• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Architectural Patterns and Practices–BluePrint Examples and Resources for Microsoft Azure



    The Microsoft blueprint resources illustrates real-world scenario that uses Microsoft Azure to manage and monitor the data flows.


    These example range from the very small to larger enterprise systems leveraging Azure Big Compute, Big Data, and infrastructure services including Batch, HDInsight, Machine Learning, Virtual Machines, Virtual Network and more to build cost-effective solutions.

    To build your next solution, check out the collection of scenario-based Microsoft Architectural Blueprints and additional resources on the Pattern & Practices GitHub repository which include source code and machine configurations

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using your DreamSpark Azure accounts with GitHub to build a Node.js application which uses Azure Mobile Services



    The Azure offers available to student via DreamSpark allows you gets you started developing services in the cloud at no cost:

    The services offering which this blog is focusing on

    • Azure App Service Web Apps is a part of a fully managed cloud offering that enables you to build and deploy web apps in seconds. you can use technologies such as ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python.

    This blog is going to focus on Node.Js and deployment workflows with GitHub, enabling you to automatically build and deploy your application.

    Source Control and GitHub

    Many institutions request Students to use some form of source control source control DreamSpark offers this for FREE in the form of Visual Studio Online or the GitHub Student Developer Pack.

    For this blog I am going to focus on GitHub, I have talked about Visual Studio Online in a number of other blogs see here 


    student developer pack assembles a great set of tools and services, free to students! Get your own domain name with SSL, explore crowdsourcing, email services, and much more. Combined with the free Visual Studio Community 2015 and Visual Studio Online, it’s an unbeatable combination to get your coding project off the ground. Get your GitHub Student Developer Pack today!


    In the following blog I will share how to upload a Node.JS Package from GitHub repository to a Microsoft Azure Mobile Services

    Register for your DreamSpark and GitHub accounts

    1. Register for your DreamSpark account and an Azure Account for these instructions
    2. Now we need to register and download the GitHub Student Developer Pack

    Setting up GitHub

    1. You will need a GIT client.

    2. Git is a distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system a number of colleges and Universities now stimplaute source control must be used,

    3. Git was initially designed and developed by Linus Torvalds for Linux kernel development in 2005.

    4. We will need Git in order to be able to add node.js packages to Azure mobile service.

    5. Once you install, consider a reboot, simply follow the instruction from the installer.

    Finding the Azure Mobile Services EndPoint Url

    1. Azure Mobile Services directly supports GitHub

    2. Navigate to the Azure Portal

    3. Select Mobile Services

    4. Select the CONFIGURE menu


    Once you copy the url to the clipboard, proceed to the next step.

    Cloning a Git Repository to an Azure Mobile Web Services

    1. Open up a Command prompt in the desired folder where you want your source control

    2. Type in git clone [ your Azure End Point URL]

    Checking the result
    1. You will need to provide a user name and password

    2. Now if you take a look at the  folder (the one I am using),

    3. Now navigate to the folder. you defined it when you created your Azure Mobile Service.

    4. Navigate into the service folder and view the file

    5. You can see the package.json file.

    6. This is the key file to edit.

    Node.js application resources

    1. Your first goal is ensure you have your Node.js code and packages on your local machine.

    2. For more details on Noje.Js and Azure see  http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/develop/nodejs/ 

    3. Ensure that the  package.json, which contains all of the packages that you require to be installed into Azure Mobile Services.

    4. You can't just copy packages directly to the web services, ou must use Git to copy packages Azure mobile services

    Modify the package.json file

    1. Now you will need to modify the package.json file to include new node packages.

    2. For example purposes, we will include the packages qs (QueryString)

      • QS is a query string parser for node and the browser supporting nesting
    The json package structure
    1. We need to modify the dependencies section of package.json.

    2. For this example I will be adding an new dependency of quality of service (qs) 


    Simply edit the file in your favourite text editor
    1. Notice the qs is now part of dependencies


    1. Save and close the package.json

    Commit the changes

    1. You will need to commit the changes before you push them up to the portal.

    2. The command is, git commit .

    3. You will be asked to enter in a commit comment. Its always great best practice to add comments to any code revisions so enter a clear and concise comment to change/update undertake.

