I wrote a couple of chapters for Programming Microsoft’s Clouds: Windows Azure and Office 365 about Exchange Online and Lync Online in Office 365. The book is available for purchase now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.
Microsoft has obviously made a huge push into the cloud. Most of our projects today have a component running in the cloud, whether its a database running in SQL Azure, a service running in a Windows Azure Worker Role, or sometimes the whole shebang running in Windows Azure.
The introduction of Office 365 also opens up a lot of possibilities to companies wanting to use and pay for products such as SharePoint, Exchange, or Lync in a subscription model. As a small business or even an enterprise, those subscription rates are extremely compelling.
In the current incarnation of Office 365, the online versions of SharePoint and Lync offer up a portion of the development experience and capabilities available in their on-premises brethren.
Expect the developer story here to improve in upcoming versions of Office 365; until then, this book provides some great guidance for dealing with those challenges and building real-world applications on top of these technologies.