Windows Azure Jump StartIf you’ve recently joined us for AzureFest in Toronto and Mississauga, thank you for coming out! I hope the session was a worthwhile experience for you and that you were able to see how your existing knowledge and skills with .NET and Visual Studio can be leveraged to develop applications for the Cloud.

If you’re going to be joining us in another Canadian city, that’s great! I look forward to seeing you there!

Either way, now you’ve taken the first step and have started working with Windows Azure, why not continue and explore concepts that we didn’t cover at AzureFest?

Windows Azure Jump Start Videos

We’ve put together an excellent video series for you called Windows Azure Jump Start. It’s perfect for watching during a lunch break or in the evening when you need or want to think about something other than work. Each video is about 45-50 minutes and focuses on the different areas of Windows Azure: the Windows Azure environment, application lifecycle, storage, diagnostics, security, and scalability.

Here are the links to the videos, slides, and source code:

Session 1: Windows Azure Overview

Video

Slides

Code

Session 2: Introduction to Compute

Video

Slides

Session 3: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 1

Video

Slides

Code

Session 4: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 2

Video

Slides

Code

Session 5: Windows Azure Storage, Part 1

Video

Slides

Code

Session 6: Windows Azure Storage, Part 2

Video

Slides

Code

Session 7: Introduction to SQL Azure

Video

Slides

Code

Session 8: Windows Azure Diagnostics

Video

Slides

Code

Session 9: Windows Azure Security, Part 1

Video

Slides

Code

Session 10: Windows Azure Security, Part 2

Video

Slides

Code

Session 11: Scalability, Caching, & Elasticity, Part 1

Video

Slides

Session 12: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 2 and Q&A

Video

Slides

But before you get started, I’d like to review with you these three things:

Windows Azure Subscription

Do you have a Windows Azure subscription yet? If not, there are three ways to get started:

MSDN Subscription Benefits: If you have MSDN Premium, MSDN Ultimate, or BizSpark, you have complimentary monthly Windows Azure benefits that you can unlock for learning and testing. For more information on your benefits, check out my blog post, Ramp Up on Windows Azure MSDN Benefits, and activate your benefits today.

Windows Azure Introductory Special: This one is for you if you’d like to take your time as you go through your learning and testing journey. With the Windows Azure Introductory special, you get Windows Azure hours for free each month. The Introductory special does require a credit card, but as long as you stay within the included hours and resources, you will not be charged for anything. Go ahead and activate your Introductory Special.

Windows AzureWindows Azure Pass: If you’re a fast learner or need a forcing function to make sure that you do the training in a given period of time, you can activate a 30-day Windows Azure Pass. The Windows Azure Pass provides a comparable number of hours and resources as does the Introductory Special without the need for a credit card. However, after 30-days, your account and anything you may have deployed will be deleted. If you think that 30 days is enough for you and you don’t want to use a credit card, go to http://windowsazurepass.com, select Canada as your country, and enter the promo code CDNDEVS.

2: Tools for the Cloud

Once you have your subscription activated, download and install the tool add-ins that you’ll need for that rich development environment experience. You can download them from the Windows Azure Developer Center.

3: Windows Azure Platform Training Kit

Last but not least, download the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit.  It includes hands-on labs and several sample applications to help you quickly learn how to use Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and the Windows Azure AppFabric.