AWS public cloud is twice as big as Microsoft, Google, IBM combined


Amazon Web Services is utterly dominating the competition, taking 45 percent of worldwide revenues for public cloud services, according to a new analysis.

Microsoft and Google might be increasing public cloud revenues faster than AWS, but they've also got a long way to go to come close to catching up, a new analysis from Synergy Research Group shows.

The combined revenues from Microsoft, Google, and IBM amount to less than 20 percent of worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS, revenues in Q3 2016, compared with AWS's 45 percent, the research firm reports.

Data and data access technologies

In my previous post I spoke about key layers of distributed applications. Now we will go through the most crucial layer of any distributed application, the data layer. In this part, you will be introduced to various database technologies, along with .NET-related technologies.

Data can be stored in a wide range of data sources such as relational databases, files on the local filesystems, on the distributed filesystems, in a caching system, in storage located on the cloud, and in memory.

  • Relational databases (SQL server): This is the traditional data source that is designed to store and retrieve data. Queries are written in languages such as T-SQL-utilized Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations model.
  • The filesystem: The filesystem is used to store and retrieve unstructured data on the local disk system in the files. One of the simplest options to store and retrieve data, it has many functional limits and is not distributed by its nature.
  • The Distributed File System (DFS): The DFS is the next level of file system that solves the size and other limitations introduced by local disks. In a nutshell, DFS is a pool of networked computers that store data files.
  • NoSQL databases: NoSQL databases are a new way of storing data in a non-relational fashion. Often, NoSQL databases are used to store large or very large volumes of data, and the biggest difference between these databases and relational database is that NoSQL data stores are schema-free. However, data can be organized by one or more different models, such as key-value stores and document stores, among others.
  • Cloud storage: Any infrastructure located on the cloud solves many issues, such as security, reliability, resilience, and maintenance. Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure Storage provide many ways of storing the data in different formats, which can be structured or unstructured. As with many other cloud storage offerings, Microsoft Azure Storage exposes the HTTP REST API, used by any application and client running on any platform that supports HTTP.
  • In-memory stores: In-memory stores are the fastest data stores that are limited in size, not persistent, and cumbersome to use in a distributed multi-server environment. In-memory stores are used to store temporary and volatile data.

ADO.NET and ADO.NET Entity Framework

.NET Framework has several database access options, and the foundation of most of them is ADO.NET. ADO.NET can be called a foundation for every other data access technology on Microsoft stacks. In a nutshell, ActiveX Data Objects .NET (ADO.NET) is a collection of classes that implement program interfaces to simplify the process of connecting to data stores without depending on the structure and implementation of a concrete data store and its location. The challenge that it offers is that most developers must write complex data access code (between the application and the database) that requires them to have a good understanding of the database itself, of raw tables, views, stored procedures, the database schema, table definitions and parameters, results, and so on.

This is mostly solved by the Object-relational mapping (ORM) approach. Programmers create a conceptual model of the data and write their data access code against that model, while an additional layer provides a bridge between the entity-relationship model and the actual data store. Entity Framework generates database entities according to database tables and provides the mechanism for basic CRUD operations, managing 1-to-1, 1-to-many, and many-to-many relationships, and the ability to have inheritance relationships between entities among others.

Basically, you have the ability to "talk" about your model not with the database but with the class model you wrote or generated from a database using Entity Framework. This is achieved by the creation of a combination of XML schema files, code generation, and the ADO.NET Entity Framework APIs. The schema files are used to define a conceptual layer, to be used as a map between the data store and the application. The ADO.NET Entity Framework allows you to write the application that uses classes that are generated from the conceptual schema. Entity Framework then takes care of the rest.

Another important component of Entity Framework that is often used by developers is Language Integrated Query (LINQ). It adds data querying capabilities to .NET languages and extends the language with SQL-like query expressions.

There are three approaches to working with Entity Framework in the project:

  • Database-first: This approach is used when you already have a database that is going to be used as a data source.
  • Model-first: This approach is used when you have no database. First, you draw the model in the Visual Designer and then instruct it to create the database for you with all the tables.
  • Code-first: This approach is used often as it provides a way to write your model in code as classes and instruct Entity Framework to generate the database with objects described in the code.

Microsoft reveals some interesting stats about apps, Office, and french fries


Microsoft has released some interesting stats on its "Microsoft by the Numbers" website, which showcases the growth of the Windows platform as well as other products and services offered by the company.

