Microsoft Windows Azure Pack Enables Modern App Development

Microsoft announced a new version of its Service Bus technology along with a new Windows Azure Pack that enables development of apps that run across clouds.

Microsoft is doing all it can to help customers enable modern applications on the Microsoft platform—both cloud and on-premise.

In an Aug. 21 blog post, Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Server and System Center, goes into detail on just how Microsoft is enabling modern applications with the Windows Azure Pack.

Microsoft announced the release of the second version of its message broker for Windows Server, Service Bus 1.1 for Windows Server, and in this release, "we have invested in an integrated experience as a part of the Windows Azure Pack v1, with the goal of bringing a self-service tenant experience that is similar to the one that currently exists in Windows Azure," Anderson said.

"A major benefit of the Windows Azure Pack is the ability to build an application once and then deploy and operate it in any Microsoft Cloud—private, hosted or public," Anderson said in his post.

Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available free to Microsoft customers for installation into their data centers. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables enterprises to offer a self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience. In short, the Windows Azure Pack is a set of capabilities that Microsoft has battle-hardened and proven in its public cloud.

Modern apps, also known as "Metro-style apps," adapt to the needs of users by exchanging data with other apps as needed and by providing personalized experiences, natural user interactions and social connections from an array of device types that cloud services support. Four of the biggest trends influencing demand for modern apps are the increasing number of people getting connected to the Internet, the number of devices being used to display and track data, the exponential increase in data volume, and the variety of data from new data types.

The key to Microsoft's modern app strategy is that the company delivers the same end user experience in the cloud as on-premise, Anderson told eWEEK.

"One thing we do differently is we deliver a consistent set of capabilities across private, hosted and public cloud scenarios," Anderson said. "This gives organizations the ability to develop for a public cloud without being locked in. They can do things in Windows Azure and bring that to Windows Server."

Microsoft focused on sharpening three core scenarios with the Service Bus 1.1 for Windows Server and the Windows Azure Pack v1, including improving application messaging patterns with the Service Bus, he said. "With Service Bus, we support basic as well as advanced messaging patterns for use in modern applications. With this release, we've also added new messaging capabilities, additional protocols and simplified APIs to enable developers to write better applications faster," he said.

Microsoft also improved management of messaging entities across clouds, "Whether you're developing for the public cloud, private cloud or a hosted cloud—with your service provider, developers will be able to write applications once and then use it anywhere within these clouds—without needing to recompile, Anderson said. "This can be done by simply changing an entry in the configuration file.