My colleagues over in the US create and update a handy one slide summary of Windows Azure resources that are specifically designed for developers using the cloud in the public sector – either because they are in public sector organisations (including education ones) or for people developing apps for public sector customers. It's a great combination of access to tools, training and resources, plus a batch of bonus information on Open Data (although it links to the US Open Government Initiative in the PPT slide above, I've changed the link in the list below to add the Australia equivalents).
Developer Tools for developers using the cloud in the public sector
- Windows 8 Release Preview and SDK – Windows 8 beta and SDK samples
- Visual Studio Express 2012 RC – Visual Studio 2010 for Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure
- Windows Azure SDK – All tools you need to create cloud apps with Microsoft Visual 2010
- Windows Phone SDK – All tools you need to create Windows Phone apps
- Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone – Build mobile apps for Windows Azure
- Windows Azure Toolkit for Android – Windows Azure toolkit for Android Developers
- Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS – Windows Azure toolkit for iOS Developers
- WebMatrix – Free web development tool
Learning and Training for developers using the cloud in the public sector
- Windows Azure 90 Day Trial – Create a free trial account and launch your first cloud app!
- Generation App - - Start with an idea. Code that idea. Then market it to the masses.
- Windows 8 Sign Up - – How to develop a Windows 8 app in 30 days
- Windows Phone Sign Up - - How to develop a Windows Phone app in 30 days
- Windows Azure Training Kit – Learn and get started with building cloud apps
- Windows Azure Team Blog – Find the latest from the Windows Azure team
- Windows Azure Real World Guidance – Learn tips and tricks from other Windows Azure users
- Windows Azure MSDN Benefits – Activate account through your MSDN benefits
- Windows Azure Feature Voting – Share and vote ideas on Windows Azure
- Cloud App Development – Free books by Microsoft Patterns and Practices
- Windows Azure QA – Post questions and get answers at StackOverflow.com
- SharePoint and Windows Azure Development Kit – Cloud and SharePoint integration
- Windows Azure Pricing Calculator – Windows Azure pricing calculator
- Windows Azure User Group – Attend current or past Windows Azure presentations virtually
- Windows 8 Design Assets – Download design assets for Metro style apps
Open Data and Big Data resources and links
- The Australian Open Government Data website - provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from the Australian Government and state and territory governments
- The US Data.gov website – designed to improve access to US Federal data, and expand its use beyond government
- The US Open Government Initiative – The US Federal government's Open Government Initiative
- Windows Azure Marketplace – a one-stop shop for premium data and applications
- Microsoft Big Data – information and tools for Microsoft's Big Data solution
- Hadoop on Windows Azure – Apache Hadoop-based for Windows Azure
If you are using the cloud in the public sector, and want to understand some of the technical reasons, or cost benefits, then the links above are great places to start – and provides some of the training and resources that you might need if it's new to you.
Even I've managed to do it!
To be absolutely honest with you, I thought this whole 'developing apps in the cloud' was a bit too geeky for me. It's a long time since I've been a serious developer. But even I managed it, and it took me less than half an hour to sign up for a free Azure account, and setup and deploy a WordPress blog to a virtual server in the cloud, and publish my first bit of content to it.
I chose to create a WordPress website, but there are tons of different web services that can be deployed with a click. So you could create a Drupal, DotNetNuke, Joomla, mojoPortal, MediaWiki, phpBB, Umbraco etc site just as easily. Or a vanilla site you want to hand build from scratch. You can do the same thing here (and go here to learn How to create a website from the gallery)