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Microsoft's Azure interoperability pieces start to fall into place

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.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Contributor on

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.

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