take an app and move it to IaaS: private network, express route with secure connection
  3. Move websites to web app
  4. Add mobile features
  5. Move to hybrid apps
  6. Build micro-services

Sessions available online on Microsoft Virtual Academy.

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