...and everything in between RSS 2.0
# Monday, September 26, 2011

Free Azure session!!!

Mick and I are delivering a number of free Windows Azure session for Microsoft over the coming weeks. Be sure to connect on in and get up to speed on all things Azure.


LIVE - 2 Hour

IT Pro/Dev/ ISV

Sept 27th                                  2-4 pm


Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

LIVE - 2 Hour

IT Pro

Oct 25th                                  2-4 pm


An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

LIVE - 2 Hour

IT Pro/Dev/ ISV

Nov 22nd                                2-4 pm


Managing Windows Azure Applications

* Note – All times are Australian Eastern Standard time (+10 GMT)

Monday, September 26, 2011 10:08:36 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
Breeze | Cloud Services | Windows Azure
# Friday, September 09, 2011

A recent project of ours has made the news this week > Centrebet deploys app integration platform.

This was a great project to be involved in, consisting of a great mix of technology:

  • Microsoft BizTalk Server
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus
  • Windows Azure Hosted Services
  • F# asynchronous programming


A real software engineering project that had to meet high throughput and low latency requirements, incorporate new technologies and come in on very (very) tight time frames. Credit to go out to the team at Breeze for getting this over the line.

Friday, September 09, 2011 8:59:08 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
BizTalk General | Breeze | Cloud Services | F# | WCF | Windows Azure | Windows Server AppFabric
# Friday, August 12, 2011

I’m loving getting my teeth into F# (once I got over the initial learning curve).
I did however come across this today:


To fix re-install the Visual Studio 2010 F# 2.0 Runtime SP1. All good once again.

Happy functional programming Winking smile

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:52:05 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
# Monday, July 04, 2011

Sydney | SharePoint 2010 Bootcamp


“The best course I have done in years!”

“A fantastic course. Mick really has depth of knowledge and is a very engaging trainer”


REGISTER TODAY - 4 seats left!

Special offer of 15% discount if book & pay before June 30th 2011.


This is a 5-day bootcamp designed for both IT Professionals and Developers packed with fun and technical training to explore the features of SharePoint 2010 ‘out of the box’.

At course completion students will be able to upgrade their SharePoint V3 sites/portals to SharePoint 2010, to implement and extend Microsoft Office client side solutions, and also implement custom workflows developed in Visual Studio.

They’ll be equipped to care for their SharePoint farm, back it up and restore it, and set up and configure SharePoint 2010 infrastructure. Architecting the portal and sub-sites layouts is streamlined using best strategies and known best practices within the SharePoint space.

Students will create custom WebParts and SharePoint customisations easily, as well as site wide features, event handlers and InfoPath Forms based solutions. They will also explore Excel Services and Business Intelligence Offerings.

Be ready to roll up your sleeves and start your adventure here!

Date:                     Monday 25 – Friday 29 July 2011

Instructor: Mick Badran - MVP

Location:             Breeze Office

Edgecliff Court, Suite 5a

2 New McLean Street

Edgecliff NSW 2027

Time:                    8.30am – 4.30pm

Duration:             5 Days

Course Price:     $3,450.00 + GST


Register NOW: Emmav@breeze.net

Monday, July 04, 2011 9:28:22 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
Breeze | SharePoint
# Thursday, April 07, 2011

Hit this little hurdle recently while creating WCF Data Service against Azure Table Storage. At the moment only a handful of operators are supported by the client library when using the Table Storage Service.

Supported Query Operators

LINQ operator

Table service support

Additional information


Supported as defined.



Supported as defined.



Supported, with some restrictions.

The value specified for the Take operator must be less than or equal to 1,000. If it is greater than 1,000, the service returns status code 400 (Bad Request).

If the Take operator is not specified, a maximum of 1,000 entries will be returned.

First, FirstOrDefault



What this means is that we can not perform LINQ queries that group, order by, distinct or even return single entity properties from the query (we must always return the entire entity). In most situations the solution is to construct our LINQ queries that first make use of the supported operators and then use AsEnumerable() followed by any operations that are not supported. This generates two parts to the LINQ query. The first part (everything before the AsEnumerable) gets sent to the backend (Azure Table Storage in this case) and the remaining parts execute locally against the results of the first (in-memory). This helps get over the road-block but as you can image you are bringing a greater chunk of data down to the client and continuing processing there.

