Live! 360 Recap

Live! 360 for this year is a wrap. Once again, this unique five-in-one event traveled to Orlando, FL for a week of hands-on education. If you missed, or better yet, if you were there and want a quick review of all the content from Visual Studio Live!, Tech Mentor, Office & Sharepoint Live!, SQL Server Live! and Modern Apps Live!, then here you go. As always, each individual event had keynote sessions. Here’s a look at our news coverage of those keynote presentations:

VSLive! Keynote: Optimization and Deployment After Coding an Angular Web App

After coding an Angular JavaScript app, there's still a lot of work to be done to move it to the cloud, and Microsoft's John Papa explained how to use various tools to ease that process at last week's Visual Studio Live! conference in Orlando.

Papa, principal developer advocate at Microsoft, demonstrated various tools and techniques to optimize, build and deploy an Angular app to Azure, "Because it's not real until it gets to production."

"We like to write out code, but our managers like to see it shipped," Papa said in a conference keynote presentation. "Our business users like to see it happen. Our security folks like to make sure that it's all tight and secure when it gets deployed to the Web. And one of the most important things is that when we have changes to make, we like to make sure that those changes that work on my machine work on every machine."

He explained in hands-on detail exactly how to prepare an app for the cloud, using tools like Node.js, Visual Studio Code, Docker containers, Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) techniques and more for the optimize -> build -> deploy workflow.

You can read the rest of this story here.

Live! 360: Microsoft Shares DevOps Lessons Learned

Microsoft shared some lessons learned at this week's Live! 360 conference in Orlando, detailing how the Visual Studio Team Services/Team Foundation Server (VSTS/TFS) group eats its own DevOps dog food.

While the company has tens of thousands of developers engaged in DevOps at varying degrees, Buck Hodges, director of engineering for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services, focused on the 430-person team responsible for VSTS/TFS in his keynote presentation.

VSTS and TFS, which share a master code base, provide a set of services for software development and DevOps, providing services such as source control, agile planning, build automation, continuous deployment, continuous integration, test case management, release management, package management, analytics and insights and dashboards. Microsoft updates VSTS every three weeks, while the schedule for new on-premises versions of TFS is every four months.

Hodges' narrower lens on the VSTS/TFS team provides a lengthy and deep set of experiences around DevOps. Hodges started on the TFS team in 2003 and helped lead the transformation into cloud as a DevOps team with VSTS. The group's real trial by fire in DevOps started when VSTS went online in April 2011.

You can read the rest of this story here.

Developer Value Goes Far Beyond Coding

While coding cutting-edge tech in Visual Studio is cool, it's not enough in today's environment of communication, collaboration, agile methodologies, DevOps and so on, said experts in a panel discussion at the Live! 360 conference in Orlando.

Four developer/IT pros—now all at the executive level—provided advice on industry, technology and career trends in an ever-more-connected world, where developers must up their game to continue providing value to customers both in the end-user world and within their own organizations.

For example, Francois Charette, senior vice president of engineering at OptumInsight, explained how his company moved from the concept of developer leads to engineering leads. Audience members were in turn asked to raise their hands if they were responsible for app development, testing and follow-on monitoring to ensure the apps work like they should.

With hands rising all over the audience of hundreds for each question, Charette afterward said everybody should have raised their hands for all three questions. Engineering leads, he said, are responsible for the entire end-to-end process. Responsibilities are increasing in the new order, Charette said, noting that "You've got to make that cultural shift."

You can read the rest of this story here.

Live! 360: Microsoft Focused on Simplifying BI for Business Users

When looking at Microsoft's recent enhancements to business intelligence platforms, database administrators may scratch their heads that user interfaces look like they're getting dumbed down. Don't worry about the lack of rows, columns and even traditional data management terminology, one longtime Microsoft executive says: The changes aren't aimed at the DBA.

"Our number one persona, our number one person that we're building for, is the business user," Charles Sterling, senior program manager, in the Microsoft Business Applications Group, said during his keynote for the SQL Server Live! track of the Live! 360 conference Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.

Sterling, a 25-year Microsoft veteran, and Ted Pattison of Critical Path Training delivered the session, "Microsoft BI -- What's New for BI Pros, DBAs and Developers." Their talk centered on demos of Power BI, but also touched on roadmaps for elements of Power BI, and covered the growing role of PowerApps and Flow. The main idea behind PowerApps is to allow business users, without coding, to pull from either simple or complex organizational data sources and create shareable business apps that are usable from mobile devices or in a browser.

You can read the rest of this story here.

Video from Live! 360

You can also catch up and review some of the sessions presented at the individual conferences. Just follow this link here to some video previews of the Live! 360 content.

Improving Performance in .NET Applications

Jason Bock presents what you need to know as a .NET developer to improve your application performance. This session shows you how to address performance issues in code, techniques to eliminate bad code before it becomes an issue, and how different tools work in .NET to find and fix slow code.

Building Applications with ASP.NET Core

This session introduces you to ASP.NET Core. Scott Allen covers everything you need to work with the new ASP.NET framework and build your first application. You’ll learn how to work with the new project system and project references, how to install required middleware, and how to work with controllers, models, and views to build applications.

Configuring SQL Server for Performance Like a Microsoft Certified Master

The best DBAs tune SQL Server for performance at the server, instance and database layers. Thomas LaRock shows you what options are right for what workloads. You’ll learn how to detect non-optimal SQL Server configurations, how to configure SQL Server for maximum performance, and all about configuration options available at the server OS, SQL instance, and database layers.

Pen Tests in Real Life

With security being such an issue these days, you want to ensure you are as locked down as possible. Penetration tests—commonly known as pen tests—are the best way to test your security posture. Follow along as one of the world's leading Operating System Security experts Sami Laiho takes you through a real life penetration test. You’ll learn how to protect and how to test your own environment before a legal or illegal penetration takes place.

IT Pros Guide to Managing SharePoint Search

Matthew McDermott shows you five things you should be paying attention to and how you can simplify the process of caring for SharePoint Search. You will learn how to implement, manage, configure and monitor the SharePoint search function.

Modern Web Development: Building Server Side using .NET Core, MVC, Web API, and Azure

With so much focus on front-end JavaScript frameworks, Allen Conway reminds you that you can’t forget about the important role the server still plays in modern web development. He’ll show you how to make the most of .NET Core, ASP.NET, and Web API services to support rich AngularJS client apps in the browser.

Posted by Lafe Low on 12/01/2017 at 12:18 PM0 comments

Getting into R: R Tutorials

As Big Data and data analytics become more critical business functions, developers are turning more to R to support data mining and analysis apps. And since it's open source, you can incorporate R apps into your arsenal of business apps and keep the data divers happy. Whether you're new to R or looking to ramp up your R game, here are a few R tutorial blogs that can keep you on the right track.


This free R tutorial was created by Kelly Black, who is a grad student in mathematics at the University of Georgia. Who better to help you get into R? This is a good introductory level tutorial if you're just getting started, or have a bit of experience with R but need to sharpen up your skills. As indicated on the post, more than 100,000 people have already worked their way through this tutorial.

The course table of contents lists the following subjects:

  1. Input
  2. Basic Data Types
  3. Basic Operations and Numerical Descriptions
  4. Basic Probability Distributions
  5. Basic Plots
  6. Intermediate Plotting
  7. Indexing into Vectors
  8. Linear Least Squares Regression
  9. Calculating Confidence Intervals
  10. Calculating p Values
  11. Calculating The Power of a Test
  12. Two Way Tables
  13. Data Management
  14. Time Data Types
  15. Introduction to Programming
  16. Object Oriented Programming
  17. Case Study: Working Through a HW Problem
  18. Case Study II: A JAMA Paper on Cholesterol

I found the case studies particularly interesting. The JAMA case study examines a paper that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and use R to confirm the results of cholesterol testing and results. That's definitely putting R to some good use. If you like what you see here, the author of this post Kelly Black has also written a book about programming R called: R Object Oriented Programming, published by Packt Publishing.

