Is Azure the New Silver Lining?
With all the necessary tools and applications installed, you can start Visual Studio (it is important to do this with Administrator rights). Next, create a new Azure project (see Figure 2). Upon starting a cloud service project, Visual Studio will create a skeleton application for you; you can use this as the starting point for your own work. The solution will actually contain two projects, one for settings and one for the actual ASP.NET web application.
Figure 2: After installing the Visual Studio Tools, a new project type will appear in the New Project dialog box.
The classic Hello World application is easy to write. You can just edit the Default.aspx file in the ASP.NET project to display the text you want. You also could add a button and write some code, for instance. Once you are done with the development, you can test your application locally using a development fabric that is installed along with the Azure SDK.
When you are happy with your application, the next step is to deploy it to the Azure cloud. This requires several steps on the web. Firstly, you need to log in to the Azure Services Developer Portal; you can access this by going to www.azure.com (this redirects you to the correct site). Here, click the Sign In link (see Figure 3). Note that although the current preview version is free to use, you will require a so-called invitation code or token to access the site. You can apply for the preview on the same page. It will usually take a couple of days to get the tokens.
Figure 3: The Azure portal page.
With the tokens, you can create an account on the portal, and then proceed to create a hosted application (see Figure 4). You will need to specify a unique name for your application. The name has to be unique among all Azure users, and names are taken in a first-come, first-served basis.
Figure 4: When creating a new hosted application, you need to specify a project name.
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