I recently started work on my long time ambition of working on Application for my favourite sport Formula 1. Right from the day 1 I wanted to design an application that is easy to use, free of cost and most importantly offer users something that the current generation of apps don’t offer.
It started off as putting in few hours of work here and there whenever I had any free time. It took me 4 weeks to come up with platform, framework and something that would be workable option.
The application utilises a client server design whereby application relies on data provided by a cloud service. I opted to utilise WCF for my cloud service as it gave me flexibility of running more than 1 binding interface type. Long story short, I got service ready just in time and then continued to work on deployment. I have a Windows Server in US that I use to host my blog and also other website that I run for my friends. My original aim was to deploy my service component on the same service but on the very last minute I made decision on hosting it on Windows Azure.
I wanted integration between my source control system (VisualStudioOnline) and my production environment and Microsoft Azure gave me that out of the box. One of the most important reason for using Azure was Cost—it absolutely costs nothing to host a shared instance website on Windows Azure and that made no brainer!
The app has been on the marketplace for last fortnight now and I can see the service is also getting quite a few hits which means that users are obviously using the application. The service application is still using shared instance and I am ready to move it to dedicated instance if the number of hits reach to a level where I need to make that change.
The last round of update from Microsoft have introduced a huge set of features specially around Operations side.. do I like them ? I absolutely love them as these give me detailed information on how my service is coping under load.
Lessons I have so far learned from my journey ?
If you are developing a brand new application now or you are considering doing a large chunk of work on your existing application, do consider Microsoft Azure as your hosting platform.
.NET framework and Microsoft Azure has lot going for it now and more to come in future, so don’t ignore it.
Universal applications are going to be huge and .NET development has a lot going for it.
As for my app, I am working on making my application much more feature set and incorporate features that users would like to see.