Category Archives: SQL Server

A look at – The Architecture of the Microsoft Analytics Platform System

Architecture of the Microsoft Analytics Platform System

In April 2014, Microsoft announced the Analytics Platform System (APS) as Microsoft’s “Big Data in a Box” solution for addressing this question. APS is an appliance solution with hardware and software that is purpose built and pre-integrated to address the overwhelming variety of data while providing customers the opportunity to access this vast trove of data. The primary goal of APS is to enable the loading and querying of terabytes and even petabytes of data in a performant way using a Massively Parallel Processing version of Microsoft SQL Server (SQL Server PDW) and Microsoft’s Hadoop distribution, HDInsight, which is based off of the Hortonworks Data Platform.

Basic Design

An APS solution is comprised of three basic components:

  1. The hardware – the servers, storage, networking and racks.
  2. The fabric – the base software layer for operations within the appliance.
  3. The workloads – the individual workload types offering structured and unstructured data warehousing.

The Hardware

Utilizing commodity servers, storage, drives and networking devices from our three hardware partners (Dell, HP, and Quanta), Microsoft is able to offer a high performance scale out data warehouse solution that can grow to very large data sets while providing redundancy of each component to ensure high availability. Starting with standard servers and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) storage arrays, APS can grow from a simple 2 node and storage solution to 60 nodes. At scale, that means a warehouse that houses 720 cores, 14 TB of RAM, 6PB of raw storage and ultra-high speed networking using Ethernet and InfiniBand networks while offering the lowest price per terabyte of any data warehouse appliance on the market (Value Prism Consulting).

Fabric

The fabric layer is built using technologies from the Microsoft portfolio that enable rock solid reliability, management and monitoring without having to learn anything new. Starting with Microsoft Windows Server 2012, the appliance builds a solid foundation for each workload by providing a virtual environment based on Hyper-V that also offers high availability via Failover Clustering all managed by Active Directory. Combining this base technology with Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) and Windows Storage Spaces, the appliance is able to offer a large and expandable base fabric for each of the workloads while reducing the cost of the appliance by not requiring specialized or proprietary hardware. Each of the components offers full redundancy to ensure high-availability in failure cases.

Workloads

Building upon the fabric layer, the current release of APS offers two distinct workload types – structure data through SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and unstructured data through HDInsight (Hadoop). These workloads can be mixed within a single appliance offering flexibility to customers to tailor the appliance to the needs of their business.

SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse is a massively parallel processing, shared nothing scale-out solution for Microsoft SQL Server that eliminates the need to ‘forklift’ additional very large and very expensive hardware into your datacenter to grow as the volume of data exhaust into your warehouse increases. Instead of having to expand from a large multi-processor and connected storage system to a massive multi-processor and SAN based solution, PDW uses the commodity hardware model with distributed execution to scale out to a wide footprint. This scale wide model for execution has been proven as a very effective and economical way to grow your workload.

HDInsight is Microsoft’s offering of Hadoop for Windows based on the Hortonworks Data Platform from Hortonworks. See the HDInsight portal for details on this technology. HDInsight is now offered as a workload on APS to allow for on premise Hadoop that is optimized for data warehouse workloads. By offering HDInsight as a workload on the appliance, the pressure to define, construct and manage a Hadoop cluster has been minimized. Any by using PolyBase, Microsoft’s SQL Server to HDFS bridge technology, customers can not only manage and monitor Hadoop through tools they are familiar with but they can for the first time use Active Directory to manage security into the data stored within Hadoop – offering the same ease of use for user management offered in SQL Server.

Massively-Parallel Processing (MPP) in SQL Server

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for APS, let’s dive into how we load and process data at such high performance and scale. The PDW region of APS is a scale-out version of SQL Server that enables parallel query execution to occur across multiple nodes simultaneously. The effect is the ability to run what appears to be a very large operation into tasks that can be managed at a smaller scale. For example, a query against 100 billion rows in a SQL Server SMP environment would require the processing of all of the data in a single execution space. With MPP, the work is spread across many nodes to break the problem into more manageable and easier ways to execute tasks. In a four node appliance (see the picture below), each node is only asked to process roughly 25 billion rows – a much quicker task.

To accomplish such a feat, APS relies on a couple of key components to manage and move data within the appliance – a table distribution model and the Data Movement Service (DMS).

