Microsoft Makes the Case for Windows Azure to ISVs

Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, pitched Windows Azure to independent software vendors (ISVs) during his Day 2 keynote speech at Build. He also detailed some recent improvements to the cloud-based platform.

Nadella remarked on Wednesday that ISVs need a rich portfolio of storage "across blobs, tables and full relational capabilities" to handle complex data -- and that Windows Azure (along with SQL Azure) provides the platform for the data services that ISVs require.

Data feeds can be monetized through Windows Azure Marketplace, Nadella said, and Microsoft plans to expand this marketplace to 25 new countries in early October. The expanded market includes "Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore," according to Windows Azure blog post.

The marketplace can house full applications in addition to data sets. Data feeds from the marketplace can be consumed in applications as namespaces. Nadella cited the example of Microsoft's Bing Translator, which is being used by eBay for a Windows Phone app. Ford is another example of a company tapping a namespace in the marketplace. Ford uses a service to deliver optimal electric charging-time information to hybrid and electric car owners, Nadella explained.

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that its Translator API is now available from the Windows Azure Marketplace.

Nadella noted that ISVs will want to handle multiple identities from various providers, such as Facebook, Google, Windows Live and Yahoo, when managing their rich composed services. Microsoft introduced its Windows Azure access control services to handle that complexity, he said.

A demo by John Shewchuk, a Microsoft technical fellow, showed how to use the Windows 8 credentials password vault to handle multiple identities, which enables a single sign-on experience across Windows 8 apps. If that's not available, the application defaults to a regular sign-on process. Behind the scenes, the combination of the Windows 8 authentication broker plus the new Windows Azure access control surface does all of the heavy lifting to support multiple identity providers, Shewchuk said.

Microsoft released on Wednesday the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8, which helps developers build cloud-based services for Windows 8 Metro-style apps, such as services that run on different mobile operating system platforms. The code to support the certification of IDs from multiple identity providers is included in the toolkit, according to Shewchuk. The toolkit supports coding in HTML 5, JavaScript, C#, C++ and Visual Basic to support notifications and sign-on identities, according to the Windows Azure blog. Developers can write client code for each device platform, such as Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Windows Azure Storage was updated with a new geo-replication feature that can be used for disaster recovery support. It replicates Windows Azure blob, tables and queues between two locations. The locations can be hundreds of miles apart, but they have to be in the same region for the service to work. Microsoft turned on this geo-replication feature for all current Windows Azure Storage accounts.

Nadella also noted that the September release of the Windows Azure Storage Bus is now available. Microsoft improved this publish-and-subscribe messaging service with new features such as "Queues, Topics and Subscriptions, and Rules," according to the Windows Azure blog.

Finally, Microsoft released Windows Azure SDK 1.5, which was updated for September. In this release, the emulator was revamped to better support local and cloud locations. The certificate upload process was improved. A new tool was added to manage remote desktop encrypted passwords.

More from Build:

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • 2019 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss this year.

  • Microsoft Partners with NIST To Improve Enterprise Security 'Hygiene'

    Microsoft will "soon" kick off an effort to help organizations better patch their software, with help from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

  • Microsoft, Pivotal Collaborate on Azure Spring Cloud

    Azure Spring Cloud, a developer service jointly built and operated by Pivotal Software and Microsoft, debuted as a private preview this week.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.