Platform Windows Azure has received another major update.Last week on his blog, Scott Guthrie announced a new version of the .NET SDK 2.0, including new tools with Visual Studio integration for managing repository components, application diagnostics, and website publishing.
This update introduces new features for working with the Service Bus (Service Bus).In addition, the Windows Azure platform received a large number of new features for automating administrative tasks using PowerShell.Finally, an updated Windows Azure Training Kit was released that includes dozens of labs for self-study of the cloud platform.
Below you will find a brief description of all the innovations. You can download all the new tools from this link The source codes of the SDK are available on GitHub
Improvements in website publishing
The .NET SDK 2.0 update offers deeper integration of Windows Azure tools with Visual Studio. Project publishing in Windows Azure Web Sites is now more deeply integrated and allows you to register your account subscription with the IDE to quickly publish web applications and access subscription items from Server Explorer.
This allows you to select the desired Web Sites service instance to publish without manually downloading the publication profile from the administration portal.
Managing Windows Azure Web Sites inside Visual Studio
The Windows Azure Web Sites subsystem gained other new administration features with Visual Studio integration. You can now manage Web Sites instances using the Studio Server Explorer.
You can stop and start sites, configure settings that were previously only available through the Windows Azure admin panel or the command line.
Receiving Diagnostic Logging Data in Real Time
Another major new feature of the .NET SDK 2.0 update is the new ability to get real-time diagnostic logging data for websites.
Developers can use the standard System.Diagnostics assembly and Trace class to log diagnostic messages.
With Web Sites instance management, developers can enable logging of such logs in the administration portal settings or through the new Visual Studio functionality for Web Sites administration.
Then, the developer can use the new .NET SDK 2.0 functionality to get real-time diagnostic information :
This function is also available for cloud service roles. The developer can set the parameters for collecting diagnostic data and select which data to collect in the cloud service settings.
Diagnostics of cloud services can also be configured using the configuration file :
Diagnostic data can then be viewed in real time using the new Visual Studio tools, for example, below is a screenshot of SQL Server errors that were retrieved from the cloud service in real time :
To stop receiving live logs, the developer simply needs to disable streaming. Collected data can be stored in the Windows Azure Table Storage cloud, from where it can then be queried using the new query builder tool:
New function of streaming logs in real time is also available for command line tools
Support for new types of virtual machines to publish cloud services
Along with the recent announcement of the global availability of Windows Azure infrastructure services, new virtual machine types with increased available RAM size of 28GB and 56GB were also introduced (details on this link ).
With the .NET SDK 2.0 update, developers using Visual Studio can host cloud services in new types of virtual machines :
Increased speed of hosting cloud services
In the past, when publishing an updated version of a cloud service through Visual Studio, the update process occurred sequentially for each application instance in the cloud. For example, if a cloud service was scaled to 10 instances, then the update was performed sequentially instance by instance, so that the service would remain available to users even during the update.
The .NET SDK 2.0 update adds the "Simultaneous Update" feature, which allows you to define a process for updating all instances of cloud service roles at the same time. This significantly increases the update rate of the whole deployed solution, but leads to unavailability of the service for a while.
Cloud storage toolkit
The Windows Azure Storage cloud tools previously allowed you to work with queues and blobs. The current .NET SDK 2.0 update adds full tool support for working with tables to Visual Studio.
Developers can create and delete tables, populate tables with data, query and filter data in tables.
Windows Azure Service Bus messaging library improvements
The most significant innovations in the current update concern the Windows Azure Service Bus messaging service. The .NET SDK 2.0 Service Bus client library added support for the following features :
- feature support Message Browse to be able to browse a message in the queue without blocking or selecting it from the message queue;
- new model of message handling Message Pump – allows you to handle the message queue and incoming messages in push style, instead of cyclically polling the queue;
- capability automatic removal idle entities : queues, subscriptions, tops.
For links to more detailed descriptions of each new item, see the "Update Details" subsection at the end of this article.