The first is the table distribution model that allows for a table to be either replicated to all nodes (used for smaller tables such as language, countries, etc.) or to be distributed across the nodes (such as a large fact table for sales orders or web clicks). By replicating small tables to each node, the appliance is able to perform join operations very quickly on a single node without having to pull all of the data to the control node for processing. By distributing large tables across the appliance, each node can process and return a smaller set of data returning only the relevant data to the control node for aggregation.

To create a table in APS that is distributed across the appliance, the user simply needs to add the key to which the table is distributed on:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Orders]
(
  [OrderId] ...
)
WITH
(
  DISTRIBUTION = HASH([OrderId])
)

This allows the appliance to split the data and place incoming data onto the appropriate node onto the appropriate node in the appliance.

The second component is the Data Movement Service (DMS) that manages the routing of data within the appliance. DMS is used in partnership with the SQL Server query (which creates the execution plan) to distribute the execution plan to each node. DMS then aggregates the results back to the control node of the appliance which can perform any final execution before returning the results to the caller. DMS is essentially the traffic cop within APS that enables queries to be executed and data moved within the appliance across 2-60 nodes.

Performance

With the introduction of Clustered Column Indexes (CCI) in SQL Server, APS is able to take advantage of the performance gains to better process and store data within the appliance. In typical data warehouse workloads, we commonly see very wide table designs to eliminate the need to join tables at scale (to improve performance). The use of Clustered Column Indexes allows SQL Server to store data in columnar format versus row format. This approach enables queries that don’t utilize all of the columns of a table to more efficiently retrieve the data from memory or disk for processing – increasing performance.

By combining CCI tables with parallel processing and the fast processing power and storage systems of the appliance, customers are able to improve overall query performance and data compression quite significantly versus a traditional single server data warehouse. Often times, this means reductions in query execution times from many hours to a few minutes or even seconds. The net results is that companies are able to take advantage of the exhaust of structured or non-structured data at real or near real-time to empower better business decisions.

How To : Run SAP Applications on the Microsoft Platform

SAP on SQL General Update for Customers & Partners April 2014

SAP and Microsoft are continuously adding new features and functionalities to the SAP on SQL Server platform. The key objective of the SAP on Windows SQL port is to deliver the best performance and availability at the lowest TCO. This blog includes updates, fixes, enhancements and best practice recommendations collated over recent months.

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Key topics in this blog: SQL Server 2014 First Customer Shipment program now available, Intel release new powerful E7 v2 processors, Windows 2012 R2 is now GA and customers are recommended to upgrade SQL Server 2012 CU to avoid a bug that can impact performance.

1.        SQL Server 2014 Release & Integration with SAP NetWeaver

SQL Server 2014 is now released and publically available. SAP are proceeding with the certification and integration of SQL Server 2014 with NetWeaver applications and other applications such as Business Objects.

Customers planning to implement SQL Server 2014 are advised to target upgrading to the following support pack stacks. Customers who wish to start projects on SQL Server 2014 or if early production support on SQL Server 2014 is required please follow the instructions in Note 1966681 – Release planning for Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Required SAP ABAP NetWeaver Support Package Stacks for SQL Server 2014

SAP SOFTWARE SUPPORT PACKAGE STACK (SPS)
SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 SPS 29, for SAP BW: SPS 30 (7.0 SPS 30 contains SAP_BASIS SP 30 and SAP_BW SP 32)
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 SPS 15, for SAP BW: SPS 15
SAP EHP2 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 SPS 14, for SAP BW: SPS 15
SAP EHP3 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 SPS 9
SAP NETWEAVER 7.1 SPS17
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.1 SPS 12, for SAP BW: SPS13
SAP NETWEAVER 7.3 SPS 10, for SAP BW: SPS11
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.3 SPS 9, for SAP BW: SPS11
SAP NETWEAVER 7.4 SPS 4, for SAP BW: SPS06

Java only systems do in general not require a dedicated support package stack for SQL Server 2014.

