Friday, June 12, 2009

Web Development with Windows Azure

Today I am hoping to put together a bunch of resources to get started on Web Development on Windows Azure…

Overview & Value Props

At a very high level Windows Azure will provide cloud computing platform for web developers with few key advantages over any other on premise or hosted environment… IMO, the key value props of Windows Azure for Web Developers are:

  • Scale up and down based on your need – You can start off with very small server capacity and eventually as your web site traffic grows you can choose to request more capacity as things go…
  • Failover management – If one of the server fails or your application goes down then Windows Azure will take care of spinning up new server VMs for you behind the scenes without your site experiencing any downtime…
  • Store your Data in the Cloud -  If your web application is sitting in the cloud then you will need to have your database in the cloud as well...  With Microsoft’s cloud storage you can now have your data in the cloud as well…
  • Use existing  Skill Set – Developers have invested a lot of time and energy in learning technologies like ASP.NET and general .NET framework in itself.  In Windows Azure you will be able to use the same APIs that you are familiar with…  Funny but you can also host PHP applications on Windows Azure…

If you would like to learn more about the high level advantage and direction then visit Windows Azure for Web Developers page… While you are at it make sure you watch the small videos on the page which will give you a good back ground about Azure for Web Developers…

Getting the Windows Azure Tools & Accounts

Next, let us talk about what do you get yourself set up for Azure development…

  • Register for a free Windows Azure Account – The chances are that the account may not remain free and available all the time so go ahead and register for a account at Connect site
  • Use your existing Visual Studio 2008 install or even better than that download Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1  which is available to download for FREE…
  • Recently Windows Azure tools for Visual Studio were released which work on VS 2008 as well as VS 2010 Beta 1… Download the Windows Azure Tools for VS and install them on top of VS 2010 Beta 1…
  • You can also separately get the Windows Azure SDK, although I would recommend using the Tools install which contains all the stuff that you need including the runtime… 

Do find some very useful resources around the Azure application development below:

Useful Documentation

Web Casts & Videos

There are some good Azure web casts available… View Windows Azure Web Casts

Some of the interesting videos in the series of Windows Azure Videos are:

MSDN has got some more Azure Videos too…

Microsoft Events site also has many other Windows Azure videos

Sample Projects

To get started further easily you can find sample projects which use Windows Azure at www.codeplex.com… TIP: Search for “Azure” in CodePlex and you should find some samples easily…

Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback and Questions, you can certainly leave them here; additionally you can also go to Azure User Groups….   

Hope this helps…

- Vishal | Twitter: @VishalRJoshi

10 comments:

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Natalie said...

really good beneficial instructions on Windows Azure, it has all important aspects what we need to run the application. . thanks web 2.0 development company

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Web development Company said...

Nice post. My company also offers this service. I think this is one of the best emerging technology for cloud computing.

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Krish said...

Thanks for the one-stop azure web development post.
I have developed a asp.net mvc application with mef for the azure platform. I want to copy an external assembly using mef into the bin folder at runtime. I am getting the access denied exception. Can you please help with what permissions etc., are required to be able to copy to the bin folder?

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