Microsoft Azure - Scenarios

Understanding the basic scenarios of Windows Azure will help us understand its use. Additionally, it will help us understand the services offered. Three basic scenarios are discussed here. In addition to the following scenarios, there can be many more ways of using Azure services based on the needs of clients, but all the basic uses are covered in this chapter.

Software Development

Software development is the most popular scenario of Windows Azure. The software is developed and tested on local development fabric and then deployed in cloud of Windows Azure. Azure hosts the web application and also the supporting processes, communicating with other web services.

Testing of application in software development phase usually becomes too long for developers, if they need to change the configurations of environment being used to host the application. In Windows Azure, this is the not a problem as resources are absolutely in their control and can be modified as needed by the application. Once a web application is hosted in cloud of Windows Azure, it is ready to be used by the end users and organizations.

Moreover, deploying the application is very easy in Windows Azure using the tools provided by them. These tools are MS deploy, PowerShell, integration with Team Foundation Server (TFS). The Visual Studio cloud project is also an easy option to deploy the application.

An application is tested in the staging environment and then it is deployed in the production environment for end users to use it.

Enterprise Process Offloading

There are situations for an organization where they need to reduce loads from their onpremise systems for a certain period of time or on a regular basis. This could be easily achieved by using Windows Azure services at a very low cost. Clients have to pay for only those transactions made on their application instead of paying for entire hardware and software.

This is an extremely cost-efficient way of using new resources for the organization. Azure in this context offers quite quick growth to businesses by extending resources on cloud when needed.

Enterprise Application Integration

This is commonly called as EAI scenario. Let us think of a scenario, when there is need for two different organizations to send and receive data between applications which is further processed by those applications. The cross-enterprise application integration can be done using Windows Azure. The service is called BizTalk service, which facilitates B2B messaging between on-premise or on-cloud applications of different organizations.

This service enables a connection between applications even if they are following different transport protocols. The process also includes validating and extracting the properties as required by the application at the receiving end. In a normal scenario, where communication is needed between applications of two organizations, the interaction will have to bypass the firewall by completing the due process. However, in the service offered by Windows Azure, the communication between applications does not need to bypass the organization’s firewall.