R Tutorial

Well, you certainly couldn't ask for a more straightforward name. This handy tutorial even helps you download R to get started. Download R from one of the Comprehensive R Archives Network sites at: This tutorial, the post says, is background material for their primary tutorial series Elementary Statistics with R.

Having found that elementary statistics with R tutorial, I dug deeper into that. This tutorial take you through the following statistical topics, and shows how you can address the problems with R:

  • Qualitative Data
  • Quantitative Data
  • Numerical Measures
  • Probability Distributions
  • Interval Estimation
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Type II Error
  • Inference About Two Populations
  • Goodness of Fit
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Non-parametric Methods
  • Simple Linear Regression
  • Multiple Linear Regression
  • Logistic Regression

The post describes the tutorial elements as follows: "The R solutions are short, self-contained and requires minimal R skill. Most of them are just a few lines in length. With simple modifications, the code samples can be turned into homework answers. In additional to helping with your homework, the tutorials will give you a taste of working with statistics software in general, and it will prove invaluable in the success of your career." This ought to set you well on your way to smoother number crunching with R.

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/27/2017 at 11:39 AM0 comments

Rethink Search: Q&A with Agnes Molnar

Search doesn't often get the respect it deserves, and finding an expert on the topic can be a challenge. We caught up with search expert Agnes Molnar to hear some of her thoughts on what should go into an effective search process and protocol.

Search can be a simple process, but it also has layers of complexity. It's a critical component of your IT infrastructure. Renowned search expert Agnes Molnar has long been highly regarded for her technical prowess and strategic approach to search. Agnes will be presenting more on the world of search at her workshop at Live! 360 this November 12-17 in Orlando, FL. If you want or need to learn more about search, now is the time.

What are some of the fundamental aspects of developing an effective search management protocol? Is it more about the technologies used or the team and the processes?
Technology is always an important consideration, but it's never a good practice to let technology drive search management. Never consider search a one-time IT project. Think of it as a continuous ongoing process you should manage the same way as any other business-critical process in your organization. You must have clear idea of where you're going with search, what your goals are, who is responsible for what aspects of search, and so on.

What are some of the skills members of a search management team should bring to the table?
As the ideal team member, you should be innovative and open-minded. Search is an ongoing process. You always have to find creative answers to your users' pain points. In many cases, you have to find new ways to aggregate or display content. Don't stick to the out-of-the-box experience.

Also, you have to be social. It might seem surprising, but you should maintain a productive and positive working relationship with your users. You need to be able to get the best feedback about Search. You need to listen when they complain. Pay attention to what they say, and respond proactively. Have a good team. Search can't be a “one-man show.” You need a variety of experts to make it work the best. Hire the best, and you can expect the best.

Looking to the technology, what capabilities should effective search solutions bring to the table?
First, it has to be simple and easy to use. The UI has to be obvious to the users. They expect help to get their jobs done, and not another painful tool they have to use for hours every day. Second, I truly believe in search-based applications. "Everything Search" has its place in each organization's infrastructure, but specific, targeted applications can help the users be more productive in many cases. Different groups of users working in different roles or different locations have different content needs. The content need might be context-dependent as well. To appreciate and respect these differences, "Everything Search" can't be a single solution for everyone's needs.

What do most organizations miss when developing their search management processes and selecting solutions?
In many cases, they blame the technology for all failures. When search doesn't work, set up a new engine. The promise of each search engine is high, but the quality of the results it provides always relies on how it is implemented and customized. Don't blame the search engine. Evaluate, analyze, and take action. Even if you're only taking baby steps, they get you closer to success. Also, having a well-planned search strategy and being flexible and agile enough is critical. It might sound obvious, but unfortunately it's still important to emphasize the need to take action. Talking about search and strategy is not enough. Having meetings itself doesn’t make search better. You need to put your ideas into action.

How can effective search management help drive an organization forward?
Information workers spend about 20-25 percent of their time searching for information they need to get their jobs done. Consider the number of the users in your organization and make a simple calculation: take the number of users multiplied by their annual salaries multiplied by 0.2. That is the amount of money your organization is spending on search; while still not on finding what they need.

And consider not only the traditional "everything" search, but also each use case when your users need some information to get their jobs done - whether that's doing research, looking for company policies, learning new skills, preparing for a meeting, and so on. What if you could improve search features, improve "findability," and decrease this time to 15 percent or even 10 percent? How much money would stay on the table? What else could you improve by investing this money in? Those are the some of the things to consider.

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/23/2017 at 11:54 AM0 comments

SQL Server Shortcuts

SQL Server is still the heavyweight—the juggernaut of enterprise-grade database management systems. If your organization is storing and managing your customer data with SQL Server and SQL Server Management Studio, and you’re the one driving the bus, chances are you could use a little help. Welcome to the world of SQL shortcuts. We took to the blog world to find some of the best, most cleverly crafted, and most time-saving SQL Server shortcuts.

SQL Server Management Studio Keyboard Shortcuts

This page compiles the latest and greatest SQL Server shortcuts. And it's straight from the source, as this is a Microsoft site. The intro page begins with, "SQL Server Management Studio offers users two keyboard schemes. By default, it uses the SQL Server 2017 scheme, with keyboard shortcuts based on Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Management Studio also offers a keyboard scheme similar to the standard scheme from SQL Server 2008 R2. To change the keyboard scheme or add additional keyboard shortcuts, on the Tools menu, click Options. Select the desired keyboard scheme on the Environment, Keyboard page."

It presents an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts for SQL Server 2017 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Many are the same for both versions, but there are some subtle differences. Some of the shortcuts are Display the Query Designer, which is CTRL+SHIFT+Q for both versions; Display the Add New Item dialog box to add a new file to the current project, which is CTRL+SHIFT+A for both versions, and Move to the next tool window, which is ALT+F6 for both versions or F6 in the Database Engine Query Editor in SQL Server 2017.

11 Keyboard Shortcuts Every SQL Server Geek Should Know

Who doesn't love a list? This site presents a list of the top SQL Server Management Studio shortcuts everyone should know. "A smart programmer knows the ins and outs of the IDE in which he works. Keyboard shortcuts save a lot of time and can improve productivity as well. SQL Server Management Studio has included over 100 keyboard shortcuts. Here, we will explore the most essential shortcuts which will make our daily programming life more easy and intuitive." Each tip is illustrated with screen shots and an example of how it can save you time.

The list includes:

  • Open a new Query Window with current connection (Ctrl + N)
  • Toggle between opened tabs (Ctrl + Tab)
  • Show/Hide Results pane (Ctrl + R)
  • Execute highlighted query (Ctrl + E)
  • Cancel the executing query (Alt + Break or Alt + Scroll Lock)

SQL Server Shortcut keys Enlisted

Sometimes you just need to cut to the chase. If you're just looking for a nice long list with just about every SQL Server shortcut you'll ever need, this is the place. "Query Analyzer is a great tool to have and here is a list of all shortcut keys you can use to speed up your keyboard capabilities to use Query Analyzer."

This nicely organized, categorized, and alphabetized list presents a handful of shortcuts that will save you tons of time. Here are just a few:

  • Bookmarks: Move to previous bookmark. SHIFT+F2
  • Editing: Delete through the end of a line in the Editor pane. CTRL+DEL
  • Navigation: Window Selector. CTRL+W
  • Tuning: Index Tuning Wizard. CTRL+I

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/11/2017 at 12:43 PM0 comments

DevOps vs Agile: 3 Blogs Worth Bookmarking

DevOps and agile development practices have been—and continue to be—hot topics in the development world. How are they similar and how are they different? Is it really DevOps versus agile, or is it DevOps as well as agile, or even agile then DevOps? Knowing more about both philosophies and methodologies can help you determine which of both can be of the most help to your development teams. Thankfully, there is a plethora of resources out in the blogosphere. Here's a look:

Agile Buddha

Now with a name like that, you'd expect the blog author Shrikant Vashishtha to be more agile leaning. Nevertheless, he does a masterful job explaining the differences and complementary aspects of DevOps and agile. "DevOps is mainly the widening of Agile's principles to include systems and operations instead of stopping its concerns at code check-in. Apart from working together as a cross-functional team of designer, tester and developer as part of an Agile team, DevOps suggests to add operations as well in the definition of cross-functional team."

He expands on this, leading deeper into the entire app lifecycle. "DevOps strives to focus on the overall service or software fully delivered to the customer instead of simply 'working software.' It emphasizes breaking down barriers between developers and operations teams, and getting them to collaborate in a way where they benefit from combined skills. Agile teams used automated build, test automation, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. With DevOps that extended further to "Infrastructure as Code", configuration management, metrics and monitoring schemes, a toolchain approach to tooling, virtualization and cloud computing to accelerate change in the modern infrastructure world. So you see DevOps is not a separate concept, but a mere extension of Agile to include operations as well in the definition of cross-functional Agile team, collaborate together and work as one team with an objective to delivery software fully to the customer." The Buddha has spoken.

The Agile Admin

The Agile Admin clearly sees DevOps as an evolution or expansion of earlier agile methodologies. He describes his philosophy as, "DevOps has strong affinities with Agile and Lean approaches. The old view of operations tended towards the 'Dev' side being the 'makers' and the 'Ops' side being the 'people that deal with the creation after its birth'—the realization of the harm that has been done in the industry of those two being treated as silo-ed concerns is the core driver behind DevOps. In this way, DevOps can be interpreted as an outgrowth of Agile—agile software development prescribes close collaboration of customers, product management, developers, and (sometimes) QA to fill in the gaps and rapidly iterate towards a better product—DevOps says 'yes, but service delivery and how the app and systems interact are a fundamental part of the value proposition to the client as well, and so the product team needs to include those concerns as a top level item.' From this perspective, DevOps is simply extending Agile principles beyond the boundaries of 'the code' to the entire delivered service."

This blog has a lot of education resources, mostly focusing on DevOps. Chris Riley writes in a post entitled, "Waterfall to Agile to DevOps: The State of Stagnant Evolution," how development practices have evolved, and continue to evolve. "Although Agile and DevOps share similar goals of IT productivity, the latter approach encourages Devs and Ops to synchronize fast-paced agile development of production-ready code with Ops processes of testing, deployment and management to prevent backlogs. Without adequate synchronization between previously separate Dev and IT Op processes, DevOps essentially becomes a varied form of Agile methodology with a more involved Op team that still has to deal with deployment backlogs. The aim of the DevOps approach is to address the disconnect between Dev and Ops teams by extending team interactions and service delivery across the value chain, and incorporating end-user feedback in future DevOps processes to improve service quality."

He hammers home the point that DevOps is not a thing or a product you can buy, but a philosophy, a style of working together more closely and cooperatively. "DevOps stresses on effective collaboration and communication between the two departments within a culture that enables optimized release cycles of high-quality and thoroughly-tested end-products."

