Windows Azure for Developers – Building Block Services

This past Wednesday, March 7th I wrapped up the fourth webcast in my Windows Azure for Developers series.  This one was focused on what I sometimes refer to as the building block services for Windows Azure – Access Control Services (ACS), Caching, and Service Bus.  These are incredibly powerful services available as part of Windows Azure.  You can use them on their own*, outside of any Windows Azure hosted applications, to enhance your existing or new applications.  They’re also great for enhancing developer productivity – because not many people want to write their own identity management, caching, or messaging layer.  These just let you consume the service and focus on your core application.

You can view the full webcast at

I’m making the slides available as well.

At the end of the webcast, a few questions came up that I mentioned I would try to provide some answers for on my blog.

Q: How to use ACS from a Silverlight application?

A: I haven’t personally tried this yet, but it seems others have.  Here are a few resources I would recommend to learn more:

Q: How to use ACS with Active Directory?

A: Have a look at the “Single Sign-On from Active Directory to a Windows Azure Application Whitepaper”.

* I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using the cache service outside of Windows Azure as the network latency (going over the internet) would likely reduce any benefit of caching.