Tag: Microsoft Azure

Been with SharePoint for 5 years as a developer, what to do next?

I’ve recently had a good short conversation with a senior developer, having worked more than 5 years in SharePoint platform. He shared with me that he found SharePoint really challenging and really wanted to master it. It’s pretty difficult for him to have deep understanding about SharePoint plus update about this emerging technology. He came to ask me my idea on what to do next to step up his experience in SharePoint development.


I’m speaking at Experts Live Asia Pacific 2017

I’m humbly excited to be chosen a speaker at the Largest System Management and Cloud conference in Asia Pacific named ExpertsLive Asia Pacific. This conference previously is known as System Center Universe (SCU). SCU has been transformed to be Experts Live which is a first-class community conference where experts from different countries come to share real-world experiences with live demos from level 300 – 400 (advanced and expert).


Office Web Apps & Azure

Office Web Apps is an added value to every collaboration deployment, especially if you like to use SharePoint with business intelligence features. Dashboard on Excel rendered on browser, for example, gives your boss the most out of experience. I’ve recently seen several cases of Office Web Apps deployment on Azure IaaS and even been engaged in investigation and troubleshooting.


Explore Azure SQL Database AdventureWork sample in PowerBI

One of the tasks of a consultant is to build a proof-of-concept sample or a demonstration to showcase the customer. I was asked today by a friend of mine about the sample Azure SQL Database and PowerBI integration to demonstrate the powerful capability of Azure SQL Database. Microsoft provides you a large library of content packs in which you can connect your Azure Enterprise subscription data from PowerBI. However, if you do not have Azure Enterprise subscription, you cannot show to your customer. Fortunately, in Azure SQL Database service Microsoft allows you to deploy a renowned database pack called AdventureWork.


What I have been doing these day!

Many friends of mine and my avid blog reader have asked me on what I have been doing these days because it’s been 5 months since I wrote the latest article about Udemy. My immediate answer is that I’m still doing SharePoint stuffs but pretty different from what I did in the recent past. My job now is to be working with public sector organizations to help them understand how important collaboration and digital workplace are, and to drive them to building a successful collaborative digital workplace with Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies.

Beside SharePoint & Office 365, I often spend my spare time reading and exploring more about Microsoft Azure such as Azure Mobile Service, Azure Machine Learning (and its concept to build prediction system) or so on. I’m also working on a small start-up mobile app in which I with my team utilize almost Microsoft Azure from mobile services, hub notification and Azure SQL.

Part of these things If you have realized, digitalization is also the topic I’m adopting. This concept covers a dozen things including mobility, analytic, machine learning, social and digital workplace which I recently got interviewed by LiveTiles (http://www.livetiles.nyc/blog/3-benefits-of-gamification/)

Lastly, a few friend of mine questioned me on Internet of Thing (IoT) which is one of the hottest trends nowadays. To be honest, I’m not really ready for IoT even used to research it a bit in the past. Moreover, IoT requires financial budget for R & D Lab and long-term investment which I cannot afford at the moment. At least I’m sure I will do something on this stuff in the future. This product (https://www.particle.io) has caught my eyes on after I was introduced by a fellow MVP. It’s worth trying if you have time.

Looking forward to something new in the near future. Thank you all of you who have read my blog so far.

If you are based in Singapore and love to learn and discuss with Microsoft Azure team in Singapore, Global Azure Boot camp 2016 Singapore is the must-attend event. It becomes BIGGER this year! 3 Tracks, 19 speakers and 19 sessions. Information can be found here http://singapore.azurebootcamp.net/

I will be talking about planning and deploying SharePoint farm in Microsoft Azure.

SharePoint 2016 IT Preview template is available in Microsoft Azure

Microsoft recently released the template of SharePoint 2016 IT Preview on Microsoft Azure for those who want to have a quick loot at the new SharePoint platform.

Using Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-As-A-Service, you are going to save your infrastructure cost for the development environment by very quickly provisioning virtual machines.

You may need to read 3 reasons why Microsoft Azure fits for your start-up

Publish SharePoint site in Azure IaaS to the Internet

As part of testing process, you may need to publish your SharePoint site whose application server is hosted in Microsoft Azure to the Internet. This is to allow your tester or end-user to access to do pilot testing. This post is going to cover quick steps to complete the publishing in Azure classic portal.

You may need to read 3 reasons why start-up companies should use Microsoft Azure.

Step1: Create an HTTP endpoint

Your virtual machines in Microsoft Azure by default only communicate each other using a private network channel in the same cloud service. You cannot have it be accessible from the Internet without setting an HTTP or HTTPs endpoint for them. Microsoft Azure creates Remote Desktop endpoint that you need to remotely connect to your virtual machine. PowerShell is also created upon your demand during your setup.

To view default endpoints associated to your virtual machine in Microsoft Azure, click ENDPOINTS.

