Today, the IIS team released a the Web Platform Installer 2.0 RTW. Among the many cool new things (more tools, new applications, and localization to 9 languages) is the inclusion of the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.
Install the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 using the Web Platform Installer.
Why should you care? As many of you know, before using the Windows Azure Tools, you need install and configure IIS which requires figuring out how to do that and following multiple steps. The Web Platform Installer (we call it the WebPI) makes installing the Tools, SDK and IIS as simple as clicking a few buttons.
For example, on a fresh machine, when I use the WebPI to install the Tools – look at all of the dependencies that get brought in and installed for me. I also don’t need to know to install IIS as a separate step, *it just works*.
One thing I do want to point out is that if you to browse around the WebPI to find the Windows Azure Tools, you first have to go to the Options dialog:
And select the “Developer Tools” checkbox.
A couple of other notes:
Today, the WCF team released a patch that will help you if your are using WCF on Windows Azure.
Essentially, if you use the "Add Service Reference..." feature in Visual Studio or svutil to generate WSDL for a service that is hosted on Windows Azure either locally or in the cloud, the WSDL would contain incorrect URIs.
The problem has to do with the fact that in a load balanced scenario like Windows Azure, there are ports that are used internally (behind the load balancer) and ports that are used externally (i.e. internet facing). The internal ports were showing up in the URIs.
Also note that this patch is not yet in the cloud, but will be soon. i.e. it will only help you in the Development Fabric scenario for now. (Will post when the patch is available in the cloud.)
While we're on the topic of patches, please see the list of patches related to Windows Azure.