Recently, Microsoft came up with the new CloudApp() Contest. This competition encourages developers all over the world to create some applications on Microsoft’s Azure platform that make use of the cloud and emphasize the cloud computing benefits. While the U.S. winners are already chosen, the international contest will be open for community vote during 10th July and 20th July.
For this competition and as part of our overall technology partner strategy, my company SDX AG has built up a team to develop an Azure-based business application showcase. Our team developed a business scenario and has taken advantage of Windows Azure and Silverlight to realize this scenario in the cloud. I’ve had the chance to take part in the brainstorming process and joined the team for some development tasks during the last days…
The business story
Since my company has core competences in the financial sector, the business scenario targets this area as well. The application realizes a rating stress simulator for banks. What is this about? That’s the story: Financial institutes cannot provide credits freely. Each credit must be backed with a certain amount of money, depending on a calculated risk (rating for a credit user).
Our Azure application is a simple showcase on base of this business scenario. It allows users to run a financial stress test which calculates capital buffers, that are needed to withstand selected situations (such as a recession) over some period of time. After the stress test is run, the user can view the results of the calculation visually. The included algorithms are very simple, but they verify the architectural model of our cloud application and bring it to reality.
A bank in need for this functionality has real benefits of letting the application run in the cloud. Such a stress test is not computed continuously, but runs on a periodical cycle, e.g. weekly or monthly. Thus the processing power and storage capacity has a short peak where the server CPUs get busy, but the rest of the time they remain idle. By running the application in the cloud, a bank has no need for additional servers in its datacenter to buffer the computational peaks of the stress test. Thereby, the infrastructure and administrative costs can be clearly reduced.
Try out and vote!
Of course, you are able to run the application for yourself and try out its functionality. By this URL, you can start the Silverlight application: http://ratingsimulator.cloudapp.net. I encourage you to read the introductory information on the first page to prepare yourself for the application and to get more background information. Then play around, create some scenarios with a certain number of credits and let the calculation run in the cloud. Afterwards you can view the stress test results in a summarizing diagram.
If you like our little application, we would be very glad if you vote for us. You can do that with the following link: [voting closed]. Thanks a lot for your support!
My colleague AJ has published a blog post about this as well: new CloudApp()