James Varga is CEO of miiCard (My Internet Identity Card), a service that lets you prove your real identity purely online and in just a few minutes. James founded miiCard in 2011 and is now focused on bringing trust to the internet and giving us back control of our online identities. miiCard is a revolutionary "digital passport" service that enables users to prove they are who they say they are for the first time purely online with no offline processing to the same level of authority as a driving license or passport would do offline. James can be contacted on email@example.com and found on twitter @jamesvarga
The future of the Internet is here and it is made up of services hosted on services…and fuelled by services. The industry has been building for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) for years but only now are we seeing the concept come of age. Services are being weaved into everything we do and are changing the world we live in, providing a unique opportunity for the modern start-up.
It’s with the emergence of true web services that we are now seeing a new paradigm form. In this future Internet it is all about services, functionality, the internet of things and the data it produces. This movement is creating an opportunity unlike any experienced before – an opportunity to create unique global services that do one thing – but do it well.
miiCard is an Identity as a Service (IDaaS) provider that proves your real identity, that you are who you say you are, purely online and in just minutes. We are competing against everything from traditional offline processing, big data providers and public sector organisations – and we are winning. As a small team with a global proposition we knew that we had to do something different if we were going to be successful in an industry that was traditionally owned by large corporates. This is why we are using Windows Azure to power miiCard, increase our competitiveness and offer a unique service not only to consumers but in an industry that demands performance, scale and resilience.
Windows Azure can be described primarily as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and therefore requires you to take a fresh approach to designing an application. It’s not just enough to copy your relational database and port it over to the 'cloud' - you have to design for the cloud.
In building a IDaaS offering in miiCard we knew we had to take a new approach to supporting the demands of the Internet. While platform agnostic it is Microsoft’s take on cloud computing that makes this possible and has changed the way we build software. Long gone are the headaches of system administrators, load balancing, failover, resource planning and scaling. We just build it and it works!
But it has meant changing our views on many of the traditional approaches to building software. Gone are the relational tables, large storage arrays, performance bottlenecks and load balancers. It is an internal mash up of services, processes, partitioned tables and distributed content.
miiCard utilises the purest elements of Windows Azure to deliver our service. We store our data in Azure Storage with a focus on large-scale partitioned tables. Traditional complex application structures have now been broken down into discrete web and worker roles – processing data and information requests from a range of internal and external service requests. All of this is connected through the Azure Service Bus and distributed regionally where required through the Content Delivery Network and cached as and when required. In essence it’s a ‘loosely-coupled’ set of services that are distributed globally to provide a new set of services based on the sum of its parts.
To answer this let me describe what we have. As an online identity service we currently support seven countries and expect to extend this to ten in the next year. This is a fantastic level of coverage in an industry that struggles to support a single country. By leveraging a range of external services and data sources we gain wide geographical coverage but more critically our chosen infrastructure, Windows Azure, provides miiCard with a unique set of core capabilities.
miiCard is a scalable, always-on, identity service for both consumers and businesses that scales linearly in capacity and cost in direct relation to market demand, take up and usage. As a service it’s distributed regionally when and where it is needed within a few minutes to support 10, 10k or 10m users as required. It is a service that provides the scale, resiliency and flexibility that means we can compete in an environment dominated by large system integrators and technology companies.
All of this with a small team of developers focusing on building great functionality, solving business problems and creating strong user experiences. As a start-up it’s all about focus, doing one thing and doing it well. Gone are the distractions and everything non-core or critical to our success. We have no system administrators, no servers, no maintenance or capital expenditure on infrastructure. Not only are we are free to do what we are good at, build a great service, but we get to leverage what Windows Azure is good at for low cost of entry, scaling and an extremely fast route to market.
For years we have been building applications based on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), a methodology for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services with well-defined, reusable, business functionalities. It is this services-based approach that we are now seeing transcend into both infrastructure and computing solutions and that is creating a catalyst, a spark, that will ignite life into a new breed of start-up. miiCard is an example of this new breed of start-up, a pure service based approach to solving one of biggest challenges on the Internet – how to create trust online.
I would normally caveat that it may not be for everyone, and while I could have said this a couple years ago, I just don’t think it’s true anymore. This is the future of the Internet and regardless of what you are building the concepts and resources of Windows Azure, of Platform as a Service, still applies.
And it’s not just a platform for infrastructure – it’s a platform for innovation. Removing the traditional barriers to software development allows us to focus on what counts - great experiences, benefits and business gains.
