By now, we are all familiar with “appstore”, “marketplace”, and other online services that supply ready-to-use applications; but it is very interesting how this very notion is expanding to reach out to different commodities that enhance the themes of specialization, subscription, not reinventing the wheel, and the like.
In the old past (20 years ago), application code was completely autonomous and that model has indeed progressed over time to building applications by componentizing their building blocks through object orientation, client server model, parallel computing, SOA, web services, and on through to the cloud model. It is easy for one to recognize that app is made out of binaries but might miss that apps revolve around data that get turned into information that is in turn used to solve business and otherwise problems.
Well, search no more. The data piece is now getting commoditized as well; and for good reasons. There are companies that specialize, research, and produce very invaluable datasets. Such thing existed before and still does exist today. The one thing that is different is how such efforts are becoming discoverable through the cloud and subscribe-able-to through the DataMarket concepts.
The Windows Azure™ Marketplace is an online marketplace for developers to share, find, buy and sell building block components, training, service templates, premium data sets plus finished services and applications needed to build Windows Azure platform applications.
The DataMarket section of the Windows Azure Marketplace is now commercially available at https://datamarket.azure.com. The Applications section will be launching in Beta by the end of calendar year 2011.