Windows Azure MS – Building Cross Platform Mobile Solutions December 20, 2012Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Android, Azure, fauzan, golden tulip hotel, iOS, Mobile Services, OOTB, Push Notification, Windows Phone 8, Windows8, wp8
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On 16th Dec 2012, an event was arranged by Microsoft Saudi Arabia at Golden Tulip Hotel, Jeddah; a 3 star hotel located near old airport. The focus of this event was Windows Azure and its Mobile Services. If you are new to Windows Azure, its better you check its home page. The event was conducted by Fauzan Khan from Microsoft Arabia. The agenda of the event was:
- 08:30 – 09:30 Registration and Breakfast
- 09:30 – 10:30 Introduction to Azure Mobile Services
- 10:30 – 10:45 Break
- 10:45 – 11:45 Building Your Windows Phone 8 App
- 11:45 – 12:45 Prayer / Lunch
- 12:45 – 13:45 Building Cross Platform Apps Across WP8/Win8
- 13:45 – 14:00 Break
- 14:00 – 15:00 Authentication / Storage
- 15:00 – 15:15 Break
- 15:15 – 16:15 Enabling Push Notifications
- 16:15 – 16:45 Closing and Prize Draw
Windows Azure has been available for quite a time, Mobile Services have been launched publically as a part of Azure since last month by the Build Event. This Windows Azure provide a free 90 days trail and it includes 10 mobile services. Currently, out of the box (OOTB) support is available for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and iOS. OOTB support for android is expected to be available soon. The Azure Mobile user page is a complete and comprehensive portal that provide the access to all the required components like databases, virtual machines, logs etc.
Some of the topics discussed/demoed were:
- Twitter Authentication
- ObserveableCollection <>
- Push Notifications
- Channel URI
- Windows 8
An interesting thing to know is that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to get the Windows Store, even before China. Now it is available in 191 countries.
Tags: Build, Jeddah, KAU, king abdul aziz, Live Tiles, Metro UI, Microsoft, Mobile, MS Saudi Community, Saudi Arabia, software-development, technology, Windows, Windows Store, Windows8
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The main focus of this developer camp was to introduce the basics of this new Metro UI to the developers. The agenda of the event:
09:30 am – 10:15 am The Windows 8 Platform for Metro style app
10:15 am – 11:00 am Designing Apps with Metro Principles and the Windows Personality
11:00 am – 11:15 am Break
11:15 am – 11:45 am Everything Web Developers Must Know to Build Metro Style Apps
11:45 am – 12:15 pm Building Metro Style Apps : What .NET Developers Need to Know
12:15 pm – 01:15 pm Lunch
01:15 pm – 02:15 pm Building Windows 8 Metro Style UIs
02:15 pm – 02:45 pm Integrating with the Windows 8 Experiences
02:45 pm – 03:15 pm Bring Your Apps to Life with Tile and Notifications
03:15 pm – 03:30 pm Break
03:30 pm – 04:15 pm How and when Metro style apps run
04:15 pm – 05:00 pm Building Metro style apps that take advantage of modern hardware
05:00 pm – 05:30 pm The Developer Opportunity: Introducing the Windows Store
05:30 pm – 06:00 pm Closing
The event was conducted by Fauzan Khan from Microsoft Saudi Community. The first session was about the introduction of metro UI, what it is, what is the idea behind it, how it works etc. In next sessions the technical concepts of developing metro apps were explained. It also included the new and revised concepts in Windows 8.
Some of the concepts mentioned in brief or details are listed below:
- Windows Run Time (WINRT)
- Roaming profiles linked with Live Id
- Semantic Zoom
- Design Mode (Adaptive & Fixed)
- Contracts (Search, Share, …)
- Application Life Cycle
- Background Application API
- Live Tiles
- Toast notifications; last not the least
- Windows Store
If you are planning to proceed with Metro App development, along with many other new ideas & features, at-least you must go through these initial concepts.
Google Saudi Arabia 2.0 April 12, 2012Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Android, Chamber of Commerce, Chrome, Extensions, Google, Ice Cream, Jeddah, microsoft ceo, Saudi Arabia, saudi arabia market, Spam Filtering, steve balmer, technology, webmaster workshop, Youtube
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On 24th of March, Google conducted its 2nd event for the Saudi Arabia market under the brand name Google Saudi Arabia 2.0. Last year, the first event of its kind, was conducted by the search giant in Four Season Hotel, Riyadh. This year, it has been conducted in Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It’s a two days event. Day 1 is technology oriented while the Day 2 focus mainly on business related products & tools. A point to remember is that the very first step of its kind was taken by Microsoft in fall 2010 when they conducted Microsoft Open Door 2010 in Riyadh as well as Jeddah. Microsoft CEO, Steve Balmer made the key note speech in Riyadh. Although Microsoft was the trend starter, they skipped the Saudi Arabia from their books for the next Open Door event that has been held in other states of Middle East in Q1 o f2012.