    Pushing changes back to the Azure Mobile Service

    1. Now we need to  push  the changes back to the Azure Mobile Services

    2. The command for this is simple: git push [remote-name] [branch-name].

    3. But we want to push our master branch to the origin server (Azure Mobile Services)

    4. We will push our work back up to Azure Mobile Services with this command:

      • $ git push origin master
    5. We have now successfully pushed up the latest copy of our Node code using Github
    6. We have successfully added the node package qs to our Azure Mobile Services

    Checking the update of Node.js Code is live on the Azure Mobile services

    1. We will now make use of the **qs ** package in node.js


    2. As you can see in the figure above, we are now able to leverage the node package known as qs .

    Additional Resources Curriculum & Training

     Using Microsoft Azure for students

     Azure App Service Web Apps Overview

     Node.Js and Azure Developer Center

     Online learning Azure Mobile Services and Node.js

     Using Windows Azure and Node.js – Starting at the basics

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft’s Imagine Access: The student’s one-stop shop for all things code




    Microsoft’s Imagine Access: The student’s one-stop shop for all things code

    At Imagine Access, they will find the tools they need based on their skill level, in one location.

    Sometimes getting started in programming can be intimidating, but finding the tools to learn how to code shouldn’t be. That’s why we’ve created a single destination for all students developer resources, tools, software and tutorials.

    Imagine Access, your all-access pass to the software tools you need no matter your skill level or experience, and all at no cost to students!

    Imagine Access is now your single destination point for all resources whilst you are in education.

    Through Imagine Access, you can get all a single destination to all these resources including Full licensed versions of Microsoft Professional Developer Tools and Server Software for FREE including Windows Azure Cloud Services, Unity Game Engine and Xamarin.

    Microsoft Imagine Access is simply a resource to help you gain a competitive edge so you can turn your application or game into the next big thing.

    Jumpstart your creativity

    Empower your creativity and transform your ideas into real apps and games. Microsoft Imagine will help harness your vision and start you on the path to making it the next big thing.

    Imagine Cup brings together students from around the world interested in creating the technology of the future. With programs and competitions that foster cross discipline collaboration, you’ll turn brilliant ideas into amazing projects, while developing skills and connections that can launch your career

    Microsoft Virtual Academy helps you learn the latest technology, build your skills, and jumpstart your careers. With free, comprehensive, professionally developed training in 11 languages, you’ll keep learning and developing

    Channel 9 has dozens of webseries and special shows on every coding topic and technology you can imagine, all free. Plus special live shows where you can ask questions and get the real information you need to build your skills.

    Start by Building your future

    You’ve got the idea, Microsoft Imagine provides you with free professional developer tools and expert advice you need to complete your coding journey. Put your skills into action and start developing for any platform. Microsoft Imagine helps you build your future, one line of code at a time.

    Visual Studio Community 2015 is the foundation of your career in app and game development. Design, code, and debug your own apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.

    With Xamarin and Visual Studio Community 2015, you’ll become a mobile developer virtually overnight.
    you can get a free Xamarin subscription, giving you everything you need to create fully native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows in C# or F# with Visual Studio.

    Microsoft Azure is the fastest and most flexible cloud platform around. And it’s the best way for you to create and develop your ideas for a global audience. The world works in the cloud and Microsoft Azure gets you developing for it today.

    Using Source Control GitHub  The Student Developer Pack assembles a great set of tools and services, free to students! Get your own domain name with SSL, explore crowdsourcing, email services, and much more. Combined with the free Visual Studio Community 2015 and Visual Studio Online, it’s an unbeatable combination to get your coding project off the ground. Get your GitHub Student Developer Pack today!

    Ready to go from student to startup? BizSpark is here to help. It’s the free software, tools and support to build apps, the technology to get in the cloud and the exposure to get noticed — and funded. BizSpark ignites your business idea.

    Imagine Access is your portal to tools like Visual Studio Community 2013, the Unity Game Engine and Xamarin – everything you need to create apps, games and websites just like the pros.

    Make sure you Stand out

    Microsoft Imagine gives you the professional support you need to showcase your idea. Share your work with your family and friends. Sell it in the app store or even launch a startup. Show the world what you can do

    Imagine Cup provides you with a unique opportunity to grow your confidence and experience by competing on a global stage. Pitch your ideas to industry professionals, win cash prizes and be seen as the next generation of developers, entrepreneurs and innovators.

    Windows Store is where you can sell your universal apps that work on both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. With Microsoft Imagine you can get a free Store Developer Account and start publishing your apps.