Note 1966701 – Setting up Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Note 1966681 – Release planning for Microsoft SQL Server 2014

New features in SQL Server 2014 are documented in a five part blog series here

Also see key new SQL Server Engine Features and SQL Server Managed Backups to Azure. Free trial Azure accounts can be created for backup testing. To test latency to the nearest Azure Region use this tool http://azurespeedtest.azurewebsites.net/

2.        New Enhancements for Performance and Functionality for SAP BW Systems

SAP BW customers can reduce database size, improve query performance and improve load/process chain performance by implementing SAP Support Packs, Notes and SQL Server Column Store.

All SAP on BW customers are strongly recommended to review these blogs:

SQL Server Column-Store: Updated SAP BW code

Optimizing BW Query Performance

Increasing BW cube compression performance

SQL Server Column-Store with SAP BW Aggregates

Performance of index creation

It is recommended to upgrade SAP BW systems to SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014 and implement Column Store. Customer experiences so far have shown dramatic space savings of 20-45% and very good performance improvements.

BW customers with poor cube compression performance are highly encouraged to implement the fixes in Increasing BW cube compression performance

3.        SAP Note 1612283 Updated – IvyBridge EX E7 v2 Processor Released

Intel has released a new processor for 4 socket and 8 socket servers. The Intel E7 v2 IvyBridge EX processors almost doubles the performance compared to the previous Westmere EX E7 processor.

Even the largest SAP systems in the world are able to run on standard low cost Intel based hardware. Intel based systems are in fact considerably more powerful than high cost proprietary UNIX systems such as IBM pSeries. In addition to performance enhancements many reliability features have been added onto modern servers and built into the Windows operating system to allow Windows customers to meet the same service levels on Wintel servers that previously required high cost proprietary hardware.

  1. 4 socket HP DL580 Intel E7 v2 = 133,570 SAPSor 24,450 users
  2. 4 socket IBM pSeries Power7+ = 68,380 SAPS or 12,528 users

  3. 8 socket Fujitsu Intel E7 v2 = 259,680 SAPS or 47,500 users

Source: SAP SD 2 Tier Benchmarks http://global.sap.com/solutions/benchmark/sd2tier.epx   See end of blog for full disclosure

SAP Note 1612283 – Hardware Configuration Standards and Guidance has been updated to include recommendations for new Intel E5 v2, E7 v2 and AMD equivalent based systems. Customers are advised to ensure that new hardware is purchased with sufficient RAM as per the guidance in this SAP Note.

Most SAP Systems exhibit a ratio of Database SAPS to SAP application server SAPS of about 20% for DB and 80% for SAP application server. An 8 socket Intel server can deliver more than 200,000 SAPS, meaning one SAP on SQL Server system can deliver more than 1,000,000 SAPS. There are few if any single SAP systems in the world that are more than 1,000,000 SAPS, therefore these powerful platforms are recommended as consolidation platforms. This is explained in attachment to SAP Note 1612283. Many SQL databases and SAP systems can be consolidated onto a single powerful Windows & SQL Server infrastructure.

4.        SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update Recommended

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 CU3, CU4, CU5 & CU6 contains a bug that can impact performance on SAP systems.

It is strongly recommended to update to SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 CU 9 (the bug is fixed in CU7 & CU8 as well).

Microsoft will release a Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2012 in the future

SQL Service Packs and Cumulative Updates can be found here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlreleaseservices/

Bug is documented here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2895494

5.        Windows Server 2012 R2 – Shared Virtual Hard Disk for SAP ASCS Cluster

Windows Server 2012 R2 is now Generally Available for most NetWeaver applications and includes new features for Hyper-V Virtualization.

Feedback from customers has indicated that the vHBA feature offered in Windows 2012 requires that the OEM device drivers and firmware on the HBA card be up to date.

If the device drivers and firmware are not up to date, the vHBA can hang.

The SAP Central Services Highly Available cluster requires a shared disk to hold the /SAPMNT share. Therefore a shared disk is required inside a Hyper-V Virtual Machine.

There are now three options:

  1. iSCSI – generally only for small customers
  • vHBA – suitable for customers of any size, but driver/firmware must be up to date

  • Shared Virtual Hard Disk – available now in Windows 2012 R2. Simple to setup and configure RECOMMENDED

  • Windows 2012 R2 offers this feature and it is generally recommended for customers wanting to create guest clusters on Hyper-V to protect the SAP Central Services.

    SQL Server can also utilize Shared Virtual Hard Disk, however we generally recommend using SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn for providing high availability

    Aidan Finn provides a useful blog on configuring Shared Virtual Hard Disk

    For more information about SAP on Hyper-V see this blog series How to Deploy SAP on Microsoft Private Cloud with Hyper-V 3.0 and SAP Note 1409608 – Virtualization on Windows

    6.        Important Notes for SAP BW Migration Customers

    Customers migrating SAP BW systems using R3load must pay particular attention to the SAP System Copy Notes and the supplementary SAP Note 888210 – NW 7.**: System copy (supplementary note)

    SAP BW and some other SAP components have special properties on some tables. These special properties are defined in DBMS specific definition files generated by SMIGR_CREATE_DDL.

    Prior to exporting a SAP BW system SMIGR_CREATE_DDL must be run. There are some important updates for the program SMIGR_CREATE_DDL that must be applied in the source system before the export. SAP Note 888210 will list all required notes. BW Systems running very old support packs must be checked very carefully and possibly other notes should be applied. The following notes should be implemented:

    1901705 – Long import runtime with certain tables on MSSQL

    1747330 – Missing data base indexes after system copy to MSSQL

    1993315 – SMIGR_CREATE_DDL: double columns in create index statements

    1771177 – SQL Server 2012 column-store support for SAP BW

    Customers migrating to SQL Server should review this blog: SAP OS/DB Migration to SQL Server–FAQ v5.2 April 2014

    7.        SQL Server AlwaysOn – Parameter AlwaysOn HealthCheckTimeout & LeaseTimeout. What are these values?

    SQL Server AlwaysOn leverages Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) technology to determine resource health, quorum and control the status of a SQL Server Availability Group. The WSFC resource DLL of the availability group performs a health check of the primary replica by calling the sp_server_diagnostics stored procedure on the instance of SQL Server that hosts the primary replica. sp_server_diagnostics returns results at an interval that equals 1/3 of the health-check timeout threshold for the availability group. The default health-check timeout threshold is 30 seconds, which causes sp_server_diagnostics to return at a 10-second interval. If sp_server_diagnostics is slow or is not returning information, the resource DLL will wait for the full interval of the health-check timeout threshold before determining that the primary replica is unresponsive. If the primary replica is unresponsive or if the sp_server_diagnostics returns a failure level equal to or in excess of the configured failure level, an automatic failover is initiated.

    In addition to the above there is a further layer of logic to prevent another scenario:

    1. SQL Server Primary replica becomes extremely busy, so busy the operating system or SQL Server is saturated and cannot reply to the WSFC resource DLL within the configured period of time (default 30 seconds)
  • Windows Failover Cluster tries to stop SQL Server on the busy node, but is unable to communicate as the server is so busy. WSFC will assume the node has become isolated from the network and will start the failover process to and start SQL Server on another node. SQL Server is now running on another host

  • Eventually the condition causing the original host to be extremely busy finishes and client connections might continue to process on the first node (a very bad thing because we now have two “Primaries”)

  • To prevent this the Primary Node must connect to the WSFC resource DLL and obtain a lease periodically. This is controlled by the parameter LeaseTimeout. The Primary AlwaysOn Node must renew this lease otherwise the Primary will offline the database.

    Therefore there are two important parameters – HealthCheckTimeout and LeaseTimeout.

    Some customers have encountered problems with unexplained AlwaysOn failovers during activities such as initializing new Log Shipping or AlwaysOn Nodes via network or network backup while SQL Server is very busy. It is strongly recommended to use good quality 10G network cards, run Windows 2012 or Windows 2012 R2 and avoid using 3rd party network teaming utilities like HP Network Configuration Utility (NCU). In rare cases increasing both of these parameters may be needed.

    Additional Blog: SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn – Part 7 – Details behind an AlwaysOn Availability Group

     

    8.        FusionIO Format Settings

    FusionIO or other in server SSD devices are now very common and are strongly recommended for customers that require high performance SQL Server infrastructure. The use of FusionIO and SSD is further recommended and detailed in Note 1612283 – Hardware Configuration Standards and Guidance and Infrastructure Recommendations for SAP on SQL Server: “in-memory” Performance.

