How do we, developers, learn cool new things? Do we read some materials, take some notes, and then we’re good to go? Maybe take a class or two and that’s it? No. We read, maybe take some classes, but most importantly, we learn by building apps! With on-premise solutions, that’s relatively easy. Build out a virtual machine, install the required software, and off we go. How do we do that with Cloud solutions? Just as easy. You use this great 4 letter acronym – MSDN.
With the benefits that come with your MSDN Professional, Ultimate, or BizSpark subscriptions, you can do a whole lot with Windows Azure for free. Let’s look at the benefits chart:
Let’s do some comparisons:
Good stuff, right?
So what’s next? 5 easy steps to get you started:
Don’t wait. Activate your benefits and start building Cloud applications today.
Don’t have MSDN but want to learn about Windows Azure? Have an app that you’d like to test with Windows Azure? Not a problem! Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a DM on Twitter (@jrozenblit) and I’ll you setup with a trial subscription where you will get the same benefits for 30 days.
With all these great benefits and programmes, all you need to do is find the time to use them! As much as I’d love to, that’s one area where I wouldn’t be able to help.
This post also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.
Here’s what was up in the Windows Azure Cloud last week (February 13 – February 19):
New This Week
Things To Try
Windows and SQL Azure Development
General Windows and SQL Azure
Find something interesting on Windows Azure this week? Share via comments below or let’s discuss on LinkedIn.
Here’s what was up in the Windows Azure Cloud last week (February 6 – February 12):
Picture this – it’s time to sit down and start architecting your new application. You’re going to use the latest and the greatest – you’re going to go Cloud. Cloud – as in Windows Azure – just to make sure! What’s the first thing you think of? Design Patterns, of course.
To start, you’ll need patterns for:
That’s where Windows Azure MVP David Pallmann’s Azure Design Patterns site comes in handy – it covers them all (and it’s made with Silverlight). Why scour the abyss of information online when you can go to one place and see it all, neatly organized in a way that’s easy to navigate? Make sure you bookmark it and refer back to it whenever you sit down to architect an application.
There are also two posts on David’s blog that I think you should read (in the following order):
As you start using design patterns for cloud computing and Windows Azure, don’t forget to share your experience with us of what works and what doesn’t.
That’s it for now. Go! Explore! Then share!
If you’re like me and are actively doing work with Windows Azure, whether you’re learning how to develop Cloud-based applications, actually building an application, or just demoing Windows Azure capabilities to various audiences, you probably have one or more deployments configured in the Windows Azure Developer Portal. You start up your deployment, do your thing, and then stop your deployment so don’t get billed when you’re not actively working. Right?
If you remember to stop your deployment every time, consider yourself a rare breed! For the rest of us who don’t always remember to do it right away and then realize in the middle of the night that we forgot, there is hope!
During my most resent perusal of CodePlex, I came across a nifty little utility written by Windows Azure MVP Michael Wood (@mikewo) called GreyBox. GreyBox is an application that sits in your system tray and visually indicates to you whether you have any deployments running in your Windows Azure subscription.
As Michael describes in his blog post, if the box is blue, you have one or more deployments running (a.k.a. consuming compute hours). If your deployments have all been stopped, the box is grey. Simple! Now if that wasn’t useful enough, GreyBox will also alert you, on intervals that you define in the configuration, that you have deployments running. Commit this to memory - “If the cube is grey, you’re OK. If the cube is blue, a bill is due”. Thanks for that nice and simple summary, Brian Prince.
Give GreyBox a try and hopefully, it will remind you, like it reminds me, that your deployments are still running - before you get into bed!
Have you had an interesting or funny experience with remembering that you forget to turn off your deployments? Share your stories by commenting below.
This article is also posted on Canadian Developer Connection
ISV developers, come experience Windows Azure in a lab experience like no other! Join your fellow developers and explore how you can leverage your existing .NET development expertise to develop applications and services for the Cloud.
Two tracks have been designed to ensure that you get the information that is most relevant to you:
You’ll probably be interested in the Development Track, so I’ve included the agenda below:
To get the most out of the hand-on labs, make sure to bring either your personal or business credit card. It’s required in order to activate your Azure subscription. You’ll need to do this even if you only want to use it for the event and deactivate it afterwards.
The Windows Azure Experience Lab will be held on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 11 King Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M5H 4C7 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Make sure to register today.
I look forward to seeing you there!
This article also appears on Canadian Developer Connection
(Haven’t heard the acronym “WAPTK”? No worries – Windows Azure Platform Training Kit. It’s your one stop to get hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform.)
If you’ve downloaded the WAPTK in the past, that’s great! The Windows Azure Team has just released the January edition of the training kit with new demo scripts, labs for working with Windows Phone 7 and the Cloud, and new and improved code snippets for Visual Studio.
Some of the specific changes with the January update of the training kit includes:
Download the January Update to the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit today.