To create a new endpoint, click Add in the bottom bar. Select Add a stand-alone endpoint in case you have not set up a Load-Balanced Set in your Microsoft Azure infrastructure. In the next windows, set up the following parameters:

  • Name: HTTP
  • Protocol: TCP
  • Public Port: 80
  • Private Port: 80 (optional)

Both check-box settings are optional. If you do not intend to build high availability, skip them. Wait for Microsoft Azure a few minutes.

Make sure HTTP endpoint is available in the endpoint list.

Step 2: Configure AAM for SharePoint site

Now you need to configure AAM (Alternative Access Mapping) for SharePoint site. You need to add public virtual IP (VIP) address to the Internet zone in AAM setting. Find the VIP address at the left panel.

If you do not add VIP address to internet or extranet zone, you may encounter 401 Authorization error. After AAM configuration, check your SharePoint site from the Internet.

You couldn’t create multiple HTTP endpoint without configuring host header for each SharePoint site that needs publishing.

Additional references:

[Updated 24/04/2014] Microsoft Azure changes public virtual IP address every time you turn on your virtual machine. Make sure you check the new address then assign it to SharePoint AAM again.

[Update 27/04/2014] You can set static IP for your SharePoint server in Azure:

3 reasons why Microsoft Azure fits for your start-up

Since Satya Nadella was positioned on the hottest chair at Microsoft, there have been lots of opportunities for entrepreneur-minded people who want to make something happen in life.  A to-do list containing what you need to prepare initially coming to your desk one day makes you feel frustrated at some points. Among them, development environment is always a burden. Every night you may get anxious about your budget for hardware you are going to with you team build on. Admittedly money does not come in an easy way. When looking at a variety of hosting options, you may feel like you are a miserly women walking around modern fashion stores in a big shopping centre to just slaver over any of them. The most prominent cloud providers include Amazon EC2, Rackspace, GoGrid, Terremark, Google,  IBM SmartCloud Service, HP Converged Cloud, Microsoft Azure…etc. Other growing kids may include CloudShare, FpWeb, Skytap or so on. Choosing the most suitable provider among these takes a step forward.

This article shows my top three unidirectional reasons why you should consider taking Microsoft Azure in your start-up road. The article also does not really bring Microsoft Azure into comparison.

Pay nothing for your off-machine

A flexible environment with acceptable cost is one of the bullet points in your to-do list. The so-call “flexible environment” does mean the pricing model that fits your demand. Microsoft Azure indeed offers you the Pay-As-You-Go model. That said, you can create virtual machine as many as you need but only pay for your usage. Microsoft committed that there are never any penalties for changing your virtual machine configuration. When you stop your virtual machines, there is no charge against your credit card. This is different from other cloud and hosting providers that provide 24/7 computing hours.

Tips: Register a Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN Subscription account to receive $150 per month (after $200 at the first month). During the registration process, you are asked to provide credit card information in Microsoft Azure but will only be charged if your usage is over 150$ monthly. In addition to your budget plan, Microsoft provides a great pricing calculator. Moreover, a new pricing that has been updated recently that can beat Amazon EC2 is absolutely the very first reason.

A diversity of world-class templates

Microsoft Azure offers a variety of templates and platforms that you can create within minutes. These includes not only Microsoft platforms but also open source such as Oracle, Ubuntu. If you are to build up something related to integration, e.g. integrating SharePoint with Oracle database, you now do not necessarily have to look for another provider that supports Oracle platform. Microsoft Azure saves you!  What you only need to do is select the platform then enter configuration data (DNS, Location, Server name…etc.) then drink teak in mouthfuls waiting a few minutes for your virtual machines fully created and configured. Once your virtual machines get completed, you are provided full information of access via the portal.

In terms of licensing, each type of platform has its own Microsoft agreement. For example, SharePoint Server running on Azure must be licensed properly through a customer’s volume license agreement using License Mobility for Software Assurance, or SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) as part of a hosted solution licensed via SPLA. You can read more details here.

Tips: If you have not had your company website or an open source CRM (Customer Relationship Management) portal for your client, go create a new one on Microsoft Azure. Not only server platform, Microsoft offers tons of built-in web technologies templates. You may need to create a WordPress blog writing about tips and trends related to your product. You may also want an application page that allows your client to validate their license or product key. The price to running such a website is acceptable and beatable to any hosting service I have ever used.

Save your effort with Azure Services

Microsoft Azure offers many services that your product may need. For example, your converter app in Windows Phone uses Microsoft Azure Media Services along with Azure Storage to provide end-users conversion features, on-demand or live streaming. Your SharePoint app may need to utilize Microsoft Azure ACS (Access Control Service) to provide SSO (Single Sign-On) experience. Read all Azure services here.

Tips: before choosing whether Microsoft Azure services or your custom one, plan and make a pricing comparison table. Some services in Microsoft Azure squeeze your money. Some are cheap to be used. This page contains all services and links to respective pricing page.


As I said, this article shows you unidirectional reasons with a bias towards to Microsoft Azure. If you intend to build cool products and are looking for a key to unblock the first door, Microsoft Azure is your wise choice. Bookmark the following helpful references:

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