    Check it out and get started on your first or next amazing game, app, website or service today! And don’t forget to tell us what you think of Imagine Access on Twitter (@MSFTImagine), Facebook or share a screenshot of what you’ve got going on Instagram. We want to hear from you. 

    Go make the next big thing. We’ll be waiting for you over at Imagine Access!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK Students Fancy winning $1000 for completing a challenge with Microsoft Azure–HELLO CLOUD CHALLENGE


    Cloud computing is changing the technology industry. When you start looking for your first job, will you have the cloud on your résumé? You will if you compete in our new Hello Cloud Challenge!

    With Microsoft Azure, students can get a free subscription with no credit card required and start creating web apps, running databases and much more.

    Every month, one student will win our $1,000 sweepstakes. To compete, you just complete one or more of our Hello Cloud activities. Each activity you complete gives you another chance to win. And you only have to do each activity once – your name will still be in the sweepstakes month after month!

    Register for our Hello Cloud contest today and you can get started!

    So what are these activities? They’re actually kind of cool, and doing them will help you learn how to manage and deploy projects in the cloud!

    Activity One: Deploy a Web app

    Check out our blog for a step-by-step tutorial on how to deploy a web app to Azure from Visual Studio Community 2015. You can use your own web app or just copy and paste our code from right here:

       1: <!DOCTYPE html>
       2: <html>
       3: <head>
       4:  <title>Hello Cloud!</title>
       5:  <meta charset="utf-8" />
       6: </head>
       7: <body>
       8: <h1>Hello Cloud!</h1>
       9:  <p>Check out this sweet website I made in Visual 
      10: Studio 2015!</p>
      11: </body>
      12: </html>

    When you’re ready, copy your web app’s URL (it’ll look something like http://myhellocloud.azurewebsites.net/ ) and paste it into our Hello Cloud contest submission form available from your Imagine Cup Dashboard. For contest purposes, if we draw your name, we’ll click your URL and verify you have a web app running there. That’s it!

    Activity Two: Deploy a WordPress Website

    WordPress is a powerful and widely used tool for building and managing websites and blogs. It’s both free and open source, with a huge community of users worldwide. And with Microsoft Azure, you can deploy and configure your own WordPress website in minutes at no cost for students!

    To deploy your own WordPress website, just check out our blog for the step-by-step process. When you’re done deploying and configuring your WordPress site, copy your web app’s URL (it’ll look something like http://mywordpresssite.azurewebsites.net/ ) and paste it into our Hello Cloud contest submission form available on your Imagine Cup Dashboard. For contest purposes, if we draw your name, we’ll click your URL and verify you have a WordPress site running there. That’s it!

    More Activities Coming Soon

    We’ll have more activities soon, including MySQL, Azure Machine Learning and others. So, get started with these two now and then keep coming back to increase your chances to win!

    When is the Deadline

    We will draw each month’s sweepstakes winner on the last Wednesday of the month. The deadline to get your activity URLs submitted to our Dashboard is the last Tuesday of each month at 2359 GMT that evening.

    Once you’ve submitted, you’ll be in all future drawings for the duration of the contest. You can update your submission to add additional activity URLs whenever you want.

    How do I get Microsoft Azure?

    We’ve got a blog explaining exactly how to sign up. But if you’re already a DreamSpark.com member, just go straight there and get Azure right away!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Coding curriculum for beginners and educators



    Microsoft has released a new computer science curriculum designed for teens who may not have expressed much interest in computer programming – and teachers who don’t necessarily have any background in the field, either.

    The curriculum, called Creative Coding Through Games And Apps, is available for free to any educator who wants to use it.

    The course aims to encourage a wide range of students to explore computer science by teaching them to program and publish real apps and games.

    TouchDevelop book cover

    It teaches kids how to code using Microsoft Touch Develop, a programming language developed by Microsoft Research. Touch Develop is designed so that even students without any computer science background can quickly learn how to write simple programs.

    Touch Develop also works on any device that has a modern Internet browser. That means students can write programs on smart phones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers, regardless of the operating system the device is running.

    It’s the same technology that’s being used for the BBC’s micro:bit program, which is providing every Year 7 student in the UK with a gadget and the tools to program on it.


    Tom Ball, a research manager in the software engineering group at Microsoft Research who has worked extensively on Touch Develop.

    Tom Ball Touch Dvelop post

    Tom first got involved with the team behind the Creative Coding curriculum when they collaborated on Code.org’s Hour of Code project. That’s a program that aims to introduce millions of kids to the basics of programming through simple, introductory coding exercises.

