Wow, ”Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012″ has already surged up to be the number one Kindle book in the Microsoft Mobile and Tablet category! Couldn’t be happier. I appreciate the support.
For all you tech readers that like to keep your books digital, I’m happy to announce my new book “Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012″ is available on the Kindle.
For just $9.99 USD, you can learn how to rapidly virtualize your data sync infrastructure for private, public, or hybrid cloud scenarios. Building on that, the book shows you how leverage Microsoft’s data sync technologies and mobile database to avoid writing thousands of lines of unnecessary code. Lastly, you get to combine your existing desktop .NET development skills with Modern UI concepts to port existing or create new Windows 8 tablet apps for the enterprise.
The eBook is available globally through Amazon including:
- India – $6.99
- UK – £7.20
- Germany – €8,23
- France – €8,23
- Spain – €8,23
- Italy – €7.99
- Japan – ¥1004
- Brazil – R$21.39
- Canada – $9.99
Reduce your time to market, lower risk to your projects, and leverage your existing skills, assets, and technologies to enter the tablet era.
I’m pleased to announce that my newest book, “Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012,” is now available for sale on Amazon.
Spending a decade travelling the globe to help the world’s largest companies design and build mobile solutions had taught me a few things. Large organizations are not interested in constantly running on the new technology hamster wheel. They prefer to leverage existing investments, skills, and technologies rather than always chasing the next big thing. Don’t believe me? Take mobile and the cloud for example:
- In 2003 I was building Pocket PC solutions for large companies that wirelessly connected apps on those devices to SAP. I assumed mobile was going mainstream that year. I was wrong. I was early. Mobile apps wouldn’t explode until the end of the decade with the iPhone 3G.
- In 2004, my partner Darren Flatt and I launched the first cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) company to facilitate software distribution and policy enforcement on early smartphones and handhelds. Early again. MDM didn’t get big until the end of the decade.
- At PDC in 2008, my company launched our cloud offering called Azure. We skipped directly to the developer Nirvana called Platform as a Service (PaaS). I spent a few years doing nothing but speaking and writing about Windows Phones communicating with Web Roles. Turns outs companies wanted to take smaller steps to the cloud by uploading their existing servers as VMs.
Being early over and over again taught me how the real world of business operates outside of Redmond and Silicon Valley. Businesses need to make money doing what they do best. Where appropriate, they will use technology to help them improve their processes and give them a competitive advantage. So let’s cut to the chase and talk about why I wrote my new book:
- Tablets and Smartphones are taking over the world of business and outselling laptops and desktops. This is a well-known fact and not speculation on my part.
- There are 1.3 billion Windows laptops, tablets, and desktops being used all over the world. Windows 7 is in first place with Windows XP in second.
- Companies run their businesses on Microsoft Office combined with tens of millions of Win32 apps they created internally over the last 2 decades. Intranet-based web apps also became a huge force starting in the late 90s.
- Tools like Visual Basic, Access, PowerBuilder, Java, and Delphi made it easy to rapidly build those Win32 line of business apps in the 90s and helped ensure the success of Windows in the enterprise.
- Many of those developers moved to VB and C# in the 2000s to build .NET Windows Forms (WinForms) apps that leveraged their existing Visual Basic skills from the 90s.
- Some businesses built Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) infrastructures of Web Services based on SOAP and XML over the last decade in order to connect mobile devices to their servers. Most business did not, and instead opted for out-of-the-box solutions that didn’t require them to write a lot of code so they could get to market faster.
- While the “white collar” enterprise recently started building business apps for the iPhone and iPad, the “blue collar” enterprise has been building WinForms apps for rugged Windows Mobile devices using the .NET Compact Framework and a mobile database called SQL Server Compact for over a decade.
- Most businesses run servers in their own data centers. Many of them are using virtualization technologies like Hyper-V and VMware to help them create a private cloud.
- Of the businesses that have dipped their collective toes in the public cloud for internal apps, most of them are following the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model where they upload their own servers in a VM. Just look at the success of Amazon and the interest in Azure Infrastructure Services.
So the goal of my new book is to help businesses transition to the tablet era in a way that respects their existing investments, skills, technologies, enterprise security requirements, and appetite for risk.
Since I’ve been involved in countless mobile projects where companies used the Microsoft data sync technologies already baked into SQL Server and SQL Server Compact, I decided to illustrate how to virtualize this sync infrastructure with Hyper-V. With an eye towards existing trends that are widely embraced, this gives businesses the flexibility to use this proven technology in a private, public, or hybrid cloud. Companies authenticate their employees against the same Active Directory they’ve used for over a decade. I’m deadly serious about security and you’ll be glad to know the technology in this book handles it at every tier of your solution with Domain credentials plus encrypted data-at-rest and data-in-transit. You also have the option of synchronizing mobile data with any edition of SQL Server 2005, 2008 or 2012 using Microsoft sync technologies that takes care of all data movement plumbing. Your development team avoids writing thousands of lines of code to create web services, sync logic, change tracking, error handling, and retry logic. With Microsoft lowering risk to your project by taking care of the server backend, security, and data sync technologies, your team can focus on building the best possible Windows 8 tablet app for the enterprise.
