This project will be a test case of the Windows Azure system for the Windows Azure Developers Challenge.
I will be developing a website that allows users to enter and track their weekly subscriptions to comics they enjoy. Along the way, I will be testing and making use of the various services that exist in the Windows Azure environment, including using a SQL backend for data storage as well as Virtual Machines for launching additional instances of any OS and/or application I may need along the way.
Challenge 1: Completed with this article and registration on Azure.
Challenge 2: A prototype website will be built. It will likely be developed in PHP. This will additionally give me the opportunity to examine what libraries Azure allows for PHP. The site will demonstrate functionality but will not be usable beyond viewing the intended design.
Challenge 3: The website will be further developed to allow user creation and data entry for storage in the database designed for this site.
Challenge 4: Having used VMs in the desktop environment, this challenge will allow me the opportunity to try launching new VMs in an online, remote environment. I'm considering firing up VMs for development OSs, or perhaps even various OSs to test the site in multiple OS/Browser setups.
Challenge 5: The goal of this site is to be a lightweight, fast solution for mobile access (likely forgoing elements like images to reduce the load). If I have the time, I would like to examine solutions for speeding up access times for specific elements on a page to experiment with web optimization.