Editor’s Note: This post comes from Ryan McGee, Senior Product Planner in the Windows Azure team.
Cloud computing greatly accelerates the development time from idea to application. This happens on many levels, from abstracting the hardware layer with infrastructure-as-a-service deployments, to hardware and software abstraction using platform-as-a-service features. Another opportunity is the use of built-in services and data – anything from email delivery to monitoring and scaling functionality enabled by a rich ecosystem of providers.
Last week at Build, we announced we’re making third-party application and data services available directly from the Windows Azure Management Portal, with the availability of the Windows Azure Store (Preview). The Windows Azure Store provides developers with third party app services and data (add-ons) that complement and extend core Windows Azure services. These add-ons are accessed and managed directly from the developer portal, making discovery, billing, and management completely integrated with the Windows Azure management experience.
The Windows Azure store allows you to:
- Choose from popular app services including: AppDynamics (monitoring and scaling as a service), New Relic (performance management and monitoring), SendGrid (email delivery as a service) and more.
- Find the data your app needs from data providers like: Dun & Bradstreet (business insights), Loqate (Worldwide address verification and cleansing service), StrikeIron (Phone number verification service; Sales and use tax rates lookup service), and more.
- Connect and manage it all from the developer portal: The integrated store UI makes it easy to find, buy, manage the services and data you need directly from the portal. Integrated billing means you store purposes are added directly to your Windows Azure account. We also provide connection strings and sample code and help get you started fast, as well as usage data from directly within the Windows Azure management portal
To add app services or data to your Windows Azure subscription, just click new at the bottom of the portal, then select store:
Select the add-on you want, then choose which plan you want:
When you confirm your purchase, it will be charged to the payment instrument you already have on file.
To manage your add-ons, use the add-ons tab:
Click the name of the add-on you want to manage, and you will see all the relevant information about that item – including connection info, key management, and links to more information.
Also, check out the following feature guides to get started using SendGrid and New Relic:
I hope the above overview helps you get started with the Windows Azure Store, so you can leverage a variety of third-party add-ons (both app services and data) in your apps. As always, keep sending us your feedback and questions through the comment section below, to @WindowsAzure, and at the Windows Azure Forums. And if you are interested in becoming a Windows Azure Store service or data provider, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.