Microsoft's Azure interoperability pieces start to fall into place

Microsoft's Azure interoperability pieces start to fall into place

Summary: One of Microsoft's key promises for Azure, its cloud computing platform, was that it wouldn't be a Windows/.Net-only affair. This week, the company and its partners moved ahead with new test builds of some of the promised Azure interoperability components.


One of Microsoft's key promises for Azure, its cloud computing platform, was that it wouldn't be a Windows/.Net-only affair.

Sure, the Azure operating system would be built on top of Windows Server. But the Azure services platform would include support for non-Microsoft development tools and platforms, the Softies promised last fall. Unlike Google App Engine, which currently is a Python-developer's dream platform -- but holds less appeal for those preferring other languages -- Azure would support Java, Ruby and PHP, and possibly other languages, Microsoft officials promised.

The PHP support for Azure took a step forward on July 7, with the release of the July PHP software development kit (SDK). Microsoft announced its PHP support plans for Azure back in May, along with naming its partner, RealDolmen.

According to a new posting to the "Interoperability@Microsoft" blog, Microsoft team member Vijay Rajagopalan said:

"There are two key activities that I am excited about in this (July) release:

•Submission of PHP SDK for Windows Azure to Zend Framework •Feature completion of Windows Azure Table Storage APIs in PHP"

(Thanks to Microsoft evangelist Anand Iyer for the PHP pointer.)

A "summer" CTP of the Java SDK for Azure, being developed by Schakra and funded by Microsoft is on the roadmap. No updated word as to whether this will be available in July, as well.

Update (July 8): Microsoft did release on July 7 an update to the Java SDK for Azure, and also has released a July update for the Ruby SDK, Principal Architect for Interoperability Rajagopalan told me today.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also made available for download on July 7 the July Community Technology Preview (CTP) of .Net Services, one of the main components of the Azure platform. The July test build includes the Access Control Service and the Service Bus; it doesn't include workflow services, which are being removed in order to allow Microsoft to sync the different versions of .Net in Azure and Visual Studio 2010. The July .Net Services CTP also works with the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) build.

(Thanks to .Net Services team member Clemens Vasters for the July .Net Services CTP link.)

Microsoft is on tap to outline Azure pricing and licensing terms at its Worldwide Partner Conference, which kicks off on July 13.

Topics: Software Development, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Such "Walmart" idea is lame

    When you try to do everything right, you often times end up doing everything half-butt-ly.
  • A VERY Solid Framework

    The Azure platform is based upon an incredibly stable and mature set of technologies -- each technology DESIGNED to work with each other seamlessly. (Unlike the so-called 'FOSS equivalents'.)

    .NET and the CLR was designed from the ground up to support whatever languages or tools anyone cared to develop on top of it. VB.NET, ASP.NET and now PERL.NET or PHP.NET or whatever else happens to be desired -- makes no difference -- all have access to the same underlying infrastructure and resources equally.

    So far, adoption of this framework outside Microsoft-oriented development circles has been slow, but this is very shortly about to change.

    For the non-Microsoft application developer, Azure represents a step 10 years forward compared to whatever they are using now.

    Instead of having to cobble together disparate bits and pieces -- they can code to a known and proven environment -- spending time on what matters -- developing the applications and solving business problems instead of trying to write kluge and glue.

    (Of course those who HAVE been developing on on .NET, MOSS, SQL, Exchange foundations already know this.)

    Azure most certainly won't be 'free' -- but if one considers one's time as having value -- it won't matter.

    There is a TON of money to be made -- and those people adopting Azure and the kick-a$$ development tools that go along with it are going to win -- BIG.
    Marty R. Milette
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