Windows Azure Portal Enhancements 2013-11

They work hard on the Windows Azure portal, which results in many enhancements and changes. It starts with logging in. If you go to https://manage.windowsazure.com the first change/enhancement is there. Before the portal assumed you wanted to login with a Microsoft account. If you wanted to use your Office 365 account (Organizational Account), there was a obscure link left in the picture. The login screen changed to the Office 365 login form.

Now you get a clean and empty form with just an edit field. In the edit field an e-mail address is entered. The portal will find what kind of account it is (Microsoft of Organizational). When you return to the portal, you can click on a previous used account.

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This makes life a lot easier.

Another enhancement is when creating a new Virtual Machine from the gallery. The different images are now grouped nicely. So the Microsoft software is grouped, next to the Oracle Oracle images and the Linux versions. That makes selecting and choosing a lot simpler.

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A new option is the MSDN checkbox at the bottom. This is only available if the Windows Azure subscription is connected to a MSDN account. With this you get the ability to create a VM with Visual Studio.

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Below the MSDN checkbox is a checkbox Supported. Also really handy. On Windows Azure regularly Preview or Evaluation images are placed by Microsoft. This makes it possible to get familiar with coming version of software. With the checkmark your choice will be limited to supported/production versions.

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Another beautiful thing. If the Windows Azure subscription is connected to a MSDN account you are entitled to a number of credits. Look here for the correct and current values. The credits are rather valuable, but to view the status of your usage you had to go to the billing portal. With this gem it is much more clear.

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As you see the cloud is always on the move and changes follow quick. The release cycles are very often.

Happy Windows Azure!

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