The latest to trim prices is Microsoft, following similar back-to-back moves by Amazon and Google.
It may not be immediately clear what is your Server Name (connection string) for Azure SQL databases. SQLBackupAndFTP to connect to Azure SQL Database you need to configure Azure's firewall. Login to your Windows Azure Management, select "SQL DATABASES" item on the left panel, click at any of your databases and find "Manage allowed IP addresses" link on the page. On this page you need to configure your firewall to allow the machine where SQLBackupAndFTP is running access to Azure. The launch of Windows Azure has coincided with the launch of the entire cloud computing initiative from Microsoft which makes a lot of business sense but it also makes it hard to differntiate the individual parts of the initiative, here’s my understanding so far. This is the base platform that provides a generic cloud computing platform for developers to host applications on. Worker Role – This is more like a Windows Service that is deployed on the cloud, it can make outgoing connections but incoming connections are disallowed. The compute services are different from other similar cloud computing options available because it does not require the developer to supply a VM image (unlike Amazon EC2) of the application environment to host,  instead the applications run in VMs that are built and maintained by the Microsoft Data Centers that host the applications. All though in reality the deployment internally looks like below with IIS7 and Windows Server 2008 VMs.

This is the second part of the base Azure platform and is the equivalent of Amazon S3, SQS and SimpleDB all rolled under one name.
The developer story for Windows Azure is as good as anything else from Microsoft, the SDK includes tools to simulate both the compute services and the storage services on your development box, further with the VS addin you can deploy your cloud application straight to the Azure hosting platform, talk about ease of deployment. Development Fabric – Simulates the Azure Compute Services (aka Azure Fabric) on your dev machine complete with a load balancer and failover monitoring. Development Storage – Simulates the Azure storage services on your dev machine, the CTP implmentation requires SQL Server 2008 Express but you can also work with SQL Server 2008 if you want. CSPack – Command line tool that prepares a service for deployment either to the Development Fabric or to the Windows Azure Fabric. CSRun – Command line tool that runs a service (generated from CSPack) on the Development Fabric. So the development cycle for a Azure app consists of developing locally using the Development Fabric and Development Storage and then deploying to the Azure platform when ready. The other good thing is that services can be configured manually be editing the service configuration file or programatically by accessing the ServiceHosting API at runtime, so no redeployment is required if only service configurations are changed (which includes things like number of instances to run). Personally for me the Windows Azure SDK section from MSDN and this document from David Chappel were the most useful pieces of documentation to understand the entire stack.
The following is a quick start guide to getting up and running with Windows Azure and Blob storage using Java.

Now that we have a client we can begin performing actions like upload, listing and retrieving files. The only real difference between this example and the previous one is simply the list of either the container or the directory. This entry was posted in Code, Java and tagged azure, blob, code, java, storage, windows on October 31, 2012 by godlikemouse. You write an app that conforms to the cloud hosting requirements and then deploy it to the cloud where it can be managed and scaled as per the load and performance requirements. This is just like hosting your application with a hosting provider except that you get load balancing, failover etc. Again all these applications expose their API in a RESTFul manner as well making them open to both any technology that can talk over HTTP. One important caveat here is that the load balancing does not support sticky sessions(as of the CTP) which is a good thing but it does require the developer to use the storage service to store session data.

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