Azure – Rich Client(s) meets Azure Table Data. Smart Grid Sample – Step 01

Purpose of Blog Entry

Windows Azure is an operating system for the cloud. It does for a cloud what Windows does for a desktop. Azure maintains services that are exposed to you as a developer. Basically, Azure is Windows abstracted into the Web, available for you

An operating system abstracts hardware, shared file systems, manages permission, and provides job schedulers and process management. Azure does this, but at Internet scale. Coordinate a distributed pool of servers. That is what the Fabric controller does. The fabric controller coordinates this pool of servers. The fabric controller talks to the Agent, which is a piece of code running in a pool of servers. The agent exposes a Windows Azure-defined API. Every machine in the pool of servers has the agent running. Later, when you learn about ServiceConfiguration, you will learn that the Fabric controller will use it.

The Fabric controller maps what you want to what is available in pool of servers, deploying your code and using a load balancer to provide your service to your users. If your program crashes, the agent will find out and will tell the fabric controller, which will take corrective measures. If a disk fails, Microsoft will magnetize the disk to completely clean it. The machine will get serviced and the fabric controller will re-introduce the previously dead node back into the server pool.

Real Working Examples

To understand Azure features through real live working samples. This blog entry is an end to end solution and will guide you from start to end. There will be lots of images interspersed throughout to give you both a detailed view and a high level view.

We will start from the beginning. We will learn how to download the right SDKs, the right tools – to make this all possible.


Home data in cloud

We will store data in Azure tables. We will access this data with two types of rich client applications

The first example will be an ASP.NET app

The second example will be a rich Silverlight client talking to the homes table in the cloud.

Note the ASP.NET example above. It even renders a popup image. Below you can see the Silverlight version.

The Silverlight example above show the rich client version. Notice the same graphics get shown here.

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