Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Connecting back from the Azure cloud

Invoking services within the Intranet was in the design of Azure from the start. The .Net Services Bus of Azure allows local services to be called from the cloud.

A connection is setup from within the corporate firewall to the Azure servers in the cloud. This bidirectional connection is used to invoke services on the Intranet. The Services Bus is much more advanced than the Secure Data Connector from Google.

Azure is not limited to .Net, there are also Ruby and Java SDK for .Net Services available! To learn a bit, I downloaded and installed the Java chat sample. Encountered the error "The subscription cannot be created" during my first experiments. But waiting a while resolved the issue: probably the service didn't unregister correctly during my first runs and the service bus needs to detect that the service was no longer present.

In the Chat example, client and service are running in the same application (multi-threaded). No need to deploy the service implementation in an application server. Also nice to see how the JAX-WS API is leveraged to create the service.

Connecting from Azure to Amazon (or the other way around) should be trivial. But integrating Azure with AppEngine (or is a different story. Both cloud have there own version and solution for integration and interoperability. A ESB hosted in the cloud or behind the corporate firewall will bring that interoprability.

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