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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Microsoft goes 'open' with Windows Azure

Microsoft recently announced the availability of a new set of developer tools and Software Development Kits (SDKs) for PHP developers that want to build applications for Windows Azure.  The announcement is targeted at providing developers with more choice, especially open source developers targeting Windows Azure.
The announcement was made by the company at the Open Source India conference, OSI Days 2010. The company has been working to build bridges with open source communities for several years, and over the past two years has expanded its open source community project work to support cloud platform interoperability.
“We are working to give open source developers more access to our platforms,” said Vijay Rajagopalan, Principal Architect for Microsoft’s Interoperability Strategy team. “One example of this is our support for an open and interoperable cloud, which we believe is critical for businesses, governments and organizations to take full advantage of cloud-enabled innovations. The new SDKs and tools we are announcing today are an important step towards ensuring an open cloud that in turn brings greater flexibility to our partners and customers.”
The Company presented the technology preview and global availability the development tools and SDKs.  Supporting open source developers working in mixed IT environments, they include the Windows Azure Companion Community Technology Preview (CTP), the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP, the Windows Azure Command Line Tools for PHP (update) and the Windows Azure SDK for PHP version 2.0.
According to the company the Windows Azure platform already allows developers to use multiples languages (.NET, PHP, Ruby, Python or Java) and development tools (Visual Studio or Eclipse) to build applications which run on Windows Azure and/or consume any of the platform offerings from any other cloud or on premise platform.
The platform has been designed from the ground up with a standards-based approach and the platform supports multiple Internet protocols including HTTP, XML, SOAP and REST—ensuring data portability.
The company continues to work with many industry organizations to explore the meaning of openness in the cloud. Developer Choice is one of four foundational elements being explored, along with Data Portability, Standards and Ease of Migration and Deployment.
The four foundational elements, along with practical and technical examples, are the basis for a broad industry conversation about cloud platform interoperability.  Microsoft has detailed the elements through supporting technical examples on its website.
This commitment to openness in the cloud creates opportunities for developers to combine new Azure cloud-based applications with other platforms. Developers would be able to combine applications living on other clouds or on-premise using services offered by the Azure platform.
They can also build and enhance applications using their existing skills, whether they are familiar with the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment and the .NET Framework, or with other development environments like Eclipse.

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