    FusionIO devices are usually used for holding SQL Server transaction logs and tempdb. If the transaction log and tempdb datafiles and log files are placed on FusionIO we recommend:

    1. FusionIO card is formatted for maximum WRITE. This will reduce the usable space significantly
  • FusionIO physical level format should be 4k (not 8k – it is a proprietary format size)

  • Make sure server BIOS is set for MAX Fan blow out – FusionIO will slow down if it becomes hot (FusionIO device will throttle IO if temperature increases)

  • Update FusionIO and Server BIOS to latest

  • Format Windows disks NTFS Allocation Unit Size 64k

  • 9.        VHDX/VHD Format Settings

    Windows NTFS File System Allocation Unit Size default size is 4096 bytes. Smaller Allocation Unit Sizes (AUS) is more efficient for storing many small files. Larger AUS sizes such as 64k are more efficient for larger files.

    The file system holding the VHDX files for SQL Server virtual machines running on Hyper-V may benefit from a 64 kilobyte NTFS AUS size.

    The NTFS AUS of the file system inside the VHDX file must be 64 kilobytes

    The AUS size can be checked with the command below:

    fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo <Drive letter>:

    10.        Do Not Install SAPGUI on SAP Servers

    Windows Servers have the ability to run many desktop PC applications such as SAPGUI and Internet Explorer however it is strongly recommended not to install this software on SAP servers, particularly production servers.

    1. To improve reliability of an operating system it is recommended to install as few software packages as possible. This will not only improve reliability and performance, but will also make debugging any issues considerably simpler
  • SAPGUI is in practice almost impossible to remove completely. SAPGUI installation installs DLLs into Windows directory

  • “A server is a server, a PC is a PC”. Customers are encouraged to restrict access to production servers by implementing Server Hardening Procedure. SAP Servers should not be used as administration consoles and there should be no need to directly connect to a server. Almost all administration can be done remotely

  •  

     

    Links

    How It Works: SQL Server AlwaysOn Lease Timeout

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/psssql/archive/2012/09/07/how-it-works-sql-server-alwayson-lease-timeout.aspx

    Flexible Failover Policy for Automatic Failover of an Availability Group (SQL Server)

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh710061.aspx

    Configure HealthCheckTimeout Property Settings

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff878665.aspx

    150 FREE Microsoft eBooks, covering Windows 7, Windows 8, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 365, Office Web Apps, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2013, Azure

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    Today, I am happy to share some fantastic news and some information I have been asked for that you said would be helpful for you:

    Here’s the list of the Top 50 FREE Microsoft eBooks downloaded so far:

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    MOBI
    PDF
    Transact-SQL Data Definition Language (DDL) Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    XQuery Language Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Extracting and Loading SharePoint Data in SQL Server Integration Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Integration Services: Extending Packages with Scripting
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Multidimensional Model Programming
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Optimized Bulk Loading of Data into Oracle
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Planning Disaster Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Reporting Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Writing Transact-SQL Statements
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    SQL Server Community FAQs Manual
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Tabular Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Data Mining
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Multidimensional Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit Cmdlet Reference for App Controller in System Center 2012 SP1
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Technical Documentation for System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Upgrade Team Foundation Server 2012: the ultimate upgrade guide
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Better Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Dependency Injection with Unity
    PDF
    Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Enterprise Library (Second Edition)
    PDF
    Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012
    PDF
    ASP.NET Multi-Tier Windows Azure Application Using Storage Tables, Queues, and Blobs
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    ASP.NET Web Deployment using Visual Studio
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Developing Modern Mobile Web Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    The Entity Framework 4.0 and ASP.NET Web Forms – Getting Started
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Getting Started with the Entity Framework 4.1 using ASP.NET MVC
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Project Silk: Client-Side Web Development for Modern Browsers
    PDF
    Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Windows Azure Service Bus Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Introducing ASP.NET Web Pages 2
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Own Your Future
    PDF
    XPS
    Developing an Advanced Windows Phone 7.5 App that Connects to the Cloud Developing Applications for the Cloud, 2nd Edition
    Autoscaling Application Block and Transient Fault Handling Application Block Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Create Your First Application: Node.js and Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Developing Multi-tenant Applications for the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
    PDF
    Drupal on Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Exploring CQRS and Event Sourcing: A journey into high scalability, availability, and maintainability with Windows Azure
    PDF
    Migrating Data-Centric Applications to Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Moving Applications to the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
    PDF
    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your iOS Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Phone 8 Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your Windows Store Apps in C#
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Store Apps in JavaScript
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Windows Azure and SQL Database Tutorials
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Windows Azure Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications – Developer’s Guide to the Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Windows Azure
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Deployment guide for Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0 Preview Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Guides: Financials
    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 User’s Guide Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer Training Kit Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Implementation Guide Digital Storytelling
    Free Tools in the Classroom Windows Live Movie Maker in the Classroom Windows 7 in the Classroom Microsoft Office Web Apps Teaching Guide
    Microsoft Office in the Classroom Developing Critical Thinking through Web Research Skills Bing in the Classroom A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control, Second Edition
    PDF
    Introducing Windows Server 2012
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows
    PDF
    Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions
    PDF
    XPS
    Introducing Windows Server 2012 – RTM Edition!
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI
    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    PDF
    XPS
    Lync for Mac 2011 Deployment Guide Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit Tools
    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Security Guide Developing Applications for the Cloud – 2nd Edition Visual Studio LightSwitch Training Kit
    “Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online” Digital Book for Teens

