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Xamarin + Azure: Part 4 - Intelligent Apps

ScopeThe article shown below follows my presentation and demo at Xamarin Dev Days in Mauritius. The article demonstrates how to get started with Azure mobile apps and the benefits of the powers of Cloud in terms of scalability, Offline Sync, and Data Analytics.
This is the fourth part of the series, where we’ll use intelligent features of the app, using Microsoft Cognitive Services.

IntroductionThe objective of this article is to build on the sample app discussed in part 3 and use Microsoft Cognitive Services to calculate the sentiment score of the feedback to determine whether it is positive or a negative feedback.

Microsoft Cognitive Services lets you build apps with powerful algorithms, using just a few lines of code. They work across the devices and platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows, keep improving, and are easy to set up.
To reach this goal, the Text Analytics API of Microsoft Cognitive Services shall be used.

Text Analytics APIText Analytics API is a suite of text analytics…

TechNet Guru Awards November 2016!

The TechNet Guru Awards celebrate the technical articles on TechNet, contributed from valued wiki authors like YOU! Each month, the contributions are scored by a panel of judges (5 per category, 2-3 in each are MS experts), and the winners of each category are showered with love and attention from all corners of TechNet.
This month, my article about Xamarin + Azure won the bronze award.

Xamarin + Azure: Part 3 – Offline Sync

Scope
The following article covers a presentation and demo at Xamarin Dev Days in Mauritius. The article demonstrates how to get started with Azure Mobile Apps and benefit the powers of the cloud in terms of Scalability, Offline Sync and Data Analytics. This is the third part of the series where offline sync capabilities shall be added to the application. IntroductionThe objective of this article is to build on the sample app discussed in part 2 and add offline sync capabilities to it.  People using mobile apps are often on the move and are not always connected. Despite not having connectivity, the application users’ needs to be able to continue working and retrieve their data in offline mode. To achieve this, the Azure Mobile Service SDK provides offline sync capabilities using SQL Lite as local storage. ImplementationTo add offline sync, both the front end and the back end code of the client needs to be modified. Follow the steps below to proceed with the change. Install SQL Lite Insta…

Xamarin + Azure: Part 2 – Extend the Sample App

Scope
The following article covers a presentation and demo at Xamarin Dev Days in Mauritius. The article demonstrates how to get started with Azure Mobile Apps and benefit the powers of the cloud in terms of scalability, Offline Sync and Data Analytics. This is the second part of the series where we’ll extend the sample app discussed in part one. Introduction The objective of this article is to build on the sample app discussed in part 1 and add custom logic. In this demo, an App that will allow the attendees of Xamarin Dev Days to give feedback to the organizers will be created. The application will store the attendee name, the attendee feedback and a sentiment score. Modifying the Cloud Back EndAdding the Data ObjectThe first step is to add the data object. Therefore, create a new call called Feedback.cs in the DataObjects folder
Make sure that the class inherits from EntityData from Microsoft.Azure.Mobile.Server and add the attributes of the model as below.

Xamarin + Azure: Part 1 – The Basics

Scope
The following article covers a presentation and demo at Xamarin Dev Days in Mauritius. The article demonstrates how to get started with Azure Mobile Apps and benefit the powers of the cloud in terms of Scalability, Offline Sync and Data Analytics. 
This is the first part of the series where the basics of Azure App service is demonstrated.
IntroductionXamarin is a cross-platform implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications (often called Microsoft .NET). With a C#-shared code base, developers can use Xamarin tools to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple 
platforms.



However, today, mobile apps can’t run stand-alone. The data need to be stored where it can be shared and the application should be able to scale as required. This is where the cloud helps us.

Xamarin Dev Days 2016 - Xamarin + Azure

Xamarin Dev Days are community driven, hands-on learning experiences geared towards beginner mobile developers to help build, test, and connect native iOS, Android, and Windows apps.

Yes we also did it in Mauritius! This year, we the agenda was as follows:
Intro to XamarinXamarin FormsXamarin + AzureHands on Lab

For this first edition, I spoke about Xamarin + Azure and the topics I covered are: Introduction to Azure Mobile AppsAdding Push NotificationsAdding AuthenticationAdding Offline SyncLive demo You can view the presentation below:


Happy Coding! Chervine

TNWiki Article Spotlight – Schedule PowerShell Scripts to Manage Azure Virtual Machines

Hello World!
The article Schedule PowerShell Scripts to Manage Azure Virtual Machines was featured on the TechNet Wiki blog this week. Thanks to the TechNet Wiki Community!
Cheers!
Chervine

TechNet Guru Award - May 2016

Hello world!

May was another great month! The article about SQL Server Stretch Database was awarded gold medal in the TechNet guru awards!


The TechNet Guru Awards celebrate the technical articles on TechNet, contributed from valued wiki authors like YOU! Each month, the contributions are scored by a panel of judges (5 per category, 2-3 in each are MS experts), and the winners of each category are showered with love and attention from all corners of TechNet. Cheers! Chervine

The First PHP Mauritius UG Meetup

Hello World!

The first ever PHP Mauritius UG Meetup was held on the 31st of May 2016 and I was invited to speak about my experience engaging with the community during the past years.

About PHP UG Mauritius PHPMauritius has been founded for passionate PHP folks in Mauritius, by passionate PHP folks – namely Khayrattee Wasseem and Nadhiir Rosun on the 9th of Jan 2016.

You can get more details on the PHP Mauritius BlogMeetup pageTwitter and Facebook.

The first Meetup The first meetup was held on Tuesday 31st at 18hr30.
The Speakers:
- Chervine Bhiwoo (he will talk about the power of community, around 20 mins)
- Sean Mangar (he will talk on a PHP topic around 20-30mins)

Nads, kicked off the session by introducing the UG and it's objectives. I find it great that the founders are very open to all technologies and are even keen to learn about technologies such as PHP & Azure.
I'm sure it's just the begining of an awesome collaboration :)



The Power of Community

Hello world!

I was invited to talk about my experience engaging with the community over the past years at the PHP Mauritius UG Meetup last month. This blog post is a summary of what I talked about.

I kicked off the presentations by talking about how the community is helping us daily and why we should give back to the community.


Whether you are using open source software or you are finding solutions to your problems on forums, behind all these tools, there are people and communities working. These communities are making a huge impact in the world and we often just take it for granted! 
Can you imagine surviving a day at work without using any open source tools or without going to a forum?

Twitter Analytics for the Developers Conference in Mauritius

It was fun to build the Twitter statistics for the Developers Conference in Mauritius, but, it's only today that I had the time to compile the figures for all 3 days and apply Sentiment Analysis on the individual tweets. Let's look at the results!

Interactive Dashboard Firstly, you can view the interactive dashboard here, filter the results, and even view details of the tweets.
Tweet Count Count of Tweets: 790 Count of Tweets by Day: 20 = 223 ; 21= 246 ; 22= 321  People Tweet most between 11 - 12 Hr Highest number of Tweets by Username is 121 (MSCC) Twitter Username with highest number of ReTweets is MSCC with 259 RTs Twitter Username with highest number of Favourites is Ish with 86 Favourites

TNWiki Article Spotlight – SQL Server and PolyBase

Hello World!
Here are some fresh news from the Microsoft TechNet wiki, the article I authored on Polybase and SQL Server got featured on the TechNet wiki blog - Thanks for the mention Ken!
Polybase has the ability to connect SQL Server to an existing Hadoop cluster and therefore join relational data to unstructured data.


Link to TechNet blog here. Link to Wiki here.
Cheers! Chervine

Developers Conference 2016 - SQL Server

Last week end, I had the opportunity to present at the Developers Conference in Mauritius again. This was another opportunity to team up with my friends from the MSPs and showcase how SQL Server 2016 can help solve the data challenges in modern businesses . So, if you missed the presentation, here is a summary of what we demonstrated.




I started the presentation with a focus on the trends in technology in terms of Apps, Mobile and IoT and how all of them are creating more and more data. However, this is leading to new challenges in terms of processing and storage.  


Hour of Code with the Community

Hello world!
Today I'm writing about one the the best experience I got with the community so far! It's the hour of Code!
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.
I've been discussing with my friends and NGOs in my locality about organizing an hour of code with the children around and they we keen to provide the logistics and allow me to animate the session.
I started the session by introducing the Hour of Code and the computer science field and also emphasizes how computers are changing the world and how all those computers and applications are powered by codes in the back-end.

10 tips for the Web Cup

Hello World!

Last year together with my collages we participated in the Web Cup. It was a nice and fun experience but this blog post is not to evaluate the Web Cup, but rather to give some tips to the participants from what we learnt. Here we go:


1. Don't take it too seriously, have fun!
Participate to enhance your team work, meet other developers, increase your knowledge and have fun. Enjoy the experience and focus on building the best Web Site you can instead of focusing on winning and what are the other teams doing.

2. Don't code immediately! Discuss!
The theme won't be easy, it will be quite unorthodox, probably something you never done before.
So, don't code right away. Take the time to think about the challenge, brainstorm, think creatively and focus on the whole concept and how innovative it is first. Then, the next phases will be much easier.

Schedule PowerShell Scripts to Scale Azure Virtual Machines

Background How can I schedule a script to scales my Azure Virtual Machine up or down at specific times?

