« May 2010 | Main | July 2010 »

June 8, 2010

Expression Studio 4 Available

Expression Studio 4 (including Blend, Web, Encoder, Design and SketchFlow) was released yesterday at Information Week in New York. See details here. You can get the trial version from the Expression site and in case you have MSDN subscription, you can get the full release from the subscriber download site. Do note that if you are working with Windows Phone 7, do not upgrade to this RTM version.

There was a minor update to Silverlight 4 runtime as well earlier in the month and the latest version is 4.05.50524.0. See details of what's changed here. You can verify if you have the latest or install if not, from here. Also if you have been following Silverlight Media Framework, you would be glad to know that Beta of version 2 is also now available at the codeplex site.

June 7, 2010

An efficient way of deploying a static web site on Windows Azure

In discussions, we realized that developing and deploying a simple static web site on Windows Azure might turn out to be an uncalled affair of work for development and deployment. Let us take a simple example of a restaurant where the owner wants to put a web site for the internet presence. This site would mostly have static web pages and relatively low traffic of local consumers. Let us build a hypothesis for this type of static web sites. I want to stress a point; a Static site doesn't mean a plain vanilla site of images and text. Instead it could mean using Flash, SilverLight and JavaScript capabilities to increase richness of the web site.

A straight forward approach to deploy such sites on Windows Azure could be by creating a cloud service project in visual studio, creating HTML pages with SilverLight, Flash and JavaScript etc. and deploying it on Windows Azure Hosted Service. To handle such a simple web site as well calls for a developer, deployment skills and management of site content becomes an overhead.

The interesting and efficient way of deploying such static web site could be using only the blob storage and managing it from any of your favorite Azure Storage Explorer.

To explain it with an example I have created a public blob container in my Azure Blob Storage account and uploaded the HTML files, Javascript files and .xap file for SilverLight. While using these static files make sure you use the relative URLs for referring the other pages and accordingly either create the containers for the folders or name your blobs with virtual containers. For example, if you want to refer images from a folder images in all of your html files then it's a good idea to create a public container called Images and upload all the image files within that. Make sure to create your containers and blobs as public to be able to provide access to the anonymous users.

Below is a sample structure of one of the sample site blob structure uploaded and managed through Azure Storage Explorer.         

 

StaticSiteBlobs1.jpg

Image : A Sample Blog Storage Structure for a Static Web Site

This approach makes it incredibly easy and quick way of deploying and managing a static web site on Windows Azure.  Also, you could very well develop your complete site using your designer tools and any of your favorite HTML editors only.

If you are aware of the Windows Azure charges of consumption then you might have realized by now that this approach saves your dollars too.  Yes! You don't have to provision a web role to run your web site; instead your site is running from the Azure blob storage itself and in turn saving charges required for running a web role.

  You could very well create CNAME mapping to have your DNS name point to azure blob storage and make your site running from your own DNS name instead of an unfriendly URL like http://<account>.blob.core.windows.net/ .

Hope you agree this being an efficient way of deploying static web sites on Windows Azure.

 

June 4, 2010

Web Site Innovation : Northwestern Mutual Wins 2010 Innovator Award

Northwestern Mutual has won the 2010 Innovation award from Windows Financial Services Magzine. Infosys is a Strategic Service provider for Northwestern Mutual. Infosys helped Northwestern Mutual in developing the new Website on Sharepoint.

Please check out the details  at:

http://www.windowsfs.com/uncategorized/northwestern-mutual-wins-2010-innovator-award

 

June 2, 2010

Expression Studio 4 Launch

The time has come! Expression Studio 4 will be launched next week on 7th June as part of Internet Week at New York. More details here.

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter