Windows Store App to monitor your Azure bill

Our SharePoint journey so far and a look ahead


( this post is a response to ACT4Apps questionnaire posted by ACT and AT&T )

As a software developer who is also very interested in public policy, I am always looking to build apps that make it easier for folks to follow the public policy discourse. This is why I decided to build Netizen.   Netizen  is a Windows 8 app (soon to be  available in the Windows Store for free) that brings the voting record of your congressional representative to your finger tips. Simply select the Member of Congress you want to follow and "flick through" their voting record.

But I don’t want users of Netizen to merely follow how their  representative are voting in congress, instead, I want them to ensure that their voices are being heard.  For each bill brought to the floor of the house, Netizen automatically provisions a Facebook page dedicated to your member of congress. This page acts as a virtual ballot for a bill, as well as, a community hub where fellow constituents can gather to express their support. If enough of your friends and neighbors like or unlike the a vote, your congressional representative is sure to pay attention.

Pasted below are some screenshots from the application:

Screenshot #1 – Select state or find your congressional district based on your current location


Screenshot #2 – Select Representative


Screenshot #3 – “Flick through” the most recent roll call votes


Screenshot #4 –  “Virtual ballot” – Dynamically generated Facebook page,


Screenshot #5 –  Search for a representative


I am working on making this app available on other devices as well. Unfortunately the fragmented app landscape makes it harder for hobbyists and self-funded projects such as Netizen to publish across multiple app stores. If any of you are interested in helping develop versions of this app that run on other mobile platforms, please contact me via my twitter handle @vlele.

I hope that by the time CES 2022 rolls around, we can build an electronic, friction free  voting system that allows anyone with a tablet or a smart phone to securely cast a vote on the important issues of the day. Such a capability, combined with a vote  counting system that leverages the seemingly infinite computational resources available to us today, in order to make the voting results available in a snap. Perhaps that is the only hope to make law-making work again.

Finally, in order for sustain continued innovation in the app development, especially for hobbyists and startups, we need to strike a balance between regulation and room for innovation. Case in point, some of the recent changes proposed to the privacy laws for apps can lead to unintended consequences for the overall app economy. 

Short video that walks through IaaS & PaaS hydrid scenarios:

  • Using Windows Azure Virtual Network to provision a VPN to connect our on-premised infrastructure with a Windows Azure datacenter.
  • Set up front-end and back-end subnets.
  • Provision a set of Azure IaaS Virtual Machines and Azure Web Roles.
  • Install System Center Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications on Azure-based machines.
  • Install System Center Operations on-premises in order to manage Azure-based resources.

In this eBook, I present app solutions for different scenarios, with perspectives from a cast of characters which includes a power user, a developer, an administrator and an industry analyst. In these scenarios, the following questions will be answered:

• Why are apps needed? • What nagging problems are they designed to solve? • What kinds of apps can we expect to see in the marketplace? • How will SharePoint apps be secured? • What are the various revenue models supported? • Would in-app purchases be allowed? What about ads? • What is the difference between a public app store and a corporate app catalog?

The eBook is available at


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