Final Day at TechEd Australia 2013

Today was the final day of TechEd Australia, and I was privileged to attend probably the most relevant session to my chosen specialty area, apart from BizTalk Bill‘s WABS presentation yesterday. Brady Gaster from the Windows Azure SDK team gave a terrific presentation on integrating Windows Azure Websites with On-Premises Systems. billed as a discussion on “various techniques of connecting a Windows Azure Web Site to an on-premises enterprise architecture”. It certainly did not disappoint!

Brady demonstrated the use of Windows Azure Service Bus topics and relays in order to connect a website hosted  application to on-premises systems and databases by running iterative solutions based on an “Enterprise Pizza Store” concept. He used a Service Bus topic to accept orders from photo 2the website and process them, with multiple subscriptions based on the processing status. He then progressed to using Service Bus relays to expose services that perform the database operations rather than having external sources update the data directly. Finally, he included a “surprise demo” that exhibited the use of the Windows Azure SDK for Java, using a Java client to log messages.

All the demos were very smooth and impressive, and effectively demonstrated how easy it is to leverage cloud resources to implement hybrid solutions that cross organisational boundaries. All the code (excluding the “surprise”  Java demo) can be found here on GitHub, while the slides from his USA version of this presentation can be found on Channel9. He also has an extensive blog post on this. I highly recommend checking it out!

By the way, this  was not the first impressive session with Brady at this event – he also appeared in the Developer Kick-Off Session giving us a sneak preview of Windows Azure Services SDK – a C# library for managing Azure resources. In that 10 minute session, he use <100 lines of codes to create an Azure website, publish content to it, delete the site, create a SQL Azure server, create a database, delete the database, and tear down the server. Whilst all this can already by done in PowerShell, the coming ability to do this in C# code has some terrific implications for automated  testing scenarios – especially when you consider that you only pay for what you use in Azure!

Wrapping up the day was the lock-note, featuring Scott Guthrie talking about Owning Tomorrow with Cloud Computing. Scott talked about the IaaS capabilities of Azure being “flexible, open & consistent”, demonstrated the IMG_1572portability of Virtual Machines between the cloud and on-premise (both use Hyper-V’s “*.vhd format), discussed the reduced pricing for MSDN subscribers and their ability to use MSDN software licenses in Azure, and the numerous PaaS offerings now available in the Gallery. He also introduced two live testimonials from John Azariah (Senior Application Architect for MYOB) and James Miles (Software Development Manager for Cash Converters) as well as a video testimonial from Barnados featuring cameos of Microsoft’s David McGhee. Scott was followed by a brief segment from Microsoft’s RockyH, whose entertaining summation of the four stages of an Airbus A380 jet engine (“Suck | Squeeze | Bang | Blow”) was used to underpin his mantra “Simplify the Impossible”. And then of course there were the prize draws. Sadly, this delegate did not win anything, but I certainly left this year’s TechEd feeling very fulfilled!

About Dan Toomey
Husband, father, Enterprise integration geek, Pluralsight author, Brisbane Azure User Group leader (@BrisbaneAzureUG), MCPD, MCT, MCTS & former professional musician.

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