The Arctic Cloud Developer Challenge
Last weekend was the 9th annual Arctic Cloud Developer Challenge. This three-day hackathon offers a unique experience for partners to share, learn from each other and test their limits for what they can do with technology to provide solutions that solve real world business problems.
Formally known as the Arctic SharePoint Challenge, the competition has now changed its approach. Reflecting the market maturity for cloud and increased customer needs for more intelligent and connected solutions, the event has now expanded to include Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure.
The event is presided over by the handpicked judges, who all have years of experience working with Microsoft products:
- Seb Matthews, consultant and public speaker knowledgeable about most things Microsoft.
- Erwin Van Hunen, Product manager at Rencore and MVP in Office Apps and Services, as well as a Microsoft Certified master.
- Chris Huntingford, Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Presales Solutions architect and Business Applications MVP.
- Laura Kokkarinen, a senior developer at Sulava, specializing in SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure.
- Marius Agur Hagelund Lind, Business Applications MVP and all-round CRM Viking.
The event kicked off on Thursday morning in a hotel near the beautiful Holmenkollen in keeping with the Arctic theme. After a short introduction and keynote the fun begins! There are six teams competing and the small conference room quickly fills up with screens, laptops, HoloLens’s and other gadgets and IoT devices, and they get to work. During the 3 days, teams can collect points by creating solutions that fall under six categories created by the judges and the committee. These are:
- IoT – Using IoT devices in their solution
- PowerUser love – Creating solutions that allow PowerUsers to create more customization within the solution
- Beautiful design – Dashboards and interfaces must look good and be easy for end users to use
- Business value – Creating something that has real life use cases. This means that the solution must make money, save money or reduce risk.
- Use of non- Microsoft technology – Self explanatory ?
- Team spirit – Sharing is caring! The teams are awarded points for helping each other out when they are stuck or lack a certain competency.
The teams competing this year are Inmeta, Infoworker, Puzzlepart, DQC, Skill and Acando.
Each year there is a different theme to bring a bit of humour into the mix. This year the theme is The Simpsons and each solution set in Springfield (Que Simpsons intro music in head)
Inmeta aka Inmates
Feeling that politicians aren’t doing enough to help the environment, Lisa comes up with a plan! Project L.I.S.A (Learn and Improve through Sustainable Actions) is created. The project allows the citizens to monitor how they are affecting the environment and gamify’s the process. A mobile app based on Xamarin, allows people to track their actions and earn points for things such as:
- Walking instead of driving
- Bringing your own bag to the supermarket instead of using plastic bags
- Shopping at sustainable groceries
- Keeping their home environmentally friendly – Using IoT devices and Home Hub to measure things like temperature
All the data is stored in Azure Cosmos DB through Event Hub + Stream Analytics. Notifications are sent through Azure Notification Hub.
For the business owners around Springfield to attract more environmentally conscious citizens to their store, they can now advertise through an online platform (from their SharePoint Site) and give the citizens the opportunity to earn even more green points. For instance, Apu could advertise double points for all vegetarian products purchased at his shop on a given day. These campaigns can be easily monitored by the business owner using the back end of the online platform.
The politicians can also tap into the data generated by project LISA and combine the data with other statistics such as air pollution, easily monitored using Bing maps and Power BI. As well as giving the politicians a wealth of information, they can also initiate campaigns that help improve the living conditions of the residence of the town.
To contact Inmeta, visit their website
Click on the link to learn more about Azure Cosmos Database
Infoworker aka Spider Pig
How can the residents of Springfield feel safe when the nuclear reactor in their home town is unstable? and they have no routines or systems to help them? The Spider pigs solve this by using Google Maps API to have an overview of key locations and individuals. The key location can be monitored via video using Azure Media services and push notifications can be used to alert members of the community if they need to make their way to safety.
Using MXCHIP IoT Devkit it is possible to monitor temperature in the powerplant. Rules are set to alert all residence should temperature levels get to high and evacuation needed. To automate the messaging process, they use LogicApps, ensuring that the information is sent to residence as quickly as possible.
