Great article on how Windows Azure Web Sites: How Application Strings and Connection Strings Work.
Windows Azure Web Sites has a handy capability whereby developers can store key-value string pairs in Azure as part of the configuration information associated with a website. At runtime, Windows Azure Web Sites automatically retrieves these values for you and makes them available to code running in your website. Developers can store plain vanilla key-value pairs as well as key-value pairs that will be used as connection strings.
Since the key-value pairs are stored behind the scenes in the Windows Azure Web Sites configuration store, the key-value pairs don’t need to be stored in the file content of your web application. From a security perspective that is a nice side benefit since sensitive information such as Sql connection strings with passwords never show up as cleartext in a web.config or php.ini file.
Microsoft Expression Design is now available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center and as stated by Microsoft, no new versions will be developed.
It’s unfortunate that these tools will no longer be developed, however it looks like Microsoft will shift their focus to help improve the tooling in Visual Studio and Blend for Visual Studio for creating new applications.
Expression Design is a tool for creative professionals and developers who want to build graphics for application user interfaces, the web, or any other medium.
The convenience and ease of editing vector graphics in Expression Design can be a cornerstone of your Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft Silverlight, and web images. Whether you’re a veteran professional illustrator, a designer building a dazzling website, or a budding artist eagerly experimenting with various styles and techniques, you will find Expression Design an indispensable tool for your creative tasks.
You can download Expression Design here.
Microsoft Expression Web is also available for Free and can be downloaded from here.
For more information on Microsoft’s Expression product line, please see the Expression Website.
Mobile app developers don’t need to care about servers and clouds, push notification services and databases. Windows Azure Mobile Services is a cloud-based offering that provides a complete backend for mobile apps including data access and push notifications, enabling you to focus on the mobile app infrastructure and code and forget about the server management intricacies. In this talk we’ll build a backend for a Windows 8 app, an iOS app, and an Android app — all accessing the same data store and server-side triggers.
If your currently subscribe to the Zune Music Pass, this has now changed to Xbox Music. As depicted below, you should have got an email from Xbox with a gift of 1000 Microsoft Points to use on any of the music, video or game content on Xbox Live.
I look forward to using the new Xbox Music service and the new functionality it brings.
Here’s a good overview of and introduction to TypeScript by Anders Hejlsberg: