Cloud platforms should support commonly accepted standards and may lead to the creation of new standards. Windows Azure provides a standards-based environment that enables interoperability in cloud computing.
Appropriate use of internet protocols such as HTTP, XML, SOAP, REST, JSON, and TCP/IP provides the foundation for Windows Azure’s approach to interoperability, assuring that popular tools, frameworks, and languages can interoperate with Windows Azure services. These protocols are the low-level plumbing of the internet.
At a higher level, Microsoft is working with other organizations and technology leaders to develop appropriate standards for cloud computing in many areas:
Windows Azure services are exposed via REST APIs to enable their use from many different languages, platforms, frameworks, and tools. Specialized standards and protocols such as SQL (relational database access), memcache (caching), and AMQP (messaging) are supported where appropriate: