Microsoft Update: One of the challenges in adopting a new platform such as Windows Azure, is finding usable design patterns that work for developing effective solutions. The Catch-22 is that design patterns are discovered and not invented. Nevertheless it is important to have some guidance on what design patterns make sense early in the game.
Most presentations about Windows Azure start by presenting you with a bewildering set of features offered by Windows Azure, Windows Azure AppFabric and SQL Azure. Although these groupings of features may have been developed by different groups within Microsoft and spliced together, as architects we are more interested in solving business problems that can be solved by utilizing these features where they are appropriate
AppFabric combines the former Dublin and Velocity technologies for hosting and caching with the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus and AppFabric Access Control, which had been known as .Net Services. AppFabric also is featured as part of the Windows Azure cloud platform.
Windows Server AppFabric features distributed in-memory caching and replication, working with ASP.Net applications. It also offers pre-built applications and can be used with Visual Studio tools and the .Net Framework.
The general release of AppFabric is expected by the third quarter of this year. Windows Server AppFabric was announced at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in November.
In a recent Webcast, the webcast presented a set of application scenario contexts, Azure features and solution examples. It is unique in its approach and the fact that it includes the use of features from all components of the Windows Azure Platform including the Windows Azure Operating System, Windows Azure AppFabric and SQL Azure.