Driving IoT Business Value Event Series

The Internet of Things is transforming business and entire industries as companies shift to creating products that are smart and connected. The IoT wave is here now – enabled by low cost hardware, pervasive connectivity and established cloud services to collapse implementation efforts.

Please join your peers and IoT thought leaders at this invitation-only half-day in-person event. BlueMetal’s IoT innovators will bring real-world experiences to discuss:

  • Ingesting large volumes of device and sensor telemetry
  • Leveraging the Azure IoT Suite to transform and stage telemetry for alerts, notifications, real-time status and big data analytics
  • Adopting BI dashboards to identify trends, provide real-time predictive analysis and delivery enhancements

Register

Register for Cambridge Event

Register for the New York Event

Register for the Chicago Event

 

RefM – A Microservice Case Study

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Introduction

Microservice Architecture is an emerging approach to modern application architecture where applications are composed of autonomous, independently deployed, scaled, and managed services. This approach to service architecture along with the benefits of cloud platforms provides the scalable, resilient, cross platform foundation necessary for Modern Applications.

This post takes the logical architecture defined in my previous post Modern Apps and Microservices and applies it to the design and implementation of a Microservice called RefM. RefM provides a common utility needed by nearly all applications, reference data.

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Modern Apps and Microservices

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Introduction

This post is part one of a two part series that delves into an emerging approach to modern application architecture called Microservices where  applications are composed of autonomous, independently deployed, scaled, and managed services. This approach to service architecture along with the benefits of cloud platforms provides the scalable, resilient, cross platform foundation necessary for Modern Applications. In part one I will provide an overview of Microservices along with the benefits, a logical architecture and deployment scenarios. In part two of the series I will detail the design and implementation of RefM, a Microservice that provides application reference data.

The software development landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Disruptive technologies and design approaches have introduced entirely new types of applications and methods for building them. As Mikhail Shir of BlueMetal writes ‘…The Modern Application is user centric. It enables users to interact with information and people anywhere on any device. It scales resiliently and adapts to its environment. It is designed, architected, and developed using modern frameworks, patterns and methodologies. It is beautiful in its user experience as well as its technical implementation…’ In conjunction with these new user experiences is the need to connect to and interact with a variety of online services that provide information and transactions in a scalable, resilient and cross platform way.

The concept of distributed services is not new. Since the early days of object oriented programming, the idea that one could provide ‘objects’ in a distributed network using RPC mechanisms and message queues along with location transparency has been the holy grail of software engineering. CORBA and DCOM were early attempts to provide a language and OS agnostic approach to distributed computing but not without the heavy burden of complexity.

The Internet revolution brought about the evolution, and in many ways the simplification, of distributed computing with the introduction of Web Service Protocols such as SOAP and REST. There has been much back and forth amongst the proponents of Service Oriented Architecture on which protocol should rule the day. Without rehashing those battles, suffice it to say that REST has become the primary choice today for defining API’s to cloud hosted services. The key to applying REST is to understand that its CRUD style of API design is not focused on the underlying physical store, i.e. the database, but on the resources that are being accessed. As such, it is a good choice for API design and keeps the overall approach simple and straightforward.

Another important factor that is impacting how we think about distributed computing today is the emergence of commercial cloud platforms such as Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. These platforms provide pay-as-you-go access to compute and storage as well as easy access to a suite of common application services such as SQL and No-SQL databases, in-memory cache and performance analytics as well as lend themselves to automating the development, test, staging and production environments providing the foundation for Continuous DeliveryRead More

Internet of Things, A Reference Architecture

We at BlueMetal have a great deal of experience in creating solutions that leveraged connected devices streaming millions of records to cloud hosted repositories, leveraging historical and predictive analytics engines to provide insight and creating immersive experiences that give our clients agility and speed in their daily business activities. Case in point…EnerNOC.

 

EnerNOC

Using Lean Engineering a small team from BlueMetal was able to provide EnerNOC with an amazing user experience in 10 weeks. The application spans twenty four 55” high definition displays combining data streaming from over 35,000 devices around the globe connected to the energy grid with geo-political, social media, environmental and financial data creating a visually stunning global view of EnerNOC’s business domain that is visible to all employees and every visitor to their downtown Boston office.

