Windows Azure SDK 1.6 was released a couple of days ago - it's the November release. It includes updates to the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 and Windows Azure Libraries for .NET, in addition to other fixes and performance improvements.

The entire Windows Azure SDK 1.6 is available for download. The Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 can be obtained separately via the Web Platform Installer.

The objective with this update to the tools for Visual Studio 2010 is to make it possible for developers to manage all aspects of application creation and deployment from within Visual Studio, rather than having to create services, manage configuration and multiple environments from the Azure developer portal. Some features this release include:

  • Improved In-Place Updates
  • Multiple profile support (publish settings, cloud configuration and build configuration will all be stored in MSBuild files)
  • Ability to create hosted services and Azure storage accounts from within Visual Studio
  • Publishing improvements (developers can use a publish settings file rather than having to connect to the Windows Azure portal)
  • More verbose Activity Logs
  • Streamlined Remote Desktop connectivity (no need to upload a certificate)
  • Ability to use multiple Windows Azure Subscriptions
  • Team Build supports command-line application packaging

In addition to the Visual Studio Tools, the SDK includes updates to the Windows Azure Compute and Storage Emulators and the Windows Azure Libraries for .NET 1.6. Service Bus and caching client libraries have been updated and no longer require separate installation (this was previously known as the Windows Azure AppFabric SDK).

The November release also adds modules for working with the new Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK.

Stay tuned for the December release of Azure...