    He hopes this new curriculum will introduce kids to the foundations of computer programming, even if they’ve never considered programming in the past.

    “It’s not so much about learning Touch Develop,” Ball said. “Touch Develop is the vehicle to learning about computer science concepts. Creative Coding through Games and Apps was designed by computer science teachers, and it comes with prep materials, lesson plans, assignments, homework and other resources. It’s recommended for students aged 7 and up.


    Learn more about Creative Coding Through Games And Apps and download the course materials.

    Find out more about Microsoft Touch Develop

    Microsoft and the BBC micro:bit: A million ways to inspire a generation

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Cross Platform development with Visual Studio 2015 and Visual Studio Online


    One of the great advantages of being an educational establishment or a student is access to Microsoft Imagine and Software from DreamSpark.

    Today there is a huge desire for students to learn and build applications for as many platforms as possible.

    As educators and students you need to learn and embrace modern way of doing cross-platform mobile development.

    Todays studios and agencies can no longer afford or simply  recruit  and retain dedicated teams on all different platforms (Android, iOS, Windows).

    So the question I have is are  you teaching or learning with Visual Studio 2015? If the answer is No.. here are some reasons to upgrade now!

    Getting Started with Cross Platform development


    If you’re teaching, learning web development  with CSS, HTML, JavaScript or Typescript you can target Windows, Android, and iOS devices by using Visual   Studio Tools for Apache Cordova.

    Getting Started



    You can also build a native application for Android or Windows devices with C++ templates


    You can build native apps for Android and iOS by using C# and the Xamarin framework Apps not only look the way the end user expects; they behave that way too. Xamarin apps leverage platform-specific hardware   acceleration, and are compiled for native performance. This can’t be achieved with solutions that interpret code at runtime.

    Visual Studio Online


    What is Visual Studio Online?

    Visual Studio Online (VSO) is the cloud-hosted toolset to organize, build, test, deploy and report on your software project.

    Again Visual Studio Online is free to all students via www.dreamspark.com at https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?productid=99

    Why use source control from Visual Studio

      • Cross platform / all languages

        • You can write code in Java or any other language using any IDE and fully leverage the capabilities of Visual Studio Online

      • Git/Github is great but will not support you enough

        • You can keep your code in Git/Github and use Visual Studio Online for all the other processes. GitHub is great with some nice features like collaborative code review but you have the same capabilities in VSO (if not better like the team management) with a fundamental difference: traceability and predictability

      • Traceability is the foundation

        • VSO will connect the dots between the requirements, the project management, the source code, the versions, the defects and the tests. VSO (or TFS for the on premise version) is by far the best (if not the only) candidate to support any organization looking to regroup all the important project artefacts in one place.

        • By using VSO today, you will get a full traceability on what is happening in your project starting from any angle (requirements, project, code, defect, test…)

      • Move to Predictability by controlling the quality

        • Quality is not a “phase” or a “campaign” in the project cycle, it’s something that is diffused from requirements (bad alignment), project management (wrong estimation or no control on the team capacity), code (bad quality), test (not enough or wrong functional and performance tests) or defect (no prioritization)

        • Tests are the best way to reveal the quality but they will not increase it. It’s the combination of early tests, process (tests at the right time, get insights back to the developer, review practice, automate part of the testing effort) and coverage (code, architecture, functional, performance, mobile scenario ….) that will validate if the task closed was done the right way. To “trust” what you are tracking, you need to validate them with tests.

        • Visual Studio Online will offer you a platform to track each part of the project, integrated them, set practices and process, manage/run/automate tests and also deploy the solution (with a full release management capability)

      Check the links below for more information and start using VSO today for your projects.

    Visual Studio Online

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup Earth - Microsoft and NASA student competition $36,000 prize fund



    Who can enter?

    Students ages 6-18 worldwide are invited to explore this exciting and vital area of scientific research in Imagine Cup Earth, a new coding competition for students. Whether you have never coded before and would like to learn, or if you’re already studying coding and want to take on a new challenge, all skill levels are welcome to dream big, build creatively, and boldly bring your ideas to life.

    What's the competition?

    Microsoft Imagine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are co-presenting this contest for students around the world. Together, we have created Imagine Cup Earth to inspire the next generation of thinkers, dreamers and future programmers to learn the basics of coding and explore the latest science about our precious home.