The agenda of the day 1 is as under:
Track 1 Topic
Track 2 Topic
Track 3 Topic
|9:30:00||Opening & Keynote|
|11:00:00||Mobile Development/SDKs||Chrome Extensions||Google APIs||GWT Workshop|
|12:00:00||Google+||Chrome Extensions (continued)||Google APIs (continued)||GWT Workshop (continued)|
|14:00:00||Google+ API 101||Mobile Development Workshop: Augmented Reality||Google APIs (continued)||Website Optimizer 101|
|15:00:00||Maps API 101||Mobile Development Workshop: Augmented Reality||YouTube API||Search Quality, Webspam and Communication|
|16:30:00||Google Your Career: Engineering Opportunities||Creating Killer Webcontent||YouTube API||Webmaster Workshop (continued)|
|17:30:00||Getting ready for the Job: CV & Interviews tips||Creating Killer Webcontent (continued)||Localization: Google Translate & Translator Toolkit||Webmaster Workshop (continued)|
The main organizers for this event (and such other events in the region) were +Patricia Estridge and +Rania Hadi. The key note was delivered by Nelson Mattos, the Vice President of Engineering, EMEA Region. There were 50 Googlers from all over the world (last year, the count was 30). He discussed about the concepts and ideas that drive the Google & its products. He advised to think big, start small. He said that Google follow this approach users first, money second.
He was followed by Hmad Hamzawi, Head of New Business Development, MENA & CA region. He talked about the recent Google Innovations & Demos specially the new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). One of the main part of his presentation was Mobile Predictions for 2012.
After the keynote, the participants were provided with four tracks to select as per their interests and expertise. I opted for the Chrome Extension sessions which were delivered by Ahmed Hassan. It was a split in two sessions. In the first session, he explained what exactly the extensions are, what their internal components are, what are compulsory and what are optional. In the second session that was after a 5-10 min break he started with building the chrome extensions. Gradually, the complexity of the examples increased. All of the sample code is available in Google Chrome Extension developer help section.
It was followed by the lunch. It was a lunch box having mainly a sandwich and salad box. It seems that the lunch was decided by a diet conscious person who focused highly on organic foods.
For the next session I tried to go for Mobile Development Workshop but it was fully occupied. We tried with other sessions but they were also not available. We were left with only option for the Google+ API. Google+ is the new social product by Google. They say that Google + You = Google+. In this session different features of Google+ API was described, what they are, how we can use them in our applications, etc…
After this I went for Search Quality, Webspam and Communication session. It was a quite a new name. It was presented by Tony Fadel, in a very friendly atmosphere. He mentioned that their team was even unknown to many other Google teams, although it exists since 2008. The task of their team is to improve the quality of the search results by applying new algorithms, conducting different analysis and experiments and even manual modifications. Surprisingly, he mentioned that 500 changes are made in the Google search page every year. Then he mentioned that how the spam is controlled, automatically and manually. The goal of their team (or Google) is to not to provide just simple results but quality results. You can check the full details in the slides.
After this session, I noticed that the remaining sessions are not much related to my scope. I checked some other booths for the time being. It was really nice to know that Google map maker is available for KSA now. So, we can expect improvements in the maps in the coming months.
The logistic support for this event was provided by Badir. The internet support was provided by Mobily. Free WiFi was available in the beginning until the start of the first session. After that it stopped responding and after some time, it was no more available as an open connection.
