Eric Kraus

application platform

Azure + Chef

Keeping the topic of Open Source going…I thought I’d share a bit of information on Microsoft’s partnership with Chef with Azure.

About 18 months ago, Opscode announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure to support rich Chef integration:

Maximizing the power of public cloud platforms is best accomplished through the use of a dynamic, consistent automation engine. With Windows Azure and Opscode Chef, organizations can now make the most of all Windows Azure offers for Microsoft and Linux-based environments alike, delivering maximum flexibility and ease of use in bringing ideas to market and adapting to business change.

-Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode


See it in Action

Below is a video of Ross Gardler (Senior Technical Evangelist from Microsoft Open Tech) doing a demo of building cloud resources in Azure with Chef cookbooks. Skip to 7:27




Microsoft and Open Source

Wanted to share some updates on the work Microsoft is doing in the open source space.

Open Compute Project

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ack in January, we announced a contribution to the Open Compute Project.  Microsoft is sharing what they call their ‘Microsoft cloud server specification‘: the designs for the most advanced server hardware in Microsoft datacenters delivering global cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Bing and others.

We are excited to participate in the OCP community and share our cloud innovation with the industry in order to foster more efficient datacenters and the adoption of cloud computing.

more details on that can be found here.


[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nother interesting set of investments in open source comes from the Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. team.  It’s a group of people building bridges between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies…powering interoperability through open standards and open source.

Here are some of the projects they are working:

Project Sienna

This is pretty cool. You can make Windows 8 apps with NO code. As a former developer, I was really skeptical as to how well this would work. I am convinced. For basic to intermediate applications, this is a really cool method for creating applications.


  • Add Text, Images, Buttons, Lists, etc. etc.
  • Navigate between pages
  • Link up data sources: Excel, RSS, SharePoint
  • Publish the app to AppX format (easily distributable or cataloged)

Bing Search API moves to Azure

As of today, the Bing Search API is now being offered on the Windows Azure Marketplace.

For up to 5,000 queries per day, developers can use the API for free to query Bing for web, image, news and video search results as well as related searches and spelling suggestions.  For queries over 5,000 developers can subscribe to various tiers of queries per month.  For instance, 10,000 queries is $20/mo and 20,000 queries is $40/mo (all the way up to 2.5 million queries per month).

The new Bing Search API supports both XML and JSON formats.

Bing Search API

It is also worth noting the features that are included in the Microsoft Translator API which is treated separately than Bing Search API.

Microsoft Translator allows for the automatic machine translation of text into specific languages via web service API.  For up to 2 million characters per month, developers can translate text for free.  Moving up to 4 million characters costs only $40/mo.

Microsoft Translator API


Transition your application to the Windows Azure Marketplace:

1. Sign up for the Marketplace.

2. Read the migration guide on transitioning your application. You can expect the transition to involve targeting a new API end point, moderate changes to the request and response schemas, and a new security requirement to authenticate your application key.

3. Subscribe to the Bing Search API and create an application key. You will not be charged for API usage until the trial period expires.

Important note…the Bing Search API 2.0 will be decommissioned on August 1, 2012 so existing developers are encourage to migrate their applications as soon as possible.