Most Active Speaker

Sam Nasr

Sam Nasr

Sr. Software Engineer (NIS Technologies)

Cleveland, Ohio, United States


Sam Nasr has been a software developer since 1995, focusing mostly on Microsoft technologies. He’s a Sr. Software Engineer with NIS Technologies where he consults and teaches clients about the latest .NET technologies. Sam has achieved multiple certifications from Microsoft (MCSA, MCAD, MCTS, MCT), and is the leader of the Cleveland C# since 2003. In addition, he’s the leader of the .NET Study Group, Azure Cleveland User Group, an author for Visual Studio Magazine, and a 6x Microsoft MVP. When not coding, Sam loves spending time with his family and friends or volunteering at his local church. You can learn more about Sam by visiting


  • Most Active Speaker 2023

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Leaning
  • Azure
  • .net framework
  • C#.Net
  • SqlServer
  • JavaScript

Overview of Azure Speech Services

Speech Services is one of five categories offered by Azure Cognitive Services. Within the Speech category, there are four services:
• Speech to Text
• Text to Speech
• Speech Translation
• Speaker Recognition
During this session, we’ll explore how each service works and requirements for proper setup and use. In addition, we’ll look at ways these services can be combined with other services to provide a richer experience.

Overview of Azure Cognitive Services

Azure Cognitive Services provide the ability for applications to interact with users with the human touch.
By using these services, applications now have the ability to see, hear, speak, and understand human interactions. This is made accessible by a set of rich APIs for use in web, desktop, or mobile applications in virtually every language. In this presentation, we’ll discuss the four major categories of Azure Cognitive Services, and briefly view the rich features within each one.

Intro to Spark Machine Learning in Azure Synapse

Many organizations utilize more diverse products and services to accomodate their end users. This creates various distributed data models where Machine Learning would be needed. The Spark Machine Learning library provides the ability for developers to focus on the Machine Learning model using distributed data, while abstracting away the complexities surrounding it such as configuration or infrastructure.
Azure Synapse Analytics is a service that brings together data integration, enterprise data warehousing, and big data analytics. It allows data to be queried using either serverless or dedicated options—at scale. Azure Synapse also has the ability to incorporate Machine Learning solutions with Spark. In this session, we'll discuss how this functionality can be implemented as part of a Azure Data solution.

Data Cleansing for Machine Learning

Machine Learning is heavily dependent on the data being provided. More data will help build a better model. However, the problem arises when the data doesn't properly represent the business model or contains values that could be misleading. In this session we'll review the key concepts and tools for proper data cleansing to ensure accurate Machine Learning models.

Data Cleansing using Data Bricks

Machine Learning is highly dependent on adequate data. Not only does quantity matter, but more importantly quality. In this session we’ll cover how to build a custom automated process using Data Bricks. This will provide methods for cleaning data in a data lake using functions in Azure.

Creating a Speech Bot using Azure Speech SDK

Azure cognitive services offer a wide variety of services to add intelligence into an application. The Azure speech bot is one of those services offering the ability to verbally speak to an end user. It can produce speech from preformed text or conduct open-ended conversation in a natural manner. Azure Speech Bot service can be leveraged by a variety of programming languages and existing databases, offering a more human-like experience to customers.

Storing and Searching Files in SQL Server Filetables

FileTables is a SQL Server features that allows easy storage and access to documents dynamically. After some initial setup, users can simply drag files into a folder and then be able to access their meta-data and contents through SQL Server, seamlessly. Due to the way FileTable uses the FileStream feature, it stores files on the file system but maintains the metadata in the database. This allows full control over the file while not bloating the database.

SQL Server 2016 Security Features

SQL Server 2016 provides several new security features for developers and architects. Features such as Dynamic Data Masking (DDM), "Always Encrypted", and Row-Level Security provide an additional level of security natively through the database server. We'll explore the implementation of these features on the client/server for data in transmission or at rest. In addition, we'll examine built-in features and custom implementations.

New Features in SSRS

After being thoroughly revamped, SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) offers several new features, making it more robust than ever. These features include Web Report Portal with KPI, Mobile Report Publisher, Redesigned report rendering engine supporting HTML5, and treemap & sunburst chart types.
With intuitive interfaces and rich data visualization, business users and stake holders can now view valuable information, not just numbers. This session will cover requirements for installing and configuring SSIS, and how to quickly generate reports.