The data explosion is happening at every level of the business: across devices, applications, and individual roles. Become certified on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and prove your knowledge and skills in designing, building, and maintaining the next wave of cloud-ready database and information solutions.
1. What are the SQL Server 2012 Certifications?
From the 11th of June IT Professionals can achieve the following SQL Server 2012 Certifications:
· Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in SQL Server 2012.
· Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) in Data Platform or Business Intelligence.
The MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification validates a set of core SQL Server 2012 skills and is a pre-requisite for both the higher Data Platform and Business Intelligence MCSE certifications. Achieving the MCSE: Data Platform certification will demonstrate your indispensable expertise to build enterprise-scale data solutions on-premise, or in the cloud. And the MSCE: Business Intelligence certification will showcase your skills in developing and deploying visually rich business intelligence solutions and reports.
IT professionals can schedule their SQL Server 2012 exams through Microsofts testing partner Prometric.
2. What SQL Server 2012 Training is available?
Aligned to each exam is a new official SQL Server 2012 course, delivered by Microsoft Learning Partners, which will prepare you for the MCSA and MCSE exams. IT Pros can help prepare for these courses by getting hands-on with SQL Server 2012, through either downloading a SQL Server 2012 Trial and or using Virtual Labs. You can also get-up to speed with the new features of SQL Server 2012 through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, which provides bite-sized online training.
3. Can I Upgrade my SQL Server 2008 Certifications?
For those who currently hold the MCTS or MCITP in SQL Server 2008, you can sit upgrade exams in order to transition your SQL Server 2008 credentials into SQL Server 2012 MCSA and MCSE certifications. For more information about upgrade courses, please choose your destination below.
· MCSE in Business Intelligence
· MCSE in Data Platform
The IT Pro Team are either on holiday or at IT Camps at the moment so I’m left holding the fort. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to let you know about an event we are running on the 2nd of July with Wally Mead from Microsoft HQ, Seattle
We know that not everyone is able to attend TechEd Europe this year, therefore we thought we’d bring TechEd Europe to Reading. Reading doesn’t have tulips or clogs but it will have Wally re-delivering his sessions on Configuration Manager as part of the System Center 2012 group of products:
Click here to learn with our experts
09.30 Introduction to 1E
10.15 Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview
11.45 Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Plan, Deploy and Migrate from Configuration Manager 2007 to 2012
13.45 Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Patch and Settings Management
15.30 Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deep Application Management
17.15 Networking Reception
Spaces for this event will be limited so please register early to avoid disappointment:https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032515665&Culture=en-GB
The event is being run in partnership with:
1E – 1E is the pioneer and global leader in Efficient IT solutions. 1E’s mission is to identify unused IT, help remove it and optimize everything else. 1E Efficient IT solutions help toreduce servers, network bandwidth constraints, software licenses and energy consumption. To date, 1E has helped more than 1,600 customers make £900m in efficiency savings. This includes £500m in energy costs alone and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 5.8 million tonnes.www.1e.com
FAQShop.com - FAQShop.com,one of the longest running and most popular websites for Microsoft Systems Management-related informationwhich provides hints, tips and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), relating to Microsoft ConfigMgr and SMS.http://www.faqshop.com
I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Dan Pilling | Microsoft | IT Pro - Audience Marketing Lead |
Eurobase Insurance Solutions, one of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance software providers and a Microsoft Partner with Gold ISV Competency, recommends Microsoft SQL Server as the database platform for its insurance software solutions.
Eurobase has more than 20 years’ experience providing business solutions to the global insurance and reinsurance market, and its latest Synergy product suite covers the end-to-end business process life-cycle for a comprehensive range of classes of business including Reinsurance, Large Commercial and General Insurance. By aligning our product technology strategy closely with Microsoft and its expertise in developing mission critical business software platforms, clients and the wider market are able to benefit from an unrivalled scalability, high performance, robustness and availability both now and in the future.
Speaking about this strategic move, Boris Hurinek, Group Technical Architect for Eurobase International Group, said,
“Further strengthening our partnership with Microsoft and selecting SQL Server as the preferred database platform for our insurance software solutions allows Eurobase to take full advantage of the database platform specific features to provide enhanced security, even higher performance and availability of the systems to our customers. The days of database engines offering similar features are long gone. Until now our technical designs had to be constrained by the features available in all the supported platforms or adapters were required to fill the gaps at the cost of additional development effort and complexity. Being able to fully utilise Microsoft’s robust and well integrated development tools with the database engine from the same supplier significantly accelerates development processes and allows us to focus our technical skills and expertise on the key areas that add further value to our customers”.
