Yesterday, I wrote about half of the Windows Azure Marketplace - the availability of global datasets. Today, I wanted to look at the other half - the Windows Azure Marketplace for Applications. This is the place where software publishers can promote their Cloud applications based on Windows Azure, and make them available worldwide.
Currently there are 479 applications available, in a range of categories - weather, business, consumer goods, entertainment, reference, statistics -and the list has just had a big update. But I want to highlight just one today, an education management application from an Australian company, which was added to the Azure Marketplace last Friday:
STRATA from Avaxa
STRATA is a management application for the Business of Education for tertiary and vocational education. It supports administration functions for the life cycle of a student. This includes: Enrolment, Fees, Timetables, Assessments, BI analytics and more. It is a client server application with support for both rich Windows user interface and comprehensive browser user interface. It can be deployed on Windows Azure or on-premises.
The beauty of the Avaxa system is that by using the Windows Azure service, they offer TAFEs a way of running a student management system without having to install and run their own server hardware - instead they can just use the subscription service in the Microsoft datacentres, giving much more flexibility for peaks and troughs of usage (one of the huge advantages of the Cloud for education is that you only pay for the capacity to use - which means you don’t have to have lots of servers running during the holidays, and you can easily scale the system for peak demand - like enrolment periods).
There are other education applications in the Windows Azure Marketplace from companies outside of Australia - including KooDooZ (a cause-based social media application for students) and EurekaZing (which helps ‘explain hard to imagine science concepts using visualisation and interactivity’). Here’s a link to the Education list.
I imagine we’re going to see a lot more applications appearing in the marketplace soon - there are other Australian education applications running on Windows Azure that aren’t listed, so hopefully they’ll be appearing shortly.