As a Microsoft partner with several gold competencies and cloud memberships, we are entitled to an extensive suite of internal use licenses for many of Microsoft’s on-premise and cloud products.  During our recent rollout of Office 365, the elegance of Microsoft’s long-term vision of federating authentication (which has been evolving since the release of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) 1.0 in 2005) really stood out.

Once an ADFS 2.0 infrastructure is in place, federating authentication with our hosted Office 365 environment was relatively easy.  Our users now have access to hosted versions of Lync, Exchange and SharePoint using their familiar domain credentials.  Up next for us is migrating our current Dynamics CRM Online deployment into the Microsoft online services portal environment where our Office 365 environment is managed.  Once this change is complete, CRM will leverage the same ADFS-based federated authentication platform.  Read More…

In the past, I have written about the benefits of Platform as a Service (PaaS) style of applications. While I continue to believe that PaaS offers the best ROI for hosting custom applications in the cloud, there are a number of scenarios where inserting elements of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to a PaaS solution can help alleviate some of the limitations that have prevented the adoption of PaaS. In this blog post we will look at a few compelling scenarios that are enabled by combining PaaS with the recently announced IaaS features within a Windows Azure Cloud Service. Read More…

When it comes to building distributed systems, one of the most important patterns is the message broker. But what’s a message broker?

A message broker is an architectural pattern for message validation, message transformation and message routing. It mediates communication amongst applications, minimizing the mutual awareness that applications should have of each other in order to be able to exchange messages, effectively implementing decoupling.

The practical utility of this construct has been proven in many distributed systems over the years.  Within the context of Windows Azure, this pattern is extremely useful for posting messages from within your Web Role implementation to perform some asynchronous work at a later time. Often, this is done to keep the user interface responsive. Other times, this is used just to delay some processing to another time.

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Trying to figure and configure a vision for moving your applications to the cloud?

Getting good answers to common myths and misconceptions can kick-start the process for you and your team. This white paper (written by AIS’ CTO and industry expert Vishwas Lele) covers 20 of the most common and not-so-common objections in moving software applications to the cloud. It highlights the most recent and up-to-date advancements in cloud technology that address these concerns head-on. If you’re still on the fence about the cloud, click the link below to learn more.

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