    What's the prize?

    During our 2015-16 Imagine Cup Earth season, a total of 18 winning students will share $36,000 in prizes for their earth-science coding projects. Students who choose our Beginner category can create games, apps and simulations using Microsoft’s free learn-to-code tools, including Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft Touch Develop and Project Spark. More advanced students can create web apps using HTML5/CSS/Javascript, Python, or other web languages of their choice.

    How to enter?

    Students can get started by visiting our Imagine Cup Earth contest page to learn more about the requirements and read the official rules. Because school schedules vary from country to country around the world, Microsoft Imagine is providing three contest rounds each with their own deadlines and prizes. Students are welcome to compete in any or all of these as is most convenient for them – each round stands alone. All deadlines are given in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

    First Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT December 15, 2015

    Second Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT March 31, 2016

    Third Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT June 15, 2016

    Each round will have six prizes:

    Beginner Category

    Intermediate Category

    For the best earth-science themed game, app or simulation using Kodu  Game Lab, Microsoft Touch Develop or Project Spark.

    For the best web app exploring an earth-science topic using actual  NASA data and imagery.

    1st Prize: $3,000

    1st Prize: $3,000

    2nd Prize: $2,000

    2nd Prize: $2,000

    3rd Prize: $1,000

    3rd Prize: $1,000

    Microsoft Imagine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory look forward to seeing what our global community of students creates.

    .Students can get started by visiting our Imagine Cup Earth contest page to learn more about

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Start measuring your success with Application Insights free with DreamSpark


    To start using the Visual Studio Application Insights SDK in your app.

    For those of you not familiar with Application Insights, the service collects telemetry data from your app and uses Azure to store the data. The Windows Dev Center can access this telemetry data to provide you with a view into how customers are using your app.

    You can use Visual Studio 2015 or 2013 to add Application Insights to your app in about 10 minutes. To get started, open up your Windows app (Windows 8 or 10 – client or phone), and do the following:


    1. Right click on your project in Visual Studio and select ‘Add Application Insights Telemetry…’
    2. Application Insights will then launch a wizard that walks you through adding the service into your Windows app. As part of this process, it will ask you where you want to keep your data (if you don’t already have a free Azure account, you’ll need to create one simply activate your Free DreamSpark Azure subscription https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?productid=99 
    3. Once you’re done with the wizard, it will set up and configure your project for telemetry collection.


    At this point, you’ll be able to see on Azure, in near real-time, how many folks are using your app in the wild. This telemetry can tell you a lot about your app and where to direct your development efforts – you can measure what features are being used, by how many people, and for how long.

    And once you publish your app into the Store and enable the app usage telemetry setting on the Windows Dev Center dashboard (under ‘Account settings’), the data will be visible on the Usage report.

    You can then use the TelemetryClient class to gather additional telemetry data like page views (or even pivot/hub control activity), interesting events you want tracked, and exceptions. Beyond the basic page telemetry you get by using Application Insights, you can taking advantage of exception tracking to get a near real-time view into trouble spots (particularly useful when launching an update to the public). To track exceptions, use the following code



    // ...


    catch (Exception ex)


    private TelemetryClient telemetry = new TelemetryClient();



    As you get more comfortable with analytics, you can start instrumenting all kinds of things. For example, this sample code tracks how long it takes to accomplish a task:

    var stopwatch = System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch.StartNew();

    // ... perform the timed action ...


    var metrics = new Dictionary <string, double>

    {{"processingTime", stopwatch.Elapsed.TotalMilliseconds}};

    // Set up some properties:

    var properties = new Dictionary <string, string>

    {{"signalSource", currentSignalSource.Name}};

    // Send the event:

    private TelemetryClient telemetry = new TelemetryClient();

    telemetry.TrackEvent("SignalProcessed", properties, metrics);

    Get started with Application Insights

    Application Insights comes as part of Visual Studio with automatic instrumentation for ASP.NET or Windows developers. You get vital application telemetry data out of the box, including usage, exceptions/crashes, requests, performance & logs.

    Enable monitoring for Azure web apps and VMs directly via Azure portal or install Status Monitor on your ASP.NET web server to get performance monitoring without need to update code and redeploy your application.

    Easily add Application Insights SDK to Java, iOS or Android apps. Monitor apps written in languages like Ruby, Python, PHP, Node.JS, etc. with open source SDKs on GitHub.

