Windows Azure AppFabric CTP October Release

Today we are announcing the Windows Azure AppFabric CTP October Release, available in our LABS environment: http://portal.appfabriclabs.com.   

This release introduces an exciting new service called Windows Azure AppFabric Caching, some important new features for Service Bus, and some bug fixes for Access Control.  The Caching service is the first of several new services planned for AppFabric, several of which are being announced at PDC today. 

Taken together these new services take Windows Azure AppFabric beyond the scope of providing cloud connectivity and start to fulfill the vision of a comprehensive cloud middleware platform for developing, deploying and managing applications on the Windows Azure Platform.  You can learn more about Windows Azure AppFabric, including the new services announced today at PDC, on our new website - www.microsoft.com/appfabric/azure.

Here are the highlights of the release:

Caching: Windows Azure AppFabric Caching is a distributed, in-memory cache for applications running in Windows Azure. 

  • It can significantly speed up access to data for your Windows Azure applications.
  • It is delivered as a cloud service, so it's simple and requires no administration on your part to setup or maintain.
  • It is based off of Windows Server AppFabric Caching capabilities, which means it is proven and uses a familiar programming model.

Service Bus: In this release we are introducing some new enhancements to the Service Bus:

  • Durable Messaging - This gives larger storage capacity, larger message size, and durable persistence to Message Buffers.
  • Load balancing - We now allow multiple listeners on the same connection point, which provides for load balancing solutions with no single point of failure.
  • Improved Management- All management operations (for both Message Buffers and Connection Points) are now explicit, the management store is persistent and management data can be accessed through Atom Publishing Protocol / REST.

Note: this release of Service Bus is focused on getting feedback in these new features and does not support the full set of features available in production today.  We will be adding all of the production features back together with the new features in a future CTP release in LABS before releasing the full updated Service Bus to production.

Access Control: This release contains only bug fixes for Access Control; no new functionality added since the LABS September Release.                                                                                                                                                 

Keep in mind that in the LABS environment there is no SLA, but accounts and usage of the services are free.  As always, we encourage you to check it out and let us know what you think of the new features.

The Windows Azure AppFabric Team