Monday, April 26, 2010

Sivlerlight Carousel and Phot Albums for photo display

I was looking for a way to display pictures in a carousel or a photo album.
Nikhil has an interesting blog which is done in Silverlight 1.0

Terence Tsang has a couple of them in his blog Shinedraw in which he has compared flash with silverlight:

Vectorform also has an interesting carousel done in silverlight in Javascript

Silverlight Slide Show by Vbrocks is a great one but in VB.

Codeplex has a terriffic slideshow based on Silverlight and done in C#

Phluffyphotos has an example which is supposed to work with WindowsAzure.
But I could not make it work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silverlight WCF and Azure

Azure is the cloud server base technology. WCF services can produce server pages which can be consumed by Silverlight. However this operation can be tricky.
I participated in an interesting thread Silverlight 3 / November Azure CTP / WCF Sample topic:
Allen Chen came up with an interesting sample for this.
This gives you the fundamentals required to make it work in Visual Studio.
This will come up with 2 web pages. The click me button works. The other 8080 port shows an error. Instead of if you browse to you will see the web service and the will produce the XML output for the service.
Couple of key points which make this work.
Note the clientaccesspolicy.xml file and the web.config files
also the proxy setting in the mainpage.xaml.cs file
proxy = new SilverlightApplication1.ServiceReference1.Service1Client(new BasicHttpBinding(),

new EndpointAddress(string.Format("http://{0}:{1}/Service1.svc", HtmlPage.Document.DocumentUri.Host, "8080")));

You may also run into a bug: "Fixing the Silverlight Design Time in a Windows Azure Cloud Service issue in Visual Studio 2008" showing as an “Object reference not set to an instance of an object" in XAML editor. Jim Nakashima has given a fix in his blog

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Azure Storage

Three documents which are very useful.
  1. Windows Azure Blob - May 2009.docx Windows Azure Blob – Programming Blob Storage
  2. Windows Azure Table - May 2009.docx Windows Azure Table – Programming Table Storage
  3. Windows Azure Queue - Dec 2008.docx Windows Azure Table – Programming Table Storage
However many of the storage features have changed. I am also writing an article on how to use the table storage and will give the links here when it is ready.

You also need to look at the following blog posts to understand how to manipulate the tables and blobs
  1. Jim Nakashima gives a very nice walkthrough   Walkthrough: Windows Azure Blob Storage (Nov 2009 and later).
  2. Dhananjay Kumar gives a good overview also. CRUD Operations on Windows Azure table and Azure Storage
  3. Shivprasad koirala  also covers it to some extent.
Jim Nakashima also covers the new changes done in the November CTP for configuration files Tools to Configure Windows Azure Service Definition and Configuration Files.
If you have an application developed with the March version you definitely want to read this by Harish Ranganathan to prevent lot of breakage in your code due to the upgrade done in November CTP .
 FIX for Unable to find “Microsoft.ServiceHosting.ServiceRuntime” Windows Azure Training Kit Nov 09

Friday, April 16, 2010

Azure Introduction

I am very excited about the Azure platform from Microsoft. You have the Amazon and Google cloud computing platforms. What distinguishes the Azure platform from Microsoft is the fantastic integration with dot net technology. The Azure SDK gives you a very good development platform to work with Visual Studio. As an experienced C# and Visual Basic programmer this was the most exciting thing for me. I found the following web sites very useful to star with. I hope this posting will help some one who wants to start with Azure.
is the official Microsoft Windows Azure site. This has quiet a lot of information and can be confusing. Start with the white papers to get some idea about the platform.
Then go to the
download the SDK, read the white papers, watch couple of videos in this site  and start playing with the code. You can work with Visual Studio Express, but it is better to have the full version.
The SDK has some quick start samples which will give you a flavor for the Azure platform.
Couple of blogs to follow
Steve Marx  is one of the official gurus of Azure and always has interesting information in his web site.
Jim Nakashima is another guru of Azure and has very useful technical articles in his blogs.