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Microsoft MVP Award Program-Are you an MVP? Vol 14-15 | July, 2011
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Hello!  My name is Simran Chaudhry , and I am the Community Program Manager for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award Program in Canada.

On a worldwide level, approximately 4000 individuals receive the Microsoft MVP Award for their contributions and willingness to help others each year.   Within Canada, we have approximately 210 MVPs in various technologies.  The award is based on the contributions by an individual during the past 12 months of activity.  We award contributors on a quarterly basis and receiving the MVP award has no obligation on your part.  It is a way of Microsoft thanking those who help others in Microsoft technologies.

Examples of MVPs contributing to community include speaking and delivering technical sessions within their community or via conference type of events such as TechDays.  Some MVPs are online contributors who provide technical knowledge via their blogs or are active participants on forums such as Microsoft Answers ,  TechNet Forums or MSDN Forums .

During the past year a few Canadian MVPs were heavily involved in promoting Windows 7 to the community.  They had the opportunity to visit technical user groups throughout Canada as guest speakers.  The sessions involved a focus on Windows 7 deployment, making the move to Windows 7 a smooth process, sharing their real world experiences and answering questions.   

For more information about the Microsoft MVP Program or to find out how you can become an MVP, please email me or visit the  Microsoft MVP Award Program site. 

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Featured Article by Susan Ibach

SQL Azure Essentials for the Database Developer

I admit it, I am a SQL geek. I really appreciate a well designed database. I believe a good index strategy is a thing of beauty and a well written stored procedure is something to show off to your friends and co-workers. What I, personally, do not enjoy, is all the administrative stuff that goes with it. I am first and foremost a developer. That’s why I love SQL Azure. I can jump right in to the fun stuff: designing my tables, writing stored procedures and writing code to connect to my awesome new database, and I don’t have to deal with planning for redundancy in case of disk failures, and keeping up with security patches. There are lots of great videos out there to explain the basics: What is SQL Azure , Creating a SQL Azure Database . In fact there is an entire training kit to help you out when you have some time to sit down and learn. What I’d like to do today is jump right in and talk about some very specific things an experienced database developer should be aware of when working with SQL Azure. Read the rest of the article here .

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