Global Integration Bootcamp 2018 – Auckland Recap

Last Saturday, 24/03/2018, the second edition of the Global Integration Bootcamp (GIB) was on full swing around the globe, with 15 locations across 10 countries sharing a full day of hands on labs and breakout sessions, highlighting the latest and greatest that Microsoft integration technologies have to offer.

As in the first edition, Auckland kicked off the show. And we did it justice! There was around 35 or so people sharing our experiences and learning from each other in the new Datacom facilities at Gaunt Street. The breakout sessions covered a wide range of topics, from Event Grid to Data Factory. We had also a great line-up of presenters, a mix of recurring ACSUG presenters and new faces, which made the event even more special.

Breakout sessions

Building event-driven cloud solutions with Microsoft Azure Event Grid

Harris Kristanto and Nikolai Blackie, both from Adaptiv, shared the stage on the first presentation, talking about the latest addition to the Microsoft Integration family – Event Grids. Nikolai presented the basics of event driven architecture, while Harris gave us the lowdown of Event Grids and ran us through the demo, which was also provided as a lab to the attendees.

Getting Started with Azure IoT

Mahindra Morar and Desiree Suligan, from Datacom, shared this presentation presenting the basic facts about Azure Iot – Mahindra guided us through each one of the components on the IoT family, while Desiree showed us a real-life scenario and demoed a solution that pushed Azure telemetry from a device directly to Azure Power BI. Craig Haiden was more than happy to serve as the guinea pig for the demo, making his best impersonation of a conga dance and golf moves, all to show how acceleration and different movements would be reflected in the dashboard.

Mahinda and Desiree also prepared some sample code and lab. Unfortunately, this was not available during the bootcamp due to some last minute technical glitches (i.e. yours truly couldn’t upload it in time), but it is available on the ACSUG repository now.

Introduction to Bots, Luis and Microsoft Flow

I had the pleasure to entertain the attendees during lunchtime, with a presentation introducing Bots and bot framework, Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) and Microsoft Flow, and how they work together to create intelligent chatbots that can assist people to execute various tasks. This presentation was complemented by a lab from the global team which use LUIS, Bizzy Bot and Microsoft Flow.

Logic Apps and Functions Deployment Best Practices

Alessandro Moura, from Theta, shared his experiences around using Logic Apps in a production project and how he implemented a CI/CD pipeline for Logic Apps, using the existing tools. He even had a shout out to the open source project that Jeff Hollan created – the Logic Apps Template Creator. The project is being currently maintained by Mattias Logdberg and I also contributed with some components and scripts.

Leveraging the Microsoft Graph API using Azure Logic Apps & Functions

Abhishek Kumar and James Corbould, from Datacom, shared a presentation showing how to implement solutions that leverage the Graph API using Logic Apps and Azure Functions. James introduced the Graph concepts, while Abhishek showed how Graph API works. At the end, they also had a lab available for attendees to try.

Exploring Azure Data Services

Grant Harmer, from Digging Dog, closed the breakout sessions going through a demo-full presentation where he related his experiences using Azure Data Services – Data Lakes, CosmosDB and Data Factory – in the wild in real life scenarios. With lots of insights and sample codes, the presentation was probably the highlight of the day (at least for me). A hint that Grant had the audience enthralled was the fact that we were at least 10-15 minutes into lab time, and no one really noticed that.

Labs

We were spoiled for choices on the Lab front. On top of very good labs provided by the global team, that included Event grids, cognitive services, Microsoft flow and bots, the Auckland team produced three exclusive labs:

You can find the labs, presentations and sample code on the ACSUG GIB2018 repository.

 

The Auckland Team

One of the things that I really love on those events is the sense of community – and nothing shows more the community spirit that the crew that runs it. The majority of the crew come from the three main integration companies in Auckland – Theta, Datacom and Adaptiv – and while they might be competitors on their day job, for this event, we all band together as Auckland Connected Systems User Group (ACSUG) members.

Another aspect of a great community sense is in the presenters’ line-up. From the 9 presenters, 4 are newcomers, and two never presented in User Groups before. Harris was an attendee in last year’s Global Integration Bootcamp and shared the opening presentation this year with Nikolai. Desiree also a first-time presenter at ACSUG – and probably our first female speaker – we hopefully will hear more from her in the future, as IoT is always a hot topic. Alessandro arrived in the country less than six months ago but attended his first ACSUG meetup a couple of days after arriving. And finally Grant Harmer is a seasoned consultant and Solution Architect that finally dipped his toe into the community events – and hopefully will be here to stay!

Acknowledgements

I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to both newcomers and recurring presenters. The event would simply not happen without the effort you all put on your presentations, labs, and sacrificing your Saturday to share your knowledge with everyone.

And while I am on that subject, I also like to thank the ACSUG organizers – Craig Haiden, Mike Howell and Colin Dijkgraaf. I am really proud to be part of this team. In special Craig Haiden for the long night meetings getting all the details setup without losing the humor, and for not getting mad at me when I was in “nagging” mode, but more important, for not be afraid to also get in “nagging” mode while I needed that extra incentive!

The event across the globe

There were lots of positive reactions across the globe! I’ve collated the most interested tweets (IMHO) as a twitter moment, for your viewing pleasure!


All of that was possible thanks to the Global Team that pulled off a great event one more time, providing such great starting material and guidance. Having a good set of labs as foundation made our life easier to focus on having quality breakout sessions and expand on those labs without the pressure of having to create everything from scratch. Thanks guys!

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