Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What is Microsoft doing to add Java support to Azure?

This is the title of a post by Mary-Jo Foley over at her "All About Microsoft" blog. She starts off the post...
I was curious what Microsoft’s response would be to Google’s recent announcement that is allowing developers writing for the Google App Engine cloud platform to develop in Java. The answer? Not much that company officials haven’t said before.
I think that's a great question Mary-Jo. In fact, I wondered myself and came to a couple of conclusions:

  1. The only commercial interest to develop Java support for Azure would be Microsoft themselves. I'm doubtful anyone else would do it. Most commercial developers - like Quest - know that they can't make money by developing APIs. Would the open source community develop the Java tools and APIs to support Azure? I guess anything is possible - maybe if Microsoft paid someone (Schakra?).

  2. If Microsoft were to do something would you (e.g., the software developer) trust what they delivered? This is the company that tried to kill Java and has a competing technology to Java. Even if they paid an outside developer or the open source community there would always be that "doubt" sitting out there. Also, if you're going to develop something in Java for the cloud why not simply use Google?
In order to really get traction Microsoft has to eliminate as many barriers to adoption as they can. I guess time will tell with respect to both what Microsoft does and how the community adopts Java/Azure.

Follow-up: I'm not sure why I didn't notice it initially but the guys at Schakra do have a Java SDK for Azure. Shout-out to my friend Anil Balakrishnan who I used to work with at Microsoft who is now with Schakra!
Schakra built a Java SDK for .NET Services. Java web services built on Metro (open source web services stack that runs on Glassfish from Sun Microsystems) can be easily hosted on the .NET Services infrastructure by using the jdotnetservices SDK (Java SDK for .NET Services). Java clients can also easily consume the services hosted in .NET Services infrastructure. This is achieved by providing a custom transport extension for the metro framework. Services and clients can be developed and can be enabled to interoperate with the .NET Services infrastructure with minimal changes.

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