Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications

Full post in the AppFabric team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/appfabric/archive/2011/06/20/announcing-the-windows-azure-appfabric-june-ctp.aspx

Windows Azure AppFabric team announced the release of the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP which includes capabilities that make it easy for developers to build, deploy, manage and monitor multi-tier applications across web, business logic and database tiers as a single logical entity on the Windows Azure Platform.

This CTP release consists:

  • AppFabric Developer Tools – Enhancements to Visual Studio that enable to visually design and build end-to-end applications on the Windows Azure platform.
  • AppFabric Application Manager – Powerful, yet easy way to host and manage n-tier applications that span web, middle and data-tier through the entire application lifecycle including deployment, configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting. The Application Manager includes a comprehensive application management portal that is powered by a REST API for monitoring the health of your n-tier application and performing management operations on the running applications.
  • Composition Model – A set of .NET Framework extensions for composing applications on the Windows Azure platform. This builds on the familiar Azure Service Model concepts and adds new capabilities for describing and integrating the components of an application. The AppFabric Developer Tools leverage the composition model to create an application manifest that is used by the AppFabric Application Manager at deployment time to understand the application structure and metadata.
  • Support for running Custom Code, WCF, WF – Formal support for executing Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) on Windows Azure and the composition of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and WF services, as well as custom code, into a composite application. In addition, it provides enhanced development, deployment, management and monitoring support for WCF and WF services.

You can read more details in this blog post: Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications and the Channel 9 announcement video.

To learn more please use the following resources:

AppFabric.tv – Announcing the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP

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Target Multiple GPU Architectures with New C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism

VS 2010S Somasegar, Developer Division Senior Vice President, announced C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP) that helps you target graphics hardware from all the major hardware vendors. The idea is to provide a way you can build out your software on massively parallel to include both GPU and APUs.

Soma also announced Microsoft’s intent to make C++ AMP an open specification.

We expect that it will be part of the next Visual C++ compiler and fully integrated in the next release of Visual Studio experience.

The announcement was made at AMD Fusion Developer Summit. More information is available on his blog post, Targeting Heterogeneity with C++ AMP and PPL.

from Soma’s post:

Previously, I blogged about key trends in software development starting with concurrency/parallelism, and indeed today multi-core systems are everywhere. You can target multi-core systems from many mainstream programming languages, and with Visual Studio 2010 we delivered market leading tooling for parallel development and debugging. You can see my post on our concurrency enhancements to C++ for VS2010 and here for a walkthrough of our parallel debugging tools.

In the last few years, we have been seeing an additional trend of heterogeneous hardware where, for example, developers take advantage of the GPU for computational purposes for their data parallel algorithms. This has been successful in narrow verticals using niche programing models. Microsoft wants to bring to the mainstream the ability to write code that takes advantage of heterogeneous hardware like GPUs. So like we’ve done with multi-core before, we are bringing this ability to the next version of Visual Studio.

I’m excited to announce that we are introducing a new technology that helps C++ developers use the GPU for parallel programming. Today at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, we announced C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP). Additionally, I’m happy to say that we intend to make the C++ AMP specification an open specification.

By building on the Windows DirectX platform, our implementation of C++ AMP allows you to target hardware from all the major hardware vendors. We expect that it will be part of the next Visual C++ compiler and fully integrated in the next release of Visual Studio experience.

In addition, there is more work that we are doing on parallel computing. We also announced new enhancements to the next version of Parallel Patterns Library (PPL) and the C++ Concurrency Runtime. You can find easy-to-use C++ templates and runtime support to express algorithms for your domain expertise which scale on any provided hardware with PPL, Agent and the C++ Concurrency Runtime. With C++ AMP and PPL, we aim to make the next version of Visual Studio the most productive environment for targeting heterogeneous hardware available.

We will be making the session recording from Herb Sutter’s keynote session and Daniel Moth’s break-out session from the AMD Fusion conference available shortly. Please check the Visual C++ Team Blog or Channel 9 for those videos.

HTML5 Features for Windows Phone ‘Mango’

Mobile Test Drive site has launched. It provides Windows Phone developers with the functionality you can expect on the IE 9 experience you’ll find in the ‘Mango’ release.

The same core rendering engines on both the desktop and mobile versions of IE and adhere to the concept of “same markup” when we produce our samples.

Check out the first 15 samples available on the Mobile Test Drive will be:

  • Audio Player (from MIX11)
  • Geolocation
  • Border Radius
  • DOM Local Storage
  • Scalable Vector Graphics
  • CSS3 Media Queries
  • DOMContentLoaded
  • FishIE Tank
  • Speed Reading (from MIX11)
  • Animated Text
  • HamsterDance Revolution
  • Business Charts
  • IE Logo
  • Video Panorama
  • Browser Control Theming

Second IE10 Platform Preview Available for Developers

IE9The second IE10 platform preview for developers is now available. The same HTML5 engine seen in the recent public “Windows 8” demos, is now available for download. With this update, IE10 continues to deliver support for site-ready HTML5 technologies as well as improving performance.

You can read the full list here in the IE10 developer guide:

  • Beautiful and interactive Web applications are easier to deliver with support for several new technologies like CSS3 Positioned Floats, HTML5 Drag-drop, File Reader API, Media Query Listeners and initial support for HTML5 Forms.
  • HTML5 Application performance improves across the board, as well as the ability to deliver better performance with more efficient use of battery life with new technologies like Web Workers with Channel Messaging, Async script support, and others.
  • Web application security improves using the same markup with support for HTML5 Sandbox for iframe isolation.

IE10 Platform Preview 2 is now available for download at http://ietestdrive.com along with a bunch of new demos. And check out the Channel 9 videos and the engineering team’s blog.

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