Microsoft Azure Does Open Source

Yes, that’s right.

It may or may not be widespread knowledge but Microsoft has been quietly supporting open source for years. Many people continue to think of Microsoft as a company that sells proprietary software. They certainly are that but they are also involved heavily in open source. They do not, in my opinion, get enough credit for their efforts there.

PHP is a technology that is popular with the open source community. There are many freely available applications written in PHP that could be incorporated into a cloud based solution. With the latest release of the Windows Azure SDK for PHP and the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse it is easier than ever for programmers to deploy their PHP applications to the Azure cloud.

The SDK gives PHP programmers a set of classes that can be used to program against Azure storage (blobs, tables and queues) and Service Management. There are also additional SDKs for App Fabric and OData as well as drivers for SQL Server. The Eclipse tools offer an end-to-end solution that enables the developer to program, test and deploy PHP solutions onto Azure.

Version 2.0 of the Eclipse Tools (developed by Soyatec) was announced at PDC10. This version offers many new features including integration with the Development Fabric, support for Worker Roles, MySQL integration and deployment from within the IDE.

In addition to the SDKs, drivers and Eclipse tools there is also support for the command line developer to leverage scripting skills in deployment of existing PHP applications. Finally, there is the Windows Azure Companion which makes it pretty easy to deploy finished open source community applications (such as WordPress, SugarCRM, Drupal and others) onto Windows Azure without having to know a lot about the underlying details.

The following screencast demonstrates creating a PHP Azure application from within Eclipse.

To learn more about Windows Azure consider attending Learning Tree’s Azure programming course. For an introduction to PHP you may like to come to Introduction to PHP for Web Development.


4 Responses to “Microsoft Azure Does Open Source”

  1. 1 Doug November 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm


    I agree completely with your post. In the end open source is good for Microsoft, as it makes their platform more affordable to use.

    There’s a great tool from Microsoft called the Web Platform installer ( that makes it incredibly easy to install open source tools and programs on Windows. You can use it to install PHP, plus many popular open-source programs like SugarCRM, WordPress, Moodle and many more.

    Microsoft also provides many things for free, like SQL Server Express, Visual Studio Express and the .NET Framework. It might surprise people to know that you don’t need to pay Microsoft anything to write a .NET program. There’s also an open-source development tool for .NET called SharpDevelop (

    Great post.


  1. 1 Blog Post: #Azure Action – Weekly Newsletter – 19th November 2010 | IT.beta Trackback on November 22, 2010 at 5:34 am
  2. 2 Microsoft Windows Azure Free Trial « Cloud Computing Trackback on February 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm
  3. 3 Deploying Java Applications to Azure « Cloud Computing Trackback on March 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm
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