General Mills has developed a direct-to-consumer online channel, called Gluten Freely, that’s based on Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform. The Web site is designed to help consumers who have Celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten—a protein naturally found in certain grains—locate and shop for gluten-free foods. The site provides diet and health information.

“We needed to build an e-commerce solution without incurring the costs and maintenance of a traditional on-premises platform,” Dom Alcocer, marketing manager at General Mills, said in a statement. “Gluten Freely was brought to market about twice as fast and at about half the cost of what we were expecting from a traditional IT development.”

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