CloudDays™ Quick Start – Designing Your RESTful API Part 1: The Nouns

imageEverything is a resource in REST. As you learned in Choosing Between RESTful Web Service, SOAP, Representational State Transfer (REST) is an architecture style or design pattern for creating web services which allow anything connected to a network to something else on the network using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

In this post, you will learn the how to define your resource identifier. In the following post, you will learn how to use the HTTP verbs and response codes. And along the way you will learn many of the principles of a good RESTful API.

Let me second what As Thomas Hunter II writes:

The easier your API is to consume, the more people that will consume it.

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CloudDays™ Quick Start – Choosing Between RESTful Web Service, SOAP

imageRepresentational State Transfer (REST) is an architecture style or design pattern for creating web services which allow anything connected to a network to something else on the network using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

Typically we think of a RESTful Web Service as one that will get and set data. It works a lot the same way as a web page, but your user doesn’t see the data until it’s time to be displayed.

REST principles are based on the same underlying principles that govern the Web. Those principles are:

  • User agents interact with resources, and resources are anything that can be named and represented. Each resource can be addressed via a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
  • Interaction with resources (located through their unique URIs) is accomplished using a uniform interface of the HTTP standard verbs (GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE). Also important in the interaction is the declaration of the resource’s media type, which is designated using the HTTP Content-Type header. (XHTML, XML, JPG, PNG, and JSON are some well-known media types.)
  • Resources are self-descriptive. All the information necessary to process a request on a resource is contained inside the request itself (which allows services to be stateless).
  • Resources contain links to other resources (hyper-media).

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Azure – 24 Must Know Cloud Patterns With Sample Code

azurecloudYour application may start with a single idea as a single website. It will often have a website, some business logic tied to a database. Those stand alone applications have a way of adding features.

Or your application may want to be “cloud ready” from the beginning. The vision may begin with a set of servers, each doing a specific task, each that can be scalable to meet demand, provide reliability. As soon as you take that second step, it’s time to look to well known practices.

Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices team has put together architectural guidance to help you design your cloud applications,  Cloud Design Patterns: Prescriptive Architecture Guidance for Cloud Applications. Each pattern is provided in a common format that describes the context and problem, the solution, issues and considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Azure.

It also discusses the benefits and considerations for each pattern. Most of the patterns have code samples or snippets that show how to implement the patterns using the features of Microsoft Azure.

Although the guidance helps you adopt Azure, the patterns are relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether or not they are  hosted on Azure or on other cloud platforms.

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Intel Roadmap Envisions Wearable Devices, Voice, Gesture, 3D, Holography, Robotics and the Virtual Piano

curie.pngThe article in ZDNet is entitled Intel CEO Krzanich unveils wearable processor Curie, but is 2015 one of those years that we look back to see it all changed? It’s a set of announcements where you can envision the possibilities of such devices. I’m imagining the devices from Intel can also fire the imagination of others, who may have actually inspired Intel.

I’m not really a processors guy. I build software at a higher level. But the kinds of software we can build begin at the processor. And when the roadmap shows that changes are coming, changes are coming.

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Azure Web Sites Migration Assistant Empowers You to Migrate Departmental Applications the Cloud

azurecloudMoving applications to the cloud provides you with a cloud infrastructure for backup and resiliency. When you move to the cloud, you move from a standard physical implementation tool, including data centers, software, hardware, networking and servers – and move to a service, where much of the infrastructure is maintained for you. Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure provide you with a standard configuration. If your application fits those parameters, migration is easier. Other times, the application may require particular settings in Internet Information Services.

Although not all applications will seamlessly move to the cloud, a tool from Microsoft Azure Websites Migration Assistant offers you a way to determine what challenges you may face in moving your application to Azure. The Azure Websites Migration Assistant help you migrate your on-premise app to the cloud in a few clicks.

For example, if you want to move a departmental application from Windows Server 2003 running ASP.NET 2 running a version of SQL locally, you might not think of that being a candidate for migration to the cloud.

Windows Server 2003 will reach end of support on July 14th 2015. If you are currently your websites on an IIS server that is Windows Server 2003, Azure Websites is a low-risk, low-cost, and low-friction way to keep your websites online, and Azure Websites Migration Assistant can help automate the migration process for you.

Azure Websites Migration Assistant can analyze your IIS server installation, identify which sites can be migrated to Azure Websites, highlight any elements that cannot be migrated or are unsupported on the platform, and then migrate your websites and associated databases to Azure.

Applications can be deployed to Azure Websites.

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Object JavaScript – Better JavaScript Using TypeScript

imageTypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. Any browser. Any host. Any OS. Open Source.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that combines type checking and static analysis, explicit interfaces, and best practices into a single language and compiler. By building on JavaScript, TypeScript keeps you close to the runtime you’re targeting while adding only the syntactic sugar necessary to support large applications and large teams.

