Microsoft & .NETVisual C#Microsoft Windows Azure Development Primer: Getting the Tools Ready

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A Quick Introduction to Windows Azure

Windows Azure platform is the cloud computing offering from Microsoft. With a cloud computing platform, one can focus on solving their business problems and stop worrying about infrastructure issues. With Windows Azure, Microsoft will host the infrastructure, patch the machines and ensure your information is always available and secure.

Getting the Tools: Visual Studio 2010

To create applications on the Windows Azure platform, developers will need:

  • Visual Studio 2010 – If you do not have a paid edition of VS2010, you can get a free copy of Visual Web Developer 2010 Express.
  • Windows Azure tools for Visual Studio – Currently, version 1.3 is available.

You can get the above mentioned tools separately or you can visit Microsoft’s Windows Azure page and click on the link for “Get tools and SDK” for a one-click install.

Windows Azure Tools Prerequisites

  • Internet Information Server (IIS) 7 or higher with ASP.NET, WCF HTTP Activation, Static Content, IIS Management Console and optionally CGI
  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005

The Installation of Windows Azure Tools

When you click the link, you are prompted to run an executable named WindowsAzureToolsVS2010.exe.

Click Run and you are prompted with the first screen of the installer.

Figure 1

When you click Install on the screen above, you are prompted with a license agreement which you must accept before you can proceed with the installation.

Figure 2

Click Accept to consent and move to the next step.

This will engage the Web Platform Installer to get the needed binaries from the Microsoft download servers and proceed with the installation.

Figure 3

You will have to wait a few minutes for the components to be downloaded and installed. Click Finish on the following dialog to complete your installation.

Figure 4

Click Exit to close the Web Platform Installer

Figure 5

You now have installed everything you need to get started.

Summary: Getting the Azure Tools You Need

In this article, we showed you how to get the tools needed for developing on the Microsoft Windows Azure platform and how to install them. What are you waiting for now? Go get the tools and start developing. In upcoming articles we will see how to develop for the Azure platform.

About the author

Vipul Patel is a Software Engineer currently working at Microsoft Corporation. He is currently working in the Office Communications Group and has worked in the .NET team earlier in the Base Class libraries and the Debugging and Profiling team. He can be reached at vipul_d_patel @

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