Black Marble Events–now Online!

Do you enjoy our Black Marble events, but can’t always make it in person?  Busy day at the office, mean you can’t attend a full or even a half day event?  From 30 January 2012, we are introducing a series of online seminars – running most Mondays though to the end of June, we are covering a range of topics in bite-size sessions.  Follow the links for more information and to register – or call on 01274 300175 for more details.

30 Jan – Search Architecture

06 Feb – What is new in Azure?

20 Feb – Why Migrate from Visual SourceSafe to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

12 Mar – Content Management with Avviso and SharePoint 2010

19 Mar – Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for Everyone

26 Mar – An Introduction to SQL 2012

16 Apr – Introduction to Azure

23 Apr – An Introduction to Lab Management

30 Apr – Microsoft Surface – It is not just Touch

14 May – Designing for SharePoint

21 May – How to Kickstart your ALM Process

28 May – Designing Applications for the Windows Phone

11 Jun – Creating Data Aware Visio Diagrams in SharePoint 2010

18 Jun – What is New in Azure?

The Agenda for the Architecture Forum in the North

Eagerly anticipating our Architecture Forum in the North – now in its fourth year!  Taking place on 8 December here in Yorkshire, it is shaping up to be a great day!

We have a great range of speakers lined up and this is a sample of what you can expect from some of the Microsoft Speakers:

Andrew Fryer – Technical Evangelist in Microsoft DPE – All SQL, No SQL, Some SQL

The trusty old relational database has been around for forty odd years,  but will it survive another forty and if so in what form. In this session we’ll look at how the demands of modern business are changing the what and how of data management.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter.

Simon May – IT Pro Evangelist in Microsoft DPE – The Future of IT: making sense of Big Changes

We can all feel that IT is changing, be it the new devices we’re expected to support or the new “cloud” services we’re told to embrace or investigate.  In this session Simon May, Microsoft IT Evangelist will explain the big trends that IT are knocking on the door of the IT department and help you to start thinking about how you can respond in secure, managed and scalable ways.  Cloud, Consumerisation, Big Data and Social are explored during this session and you’ll be left able to see the wood from the trees and where Microsoft’s stack solves problems.

You can follow Simon on Twitter.

Steve ‘Planky’ Plank – Cloud Computing Evangelist in Microsoft DPE – Business Agility and the Cloud

In the 1950s almost no organization owned a computer: too expensive. They ran their computer programs on the computers of large “computer companies”. Calling on immense compute power helped them make more profitable decisions. Today, almost all companies use computers and so the playing field is more level: or is it? Some progressive organisations are finding that not only can it be more economical to use the compute and storage engines of specialized “cloud computing” providers, but also they can respond in an agile way to the organization’s needs. In some cases they can go from an architecture diagram on a whiteboard to a live deployed service in under 15 minutes. It can be de-deployed, when the business need has passed, in less than 5 minutes. Organizations can scale their environments to predictable and unpredictable waves of business activity within minutes. They can try business ideas out with only a fraction of the attendant financial risk associated with building and deploying a large app to support them. Cloud computing achieves this in the modern world by creating a separation between the app and its underlying infrastructure. This session discusses how that separation is enabling modern organisations to profitably respond to business needs faster than has ever been possible and so realize true business agility.

You can follow Planky on his blog.

Giles Davies – Developer Tools Technical Specialist in Microsoft DPE – What Architects need to know about Visual Studio 11

Giles will be exploring what’s new in the architecture tools in Visual Studio 11.

You can follow Giles on Twitter.

Plus, we will be joined by Black Marble’s Robert Hogg, nFocus’ Danny Crone, Microsoft’s Simon Thurman and Gibraltar Software’s Gary Short!

A Series of Fortunate Events

Robert Hogg(RobertHogg)Visual-Studio-2010-Beta-2-Public-Downloads-2

We are delighted at Black Marble to announce a great series of events to brighten your days through the darkness of Autumn and Winter.

Kicking off in September with the first of four Visual Studio events exploring the different products available – from Express to Ultimate – to help you determine which is best for you and your business.

