Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Subtle difference between one VSO another one, both running on Microsoft Azure ;-)


Let consider two Visual Studio Online (TFS running as a service on Microsoft Azure).

Who would have thought that a difference would exist between 2 VSO accounts ?? Something unusual occurred to me when I wanted to add new users onto my new VSO account.

You you see a difference between the left-hand side account and the right-hand side ? (apart from the URL!)


On the left, VSO it requires a connection with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. On the right, it is not linked to AAD (look carefully on the bottom of the screen shot).

What are the consequences ?

First, when you want to link your VSO to a Microsoft Azure Account, it will detect the, say “” belongs to the AAD “Objet Direct”.


where as the second case is not (“Not connected to a directory”).


Second, when you want to add a new user into your VSO, in the first case, you will have to add it also in the AAD, as reminded below:


Whereas, when “not connected to a directory”, adding a new user is instantaneous.

This differences comes from a historical privilege that some of us had to be a VSO “Early Adopter” where AAD not not yet connected. Now a more secure way is to use your Microsoft Azure Account to instanciate a VSO account, where automatically an AAD would be associated.

In your case, do you see other differences and side effects ?  ;-)


TODAY, you do not have the choice, you MUST be in the Azure Directory; the new portal reminds you so:


as documented here:


Note: Renaming VSO accounts could be risky since other users will loose the current URL. Sometimes Microsoft reminds you that with interesting CSS colors/icons! (I love HTML 5 so much easier to trouble shoot that Silverlight … well, I wish ! )


and the full list of icons are found here (I had to reduce):


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summary of the 1rst Global Azure Bootcamp Lyon in France 2014


This is a report of the first Global Azure Bootcamp in Lyon, that welcomed over 120 people.
It is an international event involving more than 138 cities in the world in 56 countries. The association MUG -Lyon was chosen to organize the Lyon edition! And I was the lucky person who has organized all this with many partnership.

Over 16 experts were speakers, ranging from:

  • Many MVP from France honored the event by becoming speakers : they came Grenoble, Marseille, Lyon. Even a RD, Daniel Tizon (Microsoft Regional Director) came all the way from Switzerland

  • to Microsoft employee from Paris, Microsoft v –TSP,

  • or publised book author, Certified Microsoft, MSP students or enthusiasts GEEKS BIG ...

They addressed various topics on Azure : Java , PHP, Zend Framework 2 , mobility, Ruby , Python, C #

As far as I am concerned, not only was I busy organizing the event, I also presented 2 sessions as Microsoft vTSP (“virtual Technology Specialist”).


I designed three tracks in // to address the needs avec everyone, and to ensure all can fit in one day !!
(beginner, experts and CxOs)


VERY positive feedback.


And the event have been many times covered by the media, such as Microsoft

or Programmez!

also plenty of goodies and licences (cf images), etc…

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Where to start with Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement and billing / cost ? (EA)

UPDATE Sept 2016 : Here is the documentation released by Microsoft:
(download the file here)

Hint Billing:

Ever wonder what are the advantages of an Enterprise Agreement (EA), as opposed to “Pay-as-you-go” and 6/12-Month Plan ? apart from a costing standpoint with discounted prices, since you are buying more.
This post presents some of the advantages, and how to configure the account. 
Firstly, you will be able to create as many subscriptions as you want, so that it matches both Cost Center and enforces true separation between Development accounts and Production one (for instance).
This done by the flexible following model based on 3 roles (Enterprise Administrator, Account Owner and Service Administrator). An easy to understand tutorial in few steps is made available (less steps if you are “only” Account Owner) in your EA portal (


When you first login, you might receive this scary message. Check that the Microsoft Account you are using does not depend on other Azure Subscriptions (such as MSDN, etc...).


TUTORIAL PAGE 3/3 (with sample and static dummy data)
Now you are ready to create subscriptions, by clicking the “Add Subscription” in green below:
Now, let’s walk through the registration of a new subscription.
Login and type in the information of the Account Owner:
image  image
DONE. Here is your new subscription. WARNING, a best practice consists in renaming the default “Enterprise” subscription name into a meaningful name that suits your business. Else, you will end-up having many subscription without know which one does what.
To rename, click on “Enterprise”, i.e. the default subscription name.
In this page that relates to billing you will also be able to rename by click “Edit subscription details”
Suggestion of names’ format:
  • myCompany-myBusinessUnitA-EA-ProjectNameAA-Dev
  • myCompany-myBusinessUnitB-EA-ProjectNameBB-PreSales
  • myCompany-myBusinessUnitB-EA-ProjectNameBB-Prod

In parallel, you will receive a confirmation email:

For companies using Microsoft Azure, when applicable under conditions of being a very closed partner with Microsoft, you could activate benefits when you declare your “DPOR” Microsoft partner, Digital Partner of Reference.
Illustration :
Let us assume that the DPOR is VISEO of ID=3398971 and that you are using the old Azure portal (easier to illustrate):

CAUTION : * You must be the owner of the subscription, i.e. the Enterprise Account Role “Account Owner
* Microsoft is performing a rework to better improve the Billing on the Enterprise Agreement portal. These steps might not work in the near future

1. Log in to the portal
2. Click on your name/email
3. Click “View my bill”
4. It will redirect to another portal called “Azure Account Center" (sometimes it takes a few minutes, for secured login using Single Sign On) :
5. Choose your subscription
6. Select “Partner information”, then fill in the number 3398971. When you click “Check ID” Azure finds the corresponding DPOR.

It will send an email to your DPOR (provided you have a subscription that has an explicit naming convention).

(Vincent THAVONEKHAM, Microsoft Practice Manager @VISEO Technologies)