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While this solution was clearly focused on the energy sector, the effort produced a reference architecture for Internet of Things solutions that spans verticals. To prove out the viability of this reference architecture in other verticals, BlueMetal created a Pharmaceutical Trial Scenario and implemented a live reference implementation.

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Lean Engineering – Lean Methodology Applied to Enterprise IT

Overview

Lean Engineering defines a set of principles that guide the creation and deployment of software products at high velocity with low risk. By leveraging a Lean Engineering approach, the risk of validating new technology, making incremental changes in process and bringing new products to market can be lowered and a high quality result can be achieved at a faster rate.

Every discipline requires a set of principles or assertions to build upon. As disciples of the practice of software engineering, it is imperative that we define a clear set of unwavering principles that guide the process, methodology and architecture for the products we create.

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Color Me Blue

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I am extremely happy to announce that I have joined Blue Metal Architects as Practice Director, Cloud and Services. I manage a team of top notch Software Architects and Developers who are expert in the design and development of modern apps and Web API’s providing highly scalable, secure and stunningly beautiful solutions. Our approach incorporates modern design, architecture and coding practices to ensure project success.

Practice Offerings

  • Application Lifecycle Management
  • Application Modernization
  • Cloud Services
  • Web Application Development
  • Architecture Assessment

Companies face daunting challenges today, such as integrating private infrastructure and emerging cloud infrastructure, securely integrating employee devices with corporate IT, dealing with the explosion of data and the ability to analyze for business impact and the ongoing effort to provide seamless and secure interoperability across the apps and platforms that have evolved over the years to run the business.

I joined BlueMetal because the people here are the most experienced consultants in the industry covering application design, architecture and development, mobile and cloud platforms, security, big data and interoperability. After many years evangelizing the Microsoft platforms and helping developers build their skills, I’m excited to return to consulting and work alongside BlueMetal’s clients, helping them tackle their most challenging business and technical problems.

BlueMetal recently gained worldwide attention when the company won Microsoft’s global Winning with Azure award. BlueMetal’s Accountable Care solution for Steward Healthcare increased care quality and patient safety and reduced health care costs by creating a single source system to coordinate care and meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 regulatory requirements. The solution, based in the cloud, creates a cloud-based patient portal and repository for Big Data mining.

My passion has always been to work with the best and brightest engineers to solve the toughest problems and make a positive impact on the business. My vision as Practice Director of Cloud and Services is to infuse this passion in the team and deliver the highest quality solutions for our clients. I am truly excited to join BlueMetal and look forward to engaging our clients to maximize their growth and success

You can follow me on Twitter @bobfamiliar

 

API Management Made Easy

API-Management Azure API Management Preview is a service available in Microsoft’s cloud platform that provides an easy to use hosted Web environment to create a full featured developer portal for your RESTful Web API’s and produce rich analytics to gain insight into API usage. If you are building RESTful Web API’s as part of your employee or customer facing solutions, this is a must have service. In this article I will show you how easy it is to get started with API Management.

 

What is API Management?

Todays modern apps are built on a foundation of scalable cloud services and storage. A common architecture pattern for modern apps is to provide an application programmable interface, a.k.a. an API, to open up the functionality to more developers who then build client apps, mashups or provide integration between apps.

These Cloud Service API’s typically expose their endpoints via HTTP using REST (representational state transfer) protocol (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) and are referred to as RESTful web API’s. By using this approach the implementation details of the API such as language, database, runtime, operating system, etc. are all abstracted. RESTful web API’s are by nature cross platform and can be consumed from any language, runtime, operating system, etc. that supports invoking HTTP requests.

It is rather easy today to build RESTful API’s in your language and platform of choice. Once you go down this path though it quickly becomes apparent you will need a great deal more infrastructure supporting your API’s in order to make them scalable, secure and are being used according to the usage and security policies that you define. This is where API Management comes into play.

An API Management system will wrap your API in its loving virtual arms and provide an additional layer of services. A typical set of services that an API Management system provides are: Read More

Event: Make Your Field Staff More Productive – We’ll Show You How

 

Do your employees in the field rely on a paper-based process to do their jobs?  Are they tied to a single mobile platform and device to perform their tasks?  While in the field, are they able to access the most recent data and content they need?

