Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave recommendations for our insurance product

We were glad to thank Satya Nadell that he found time to meet with us during the meeting with SMB's in Dubai. He is very talented from management and technical perspectives and our team was quite excited to hear good technical questions from him. Satya is doing a lot of comparison with Steve Jobs points of view about UI/UX. It was very crucial for us to get some recommendations of how much we should pay attention to Design. Along with that got an understanding of future Microsoft plans about Azure and new datacenters around the world.Diceus and TeamBase jointly are working many years developing large and flexible solutions in the insurance industry.

One of our product is BenefitNetFlex, which is a unique tool for insurance companies, brokers, hr's and employees to make a selection and administer flex benefit choices of the employees.


Configure work with Azure Blob Storage in your solution

Windows Azure Blob storage is a service for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. A single blob can be hundreds of gigabytes in size, and a single storage account can contain up to 100TB of blobs. Common uses of Blob storage include:


  •    Serving images or documents directly to a browser
  •    Storing files for distributed access
  •    Streaming video and audio
  •    Performing secure backup and disaster recovery
  •    Storing data for analysis by an on-premises or Windows Azure-hosted service


Windows Azure Blob has next hierarchy:

Azure Blob hierarchy

Blob hierarchy


Store logs into Azure Blob Storage

In this article I will show you how to write logs in Blob table. As log manager in the system I will use Log4net because Blob gives us a great possibility to work with this Log4net. 

Log4Net is a popular logging framework, and if you have an existing application that you wish to move to Azure computer, you probably want to avoid rewriting your application to use another logging framework. Luckily, keeping Log4Net as your logging tool in Azure is certainly possible, but there are a few hoops you have to jump through to get there. So we will write our logs from project to some blob table. For this purpose we can use our project from the previous topic that already have a connection to Azure and to Blob Storage account. So let's start.


In very first step we need to add the Log4net library to our project. We can use NuGet for this purpose. So we should open our MvcApplicationWebRole project and right click on folder References and select “Manage NuGet Packages”. NuGet will occur.  Enter “log4net” in the search window. And press install when it find this library:

Add Log4net library to project - Manage NuGet Packages

Add Log4net library to project


Azure database, database project and EDMX

In the previous article we have created Solution that has Web Role. It allows us to publish this solution on Windows Azure. Also, in this solution we have a connection to created storage account in Azure. We have log manager Log4net that allows us to write some logs in Blob table. In last article we have created a database in Windows Azure SQL server and a database project for this database. So now we can start to use this database in our solution. We will use Entity Framework for this purpose. Entity Framework allows generating entity classes from the database. 


We will use EDMX file to do this. A .edmx file is an XML file that defines a conceptual model, a storage model, and the mapping between these models. An .edmx file also contains information that is used by the ADO.NET Entity Data Model Designer (Entity Designer) to render a model graphically. The recommended practice for creating an .edmx file is to use the Entity Data Model Wizard.

In the first step we should open our “MvcApplicationWebRole” solution. Now let’s add a new class library in our solution. Right click on the solution then “Add – New project”. In occurred window enter name “MvcApplicationWebRole.Database” and select “Class Library” as project type:

Add new project in solution

Add new project in solution