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/19/2017 at 12:54 PM0 comments

Blogs in the Cloud about the Cloud: 3 Azure Blogs Worth Bookmarking

Microsoft Azure has been around for a while now, so much so that it has reached a certain status—a certain level of credibility and market share that it has started to become a world unto itself. Diving into the blogosphere to see what's out there on Microsoft Azure is the proverbial experience of shooting fish in a barrel. Here's a few you should follow if you're interested in or using Microsoft Azure:

Microsoft Azure Blog

This is clearly one to follow—the official Microsoft Azure blog. If you're only going to follow one, this should probably be it. This is the official word from Microsoft on all things Azure. Recent posts covered the recently released Azure Event Grid, online training for Azure Data Lake, and Azure's ISO certifications.

In his post entitled Introducing Azure Event Grid—an event service for modern applications, Corey Sanders writes, "Most modern applications are built using events—whether it is reacting to changes coming from IoT devices, responding to user clicks on mobile apps, or initiating business processes from customer requests. With the growth of event-based programming, there is an increased focus on serverless platforms, like Azure Functions, a serverless compute engine, and Azure Logic Apps, a serverless workflow orchestration engine. Both services enable you to focus on your application without worrying about any infrastructure, provisioning, or scaling. Today, I am excited to announce that we are making event-based and serverless applications even easier to build on Azure. Azure Event Grid is a fully-managed event routing service and the first of its kind. Azure Event Grid greatly simplifies the development of event-based applications and simplifies the creation of serverless workflows. Using a single service, Azure Event Grid manages all routing of events from any source, to any destination, for any application." Sanders is the Director of Compute for Azure.

In the post introducing online training for Azure Data Lake, Saveen Reddy writes, “We are pleased to announce the availability of new, free online training for Azure Data Lake. We’ve designed this training to get developers ramped up fast. It covers all the topics a developer needs to know to start being productive with big data and how to address the challenges of authoring, debugging, and optimizing at scale. Microsoft Virtual Academy: Introduction to Azure Data Lake.” Reddy is a Principal Group Program Manager for Azure Data Lake.

Microsoft Azure now apparently leads the industry in ISO certifications,which is is certainly excellent news. In her post introducing this, Alice Rison states, "We are happy to announce that Microsoft Azure recently completed a new set of independent third-party ISO and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) audits to expand our certification portfolio. Azure leads the industry with the most comprehensive compliance coverage, enabling customers to meet a wide range of regulatory obligations. If that were not enough, having a program with industry leading depth and coverage specific to ISO is exponentially useful to our customers globally as ISO standards provide baselines for information security management that are relied upon by many other standards across regulated industries and markets worldwide." Rison is the Senior Director of Microsoft Azure.

Cloud Academy Blog

This is another good one, chock full of good specific posts pertaining to lots of cloud-related topics. They naturally have an entire section on Microsoft Azure.

Azure Stack: At Microsoft’s Inspire conference last month, Azure Stack became available for order. This post covers the basics of Azure Stack and addresses the following:

  • What is Azure Stack?
  • Why is Azure Stack only available from approved vendors?
  • What are the use cases for Azure Stack?
  • How do you learn how to use Azure Stack?

What is Azure Data Factory: Data migration on the Azure Cloud: This post provides an overview of Azure Data Factory, and takes a deep dive into using it for data migration. To prep for this tutorial, use either PowerShell, Visual Studio, or Azure Portal to create a Data Factory.

AWS vs Azure: Market Share, Performance, Monitoring and Cost Control: This post breaks down the differences between Azure and AWS, specifically looking at four factors:

  • Market Share
  • Virtual Machine and Serverless Performance
  • Cost Control
  • System Monitoring

Azure Blogger

Azure Blogger has some good specific tutorials, with step-by-step instructions of how to do things like setting up an Azure SQL database, connecting to Office 365, and more. Here are a couple examples:

How to Setup AD on Azure VM for Other VMs: This post walks you through setting up Active Directory on an Azure Virtual Machine for other VMs to access RDP, with step by step instructions and screenshots.

How to Resize an OS Disk on ARM: A quick tutorial on how to resize either a Linux or Windows OS Disk through the Azure Resource Manager.

Stay tuned for more posts on Azure resources worth a look!

