Updated Windows Azure SDK & Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK Available

You can read the official Windows Azure Blog post for full details.

we are simplifying the development experience on Windows Azure with three updates—a new version of the Windows Azure SDK, a new Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK, and an updated Windows Azure Platform Training Kit.  Whether you are already using Windows Azure or looking for the right moment to get started, these updates make it easier than ever to build applications on Windows Azure.

Highlights:

  • Windows Azure SDK (November 2011)—Multiple updates to the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 that simplify development, deployment, and management on Windows Azure. The full Windows Azure SDK can be downloaded via the Web Platform installer here.
  • Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK— Works in conjunction with the Windows Azure SDK and includes modules and features to author high performance computing (HPC) applications that use large amounts of compute resources in parallel to complete work.  The SDK is available here for download.
  • Windows Azure Platform Training Kit—Includes hands-on labs, demos, and presentations to help you learn how to build applications that use Windows Azure. Compatible with the new Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010. The training kit can be downloaded here.

You can start building your application on it in 3 simple and easy to do steps:

1. Download the Tools:

Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform athttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/sdk/
If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly fromhttp://tinyurl.com/toolsforazure.

2. Setup an Account:

Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts athttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/learn/get-started/ or you can sign up directly and get the trial http://tinyurl.com/getazurefreetrial.

3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/learn/tutorials/getting-started-web-tutorial/

When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform.

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Windows Azure Tools, Developer Training Kits Updated

windows_azure_smallUpdates have been released for Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Windows Azure Platform Training Kit for developers.

  • You can download the tools here using the Web Platform Installer.
  • You can download the updated developer training kit here.

The release of the tools was made at Announcing the August 2011 Release of the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

New in this release of the tools:

  • Profile applications running in Windows Azure.
  • Create ASP.Net MVC3 Web Roles.
  • Manage multiple service configurations in one cloud project.
  • Improved validation of Windows Azure packages.
Updated Training Kit

The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit has been updated for the new tools. The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform.

The August 2011 update of the training kit includes:

  • Labs and Demos
    • All the labs and demos have been updated to leverage the new Window Azure Tools 1.4.
    • Updated SSMS dependency of affected labs to SSMS SP1.
  • Windows Azure Deployment
  • Building ASP.NET Applications with Windows Azure
    • Changed the way the membership password was encrypted to fix minor bug when deployed to azure.
  • Exploring Windows Azure Storage
    • Updated the code to support deleting snapshots.
  • Windows Azure CDN
    • Applied fix to a minor bug in the Overview section.
Key Updates To Azure Tools

With profiling support in the Windows Azure Tools you can easily detect performance bottlenecks in your application while it is running in Windows Azure.

If you want to maintain different settings for different deployment environments, the Windows Azure tools now support multiple service configurations in the same Windows Azure Project. This is especially useful for managing different Windows Azure Storage connection strings for local debugging and running in the cloud.

the new tools will help you avoid some of the common problems when you deploy your application to Windows Azure. If you are forgetting to include a local assembly in your package or you publish with a local Azure Storage connection string. The tools will let you know.

How to Deploy Web Roles Quick & Easy

WAAWebRoles_logo

Creating a new role has two stages:
1. Create a new VM with Windows Server 2008 installed
2. Install your application on it.

The Windows Azure Accelerator for Web Roles makes it quick and easy for you to deploy one or more websites across multiple Web Role instances using Web Deploy. The accelerator includes a Visual Studio project template that creates a Windows Azure web role to host one or more websites. Once you have deployed this Web Role you can deploy your websites to Windows Azure using Web Deploy. Deployments to Windows Azure using Web Deploy take only about 30 seconds. Additionally, this tool will work with roles that have a single or many instances so you can scale up to handle as much traffic as you need.

The Web Host project template included with this project also has a user interface for managing your IIS applications, certificates, and site bindings. You can create new sites using only the web interface and then deploy directly to your site using Web Deploy. Additionally, the web interface has some basic UI to display logging information. The web interface can be used as is or extended to fit your exact needs.

In this screencast you will learn:

  • How to deploy this accelerator to Windows Azure
  • How to use the accelerator’s administrator portal
  • How to deploy a web site to Windows Azure using Web Deploy

To start using this accelerator, check out the step-by-step tutorial here.

Requirements

You must have the following items to run the project template and the sample solution included in this toolkit:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional (or higher) or Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express
  • Microsoft ASP.NET MVC3
  • Internet Information Services 7 (IIS7)
  • Windows Azure SDK 1.4 (March 2011)
  • Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (March 2011)

Video Tour of Four Microsoft Cloud Datacenters

Inbound Data Now Free on Windows Azure

windows_azure_smallThe Windows Azure team has announced change in pricing for the Windows Azure platform that will provide significant cost savings for customers whose cloud applications experience substantial inbound traffic, and customers interested in migrating large quantities of existing data to the cloud.

For billing periods that begin on or after July 1, 2011, all inbound data transfers for both peak and off-peak times will be free.

The announcement was made on the team blog at Announcing Free Ingress for all Windows Azure Customers starting July 1st, 2011.

Office 365 Launches Globally

Office365On June 28, 2011, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft announced the availability of Office 365, Microsoft’s next generation productivity service. Office 365 is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience delivering world class productivity solutions to people and businesses of all sizes. It brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync in an always-up-to-date cloud service. Customers may try it and buy it at www.office365.com.

Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications

Full post in the AppFabric team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/appfabric/archive/2011/06/20/announcing-the-windows-azure-appfabric-june-ctp.aspx

Windows Azure AppFabric team announced the release of the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP which includes capabilities that make it easy for developers to build, deploy, manage and monitor multi-tier applications across web, business logic and database tiers as a single logical entity on the Windows Azure Platform.

This CTP release consists:

  • AppFabric Developer Tools – Enhancements to Visual Studio that enable to visually design and build end-to-end applications on the Windows Azure platform.
  • AppFabric Application Manager – Powerful, yet easy way to host and manage n-tier applications that span web, middle and data-tier through the entire application lifecycle including deployment, configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting. The Application Manager includes a comprehensive application management portal that is powered by a REST API for monitoring the health of your n-tier application and performing management operations on the running applications.
  • Composition Model – A set of .NET Framework extensions for composing applications on the Windows Azure platform. This builds on the familiar Azure Service Model concepts and adds new capabilities for describing and integrating the components of an application. The AppFabric Developer Tools leverage the composition model to create an application manifest that is used by the AppFabric Application Manager at deployment time to understand the application structure and metadata.
  • Support for running Custom Code, WCF, WF – Formal support for executing Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) on Windows Azure and the composition of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and WF services, as well as custom code, into a composite application. In addition, it provides enhanced development, deployment, management and monitoring support for WCF and WF services.

You can read more details in this blog post: Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications and the Channel 9 announcement video.

To learn more please use the following resources:

AppFabric.tv – Announcing the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP

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