måndag 27 augusti 2012

Windows Azure!

(First of all, thank to Scott Hanselman for motivating me into blogging again!)

Windows Azure - finally an easy way to deploy MVC projects, and cheap! At least what it looks like, I'm still waiting for my 3 months free subscription to run out, then we'll see what the price tag ends with.

During this summer I've deployed 3 projects to Windows Azure just because it's so easy. The first project was an old project I converted from running on my own virtual server (with IIS and MSSQL setup manually). It's called SebKul, and can be used to analyze your private economy by automatically logging in to SEB (Swedish bank) and running some measurements. For example, it will calculate the amount of money you may spend per day before running out of cache in the end of the month. If you spend too much money one day, it will mail you letting you know you need to be more careful in the rest of the month. You may also group different expenses to see what you spend the most money on. It is really beta, but if you have SEB it might be fun to try out: http://sebkul.azurewebsites.net (in swedish)

The second project was a simple mailing application - Mail Me When. Let's say you are interested in knowing when a new episode of a serie is available for download, but don't want to check the piratebay every now and then. This site will automatically check the piratebay rss, and scan for the serie you are interested in. If a new episode appears, it will send you a mail.

The third project is a project I'm currently working on - Inköpslista (shopping list). I was tired of always forgetting what to buy when in the grocery store, and never having the (paper) shopping list nearby when I needed something. I browsed the web for a digital shopping list alternative, but couldn't find anyone fitting my (simple) needs (the text within parenthesis is how I solved it):
  • Easy access from any device (a simple web page)
  • Easy login (a technique based on IP and cookies)
  • Easy sharing (just send a link to your friend)
  • Mobile friendly (using jQuery Mobile)
On top off that I made it a bit clever by:
  • Knowing what store you are in (using GPS coordinates), and presenting the products to buy in the same order you selected then in when shopping in this store the last time
  • Recommending products you buy frequently (i.e. milk every week, cheese every third week)

It actually turned out to be something I'm really pleased with, and now uses on a daily basis! Try it out an let me know what you think.

So if you haven't tried Windows Azure yet (you don't even have to be a .net developer), give it a try. Three months for free, it's worth it!

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