Azure Platform AppFabric Service Bus

Okay, back to Windows Azure and the Azure Platform …

My personal opinion is that Azure is a very compelling cloud offering. While certainly not perfect, and not without the need for some developer effort, I continue to believe that Azure is a very attractive option for a variety of reasons. This is particularly true for .Net developers.

Organizations wishing to develop a ”hybrid” cloud solution should definitely consider the AppFabric Service Bus as a technology of choice. If the hybrid solution is based on Windows and .Net then this choice is extremely appealing.

So what exactly is the Service Bus and what can you use it for?

Well, basically, the Service Bus allows interoperability between applications and services transparently over the Internet. Service Bus circumvents the need to deal with network address translation, firewalls, opening new ports, etc. Applications and services that can authenticate with the Service Bus can communicate with one another without knowing any of the details of where the other is running. Essentially the Service Bus acts as a trusted third party in the communication between an arbitrary host and client. This is perfect for allowing communication between something running in a private data center and something running on the cloud (aka a ”hybrid” solution)!

How does this work in practice?

Well, the first thing you have to do is to create an AppFabric project:

Figure 1 Creating an AppFabric Project

Within the project you can define multiple namespaces. Within each namespace you have access to endpoints, names and keys you need to utilize the Service Bus.

Figure 2 The Service Namespace

Then, you can use these endpoints and keys in your client and host projects to enable them to communicate.

Let’s consider an example:

So, enabling communications between applications is perhaps not as simple as one might like. The purpose of the Service Bus, though, is to make implementing these communications as straightforward as possible.

Enroll in Learning Tree’s Windows Azure Programming course to learn in much more detail how to utilize the AppFabric Service Bus in your hybrid cloud solutions!


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