When I'm posting various posts on the blog you will be seeing me talk about different subscriptions. I thought it was worth explaining what subscriptions are available and how they differ.
As we discussed a little in my previous post on the portals available in Microsoft Azure, I mentioned that in some instances your access method may depend on the type of subscription you have access to. Your subscription type can vary from a regular Pay-as-you-Go subscription which anyone can sign-up for at the Azure website right through to enterprise agreement subscriptions for organisations who have a spending commit against Azure. You may also have a CSP subscription through a reseller as well as a variety of different offers.
The Offer ID or durable ID as seen in many of the API calls is the offer your subscription is based on and is part of the billing information. Microsoft do publish a list of the offers which are active and retired on the Azure website. You can find out which offer ID applies to your subscription in the portal. Simply login to the ARM Portal and click Subscriptions in the left pane. Then select a subscription and the information is presented to you.
Overall though you have various channels in which to buy your Azure subscription. It could be Pay-as-you-Go, prepay, Enterprise, BizSpark or various other channels. With the exception of CSP subscriptions the services provided are the same across all subscriptions. CSP subscriptions do not have access to the ASM based platform so any service which has not ported over to ARM is generally not available.