The official page for this event is: http://goo.gl/lF368
Windows Phone Camp – Jeddah October 27, 2011Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Jeddah, Mango, Microsoft, Mobile development, Multitasking, Push Notifications, Saudi Arabia, SilverLight, Tombstoning, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Windows Phone Development
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This week, on 23rd of OCT Windows Phone Camp was conducted at Effat University. The event was sponsored by Telerik
The agenda of he event was as below:
8:30 AM Arrival and Registration
9:00 AM Welcome/ Windows Phone 7.5 Overview for Developers
9:45 AM Building Windows Phone Applications with Visual Studio 2010
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Building Windows Phone Apps with Silverlight
12:00 PM Lunch
12:45 PM Windows Phone Fast Application Switching, Tombstoning and Multitasking
1:45 PM Live Tiles and Push Notifications
2:45 PM Break
3:15 PM Monetizing a Windows Phone 7.5 Application
3:30 PM Build your app or work on a hands-on lab
5:00 PM What’s Next/Resources/Event End
The event was conducted by Microsoft Saudi Community. During this event, the very first community of Jeddah region was announced. If you are living in Jeddah and you are interested in Microsoft products and technologies, you are welcome to join though following social channels:
- Facebook Fan Page: Jeddah Microsoft Professionals Community
- Twitter Account: @JedMPC
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- URL: http://jedmpc.com (under construction)
Some of the snaps of the event are shred here:
Windows8 KeyNote – Build Event September 14, 2011Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: ARM, Build, Dar Al-Hekma, IE10, Jeddah, metro, Microsoft, Microsoft Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Windows, Windows8
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Windows 7 is generally available for retail since 22nd October, 2009. Many things have been changed and many more have been arrived after that. The main focus from desktop has already shifted towards laptop/net-book. These days the trend has greatly diverted towards touch pads and slates. The main pioneer was Apple’s iPad followed by similar products from Samsung, Asus, Motorola etc. Generally these pads uses iOS, WebOS or Andriod. There are some windows based (Windows 7) options available but they are more powerful and hence more expensive than others e.g. Asus Eee Slate.
Microsoft has announced the Build Windows event to be conducted on 13-16 September 2011, to officially announce the next version of Windows i.e. Windows 8. To keep the local community up-to-date and introduce them to the latest development architecture & tools, Microsoft Saudi Community arranged the live webcast of the keynotes in 3 cities of the Kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar. The tag line for new Windows 8 is:
In 1995, Windows changed PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything
In Jeddah, the event was planned at Dar Al-Hekma College. The keynote was supposed to start at 7 PM (Makkah Time). As per the agenda, the registration was planned to start at 5:30. A welcome note was given by Mr. Adel Al-Massarani, The Developer & Platform Group Lead, Microsoft, KSA. He explained about the technical communities and user groups operating in the Kingdom. He mentioned that Microsoft Arabia is interested in improving its collaboration with the technical community of Western Region. Microsoft is also planning to increase the frequency of the Sponsored Programs and events to help the users to adopt the new technologies.
It was followed by a short refreshment and prayer break.
The keynote was kicked off by Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, in a some-how Steve Job inspired style. He explained the new and cool features of Windows 8. Contrary to previous pattern of Microsoft, Windows 8 does not have any new hardware requirements, any PC that is fulfilling the requirements of Windows 7 is fully acceptable for Windows 8. The main trend building thing in Windows8 is the Metro style UI. Along with the traditional mouse based approach, this Metro style is Touch Oriented. In previous years, Office 2007 introduced a new ribbon based look and feel. Although it was taken as a new standard by many other applications (web applications as well) but it was not ported to Windows itself. But in case of Windows8, this metro style is highly dominant and the next release of Office is also expected to adopt it. Microsoft has been wise enough to provide simple and easy upgrade of classic applications to Metro style with minimum code.
During the keynote a lot of features + updates were described ranging from a daily user’s interest to the developers extent. This post is not intended to explain the keynotes in details. Below is JUST the list of some of the noticeable features:
- Extremely fast start up (8 sec in the demo)
- Infected USB boot protection
- Picture Password for Login
- ARM based architecture now supported
- Spell Checker available throughout the System
- User Profile Sync across multiple machines (based on Live Id)
- Microsoft Application Store linked with Visual Studio with Live status display of the application
- New low power state: Connected Standby
- Support up to 256 TB of hard disk
- Simple Refresh or Reset to factory setting feature
- Improved file copy with visual progress and better speed
- Fully loaded Control Panel and Task Manager
- Up Button is finally back in the Windows explorer with a new bar similar to Office Quick Launch bar
- Built in support for multiple monitors, ISO mounting and burning etc.
- Touch Enabled Internet Explorer 10 with extreme hardware acceleration
- Option to switch between Metro and classic Desktop style
- Browse SkyDrivesimilar to a native folder
- Tap to share available for NFC for supported hardware
- Different keyboards with emotions natively available. Split keyboard also available for thumb typing
Towards the end of the presentation, it was announced that 5000 Intel i5 based, 11 ” tablets made by Samsung will be given to the audience. This tablet, called Developer PC, is preloaded with Windows8 and other required tools for developing and debugging applications.
