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Showing posts from October, 2018

Azure Service Fabric: Understanding Microservices

Microsoft Azure Service Fabric helps developers build applications based on microservices to allow better scalability, faster deployment and upgrades, reduced resource costs and enhanced management capabilities.

Microservices is the latest stage of the trend to divide applications into component parts.  This trend leads to separation of the user interface, business logic, storage and other elements that make up an application.  It has been manifest in shared libraries and technology layers, and created greater mobility and scalability of applications.

A monolithic approach to application development contains all its functionality and is typically scaled by adding more instances of physical or virtual services.


Microservices take this logic much further.  They ideally are autonomous and interact with each other through well defined protocols.  Microservices may be developed in many programming languages and run in many environments, but they are compatible with each other because of s…

User Stories for Grants Manager Plus

My company InfoStrat offers government software solutions, and our most popular has been Microsoft Grants Manager Plus, based on Dynamics 365.  I receive inquiries on this solution from around the world, and the most common questions include how long it will take to implement and how much will it cost.

User stories which describe your grant program and business processes are essential to determine the scope of the project and create accurate estimates for an implementation.  User stories are descriptions of a process from the point of view of a user role.  They do not include technical details of the implementation but they capture business rules and data elements that are tracked for a specific scenario.

To create user stories for Grants Manager Plus, first identify how many grant programs you offer.  Do different programs have distinct business processes or track different data?  If they use the same processes and data, you can create fewer user stories.  Often our clients have som…

Microsoft Azure for Recovery Sites and Failover

Whether you are operating your servers on premises or in the cloud, a cloud service like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform are ideal for supporting recovery of sites in case of hardware or communications failures.  If your servers are primarily at your data center, having additional servers at that facility may not help your users if access is cut off due to a natural disaster or other event.  Recent floods in North Carolina and South Carolina remind us of how infrastructure can be vulnerable to weather. 

Microsoft Azure provides you a resource for building failover and maintenance sites which will be up and running even when your data center cannot be.   Microsoft offers technical documentation and videos that take you through the steps of establishing recovery sites.


These techniques are based on several failover scenarios, including these:

FailoverSourceTargetAzure to AzureAzure regionAzure regionVMware to AzureConfiguration serverAzurePhysical machines t…