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Azure, C#, .NET, Architecture & Related Tech News


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Distributed Design: Applying the Command Pattern to Azure’s Web/Worker Roles

WorkerRoleOne place I regularly come across the use of the Command pattern is when working on Azure projects that employ worker roles to execute long running tasks initiated by a scheduled process or user action. The Command pattern lends itself to the distributed nature of these solutions with very little plumbing required when working in Azure.

The following post provides a sample application; CommandQueue which contains 3 examples of a web and worker role utilising the Command pattern. The web role is designed to provide a rapid responses to the user, offloading any lengthy operations to the worker role. The source code for the CommandQueue solution is available on GitHub so feel free to clone, compile and execute it while working through this post.

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Book Review: “Professional ASP.NET MVC 4”

Professional ASP.NET MVC 4A few months after the official release of MVC 4 I decided to go hunting for an MVC 4 book that was less of an introduction to MVC 4 and written more for the seasoned MVC developer. I’d recently delivered an MVC 3 solution so was looking to work my way through a MVC 4 book that was (a) written by some respected authors, (b)  would provide a comprehensive guide to the latest iteration of this particular framework, (c) draw attention to those features new to version 4, and (d) provide a structure that easily permitted me to skim over the more familiar concepts.

So I did some research and ended up purchasing Wrox’s Professional ASP.NET MVC 4 by Jon Galloway, Phil Haack, Brad Wilson and K. Scott Allen. Having recently finished it I thought I’d share a review for the benefit of those who are in a similar situation to myself several months ago. Continue reading


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Web API is the New WCF

Mads Kristensen is a Program Manager at Microsoft and during his Tech Days 2012 talk on “What’s new in ASP.NET 4.5 + Visual Studio 11” he made a statement that “Web API is, kind of, the new WCF” – it’s about an hour in if you want the exact spot. Putting the “kind of” part to the side for the moment, this is something of interest as two key questions I ask myself, out of many that I consider when designing a new Microsoft solution, are (1) have I identified the right technologies, i.e. MVC, SQL, Azure, etc. and (2) what type of commitment is Microsoft making to the technologies I’ve chosen. Continue reading


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ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta – TechDays 2012 Video

Scott Gu gave a talk at TechDays 2012 this week (end Feb 2012) and covered a lot of new features being released as part of ASP.NET MVC 4.  The talk runs for just over 1 hour and 15 minutes and covers the main highlights currently available in the ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta (22.8MB), currently available for download.

This is yet another round of updates Microsoft is making to one of it’s key frameworks and it was an exciting talk to watch … well for the geeks anyway. Continue reading