The keynote session last for about 2 and a half hour. It seems that Microsoft is planning to go far ahead with its new Metro styles Windows with full support for desktop machines up to the new touch centric tablets with extra slim sizes and increasing processing power. We can clearly expect to see Windows based tablets available for general users in the 1st half of 2012.
One more good thing is Windows8 can easily be downloaded (legally) from the following link:
The local attendees of the webcast were given a short survey by Microsoft Arabia to know about their interest which will help in understanding the needs and requirement of local market.
Jeddah Community Summit – May 2011 May 31, 2011Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Azure, BizSpark, Cloud, DreamSpark, Effat University, Microsoft, MS Saudi Community, Phone Development, Sharepoint, Visual Studio, WebMatrix, WebsiteSpark, Windows, Windows Phone
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Yesterday, on 30th May, Jeddah Community Summit was arranged by the Microsoft Saudi Community, the central hub of all the regional communities of the Kingdom. The purpose of these communities is to bring the people of a region closer, to share their experience, expertise and help other fellows of the same field in their work and knowledge gathering. These communities conduct sessions/workshops for a wide spectrum ranging from a single topic to multiple tools and topics for one workshop. These communities are very much active in other cities specially in Riyadh and Eastern Region. This event was arranged by the cooperation of the Effat University and Microsoft Saudi Arabia.
The introductory Session was conducted by Mr. Adel Al-Massarani, Developer & Platform Group Lead, Microsoft, KSA. He talked about DreamSpark, WebSiteSpark & BizSpark. He mentioned that how Microsoft provide software and hardware support for the early startup/students for first 3 Years. The provided software can be used freely after that period with some conditions. They provide a combination of free/subsidized licenses and Web Hosting. The business studies have shown that majority of IT based startups failed in first 2 years. The aim of these is to help companies to stand on Firm grounds. Currently, 45 startups have been approved in the Kingdom out of which 20 are active.
- Virtual Test Environment
- Proactive Project Management
- Architecture Validation
- Dependency Validation
- Code Analysis & Metrics
- Intelli-Trace & Test Manager
All of these features are available in the Ultimate version of Visual Studio 2010. By using these tools we can clearly explain/understand the architecture of the application, validate the separation between different layers (data layer, business layer etc), trace out the bug by checking the variable values even in the deep nested calls, automate the advanced testing etc.
This was followed by the session about Windows Azure, also by Fauzan Khan. Windows Azure is the most latest, state of the art technology by Microsoft for cloud computing. With the combination of SQL Azure, it helps organization to dynamically, on the go, scale their infrastructure by cloud hosting. Instead of Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), it is a complete Platform as a Service (PaaS). It automatically manages a lot of things using Content Delivery Network (CDN), Traffic Managers etc with full support for customization. A complete list of Windows Azure features can be seen HERE. Azure Applications can easily be developed and tested in Visual Studio 2010 by downloading the Azure SDK. Recently, ebay, the world’s one of the most famous shopping site, has shifted to the Azure Platform.
It was followed by a light lunch and the prayer break. Refreshment was available all the time.
The next session about Building Windows Phone 7 Application was conducted by Adel Al-Zubeir, Sr. System Analyst and Windows Phone MVP. He demonstrated the currently and the recently added main features of Windows Phone. After that he described the complete development process of Windows Phone 7 application, starting with a simple Visual Studio project to a full fledge application working with web-services. Later, the publishing/marketing process was also described. Developers in ME (and some other regions with no direct access) can submit their apps to Windows MarketPlce with the help of Yalla Apps. Windows Phone Application can be developed in Visual Studio 2010 by downloading the developer tools. These applications are written in Silverlight. Any desktop application written in Silverlight can easily be transferred to Windows Phone. The current version of Windows Phone is Arabic enabled i.e. u can read the Arabic pages. Full Arabic support is expected in future. The switch by Nokia towards Windows Phone will help to reduce this time to market.
The last session was about the Microsoft Web Matrix. It is a collection of different tools (WordPress, Joomla, DotNetNuke etc) with easy/semi-automated installation process. It helps to create, customize and publish your website with a wizard based interface. It is mainly targeted towards the students.
In the last, there was a lucky draw for some books to be distributed among the attendee. Shirts with Microsoft branding were given to each attendant. The attendees were from different local companies. A few students were also present. The event ended at about 4 PM. We are thankful to Microsoft and Effat University for their support and co-operation, with a hope to have more session in the coming month with higher number of participants.