Tutorial - Going Live with your First Application on Windows Azure - Part II

By narayanam_jr|17th Feb 2012
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In part 1 of this series, we have been through the process of signing up with Windows Azure. In this part, we will setup the development environment required to get started with your first Cloud application.

Firstly, you need to download and install Microsoft Visual Studio. For this, visit microsoft.com/visualstudio and click on Visual Web Developer Express from the Product link.

Visual Studio Express Landing Page

Visual Web Developer Link

Click on Install to download the dependencies and the complete the installation of Visual Web Developer 2010 Express.

Web Platform Installer

Just follow the steps to complete the installation. After a while, Visual Web Developer will be available in the Start menu.

Web PI Install Progress

Web PI Success
VWD Start Menu

The next step is to download the Windows Azure SDK for .NET. Visit https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/ to download the SDK.

Azure SDK for .NET Download

This will launch the Microsoft Web Platform Installer and after a few clicks, you should have Windows Azure SDK installed and integrated with Visual Studio Web Developer Express.

Web PI Install Azure SDK

Launch Visual Studio Web Developer from the Start Menu.

Visual Studio Web Developer

Click on File->New Project to open the New Project dialogue. From this select Cloud and give a name to the Project.

VWD New Cloud Project

The next dialogue shows various options. Choose ASP.NET Web Role and add it to the Solution.

VWD New Project Web Role

Before we launch the application, we need to restart Visual Web Developer Express in elevated mode. To do this, right click on Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express and open the properties. Click on the Compatibility tab and click the check box to run the program as an administrator.

VWD run as Administrator

Restart Visual Web Developer 2010 Express and open the same Cloud project that you saved last time. We need not make any changes to the default project and launch it as is. As you notice in the Solution Explorer, The project has the complete web application which can be used as a starting point.

VWD Solution Explorer

Let’s launch this by selecting Debug -> Start debugging.

Debug Start Debugging

This will launch the Windows Azure Emulator which includes both the Storage and the Compute emulator to test the applications locally.

Windows Azure Emulator

Storage Emulator Initialization

After the first time initialization is done, you can see the Windows Azure Emulator in the system tray.

Windows Azure Emulator Tray Icon

After few seconds, you will see Internet Explorer come up showing the ASP.NET page which is a part of our first Cloud application.

First App

Congratulations! That was your first step towards the Cloud. In the next part, we will customize this application and deploy it on Windows Azure. Stay tuned!

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