Microsoft Updates Windows Azure Store

Microsoft has added new services and partners to the Windows Azure Store that the company previewed at its BUILD 2012 conference last fall.

Microsoft has updated its Windows Azure Store with new add-ons and availability in new markets.

At its BUILD 2012 conference, Microsoft announced the Windows Azure Store, which enables users to discover, purchase and provision premium add-on services, provided by Microsoft partners, for cloud-based applications.

“For example, you can use the Windows Azure Store to easily set up a MongoDB database in seconds, or quickly set up an analytics service like New Relic that gives you deep insight into your application’s performance,” said Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s corporate vice president who heads up the Windows Azure application platform, in a recent blog post.

Guthrie said there is a growing list of app and data services now available through the Windows Azure Store, and the list is constantly expanding. Many services offered through the store include a free tier, which lets users try services with no obligation required. Services you decide to ultimately buy are automatically added to your standard Windows Azure bill – enabling you to add new capabilities to your applications without having to enter a credit card again or set up a separate payment mechanism,

The Windows Azure Store is currently available to customers in 11 markets: US, UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, and South Korea. Over the next few weeks Microsoft will be expanding the store to be available in even more countries and territories around the world, Guthrie said.

Meanwhile, two new partners have been added to the Microsoft Azure Accelerator program. One is MetricsHub and its Active Cloud Manager, which monitors cloud applications, anticipates resource usage and automatically scales the services up or down based on rules you set. The other is Embarke, personalized analytics service that builds unique profiles of customers, and deeply personalizes communications to maximize engagement.

Other recent partners to the Windows Azure Store include EZDRM, which provides a robust hosted Digital Rights Management (DRM) platform, empowering businesses of any size to affordably add DRM components to their web applications and Windows Azure Media Service solutions. The Aditi Scheduler lets you schedule recurring CRON jobs on Windows Azure with a simple, REST API. It provides both simple and advanced scheduling features. And Pusher provides a simple set of APIs and libraries that allow you to build rich real-time features in hours rather than days.

Microsoft is accepting applications for new add-ons for the Windows Azure Store. Interested developers can take a look at the Windows Azure Store SDK, which includes API documentation, sample code and developer tools.

“The Windows Azure Store makes it incredibly easy for Windows Azure customers to find and subscribe to great add-on services from a variety of partners,” Guthrie said. “The store automates purchasing, management and billing of these services and allows you to perform all of the tasks associated with them in the same consistent Windows Azure Management Portal that you use to manage other Windows Azure features.”