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/25/2017 at 1:36 PM0 comments

A Letter from the Modern Apps Live! Conference Chair

In today's post, Modern Apps Live! conference chair Rocky Lhotka explains why you should attend Live! 360 Orlando!

Modern applications leverage the power of all client devices from phones to tablets to desktops, new intuitive user experiences, the cloud, and your local computing resources to provide end users with the richest and best experience possible. This type of app is so compelling, and yet so complex to build, that we thought it was worth a conference unto itself.

Modern app development brings a new set of challenges to software developers, designers, managers, architects, and team leads. Many of these apps target multiple client platforms and technologies, and rely on state-of-the-art, server-side platform capabilities. And gone are the days of "cowboy development." Users expect professional quality and performance in apps that are delivered on time with a regular cadence of updates and enhancements. This means we need to apply application lifecycle processes and tools effectively, plus embedded developer and acceptance testing, along with a solid DevOps process.

If all that isn't enough, there's an increasing recognition that the data generated by modern apps can be used in business intelligence, analysis, and reporting in ways never before imagined. Any modern app project should include BI and data analysis right from the start to ensure the data is gathered and stored in a way that can support these critical scenarios.

Modern Apps Live! is unlike any conference you've attended before. It consists of a single track containing sessions that build on each other to provide you with an end-to-end narrative covering all aspects of building modern apps using today's technologies. All of the Modern Apps Live! speakers have worked together as a team to bring you the highest quality content, such that each session builds on those that have gone before. This conference is almost more of a multi-day training session than a traditional conference.

I have personally worked with all of the Modern Apps Live! speakers to put together a series of sessions that bring all these concepts, tools and technologies together. So when you leave the conference you'll have a complete picture of what goes into building a modern app for iPhone, Android, Windows, and HTML5 devices that all interact with state-of-the-art backend services running in public or private clouds.

I also know that many of you wear multiple IT hats at the office, so I invite you to take advantage of the co-located technology tracks offered at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus on not just Modern Apps, but also SQL Server, SharePoint, .NET development with Visual Studio, and even explore IT Pro content – all in a single venue.

There's nothing else like Modern Apps Live!; if you are a software architect, development manager, team lead, or senior developer you owe it to yourself to attend this event!

Rockford Lhotka
Conference Chair
Modern Apps Live!

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/15/2017 at 8:42 AM0 comments

A Message from the TechMentor Orlando Conference Co-Chairs

In today's post, TechMentor Orlando co-chairs Sami Laiho and Greg Shields explain why you should join us at Live! 360 Orlando!

November for most of us is usually associated with cold and snow…and learning! Yet again this year TechMentor returns this November, co-located with the Live! 360 conference and ready to cap a fast-paced year with some high-impact IT knowledge sharing.

Join TechMentor this year for an entire track on datacenter and cloud automation, nearly an entire room dedicated to Windows PowerShell and DevOps. Learn what's up with containers and how to integrate Microsoft Azure into your network and Active Directory. And, you’ll leave with some slick security tricks to protect yourself from the bad guys.

Whether your datacenter has a dozen servers or several thousand; whether they're centralized or distributed globally; whether they're physical or virtual; whether they're on-premises or deployed in the cloud; TechMentor offers the immediately-usable education that helps you get the most out of the technologies you have, while preparing you for what's just around the corner.

Not just for IT Pros, TechMentor's a place for devs as well. TechMentor Orlando 2017 is again part of Live! 360. That means you’ll have access to five other conferences at no additional charge, including expanded content from SQL Server Live! and Office & SharePoint Live! With over 215 sessions, and 30 tracks to choose from, Live! 360 offers TechMentor attendees an incredible value, yet still intimate enough to ensure one-on-one access to speakers and experts.

Join us this November at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort, just steps away from Universal Studios Orlando, for a healthy mix of daylong workshops and 75-minute breakout sessions. We’ve rounded up some of our industry’s best and most experienced presenters that we guarantee you won’t want to miss.

