Just a few days ago the team in Redmond has announced the general availability for Azure Search and other new announcements along with it.

For the past few months I had the opportunity to talk, blog and answer questions about Azure Search while it was still under public preview. Today however, the service is no longer in preview and this means that the search-as-a-service solution managed by Microsoft is now fully baked with SLA, stable and less-changing REST API schema and models which can be concluded as: full-text search in a box.

The purpose of Azure Search is to help software developers implement a search system within their applications (whether web, mobile or desktop) without the friction and complexity of writing SQL, JavaScript (or anything else) queries and with all the benefits of an administration-less system.

Not only did the team make the service generally available, but they also added some more flavor to this release since it comes out with great new features such as an indexer mechanism which allows Azure Search to literally crawl for data in any modern data repository such as Azure DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database or SQL Server running on Azure VMs and also the concept of suggesters (previously under preview in the 2014-10-20-Preview API version – I wrote about suggesters in the Azure Search Client Library update announcement here) which allows users to specify a suggest algorithm upon running the suggest operation available in Azure Search.

Read More →

For the past month I had the opportunity to talk about Azure Search via the Azure DevCamp roadshow put together by the ITCamp community, with the sponsorship of Microsoft. Not only did they put together a great event series, but I also had the chance to meet wonderful people interested in cloud computing across the entire country: Bucharest on February 13th, Oradea on February 20th, Timisoara on the 21st and Cluj-Napoca on the 28th.

Below are my slides (in English) and further down this post is the video recording of my presentation in Cluj-Napoca. For whatever strange reason related to my Surface’s OS going to sleep just before my presentation and not being able to find a particular .dll file part of Newtonsoft’s JSON.NET, one of my demos didn’t run as expected in Cluj-Napoca – even though everything went smooth during the other three events. I’ve also posted a few photos from some of these events in a photo gallery at the end of this post.

If you’re interested in Azure Search, feel free to download the slides and (if you’re OK with Romanian) watch my presentation’s recording.

VIDEO: Add Professional Search Features To Your Apps, Azure DevCamp 2015, Cluj-Napoca

azure_search_client_library_logo-264x264I’m happy to announce that ASCL (Azure Search Client Library) has received a new update, namely 0.8.5522.36498. Using the newer version you can now enjoy suggestion algorightms without worrying about the little bugs :), use suggestions using the freshly announced ‘Suggestor’ functionality, use Tag boosting and take complete advantage of the multi-lingual support of Azure Search.

Along with this update I’ve also written two new ‘Getting started’ projects which help you better understand how to use ASCL.

Happy downloading https://www.nuget.org/packages/AzureSearchClient/0.8.5522.36498.

DevSum 15I’ve received earlier this morning a very nice e-mail from the DevSum 2015 committee stating that I’ve been accepted as a speaker for this year’s conference. Therefore, if you happen to be in Stockholm between May 25th and 27th, I’d love to see you at the Clarion Hotel Sign at DevSum 2015.

DevSum is a yearly conference, already at the 10th edition, taking place at the end of May in Stockholm, which also happens to be (according to www.devsum.se) ‘the largest and most enjoyable .NET conference’ in Sweden :-). During the two-day conference, attendees get a chance to learn about .NET, Azure, Architecture, XAML, Puppet, JavaScript and more from a panel of 40 Swedish and international speakers (actually, Scott Hanselman himself happened to be one of the speakers of the previous editions). My presentation is going to be about ‘Patterns For Scalability In Microsoft Azure Applications’; even though I went through this subject a dozen times already during the previous 12 months, I’ll put together a revamped presentation with some extra ‘knowledge’ I learned from my experience with cloud computing.

See you in May!

DevSum 15 Speakers

 

Microsoft AzureAlong with fellow community leaders and speakers and with the support of Microsoft Romania, I’m putting together the first community organized Azure-centric event in Oradea for 2015!

Come and join us at Azure DevCamp Oradea

Part of a series of seven events taking part across the entire country (Bucharest, Oradea, Timisoara, Targu-Mures, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov), Azure DevCamp Oradea is your chance to learn more about the freshly announced services in Azure:

  • Azure Search
  • Azure as a backend for cross-platoform mobile apps
  • BigData in Azure: HDInsights
  • Azure for the Enteprise

These sessions will be presented by (in alphabetical order) Ciprian Jichici (Microsoft Regional Director), Alex Mang (Azure Advisor), Mihai Tataran (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) and Radu Vunvulea (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional).

Azure DevCamp Oradea will take place on the 20th of February, at Hotel Continental Forum (1 Aleea Standului), will start at exactly 16:00 and is completely FREE of charge. However, registration is required prior to the event and can only be done at http://aka.ms/oradea-20-februarie.

Register today, seats are limited!

Read More →

KeyTicket Solutions

Role and Responsibilities

Junior software developers help design and maintain software applications. You might also speak with customers to gather user requests for different features to improve speed, performance and usability. Junior software developers also conduct system tests, troubleshoot customer issues and correct software defects. Other duties include creating customer software manuals and project documentation, and developing prototypes for new software technologies.

Technical Tasks

  • Designs, develops and modifies modules based on functional and system requirements.
  • Work closely with the Team Leader, Business Analyst and Product Owner for understanding the functional and system requirements.
  • Work closely with the Architecture Team to ensure architectural integrity and product quality.
  • Participate in testing process through unit testing and bug fixes

Other Tasks

  1. Participate in daily scrum meetings
  2. Participate in sprint planning
  3. Work closely with the QA team, Product Management team, and the Research and Development manager to ensure quality and punctual software development within his/her responsibilities.

Read More →

Unauthorized Access

The other day I came across a situation which concluded in the most peculiar exception to be thrown when using Service Bus, more specifically an UnauthorizedAccessException with the message of ‘Malformed Authorization Token’. Of course the first intent is to check whether the security credentials are indeed correct or not.

Since the credentials used to instantiate the MessagingFactory were correct, a possible option seemed to be to update the NuGet packages and thus hope that the newer version of the client library would have this issue sorted out. Moreover, because I was working on a restricted network, I also decided to explicitly specify that I want to use the AMQP protocol for ServiceBus rather than anything else and made sure that both 5671 and 5672 ports were open, but this didn’t help at all.

So, what do you think the issue is? 🙂

… wait a minute…

… think about it…

Read More →

Looking over the English dictionary for the word ‘facet’, I came to realize that facet means way more things that I originally knew: (according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/facet)

  1. one of the small, polished plane surfaces of a cut gem
  2. a similar surface cut on a fragment of rock by the action of water, windblown sand etc.
  3. aspect, phase, as in: ‘They carefully examined every facet of the argument’
  4. in Architecture, any of the faces of a column cut in a polygonal form
  5. in Zoology, one of the corneal lenses of a compound arthropod eye
  6. in Dentistry, a small highly burnished area, usually on the enamel surface of a tooth, produced by abrasion between opposing teeth in chewing

However, during this post I’m not going to discuss the origin of the word, but rather what a ‘facet’ means in terms of Azure Search.

Have you ever wondered how popular on-line shopping stored are able to create those complex filtering scenarios, different for every category of products and different in functionality as well? More specifically, how come high-end products show pricing categories based on a quite a few high price ranges while the accessories category comes with less, lower price ranges? Here’s an example on Amazon.co.uk:

Read More →

Wow! No, seriously! WOW! Had the conference not been a good one, this post would have been written either during the event or long after the event.

During these two days I had the opportunity of joining great session given by Microsoft professionals who work in both IT departments and R&D departments. Just to name a few, among the session I had the opportunity to attend are: SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP Query Processing, NoSQL on Azure, Intelligent System Service – the bridge and heart of IoT, Managing Technical Debt, SQL Server for Developers, Using WinJS for web and cross-platform application, Build Your Custom Private Cloud Management Portal with Windows Azure Pack. Unfortunately though, I didn’t get a chance to attend the rest of super-cool sessions the rest of the speakers gave.

On the other hand, I also had the opportunity of offering an Elastic Scale session to a full room (people even decided to even stand just the get all the intel). Should you have missed Microsoft Summit or the session I gave, scrolling a bit down you’ll get a chance the go through the my slides. Also, I highly suggest to be patient and wait for the video recordings to be published on the conference’s website here: http://www.mssummit.ro/en/videos.

Here’s a photo I took a few minutes before the session started:

WP_20141113_10_57_48_Pro

After the event I was also invited to give a short talk about BizSpark and our partnership with Microsoft on Ziarul Financiar Live. The recording of this interview is available here: http://www.zf.ro/business-hi-tech/video-zf-live-special-romania-nevoie-start-up-uri-industria-it-c-sustina-dezvoltarea-urmariti-inregistrarea-emisiunii-alex-mang-ceo-keyticket-solutions-petru-jucovschi-microsoft-romania-13549279.

Microsoft Summit 2014

In just a few days (14, by the time of this writing), the second edition of Microsoft Summit will take place. For this year’s event, Microsoft put together an agenda for both IT specialists (network & infrastructure experts along with software developers) and business managers and the list of speakers is simply, well… staggering!

If you didn’t get a chance to register for the event yet, consider this your opportunity to win one of the two tickets I’m offering for free to you, my loyal followers and readers. The net worth of these two tickets is 1398 RON (little over $400,00) and it’s now your chance to get on the them completely free (meals included!).

Simply answer these three questions by either commenting to this post or by sending a private message via the Contact form:

  1. What options does one have for scaling his/her SQL database?
  2. What does database sharding mean?
  3. What is my Microsoft Summit session’s title?

Good luck!

Alex

 

P.S.: If you don’t know the answers, it’s your chance to learn more about DB sharding techniques via elastic scaling out during my session at Microsoft Summit, ‘Patterns for SQL Database Elasticity’ 🙂