    Once again, thank you to all of you for sharing this information with others to let them know about these resources being made available to them from Microsoft, absolutely FREE! Please continue to share these with others so they too can have access to this information to help them as they travel down their path of learning and knowledge in the computer field. I’m sure I will be putting future collections of eBooks up here on the blog as I come across more and compile further lists, so be sure you are subscribed to the blog and following me online through my variety of social media entities, including through my Microsoft Info Partner Windows Phone mobile app that brings you the latest Microsoft information directly from our teams here at Microsoft. Also, if you’re heading to Worldwide Partner Conference this year, be sure to come up, introduce yourself (if we haven’t met before), or say Hi (if we have met) and join in on becoming part of the Fantastic People of WPC13 that I will be compiling this year.

    Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as:

    Get the Microsoft Info Partner Mobile App and get access to the latest from all of those plus: product teams, MPN teams, Microsoft News and hundreds more resources here at Microsoft right on your phone:

    Almost 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks, covering Windows 7, Windows 8, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 365, Office Web Apps, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2013,

    FREE! Now there’s a word that everyone can get excited about, right? Well, after looking at the results of the three “Free Microsoft eBooks” posts I have shared here this fiscal year (Microsoft’s fiscal year is July 1 – June 30), it is amazing to see the excitement that has come about from them and the incredible amount of downloads that have taken place to date! Just last week, I put up the third post in the series of Free Microsoft eBooks giveaways this fiscal year and said that I wanted to give away 1,000,000 FREE downloads of the Microsoft eBooks. I’ll admit, some people thought I was crazy to put up a target as large as 1,000,000, but I had faith in my blog readers and social media followers to help spread the word and share the excitement about the offer.

    Today, I am happy to share some fantastic news and some information I have been asked for that you said would be helpful for you:

    1) I am happy to announce that we have reached the 1,000,000 FREE download mark for the Microsoft eBooks since my post went live last week! Thank you to all of you for helping spread the word and let others know about this offer.

    2) I went back and looked at how we’re doing on the downloads of all of the eBooks from my three FREE Microsoft eBooks posts this fiscal year, and I am happy to share that we have now exceeded the 3,500,000 FREE downloads mark for the almost 150 Microsoft eBooks included in my posts since they went live! It only seemed fitting that we hit the 1,000,000 mark for last week’s post in the same 24 hour period that we exceeded the 3,500,000 mark all up for the giveaways. Again, thank you to all of you for sharing these offers this year!

    3) I have been asked if once we hit the 1,000,000 FREE download mark if the offer to download the books would expire. The answer is, “No, please keep downloading the books and sharing these links with your peers, counterparts, and anyone else you think could benefit from them!”

