//Build and Windows Azure


Windows Azure SDK 1.8 for .NET is released. The SDK is available for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012. You can install it via the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. Type “Windows Azure” in the search and the necessary stuff pops up


Visual Studio Tooling

The Server Explorer is expanded with functionality, especially where it is the Service bus. The credentials can be loaded easy now. There are now many more scenarios for testing topics and queues. Also updating the properties of a queue is possible. Before you had to delete and create a queue to do that. More in this later.

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Windows Azure Websites

Windows Azure Websites runs now .NET 4.5. This was announced earlier, but now it shows on the portal too. Windows Azure Websites are a real quick way to create and enable websites, where Cloud Service have to much overhead. Only SSL is still missing.


Cloud Services

For Cloud Services we also can take advances of .NET 4.5. The server software of an instance can be Windows Server 2012. The OS Families are:

  1. Windows Server 2008
  2. Windows Server 2008 R2
  3. Windows Server 2012.


This gives new possibilities like Async and Websockets etc. But also the specific functions of IIS 8.

Remark on this! A upgrade of OS Family 2 to 3 is not possible, you need to delete the deployment and redeploy. On a Staging environment this means something for your names.


Portal changes

Besides the new icon if you pin the Management portal to the taskbar, also the header has been adjusted.


For example if you want to go to the Silverlight portal, you need to click on your account to get the menu item.

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The portal now is available in different languages. It is still limited, but I assume will grow in the future.


Esc-key now works on different places on the portal.

Parts of the portal are production and others are preview. This is now made clear with the green preview text beneath the functionality.


On the Silverlight portal you now can again use the Windows Azure Storage for deploying your Cloud service. In other words it is back.



Really  new on the portal are Add-on and Store. The Store is very interesting  for ISV or providers of tools. At this moment the Store is only avail in the US. The idea of the store is, you can buy tools and apps and use it within your own subscription. The bought stuff will be avail with the Add-on menu item. This way you are less depended of the provider of the tool for servicing it. Like you are with Windows Azure Market. The sales and payment are handled by Microsoft.



This gives great opportunities for several companies and developers. There is a complete API to get your app or tool in the store.

I can not show details of the store, but it works like choosing a Windows Azure website or a Virtual Machine. You choose from a list, choose a price plan and pay. After that the tool/app will be installed etc.

Mobile Services

Mobile services was already avail as preview, but now they extended it. Besides the Windows 8 platform now also Windows Phone 8 and IOS are added.


TFS in the Cloud

Also TFS was already in Preview, but now it is productional. It does not mean it is ready, because very 3 weken solved bugs and new functionalities are deployed. That is cool! Also cool are the Build service in the Cloud! You can start build on TFS in the Cloud.


For the time being TFS in the Cloud is free for teams of 5. If did not had the change to try it, you should do now. Go to http://tfs.visualstudio.com

Hadoop on Azure

Hadoop on Azure (http://www.hadooponazure.com) is now called Windows Azure HDInsight. Via the Web platform installer there is also a local version of it. Besides several new possibilities, there are also nice enhancements done.

Wrapped up


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