Getting Started with Windows Azure
The Windows Azure Platform is Microsoft’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud service. The best way to start Windows Azure development is to:
And now you have to learn how everything works, and that is where the books written by Microsoft’s Patterns & Practices group comes into play.
Developing Applications for Windows Azure
I’m a big fan of the Patterns & Practices books. The team is developing a nice set of Windows Azure books that explain various development patterns and practices. The books are all written in the same very breezy style, which makes them an easy read. They are available from the usual online booksellers in either paper or pixel form. Some of them are also available as downloadable PDFs.
The books are usually accompanied by a large-scale functional sample, the design of which is explained in the book. The source code for the sample can be downloaded from the Patterns & Practices Windows Azure Guidance area on Codeplex.
The two original books explain how to perform basic green field and brown-field development:
A third book describes hybrid applications:
Web-formatted versions of these books are available on the MSDN website.
The most recent book in the series describes how to use the Enterprise Library Integrations Pack for Windows Azure:
- Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications
Specifically, it describes how to use the Wasabi Autoscaling Application Block and the Transient Fault Handling Application Block. The book provides background information on autoscaling and transient fault handling which makes it useful even if you don’t want to use the Application Blocks. Note that the book is not yet available in your favorite bookstore.
Patterns & Practices has published other books which are not specifically about Windows Azure but which are very relevant to anyone developing on the platform:
These books provide solid introductions to complex topics.
And then, there is always my book: Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook.