Lonnie Bowling

How I became interested in the cloud (or releasing data to the wild)

Blog Post created by Lonnie Bowling Champion on May 14, 2012

I have this dream to see PI data on an iPhone.  I think this would be a fantastic thing.  I really do.  There are so many people walking about with iPhones and having access to their data would be a tremendous benefit.  How can we make this possible?


I have this conversation with myself at least once a week and have spent a lot of time thinking and researching various possibilities.  This is what led me to the cloud.  See, if you are serious about providing data to an iPhone, or any mobile device, then you have to consider that fact that this data will be traversing the Internet, or what I like to call, the wild.  Data in the wild is a problem for most of us.  How do we prevent others from seeing it? How to we insure that the person asking for the data is who they say they are?




To be blunt, it is all about security.  And the cloud offers the capabilities that I need.  By the cloud, I really mean Microsoft’s Azure.  They have some nice services, like Access Control Service (ACS), and the service bus.  I have found that these two features enable me to solve the “wild” problem.  I can secure my data and authenticate users.  This allows me to sleep at night and tell my clients that they are OK.  To play on an old cliché, “you can have your PI and eat it too.”  I know, that was pretty bad :)




But, as a developer this means I need to understand what the cloud is about, how to talk to my clients (either my boss, users, other departments, or paying customers)  without freaking them out and really get the point across that we can do this in a safe way.  We can get the data to your phone or tablet in a secure way and use the power of the cloud to help us out.   I think it can be a very positive conversation if approached the right way.  But it first starts with us getting up-to-speed with this technology.




So how does this cloudy stuff work?  I will be talking about this subject in coming blogs.  You don’t necessary have to write cloud services or anything that intense, but all of us should want to really try to understand what the cloud is about and why it is such an important part of getting our data to the mobile world.  This is a big part of the mobile puzzle and you will be doing yourself a favor by learning what it could mean to you and your organization. 




Thanks for reading.