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As you know, the Windows Azure platform has many moving parts – one of which is AppFabric. In a nutshell, AppFabric is a middleware platform for developing, deploying, and managing applications on the Windows Azure platform. It breaks down into these key areas:

  • Middleware Services: Access Control, Service Bus, Caching, and soon to be Integration, and Composite Application
  • Composite Application Environment (planned for future releases): Composition Model, Visual Design Tools managed as a Service
  • Scale-Out Application Infrastructure (planned for future releases): Composition Runtime, Sandboxing and Multi-tenancy, State Management, Scale-Out and High Availability, Dynamic Address Resolution and Routing

Itai Raz, Product Manager for Windows Azure AppFabric, just started a new blog post series that will explore key concepts and principles of Windows Azure AppFabric.  Before going into all of the technical details, Part 1 of the series (What is Windows Azure AppFabric trying to solve?) gives a great introduction and describes the challenges that Windows Azure AppFabric is meant to address. I love that he explains what AppFabric is trying to achieve - I believe that knowing why something was created before getting into its nitty-gritty ensures that it’s used in the way that it was intended to be used. Follow the series to learn more about the capabilities of AppFabric and how each of them will help address the challenges Itai talks about in Part 1.

You should also visit the Windows Azure App Fabric Developer Center on MSDN to help you get started learning Windows Azure AppFabric.  If you scroll towards the bottom of the page, you’ll find “How Do I?” videos and a couple of AppFabric samples you can download to get you going.

Here are a few additional places where you can learn about Windows Azure AppFabric:

On February 7, 2011, tune in to watch Windows Azure Boot Camp: Connecting with AppFabric, a 200 level webcast that will look at how to secure a REST Service, what you can do to connect services together, and how to work with firewalls and NATs.

And if the above wasn’t enough, you can also check out the Windows Azure AppFabric Team’s Blog and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.