The MVP Global Summit: A Virtuous Cycle

The following post was written by MVP Program Event Manager Paulette Suddarth


Widely recognized as one of the most important community events in the world, next week’s MVP Global Summit will be, as it always is, a reflection of the community itself. MVPs are instrumental in every facet of the event, helping us plan and make continual improvements as well as infusing every jam-packed moment with their passion, curiosity and expert insights.

Core to the mission of the MVP Global Summit is the free exchange of ideas between MVPs and Microsoft teams about Microsoft technologies—how they work now and what’s in the works for the future. It provides all of us at Microsoft the opportunity to receive direct feedback from hands-on experts.


And that’s true of the event itself. Last year, after we significantly improved the Summit feedback tool—based on MVP feedback—we gained a record 75% response rate from attendees. This year, we’re hoping to hear from 80% of Summit participants. From the feedback they provide us at the end of each Summit, to their questions and suggestions this year on a private Summit Yammer group, hearing from this community makes all the difference.

This year, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from a lot of MVPs. In what will be the largest MVP Global Summit in at least a decade, we’re expecting well over 1,800 MVPs and other influencers to fly in from nearly 80 countries to meet with more than 300 Microsoft product team members.


In addition to sharing their valuable feedback, a number of MVPs present their innovations in using Microsoft technologies at the MVP Showcase. This year, sixty-seven MVPs from around the world will demonstrate and answer questions on topics ranging from how the Surface can support students with reading and writing disabilities to developing Universal Windows Applications across multiple form factor devices.

And then the deep dive sessions will begin. MVPs will be invited to participate­­ in nearly 50,000 hours of learning and countless conversations with members of Microsoft’s community and, as part of One Microsoft, sessions will be more broadly available to participants. There also are a number of Microsoft conferences happening in the next week or so, and they will be conveniently located next to the MVP Global Summit so MVPs can make the most of their time here at Microsoft world headquarters.


Throughout the Summit, MVPs can manage their schedule with a cross-platform phone app created by MVPs. This year’s app has been downloaded twice as much as the previous year’s.

Finally, to highlight Microsoft’s vision for the cloud and the amazing contributions MVPs have made in helping people make the move to the cloud, the community will be welcomed at
the closing night attendee party by Captain Cloud and the Community Crew! You can find out more about Captain Cloud and the crew on our Facebook page.

Episode 2 of #StartupLife: Board Shorts and Neckties

This post is part of an ongoing series of videos inspired by the community and brought to you by BizSpark. Share your own #StartupLife experiences on Twitter for a chance to be featured in our next Vine video. Start-up life can be tough, BizSpark is there to help. 


Does this scene look familiar to you? You’re midway through your typical start-up dinner when you remember a Skype meeting you can’t be late for. The lines between work and personal life become blurred, non-existent really, when you’re leading the start-up lifestyle. Fortunately, working in the start-up world has afforded you some skills that come in handy in a moment like this. Apply a little resourcefulness, sprinkle in a dash of ingenuity and…voilà! The board shorts and necktie look is born.

This is the second video in our series (check out our fist post: Real Start-ups Run on Ramen) and it was inspired by @RHolmes4 who posted the tweet below. Rich knows that as a start-up, duty calls at all hours of the day and being in your pajamas doesn’t have to stop you.



Do you have some insight into the start-up lifestyle? Share your anecdotes, stories, and ideas using the #StartupLife hashtag on Twitter for a chance to be featured in our next Vine video. Want to scale your startup? Connect with us on Twitter @BizSpark for resources and tips on growing your business. The start-up lifestyle can be tough, BizSpark is there to make it a little easier.

