In one of my previous blogs, I’d posted that we’re providing an AXP “Virtual blade” based on the VMware player. Frankly, this has been available on our developer website for sometime, we probably hadn’t publicized it enough – so I thought I’d help provide a pointer to that. What is the AXP VMware Virtual blade? It’s a virtual development environment that emulates the Cisco Application Extension Platform, including the CLI, . It is portable, which means you can download it to your PC and it can simulate nearly everything that the actual AXP physical module does, including API calls to the router. Simply put, it is yet another way we’re trying to make life easier for people who want to develop applications on the Cisco Integrated Services Router.Why is this important? We think it will help developers itching to get their hands on the AXP, the closest thing to the real deal. If you’re an organization with a number of developers who need access to the module, this is an easy way to scale. Also, you can do pretty interesting stuff with it like (a) try before you buy (b) you can code offline on a long aeroplane flight like my esteemed geek friend Jimmy Ray Purser does, or (c) while sitting at the beach (just tell your boss you’re telecommuting). Oh, and did I mention, that it is FREE? How cool is that? I asked Anurag Gurtu, our router TME to put together a short Camtasia-based demo to tell you where you can download this from and provide some basic configuration tips. You’re probably going to say Anurag’s doing a bad job at lip syncing, but it is his earnest effort to get the demo to you guys before he took a flight to Johannesburg.So, for all of you, who have registered for the Cisco Think Inside the Box Developer contest, and want to get your hands on the AXP, for now, this is as good as it gets. If you get shortlisted as a finalist with your proposal, you will of course get access to the Integrated Services Router, the AXP module and any other development environment that we can help put together to let you demonstrate a proof-of-concept of your application. And if you’ve more questions, drop a comment here, or on the Cisco AXP Developer resources site. Have you checked that out lately?