Codit, an independent software company specializing in business integration solutions, wanted a platform that could help reduce the cost and complexity of integrating its customers’ applications and data. Codit turned to Windows Azure to create its Cloud Connector. It not only achieved its goals for its customers, but also gained an agile development environment and pay-as-you-go business model for growing its customer base.
Codit is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that helps large organizations integrate complex business processes such as line-of-business systems and deploy electronic data interchange (EDI) systems between customers and their vendors.
Codit has built most of its business by relying on Microsoft products, including Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft SharePoint technologies, Windows Communication Foundation, and Windows Workflow Foundation. Codit solutions using these products, such as the Codit Integration Dashboard, Codit Integration Framework, and Codit Collaborative Integration Platform, have traditionally required on-site installation and management expertise from Codit or the customers themselves. However, more and more customers are asking for cloud-based solutions that can help to reduce the complexity of their B2B solutions.
“With the evolution of cloud computing, a lot of customers started asking us about ways to combine the convenience and scalability of cloud services with our integration solutions,” says Sam Vanhoutte, Partner and Chief Architect at Codit. “Our customers are beginning to understand the benefits that cloud computing can offer. They are looking for ways to use cloud services for projects such as quickly setting up exchanges with their partners and suppliers.”
Codit could see the benefits of providing cloud-based solutions, but wanted to avoid the cost and complexity of hosting services on behalf of its customers. The company also wanted to ensure that the platform it adopted would provide a flexible development environment for rapid deployment of new solutions and fast updates to existing customer deployments.Solution
Codit, which closely follows emerging Microsoft technologies, decided to create a solution on Windows Azure, launching its first cloud computing solution, called the Codit Cloud Connector. The Codit Cloud Connector uses Windows Azure and a small piece of on-premises software to help Codit customers more easily integrate geographically dispersed applications and data, such as master data, transactional documents, logistics information, and EDI transmissions.
||Windows Azure is continually evolving with new features and functionality. This makes it easier for us to design and execute rapid updates to our solutions.
Partner and Chief Architect
The on-site connector is used as a proxy with rights to connect to an organization’s internal applications and data. The connector then communicates that information back to the cloud for distribution to other sites, such as branch offices within one organization or between customers, partners, and suppliers. Codit used several Microsoft products for its Windows Azure–based Cloud Connector. They include:
The Microsoft SQL Azure Database, which is used for configuring and tracking individual on-site connectors.
The Windows Azure Service Bus, which helps dispersed connectors communicate across firewalls.
Windows Azure Access Control Service for authenticating users.
Windows Azure web roles, which Codit is using for a web-based dashboard that customers can use to manage their connectors and see what messages have been sent between connectors.
Windows Azure worker roles, which are used for asynchronous background routing of messages.
Windows Azure Blob Storage, which is used for message storage.
Codit plans to deploy the first implementations of its Cloud Connector in the first half of 2011.Benefits
By using Windows Azure as the platform for its Cloud Connector, Codit has been able to respond to customer requests for greater simplicity in managing their application and data integration needs. At the same time, Codit gains a platform and tools that deliver a flexible, agile development environment. The Windows Azure pay-as-you-go pricing model is also helping spur the company’s business growth, as both Codit and its customers like paying only for the computing resources they need.
Delivers Simpler Management, More Flexibility
By delivering its cloud solution on Windows Azure, Codit was able to simplify the ways that its customers deploy and manage integration solutions. “The Codit Cloud Connector solution makes it much easier for our customers to quickly set up connections with their partners and suppliers, including scenarios that might not have happened in the past,” says Vanhoutte. “For example, a large manufacturer can set up connectors with very small distributors or retail shops without the cost and complexity of traditional solutions, which before might have confined them to a limited number of implementations. It creates a larger range of options for addressing business opportunities.”
Provides Agile Development Environment
Codit also has found that Windows Azure provides an agile development environment. “Our customers provide their requirements and, based on that input, we can provide automated workflows,” says Vanhoutte. “Windows Azure is continually evolving with new features and functionality. This makes it easier for us to design and execute rapid updates to our solutions. We can focus on creating solutions for our customers instead of managing a large hosting infrastructure. We can simply leverage what already exists in Windows Azure and build on our solutions from there.”
Supports Business Growth
The flexibility afforded by Windows Azure is also helping Codit with its business growth. “The pay-as-you-go pricing model for Windows Azure is incredibly useful for us as a software development firm,” says Vanhoutte. “It gives us greater flexibility and confidence in our product roadmap. We know that we are only going to be billed for the part of the platform that we use, and that we can, in turn, bill our clients accordingly. It gives us a very flexible billing model that is totally different than what we’ve used in the past. It gives us a greater ability to deliver added value to both our customers and to our own business.”
Related Resources and Information
To learn more about Windows Azure, visit the website at:
Watch: Channel9 Inside Out interview with Sam Vanhoutte, Partner and Lead Architect for Codit.
For More Information
To view the video documentation of Codit and other success stories visit the Microsoft Success website at: www.microsoft.com/business/success/
See how other companies successfully implemented money and time saving solutions in their business using Windows Azure. View an additional case study here.
For more information about Microsoft Cloud Services, go to: