Cloud development is becoming more and more prevalent which is why having the ability to access training and an SDK is something every company in that space should/needs to provide. To that end, the following training kit and SDK created by Microsoft will help you when starting your development journey with Windows Azure.

Windows Azure Training Kit

The Windows Azure Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content designed to help you learn how to use Windows Azure. The kit includes hands-on labs, presentations, demos, and code samples for every aspect of developing applications for Windows Azure. You can use the resources in the training kit to teach yourself or train others.

Q: What kind of hands-on labs are included in the kit?

A: The following are some sample HOL’s that are included:

  • Windows Azure Service Bus Remoting (VS2012): This hands-on lab walks you through this scenario using a sample application that replicates, albeit in a simplistic manner, the application architecture at Fictional Bank.
  • Node.js & Windows Azure Web Sites (OSX): In this hands-on lab, you will learn the basics of the Windows Azure Web Sites service for Node.js applications.
  • PHP & Windows Azure Web Sites (OSX): In this hands-on lab, you will explore the basic elements of the Windows Azure Web Sites service by creating a simple PHP application and deploying it using FTP deployment.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites Gallery (OSX): In this hands-on lab you will learn how to create a new web site in Windows Azure by using a template from the pre-packaged applications gallery.

You can download and install the kit from the Microsoft Download Center. The kit downloads as an .EXE file. Once it downloads, install the training kit on your local computer by running the .EXE file. After the training kit installs, the home page is displayed in your web browser.

Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.0

The latest version of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.0 is now available for download and this update adds improved support for web sites, cloud services diagnostics, storage client and service bus. You can download and install it using this link: Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.0

Q: What are the new features/highlights in this update?

A: Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.0 contains many new features & enhancements:

  1. Web Sites – Visual Studio Tooling for diagnostics, management, and simplified Publish
  2. Cloud Services Diagnostics – Visual Studio Tooling for configuring and viewing diagnostics data on a live service without redeployment
  3. Cloud Services – Support for newly available high memory Virtual Machine (VM) sizes (supporting VMs up to with 28 and 56 GB of RAM)
  4. Storage – Storage client 2.0 in new projects + Visual Studio Server Explorer Tooling for working with Service Bus – Updated client library with support for browsing messages, the message pump programming model, and auto-deleting idle messaging entities 

In addition, Windows Azure PowerShell (separate download) has moved to PowerShell 3.0 while adding numerous commands for Web Sites, Cloud Services, VMs, and more. 

All of these SDK and PowerShell enhancements are released and available on the Windows Azure .NET Developer Center.