.net programming, computers and assorted technology rants

Windows Azure SDK 2.0 for .NET Released


Courtesy Keith Ward,  VisualStudioMagazine

Microsoft, which just days ago pushed out a Windows Azure SDK for Ruby developers, has released a substantially upgraded SDK for its army of .NET Framework developers.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie dropped the news on his blog today, calling Windows Azure SDK 2.0 for .NET "a major refresh of the Windows Azure SDK with some really great new features and enhancements."

The upgrades are concentrated in five categories, according to Guthrie:

  • Web sites
  • Cloud services
  • Storage
  • Service Bus
  • PowerShell

Guthrie started with the improved publishing capabilities through Visual Studio. Now, right-clicking on any ASP.NET Web Project or Web Site brings up a dialogue that enables developers to publish to Windows Azure. He pointed out a difference between the 2.0 SDK and previous versions:

"Starting with today’s release you can now associate your Windows Azure Subscription within Visual Studio – at which point you can browse the list of sites in Windows Azure associated with your subscription in real-time, and simply select the one you want to publish to (with no need to manually download anything). Then just select the Web Site on Windows Azure that you want to deploy your app to, hit ok, and your app will be live on Windows Azure in seconds.  You can then quickly republish again (also in seconds) without having to configure anything (all of the publish profile settings are persisted for later use)."

Web site management is also improved through Visual Studio Server Explorer. One new tool, for instance, allows streaming of an Azure-based Web site’s application logs directly into Visual Studio. This is handy for debugging issues that can only be discovered in a live Azure setting.

On the cloud side, the main change was a big increase in the size of the virtual machines (VMs) that Azure now supports. VMs as large as 8 cores and 56 GB of RAM can be utilized for cloud services.

The new SDK also adds more storage management within Visual Studio, including the ability to create and delete Windows Azure Tables, and add/edit/delete table entities in them from the Visual Studio Server Explorer.

The big news for the Service Bus is an updated client library that adds message browse support and a new message pump programming model that moves to an event-driven processing style.

The PowerShell updates are focused on new automation commands for things like streaming logs, cloud services, VMs, the Windows Azure Store and storage.

Similar to all the Windows Azure SDKs (including those for Ruby, Java, Python and PHP), the .NET 2.0 SDK is completely open source and hosted on GitHub.

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