Speech: To cloud or not to cloud -fundamental

Microsoft Imagine” was held on the 16th of October, 2016 at Leading University . The event was organized by “Microsoft Student Partner(MSP) Community”. A total of approx 100 students were participated on the event.

Since most of the students were unknown with the cloud platform so before diving into the Azure specific session I took a cloud fundamental session. In that session I discuss what cloud is, what are the benefits they will get after moving on cloud, what are the cloud terminology developers use regularly etc.

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There was a QA part at the end of each session where I answer some interesting questions. Questions like how IoT fits with cloud, is it safe to store data in cloud etc.

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Slide that I covered during the event can be found below:

Azure Website 101: Swapping

As spoken earlier, deployment slot in azure is hassle free deployment solution for web. In this section we will see how to use deployment slot to get the most out of it. Here we will see how we can swap a site from testing environment to production environment. But before that let me tell you what swapping actually is and what its not.

swap (n) – an acIf yout of exchanging one thing for another.

As the definition says swapping means changing one thing with another on a given situation. In our case, swapping indicates changing between slots. If you have already created multiple slots(staging, production) for your web apps and your tester confirms that site  running on staging slot behaves exactly the expected way then you can use the magical SWAP button to swap the production site with the staging site.  We can  visualize the whole swapping process with the following three diagram.

Azure Website 101_Swapping_01

By default, when an end user request for a site their browser usually hits the production site (Figure 1). With the introduction of deployment slot now it is possible to run multiple version of same site side by side. And since all the deployment slot have its own unique URL so tester, qa, client can check the different version of that particular site anytime they want (Figure 2).

Azure Website 101_Swapping_02

If the new version of that site passes all the test then swapping the slot(by clicking SWAP button or PowerShell/xplat cli command) can make the staging site into production site and vice versa (Figure 3).

Azure Website 101_Swapping_03

For any good reason if you suddenly realize that the changes you have made does not match client’s requirement then by performing the same swap immediately you can get the “last known good site” back.

People often get confused with this overall concept. A lot of them think that swapping is  probably changing content from one slot to another but it is not actually! It is more about changing the URL itself along with some site configuration. This is why if you are planning to include/exclude particular file(lets say,  robots.txt) during swap you are thinking it wrongly. SWAP option will never give you such flexibility, the only thing it  allow you to do is change the URL, mind it. One workaround for such requirements is dynamically served/generate the robots.txt file based on a configuration that is sticky to the slot.

Note to self :

Swap is not about copying the content of the website but more about swapping DNS pointers and that is why you can’t include/exclude particular file during swap.

Enough talk, now show me How

Open the web app for which you already have created multiple slot (staging, qa etc). Then select the slot that you want swap (Figure 4).

Azure Website 101_Swapping_04

This will open up a new blade that will show  some more details of that particular slot (Figure 5).

Azure Website 101_Swapping_05

Click the SWAP button which will open the SWAP blade from where you can select which of the slot you want to use as production type. Make sure that the swap source and swap target are set properly. Usually, the swap target would be the production slot. Additionally, you can also check Preview Changes to get some additional information (Figure 6).

Azure Website 101_Swapping_06

Once you are done click the OK button which will successfully swap the sites.

P.S. : If you want to swap a staging site with a site which is currently in STOPPED status then you will get a failure report like the following  (Figure 7). On such scenario, make your site in running state first then try again to swap with the staging slot.

Azure Website 101_Swapping_07

Auto-Swap

We have seen how to swap slot manually but what If we want to make this process automated (instantaneously swap the content and configuration) i.e the website automatically swaps a configured slot (in our case staging) with the Production slot once the deployment completes. In other words,  where you prefer continuous deployment of your web app with zero cold start and zero downtime, where pre-swap validation is not needed at all on such scenario  Auto-Swap comes handy.

Once enabled every time you push your code to that slot, App Service will automatically swap the web app into production after it has already warmed up in the slot.

To enable Auto Swap type following  Powershell command:

Set-AzureWebsite -Name mysite Slot staging -AutoSwapSlotName production

Good Read:

Introducing Cloud Computing at DotNetters Tech Summit – 2015 RUET

A day long technical event titled “DotNetters Tech Summit – 2015 RUET” was held on Saturday, 6th June at RUET (Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology) organized by Microsoft technical community group ‘DotNetters’. The event was inaugurated by honorable vice-chancellor of RUET Prof. Dr. Mohd. Rafiqul Alam Beg. This event had drawn immense response from computer science students and technology enthusiasts of RUET.