This question was raised by a participant of the Global Azure Bootcamp who has some very heavy processing to do on an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) at a specific point in time and wants to upscale the VM each week at this point in time. Also, the user also wants another script to run some hours later to downscale the VM.
Introduction The above problem can be solved using Microsoft Azure Automation, which provides a way for users to automate the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks that are commonly performed in a cloud and enterprise environment. It saves time and increases the reliability of regular administrative tasks and even schedules them to be automatically performed at regular intervals. You can automate processes using Runbooks or automate configuration management using Desired State Configuration.

C# Corner Goodies!

Hello World!

You remember I was awarded C# Corner MVP on the beginning of this year? I blogged about it here.

Well well, I was expecting a trophy, but look what they sent!!




This is crazy ! They host our articles, promote them on Facebook, Twitter, Features them. Like this was not enough, they even send goodies. Shouldn't this be the other way round?

My C# Corner Profile: http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/members/chervine-bhiwoo
Thank you C# Corner!!




The TechNet Guru Awards! March 2016

Hi!

I've been contributing some more articles to the TechNet Wiki recently and this time I won the Gold Medal for theSQL Server General and Database Engine Technical Guru - March 2016.

The TechNet Guru Awards celebrate the technical articles on TechNet, contributed from valued wiki authors like YOU! Each month, the contributions are scored by a panel of judges (5 per category, 2-3 in each are MS experts), and the winners of each category are showered with love and attention from all corners of TechNet.



Global Azure Bootcamp 2016 in Mauritius

Hello World!

For those of you who don't know it yet, the Global Azure Bootcamp (GAB) is a yearly global community driven boot camp dedicated to Microsoft Azure. This year, it was held on the 16th of April 2016 at the Voila Hotel.




Collaborating with the MSP and MSCC team As a Microsoft MVP and having been involved in the past Azure Boot camps and several Microsoft DevCamps in Mauritius, this year, I had the opportunity to lead the team in terms of content delivery and planning.



Since this is the fourth we were organizing GAB, and most of our expected audience already know about the basic services on Azure, we had to find a way to innovate and deliver valuable sessions.

After various discussions, we decided to do a deep-dive in one of the interesting topics around, which is Data + Analytics, It was also an opportunity for me to share all the knowledge I acquired in the BI field in the past years with the MSPs and the audience.

It was then full on hard work, Skype and face-to-face mee…

Stretching SQL Server 2016 Tables To The Azure Cloud

Introduction
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is a hybrid cloud environment designed to allow data and services to enable users to perform advanced analytics within their databases and create business insight visualizations. 
One of the highly anticipated features new to Microsoft SQL Server2016 is Stretch DB, a feature that migrates your historical data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Moreover, it can be configured to migrate a complete table to the cloud, or to migrate only part of a table based on certain condition. For example, one won’t migrate its complete transaction table, but migrating the data which is older than five years makes sense!
Benefits of Stretch DB  Ability to determine which rows to migrate to the cloud and which rows to keep On-Premise by using predicates.Stretch DB ensures that no data is lost if a failure occurs during migration. - It also has retry logic to handle connection issues that may occur during migration.Data Migration can be paused to…

Received Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) Badge for the First Time!

Today I just noticed that I have received the Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) badge for the first time and Thank you Microsoft!



And if you want to become one, read the following to know how. MICROSOFT COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR (MCC)

Query Unstructured Data From SQL Server Using PolyBase

Scope The following article demonstrates how unstructured data and relational data can be queried, joined and processed in a single query using PolyBase, a new feature in SQL Server 2016. Pre-RequisitesIntroduction to Big Data Analytics Using Microsoft Azure Big Data Analytics Using Hive on Microsoft Azure Analyze Twitter Data With Hive in Azure HDInsight Running Hadoop on Linux using Azure HDInsight  Introduction Traditionally, Big Data is processed using Apache Hadoop which is totally fine. But what if the result of this needs to be linked to the traditional Relation Database? For example, assume that from the analysis of tons of application logs, marketing needs to contact some customs that faced problems in an application following a failure in the application.
This problem is solved with PolyBase. PolyBase allows you to use Transact-SQL (T-SQL) statements to access data stored in Hadoop or Azure Blob Storage and query it in an ad-hoc fashion. It also lets you query semi-structure…

TNWiki Article Spotlight - Creating and Deploying Microsoft Azure WebJobs

Hello World!

One of my articles was again featured in the TechNet Wiki Spotlight. This time it is the article  Creating and Deploying Microsoft Azure WebJobs .

TechNet Wiki blog link: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wikininjas/archive/2016/03/08/tnwiki-article-spotlight-creating-and-deploying-microsoft-azure-webjobs.aspx

C# Corner MVP

This has been a great start of 2016!

I've been contributing to the C# corner community for the past months and even had several articles featured on the homepage.
C# corner is a great community with lots of readers, yes lots! It's one of the rare communities where an article can get more than 2000 views in just one day! That's amazing!



My C# Corner Profile: http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/members/chervine-bhiwoo
Thank you C# Corner! Chervine