Some examples:

Using Distinct()

var query = myTableServiceContext.MyEntity.Where(e => e.Category == someCatgeory).AsEnumerable().Select(c => c.Name).Distinct();
Select next 5 entities after a given date and time (using OrderBy together with Take)
var query = myTableServiceContext.MyEntity.Where(e => e.Category == someCatgeory & e.StartDate > DateTime.UtcNow).AsEnumerable().OrderBy(o => o.StartDate).Take(5);

For further details check out the online documentation.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 8:32:00 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
.NET Framework | WCF | Windows Azure
# Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Just thought I might share some useful dev tools I have either found or have had recommended to me.

The first is a must if you are doing any LINQ action in your code (…and most of us are in some degree these days).
Check out LINQPad. I am blown away how useful this tool has been. Think SQL Management Studio for LINQ!


Another great tool I have been using lately is Neudesic’s Azure Storage Explorer


Essential for generating and managing Azure table storage data during development.
Plays nicely with both developer storage and Azure storage accounts.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 2:53:00 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
.NET Framework | Windows Azure
# Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Released just last week, this codeplex project aims to make developing WP7 apps that talk to cloud storage easier to develop. Having been down that path over the last few days I was keen to test it out.

We get some nice new project templates:


But most importantly we get

  • A “working” version of the OData client library (System.Data.Services.Client)
  • A Windows Phone 7 Azure StorageClient library (WindowsPhoneCloud.StorageClient)

Just in time Smile with tongue out

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 10:36:29 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    - Trackback
Windows Azure | Windows Phone 7
# Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am finding that the development storage emulator has a few “undocumented features”. A few days ago, I was happily working through the Windows Azure Training Kit and things were going well. Today I was putting together a PoC using pieces learnt from the labs. I kept hitting a problem when trying to insert an entity into the newly created table storage (running on the local Storage Emulator). I was getting the generic error message when querying the collection:

“one of the request inputs is not valid”

var match = (from c in this.context.Clients
              where c.Name == name
              select c).FirstOrDefault();


Some things I tried that didn’t help:

  • Restarting the Storage Emulator a few times.
  • Restarting the machine (always worth a shot!)
  • Deleting the entries in the TableContainer and TableRow tables in the development storage DB.
  • Recreating the development storage DB using DSINIT /forceCreate.
  • Running around the office naked.

After hunting around for quite some time (including running the lab code again and getting them same result) I tracked it down to the table storage schema not being created after issuing


Note: This worked happily when I was working through the labs a few days ago. Neither my code nor the lab code was working now. Annoyed

Looking at the underlying DB (using SQLEXPRESS on my VM) I found no schema populated


After some frustrating searching, I came across this post that suggested an ugly work around > azure-table-storage-what-a-pain-in-the-ass. It suggests that on the local storage emulator you need to “convince” the table service provider that you know what you are doing by inserting some dummy entities. This only appears to be needed when you have no data in your tables. So I added the following code in my data source constructor so it gets called by my service before performing any CRUD operations. 

// [WORK AROUND] See http://deeperdesign.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/azure-table-storage-what-a-pain-in-the-ass/
//  Generate some inserts to populate empty table
var client = new Client("dummy", "dummy");
this.context.AddObject("Clients", client);
var post = new Post("dummy", "dummy");
this.context.AddObject("Posts", post);

Ugly but it jumps the hurdle and allows me to get back to building out the rest of the solution. Just remember to comment it back out after you verify the schema xml has been populated successfully and your CRUD operations are going through.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:53:33 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    - Trackback
Windows Azure
# Tuesday, November 30, 2010
HTTP Error 401.1 - Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials.

"If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this…”

And yet the solution appears to be different each time. Or at least to me when it comes to issues with integrated Windows Authentication and Kerberos. Today the solution lay in forcing IIS to use NTLM authentication as suggested by the following KB article


To work around this behaviour if you have multiple application pools that run under different domain user accounts, you must force IIS to use NTLM as your authentication mechanism if you want to use Integrated Windows authentication only. To do this, follow these steps on the server that is running IIS:

  1. Start a command prompt.
  2. Locate and then change to the directory that contains the Adsutil.vbs file. By default, this directory is C:\Inetpub\Adminscripts.
  3. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/NTAuthenticationProviders "NTLM"

  4. To verify that the NtAuthenticationProviders metabase property is set to NTLM, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    cscript adsutil.vbs get w3svc/NTAuthenticationProviders

    The following text should be returned:

    NTAuthenticationProviders       : (STRING) "NTLM"
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 8:49:29 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    - Trackback
BizTalk General
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