PDC is the place to be for upcoming Technologies and "Sneak Peaks". On Monday, Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie unveiled a new Software + Services offering called Microsoft Azure. Azure allows you to "build new applications in the cloud - or use interoperable services that run on Microsoft infrastructure to extend and enhance your existing applications. "
Azure looks to have a LOT of potential. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the ways that people can take advantage of Azure:
- Use a Relay service(.Net Services) that allows an on-premise service to connect with an external application without the hassle of mind numbing firewall configuration.
- Use Azure in an ASP(Application Service Provider) model where you can expose a WCF + WF service and have it run in the "Cloud". A decision that many companies will need to make is whether to host services on premise in your own data center or leverage Microsoft's "pay as you go" model. Clearly for smaller organizations or organizations looking to avoid a large upfront infrastructure cost, this is an attractive solution.
- Exposing structured, semi-structured or unstructured data to the world via SQL Server Services.
- Leveraging Authentication and Social Networking capabilities of Live Services. Have data that you want to propagate through a Social Network or want to leverage Live Id authentication through your application? Using Live Services may provide you with a wack of opportunities to solve your challenges.
- Leveraging other Microsoft Cloud applications like Sharepoint, Exchange and Dynamics.
I think that there are going to be endless opportunities with this platform and highly recommend that you learn more by visiting http://www.azure.com/.
Personally, I am really interested in the .Net Services and more specifically the new relay service possibilities. I definitely plan on learning more about Azure and .Net Services specifically.