JavaScript Worker Procs, Communication, and Storage Features

JavaScript has become one of the dominant languages on the web. To enable a richer client experience, JavaScript utilizes worker processes that expedite AJAX calls with little complexity, and web sockets for bi-directional communication. In addition, JavaScript APIs are now available to facilitate user’s geographical location access. In this session, we’ll review these features and discuss how they can be applied to any modern web site.
 Web Workers
 Web Sockets
 GeoLocation
 Web Storage
 Modernizr

Introduction to SQL Server JSON Functions

JSON functions have been included with SQL Server 2016 and later, allowing data to be retrieved in JSON formats, as well as writing JSON documents to tables. By using these functions, data can be retrieved in a ready to use format by applications or sent to other trading partners. We'll discuss the basics of JSON, and demonstrate the use of SQL Server's built-in JSON functions.

Introduction to Azure Storage

Azure offers a variety of different storage options, each with its own pros and cons. Some of these include Blob Storage, File Storage, Table Storage, and Queue Storage. In this session we’ll explore the various options, where they can be a fit, and demonstrate how they can be implemented.

Adding Machine Learning to .Net Applications

Machine Learning has been gaining wide acceptance due to its ability to make a determination in various scenarios based on specific training. It is now available to .Net developers for integration into applications. This allows it to be effective and ubiquitous in the enterprise. .Net developers can now incorporate machine learning into line-of-business applications using Visual Studio and C#. This session will walk you through the fundamentals of creating an ML integrated application and ongoing model training.

Advanced Features in Web APIs

The ASP.NET Web API framework allows a single Web service to communicate with multiple clients in various formats such as XML and JSON directly over HTTP. The architecture is designed to support applications built with REST, but it does not force new applications to use a REST-style architecture. In this session we’ll discuss various ways of creating and consuming Web APIs, different output formats, including BSON, and tools for testing and debugging.

Artificial Intelligence Programming with T-SQL

Artificial Intelligence has been available to developers via API or libraries for integration with Code. Now SQL Server offers Artificial Intelligence via T-SQL. In this session we'll look at specifying a model for making decisions about time series data, programming the model using T-SQL, and evaluating the results of the model.

Building Decision Intelligence into Applications

Most web applications simply provide the content for the user along with a standard list of links and articles. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to customize this list of links for each user, making it a better user experience? The Azure Custom Decision Service provides contextual decision-making, allowing for a more robust user experience. It does so by converting content into features for Machine Learning. This technology utilizes several other Microsoft Cognitive Services, such as Entity Linking, Text Analytics, Emotion, and Computer Vision for a more personalized and intelligent experience.

Building Web Apps with Blazor

Blazor is a .NET web framework used for building web applications that can run in any browser. It uses C#/Razor and HTML, with no plugins needed. Blazor runs in the browser on a real .NET runtime (Mono) implemented in WebAssembly that executes normal .NET assemblies. It also supports older browsers by using an asm.js based .NET runtime.

Data Time Travel with SQL Server Temporal Tables

Many times developers have to support users by answering the “What happened to the data?” The task of retrieving data from a specific point in time is not an easy one. Often this involves retrieving a backup and restoring the data in question (hopefully!). SQL Server 2016 introduced Temporal Tables, allowing a developer to retrieve data from a specific point in time, without backups. With a few TSQL commands a historical table can be created, automatically updated, and readily accessed.

Giving Sight to Applications

The Custom Vision Service is part of Azure's Cognitive Services. It allows you to build classifiers that recognize specific content in images. Through machine learning, a classifier can be trained to recognize key factors in a picture that are specific to your application. In addition, the Custom Vision Service could be used for filtering image content for a web site, expediting the content filtering process.

Tools and Procedures for Securing .Net Applications

With security attacks on the rise, protecting your applications and data is more of a necessity than ever before. We’ll discuss some of the features provided by Visual Studio and the .Net framework, such as Dotfuscator, SignTool, and encryption tools. In addition we'll look at other protective measures such as early intrusion detection, mitigation, and Social Engineering. These are topics not typically covered in other security presentations or material.

Migrating .Net Applications to Azure

Managing all the resources for an application to run properly can be daunting. Application require the proper hosting environment and DB access, with sufficient capacity to accommodate usage spikes when site demand increases temporarily. With Azure offering a variety of services for infrastructure, development platform, and software services, the decision to migrate to the cloud can be a difficult one. In this session we’ll review the various options available in Azure, helping you to identify the best migration path.

Making Apps Listen and React with LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service)

Language Understanding Intelligence Service (LUIS) is part of Azure's Cognitive Services. It's built on the interactive machine learning and language understanding research from Microsoft Research. Luis provides the capability to understand a person’s natural language and respond with actions specified by application code. In this session we'll examine how this powerful feature can be integrated into applications, offering a more natural interaction with a device.

Sam Nasr

Sr. Software Engineer (NIS Technologies)

Cleveland, Ohio, United States


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