A while back I started my path with Windows Azure and in general the surrounding technologies and changes that have happened since the start of it.
Finding resources now has become rather easy, from the blog posts to the amazing resources available through the Training Kits and such.
But the books have also been key. And that where the Windows Azure Step by Step by Roberto Brunetti and published by Microsoft Press, has been a great book. It gives a well rounded intro into Cloud Services in general. Providing great background on the different types of Cloud Services, describing the differences between Software, Platform and Infrastructure as a Service.
Then moving on to describing and providing a great starting point to development for Windows Azure development, from the experience within the Portal itself to the tools in Visual Studio.
It then moves to provide an introduction and great examples of what it is to work with the Roles Azure has, and the functionality that can be achieved by looking into those Roles and also working with App Fabric. Then moves into working with Web Roles. It explains it from start to finish, how to start the project, how to build it and then deploy it.
It describes the Storage capabilities built into Windows Azure and later in the book it introduces SQL Azure.
This is a great introductory book to Azure and the developments process, however, based on the changes and evolving components perhaps there are other resources that do provide an updated view into Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Let’s hope there is a second edition to this book, it does serve as a great starting point.