Speakers at the event comprise of renowned software architects and engineers from different reputed software companies in Bangladesh. Featured part of the event was an interactive development drills participated by all the “DotNetters” speakers.

The panel of speakers include Shahriar Hossain (tech author & Microsoft Technical Community Speaker), Shahriar Iqbal Chowdhury (CTO, Desme),  Ronald Roni Saha (Sr. System Developer, SoftwarePeople), Delwar Hiossain (Sr. Software Engineer, Desme), Sohel Rana (founder Nerddevs), Sk. Tajbir (Sr. Software Engineer, Desme) and Maksud Saifullah Pulak (Software Engineer, Aprosoft).

The session “Magical World of Cloud” taken by Shahriar Hossain  introduced Cloud computing to the RUET students.

Session: Magical World Of Cloud

Session: Magical World Of Cloud

Internationally renowned canadian development community ‘CodeProject’, USA based software company ‘Desme’ and ‘Aprosoft Consulting and Training Corp. Ltd’ were the community partners for this event, while ‘HiFi Public’ acted as the media partner.

Global Azure Bootcamp first time In Bangladesh !

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For the very first time in Bangladesh, the Global Azure Bootcamp is being held at NewsCred today and is organized by Microsoft Azure Bangladesh(community group managed by Shahriar Hossain). The event which commenced at 11:00am is aimed to familiarize professionals and students alike about the services of Azure that can aid in startup businesses and enterprises to ensure better productivity and security.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform developed by Microsoft to build, deploy and manage applications and services through a worldwide network of data centers owned and managed by Microsoft. Services include website hosting, database management, business analytics and other cloud services. Starting from 2013, the Microsoft Azure Community organizes a day long Azure Bootcamp globally, and this year, the day long training session is being held in Bangladesh for the first time.

The interactive sessions held during the event are being taken by an expert panel of professionals. The speakers include, Tanzim Saqib (Tech Evangelist, Microsoft Bangladesh), Swagata Prateek, (MVP, Windows Platform Development), Shahriar Hossain (Tech Author and Microsoft Technical Community Speaker), Monjurul Habib (Sr. Software Engineer, Cefalo),  Hasanuzzaman Shuvo (Software Engineer, Kaz Software), Maksud Saifullah Pulak (Software Engineer, Aprosoft), Shahjada Talukdar Masoom (Sr. Software Engineer, Orbitax Bangladesh Ltd),  Shahriar Iqbal Chowdhury (CTO, Desme) and Milton Murshid (Network Engineer, VirtualAjax).

Over 120 individuals are present at the event with the majority of participants being IT professionals. Shahriar Hossain took the session Into the heart of Azure Website.

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“This is a movement to empower developers with Microsoft Azure” said Shahriar Hossain. “Through this event we aim to have the developer community be familiarized with Azure and develop a cloud friendly ecosystem.”

“Azure allows businesses to be extremely scalable” said Tanzim Saqib. “Most of the participants at this event are those with technical background, including ones who are not experts on the Microsoft platform. We hope to make them more aware of Azure and help them to integrate cloud computing in their line of work.” He added.

Dev Skill is the platinum sponsor of the program while Newscred is the venue sponsor. Strategic partner for the event is Engineering Students’ Association of Bangladesh (ESAB) and HiFi Public is the media partner.

The event will conclude at 6pm.

Meet up @ Dhaka : Cloud & Big Data Technologies – Challenges & Opportunities

Cloud and Big Data technologies are being one of the major core components for building modern web applications and distributed systems. Initially utilized by big tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, these technologies are now being a vital part of enterprise organizations, like bank, insurance, and telecommunication companies. Microsoft MVP Ashraf Alam, along with his peer engineers from different areas of software development industries would like to share their experience gained through building large scale systems.

BASIS Institute of Technology & Management (BITM) has organized a daylong session named ‘Meet up @ Dhaka : Cloud & Big Data Technologies – Challenges & Opportunities’ on Saturday, 3rd January, 2015 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at BASIS Auditorium.
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Event started right at 10 am, MJ Ferdous from Microsoft bangladesh took the first session  named “Experiencing Microsoft Cloud (SaaS) Office 365“. After him Ashraf Alam, MVP Microsoft discuss about “Cloud & Big Data Technologies: Challenges & Opportunities“. I came on stage with the topic “Experiencing Platform as a Service (PaaS) with Windows Azure” .

