Sunday, April 29, 2018

2018 Global Azure Bootcamp A Huge Success!

Well, it's been a week since the 2018 Global Azure Bootcamp in Milwaukee. We had approximately 100 attendees, 15 different sessions, 10-15 volunteers, and 10 sponsors.

 Preview of Pictures below, and more can be found here .

 Slides and Presentations can be found here.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Next Azure Meetup - Open Mic Night

Trying something new this month - Open Mic Night! Anyone who has any interest in a short talk about anything remotely associated with Azure is encouraged to do so.

Here's how this will work, anyone attending has the opportunity to spend about five minutes to talk about something related to Azure.

Here are a few ideas:

• Perhaps a cool (or not cool) project you worked on recently.

• A problem or question you have about Azure that the group can help with.

• You have an idea, you think Azure may have a solution, but you don't know how to get started.

• Discuss a recently discovered feature in Azure that you'd like to share.

There is no need to prepare any formal presentation, but if you do have slides, I will have a PC hooked up to display them.

This is a great opportunity to:

• Get free advice

• Practice you public speaking

• Strengthen our Azure community

• Build up your personal brand

If you do wish to step up to the Mic (full disclaimer - there may not be a mic), please let me know your intention and topic you wish to bring up.

Event will be held at 10/18/2017 at 6:30 PM at


201 Pittsburgh Ave, Suite 400 · Milwaukee, WI

RSVP Here:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Next MKE Azure Meetup - Automating Deployments for the BI Team

On March 15 at 6:30 PM, our next Azure meetup is covering "Automating the Deployments for the BI Team"

Presentation Summary:
As the BI environments become more complex, we need to use tools to help make the deployments less painful.  With TFS and SSDT we can use these tools to automate the process.  We’ll review from start to finish using TFS Source Control and the Build and Deploy functions to deploy our BI solutions.  Leaving this session, you’ll be comfortable using these tools to setup a process that will fit your development environment.  We'll also see a little bit of the Azure Data Factory through this process.

About Rob:

Rob Long is Chief Architect and Co-Founder of Talavant. Rob is passionate about developing solutions that improve the delivery of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions.  He has a breadth of experience including development, network administration and database administration.  For the last 8 years, Rob has focused his efforts on delivering solutions on the Microsoft BI stack.  He is a proud father of four, a Certified Business Intelligence Professional, and enjoys spending time with family and keeping up with the ever changing data management industry.

Please RSVP to this event on our meetup page here.

Talavant will providing Pizza and Drinks.  Thank you Rob and Talvant!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting SaaSy with PaaSy Azure Meetup Recap

Last night's MKE Azure meetup at Centare was a great success!  Thanks to everyone who decided to skip (or defer) the presidental debate and join us.  And a Big thanks to Chris Wilson @ Northwoods Software for the effort into creating and presenting most of the technical aspects of iMoneza (soon to named be Wallit)!  Here are the final slides that were used for the presentation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MKE Azure Meetup 10/19/2016 - Focusing on iMoneza PaaS on Azure

On Wednesday, October 18th at 6:30PM, I will be hosting and presenting at the MKE Azure Meetup.  The topic we're covering will be the iMoneza SaaS comprehensive paywall developed entirely on PaaS in Azure. Chris Wilson, our lead architect from Northwoods Software will be presenting on the technical aspects.   Please join us if you can.  As a co-founder of MKE Azure group, and VP of IT at iMoneza, I'm doubly excited!

Details Here

A slide presentation will be available after the presentation.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Build and Deploy Automation

Our software build and deployment process was taking too long to execute (about 90 minutes to QA). Even though this process was scripted, it took a fair amount of manual intervention, and prevented us from deploying our software to QA as often as we wished. We took a pause from our regular sprint schedule, and dedicated a week to improve this process. After we diagrammed our existing workflow, and identified the "low hanging fruit", we determined that we first needed to look at at a build server or service. We were hoping to fully automate this solution, and bring our deployment process under 30 minutes (ideally with little to no human interaction).

As a .net environment, and a user of Bitbucket (using Mercurial), we intended to take a look at both Atlassian's Bamboo, and TFS build and deploy services using After quickly doing a little research on build services, I found this article by Scott Hanselman. Though this post was nearly two years old, we thought Appveyor was worth a look, while continuing to research competitive solutions. We soon realized that our existing Powershell scripts could be used with little modifications, AND this service didn't require us to support a server (I love PaaS). Compared to other solutions, we felt that Appveyor met all our needs, was very quick to implement, and at $60/month - seemed like a great fit.

You can probably imagine how this story ends - we really like the Appveyor solution. Upon a source control commit (from Bitbucket), a build and deploy is automatically triggered, and this unattended process takes approx 10-20 minutes - exceeding our 30 minute deploy goal, and with it being entirely automatic - exceeded our expectations by requiring virtually no man-hours.

Kudos to you Appveyor for making this a pretty easy transition with enormous benefits
(No, I'm not a product spokesperson)