Epic Sage Chapter 4: Wherein I Discover Ripple and the Multi-Device Hybrid Apps Extension for Visual Studio

This post is the fourth post in the series: Uploading Images from PhoneGap/Cordova to Azure Storage using Mobile Services

In the previous chapter of this saga, I was frustrated at not being able to get the Eclipse IDE to even run on my laptop (although I had it running a few months back). After wasting an entire morning, I remembered that the Multi-Device Hybrid Apps extension for Visual Studio (let’s just call it Cordova extension for short) included an Android emulator and a bunch of other good stuff. This seemed to me the perfect time to try out this new x-plat offering from Microsoft—and I really liked it. In fact, I did a whole blog post on it: The Multi-Device Hybrid Apps extension for Visual Studio Kinda Rocks. Please read this post as I won’t be going over again all the goodness, this series is about me trying to get my Cordova app, which uploads raw JPEG binaries directly to Azure Blob storage, to run.

Although I had installed the Cordova extensions for Visual Studio just to get a working Android emulator, I thought “why not give the Ripple, Chrome-based emulator a try.” As I mentioned in my other post, Ripple supports both iOS and Android and can emulate several devices on each. Here’s the TodoList app running on Ripple as Android Nexus Galaxy:

Pretty cool…there’s geolocation and accelerator support, but what about camera support? The Android emulator (I thought) had camera support, but would Ripple? One way to find out.

I deployed my app to Ripple as Android Nexus Galaxy and tried to add a new item (which is supposed to then load the camera to take a capture). Uh oh!


I learned that I Haz Cheeseburger?!?! is really lolspeak for “Oops, Ripple couldn’t load a resource that you need.” Crud. You’re supposed to be able to pass in some success or response data, but I’ve never tried that. Instead, I clicked Success!, and wouldn’t you know, the app actually ran.

At this point, I ignored the previous error and was excited about my chances. I tried to upload an image and got this…


OK, so that previous obscure error must have been Ripple saying (as an lolcat) that it couldn’t load the capture plugin…no camera. But, check it out! Ripple was instead letting my choose a local file to upload and pretend that I just took the snap. Let’s Use selected file (a picture of a nice latte)…


Oh no!!!! Ripple also doesn’t support readAsArrayBuffer!!


Well, Ripple tried its best. Now, back to the Android emulator Sad smile

Stay tuned in for the next installment…Chapter 5: Wherein I learn to Hate the Android Emulator


Glenn Gailey

Its all about being Open!


Why Open?

One of the coolest things to happen at Microsoft is embracing and supporting Openness. This is about how we, as a company, collaborate with others in the  industry and how we listen to our customers. Its about the choice that we give to our customers and developers. Right from supporting Linux, Drupal, Java, Hadoop, PHP, NodeJS, HTML5 and Python to extending our support on the cloud through Microsoft Azure, Microsoft has embraced openness. In fact, Microsoft has partnered with 150+ standard bodies, 400+ working groups around the world to ensure that our technology works with every one else’s.



Cloud and Open Technologies

Microsoft Azure is open, flexible and a scalable platform which is a great choice for app creation. Azure supports virtual machines on several Linux flavors such as CentOS, Ubuntu, Suse.  Not only does it support open platforms but also open development tools. As already mentioned above the support for the various development tools is pretty exhaustive. For example, look into what we have in store for Azure and PHP at the PHP Development Centre, a rich resource for tutorials and documentation, which will enable you to get started with development on the cloud. Also look into the support for PHP tools for Visual Studio, which provides a well known editor for PHP, HTML/JAVA/CSS support and most importantly integration with Azure itself.


How can you get involved with this now?

TrueNorthPHP is one of the biggest conferences that hosts the PHP community in Toronto taking place on Nov 6th, 7th & 8th in the Microsoft Campus at Mississauga. The conference showcases some world class speakers talking about various topics such as Clean Application Development, Security and a whole gamut of relevant and interesting topics. One of the most important components of the conference is a hackathon called Azure API Challenge taking place on Day 2, Nov 7th.

Again, the details of the event is as follows:

Date: Nov 6th, 7th, 8th

Venue: Microsoft Canada, 1950 Meadowvale Blvd. Mississauga, ON L5N8L9

Come hack with us, attend some of the best talks and let us celebrate the movement to openness together. You can connect with Mickey (@ScruffyFurn) or me, Adarsha (@AdarshaDatta) anytime for further details.

