Over the last few years, the concept of cloud computing spread in information technology, and it seems that its importance will continue to grow unabated. Technologically, the cloud means the model by which the hardware and software resources become available as services to users on the Internet. The biggest advantage of the new approach over the traditional server hosting model is its simplicity. The users do not have to build and manage the infrastructure required for running the software, the pricing is usually based on the pay-as-you-go model, and it is easy to achieve great scalability.
Because of all these advantages, more and more companies come up with the idea of making their new systems available in the cloud. However a problem may occur in many cases, because the companies are not familiar with the opportunities, that the chosen cloud computing service offers, and how the well tested tools and technologies work on this new platform.
The subject of my thesis was provided by Cellum, a company specialized in mobile payment solutions. They saw an opportunity in moving some of their new solutions to Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. My primary task was to design and implement a demo purchasing system to demonstrate the capabilities of the Windows Azure platform in the areas needed for development. I worked on the storage of transactional data, the handling of sensitive data, and the development of remote web services and workflows.
The purpose of my thesis is to provide a theoretical overview of cloud-based systems and the Windows Azure platform, and to present and analyze the demo system I was working on last year.