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Microsoft is offering TownHall, a new Windows Azure-hosted engagement platform that fosters, moderates and houses conversations between groups.
TownHall is an ideal tool for politicians and other public officials (among others) who want to host online social experiences that drive richer discussion around top interests and concerns with the American public.
TownHall allows you to easily create a destination for folks to voice opinions, identify problems, offer solutions and come together around common interests and concerns. Licensing TownHall is free from Microsoft; you only pay to host TownHall on Windows Azure.
The Windows Azure team announced the project on their blog at Introducing Microsoft TownHall, a New Windows Azure-hosted Engagement Platform.
TownHall offers a REST API in the cloud that enables us to deliver clients on a number of platforms and to do so quickly. In addition, we've released source code you can use to create a great Web experience. All the data is stored in SQL Azure, which makes it easy to incorporate into existing systems or use with familiar tools like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.
Microsoft is making TownHall available to a wide variety of organizations and businesses. See http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/TownHall to download the necessary code to learn more and to get started.
The Windows Azure platform offers a flexible, familiar environment for developers to create cloud applications and services. With Windows Azure, you can shorten your time to market and adapt as demand for your service grows.
Windows Azure offers a platform that is easily implemented alongside your current environment.
See Windows Azure Platform Getting Started and Why Windows Azure on MSDEV.
For free on-demand developer training, see Windows Azure Platform Training Course on Channel 9 and Everything You Need to Know About Azure as a Developer on MSDEV.
Bruce D. Kyle ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation