In a move that would have seemed unthinkable a couple of years ago, Microsoft has announced that it is adding support for Node.js to Azure, making Java applications work and integrating Hadoop. So much open source technology on Azure is something new.
‘a new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js makes Windows Azure a first-class environment for Node applications’.
In addition to the support for Node.js, Azure has been integrated with a number of other open-source tools. These are the Eclipse development environment; the MongoDB database: Lucene/Solr, a search engine; and caching technology, memcached.
"build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know".
An alternative analysis might have been that Microsoft doesn’t want to lose out to alternative online environments such as Amazon’s Cloud Services. If winning means forgetting the original aim of having Azure as an online home for ASP.NET apps, it looks like Microsoft will go for winning rather than purity.
Whether the drive to win over Java developers will succeed is, of course, another matter.
Microsoft’s Channel 9 details another development in a video. The video shows how GigaSpaces Cloudify can “help Java developers easily move to their applications, without any code or architecture changes, to Windows Azure”. Cloudify acts as an abstraction layer that sits on top of a cloud service (Azure in this case).
Cloudify handles the provisioning and intercepts the requests and provides the data for consumption, and the Java apps run as though they were still sitting in a native Java environment. It isn't quite that Azure supports Java as some news source have suggested but it is going in that direction.
In addition to these open-source additions Microsoft also added very limited, invitation only, Hadoop integration. If you want to try the preview, you need to fill in this form (after signing in to Windows Live) with ‘details of your Big Data scenario’.