    4) Several people have asked me, “Do you have a list of the most popular eBooks being downloaded out of the ones you’ve shared?” Well, I hadn’t tallied up the list and shared anything prior to today; however, since I’ve received the ask enough times and was looking at the numbers last night, I thought I would share with you the top 50 FREE Microsoft eBooks in order, in terms of number of downloads to date since I posted about them, so you can see what they are (and make sure you have them if you don’t already). Now, something to keep in mind as you look at this list of the top 50 below, remember that two of my posts went live last July and the third one just went up last week. I call this out because the ones that have been posted since last July have obviously had more time to be downloaded, so the numbers will be skewed a little just based on that. An interesting thing I found while compiling this list of the top 50 though was, there are actually four of them that are from my post last week! That’s VERY impressive to see the download numbers grow that fast for these items in just over week to overcome 11 months worth of download time for the others. The four from last week that are flying up the charts are:

    • Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses: Help and How To
    • Deployment guide for Office 2013
    • Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
    • Explore SharePoint 2013

    So if you want to glean some insights into what’s hot right now and on top of people’s minds, it’s Office 365, Office 2013, Windows 8 (and app development for it), and SharePoint 2013. When you compare that list to the rest in the top 50, you see lots of interest in these topics, plus Windows Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Virtualization and Windows Phone, just to name a few. So, are you up to speed on these hot topics? If not, why not grab some FREE eBooks and get going?

    Here’s the list of the Top 50 FREE Microsoft eBooks downloaded so far:

       

    Windows 7 Power Users Guide

    PDF

    Introducing Windows Server 2012 – RTM Edition!
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Programming Windows Phone 7
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    PDF
    XPS

    Get started with SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Office 365 – Connect and Collaborate virtually anywhere, anytime
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions
    PDF
    XPS

    Microsoft Office 2010 First Look
    PDF
    XPS

    Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
    VS2005 PDF
    VS2005 XPS
    VS2008 PDF
    VS2008 XPS

    Getting started with
    Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT Professionals
    PDF
    MOBI
    DOC
    XPS

    Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB

    Programming Windows Phone 7 (Special Excerpt 2)
    PDF

    Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Tabular Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Data Mining
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 Users
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance
    PDF

    Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Own Your Future
    PDF
    XPS

    Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Multidimensional Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deployment guide for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing ASP.NET Web Pages 2
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses: Help and How To
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Business continuity management for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Configure Kerberos Authentication for SharePoint 2010 Products
    DOCX
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deployment guide for Office 2013
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit

    PDF

    Technical reference for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals
    DOC
    PDF
    XPS

    Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Developing Applications for the Cloud, 2nd Edition

    PDF

    Governance guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support (Windows 7)
    PDF
    XPS

    Programming Windows 8 Apps 2nd Preview
    PDF

    Planning guide for sites and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Part 1
    PDF
    DOC
    XPS

    Welcome to Windows 7

    PDF

    Explore SharePoint 2013
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Profile synchronization guide for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Operations guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals
    DOC
    PDF
    XPS

    5) The other thing I have been asked many times is, “Do you have one single post with all of the eBooks listed so we can go through them instead of bouncing between the three different posts?” The answer to that has been No to date; however, I figured that since I was pulling together all of the stats last night, I could pull together the books into a single list as well. As such, here they are, almost 150 completely FREE Microsoft eBooks for you to download and use: (NOTE: If you don’t see a list of links below the book image, it is because it is only available in one format. Just click on the image and your download will begin)

    Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Programming Windows Phone 7
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Programming Windows Phone 7 (Special Excerpt 2)
    PDF

    Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
    VS2005 PDF
    VS2005 XPS
    VS2008 PDF
    VS2008 XPS

    Windows 7 Power Users Guide

    Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance
    PDF

    Welcome to Windows 7

    What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support (Windows 7)
    PDF
    XPS

    Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring 1.0
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 7
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 1.0
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo
    PDF

    Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using JavaScript: Hilo
    PDF

    Prism for the Windows Runtime: Developing a Windows Store business app using C#, XAML, and Prism
    PDF

    Office 365 – Connect and Collaborate virtually anywhere, anytime
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Microsoft Office 2010 First Look
    PDF
    XPS

    Deployment guide for Office 2013
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses: Help and How To
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Getting started with
    Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT Professionals
    PDF
    MOBI
    DOC
    XPS

    Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 Users
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Planning guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals
    DOC
    PDF
    XPS

    Deployment guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals
    DOC
    PDF
    XPS

    Deployment guide for Office 2013 Preview

    Office 2010 Developer Training Kit

    Office 365 Developer Training Kit

    Office 365 Guides for professionals and small businesses

    Technical reference for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals
    DOC
    PDF
    XPS

