This week I just finished co hosting the Minneapolis Windows Azure boot camp. We had about 100 folks show up which near as I can tell makes it one of the largest if not the largest boot camp in the country. By way of preparation for the event Manning Publishing, Chris Hay, and Brian Prince were kind enough to provide me with a copy of Azure in Action. Being a consultant at Intertech here in Minneapolis, I pretty much always have a full time customer that pays me to do work (for them of course). When I am trying to learn a new subject I tend to do it off hours and I tend to only have small half hour time slices to really focus on it. I need a book that I can pick up for a short period of time 4 or 5 times a week and if I skip a couple days I don’t want to have to struggle with trying to remember where I left off. Azure In Action fit the bill perfectly.
Chris Hay and Brian Prince (Manning Publications) do an excellent job of sprinkling in a refreshing dose of IT humor as they show us how to use this exciting new platform and teach us how we need to think differently about how we architect an application for the clouds. Chapter 11 section 1 has a perfect example of this combination of humor and new way of thinking about architecture:
“Surely I always need a relational database, you pillock?
Over the past decade or so, there has been a government conspiracy to make us always use relational databases to track our data ;). Every database vendor has some secret code in their product that means the government can query our data whenever they want.
Okay, so the above statement is a bunch of baloney but there is a serious point there (no really there is). We are a little conditioned to store our data in a relational form, even when it's not strictly necessary.
If you can expand your mind and except that there are other ways of storing data then you can use the Table Service to store your data in a highly scalable (and cheaper fashion).”
If you are thinking about using the Windows Azure platform or just getting started on an Azure project, do yourself a favor and go out and get a copy of Azure in Action – you won’t regret it.