Welcome to the first of an ongoing blog series based on my latest PluralSight course, Applied Windows Azure.

“Applied Windows Azure” as the name suggests, is about utilizing various building blocks to develop practical, meaningful and cost-effective applications that run on Windows Azure.

This course is broken up into 10 modules (listed below). Within each module, after motivating the use of the relevant building Azure building blocks, I cover the core concepts, key mechanisms and design tradeoffs. Of course, no course can be complete without looking at some code – so  I’ll walk through important parts of an application built specifically for each module.  All source code is provided as part of this course.

Finally, the focus is on breadth learning — the ability to operate across the Windows Azure building blocks in a coherent and productive way.  My hope is that the viewer walks away from this course with an idea to apply these Windows Azure building blocks/patterns to a challenge specific to their own domain.  I encourage the viewers and readers to reach out to me at @vlele or comment below anytime to continue this discussion. The value of a course of this type is greatly enhanced by a two-way conversation.

List of Course Modules:

  • Readymade Execution Units with Azure Web Sites
  • Compute Intensive Apps with Azure Worker Roles
  • Identity & Access with Windows Azure Active Directory
  • HIPAA Compliant Apps with Windows Azure Trust Center
  • Loosely Coupled Apps with Azure Service Bus and Mongo DB
  • Offloading SharePoint Customization to Windows Azure
  • Mobile Services as a backend for any app (not just mobile apps)
  • Integration with Windows Azure BizTalk Services
  • “Big Compute” with Azure HPC Services for Excel
  • “Big Data” with Windows Azure HDInsight

I am going to assume some basic understanding of Windows Azure building blocks. If you are new to Azure, there is some excellent material on MSDN and Windows Azure Toolkit to get you started.

Here’s how each blog post for this series will be structured: For each scenario, we start out with the key motivation for the building block, followed by a discussion of scenarios where this building block may be applicable. Next, we will cover the core concepts in detail by walking through a diagram or some sort. Finally, we will look at some of the key design considerations and tradeoffs associated Azure Web Sites. Read More…