Over recent months I’ve spent a few hours playing around with SQL Azure, Silverlight and WCF RIA Services. Nothing serious, just seeing if I could store some data in the cloud within a SQL Azure database and then get that data into a Silverlight application running in a browser. I toyed with the idea of creating the new company website as a Silverlight application and so wanted to play around to see how practical it would be. It would be a good chance to learn more about the technologies as well as making the website unique compared to the competition.

I quickly realised it would take more time than I had available. It also have the disadvantage of expecting all site visitors to either already have or be willing to install Silverlight. I don’t want to alienate some visitors by having a Silverlight install request as the first thing they see.

Turns out there is another good reason not to bother. Now that Windows Azure and SQL Azure are live it seems Australia has not been invited to the party. If your company is based in the US, UK, Japan, Germany or a good many others then you could sign up. Australia? Thanks but no thanks. You have to wait until some unspecified time in the future before you can use our service.

Good job I dropped the Silverlight idea.

5 Responses to “No Azure for you”

  1. Magnus Says:

    According to this MSDN post, it will be available in April 2010.


    (See Greg Willis comment from Feb 26th.)


  2. Phil Wright Says:

    Aha. I had not seen this announcement. That is certainly good news. Thanks.

  3. Chris Porter Says:

    Have you considered AJAX + JSON or some other well formed output to allow your visitor’s browser to pull down the data and deal with it in script? I’m definitely against the idea of requiring Silverlight to do just about about anything. The same goes for Flash. With the power of the current AJAX libraries, you can get almost as far without the need for proprietary client environments.

  4. Phil Wright Says:

    I agree that using standard tech like AJAX + JSON would allow it to work across all browsers and devices which is a real plus for sticking to accepted internet standards. But I want to create a desktop quality experience and for that I need to use Flash or Silverlight. As I already know .NET and C# it means Silverlight is the obvious answer.

  5. Codie Morgan Says:

    You could toy with the HTML5 canvas tag – FF, Chrome , IE9 implementations for future ideas.

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