As a Microsoft partner with several gold competencies and cloud memberships, we are entitled to an extensive suite of internal use licenses for many of Microsoft’s on-premise and cloud products.  During our recent rollout of Office 365, the elegance of Microsoft’s long-term vision of federating authentication (which has been evolving since the release of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) 1.0 in 2005) really stood out.

Once an ADFS 2.0 infrastructure is in place, federating authentication with our hosted Office 365 environment was relatively easy.  Our users now have access to hosted versions of Lync, Exchange and SharePoint using their familiar domain credentials.  Up next for us is migrating our current Dynamics CRM Online deployment into the Microsoft online services portal environment where our Office 365 environment is managed.  Once this change is complete, CRM will leverage the same ADFS-based federated authentication platform.  Read More…

I recently learned a trick for deploying a folder of report templates in TFS to a handful of development team folders: PowerShell.

Being new to PowerShell, I won’t attempt to explain its usefulness or much of its mechanics because those of you who know, already know. (And those of you who don’t know should definitely check it out.) Basically, PowerShell is a handy tool for performing batch tasks that might otherwise cause unsightly bald spots.

Read More…

Here at Applied information Sciences, we use Yammer quite a bit to facilitate quick, transparent and open communication. For such a distributed team of smart individuals, it’s an invaluable tool to building camaraderie and cohesiveness. Yammer allows us to discuss hot industry technologies and opens the channel to shared experiences and knowledge.

I recently used Yammer to conduct a poll here at AIS:

Read More…

You are cordially invited to join us for a highly informative session where AIS’ CTO Vishwas Lele will present on Business Intelligence offerings in Microsoft SharePoint. AIS is hosting this free event at Microsoft’s Chevy Chase, Maryland office on July 25th.

Do you want to:

  • Use SharePoint to manage BI Assets?
  • Use SharePoint lists and libraries to provide a single security and repository framework for BI assets?
  • Use SharePoint to publish an Excel workbook in order to get to “one version of truth”?

Read More…

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2012 in Toronto last week, 20 regional Microsoft partners were honored at the Microsoft WPC 2012 Awards. Honorees were selected from more than 200 organizations across the East Region, and AIS was recognized as the 2012 East Region Azure Circle Partner of the Year for our innovative cloud applications at Pandora Jewelry, Bondi Publishing and PSI International. AIS architected, designed and developed solutions that leveraged Azure as a key part of the systems.

AIS was also recognized as the 2012 Cloud Practice Partner of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic district based on the projects we’ve delivered, as well as our ability to support the Microsoft field account teams as they work to educate their customers on the features and value Azure provides.

Read More…

In the past, I have written about the benefits of Platform as a Service (PaaS) style of applications. While I continue to believe that PaaS offers the best ROI for hosting custom applications in the cloud, there are a number of scenarios where inserting elements of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to a PaaS solution can help alleviate some of the limitations that have prevented the adoption of PaaS. In this blog post we will look at a few compelling scenarios that are enabled by combining PaaS with the recently announced IaaS features within a Windows Azure Cloud Service. Read More…

When it comes to building distributed systems, one of the most important patterns is the message broker. But what’s a message broker?

A message broker is an architectural pattern for message validation, message transformation and message routing. It mediates communication amongst applications, minimizing the mutual awareness that applications should have of each other in order to be able to exchange messages, effectively implementing decoupling.

The practical utility of this construct has been proven in many distributed systems over the years.  Within the context of Windows Azure, this pattern is extremely useful for posting messages from within your Web Role implementation to perform some asynchronous work at a later time. Often, this is done to keep the user interface responsive. Other times, this is used just to delay some processing to another time.

Read More…

AIS leverages the latest innovations to solve challenging problems that keep our clients up at night.  This recipe for success has enabled our substantial growth.  We are therefore constantly seeking people who are driven to learn about the latest innovations and passionate about delivering solutions.  We want “true technologists” with the humanity and humility to successfully work in project teams.

Our people are challenged to understand the depth and breadth of a technology or process so we can offer sound guidance and appropriate solutions.  It’s that commitment to knowledge and understanding that motivates our employees and it’s the passion of our people that really drives this commitment.  These are the traits of the type of people we seek that allow us to grow and in a nutshell…it’s our type. Read More…

Trying to figure and configure a vision for moving your applications to the cloud?

Getting good answers to common myths and misconceptions can kick-start the process for you and your team. This white paper (written by AIS’ CTO and industry expert Vishwas Lele) covers 20 of the most common and not-so-common objections in moving software applications to the cloud. It highlights the most recent and up-to-date advancements in cloud technology that address these concerns head-on. If you’re still on the fence about the cloud, click the link below to learn more.

Read More…