To easily communicate with the residence, they have created a Power App which also allows the residence themselves to report any suspicious incidence. All the data is store in a SQL data base and reports are generated through Power BI, so that administrators can have a full overview of the situation.
To contact Inforworker, visit their website
Click here to learn more about Azure SQL Database
Acando aka The Springfield Icetopes
Springfield’s nuclear powerplant has had so many issues something needs to be done! Acando solution uses an IoT device (Raspberry PI) to detect movement and disruptions at the powerplant. This in turn will create an incident in Dynamics 365 Via Field service. The support teams can pick the incident by using the dashboards integrated with their Microsoft Teams. Using HoloLens and Dynamics remote assistant the technician can trigger the release of smoke stopping a meltdown. The sensor detects that the asset is operative again and sends an update to the incident. Hence ensuring that all citizens are kept safe!
To contact Acando, visit their website
Click here to learn more about Dynamics 365 Field Service
Puzzlepart aka Puzzlebart
Homer has decided to become an entrepreneur! Feeling Springfield needs a new social media site, Homer decides to develop Yellowfaces. To get the citizens involved he decides to create his own Simpsons as a service API, allowing for a catalogue of the people in the town. This is of course open source to allow other people to use it. In turn, Yellowfaces provides Homer with a platform to sell his products.
Like many entrepreneurs, as well as his side project he still has to hold down a day job. He has been working on improving the efficiency of the Nuclear Powerplant. He hosts Reactor Core – images on Azure Container Register, and spins up new Reactor instances with complete monitoring functionality in Azure Container Instances. The new instances may easily be spun up with Powershell (Az-extension) or by an API for accessing the resources. He can easily do this remotely using his Power BI dashboard. Homer can now be more efficient and spend time on his Yellowfaces side project.
To contact Puzzlepart, visit their website
Click on here to learn more about developing on Azure
Skill aka The Three Eyed Fish
Make our lakes Azure blue Again! Pollution in the lake is out of control! In order to clear up the waste Skill decide to monitor the lake using a geostationary satellite which will take an image every few seconds. The images are sent to a trained algorithm that can distinguish the type of garbage. Artificial winds (fans) can then be used to move the garbage to the shore. Using a Power App, the residents of Springfield can get notified that garbage has come to shore and help in the clean-up. Further they can report pollution by taking a photograph of the affected area.
When pollution is reported the information creates an incident which is reported to the authorities automatically. Choosing to help clear an incident will give the citizens the chance to get citizens points, thereby introducing an element of gamification.
All the data from the cameras and the citizens incidents reports is brought together in a dashboard using Power BI, giving the authorities a complete overview of the environment and allowing them to quickly respond to events. The reduced pollution is bound to bring more tourism to the city, so it’s wins all round!
To contact Skill, visit their website
Click here to learn more about connecting your data to your decision making
DQC aka The Swedish Snowballs
Nelson is on the loose! Using your phone, tablet or PC you can track Nelsons whereabouts. Further the application will give you the best route to where you want to go, while avoiding Nelson. The tracker uses a combination of facial recognition, as well as alerts of sightings from the public, to keep tabs on Nelson wherever he goes.
Using 6 Raspberry Pi’s Eyes with cameras and memory cards, the solution uses facial recognition and machine learning to trace movements around the city. The data is sent to the IoT hub, which in turn pushes it out to Azure functions. Administrators can also easily view and analyse the data to learn more of the migrations of Nelson.
To contact DQC, visit their website
Click here to learn more about how to get started with enterprise IoT projects
DQC ended up taking the award with this solution, due to it’s amazing graphics, use of IoT, machine learning and ability to convey the business value of their solution!
All in all the hackathon highlights the amazing skill of our partners! Their ability to push themselves and bring so many technologies together is truly amazing to see. We hope to see many of our partners at the event next year!
Learn more about the event by visiting the website!