Join Microsoft, BlueMetal, Apprenda and Xamarin for a half-day in-person event to see how you can enable your field agents with a native mobile application optimized for their mobile devices, with content and data storage in the Cloud.  Learn how you can radically improve your field staff’s processes and response time while efficiently managing your infrastructure and sharing your application code across platforms.

You will learn about:
– new opportunities in mobility and the cloud
– latest capabilities you could be tapping into
– pitfalls to avoid
– how to expand your reach across devices and platforms

Our partnership brings you the best of BlueMetal’s design, architecture, and engineering expertise; Apprenda’s solutions for the private cloud; and Xamarin’s solutions for native mobile applications; all on the Microsoft stack you know and trust.

Read how we enabled this Insurance company’s field agents

Learn more about our Field Enablement solution

Location: Microsoft MTC Boston
Date:  Thursday August 28
Time: 1 pm – 5 pm
Cocktail reception following

Boston Globe reports on 8yr Old Windows Phone App Developer

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Tariq at Nokia DVLUP Day

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Cal Borchers interviews Tariq at the MTC

Cal Borchers of the Boston Globe has captured the story of Tariq Ali, an 8 year old app developer. Tariq attended the Nokia DVLUP Day event held at the Microsoft offices in Cambridge MA back in November. Tariq used App Studio to publish his first Windows Phone app called Kids Zone.

Read the rest of the story here…

Nokia DVLUP Day NYC – Register to Attend

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REGISTER

Overview

Learn to make amazing Windows Phone apps at Nokia DVLUP Day in New York City on Saturday March 22, 2014 and win big prizes just for participating. Join Nokia Developer Ambassadors Nick Landry & Lance McCarthy, as well as several Microsoft Technical Evangelists, as they provide hands-on Windows Phone development training in a dynamic and fun event. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or barely know how to code, you will walk away with the ability to write a mobile app.

With full sample source code and step-by-step instructions, you will learn how to make an app or game from scratch, or learn new techniques to enhance your current apps & games. No matter what you want to build – an app or a game – or what your programming skill level is, there are four individual tracks to choose from, which means there is something for everyone.

DVLUP Day is a unique community event that combines presentations by Windows Phone experts along with a hands-on workshop to help attendees get started on their apps. BRING YOUR LAPTOP! Work with our experts, get started on your app or game, publish it within 3 weeks after the event and get a free Windows Phone 8 device!

Location

DVLUP Day New York City will be held on March 22, 2014 at the new Microsoft Office in Manhattan at:

11 Times Square, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10036

Click here for a map and directions

What You Will Receive

As an attendee of DVLUP Day NYC you will be eligible for the following:

  • A Windows Phone 8 device. Every attendee who publishes a new app or game within 3 weeks of the event will get a new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 device.
  • A heavy-duty DVLUP backpack. The first 150 registered attendees to sign-in the morning of the event will receive a swag bag full of goodies, even the backpack itself is worth $89 (it’s a Wenger, Swiss Gear TSA friendly laptop bag). We’ll have swag, t-shirts and other goodies for everyone too.
  • A Nokia Developer Offers token. This is worth hundreds of dollars and contains the following:
    • Microsoft Windows Phone DevCenter account (this is your portal to publish apps to the Windows Phone Store and also unlocks physical devices for building apps)
    • Telerik UI for Windows Phone license
    • Infragistics NetAdvantage for Windows Phone license
    • BugSense Performance Monitoring solution for Windows Phone (3 months)
  • $50 AdDuplex credit (approx. 20,000 ad impressions). AdDuplex is an ideal network to cross-promote your app with others. You’ll learn about AdDuplex in the App Marketing & Advertising lightning talk.

There will be multiple random drawings for attendees to win a Nokia Lumia “Hero” device of their choice (Lumia 1020, 928, 925, 920) and other prizes. In addition to the phones, we’ll be giving away other prizes from Nokia & Microsoft, including JBL PowerUp Bluetooth Speakers, Xbox ONE and Xbox 360 games, software licenses, gadgets and more. The first drawing will be during the Lightning Talks after the day of training for all attendees. Another drawing will be held near the end of the event in the evening for the attendees who stayed to code and get help during the hands-on workshop.

Breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner will be served. Come see the latest Windows Phone & Windows 8 devices in our device bar, and connect with other developers in the community

Register for free today! This is a unique event you just can’t miss!

DVLUP Day NYC Agenda – March 22, 2014

  • 8:00am – Registration Opens: Continental breakfast & coffee will be served.
  • 9:00am – Opening Session: Introduction from Nokia, meet the experts, housekeeping.

*** 15 min break ***

  • 10:00am – Windows Phone Breakout Sessions: 4 tracks
    • o Track 1: App Development – Getting Started & App Studio
    • o Track 2: App Development – Maps, Imaging & Cloud Services
    • o Track 3: Game Development – Getting Started with Unity
    • o Track 4: Game Development – Porting Unity Games to Windows Phone
    • 12:30pm – Lunch Break
    • 1:30pm – Breakout Sessions Continue (same tracks)

*** 15 min break ***

  • 3:00pm –Lightning Talks with Q&A
    • o App Design & User Experience
    • o Windows Phone Packaging & App Store Submission
    • o App Marketing & Advertising
    • 4:00pm – Hands-on workshop begins – All staff on hand to help you get started
    • 6:30pm – Dinner Break
    • 9:30pm – Event Ends

Track 1: App Development – Getting Started & App Studio

Learn how to write Windows Phone apps with XAML/C# and explore the amazing APIs available to you. See first-hand how to use the powerful tools, Visual Studio and Blend, to produce great apps with amazing UIs. You will also learn how to generate a store-ready Windows Phone app in under an hour using Microsoft App Studio. Learn how to get started with App Studio and have a store ready app without having to write a single line of code. Then take a dive into the downloadable source code to discover how to customize your app further.

Track 2: App Development – Maps, Imaging & Cloud Development

So you’re already experienced with Windows Phone app development and you want to take your apps to the next level. Join us for a deeper dive into some specific SDKs for Windows Phone developers. You’ll learn about location services, maps and how to call Geospatial Information Services (GIS) from your apps. We’ll also explore the Nokia Imaging SDK, letting you easily add advanced imaging effects and filters when dealing with photos in your apps. Finally, we’ll see how your apps can reach leverage Windows Azure to create a custom back-end to store structured and unstructured data in the cloud and deliver a compelling user experiences. We’ll discuss how you can use Windows Azure to extend the on-line presence of your app by building additional channels to showcase your application and interact with your end-users.

Track 3: Game Development – Getting Started with Unity

Learn how to make fun games for Windows Phone using Unity. In this track you will learn how to code casual 2D games for Windows Phone using one of the best game engines and toolset – used by Indies and Pros alike. And the best part is it’s free! Game development is one of the most fun and rewarding forms of software development. If you’ve ever considered writing games, this is your chance to get started.

Track 4: Game Development – Porting Unity Games to Windows Phone

If you’re already an experienced Unity developer and have published games on other platforms like iOS, Android, PC or others, come join this session to learn how you can reach a whole new audience of gamers on the Windows Phone platform. Learn about adapting your game for touch controls, how to deal with Windows Phone specific considerations, and we’ll even help you to bring your game to the Windows Store too.

Developer Environment

Windows Phone 8 development requires Windows 8.x Pro to install the SDK and emulator. If you’re running Windows 7, you can still build Windows Phone 7.8 apps using the 7.1 SDK. If you’re using a Mac, you can create a Windows 8.x Pro virtualized environment using Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion.

All attendees can build Windows Phone applications using a web browser and Microsoft App Studio, as covered in Track 1.

For more information on getting started, visit http://www.ageofmobility.com/?page_id=961.

Summary

DVLUP Day was a huge hit with developers in 2013, with stops in Boston, Tampa, Sunnyvale and Vancouver. This is going to be an awesome day in New York City and I look forward to seeing you all there. Just for showing up and learning, you get hooked up. Just for publishing an app, you get hooked up. Mark off that Saturday March 22, register now and come join us.

REGISTER NOW

DVLUP Day New York is completely free to attend but spaces are limited, so make sure you register your interest now.

You will need to have your DVLUP account ID ready. If you haven’t got a DVLUP account yet, just go to http://bit.ly/GOVuPN and sign up now. It will only take 2 minutes!

Any questions?

If there’s anything you’d like to know either before or after you register, email us right away.

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