A limited Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Azure (Microsoft's cloud based OS), has been unveiled at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles on Monday morning.

What is the Azure Services Platform ?

The Azure%u2122 Services Platform (Azure) is an internet-scale cloud
services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an
operating system and a set of developer services that can be used
individually or together. Azure’s flexible and interoperable platform
can be used to build new applications to run from the cloud or enhance
existing applications with cloud-based capabilities. Its open
architecture gives developers the choice to build web applications,
applications running on connected devices, PCs, servers, or hybrid
solutions offering the best of online and on-premises.


Windows%u00ae Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as
the development, service hosting and service management environment for
the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with
on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web
applications on the Internet through Microsoft%u00ae data centers.

build these applications and services, developers can use their
existing Microsoft%u00ae Visual Studio%u00ae 2008 expertise. In addition, Windows
Azure supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST,
and XML. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both
Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.

Microsoft%u00ae .NET Services are a set of Microsoft-hosted, highly
scalable, developer-oriented services that provide key building blocks
required by many cloud-based and cloud-aware applications. Much like
the .NET Framework provides higher-level class libraries that make
developers more productive, .NET Services can help developers focus on
their application logic rather than building and deploying their own
cloud-based infrastructure services.

an interoperability perspective, the .NET Services are also available
to other development technologies through the use of industry-standard
protocols such as REST, SOAP, and HTTP. While more services are in the
works, .NET Services currently includes three core components – the
Access Control Service, Service Bus, and Workflow service.

Of particular interest within the stack of Azure Services is the .NET Service Bus, which forms part of the Microsoft .NET Services offering


 Microsoft%u00ae SQL Services delivers on the Microsoft Data Platform vision
of extending the SQL Server capabilities to the cloud as web-based
services, enabling you to store structured, semi-structured, and
unstructured data. SQL Services will deliver a rich set of integrated
services that enable you to perform relational queries, search,
reporting, analytics, integration and synchronize data with mobile
users, remote offices and business partners. Currently, SQL Services
offers relational database service called Microsoft%u00ae SQL Data Services.
Other services will be available in future.

How does it work ?

For more information navigate your way to : http://www.microsoft.com/azure, and be sure to register for the CTP, as well as download the available SDK's

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