Sunday, November 20, 2016

What is Docker?

Build, ship and run any app, anywhere
dockerlogoDocker containers wrap a piece of software in a complete file system that contains everything needed to run: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries – anything that can be installed on a server. This guarantees that the software will always run the same, regardless of its environment.
Docker uses a client/server model. The server or daemon actually does all the building and running of docker container. Docker containers only run as long as they are needed.
  • Managing application dependencies is definitely easier with Bundler/NPM/Composer
  • Services that app depends on and running properly - Infrastructure Automation Software like Chef/Puppet made this easier
  • Virtualization - Vagrant has been amazing in developing the automation code.
Docker is a mashup of the above concepts. Visual Studio Tools for Docker
  • Docker containers are just binary files that you download and run. These contain the application and dependencies needed to run the application
  • The containers use the docker engine that provides the thin layer over the top of host OS vs a traditional VM
  • Uses host to run processes, these processes are sandboxed like iOS
  • No conflicts between containers
  • Can run on top of VM and make deployment easy

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a technique of data science that helps computers learn from existing data in order to forecast future behaviors, outcomes, and trends.

Solely focused on writing software that can learn from past experience.

A computer program is said to learn from experience 'E' with respect to some class of tasks 'T' and performance measure 'P', if its performance at tasks in 'T', as measured by 'P', improves with experience 'E'

Machine Learning can be split into three categories:

  • Supervised Learning - Train machine using dataset that is well labelled
  • Un-supervised Learning - Train machine using dataset that is not well labelled
  • Reinforcement Learning- Train machine using dataset that is not well labelled but when asked question about the data the outcome will be graded

The forecasts or predictions from machine learning can make apps and devices smarter. When you shop online, machine learning helps recommend other products you might like based on what you've purchased. When your credit card is swiped, machine learning compares the transaction to a database of transactions and helps detect fraud. When your robot vacuum cleaner vacuums a room, machine learning helps it decide whether the job is done.


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Microsoft Developer Day NZ - 2016

Today we had the opportunity of meeting Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who visited New Zealand for the first time and spoke at the Microsoft Developers Day. He inspired nearly 600 Developers including students. He walked us through the Microsoft Products and it changes and touches customers life. Each technology presentation today was supplemented with a Customer Case Study and I really liked this approach. 
Satya Nadella also emphasized on Microsoft’s mission:
“Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Connect() 2016 Day 1 - Announcements

  • Microsoft joins Linux Foundation.
  • Visual Studio is now available for Mac.
  • Visual Studio Mobile Center supports the complete lifecycle of mobile development.
  • Azure App Services supporting Docker Container support.
  • The following table compares the list of features which were only available in Enterprise edition which are now enabled in Standard, Web, Express, and LocalDB editions with SQL Server 2016 SP1.
Reference -
  • SQL Server now available for Linux – Preview
  • Azure Bot Services – Preview
  • Azure Data Lake Service generally available.
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to choose the right reporting tool?

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft-TeamsMicrosoft launched Microsoft Teams in preview mode, a new work chat Application for Office 365 suite. Microsoft Teams is a direct competitor to Slack which also bring team communications in one single place.
Microsoft Teams allows users to create channel, integrates with the Office suite this will mainly to share documents, spread sheets etc. and automated systems and chat bots. It also enables voice and video chat through Skype integration. It includes a project planning tool to assign tasks directly to team members.
Microsoft Team clients are also available for Mac, Windows, Android and iPhone.
You can enable Microsoft Teams with your existing Office 365 subscription as shown in the below screenshots.
a) Login to your Office 365 portal and navigate to “Services and Add-ins” and you can see the “Microsoft Teams”
b) Turn on “Microsoft Teams” and you can see the following features.
c) Once enabled, navigate to the URL and also you can download a desktop app of Microsoft Teams.
d) Also a bot is waiting to answer my questions already. Really cool….
e) It allows you to change Themes through Settings.
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Google – Android Instant Apps

android-instant-appsJust finished watching a video on Android Instant Apps which Google is currently experimenting. Instant apps just launch by tapping the link without the need for the full app to be installed. e.g. if you have been sent a link for a recipe you can instantly access the video of the recipe without the need for installing the app.
The other cool thing is once you close the instant app, it just lives in the cache only for a few hours and the app is gone and you need to click the link again if you need to access it. Basically it allows to reclaim the space once you finish with what you wanted to do with the Instant App.
Also if you need to retain the app then Instant App allows you to download the app using the Install button from the top right corner of the Instant App.
This is really cool as you can direct your users straight to the required link of the app.
You can upgrade your existing Android apps to Instant App. It works on Android Jelly Bean devices and up.
Currently the SDK is open for early adopters so watch this space.

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Thursday, November 03, 2016

What is Serverless?

serverlessServerless is a new cloud computing trend that changes the way you think about writing and maintaining applications. Serverless is code with no maintenance.
The phrase “serverless” doesn’t mean servers are no longer involved. It simply means that developers no longer have to think that much about them. Computing resources get used as services without having to manage around physical capacities or limits. Service providers increasingly take on the responsibility of managing servers, data stores and other infrastructure resources.
The essence of the serverless trend is the absence of the server concept during software development.
Serverless pattern encourages development focus on well defined units of business logic, without premature optimization decisions related to how this logic is deployed or scaled.
Servers are alive and well in the serverless world, but their role has changed in an important way. Instead of supporting a specific application, clusters of servers provide a generic execution environment for any number of applications
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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Power BI Preview Features

If you would like to keep track and try the Power BI Preview features, you can view them under Power BI Desktop > Options > Preview Features as shown below.
Note: Preview features might change or removed in future releases so need to be cautious on how to use them.
Thanks Christopher Webb and Marc Reguera for sharing this tip.
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