Architect's Master Class

The Service Fabric Master Class


The Windows Azure Service Fabric (or just the Service Fabric) represents nothing less than the next evolutionary breakthrough in software development. With the advent of the Service Fabric, Microsoft makes available to the public the long awaited service-oriented platform that IDesign has predicted since the inception of service-orientation. This is the same technology upon which Microsoft has built and refined significant pieces of its Azure cloud offering. You can now leverage the Service Fabric in the cloud or on-premises to develop resilient, modern microservice-based applications in step with future industry direction.

To that end, the Service Fabric becomes the cornerstone for the next generation of applications that leverage the IoT, by enabling the integration of machine learning and logical workflow as the execution sequence of your microservices and much more such as support for meshes of actors for parallel computations, and graphs of actors for data storage. Not only that, but the Service Fabric bridges the gap between design, deployment and operations. By having the architect and DevOps share the same environment, administration tools and system structure, the Service Fabric assures a high affinity between your design intent and your system’s level of service. As such, the Service Fabric is unique in its value proposition. For developers, the Service Fabric offers a plethora of readymade plumbing aspects such as discovery, reliability, transactions, state management, concurrency management, automatic service activation and error handling. In the past these were the Achilles Heel of most applications, requiring a disproportional level of knowledge, technical proficiency and testing. If anything, the Service Fabric shifts the burden from doing the work to thinking correctly about what needs to get done, making this Master Class even more critical for successful projects.

The Master Class begins by revealing Microsoft’s motivation for creating the Service Fabric and the need for an integrated platform for both development and operations. The class then dives deep into every aspect of the Service Fabric’s programming model including microservices and actors. Through detailed lecture and numerous instructor-led hands on labs you will learn how to program each aspect of the Service Fabric. Along the way, you will gain insight into key design decisions, best practices and pitfalls.

Recognizing that the most difficult aspect of any technology shift is the incompatibility of legacy code, the class starts by showing you how to prepare your existing systems now for the transition to the Azure Service Fabric using IDesign’s breakthrough framework ServiceModelEx.ServiceFabric. This framework lets you run code that targets the Service Fabric outside the Azure Service Fabric, in your own present environment. During the initial hands-on labs, you will use this novel framework to first learn how to program the Service Fabric efficiently and easily in plain .NET. Then, you will simply copy and compile your code to target the Azure Service Fabric and deploy. In this way, the class focuses on empowering you to systematically transition your existing systems from their current state, to fabric-ready form and function, then to the Service Fabric platform itself. The hands-on labs will then continue by exploring many advanced programming aspects unique to the Azure Service Fabric platform.

The training concludes by exploring the Service Fabric’s operations and deployment model. You will learn such topics as application and service manifests, packaging, publishing, decommissioning, state partitioning, scaling, availability, fault tolerance and general cluster management. This well-rounded instruction reveals why the Service Fabric is the killer app for modern DevOps and modern software systems both in the cloud and on-premises.


On top of lectures the class uses lab exercises, numerous conceptual demos and original tools and utilities. Attendees will find the demos useful not only in the training class but after it. The demos serve as a starting point for new projects, and as a rich reference and samples source.

Target Audience

Any .NET developer or architect would benefit greatly from the Service Fabric Master Class. Basic familiarity with C# 4.6 and system programming is recommended.


5 very intense days.


Available as an on-site training class and as a public training class.


Introducing Azure Service Fabric

  • Why Azure Service Fabric?
  • An integrated platform
  • Future compatible model
  • Fabric for operations
  • Fabric as development platform

Service Fabric Essentials

  • Cluster-based topology
  • System structure
  • System interaction modes
  • Services vs. actors
  • Application, service and actor manifests
  • Application, service and actor naming
  • Fabric-based addressing
  • Service and actor interfaces
  • Service listeners
  • Hosting
  • Client-side programming
  • Using Service Fabric Explorer
  • Visual Studio integration

Data Contracts

  • Service parameters and serialization
  • Data contracts and passing data
  • Data contract hierarchies
  • Simple versioning approaches

Reliable Services

  • Defining service interfaces
  • Creating and configuring listeners
  • Leveraging service lifecycle events
  • Service hosting specifics
  • Background services
  • API services for external access
  • Fabric services for internal access
  • WCF services for legacy interoperability
  • Client-side programming

Reliable Actors

  • Defining actor interfaces
  • Understanding ActorIds
  • Actor instancing modes
  • Leveraging actor lifecycle events
  • Actors garbage collection
  • Actor hosting specifics
  • Managing actor callbacks
  • Actor timers, reminders and events
  • Client-side programming

State Management

  • Stateless services and actors
  • Service Fabric state
  • Reliability through replica sets
  • Implicit and explicit transactional programming models
  • Using the reliable collections
  • Service Fabric state partitions
  • Managing state with stateful services
  • Managing state with stateful actors


  • Enabling custom header flow
  • Message interception and handling
  • Operation invocation for aspect-orientation
  • Custom interaction modes


  • Service Fabric’s testability framework
  • Test modes
  • Extending the testability framework
  • IDesign’s test framework
  • Approaches to unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • The Spiral of Test


  • Service Fabric’s workflow
  • Application packages
  • Automatic scaling and failover
  • Cluster monitoring
  • Service state backup
  • Diagnostics tools
  • Service decommissioning


  • ServiceModelEx.ServiceFabric
  • Preparation
  • Training
  • Iterative strategies
  • Microservices

Future Considerations

  • Advanced actor patterns
  • Mesh computing
  • Graph-oriented databases
  • IoT and the Service Fabric
  • The shape of things to come; The Fractal of Fabrics
Upcoming Classes

Nothing planned for the next six months.

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