Greetings! We’re currently working with Paul Mehner on a book titled Developing Cloud Applications with Windows Azure Storage, which we expect to publish in April. Jeffrey Richter, who recently published a new edition of his classic CLR via C# (sample chapters available here), has contributed a Foreword to Paul’s book. Enjoy:

Jeff here.

To my fellow Data Lover,

The most important part of any application is its data. Data is used for user accounts, orders, game scores, news items, status updates, documents, photos, music, images—the list goes on and on. It used to be that data was all about bytes stored on a hard disk and how quickly our applications could access these bytes. But for today’s modern cloud-based applications, topics related to data now include:

  • The geo-location of the data center storing the data, which impacts latency and geopolitical boundaries
  • Security and confidentiality of the data
  • Redundancy and high availability of the data
  • Performance and scalability when accessing the data
  • Optimistic concurrency patterns, transactions, and atomicity
  • Historical copies, or versioning of the data
  • Pricing (of course) related to all of the above

Yes, data and everything associated with it has become a complex web of topics and issues that many applications must manage today. Fortunately, Microsoft has built a world-class, cloud-based data storage service that can easily be incorporated into many existing applications. This system addresses all of the issues I just mentioned and more. This book helps you understand what this service can do and how to use the service effectively. The book offers guidance, design patterns, and tips and tricks along the way.

And, dear reader, you are quite lucky to have Paul Mehner as the author of this book. I met Paul at a .NET user group meeting many years ago and was immediately impressed with him. I watched in admiration as he presented complex topics to the audience in such a way that they immediately grasped what he was saying. In fact, I was so impressed with Paul that I asked him to be a part of my company, Wintellect, and he has been working with us for many years now.

Furthermore, Paul has been working with Windows Azure long before it officially shipped. Through Wintellect, he teaches various Windows Azure topics (including storage) to Microsoft’s own employees. And, he has also worked on many consulting engagements related to Windows Azure. This book is filled with insight from Paul’s real-world experiences.

Today, just about everyone is interested in learning the best ways possible to manage their data, and this book is the best place to start on your journey.

—Jeffrey Richter (http://Wintellect.com/)