Where are the Windows Azure customer case studies – and why aren’t there more?
“Case Studies” are a great tool when you’re evaluating a platform. Having evidence that other companies have deployed Windows Azure, in addition to how they did it, is a good way to plan your own deployments or even just evaluate whether Windows Azure would be a good fit. And we have several case studies you can examine here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/case-studies/
But there aren’t a lot of them – and there isn’t much detail on some. Why not?
Well, as to the first question, we only keep a few of these on the web at any given time. They rotate based on date, industry, and other factors. If you want more, you can contact your local Microsoft team for something more specific to your situation or industry.
But even when you do, you may not get what you’re looking for – a full-scale architecture diagram with costs, names and dates, sizes and layouts and so on. That’s a tougher thing to put on the web, and here’s why: companies are reluctant (as they should be) to include that level of detail in a public place. There are legal and competitive reasons they just can’t do that. And of course at the very beginning of any project we have to get the company to agree to do a case study, and no, we don’t pay for that. The company is going to have to let us document things, work with them, and generally get involved in the project. Not a lot of companies are willing to do that. In the end, the case studies prove out that folks in your industry are using Windows Azure successfully, and that the detail is specific to your requirements and constraints. They are very useful to the business side of the company, but not as useful to the technical folks who want details.
So we’ve stepped into that gap with more of the “real details” on how to implement a Windows Azure solution. In most cases these are live, real apps – not just theoretical or best-practices kinds of documentation. We have a few places you can check for more detail, including the Windows Azure Training Kit, and much more.
Contoso Cycles – a fully-functional, open sourced demo site on Azure: http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/contosocycles
Fabrikam – a fully-functional, open sourced demo site on Azure: http://www.fabrikamshipping.com/
Simple picture display app with source code: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsazure/MyPictures-on-Windows-91bb3057
Cloud Survey – walkthough of a complete survey site using multiple components: https://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Windows-Azure-Web-Sites-Modern-Application-Sample-Cloud-Survey
Bidnow - Auction site running on Azure source code: http://bidnow.codeplex.com/
Layered Architecture Example – Very in-depth pattern for working with hybrid and scale-out projects: http://cloudsample.codeplex.com/
Other Code Samples: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/samples/
Guidance and Patterns
General Guidance: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/guidance/
Architecture Patterns: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/architecture/
Patterns and Practices for Windows Azure: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff898430.aspx