    Explore supported platforms

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Support for video interstitials on Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10



    Microsoft Universal Ad Client SDK for Windows 10

    The Microsoft Universal Ad Client SDK is now available for Windows 10 devices. The ad SDK also supports Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 apps. The new ad SDK is built using native code and does not require .NET runtime, reducing the memory used and increasing performance.

    To use the SDK, install the new ad SDK, then drag and drop the control, and configure it.


    Support for video interstitials

    Video ads are a highly popular way of monetizing apps and games, and can offer higher eCPM than banner ads. Video Ads are supported in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 through the Microsoft Universal Ad Client SDK released today.

    Read the instructions on how to use video interstitials to get started.

    Ad mediation for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 apps, enhancements for Windows Phone


    Dev Center has supported ad mediation for Windows Phone apps for some time now, allowing you to manage multiple ad SDKs from different providers to achieve up to a 99% fill rate, thus increasing the ad revenue in your apps. Enabling ad mediation is easy, just add the Windows ad mediation SDK to an app and submit it to the Store. You can then managing multiple ad networks without having to modify the app code or resubmit the app for certification.


    Ad mediation is supported by both Visual Studio 2015 and Visual Studio 2013, and supports Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.x, and Windows 10 UWP apps.

    To try out ad mediation, follow the steps described in the documentation. I also recommend reading the best practices to help you get started.  All these new capabilities are detailed in the Announcing the Microsoft Universal Ad Client SDK with support for video interstitial ads and ad mediation post from Microsoft Advertising.

    You can also take this DVLUP challenge to earn great Rewards


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Quick reference guide for Visual Studio Online using your DreamSpark Account



    With DreamSpark all Students now get Visual Studio Online for FREE

    • Visual Studio Online is the fastest and easiest way yet to plan, build, and ship software across a variety of platforms. Get up and running in minutes on our cloud infrastructure without having to install or configure a single server.
    • Application Insights provides a 360° view across availability, performance and usage of your ASP.NET services and mobile applications for Windows Phone, iOS and Android platforms. Search and analyze your data to continuously improve your application, prioritize future investments and improve overall customer experience.
    • Azure App Service Web Apps is a part of a fully managed cloud offering that enables you to build and deploy web apps in seconds. Use ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python. Run popular web apps and CMS solutions. Set up continuous integration and deployment workflows with VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson or BitBucket – enabling you to automatically build, test and deploy your web app on each successful code check-in or integration tests.

    Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark is available now for validated DreamSpark students at no cost and no commitment, with no time limit and no accidental charges. You can upgrade to more services later if you want, but you can host your web apps and websites today with the power of the Microsoft cloud behind you and it won’t cost you anything.


    Making sure that you know all the ways that Visual Studio Online can help you be successful with your team based student projects.

    Host your code in the cloud

    Add a comment and check in pending changes

    Host your code in the cloud to access it anytime, anywhere. Pick a traditional, centralized version control system using Team Foundation Version Control, or if you prefer a distributed approach, use Git repos.


    Manage your work in one place

    Backlog showing user stories and bugs based on Agile project template

    Quickly plan, manage, and track work across all your backlogs and teams with easy-to-use, fully integrated tools for agile planning and portfolio management. Maintain a backlog of your project, work in sprints, track progress on a task board, and coordinate your team activity.


    Build your applications in the cloud

    Completed build

    Create and manage build processes that automatically compile and test your applications in the cloud, either on demand or as part of an automated continuous integration strategy.


    Test, test, test

    Load test high-level results and summary
    Apart from creating test plans to track manual tests, you can use the cloud-based Load Testing feature to ensure your websites and services can handle the heaviest expected load – it will take you five minutes to be 100% sure. You’ll need Visual Studio Ultimate  to create and execute load tests.


    Gain insight into your applications

    Overview blade

    Visual Studio Online Application Insights is a new cloud-based service (currently in preview) that collects rich operational, performance, and customer usage information from client/device apps or server applications – whether they run on-premises, in Microsoft Azure, a third-party cloud provider, or a combination of all three.


    Connect with Microsoft Azure

    Create test environments, deploy and scale web apps in seconds, build and host backends for mobile applications or explore the DevOps lifecycle through the new Azure Preview portal. Microsoft Azure provides a whole set of services for developers.


    For more information
    Work with non-Visual Studio IDEs (XCode, Eclipse and GitHub)
    Visual Studio Online API & Service Hooks
    Application Insights

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