Highlights Day 3 – Microsoft Build 2016

Spartans, Zombies and building for planet scale (Document DB)
John Macintyre got our eyes on how Document DB can be used to scale and drive your application data. It´s used for Halo 5 and the Spartan Companies among other cool online games. The solutions enable for rich queries, zero index maintenance and can scale to the whole user base with ease. Document DB has been in GA for about a year and more and more start to invest in this kind of technology. Even The Walking Dead game “No Man´s Land” uses Document DB, as seen from day two´s keynote film, featuring Kalle Hiitola (CTO Next Games).


Some impressive statistics of the query numbers of Document DB performance for Halo 5.

Entity Framework 6

To go along side ASP.NET Core 1.0, Rowan Miller held an interesting session about Entity Framework Core (EF Core) 1.0.

It was a very demo intensive session which was mostly focused on all the performance increases that can be gained by replacing EF6 with EF Core (one example using azure showed a 97% performance increase!)

The EF Core runtime will be delivered via NuGet and the tooling will be available through Microsoft Download Center. When it’s finished it will be a part of the common infrastructure, which means it will be usable in all app models (WPF/winforms/ASP.NET/ASP.NET Core/UWP/iOS/Android/OS X)

EF Core is of course open source just like the previous stable version of EF (EF6).

Keep in mind that EF Core has a very basic feature set shipping in v1 (for example no lazy loading, no stored procedure mapping, LINQ translator limitations etc.) and that there will be a limited set of early adopter database providers.

Windows Server 2016 Application Platform

We got the tip to check out this session from Mr Windows himself, Jeffrey Snover. In this session we met Andrew Mason and Taylor Brown, who took us for a 360 spin on how the application platform in Windows Server 2016 is used and how you should work to get your applications running on the new OS. The abstraction layers of containers now start to show “separate Windows from Windows” as Jeffery has been speaking about for years now and how you now can use PowerShell for Docker. The use of AppX is also a powerful new way of managing applications as a manifest configuration, both on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. On a closing note, you can now run containers on Windows 10 for client development.

Microsoft Hololens

After standing in line for an hour it was finally time – To test Hololens.

8 people at the time went in to a darkened room where we later got a guided tour of Mars by Buzz Aldrin, the legendary Apollo 11 astronaut. The environment was a 3D replica of Mars based on information and pictures from the Curiosity rover that has collected data on Mars since 2012.

You could look under rocks and had a great view of the red planet. We also got virtual visit of the Curisoity rover and Erisa Hines, a Curiosity rover driver at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who described how they use the rover to explore the planet. Then Buzz showed how a future Mars colony could look like. It was a powerful feeling how to use technology to bridge the incredible distances in space.
Summary: It’s time to buy our very own Hololens to the office. 🙂


Code, code, code…

Finally, at Build 2016 we also ran a bunch of the Code Challenges down at the Hub floor. I highly recommend you to try the CodeLabs-WebDay, which include .NET Core. If you want to check it out, you can head over to GitHub, where all the cool kids meet: https://github.com/microsoft-Build-2016/


So, what would be the key takeaways from the Build conference this year? Well Microsoft want to empower you as a developer to be able to build services/applications that can run on any platform anywhere. With the new API:s around Cognitive services and the rise of Bots, in combination with the development platform for mobile devices (Xamarin) – the future really looks like a mobile application and cloud service world!

Get your sessions downloaded with PowerShell

To get your Build 2016 events downloaded, kickoff a PowerShell session on your machine and run:

Install-Module CH9
Get-CH9EventItem -EventName Build -Year 2016 -Region NorthAmerica |
Out-GridView -PassThru |

The command displays the GridView that you can select multiple sessions from and hit “Ok”:


By default, the videos will be downloaded to your User Path, like: C:\Users\<username>\Videos\CH9.

Happy watching 🙂

Posted in Azure Stack, Blog, Desired State Configuration, Powershell.