21 September – Black Marble / 12 October – Microsoft London 
16 November – Black Marble / 14 December – Microsoft London.

Middle of October we are running our Mix in the North event – focusing on the highlights of MIX, the conference for web developers and UX designers working the Microsoft platform.  Joining us are Microsoft’s Michael McClary (@michaelmcclary), Will Coleman (@will_coleman) and Mike Taulty (@mtaulty).  As well as some great demos of Windows Phone 7, we will have a Microsoft Surface available for you to try.

During the evening, we will be welcoming companies who have signed up to (or want to sign up to) WebsiteSpark and BizSpark.

November starts with a day full of SharePoint greatness – the morning explores the key features we use having worked with SharePoint 2010 for over a year, and during the afternoon we are focusing on using SharePoint for Content Management.

December see a return of the Architecture Forum in the North – this year’s title is “Tools and Methods for Architects” and we are once again joined by Matt Deacon, Simon Thurman, Simon Davies, Giles Davies and Mark Richardson from Microsoft.

And top it all off, following the success of our Open Day we are opening our doors once more in December – join us for drinks, mince pies and plenty of Christmas cheer!

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The Second Architecture Forum in the North was a Big Success

Black Marble hosted the Second Architecture Forum in the North, and was delighted to welcome back Matt Deacon, Simon Thurman and Simon Davies from Microsoft.  this time they were joined by Mark Richardson and Giles Davies from the Developer Tools team.

Simon Davies (left)

Simon Thurman (left)

The theme of this year’s Forum was the Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) that took place just two weeks before in Los Angeles.  Matt Deacon, Chief Architectural Advisor from Microsoft opened with the State of Nation.  Simon Davies was next up, exploring Azure – Past, Present and Future.  Simon was then joined by Black Marble’s Robert Hogg to discuss AppFabric.  Finally before lunch, Simon Thurman MC’d the Web Session introducing Black Marble’s Leon Nightingale (SilverLight 4), Barry Wimlett (MVC) and Rik Hepworth (SharePoint 2010).

 

Lunch was a lively affair with round table discussions taking place over Turkey and Stuffing sandwiches and mince pies!Richard Fennell (left) and Mark Richardson (right)

Barry Wimlett (right)After lunch saw Simon Davies return to the stage to discuss Data Services, followed by the Visual Studio 2010 team with Mark Richardson, Giles Davies and Black Marble’s Richard Fennell.  The day was wrapped by  Robert Hogg’s presentation on SQL Server Modelling (formerly known as Oslo).

And another lucky attendee walked away with an XBox!

Do you want to know what Microsoft is up to in 2009?

Black Marble’s Annual Technical Update returns on the 21st January at 2pm … and we’re ready to reveal what little gems you may have missed in 2008, and what you can expect in 2009 and beyond.  If you’ve never been to a Black Marble event before, this is a great introduction, it covers the products you know, and those you didn’t know were there.  Looks like a great turnout this year. so come early, and join us for a fabulous lunch! 

And don’t forget, from 6pm Ed Gibson, Chief Security Advisor to Microsoft UK is returning to speak his mind – his third visit to Black Marble, and always a popular event.

A Northern Approach to Architecture

Black Marble hosted the first Architecture Forum in the North today and despite the treacherous weather conditions, there was a great and enthusiastic turnout.

The day opened with Matt Deacon, Chief Architectural Advisor from Microsoft espousing on Sustainable IT, followed up by Simon Thurman, a Microsoft Architecture Evangelist on Patterns and Practices.  A round table arrangement for lunch kept the conversation going, all over fabulous turkey sandwiches and freshly made mince pies … one thing you can say about a Black Marble event, you always get fed well!  The afternoon kicked off with Senior Architectural Engineer from Microsoft, Simon Davies explaining Azure, and the final session of the day saw Black Marble MD and Architecture MVP Robert Hogg discussing Oslo and Microsoft’s vision for the future of Modelling.

Everyone had a really great time … especially the lucky attendee who went home with a free X-Box courtesy of Black Marble!