Microsoft SharePoint and Windows Azure are two sizeable platforms unto themselves.
SharePoint is one of Microsoft’s leading server productivity platforms—a collaborative platform
for the enterprise and the web. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s operating system in the
cloud. Separately, they have their own strengths, market viability, and developer following.
Together, they are very powerful. For example, together they expand how and where you can
deploy your code and data; they offer more opportunities to take advantage of the Windows
Azure ”metered usage’” model while at the same time reducing the storage and failover
costs of on-premises applications; using Windows Azure, you can move code off of your
SharePoint servers; and they provide new business models and offerings that you can take
to your customers to increase your own solution offerings. In short, there are interesting and
compelling reasons to bring these two platforms together.
In this book, you’ll get introductory, hands-on experience with integrating SharePoint
and Windows Azure. These integrations range from the simple (such as data integration with
Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket and Excel Services) to the more complex (such as
using the Windows Azure AppFabric service bus to connect remote Windows Phone 7 devices
(as well as other devices and languages) to SharePoint on-premises data). The underlying
goal of the book, though, is to provide a prescriptive and introductory guide through some
fundamental methods of integration.