Windows Azure is typically considered as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) for .NET applications only. However, the platform is open to more programming languages than just .NET. For example, PHP developers can also deploy applications to Azure as Kevin Kell wrote about in a post last November. Little known, but definitely possible, Web applications for Azure can be written in Java using the Windows Azure Starter Kit for Java.
A key question for Java developers is what does Azure offer that makes it an attractive platform for deploying Java Web applications to. A key term here is platform. Using PaaS is attractive to developers because of the zero administration required once an application is deployed. The Java toolkit opens access to the Azure platform for Java developers. However, this is a highly competitive space with all the major vendors now providing a Java PaaS: Google offer the App engine, Amazon have recently released Elastic Beanstalk and VMware have their Code2Cloud tool.
In addition to the vendors providing a Java PaaS, they also provide a rich set of API’s covering areas such as storage, messaging and scheduling to mention a few. Each of these API’s is vendor specific, although they offer similar areas of functionality. Choosing the correct vendor and platform is not an easy decision. Choice is good but making the correct choice is difficult yet vital for an organisation. Learning Trees’s Cloud Computing course discusses the products offered by the major Cloud Computing vendors, comparing and contrasting their features, advantages and disadvantages, equipping attendees with the knowledge required to make the correct choice for their organisations. If you are interested in using PaaS, why not consider attending, I am confident you will benefit a lot from the course.