There has been lots of buzz about the Windows Azure Marketplace since the announcements at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles that the Windows Azure Marketplace has been expanded to feature and sell not only data subscriptions, but application subscriptions. Effectively, you can now use the Marketplace to sell your Windows Azure applications, services, and building block components to a global online market. When your application is published to the Marketplace, you instantly get access to new customers, new markets, and new revenue opportunities all backed by Microsoft to ensure quality and service.
In order to get started selling subscriptions in the Marketplace to your Windows Azure-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) application, your application will need to know how to handle the events of the subscription lifecycle, such as subscribing, registering, accessing, using, and unsubscribing. With the August 2011 refresh of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit (Download, Online), a new hands-on-lab has been added to walk you through the changes you’ll need to make in order to be able to publish and interact with the Marketplace.
The lab takes an application through the full provisioning process through 5 exercises. First you’ll learn about SaaS subscription scenarios. You’ll then modify an existing application to support Windows Azure Marketplace subscriptions. Once that’s done, you’ll go through the registration of the application in the Marketplace and test it using the Marketplace’s Dev Playground. When your application can support new subscriptions, you’ll then modify it again to support unsubscribing the subscriptions. With those changes in place, the application is ready to be published to the Marketplace. You’ll walkthrough how to do that as well.
When Your Application is Ready
After completing the hands-on-lab, you’ll have everything you need in order to make the changes to your application. However, before you get started making changes to your application, head over to the Windows Azure Marketplace Publishing page to get the paperwork that you need to get involved with the Marketplace. Take care of that first and when everything is done on that end, go ahead and make the changes to your application, test them, and publish your application.
This article also appears on I See Value – The Canadian ISV Blog.