July CTP of the Windows Azure SDK and Tools

Posted: August 2, 2009  |  Categories: Microsoft Azure Uncategorized
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Microsoft has released another CTP for Windows Azure SDK and Tools as I read from email I just received returning from my holiday in France. Visual Studio July CTP can be downloaded here. In this post I will show how it behaves in Vista environment with Visual Web developer Express Edition 2008 and in an environment of Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 7 RC.

Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio extend Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 to enable the creation, building, debugging, running and packaging of scalable web applications and services on Windows Azure. This CTP can actually be used with Visual Studio 2010 (Beta 1), that is cool. New in this CTP are:

Windows Azure SDK:

  • The Windows Azure SDK supports developing and deploying services containing multiple web and worker roles. A service must include at least one role, of either type, and may include zero or more web roles, and zero or more worker roles.
  • The new PowershellRole sample hosts the Powershell runtime within a Windows Azure role. It demonstrates a simple remote console web role as well as a worker role whose implementation is a Powershell script. The host also includes the CloudDrive sample snap-in to provide access to Windows Azure Storage from script.

Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio:

  • New project creation dialog
  • Support for developing and deploying services containing multiple web and worker roles. A service may contain zero or more web roles and zero or more worker roles with a minimum of one role of either type.
  • Ability to associate any ASP.NET Web Application project in a Cloud Service solution as a Web Role
  • Support for building Cloud Services from TFS Build
  • Enhanced robustness and stability

In my previous post in January 2009 and my post in November 2008 I have been experimenting with Windows Azure SDK and Tools. I have installed on my laptop Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition, which I have used to do experiments with. Together with download of this CTP are instructions:

1. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Service Pack 1 OR Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 OR Install Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express with SP1.

I had to check this and it turns out I have the right Platform.

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2.    Install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (or above)
Install with Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition with SP1 OR Download and install (Check)

3.    Enable IIS7 with ASP.NET and WCF HTTP Activation

I have Vista as Operating System so I had to:

  • From the Start menu, choose Settings | Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features.
  • Click Turn Windows Features On or Off.
  • Under Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, select Windows Communication Foundation HTTP Activation.
  • Under Internet Information Services, expand World Wide Web Services, then Application Development Features, then select ASP.NET and CGI.
  • Install the selected features.

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4.      Install the Hotfix: Native Debugging Improvements (not required for Visual Studio 2010)

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5.      Install the Hotfix: Support for FastCGI on the Development Fabric (not required for Windows 7 RC or later, or Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later)

Note: Download and Install Updates Windows might pop up and do install!

6.      Install the Hotfix: Improve Visual Studio Stability (not required for Windows 7 RC or later)

Note: Download and Install Updates Windows might pop up and do install!

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7.      In my case uninstall previous CTP (March)

8.      Install the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio July 2009 CTP (VsCloudService.exe) This executable will start wizard that will download and install Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

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Carrying out these instructions and follow them through took a while (it’s Vista). Having done all things described above I then wanted to test (try) things out so I took my old project used in previous experiments and have a go with it. I opened project with administrative right (it’s Vista) and started project locally.

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It works with Safari for instance as browser. Ok and now I am going to try same with VS2010 Beta1, which I have on a VPC with Windows 7 RC on it. I do not need to install any hot fixes here, but I do have to enable IIS7 with ASP.NET and WCF HTTP Activation.

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This enabling IIS 7 and installation of CTP went a lot smoother on Windows 7 (no restart and all kinds of hot fixes).

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After performing installation and I started my test project, which had to go through conversion wizard and got screen below.

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I then tried to build it, but got an error:

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Error    1    Cloud Service projects currently support Roles that run on .Net Framework version 3.5.  Please set the Target Framework property in the project settings for this Role to .Net Framework 3.5.    MyFirstWebCloudService_WebRole   

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Build succeeded and I run an instance and test it.

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Deployment is still the same and you can see how it is done here. I would like to do some experimenting, but I lack time to so properly and with dedication. Have a look for instance what Richard Seroter has done with Azure Service Bus and BizTalk.

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Author: Steef-Jan Wiggers

Steef-Jan Wiggers is all in on Microsoft Azure, Integration, and Data Science. He has over 15 years’ experience in a wide variety of scenarios such as custom .NET solution development, overseeing large enterprise integrations, building web services, managing projects, designing web services, experimenting with data, SQL Server database administration, and consulting. Steef-Jan loves challenges in the Microsoft playing field combining it with his domain knowledge in energy, utility, banking, insurance, healthcare, agriculture, (local) government, bio-sciences, retail, travel, and logistics. He is very active in the community as a blogger, TechNet Wiki author, book author, and global public speaker. For these efforts, Microsoft has recognized him a Microsoft MVP for the past 8 years.

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