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" Microsoft Cloud Services Interoperability "

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Down Arrow Microsoft Cloud Services & Interoperability

As per Microsoft, Interoperability is central to their cloud services.

Interoperability has been defined by Microsoft's Bob Muglia simply as being the connection of people, data and diverse systems.

In February 2008, Microsoft announced four new interoperability principles of

Gray Arrow Ensuring open connections

Gray Arrow Promoting data portability

Gray Arrow Enhancing support for industry standards

Gray Arrow Fostering more open engagement with the industry, including open source communities, around interoperability and standards issues.

Actions based on these principles have and are being implemented in the four current Microsoft Cloud Services - Windows Azure, Microsoft SQL Azure, Windows Azure platform AppFabric & Dallas.

Let us look at them one by one from the viewpoint of Interoperability.

Windows Azure allows developers to use both Microsoft languages & development tools such as .NET (Visual Basic, C#), C++ under Visual Studio as well as open source technologies such as PHP, Ruby, Java & Python (with community SDK's also for the first 3 languages) under Eclipse for building applications.

These applications run on Windows Azure as well as consume their offerings from any other cloud or on premise platform.

Open connections and data portability are supported in Azure via usage of industry standard protocols such as HTTP, XML, SOAP & REST.

Solution Accelerators are also available for Open Source technologies such as Memcached, Tomcat, MySQL-PHP & MediaWiki- MySQL.

Microsoft cloud data services (Windows Azure tables, Microsoft SQL Azure Database, etc.) expose data using REST conventions followed by ADO.NET Data Services, which enables interactions via XML with data from hosted cloud services.

For PHP, a SQL CRUD Application Wizard as well as SQL Server Reporting Services SDK are also available.

Windows Azure Platform AppFabric has two components - Service Bus for application & data connectivity & Access Control for Federated Authorization.

Service Bus supports REST and HTTP Access from non-.NET platforms & Access Control uses various open industry standards & protocols such as REST, SAML, OAuth, OpenID & WS-* standards.

Microsoft also has interoperability projects in the identity space with Information Cards using WS-* protocols for C, Java, Ruby on Rails & PHP .

AppFabric also has SDK's for Java, PHP & Ruby.

Dallas has support for Open Standards such as REST & ATOM 1.1.

Besides the above 4 existing Cloud Services, all existing Microsoft products will have future cloud versions and will also follow the four interoperability principles above.

Also, Microsoft has several initiatives within the Industry Ecosystem consisting of Key Customers and Other IT Industry Suppliers :

Gray Arrow Created the Interoperability Executive Customer (IEC) Council consisting of 35 customers who have identified 7 interoperability focus areas called as work streams with Cloud Computing being of them.

Gray Arrow Contributing to the “cloud incubator” project at the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) an open consortium to address management interoperability for cloud systems.

Gray Arrow Co-founded the Simple Cloud API project with Zend, IBM, Rackspace & others to focus on open source cloud interoperability & drive software portability for and awareness of cloud application services.

Gray Arrow Created the Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) that uses the Windows Azure platform to make it easier to publish and use a wide variety of public data from government agencies exposing data over HTTP using RESTful services.

Interoperability does seem to be key strategic attribute in Microsoft Cloud Services.

Gray Arrow For more information, kindly contact us.

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Created on 16th April 2010.
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