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Overview of Azure Cognitive Services

Overview of Azure Cognitive Services

At Allcloud, our favorite projects are smart enough to anticipate your needs and answer questions you didn’t even know existed.

We’re incredibly excited to watch artificial intelligence and data science evolve and become more accessible to everyone. To that end, some of our favorite cloud offerings are within Microsoft’s Cognitive Services.

About Microsoft Cognitive Services

Microsoft has been at the forefront of machine learning for years, with obvious use cases like speech recognition in Cortana and optical character recognition in OneNote, as well as more subtle use cases like spam filtering in Outlook and explicit image filtering in Bing.

Traditionally, artificial intelligence required significant investments in talent, hardware, and time to yield results. Companies like Microsoft are democratizing AI by offering sophisiticated algorithms as low-cost “a la carte” web services.

Cognitive Services (introduced in 2015 as Project Oxford) offers a suite of more than two dozen algorithms honed by data scientists and millions of test cases. Cognitive Services are sold via the Azure portal and are billed based on consumption at a fraction of a penny per service call.

We have integrated various services into Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, enterprise search platforms, websites, and ERP. Cognitive Services consistently deliver “wow factor”.

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Top 10 Azure and Office 365 Events for 2017

Top 10 Azure and Office 365 Events for 2017

Here are the ten Microsoft cloud conferences we’re most looking forward to this year:

  1. Global Azure Bootcamp (April 22, 2017) National - Azure community conference.
  2. Microsoft Build (May 10-12, 2017) Seattle, WA - Developer conference.
  3. SharePoint Virtual Summit (May 16, 2017) Online - SharePoint pro conference.
  4. DEVintersection Spring (May 21-24, 2017) Lake Buena Vista, FL - .NET developer conference.
  5. Microsoft Inspire (July 9-13, 2017) Washington, DC - Microsoft partner conference.
  6. Visual Studio Live (September 18-21, 2017) Chicago, IL - Developer conference.
  7. Microsoft Ignite (September 25 - 29, 2017) Orlando, FL - IT professional conference.
  8. SPTechCon (November 12-15, 2017) Washington, DC - SharePoint technology conference.
  9. Office and SharePoint Live (November 12-17, 2017) Orlando, FL - SharePoint pro conference.
  10. Collab365 Global Conference (TBD, Q4 2017) Online - Online Office 365 conference.
Azure Resources for Go (Golang)

Azure Resources for Go (Golang)

Microsoft Azure provides development support for a wide variety of languages. Official Software Development Kits (SDKs) are available for the most popular web programming languages including .NET, Java, Node.js (JavaScript), PHP, Python, and Ruby.

One of the newest languages that Microsoft supports is Go (sometimes styled as Golang).

About Go

Go is an open source language created at Google in 2007. It was grown in popularity and influence rapidly, now powering vital infrastructure throughout the intranet. It was named 2016’s Programming Language of the Year by TIOBE and is a core language within Docker, CloudFlare, and Uber.

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Digital Asset Management Using SharePoint Online

Digital Asset Management Using SharePoint Online

Digital Asset Management is becoming increasingly important for every business. Marketing materials, training resources, sales collateral, and other assets are frequently distributed across and locked within disconnected systems.

Employees don’t know where to look (hurting productivity and morale) and when they do find an asset, they often duplicate it to a new system and lose version history (leading to inconsistency and waste).

About Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Digital Asset Management (DAM) consists of organizing, storing, distributing, and managing the lifecycle of an organization’s assets. These can be digital or physical, structured or unstructured. Most often, digital assets are thought of as multimedia files like images and videos.

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Behind the Creation of Allcloud.com

Behind the Creation of Allcloud.com

When relaunching our website for the new Allcloud name, we had a few goals in mind:

  1. Useful Content: Deliver relevant insights.
  2. Clear Brand: Reinforce that our brand is all about the cloud.
  3. Clean Design: Provide a clean, focused design.
  4. Speed: Ensure the fastest performance possible.
  5. Responsiveness: Optimize the site for all expected devices.

Here’s how we redesigned, built, and launched the site over two weeks in December 2016:

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Apidae Inc. Is Now Allcloud Inc.

Apidae Inc. Is Now Allcloud Inc.

Founded in June 2013, Apidae Inc. has delivered successful projects spanning diverse industries and technologies.

The common thread through every project has been the cloud. Cloud computing has reduced time-to-market, minimized costs, improved the development experience, and let to better products for everyone. For a long time, we’ve been “all-in” on the cloud and we’ve decided to update our name to reflect that.

Starting in 2017, our new name is Allcloud Inc. To celebrate the rebranding, we’ve designed a new logo and overhauled our website, now hosted at https://allcloud.com. Please update your bookmarks to follow the latest news and insight around Azure, Office 365, and related cloud technologies.

We remain proud of our Apidae heritage. Apidae is the Latin name for a large family of bees, comprising some of the most productive creatures on Earth. Like bees, we remain collaborative, clever, and diligent cross-pollinators of knowledge.

Allcloud Earns Microsoft Cloud Platform Competency

Allcloud Earns Microsoft Cloud Platform Competency

We are honored to announce that Allcloud has earned the Microsoft Silver Cloud Platform competency. This distinction reflects a track record of successful cloud deployments, architectural expertise, and satisfied clients.

Highlights of the Office 365 Roadmap: December 2016

Highlights of the Office 365 Roadmap: December 2016

Microsoft has continued its hectic pace of feature development and releases throughout this year. Since we last checked in on the Office 365 Roadmap in May 2016, more than a hundred updates have been released.

Below is a summary of significant changes from Microsoft’s Office 365 Roadmap between June 2016 and December 2016. Updates are divided into categories of “Launched”, “Rolling Out” (to early release members), “In Development”, “Cancelled” and “Previously Released”.

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Serverless Architectures with Azure Functions

Serverless Architectures with Azure Functions

Infrastructure patterns are constantly evolving.

  1. Through the 1980s, mainframes were the center of gravity for all business processes.
  2. Servers became smaller and more specialized throughout the 1990s.
  3. A majority of new servers were virtualized in the 2000s.
  4. In the 2010s, the bulk of new virtual machines are being spun up in the cloud.
  5. Now, we’re witnessing a shift from entire virtual machines to efficient virtualized “containers”.

Throughout all of this, the scope of solutions has become more granular and purpose-built. No matter what, we’ve always had a level of infrastructure to worry about. Whether managing the monolithic servers or orchestrating a fleet of microservices, there have always been performance, scalability, security, and costs to optimize.

Now, companies are starting to adopt the “serverless” computing pattern, which foregoes most infrastructure concerns. Similar to how Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is significantly easier to maintain than classic capex infrastructure and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is even easier to maintain than IaaS, “serverless” computing is the easiest of all to maintain.

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What Every Developer Should Know When Working with Email (Part 3)

What Every Developer Should Know When Working with Email (Part 3)

This is the third post in a series for developers working on email-enabled applications. View Part 1 and Part 2.

In the first part of this series, we covered the components and protocol that comprise email. In the second post, we explored the anatomy of an email message, MIME, and send email using SMTP.

In this post, let’s cover advanced topics of SMTP. In future posts, we’ll look at retrieving and processing messages using POP3 and IMAP.

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