Windows Azure is the name for Microsoft's Software + Services platform, an operating system in the cloud providing services for hosting, management, scalable storage with support for simple blobs, tables, and queues, as well as a management infrastructure for provisioning and geo-distribution of cloud-based services, and a development platform for the Azure Services layer.
Installing the Windows Azure SDK
There are two development scenario's when working with Windows Azure.
You can develop your application using Zend_Service_WindowsAzure and the Windows Azure SDK, which provides a local developent environment of the services provided by Windows Azure's cloud infrastructure.
You can develop your application using Zend_Service_WindowsAzure, working directly with the Windows Azure cloud infrastructure.
The first case requires you to install the » Windows Azure SDK on your development machine. It is currently only available for Windows environments; progress is being made on a Java-based version of the SDK which can run on any platform.
The latter case requires you to have an account at » Azure.com.
The Zend_Service_WindowsAzure class provides the PHP wrapper to the Windows Azure REST interface. Please consult the » REST documentation for detailed description of the service. You will need to be familiar with basic concepts in order to use this service.
Zend_Service_WindowsAzure provides the following functionality:
PHP classes for Windows Azure Blobs, Tables and Queues (for CRUD operations)
Helper Classes for HTTP transport, AuthN/AuthZ, REST and Error Management
Manageability, Instrumentation and Logging support
Zend_Service_WindowsAzure provides access to Windows Azure's storage, computation and management interfaces by abstracting the REST/XML interface Windows Azure provides into a simple PHP API.
An application built using Zend_Service_WindowsAzure can access Windows Azure's features, no matter if it is hosted on the Windows Azure platform or on an in-premise web server.