Welcome Azure Insider
In the Windows 8 special edition of MSDN Magazine in October, we introduced a new monthly column to our magazine readers. Azure Insider offers a reinvigorated look at the rapidly evolving Microsoft cloud platform, and provides focused and timely hands-on guidance for developers working with Azure.
In the Windows 8 special edition, authors Bruno Terkaly and Ricardo Villalobos showed how a Windows Store app can consume JSON data returned from a Web service deployed to the cloud vian Azure (“Windows 8 and Azure: Convergence in the Cloud,” msdn.microsoft.com/magazine/jj660302). In the November issue, Terkaly and Villalobos dove into Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) and how it can be used to simplify implementation of software architectures that must address multiple device/OS types, rely on async Web services and manage unpredictable traffic flows (“Azure Mobile Services: A Simple, Scalable and Robust Back End for Your Device Applications,” msdn.microsoft.com/magazine/jj721590).
In this issue, the column plumbs the Azure Service Bus. Terkaly and Villalobos show how the publisher/subscriber messaging pattern can be used to control the way messages are distributed based on rules and filters (“Azure Service Bus: Messaging Patterns Using Sessions”).
Meet the New Bosses
So who are these guys? Both Terkaly and Villalobos are Microsoft evangelists who are immersed in Azure development. While both share a passion for working with developers to help overcome challenges, they come from very different backgrounds.
Villalobos is a lifetime developer who has been in the programming business for nearly three decades. After getting a degree in electronics and communications technology, Villalobos worked in supply chain management and logistics. He later went back to get his MBA in order to, as he says, “better understand the logic and procedures behind the industry I was working in.”
Terkaly got his start in finance and accounting, wrestling Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets for a large accounting firm. A desire to automate tasks led him to macro programming, which in turn made him curious about software development. As he says: “I ended up quitting the accounting job and began working as a C programmer for a public utility.” He later worked for years as a Microsoft field engineer, a role he describes as “deeply technical.”
At Microsoft, Terkaly and Villalobos are in a unique position to understand and address the technical challenges facing developers working with the Microsoft cloud platform.
Says Villalobos: “When Microsoft offered me the opportunity to become an Azure cloud evangelist two years ago, it felt like all the efforts and learning of my life had found a perfect place to be applied: creating solutions, architecting distributed environments, mentoring developers through articles and presentations, and designing new business models with company executives.”
We’ll be learning a lot from Terkaly and Villalobos in the months to come, but their advice for now is simple. Terkaly urges developers to avoid thinking of cloud adoption as an all-or-nothing deal. Dev shops can attack database and Web-app migration in stages, before moving on to things like content distribution and identity management. He also says developers don’t need to think they’re starting over.
“In a general sense, as long as you think of your applications as being stateless, you can use the same languages, IDEs and tools as in a non-cloud world,” he says.
Villalobos agrees. “Understand that there are no black boxes in Azure,” he says. “At the end of the day, it’s about working with servers and operating systems that they already know and understand.”
Michael Desmond is the Editor-in-Chief of MSDN Magazine.