Pumpkinduino Part 4: The final hardware and software put together

Previous Post: Pumpkinduino Part 3 Ok, I procrastinated, got distracted, then got sick with one of those icky colds that you just can’t shake, so the final product kind is not really all that good.   On the other hand you can pull the parts out of your Arduino pile, since I didn’t use the Galileo in the final product.  Software Well nothing like procrastination to get you into trouble, but I did manage to find some ideas like the “ Pimp your Pumpkin ” by Matt Makes.  I didn’t…(read more)

Using Bing for technical instant answers and automated solutions

Bing has been providing factual instant answers for some time now, but recently they added “technical” instant answers for questions about Microsoft products or technical support issues. My previous team built the content management system that our internal content delivery teams are now using to add technical instant answers to Bing. Here’s an example technical instant answer for the “Cortana” search term: 

Now that I’m working on support diagnostics and automated solutions again, I have been working with the Bing and content delivery teams to get some instant answers created with links to some of our automated solutions.

And I’m happy to announce that the first one is live! So you can now search for “Windows Update Troubleshooter” (or a variety of related terms and error messages) and the first result will be a technical instant answer with a link to download and run our automated troubleshooter to fix problems with Windows Update.

When you click the link in step 3, you will be prompted to open (or run) or save the troubleshooter.

Just click Open (or Run) to launch the troubleshooter.

The content delivery teams will be constantly adding more technical instant answers, and we hope to have more live with automated solutions soon!

Note that technical instant answers are also available in the Bing app on Windows Phone. To see the phone experience, tap Search and then type or say “cortana” on your Windows Phone. Then click the “See More” link at the bottom of the second result (after the ad – “Meet Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1″) and swipe left or right to view the content on each of the tabs.

Installing Windows Azure BizTalk Services SDK


This is just a simple step by step guide to help you understand how to install the Windows Azure BizTalk Services SDK and what are the key components.

Downloading the SDK Files

You can download the SDK from this location:


If you plan to use EDI integrations, then you need to select the file


The File

This is an interesting file that contains two important tools if you are already using BizTalk Server on premise

  1. BTM Migration Tool: The BTM to TRFM convertor is a command line tool which takes inputs as BTM File (BizTalk on premise map format), input and output schemas and produces the new mapper (.trfm) file as an output (BizTalk Services map format)
  2. TPM Migration Tool: The trading partner data migration tool migrates partner and agreement settings from BizTalk Server 201x to Windows Azure BizTalk Services.


Installing the Windows Azure SDK

  1. Before installing, make sure that Visual Studio is not open, because  the installation will fail like this:


  2. Run the WindowsAzureBizTalkServicesSetup.exe


  3. Accept the terms and click Next
  4. Select Tools (Basically PowerShell cmdlets) and RunTime (if you plan to use LOB adapters, then you need to install this)


  5. Review the summary section and click on Install


  6. After several minutos like 5 to 10, you will see the BizTalk Adapter Service Setup Wizard:


  7. Click Next, accept the terms
  8. Choose the appropiated Identity management for the BizTalk adapter application pool.The BizTalk Adapter Service application pool in IIS is created and executes as this identity



  10. In Azure BizTalk Services Deployment Details, provide the BizTalk Services deployment URL, and select Next.
    This URL is used to ascertain the artifact store associated with your BizTalk Services subscription. The configuration settings for BizTalk Adapter Service components you create, such as LOB Relays and LOB Targets, are stored in the artifact store.



  12. Select the certificate bindings for the BizTalk Adapter Service website and select Next.
  • Use SSL to secure the management service: Select this option to encrypt the HTTP requests with SSL.
  • Select an existing SSL certificate: Select this option to select an existing certificate from the Certificates personal store. The certificate should be from a trusted certificate authority.
  • Port: Enter the port number for the BizTalk Adapter Service website. By default, port 8080 is specified. Confirm the port is open in your firewall.


  • Note that in my case i have disabled SSL to simplify development.
  • Click Next and then Install.
  • After a couple of minutes, you will be ready to create you first Windows Azure BizTalk Service integration

    Ready to go! Good Luck in this new world! Sonrisa


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