Canada Does Windows Azure: RESAAS

I believe that the best way to learn is to learn from each other, so I’m always on the search for stories of Canadian developers who have either built new applications using Windows Azure services or have migrated existing applications to Windows Azure. This is the story of RESAAS.

Points of Interest

  • [01:08] Looking underneath the covers of the RESAAS platform
  • [01:44] “3 months to port” – Perspective of time and effort to port an app to Windows Azure
  • [02:48] Considerations of Cloud Services over dedicated servers, considerations for Windows Azure
  • [04:02] Changing mentality from big machines (dedicated servers) to distributed Windows Azure services
  • [05:49] The C# and API ramp up
  • [06:50] Resources for ramping up the development team
  • [08:07] Windows Azure makes sense for Startups
  • [09:46] Gotchas and challenges
  • [12:14] Build and test process using Windows Azure
  • [13:00] Microsoft support feedback loop
  • [13:20] Opinions of privacy and security in the Cloud
  • [14:30] Handling security in the code, Trust boundaries
  • [15:48] Windows Azure Trust Center
  • [16:00] Advise for developers assessing Windows Azure as a backend services platform


  • Cloud Services host the application. The web application is hosted in web roles while various background processes that handle things like scheduled backups and pulling items off queues and processing them are hosted in worker roles.
  • SQL Databases serve as one of the main data stores and is used for relational data.
  • Cache stores output from the various data stores, making it available for the web and worker roles to consume and thereby reducing the load on main data stores.
  • Blobs Storage stores images and user generated content. Future plans include storing JSONP in Blob Storage and making it available to JavaScript enabled clients.
  • Table Storage serves as another main data store, used for non-relational data like audit tables and singular business entities.
  • Queues decouple functionality from the web application for things like data persistence and sending emails.

Resources Mentioned

RESAAS_LogoWithTag_VerticalRESAAS is a technology company that has built a fully-integrated technology platform to service all participants of the real estate industry, including professionals, such as realtors and mortgage specialists, and home buyers and sellers. The Company's mission is to connect real estate professionals, mortgage specialists, home buyers and sellers through our enterprise technology platform and allow them to communicate in "real time", allowing for faster and easier communication between industry participants. RESAAS' enterprise technology platform is built on Microsoft Windows Azure


andrew2Andrew Thompson is the VP of Engineering at RESAAS and is responsible for all aspects of RESAAS' scalable technology platform built on top of Microsoft Windows Azure. He has prior experience as a software engineer building applications with C# .NET, Java and C/C++ languages using Agile and continuous integration/deployment practices for medical, financial, digital media and social based technology companies. He currently resides in Vancouver, Canada and has a posts to his technical blog.



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