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Patterns for Building Applications for Windows Azure

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J.D. Meier, a Principal Program Manager for the patterns & practices group at Microsoft, has listed a number of ASP.NET application patterns for Windows Azure, showing how the components work in the cloud. He also gave an example of mapping a standard web application to the cloud.

The Canonical Windows Azure Application pattern contains Web Roles taking requests from the web and Worker Roles servicing these requests. Web Roles and Worker Roles are decoupled by the Queue Services as shown in the following figure:

A simpler version of this pattern is ASP.NET Forms Auth to Azure Tables:

Meier lists ten more patterns for building ASP.NET applications in the Azure cloud, some of them using form authorization, others using claims-based authorization, and other using WCF:

  • Pattern #1 - ASP.NET Forms Auth to Azure Tables
  • Pattern #2 - ASP.NET Forms Auth to SQL Azure
  • Pattern #3 - ASP.NET to AD with Claims
  • Pattern #4 - ASP.NET to AD with Claims (Federation)
  • Pattern #5 - ASP.NET to WCF on Azure
  • Pattern #6 - ASP.NET On-Site to WCF on Azure
  • Pattern #7 - ASP.NET On-Site to WCF on Azure with Claims
  • Pattern #8 - REST with AppFabric Access Control
  • Pattern #9 - ASP.NET to Azure Storage
  • Pattern #10 - ASP.NET to SQL Azure
  • Pattern #11 - ASP.NET On-Site to SQL Azure Through WCF

The Web Application non-cloud pattern (see Microsoft Application Architecture Guide) describes a browser accessing a server application built on three basic layers – presentation, business, and data:


According to Meier, this pattern can be applied to Azure by incorporating the above mentioned layers into a Web Role, having the option to use Azure Storage for data and Azure Web Services for services:

The CodePlex patterns & practices - Windows Azure Guidance project contains more guidelines for moving, developing and integrating applications in the Microsoft cloud.

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