At this point, I think I have a good idea about what GAE, AWS, and Azure offer in terms of potential. To force myself to learn things faster, I think that it’s time to go out and build an application. For the sake of making apples to apples comparisons, I need an application that is fairly simple and allows me to exercise cloud storage as well as application hosting. I also want something that is super simple and that involves something I have already built. For my book, Effective REST Services via .NET, I put together an application that allowed a user to create and manage a photo album. I think it’s appropriate to reuse that concept. For one thing, I already have the application coded, so I will be able to reuse a lot of ideas and code. The other thing that I like about this idea is that it is a well understood problem. People are familiar with the notion of uploading a picture, then seeing that picture displayed on a web site. It allows me to demonstrate something that may be large. It let’s someone testing my application to get a visual confirmation that the big file is on the server. The other thing is that it’s hard to fake an image at the beach, not too hard to fake "Uploaded Northwind.mdf, size 52MB."
Because I am a bit of a Microsoft fanboy, I want to save that experience for last. I will start with GAE next week and I’ll report on the experience as I go. If this sounds interesting, it might be good time to subscribe to the blog feed (http://feedproxy.google.com/scottseelysblog).