To aid in Node.js use, Microsoft has released a downloadable SDK (software development kit), which includes a copy of Node.js, a version of Windows PowerShell and an Azure emulator. Developers can build and test their applications on their own machines and then upload them to Azure for deployment.
The company has also provided some helpful tools and documentation for integrating into Azure other open-source applications as well, including the Eclipse integrated developer environment, the MongoDB database, the Lucene/Solr search engine and the memcached caching technology.
The support of all these technologies will allow developers to "build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know," wrote Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft's senior director of open-source communities, in a blog post.
In addition to the new technologies, Microsoft has made a number of adjustments to Azure pricing as well. Customers in North America and Europe will pay $0.12 for each GB transferred in and out of Azure (it previously cost $0.15). Asia Pacific customers will be charged $0.19 per GB (it previously cost $0.20).
Database prices have been altered as well. Users can now keep a database as large as 150 GB on Azure--the previous limit was 50 GB. Customers with more than 50 GB will not be charged more than the maximum rate of $499.95.