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Hello Windows Azure

January 14, 2014
It's been a long time since I have posted anything, but I have recently moved my site to Windows Azure and I am now hosting my email with Exchange Online in Office 365. Over the last few months, I have been evaluating and looking into these two platforms in more depth. I have been working with SharePoint Online for a long while, but these two platforms working in tandem are truly impressive. I was able to take my existing site powered by BlogEngine.NET and migrate this out to Windows Azure in about 30 minutes. The migration took less time than the DNS propagation did! This included provisioning the site and migrating the database to SQL Azure. Connecting these two environments with the federated directories was not only a snap, but you can then delegate administrative duties from an O365 AD account to a Windows Azure subscription. The last few weeks have made me even more of a believer than I was! At this time, I have only been leveraging the platform services in Azure. Some of the infrastructure services are a bit too expensive for my personal usage. However, I hope to start working with some Windows Azure VMs soon. If you've not yet looked at these two platforms; do so. There is a lot to be excited about!

New technology is in the air…

September 5, 2012
First things first… First of all folks, welcome to the new GrannetDotNet! I have been wanting to update the website for so long that it is embarrassing. I have been at Aptera now for 3.5 years and I have been wanting to update my site since long before the first day I started here. At any rate, I used this as an opportunity to evaluate a few different platforms over the years. I’ve tried Sitefinity (3.6 community all the way through 4.3), Kentico, Orchard and I finally landed on BlogEngine.net. BlogEngine.net is shockingly simple to set up and use if you are an ASP.NET developer. It offers a lot of features for bringing over your old blog content too; however I used this as an opportunity to retire all of my old blog content. The content was primarily personal and quite honestly, it wasn’t of the highest quality. So, I have included summaries of some of the work I have posted to Aptera’s SharePoint Development Blog with links to the full content articles as a jump-start to the blog. I am sure I’ll post more about BlogEngine.net in the future; but I must say that the developers have done a fine job with this product. What am I doing now? Working on some really interesting projects. With SharePoint 2013, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013, Windows Server 2012 and of course Visual Studio 2012 all dropping this fall; it is a truly exciting time to be working in the Microsoft stack of products. At Aptera, we’ve been doing a lot of work with Microsoft Lync 2010 as well (if you don’t know what Lync is – you should; as it is one of the coolest products I have worked with in a long time). Tying it all together with Office 365 has opened my eyes to just how beautiful the right balance of on-prem and cloud-based services can be for a business. The SharePoint team continues to evolve and grow here at Aptera as well, as we take SharePoint projects – development, planning or whatever – to a level that we simply weren’t at a year ago. It’s really great to be a part of that right now. What to expect Still working that one out myself. I’d like to use the new blog to focus primarily on technology related posts, but I am going to throw in a few posts like this too for the people that may want to know about me, or how I am doing. If you need to contact me, there are a few links on this page to do so, in addition to the social connections on the right side of the page. That’s all for now, but I already have a blog post in mind about a PowerShell topic. Keep an eye out for it here and keep checking out http://www.sharepointdevelopment.me for more SharePoint tips!

REALLY Happy Cows Come From Indiana

April 10, 2007
If you watch television, you may have seen the advertisements from Real California Cheese that states: "Happy Cows Come From California". That being said, most people in the Dairy industry know that this is simply a marketing attempt. California is the home of some of the largest corporate dairy farms in the United States and furthermore, these farms do not have a reputation of maintaining herds of "happy cows". At any rate, this post isn't intended to be a bash campaign targeted at California dairy farmers, but rather a statement of pride in my family. For those who may not know, I grew up on a small dairy farm in Northeast Indiana. My family has been in the dairy business for over 6 decades and have operated the family farm since the 1890's. I worked on this farm from the time I was ten or eleven years old until I was about 21. At that time, I was working full time as a Web Developer and I was also in college at the local Purdue University campus. Farming was tough work. I would do my "chores" before classes and after wrestling practice when I was in high school. My summers were always full of work to be done and working on the farm was my only form of employment until I was 18 years old. I still work on the farm a few days a year to help out when help is necessary. When I was 21, I left working on the farm and gave the cattle that I owned to my dad. By this time, the partnership between my parents and my older brother Russ had really started to show reward. Russ was introducing some ideas that would prove to be very fruitful. Dad listened and together they took action. Within a short period of time; production was up, equipment was newer, profitability was increasing and the facilities were fast reaching maximum capacity for the herd. In a few years, capacity had been exceeded and the time for a new facility was apparent. In late November of 2006, they broke ground on the production herd's new housing facility which measures 54' wide by 136' in length. The health of the herd has always been a priority to my family. Veterinary care is routine, sanitation practices are exercised daily and nutrition is carefully monitored. The new facility makes the task of herd care a much simpler process. The housing is more capacious and the feeding area is now indoors and no longer subject to weather elements. The facility was also designed with climate in mind, so it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This facility truly does make happy cows, as you can see from the last picture I took of the new facility. Cows are resting better than before and eating better than before (both statements that can be proved by the pictures below). Although I no longer 'turn a regular shift' on the family farm, I am very proud of where it is now. There have been many doubters along the way and I am very proud of the fact that my parents, and most of all my brother, did not listen to any of them. You guys are great.