I’ve been working with Microsoft Azure while it has been in Beta. I like the idea of Azure. For the small single developer being able to host a site at relatively low cost allows me to develop on-line applications and for my hosting to grow with the requirements of the application – rather than a steep upfront cost.
The internet today is a treasure trove of APIs which provides the developer with a lot of opportunity to develop functionality. The application I am working on will provide a one-stop site that integrates a host of tools to help the small businessman, including accounts, Contact Management, diary, statatory returns; integration with IM. Above this I will also be adding a series of Web Services; allowing 3rd Party developers to create tools – meaning that the portal information can be made available from stand-alone apps, MS Office applications, your iPhone, Blackberry or Mobile phone.
By the time I’m finished this should detail the technical, and practical issues that arise in getting an application from writing the initial code to getting it to market.