Windows Azure picked to power charity mobile apps

Blackbaud's website under spy glass

Windows Azure, Microsoft’s Platform-as-a-Service offering, is being used to connect software and services firm Blackbaud’s on-premise donor management software to non-profit organisations and its mobile app.

Raiser’s Edge, Blackbaud’s flagship product, is a donor management database software range for non-profit organisations and charities that is deployed on-premise.

The new app, also called Raiser’s Edge, uses Azure to allow non-profit professionals to access their organisation’s database from mobile devices. This, the company claims, makes it easier and more efficient for non-profit professionals to go about their work.

The app already has 15,000 users and Blackbaud claims it is “quickly emerging as an important tool for non-profit professionals to manage critical information on the go”.

Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Microsoft’s Windows Azure director of marketing, said: “Mobile device users need access to on-premises data and assets.

“By taking advantage of Windows Azure Service Bus, Blackbaud enables large and small organisations to cost effectively access The Raiser’s Edge through the cloud.”

Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s vice president of engineering, said: “We are delivering seamless integration between disparate systems – some in the cloud and some not. Even five years ago, this would have been too costly and complicated for many of our clients.

“Cloud services like Windows Azure help support non-profits in spending less time managing technology and more time on their missions.”

Another non-profit organisation, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), also recently turned to Azure, as well as several of Amazon Web Services’ cloud (AWS) offerings to help it deal with the massive amount of traffic it receives during the clearing period.