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As my readers know, I have an unnatural love for architectural diagrams. This one caught my eye, as it breaks down into layers the various pieces of the Microsoft platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, which is Azure. The solid blue boxes are the pieces of Azure that are already available; the dotted-line boxes are pieces that are coming over the next several months.
Yay! Another architectural diagram! This is a picture of the near-term roadmap for Microsoft's middleware platform, known as AppFabric. There are two different AppFabrics that currently don't have a whole lot in common: A version for Windows Server and a version for Azure. As this slide indicates, the AppFabric teams are releasing between two and three drops per year of AppFabric technologies for both the server and the cloud. At TechEd this week, Microsoft delivered a May Community Technology Preview of AppFabric for Azure, and said there'd be a June CTP coming, as well. These two CTPs deliver some of the AppFabric enhancements Microsoft outlined at the Professional Developers Conference in the fall of 2010.
"Hybrid" is becoming an increasingly used word inside Microsoft, in terms of how it expects its users to develop and deploy applications, going forward. Some pieces of the customers' apps will remain on premises, while other pieces can and will be deployed in the cloud. This slide, while specific to Coca Cola, provides a good example of what hybrid really means, in my opinion. It also highlights the fact that users will be mixing and matching not just Microsoft technologies, but also some third-party line-of-business apps (like SAP, in this case), when deploying hybrid solutions.