Tallan's Technology Blog

Tallan's Top Technologists Share Their Thoughts on Today's Technology Challenges

Sports Performance Platform Puts Data into Play – and Action – for Athletes and Teams

Tallan Partner

Seattle Reign players, coaches and staff celebrate a win over the Portland Thorns.
Sports ignite peoples’ passion like nothing else. Standout athletes become legends through their performance on the field. But what sets them apart often comes down to decisions made off the field, such as diet, mental and physical preparation and the frequency or intensity of practice. The difference between a win or a loss can be decided by an extra five minutes of wind sprints, levels of hydration or getting to bed 30 minutes earlier the night before.
At Microsoft, they believe sports provide a tremendous opportunity to use technology to transform how individual athletes and teams push the limits and gain the edge they’re looking for in the most challenging of circumstances. Imagine making clutch decisions that are based on insight, rather than gut. And what if coaches could…

Log Management with Log4net and Microsoft Azure

Brendan Gassler

Determining how to efficiently manage logs for your large scale application(s) can be a daunting task.  This is particularly important when running PaaS services, such as App Services, Web Jobs, and Azure Functions, where real-time access to application log files is not easily accessible. One effective solution leverages the log4net framework and a number of Microsoft Azure services for a surprisingly intuitive and scalable architecture.  Most logging solutions allow for similar customizations.  NLog is another popular logging framework that can also be customized to perform the same function. The following demo is done in C#.
How to Create a Custom Appender using Log4Net:
1)     Create an Azure Service Bus Queue.

This step requires that you have an active Microsoft Azure subscription. You will have to first create a new Service Bus in the Azure portal. Azure Service Bus is a scalable and robust platform for…

Transform Your Organization with Microsoft Workplace Analytics

Tallan Partner

Microsoft Workplace Analytics—a powerful new organizational analytics solution—is now generally available as an add-on to any Office 365 enterprise plan.
According to a recent Forrester report, increasing employee productivity is the number one priority for C-level executives in the next year, with 96 percent of respondents citing it as a critical or high imperative. Workplace Analytics provides unprecedented behavioral insights that can be used to improve productivity, workforce effectiveness and employee engagement.
New insights from Office 365
Workplace Analytics taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata, including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps, to shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time. It turns this digital exhaust—the data that comes naturally from our everyday work—into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization.

Organization level collaboration insights in Workplace Analytics.
Microsoft has…

Data Virtualization: Unlocking Data for AI and Machine Learning

Tallan Partner

For reliability, accuracy and performance, both AI and machine learning heavily rely on large sets. Because the larger the pool of data, the better you can train the models. That’s why it’s critical for big data platforms to efficiently work with different data streams and systems, regardless of the structure of the data (or lack thereof), data velocity or volume.
However, that’s easier said than done.
Today every big data platform faces these systemic challenges:

Compute / Storage Overlap: Traditionally, compute and storage were never delineated. As data volumes grew, you had to invest in compute as well as storage.
Non-Uniform Access of Data: Over the years, too much dependency on business operations and applications have led companies to acquire, ingest and store data in different physical systems like file systems, databases and data warehouses (e.g. SQL Server or Oracle), big data systems (e.g….

The Associated Press Takes its Data Storytelling to the Next Level with Microsoft Power BI

Tallan Partner

The Associated Press delivers 2017 Virginia gubernatorial primary results with Microsoft Power BI publish to web.

For more than 170 years, The Associated Press (AP) has told the world’s biggest and most important stories, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more recently Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Today, when news is frequently accompanied by massive quantities of data, reporting means making sense of all that data, and AP continues to lead the way in data journalism. The news agency, with locations in more than 100 countries, provides newsrooms worldwide with data-driven reporting on everything from politics, business, environmental science and public safety to sports, education and more. Recent AP data journalism efforts uncovered water quality issues in public and private water systems, analyzed the history of refugees from the seven countries included…

Low Code: Integration at the Speed of Business

Dell Boomi clients wanted to launch new technology capabilities that will rapidly deliver a competitive edge. Unfortunately, project backlogs and multiple priorities often slow the pace of innovation. Overworked and understaffed IT teams often compound this problem, resulting in employee turnover that makes it even harder for businesses to retain the best and brightest IT staff.
Ultimately, the cycle of pressing priorities and strained IT resources leads to a skills gap that causes many companies to lag behind.
And integration is central to this issue. These days organizations need to be extremely agile in how they integrate their applications and data to drive digital transformation. The volume and diversity of integrations necessary for running a digital business are growing exponentially. Social, mobile, analytics, big data, IoT and AI technologies all require integration into core business systems.
And integration is fundamental for any organization…

Inside the High-Tech, High-Stakes Race to Keep the Cloud Secure

Tallan Partner

At any point in time on any day of the week, Microsoft’s cloud computing operations are under attack: The company detects a whopping 1.5 million attempts a day to compromise its systems.

Microsoft isn’t just fending off those attacks. It’s also learning from them.
All those foiled attacks, along with data about the hundreds of billions of emails and other pieces of information that flow to and from Microsoft’s cloud computing data centers, are constantly being fed into the company’s intelligent security graph.

Microsoft invests about $1 billion in cloud security each year.
It’s a massive web of data that can be used to connect the dots between an email phishing scam out of Nigeria and a denial-of-service attack out of Eastern Europe, thwarting one attack for one customer and applying that knowledge to every customer using products including the company’s Azure computing platform,…

An example of BizTalk360's home dashboard

Introduction to Biztalk360

BizTalk360 is a browser-based monitoring application for Microsoft’s BizTalk integration platform. The out-of-the-box monitoring functionality can be difficult to navigate both for new users and experienced admins, and is complex and time consuming to set up for multiple users with varying access rights. BizTalk360 combines the Admin Console and Event Log, with some added analytical and notification functionality, to create an easy to navigate operational tool.
In this overview of basic BizTalk360 setup, I will assume you have a BizTalk application already deployed that contains at least one receive port and send port. Although there is a huge amount of configuration and monitoring that can be done through BizTalk360, this article will focus on initial configuration and simple environment health monitoring.

BizTalk 2016 Feature Pack 1 Management REST API Tutorial

Kevin Morillo

One of the great new additions of the recently released Feature Pack 1 for Microsoft BizTalk 2016 is a REST API, which can be used to administer BizTalk Server.  Longtime users of BizTalk may have experience with using ExplorerOM.dll or WMI based scripts to manage their BizTalk environment.  The REST API introduced in Feature Pack 1 provides a more flexible alternative, including a Swagger definition providing rapid implementation of an application to consume the API.  In this post, I will walk through the process of installing the API as well as using Swagger to generate a C# client and demonstrating a simple command.

New SharePoint and OneDrive Capabilities Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

On May 16th, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, Microsoft unveiled a new wave of innovations that build upon the vision they set forth last year to reinvent content collaboration and usher in a new generation of mobile and intelligent intranets.
Customers’ successes inspire Microsoft and illustrate how SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and organizations to share with confidence, transform business process, inform and engage the organization, and harness collective knowledge. May 16th’s announcements make it easier than ever for you to drive these outcomes and accelerate your digital transformation. For even more insights, read Jeff Teper’s post, “SharePoint Virtual Summit showcases growth, innovations and customer success.”
Here’s a recap of the headline announcements that Jeff covered in his blog, and the broader set of innovations Microsoft highlighted during the SharePoint Virtual Summit.
Share with confidence
OneDrive lets you share files…

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