Microsoft partners with Engine Yard for cloud platform
June 27, 2013 —
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Windows Azure updates dominated the talk at the second day of Microsoft’s Build conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, following the announcement of a partnership with Platform-as-a-Service provider Engine Yard that will give developers more options for developing applications to run in Microsoft’s cloud.
Microsoft also announced that its Windows Azure Web Sites capability and Mobile Services are now in general release, with full enterprise support. The company also previewed its auto scaling service, which enables users to set up rules to dynamically grow or shrink the number of virtual machines running. This makes it easy to scale or downsize elastically for a better user experience, and saves money as well, according to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft corporate vice president in the developer division.
But the Engine Yard partnership took center stage, as Microsoft continued to show that its embrace of open-source projects and communities—as well as competitors—is more than lip service. During today’s keynote, there were demonstrations of an application being built for the iPhone using GitHub; compatibility with Google Chrome; and Box (a direct competitor to Microsoft’s SharePoint) running on Windows Azure.
“That shows the sort of openness we’re trying to embrace with Windows Azure,” Guthrie said. “We want to be a great platform for everyone.”
Through the Engine Yard partnership, Microsoft now can reach developer communities it wouldn’t normally attract to its platform, he said. Engine Yard cut its teeth in the Ruby on Rails world, but now also supports Node.js, PHP and other languages.
“We value choice, and our customers have been asking for choice. Specifically, they want Microsoft Azure capability,” said Bill Platt, senior vice president of operations at Engine Yard. He explained that the companies are taking a joint approach to reaching developer communities, with an eye to Engine Yard’s media and creative shops that do work on behalf of enterprise clients that want to deploy their applications in Windows Azure. “We bring a lot of open-source background to the table, and it's a good combination with the more-commercial and the enterprise approach Windows Azure users have had.”