Among other speaker, Shaikat Mahmud from Amazon, Jalal Uddin from DevSkill, Monjurul Habib from Cefalo were there to share their experience.

Get things done from virtually anywhere with Office365

Office365

The way most of us have used Microsoft Office over the years has stayed the same, but the software suite is changing radically, with a hard emphasis on getting consumers to subscribe. So Microsoft was looking for a solution that they could offer to their customer as a subscription basis. The biggest challenge that Microsoft had on their part with Office was that they had  to ensure customers to have a consistent experience and the ability to do more–anywhere and everywhere on nearly every device.  So, Microsoft introduced Office365 as a software as service that they have been working for so many years. This is basically the subscription version of the new Office 2013 software. It is an all in one solution that provides access to many of Microsoft’s popular products (Microsoft Exchange Server, Lync, SkyDrive, Word, Excel etc) in a very affordable and easy to manage environment.

Top few takeaways to note include:

  • Reduce risk with Office365: Traditionally most of the organization hosted their email and other stuffs onsite at their office, when you separate that out and put it into office365 it eliminates the risk of your email going down, your whole business goes down [Symbol].
  • Powerful collaboration: With Office365 you could work on documents together in real-time. You can also edit documents at the same time without any headache of version controlling. The added extras such as the SkyDrive integration are nice touches and are likely to prove enticing for businesses who might use it for collaborative purposes.
  • Get the same experience across all devices: Microsoft Office365 now available for all devices. That means if u have an iphone or ipad or other devices from well-known manufactured you can install it from their store so that you can do the same stuffs that you can do with your pc.
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  • Properly synced mobile device with calendar contacts: Rapid growth of Mobile, Smart Phone, tab etc if all those are not synced up that’s a big pain in the ass. Office365 makes the whole things simpler and automated. For say if someone delete an email from his/her windows phone then its automatically gets synced up with all connected device and all those device will only show the updated inbox.
  • No VPN required – connect from anywhere: You don’t require any VPN connection, you simply could login and get the most of it [Symbol].
  • Largest mailbox: Office365 now offers 25GB mailbox which is a massive mailbox so that no one have to clean up their mail box. With this huge amount of mailbox storage individual can have every email that they have ever received.
  • Work from multiple devices with no additional cost: If you love to work from more than one location or love to use different devices at different time then that’s not a problem with Office365. With Office365 you gets the flexibility to use the same subscription to login from different devices. You don’t have to buy different subscription for different devices. It has the potential to save you a great deal of money. Office 365 can be yours for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
  • No more Licensing upgrades: Office365 does not require additional downloads/installation on your local machine, instead you can enjoy the service from within your browser. Since all the processing and logic are running and serving directly from cloud, it makes the update process simple and automated. Microsoft can update and patches on their end and all the subscriber can get the updated version right away.

People like me just by reading stuffs probably won’t try to take a decision. Moving to an online version of Office is something of major transition that many of you might want to test drive before committing to.  So, Microsoft offers you to try out Office365 absolutely free of charge for a month to check out if it suits your need. Check that out and in no time Office365 will be your preferred solution

Azure Cloud Show @ Microsoft Bangladesh

Azure Cloud Show

Microsoft Azure is a world of ultimate possibilities. The five letter word “Azure” makes the cloud much more interesting and reliable. It enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network.

The event “Azure Cloud Show” is going to held on Microsoft Bangladesh office on November 23, 2014.  Event topic and speaker list are given below :

Event Topics:

  • Introducing Azure in Bangladesh & Licensing Process – Tanzim Saqib [3.00 – 3.20pm]
  • Cloud Delivery Model/Cloud Terminology Part I – Shahriar Hossain [3.20 – 4pm]
  • Up and Running Static Website using Git – Anika Sayara [4.10 – 4.30pm]
  • Up and Running Static Website in Azure using Visual Studio  – Shahriar Hossain [4.30 – 5.10pm]
  • Node.js in Azure Swagata Prateek [5.30 – 6.10pm]

Event details could be found here.