    Business continuity management for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deployment guide for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Get started with SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Explore SharePoint 2013
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Deployment guide for SharePoint 2013
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Test Lab Guide: eBook for SharePoint Server 2013 Intranet and Team Sites
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF
    DOC

    Create a Balanced Scorecard (SharePoint Server 2010)
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SharePoint Server for Business Intelligence
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Deployment guide for SharePoint 2013 Preview

    Getting started with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010

    Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

    Governance guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Profile synchronization guide for SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Remote BLOB storage for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Getting Started with SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    DOC
    XPS
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Planning guide for sites and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Part 1
    PDF
    DOC
    XPS

    Planning guide for sites and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Part 2
    PDF
    DOC
    XPS

    Planning guide for server farms and environments for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    XPS
    DOC

    Capacity planning for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    PDF
    XPS
    DOC

    5 Tips for a Smooth SSIS Upgrade to SQL Server 2012
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    A Hitchiker’s Guide to Microsoft StreamInsight Queries
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Data Mining Extensions (DMX) Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Data Quality Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    High Availability Solutions
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Master Data Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Monitor and Tune for Performance
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server Distributed Replay
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Transact-SQL Data Definition Language (DDL) Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    XQuery Language Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Extracting and Loading SharePoint Data in SQL Server Integration Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Integration Services: Extending Packages with Scripting
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Multidimensional Model Programming
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Optimized Bulk Loading of Data into Oracle
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Planning Disaster Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Reporting Services
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Writing Transact-SQL Statements
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server Community FAQs Manual
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Tabular Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Data Mining
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Multidimensional Modeling
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit

    Cmdlet Reference for App Controller in System Center 2012 SP1
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Technical Documentation for System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Upgrade Team Foundation Server 2012: the ultimate upgrade guide
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Better Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Dependency Injection with Unity
    PDF

    Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Enterprise Library (Second Edition)
    PDF

    Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012
    PDF

    ASP.NET Multi-Tier Windows Azure Application Using Storage Tables, Queues, and Blobs
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    ASP.NET Web Deployment using Visual Studio
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Developing Modern Mobile Web Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    The Entity Framework 4.0 and ASP.NET Web Forms – Getting Started
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Getting Started with the Entity Framework 4.1 using ASP.NET MVC
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Project Silk: Client-Side Web Development for Modern Browsers
    PDF

    Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Windows Azure Service Bus Reference
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing ASP.NET Web Pages 2
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Own Your Future
    PDF
    XPS

    Developing an Advanced Windows Phone 7.5 App that Connects to the Cloud

    Developing Applications for the Cloud, 2nd Edition

    Autoscaling Application Block and Transient Fault Handling Application Block Reference
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Create Your First Application: Node.js and Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Developing Multi-tenant Applications for the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
    PDF

    Drupal on Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Exploring CQRS and Event Sourcing: A journey into high scalability, availability, and maintainability with Windows Azure
    PDF

    Migrating Data-Centric Applications to Windows Azure
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Moving Applications to the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
    PDF

    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your iOS Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Phone 8 Apps
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your Windows Store Apps in C#
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Store Apps in JavaScript
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Windows Azure and SQL Database Tutorials
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Windows Azure

    Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications – Developer’s Guide to the Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Windows Azure
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Deployment guide for Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0 Preview

    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Guides: Financials

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 User’s Guide

    Dynamics CRM 2011 Developer Training Kit

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Implementation Guide

    Digital Storytelling

    Free Tools in the Classroom

    Windows Live Movie Maker in the Classroom

    Windows 7 in the Classroom

    Microsoft Office Web Apps Teaching Guide

    Microsoft Office in the Classroom

    Developing Critical Thinking through Web Research Skills

    Bing in the Classroom

    A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control, Second Edition
    PDF

    Introducing Windows Server 2012
    EPUB
    MOBI
    PDF

    TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows
    PDF

    Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions
    PDF
    XPS

    Introducing Windows Server 2012 – RTM Edition!
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    PDF
    EPUB
    MOBI

    Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    PDF
    XPS

    Lync for Mac 2011 Deployment Guide

    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit Tools

    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit

    Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Security Guide

    Developing Applications for the Cloud – 2nd Edition

    Visual Studio LightSwitch Training Kit

    “Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online” Digital Book for Teens

    SharePoint Samurai