Author: Roger Jennings
Aimed at: Not suitable for developers
Pros: Helpful for making management case
Cons: Makes Azure seem overly complicated
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead
From the programmer's point of view Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform is very simple. It is essentially ASP .NET with some additional distributed storage and database features. This makes it both less attractive and more attractive than other approaches. It is more attractive because you might well already know nearly all you need to get started but it is less attractive because it doesn't excite with new possibilities.
This particular book on the subject succeeds in making Azure seem fairly complicated. It does this by explaining much of the inner workings of Azure which really aren't essential to making use of it. It also doesn't do you a great deal of good to know this detail because Microsoft isn't likely to issue the Azure operating fabric for you to install and host on your own servers. Basically you have to buy Azure hosting and hope that it's all configured correctly. However, this said, as long as the details don't frighten you away from Azure it is quite interesting.
There is also a lot of discussion about what makes cloud computing different and why it's a good thing. This make the book less "programmer to programmer" and more "programmer to IT manager". If you need to put a management-oriented case then it might be helpful to have a copy of this book. If you are looking for something to get you started with Azure then you probably need a different volume, however, because despite the fact that it does include examples of using table and blob storage and SQL Services these are short, not particularly easy to follow and presented as long indigestible listings.
This certainly is not a good beginner's introduction to Azure. At the end of the book you don't feel as if you have read a practical programming book but more a management handbook with some perhaps inappropriate listings and discussions somewhere in the middle.