As part of the database platform selection process Eurobase carefully considered the following criteria:
Based on demand from their end customers, Eurobase has been able to deliver more functionality using SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 for its new version of Synergy. This has been achieved at a lower cost of both development and support whilst still meeting the original delivery dates.
For more information on Eurobase contact: Boris Hurinek (Group Technical Architect) firstname.lastname@example.org
The new product milestones are coming thick and fast, and the Windows Server team reached another one last week. In a post on the Windows Server blog, Jeffrey Snover announced the availability of the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate!
That’s the good news, the great news is that there are a limited few places remaining at the Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow in London next Thursday! The Edinburgh event has been a sell-out, so if you’re an IT Pro or Microsoft Partner don’t miss this chance to get bang up to date with all the latest Windows Server announcements with MVPs Damian Flynn , Aidan Finn and Alex Juschin.
What’s more, as this is an evening event there’s no need to ask your boss for the time out of the office and you can still be ahead of the crowd. The guys will be covering a range of subjects including:
For more information, click through to the registration page here.
Event Details London Date – 14th June 2012 Location – London, Cardinal Place, 80-100 Victoria Street Time - 17:30 - 21:15 Register Here
Edinburgh Date – 15th June 2012 Location – Edinburgh, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place Time - 13:00 - 17:10 Wait List Here
Apply powerful window functions in T-SQL-and increase the performance and speed of your queries.
Optimize your queries-and obtain simple and elegant solutions to a variety of problems-using window functions in Transact-SQL. Led by T-SQL expert Itzik Ben-Gan, you'll learn how to apply calculations against sets of rows in a flexible, clear, and efficient manner. Ideal whether you're a database administrator or developer, this practical guide demonstrates ways to use more than a dozen T-SQL querying solutions to address common business tasks.
Discover how to:
If you are a TechNet UK subscriber you can get this book at a 40% discount with this month’s newsletter which is due out on the 7th June 2012. Just subscribe to the newsletter and it will drop into your inbox!
(Remember to select UK when you subscribe or you’ll get the US offers and news!)
This event will cover the key new features and capabilities that Visual Studio 11 offers software development teams, and the opportunity to ask questions to the UK Developer Tools team and partners. There will be something for almost anyone involved in software development, from Project Managers & Scrum Masters to developers and testers.
The focus areas for discussion will be:
The format of the session will focus on a Q&A discussion to address questions relating to the videos and recommended reading provided on the UK Visual Studio Team Blog. Please register for the event and then take a look at the content here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudiouk/archive/2012/05/16/visual-studio-11-uk-online-conference-pre-reading-details.aspx.
If you would like, you can post questions in advance @VisualStudioUK, using the hashtag #ukvs11conf.
Register here to get the event log in details:- https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032513917&Culture=en-GB
If you are coming to TechEd Europe this year then you’re in for a treat! Not only are there hours and hours of awesome content but you’ll get to meet the whole of the TechNet UK team and a few extras from Microsoft UK.
So that you can find us all really easily at the delegate party we’ve decided to have some fun and have a theme! You can blame the theme on Dan! He was getting all depressed at the cold, wet windy English weather and has been craving sunshine for weeks! So he decided on a Hawaiian theme! We are hoping that with the theme comes sunshine!
Get your Hawaiian shirts to the ready, bring your lei garlands and grass skirts!
If you can’t come to the TechEd Europe in person why not be there in spirit by send us your pictures of you in your Hawaiian shirts by sharing them on Twitter or Facebook! We’ll be wearing them next Wednesday!
My, what a busy fortnight. So busy in fact we seem to have overlooked one issue of ‘The week that was’, so welcome to this plural overview of the weeks that were! Must have been all that Jubilee excitement.
Without further ado, feast your eyes on what we’ve been talking about below.
It might be a slightly quieter week this week as everyone seems to be escaping the drizzle for sunnier climes, nonetheless we’ll be bringing you great content when we can and will be back with a bang before you know it! In the meantime, if you would like to get all the latest TechNet news direct to your inbox why not sign up to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
Last week was a quiet one with many of the team having a break before we head over to TechEd in Amsterdam next week. Here’s what came up last week on the blog:
We’re looking forward to catching up with many of you at TechEd Europe so if you are heading over let us know and we’ll look out for you! If you aren’t heading over why not set us a challenge or two with suggestions for content or questions that you are looking for answers to!
Let us know what content on the agenda is of interest to you and we’ll try to cover the topics that interest you most!