Archive for November, 2009

MDS Nov-CTP release November 27th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

Master Data Services (MDS) with Master Data Hub and Stewardship Portal

This is one of those much awaited features. If you are wondering its need, let me explain you the scenario. As organizations grow in size and complexity, their data becomes more distributed and difficult to manage.  Meanwhile, mergers, acquisitions and asymmetrical solution development compound the problem, resulting in IT organizations containing numerous independent and non-interoperable systems. Each of these systems uses key business entities (such as customer, product and vendor), yet they maintain this information independently. For instance, a call center application, billing application and marketing system may have different contact addresses for the same customer and they may utilize different hierarchies and semantics for financial rollups. This is exactly the space where MDS comes into picture.

Using MDS, customers can manage critical data assets by enabling proactive stewardship, enforcing data quality rules, defining workflows around data changes, notifying impacted parties, managing hierarchies, and sharing the authoritative source with all impacted systems.

History: In June 2007, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Stratature, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Georgia, and a leading provider of master data management (MDM) software. This was the first step in Microsoft establishing a presence in the master data management space, and will accelerate Microsoft’s delivery of technology in the MDM market. Read this whitepaper which outlines The What, Why, and How of Master Data Management.

Note: Install is available as part of the Nov-CTP. Just search for the 1033_enu_lp folder and you will have the masterdataservices.msi inside the Setup Folder. MDS doesn’t get installed by default.

Have fun and do send me a note on your experiences …

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Download StreamInsight November CTP refresh November 25th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

The November CTP release of Microsoft StreamInsight went live as part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP. In this post we are introducing the November CTP refresh, which already contains further improvements.  You can find the download page here:

StreamInsight CTP2, was well received and generated a lot of excitement. The improvements over previous beta include –

  • New extensibility API through user-defined aggregates and operators
  • Declarative specification of CTIs through AdvanceTimeSettings
  • More temporal windows in LINQ (and other LINQ improvements)
  • Improved error messages and exception handling
  • Many debugger tool improvements
  • New samples

This release of StreamInsight provides the documentation (also online on MSDN) and the samples package as part of the installation. Strongly recommend to use the samples to become familiar with the product and its capabilities. Moreover, to guide you through various aspects of the product visit the Product Teams blog at – StreamInsight Blog. The StreamInsight Forum is a great place to discuss questions and issues with the community and the development team.

If you are interested in other SQL Server CTPs, please visit this site as well:

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InterOp on Windows Azure November 20th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

This recent PDC over the couple of days has tons of announcements to go a look forward from a Microsoft technologies point of view. One of the important announcement which I had the privilege to watch is the InterOp story esp around the Cloud Platform. At the PDC Keynote, we did see how WordPress was ported to make it work on Windows Azure. So I thought I will bring some of these interesting InterOp stories and resources you might love to go ahead and read.

Windows Azure SDK for Java™
The Windows Azure SDK for Java is an open source project that gives Java developers a speed dial to leverage the Windows Azure platform.

Windows Azure SDK for PHP
The Windows Azure SDK for PHP is an open source project that enables PHP developers to take advantage of the Windows Azure platform.

Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse
The Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse plug-in offers PHP developers a series of wizards and utilities allowing to write, debug, configure and deploy PHP applications to Windows Azure. The plug-in bundles the existing Windows Azure SDK for PHP into the Eclipse PHP project. The plug-in includes also a Window Azure storage explorer that allows developers to browse data contained into the Windows Azure tables, blobs or queues.

.NET Services SDK for Java™ Developers
This an interoperable open source SDK – set of libraries, tools, prescriptive patterns & guidance & real world sample applications that will enhance productivity for Java developers with Window Azure service bus and access control.

Ruby SDK for .NET Services
.NET Services for Ruby is an open source SDK that helps Ruby programs communicate with developers with Window Azure service bus and access control using plain HTTP.

.NET Services SDK for PHP Developers
This an interoperable open source SDK that enhances productivity for PHP developers with Window Azure service bus and access control. This is an interesting location to lookout if you are an PHP developer.

Comments welcome !!!

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Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 – CTP November 10th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

The Solution Accelerators Team is offering customers and partners added inventory and assessment capabilities with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.0 Community Technical Preview (CTP).  The MAP Toolkit 5.0 CTP provides customers and partners with new features such as inventory of heterogeneous server environments; the ability to determine usage of deployed System Center Configuration Manager (a member of the Core Client Access License Suite); and readiness assessment for migration to Office 2010.

Register for the MAP Toolkit 5.0 CTP and complete the survey. 


The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 CTP is an agentless tool designed to simplify and streamline the IT infrastructure planning process across multiple scenarios through network-wide automated discovery and assessments.  This tool makes it easier for Microsoft customers and partners to quickly identify critical assets in their IT environment. It performs key functions including hardware and software inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, virtualization readiness planning, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for infrastructure planning.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 CTP includes the following new features:

  • Heterogeneous Server Environment Inventory for Technologies including Windows Server, Linux, UNIX and VMware.
  • Ability to determine usage of deployed System Center Configuration Manager, a member of the Core Client Access License Suite. 
  • Office 2010 Readiness Assessment.

Additionally to these are –

  • Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment.
  • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation.
  • Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests.
  • User Interface and Proposal Customization for Partner co-branding.
  • Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance.
  • SQL Server Instance Discovery.
  • Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation.
  • Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment.

Do give it a try and Read more about the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit on TechNet. Get the latest news from the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Team Blog. Also, Check out other members of the Solution Accelerators family—Server, Desktop, Security, and Virtualization Solution Accelerators.

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Free useful Tech-Books November 9th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

clip_image002Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2

Learn about the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 in the areas of virtualization, management, the Web application platform, scalability and reliability, and interoperability with Windows 7. Download Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2, written by industry experts Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker along with the Windows Server team at Microsoft.

Microsoft Press / Oct. 2009 / Version 1.0 / 200 pages / 11.1 Mo / PDF

clip_image004Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet Magazine

Microsoft’s eBook Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet Magazine combine selected chapters written by industry experts Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team with select Windows 7 articles from TechNet Magazine. Sample topics include: Deployment Platform, Planning Deployment, Testing Application Compatability, and 8 Common Issues in Windows 7 Migrations.

Microsoft Press – Microsoft TechNet / Oct. 2009 / Version 1.0 / 332 pages / 6.5 Mo / PDF

clip_image006Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions

This guide will teach you about the benefits of the latest virtualization technologies and how to plan, implement, and manage virtual infrastructure solutions. The technologies covered include: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Microsoft Press / Oct. 2008 / 452 pages / 14.4 Mo / PDF

NB : This download requires a Windows Live account

clip_image0087 Development Projects for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services Version 3.0

Get a hands-on introduction with seven practical projects. This guide highlights architectural underpinnings, the latest enhancements for developers, and code samples to get you started with building custom applications and solutions with Windows SharePoint Services products and technologies. (Note For developers)

Microsoft Press – Microsoft TechNet / May 2006 / 236 pages / 7.76 Mo / PDF

Enjoy the goodness …

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