New PowerShellcommands to automate administration tasks
The current update adds a huge number of new commands for Windows Azure cloud resource administration tools via PowerShell :
- Get-AzureWebsiteLog – for streaming diagnostic information and website logs;
- Set-AzureDeployment -Mode Simultaneous -to set the cloud service instance deployment feature simultaneously;
- creating new types of virtual machines through the New-AzureVM and New-AzureQuickVM commands;
- new commandlets for managing service bus namespaces;
- new commandlets for managing Windows Azure Store add-ons, getting a list of add-ons, purchasing new add-ons and viewing already purchased ones, and so on, such as the command for purchasing MongoDB with a free plan and hosting in West US:
New-AzureStoreAddOn myMongoDB -AddOn mongolab -plan free -Location "West US"
- Commandlets to support CRUD operations with Windows Azure Storage blobs, container management, copying, loading and unloading blobs;
- New commandlets to support scaffolding functionality for web and cloud service roles : Add-AzureWebRole, Add-AzureWorkerRole, New-AzureRoleTemplate.
A full list of the new PowerShell scripts and their functions can be found at following link
Above are brief descriptions of the new features of the current update. More information on each of the new features can be found at the following links :
- Scott Guthrie’s blog
- Windows Azure Blog Announcement
- Announcement on MSDN:What’s New in Windows Azure
- Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.0 Release Notes
- What’s New in the Windows Azure SDK 2.0 Release (April 2013)
- What’s New in the Windows Azure Tools
- Episode 106 — Scott Guthrie Discusses Windows Azure SDK 2.0
- What’s new in the Service Bus .NET SDK 2.0
- New Tools for Azure Storage and Diagnostics
New Service Bus Features:
- New features in Service Bus Preview Library (January 2013) — 1: Message Pump
- New features in Service Bus Preview Library (January 2013) – 2: Auto-expiration
- New features in Service Bus Preview Library (January 2013) – 3: Queue/Subscription Shared Access Authorization
- New features in Service Bus Preview Library (January 2013) – Epilogue: Message Browse
Service Bus Novelty Announcements:
- Release Notes : http://t.co/c5aLW86qNj
- Documentation Update : Service Bus Authentication
- Blog post about Task based APIs: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/archive/2013/04/11/task-based-apis-for-service-bus.aspx
- Examples of Service Bus novelty code:
- SAS: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Shared-Access-Signature-0a88adf8
- OnMessage: http://t.co/YWcSqszHPE
- Browse: http://t.co/ezf6i5uRo5
Windows Azure Training KitUpdate – April 2013
In the same week as the .NET SDK 2.0 update, the updated training kit was released Windows Azure Training Kit which offers dozens of presentations, projects and labs for developers and IT professionals to learn all aspects of the cloud platform on their own.
The April update introduces the following new content :
- New Presentation : Windows Azure Mobile Services and Android;
- New lab work : Windows Azure Mobile Services and Android;
- New Lab Work : Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Phone;
- New presentation : Introduction to Windows Azure HDInsight Service;
- New lab paper : Introduction to Windows Azure HDInsight;
- Updated content for IT professionals;
- Updated presentations with new Windows Azure features: Windows Azure Overview, Windows Azure Web Sites, Windows Azure Virtual Machines Windows Azure Mobile Services.
Download the Windows Azure Training Kit at following link
Don’t miss it
Don’t miss the previous announcements of Windows Azure platform updates, which are released almost every week :
- Windows Azure update : point-to-site connectivity and other improvements to virtual machines and networks, cloud services, and the Ruby SDK release
- Windows Azure update : wide availability of virtual machines and networks, SLA, increased memory, reduced pricing
- Active Directory and backups in the cloud , tracing sites, and other Windows Azure updates;
- Windows Azure Update This entry was posted in Hadoop, Dropbox, Mercurial, PhoneGap;
- Updates and news Windows Azure platform for the month (February-March 2013);
- Cloud support For Android apps;
- Overview of Windows Azure platform updates for the month : Media Services, Notification Hubs, VM Depot, Redis.
Below you’ll find links to resources to help you use Microsoft’s cloud platform:
- Free 90 day trial Windows Azure;
- Free access Windows Azure resources for startups , partners , teachers, MSDN subscribers ;
- Development Center Windows Azure (azurehub.ru) – scripts, guides, examples, recommendations for service selection and development on Windows Azure;
- The latest Windows Azure news – Twitter.com/windowsazure_en ;
- http://wazurr.ru – Windows Azure content aggregator in Russian and English.
And if you are already developing on Windows Azure or want to find developers for your service, visit appprofessionals.ru
We will be happy to answer your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org And we look forward to seeing you at Windows Azure Community on Facebook Here you’ll find experts (don’t forget to ask them questions), photos, and lots and lots of news.
Windows Azure Summit Video Presentations and Video Interviews that took place during the big cloud conference.