Alon Fliess

Alon Fliess

Microsoft Regional Director, Azure MVP, ZioNet CTO

Tel Aviv, Israel

Alon Fliess is a Software Architect and is addicted to coding. Alon is the CTO and founder of ZioNet, a platform offering advanced software development services and a hub for novice developers. He has over 30 years of experience and contributed to critical software development projects for world-leading companies.

In addition to his recognized roles as a Microsoft Regional Director since 2010 and a Microsoft MVP since 2005, Alon has a broad spectrum of expertise. This includes Microsoft Azure Architecture & Development, Internet of Things, .NET with C# on Windows and Linux, and C++ cross-platform development. Importantly, Alon also excels in designing and implementing Microservices-based solutions, a modern architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services.

A respected figure in the global software developer community, Alon is a co-author and technical reviewer of several books, a frequent conference speaker, and an Israeli Azure Developer Community leader. Besides his professional endeavors, Alon's passions involve exploring new technologies, coding, and 3D printing.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Azure
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Design
  • LLMs
  • AI
  • MSA
  • IoT
  • Production Debugging
  • .NET
  • .Net Core
  • Cross-platform
  • C#
  • C++

Using Dapr Actor Model to Implement the Saga Pattern

The Saga pattern is a widely used architectural pattern for managing long-running distributed transactions. It breaks a complex transaction into smaller, loosely-coupled sub-transactions, known as saga steps. It executes them in a coordinated manner to ensure atomicity, consistency, and isolation across the distributed system.
This lecture will introduce the Saga pattern and its benefits in distributed systems. We will then provide an overview of the Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr). This open-source runtime simplifies the development of cloud-native applications by providing a set of building blocks for distributed systems.
We will dive deeper into Dapr's Actor Model, a programming model that provides a framework for building highly scalable, fault-tolerant distributed systems. We will explore the key concepts of Actors, such as state, messaging, and activation, and how they can implement the Saga pattern.
We will then demonstrate how to use Dapr Actors to implement the Saga pattern in a distributed system. We will follow a step-by-step guide on implementing the Saga pattern using Dapr Actors and show how it can handle failures, retries, and compensations.
By the end of the lecture, attendees will have a solid understanding of the Saga pattern, the Actor Model, and how to use Dapr Actors to implement complex long-running distributed transactions. They will also learn best practices and techniques for designing and implementing scalable, resilient, distributed systems.

To Microservice or Not to Microservice? How?

Do more with less, the pain of the modern architect. High cohesion & low coupling, high availability (24/7/365) & scale, ease of deployment and operation with modern DevOps. Our systems need to support all these quality attributes while providing more functionality with fewer resources. We need to be agile, we need to embrace changes, we need to have a better way!
Micro-Service-Architecture (MSA) promises to bring a cure to the architect's pains, but does it deliver?
In this lecture, the audience will be presented with the essence of the MSA approach, how does it answer the main concerns of modern distributed systems, how to get started, how to migrate current solutions architecture to MSA by adopting an evolutionary migration path. What to be careful about and the signs that we are on the right track.
We will talk about software architecture evolution, the CAP theorem and eventual consistency, MSA principles, hosting & containers, versioning, orchestrators and decupling business processes among microservices.
By the end of this lecture, the participant will have a better understanding of why, when and how to embrace the MSA approach.

The Home Industrial Revolution - Tools and Techniques

This lecture presents the Makers' secrets, or how you can take your gadget idea and build it at home. I'll give step-by-step: how you can design an electrical system for a System-on-a-Chip IoT device and sensors, manufacture the electrical circuit board, solder the SMD components, design the 3D-printed device box, develop the embedded software, develop the cloud backend software, and have an end-to-end device connected IoT system, all at your home office.

Microservices in practice - Seamless Local-to-Cloud Development with Dapr

Developing cloud applications requires managing diverse cloud resources. In this lecture, we will introduce Dapr Components, demonstrating how to use local containerized resources to develop locally and reduce the development environment cost. We will also show how to use Visual Studio Docker support for container development and debugging.
We will then showcase how to deploy your application and resources to Azure Container Apps using Bicep, a domain-specific language for deploying Azure resources. We will demonstrate how to use Dapr as an abstraction and adaptation layer, allowing you to seamlessly switch between local and cloud resources like Azure Service Bus and Azure Storage without changing a single line of code.
Additionally, we will demonstrate how to run integration tests locally and against Azure Container Apps, ensuring your application works seamlessly in the cloud. Finally, we will showcase how to automate deployments using GitHub Actions, making deploying updates and new features to Azure Container Apps easy.

By the end of the lecture, attendees will thoroughly understand how to use Dapr Components, Docker Compose, and Bicep to create a seamless local-to-cloud development experience. They will also learn best practices and techniques for using local containerized resources, deploying applications and resources to Azure Container Apps using Dapr, running integration tests locally and in the cloud, and automating deployments using GitHub Actions.

Generative AI and Large Language Models: A Comprehensive Exploration for Developers

In this insightful 75-minute lecture, Alon Fliess, CTO of ZioNet and a recognized Microsoft Regional Director & Microsoft Azure MVP, delves into the fascinating world of Generative AI with a focus on Large Language Models (LLMs).
The lecture will explore the core components of LLM processing, including tokenizing text into manageable units, embedding these tokens into numerical vectors, utilizing transformer architectures to understand contextual relationships, and configuring the output layer for specific tasks such as text generation or classification.
The session will also explore prompt engineering and introduce various base models.
A highlight of the lecture will be an exploration of CoPilot tools, followed by an in-depth examination of how to embed LLM capabilities into your applications using the Azure OpenAI API. Practical demonstrations will illustrate how to become part of the ChatGPT ecosystem by implementing a ChatGPT plugin, empowering developers to create custom AI-powered experiences.
Concluding with a discussion on advanced tools like Auto-GPT, this lecture promises to be an engaging and informative experience for those already using LLM, ChatGPT, and CoPilot. Whether you want to deepen your understanding of generative AI or explore new ways to integrate it into your work, this lecture offers valuable insights and practical guidance.

Extending ChatGPT with C#: Building a PC Diagnostics Plugin

In the era of conversational AI, ChatGPT has emerged as a powerful tool for natural language understanding and generation. This 75-minute lecture, led by Alon Fliess, CTO of ZioNet and a Microsoft Regional Director, will delve into the exciting world of extending ChatGPT by building custom plugins using C#.
The session will begin with an overview of ChatGPT and the potential to enhance its capabilities through plugins. Participants will gain insights into the ChatGPT ecosystem and how they can leverage their existing C# .NET skills to be part of this innovative landscape.
The core of the lecture will focus on a hands-on demonstration of creating a PC Diagnostics plugin. This real-world example will showcase how developers can interact with Windows Event Log, File System, Registry, Performance Counter, System, and Network Information to troubleshoot problems, analyze system states, create diagnostics graphs, and obtain a situational picture of the status of computers within an organization.
By the end of this session, attendees will have a comprehensive understanding of how to develop ChatGPT plugins using C#. They will be equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to create their plugins, extending ChatGPT's capabilities to meet specific needs and contribute to the broader AI community.
Join us for this enlightening lecture and discover how you can harness the power of ChatGPT and C# to create innovative solutions beyond mere conversation.

Architecture Stories from the Trenches - Lesson Learned

Architecture is the outcome of the analysis process, and it defines the components, their properties, the connection between components, and the properties of those connections. Architecture is the driving force of any engineering project, including software! Whether you choose it or it just happened, all systems have an architecture.
Not all projects start with a solid architecture and some projects are over architectured.
In this talk, we discuss the meaning of software architecture and the architect's role. Then, we look at successful projects and those that failed and provide us the food of thought and the lesson to learn.
Finally, we will surface the software-architecture fashion move toured the microservice architecture, micro frontend, and cloud approach, and how these changes influence the architect's role.

Microservice Solution With Serverless Functions and Serverless Containers – Pros and Cons

Microservices – the cure for all software problems, is it?
Services are autonomous! Database for each service! Don't share code – share contracts! Continues Integration and continues deployment!
All of these are great ideas, but how?
In this lecture, we dive into the code of a .NET 7 C# based Microservices system, focusing on two serverless approaches: Azure Functions and the new Azure Container Apps. First, we start with the minimal approach of Azure Functions App as the service hosting model. Learning about resource binding and triggers to work with Cloud services such as Azure Storage Queue and CosmosDB. Then, we continue with Azure Containers Apps and Dapr, understanding the similarities between the containers-based serverless and function-based approaches.
With the knowledge gained in this lecture, the participants can choose how they implement their next microservice solution.

C# Source Code Generators in Practice

Code generation is a powerful tool that can save time and ease the development process. With C# 9 there is finally an officially supported mechanism for generating source code into your .NET projects as part of the compiler pipeline. Write code that writes code!
You can use C# source code generators by adding the generator NuGet package to your code, or even better, build and share your package.
We will see how source-code generators work, the pros and cons, and how we can leverage them as consumers or producers.
To understand the possibilities, I will present an open-source project that utilizes source code generation: The Azure IoT Source generator lets you develop a full-featured IoT hub client in seconds!

Alon Fliess

Microsoft Regional Director, Azure MVP, ZioNet CTO

Tel Aviv, Israel

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