ATLANTA — Enhancements to its Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus and complex event-processing capabilities in Windows Azure are designed to make it easier for Microsoft platform developers to move more easily to cloud computing, executives said today at the company’s TechEd Conference.
At the morning keynote, corporate vice president Robert Wahbe of the Server and Tools Division said the future of computing is in the cloud and on mobile devices. “People expect data from their businesses to be available on the device they want, optimized for that device, with security, control and visibility,” he said.
During his keynote, Wahbe noted that 453 million smartphones shipped this year, compared to 372 million PCs. He also showed how Kinect technology will be used in the future to bring computing power into places it hasn’t been able to be used, such as in sterile operating rooms, or to get more unique, detailed views of the universe.
Later, Burley Kawasaki, director of developer platform product management at Microsoft, explained that the cloud makes a different application model possible by abstracting away the underlying complexities of the platform. The AppFabric Service Bus provides connectivity from Azure back to on-premise servers.
In the Community Technology Preview released today, broad publish/subscribe capabilities have been added, enabling distributed listeners to subscribe to events. Kawasaki used the example of an airline worker having the ability to do the tasks normally limited to gate workers using fixed terminals by using an Internet-connected device listening for particular events, such as seats becoming available, flights moving gates, and more.
Kawasaki said that project “Austin,” the next version of Stream Insight (which provides analytics into SQL Server event processing), will enable real-time processing from within Azure. “We want to be able to do higher-level queries against real-time information,” he said.
On the development side, Microsoft today also announced AppFabric Application Manager and Developer Tools, which used to be known as AppFabric Composite App Service. These capabilities will be available in a June CTP.
“Application development today is more composition or assembly” than coding, Kawasaki said. “We spent the last decade creating services. In the public cloud, everything is exposed as a service.”
AppFabric Developer Tools include a new composition model that encourages the use of workflows and other declarative techniques to stitch application components together, Kawasaki said. Other extensions to Visual Studio will make it easier to wire together pieces of applications and call into an Azure or third-party service, he explained. Meanwhile, the AppFabric Application Manager automates the application deployment and management steps.
The beauty of the tooling, Kawasaki said, is that it allows for the blending of composite application development with traditional coding, but encourages the lighter-weight development model.
“Now you can create workflows with Visual Designer in Visual Studio,” he said. “We want to take workflow further away to the assembly of applications.”