Their strategy will see the next-generation versions of Infor applications start appearing on Azure in 2011.
Azure applications will also employ Infor's recently announced ION framework for data sharing between applications and BPM (business process management), allowing them to work with infor’s legacy on-premises software.
Infor is also using Microsoft's SharePoint and Silverlight technologies to build out a new user interface called CompanyOn, which will give its many application lines a common look and feel. CompanyOn will be a central home for BI reports and dashboards,
Overall, the partnership has benefits for both vendors, said Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang.
"It was a huge coup for Microsoft because it shows large ISVs [independent software vendors] are still willing to bet on the Microsoft platform. It's also good for customers, in that now people are on a standardized platform, and a platform that has a future. "
Those users will benefit from the vast pool of system integrators, ISVs and developers already working with Microsoft technologies, Wang said.
But the tie-up also raises questions for other Microsoft partners, such as Epicor, which has also embraced Redmond's stack and was an early adopter of Azure.
This might force the Microsoft Dynamics VAR ecosystem to think about using Azure to host the ERP solutions they are reselling.
Infor will sell the Azure applications in multitenant form; this approach saves on system resources and allows upgrades to be pushed out to many customers at once. But Infor will also run dedicated instances for companies that desire them.