As of today there is a update for the Windows Azure Visual Studio Tools. This update can be installed via the Microsoft Web platform Installer. More info: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/archive/2011/08/03/announcing-the-august-2011-release-of-the-windows-azure-tools-for-microsoft-visual-studio-2010.aspx
Did you read my previous blog post on Windows Azure & Configuration transformation? Than you saw that the transformation for another environment was a bit of a hassle. My experience was also that is was not very reliable on different machines. But on the other hand if it works, it is perfect.
Now the update of the Windows Azure Visual Studio tools make the transformation part quite a bit easier. When creating a new default Windows Azure project, you get two configurations: Cloud en Local. Of course you need to fill in the details yourself.
Are you suppose to maintain different environments? No problem, you can do that too. Just go to the Manage Configurations option and you are able to add configurations by copying an existing one.
It is fairly simple, you do not have to deal with XLST like transformations rules. You just Right Mouse click on the Role (Web of Worker), you select the wanted configuration and fill in the data. How easy is that.
Another adjustment which I personally like a lot, publish or making a package are now two separate choices (instead of one form with two choices). Ok, I hope there two separate tools for either. Mostly the package maker or deployer is not the developer and he/she does not always have Visual Studio. With some PowerShell commands you can accomplish this also, but in this UI world a separate application would be nice.
On both screens you can make the choices for the right configuration settings. This is beautiful, there are different combinations possible of web.config configurations and Service configurations (like Debug in de Cloud of Release in Dev fabric etc.).
And there are more enhancements. But I will back to these ones later, like MVC 3 as default Role, profilers etc.
As proven again Windows Azure tools grown with us and in nice tempo.