Speaking of tablet app development, it’s important to show you a path that doesn’t force you to learn all-new tools or programming languages, frameworks, or paradigms. As a developer, you get to keep using Visual Studio along with the Desktop WinForms skills you’ve mastered over the last decade. Better still, you can accomplish everything using the free version of Visual Studio 2012. While you might be thinking Windows 8 tablet solutions must be created via Windows Store apps, this is not the case. Instead, I show you how to apply Modern UI principles to Desktop WinForms apps that are full-screen and touch-first. Concepts like content over chrome, use of typography, and UI elements with large hit targets are all covered in detail. I also respect your investment in Windows 7 laptops and tablets by ensuring your touch apps are backwards compatible and keyboard + mouse/trackpad friendly.
If you’re looking to build a new Windows 8 tablet app using what you have and what you know, this book is for you. If you’re looking to port an existing Windows XP or Windows Mobile WinForm app to a Windows 8 tablet, this book empowers you with the skills to make your porting effort a successful one.
The takeaway is you don’t have to scrap your existing investments to participate in the tablet revolution. I purposely made the book low-cost, hands-on, short, and to-the-point so you can rapidly build mobile solutions for Windows 8 tablets instead of wasting your time with theory. Take “Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012″ for a spin so you can start building mobile apps for the world’s first and only enterprise-class tablet today.
Stay in Sync!
I’m pleased to announce that Windows Azure fully supports Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
This new service now makes it possible for companies to move their existing servers and applications into the cloud. We understand that customers don’t want to rip and replace their current infrastructure to benefit from the cloud; they want the strengths of their on-premises investments and the flexibility of the cloud. It’s not only about Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), it’s about Infrastructure Services and Platform Services and hybrid scenarios. The cloud should be an enabler for innovation and Windows Azure can now be an extension of your organization’s IT fabric.
The Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Windows Azure Virtual Network are now available to help you meet your changing business needs by providing an on-demand, scalable infrastructure. Not only can these VMs support up to 8 CPU cores, but we’ve added higher memory instances that include up to 56 GB of RAM. These infrastructure services allow you to extend your data centers and business-critical workloads into the cloud while leveraging your existing skills and investments.
Today we are also announcing a commitment to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth. This starts with reducing our GA prices on Virtual Machines and Cloud Services by 21-33%. Windows Azure is now your most price-competitive cloud option. At the same time, Microsoft provides you a financially backed 99.95% monthly SLA when you deploy multiple instances of Virtual Machines.
Not only are prebuilt Linux images such as Ubuntu, CentOS, and Suse Linux Enterprise Server available through the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Image Gallery, but so is Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012, BizTalk Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013. We also provide server support for Dynamics GP 2013, Dynamics NAV 2013, Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 SP1, Project Server 2013, System Center 2012 SP1, and Team Foundation Server 2012.
On a personal note, I’m happy to see this breathe new life into all the mobile data sync solutions that have been deployed in data centers all over the world. You’ll now be able to take advantage of Windows Azure VMs so all your mobile devices running SQL Server Compact can synchronize business data with SQL Server in the cloud.
So you need to build a mobile enterprise app that runs on Windows tablets…
Your app must retrieve data from SQL Server and take it offline. It must allow the mobile user to view, manipulate, capture new information, and then send it back to the data center. There’s lots of data involved, so you require a mobile database with easy-to-use SQL rather than writing your own file I/O code. While you could create dozens of web services, hundreds of web methods, plus associated data sync logic, you’d prefer to have that plumbing handled for you. Since you can’t count on ubiquitous networking, the app must work well in an occasionally-connected environment. Data transmissions must thrive in the slowest GPRS speeds and network dropouts must be handled smoothly via intelligent resume. While you’re super-excited about the new programming model in Windows 8, you need this app to work on your company’s Windows 7 tablets and laptops as well. Oh, and it has to work on those 32-bit, Intel® System on Chip (SoC) Windows tablets with long battery life. The app must have a touch-first UX that works with fingers on tablets while supporting a mouse on laptops. The sync technology must authenticate with your company’s Active Directory and both data-at-rest plus data-in-transit is encrypted. While the initial app deployment only runs in the thousands, the system architecture must scale out to support tens or even hundreds of thousands of tablets. Most of all, you’re looking for a simple solution that gets your app to market faster at a lower cost by avoiding developing everything from scratch.
If this sounds like your scenario, I’m writing your next book.