The website has also highlighted several milestones and achievements accomplished by the company which include:

  • Office has been downloaded more than 100 million times on iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
  • 80% of the Fortune 500 is on the Microsoft cloud.
  • More than 75 million devices are running Windows 10.
  • Skype Translator can translate voice calls in 6 different languages.
  • Microsoft Surface Hub collaboration devices are integrated with optically bonded displays capable of detecting 100 points of multi-touch and up to three simultaneous pen inputs.
  • Microsoft employees in Redmond, Washington eat about 984,000 orders of French fries each year in campus cafeterias.

Many more intriguing facts have been listed as well which includes that there are now 669,000 apps in the Windows Store. The company also states that there are now 48 million Xbox Live users in 42 countries and that has more than 400 million active users. More than 1.2 billion people use Microsoft Office which equates to one in every seven people on the Earth.

The Redmond giant has also highlighted prominent individuals linked to the company such as Stephen Alvarez, who has endeavored to snap photos of all the Seven Natural Wonders of the World using only Microsoft-made smartphones. Rudy Huyn has been mentioned as one of the "platform's most prolific developers" as his apps have been downloaded over 16 million times. There are several more interesting facts listed on the company's website which you can view by visiting the source link.

Amazon fa guerra ad Apple anche sulla musica

Dopo aver sfidato in passato la Apple sul campo dei tablet introducendo il Kindle Fire, adesso la guerra che Amazon ha scatenato nei confronti della Casa di Cupertino si fa ancora più infuocata, spostandosi nel settore musicale.

Con il lancio della nuova versione del suo web store musicale, AmazonMp3,Amazon MP3 il colosso della distribuzione online permetterà anche agli utenti Apple di acquistare album e singoli dal vasto catalogo messo a disposizione dall’azienda di Jeff Bezos.

E così, se fino a oggi gli utenti Apple potevano acquistare gli mp3 sull’apposito iTunes per dispositivi mobili iOS (e Amazon doveva pagare ad Apple una quota pari al 30%), adesso con AmazonMp3 anche gli utenti iOS potranno acquistare oltre 20 milioni di file musicali.

Il web store Amazon permetterà il download dei file attraverso il browser Safari, reindirizzandoli in automatico nella library sulla nuvola del servizio Cloud Player. “Fin dal lancio dell’app Amazon Cloud Player per iPhone e iPod touch, una delle richieste più frequenti dei nostri clienti era la possibilità di comprare musica da Amazon direttamente dai loro dispositivi – spiega Steve Boom, vicepresidente di Amazon Music –. Per la prima volta nella storia, gli utenti iOS hanno questa possibilità, ora possono accedere all’enorme catalogo musicale di Amazon, oltre a raccomandazioni personalizzate e offerte come album a 5 dollari e canzoni per 0,69 centesimi. Possono comprare la loro musica una volta sola e ascoltarla ovunque”.

L’operazione rientra nell’ambito della strategia di Amazon volta a espandere la propria offerta musicale. Già la settimana scorsa l’azienda di Seattle aveva lanciato AutoRip un sistema che consente a chiunque acquisti (o abbia acquistato dopo il 1998) un cd originale di trovarne automaticamente una copia digitale gratuita sul suo account Cloud Player.

Kindle per PC, Mac e Cloud

Il Kindle è sicuramente il miglior eBook reader oggi presente sul mercato, ideato e venduto da Amazon. Le versioni di Kindle sono diverse e, a seconda delle funzionalità, può essere acquistato già a partire da 99€ del Kindle fino ai 199$ del Kindle Fire (non ancora disponibile per il mercato italiano) fino ad arrivare ai 379$ del Kindle DX. 

Oltre a poter leggere i libri acquistati sul sito di Amazon sul nostro Kindle, è possibile anche leggerli su un PC o su un Mac ed è sufficiente scaricare i relativi programmi da Amazon.

Se utilizzi come browser Firefox, Chrome o Safari puoi fare a meno di scaricare l'applicazione e visualizzare i tuoi ebook utilizzando il servizio Kindle Cloud Reader. Qui sopra puoi vedere come appare il sito per la lettura degli ebook.

Tutte le applicazioni Kindle sono gratuite e supporto la lettura a schermo intero: puoi creare note, sottolineare testi, impostare segnalibri e molto altro.



Planet Xamarin

Planet Xamarin