We'll see you in Orlando!

Sami Laiho
Senior Technical Fellow, Adminizes

Greg Shields
Author Evangelist, Pluralsight

TechMentor Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/11/2017 at 2:34 PM0 comments

A Message from the Office & SharePoint Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Office & SharePoint Live! conference co-chairs Andrew Connell and Matthew McDermott explain why you should join us at Live! 360 Orlando!

We are thrilled to invite you to Office & SharePoint Live!, an event that brings together the most informative and influential experts on Office 365 and SharePoint. This event shares no-hype, practical, independent perspectives about SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, and Office 365. The presenters and sessions we've selected to present at Office & SharePoint Live! in Orlando, Florida, on November 12-17 are best-in-class!

We will be joined by colleagues whose expertise and talent are world-renowned, including Agnes Molnar, Rob Bogue, Scott Hoag, Paul Schaeflein, and Rob Windsor and more that we could name here! All of the Office & SharePoint Live! speakers have been working with SharePoint 2013 and 2016 in the real world in both on-premises and large scale Office 365 deployments. Together we bring broad perspectives on SharePoint that will enlighten your entire organization, from management and business users, to IT staff and developers.

We will be focusing heavily on SharePoint and Office 365 from a developer and IT Pro perspective, as it is our goal to ensure your success if you choose to move forward quickly to this latest release of SharePoint both for customers who have on-premises deployments or who leverage the hosted solution offered by Microsoft: Office 365. If you are considering both, we have hybrid content and a full day workshop for you as well!

We've also aligned the content at Office & SharePoint Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to learn about more than SharePoint, other tracks include SQL Server, Modern Applications, .NET development with Visual Studio, and more – all in a single venue.

We'd love to see you in Orlando for this independent Office and SharePoint event! You can learn more about Office & SharePoint Live! at We hope to see you in Orlando to take advantage of these incredible experts and their insightful sessions.

Best Wishes,

Andrew Connell
Conference Co-Chair
SharePoint Live!

Matthew McDermott
Conference Co-Chair
SharePoint Live!

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/10/2017 at 10:13 AM0 comments

A Letter from the SQL Server Live! Conference Co-Chairs

In today's post, SQL Server Live! co-chairs Andrew Brust and Thomas LaRock explain why you should attend Live! 360 Orlando!

The more the world of technology changes and grows, the more data and databases are the absolute center of the story. Accordingly, the Microsoft Data Platform is now a fleet of products and services.

Maybe you're interested in query tuning and optimization with the flagship of the fleet, SQL Server. Maybe you're curious about running SQL Server 2017 on Linux. It could be that the developer, high availability, graph database or operational analytics features in SQL Server have you wanting to learn more.

Perhaps your eye is wandering, to Analysis Services, Power BI, Azure SQL Database or HDInsight. Perhaps Azure Data Lake Analytics, Data Factory, or Cosmos DB has piqued your curiosity. Or maybe the world of data science including R, Python and Azure Machine Learning is your territory, too. The good news? SQL Server Live! at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando has you covered, no matter which way you want to go.

Whether you're a DBA (by choice or accidentally), a developer, a data engineer, or a budding data scientist, you'll feel right at home at SQL Server Live! With some of the best-known independent experts in the Microsoft-centric database world presenting, SQL Server Live! is where you want to be.

We've also aligned the content at SQL Server Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus not just on the Microsoft Data Platform, but also IT Pro content, Office & SharePoint, .NET development with Visual Studio, and cross-platform modern apps development – all in a single venue.

Whether you need to dive deep into a particular technology, or hit a broad range of sessions that address your specific business and operational needs, you should find everything you need at Live! 360 Orlando 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Andrew Brust
Senior Director, Market Strategy and Intelligence, Datameer

Thomas LaRock
Head Geek, SolarWinds

SQL Server Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/09/2017 at 1:14 PM0 comments


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