Update Released: Windows Azure Storage Plugin for WordPress

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. announced today that they have released an update to the existing WordPress Plug-in, Windows Azure Storage for WordPress.

If you aren’t familiar with the tool, essentially it allows you to sign up for Windows Azure, create a storage account and save your blog post assets like images, videos and documents in a durable, CDN enabled [enabling CDN in Windows Azure Storage] storage system with up to 100TB of storage!

Why Update the WordPress Plug-in?

The major reason for the update was to bring the tool inline with the most recent release of the Windows Azure SDK for PHP [Windows Azure SDK for PHP on GitHub]. For this reason alone, it is a great example of a real world application which reaches thousands of users [Current Downloads as of this post: 2635].

Need Installation Instructions? Read Windows Azure Storage Plug-in for WordPress Updated by Brian Swan.
Need a Blog? Sign up for a Free Windows Azure Account, then Setup a new WordPress Blog on Windows Azure Web Sites using the OSS Gallery.

If you use WordPress as your blog engine or as a CMS, the Windows Azure Storage for WordPress Plug-in is definitely worth a look.

How does the Plug-in Work?

More interested in the Architecture of the Plugin? Read Windows Azure Storage Plug-in for WordPress by Doug Mahugh

The plug-in uses the WordPress Filters to inject new storage functionality such as a tab for accessing existing items in the storage container, a mechanism for saving content to Windows Azure Storage, as well as providing XML-RPC support for saving attachments from third party blog tools (like Windows Live Writer).

Under the covers the tool saves your media files as Block Blobs, it utilizes the BlobRestProxy exposed by the Windows Azure SDK for PHP to commit the files in individual blocks (max. 4mb in size) before committing the entire blob. The benefit to using this technique is if any one (or multiple) block doesn’t succeed in uploading, the maximum amount of data that needs to be resent to Blob Storage is reduced (which in turn saves in bandwidth usage).

All thumbnails which are auto-generated by WordPress are uploaded in the same fashion, then the metadata (Container Name, Blob Name, Thumbnail urls) are all saved to the database using add_post_meta.

Can I Contribute?

If you want to add additional features, or view the Source code for the Windows Azure Storage for WordPress Plugin it is available from the WordPress Plug-ins SVN Repository under a New BSD License.

More into Git? [Me too…] Instructions for Bidirectional operations between SVN and GIT

Once you’ve downloaded the source, you may want to consider checking out WebMatrix which has support for PHP syntax highlighting and code completion, as well as WordPress specific code completion which will be helpful when you’re extending the plug-in.

Happy Blogging!

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