TypeScript starts from the syntax and semantics that JavaScript developers know today. With TypeScript, you can use existing JavaScript code, incorporate popular JavaScript libraries, and be called from other JavaScript code.

TypeScript compiles to clean, simple JavaScript code which runs on any browser, in Node.js, or in any other ES3-compatible environment.

The latest version of TypeScript includes of new features in the language, compiler and associated tools. And it comes in the box as part of Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2015.

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SQL Database Improvements, Azure Active Directory Deployment of On Prem Apps to Cloud, HDInsight Tooling Top Azure Announcements

azurecloudThis week, Microsoft compiled a series of announcements that noted improvements and updates to its Azure platform. I wanted to call out several key new features of interest to developers and cloud development managers:

  • Updates to SQL Database making it easier to migrate your applications to the cloud.
  • Azure Active Directory Application Proxy allows publishing of on-premises web applications on Azure Active Directory. Through an easy and secured process, web applications hosted on-premises can now be published via Azure Active Directory. Apps allow for single sign on.
  • Azure Site Recovery now has the ability to replicate and recover virtual machines (VMs) directly to Azure without requiring System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
  • To help developers using Visual Studio easily incorporate the benefits of big data within their applications, we’ve added a deeper tooling experience for HDInsight in the most recent version of the Azure SDK. Developers can use this extension to visualize and query their Hadoop clusters, as well as manage applications that integrate with Hadoop directly in Visual Studio. Learn more.

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Object JavaScript – ECMAScript 6 Code Preview

imageECMAScript 6 specification and implementation is underway and promises to bring many of the features that you’ve learned about in the posts on Object JavaScript.

This post gives you an idea of what the code looks like in ECMAScript 6. This post doesn’t cover ever feature. But you will learn about how ECMAScript 6 relates to:

  • Scope
  • Arrow Functions and Lexical this
  • Default Function Parameters
  • Classes
  • Inheritance
  • Modules
  • for-of
  • Arrow functions
  • Promises

I won’t come close to covering all the features. But you can get an idea of how ECMAScript 6 works to support the idea of Object JavaScript. Look to the references and to the specification for information about: Parameter handling, multiple return values, collections, destructuring, rest parameters & spread operator, iterators, array comprehension, and more.

Special thanks to Axel Rauschmayer for many of the snippets.

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Object JavaScript – ECMAScript 6 Futures Overview

imageECMAScript 6 specification and implementation is underway and promises to bring many of the features that you’ve learned about in the posts on Object JavaScript. ECMAScript is the foundation of JavaScript. ECMAScript has gone through several versions. The current browsers support ECMA Script 5. . The discussions today are revolving improvements beyond versions past 5, which are code-named, ECMAScript Harmony.

The ES6 compatibility table is very useful, as it tells us the ES6 features that are supported in the current browser. It also gives us a handy link to the specifications for each of the features listed.  You will find that the current versions of browsers are implementing these features as fast as they can. The table shows that some subset of the feature exists, so as we say,  “your mileage may vary”. That said, it is coming.

I don’t have any particular insider information, but wanted to share what I am learning as I explore ECMAScript 6 and what it means to the way that code is written today. In my search I found two great articles that I am pulling information from:

My value add is to provide context for the previous posts and show how your code in the future could look like to implement many of the same features. And this topic is fluid so again, “your mileage may vary”. My intent is to give you can idea of what is coming and how soon to help you decide how deeply you want to invest in the current technologies. That said, one of the goals in ECMAScript 6 is to not break anything you are doing now.

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Microsoft Introduces New Modular .NET Core Delivered by NuGet, Source on GitHub

Big changes are coming to the .NET platform that affect your development wherever you use .NET. The direction helps you develop applications (Web, Azure, Phone, Desktop. Windows Store, Linux, MacOS, iOs and Android) easier. So if you are going horizontal and targeting more than one variation of Windows, then this is for you.

For developers and architects, it provides keys to a new way to looking at how your code should be written. The new .NET implements the kinds of features we face every day. And the solutions are evolving from vertical solutions where each problem was a subset of some other bigger problem. Rather it becomes a set of contracts, where dependencies are clearly defined, where the contract can be implemented in different ways to meet specific needs.

Migrating the .NET base is no small task. Yet, the Microsoft teams have taken on the challenge to make it easier to build applications across platforms — and not just Microsoft platforms.

The new direction includes:

This post boils down what these changes mean to developers and architects. And what it means to your code today. I’ve selected key passages from Introducing .NET Core. But you will also want to dig more into the article and watch as features are rolled out.

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