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Don’t forget about the free Azure Developer Camp we have running in Edinburgh next Thursday.
Here’a a video to give you a feel for what a camp is like.
And here is a complete synopsis.
We run 2 types of camp for Windows Azure; one aimed at the developer and one aimed at the IT Pro. The developer camp concentrates on the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) features of Windows Azure. Mostly this means Windows Azure Cloud Services, Windows Azure Storage, Windows Azure Active Directory Access Control Service, Windows Azure Service Bus and Windows Azure SQL DB, and Windows Azure Websites. The IT Pro camp concentrates on the Infrastructure-as-a-Service features; Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.
Depending on the venue, there are usually between 30 and 70 attendees. As an attendee, you are expected to bring a wireless-enabled laptop with certain pre-requisite software already installed. For the developer camp this includes Visual Studio, SQL Server and the Windows Azure Tools/SDK. For the IT Pro camp, this includes Powershell. You are expected to follow this set up before you arrive on the camp. Setup details are provided below. It cannot be stressed enough how poor an experience you will have if your laptop is not correctly configured when you arrive. If you tie-up the time of an instructor with questions about your machine setup, you are denying another delegate who has arrived with a correctly configured machine the help they need. Please be respectful of the other delegates who have followed these instructions.
Have you ever turned up to a training day/presentation where every delegate except you seemed to have done certain preparatory work in advance? Did there come a point at which all the eyes in the room were on you and you had to say “…well, err, ummm, I haven’t done that stuff…”? Was that the point you wished you had read the material before you’d turned up? Don’t be the one who has to create some last-minute excuse while the eyes of all the other delegates are on you – simply make sure you read this and follow the instructions. You will be expected to have installed and configured your machine to work on a Windows Azure Camp.
You will need a working Windows Azure subscription and you need to have applied for and successfully been granted access to:
· Windows Azure Web Sites - for the developer camp.
· Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks - for the IT Pro camp.
There is a video that describes how to apply for these features here.
Any working subscription is suitable; paid or free. You can get a free trial subscription. This grants you access to certain resources free for 90 days. You will need a Windows Live ID and a Credit Card to register. The spending limit on the free trial account is set at £0.00. When the free trial period of 90 days has passed you will be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit and from that point on treat it as a standard paid subscription. If you use more than the free allocation of resources in a month, you will also be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit. There is no perpetually free subscription available for Windows Azure. There are also free trial subscriptions available to certain MSDN subscribers, BizSpark partners and MPN members.
Details of the free trial accounts are here:
· To get a free trial subscription go to http://bit.ly/azureforfree. . To register for this offer, you need a credit card to activate it, but the spending limit on the subscription is set to £0.00 so you won’t be charged.
· To add Windows Azure benefits to your existing MSDN subscription, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/
· To add Windows Azure benefits if you are a BizSpark customer, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/bizspark-benefits/
· To add Windows Azure benefits if you are an MPN member go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0002p
It can’t be stressed enough how much of a dead-end it can be if you leave it till the last minute and attempt to activate a subscription while on the camp. A common example is the BizSpark delegate who tries to activate a subscription only to find a different employee has already activated the subscription. He/she wasn’t expecting that and it means they will be unable to complete the lab work. We will be entirely unable to help in situations such as this. Another example is the delegate who has an active subscription but hasn’t yet applied for access to the preview features such as Virtual Machines or Windows Azure Web Sites. As it may take several hours for the application to be processed, they will be unable to complete lab-work until the facilities are available.
09:00 – 09:30
09:30 – 10:30
Windows Azure Compute: Windows Azure Datacentres, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, Web Role, Worker Role, Scalability, Service healing, Windows Azure Storage, App development.
10:45 – 12:15
Lab: Web, Worker and Storage
12:15 – 12:45
12:45 – 13:15
Windows Azure SQL DB
Lab: Windows Azure SQL DB
Access Control Service and Service Bus
Windows Azure Active Directory Access Control Service
16:45 – 17:00
Wrap-up and Review
Note: Because you can leave your Windows Azure service deployed and you will have all the code and projects etc. on your laptop when you leave the developer camp, any unfinished labs can be completed at home/in the office.
09:30 – 10:00
The Windows Azure Platform
10:00 – 10:30
Windows Azure Virtual Machines
10:30 – 10:45
10:45 – 11:15
Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Machines
11:15 – 11:45
Windows Azure Virtual Networks
11:45 – 12:15
Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Networks
Active Directory in the Cloud: Windows Azure Active Directory, Running a DC in Windows Azure
Lab: Running an Active Directory Domain Controller in Windows Azure
14:15 – 15:00
SQL Server and Sharepoint in the Cloud
15:00 – 15:15
15:15 – 16:45
Lab: Running a complete infrastructure in the cloud (Sharepoint, SQL Server, Active Directory)
Note: Because you can leave your Windows Azure service deployed and you will have all the configuration and projects etc. on your laptop when you leave the developer camp, any unfinished labs can be completed at home/in the office.
Developer Camp pre-requisites If you're a developer who uses a laptop, you'll almost certainly have most of these development components already installed. Please pay particular attention to the SQL Server setup - you'll need to use the same account during the labs as the account that was used to install whichever version of SQL Server you decide on from the pre-requisites list.
· A working Windows Azure subscription – see details above.
· A wireless-enabled 64-bit laptop with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 8 RTM. The camp is written with Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 users in mind. If you are using Windows 8 there will be variations in the way the UI is described.
· Bring the power supply: you will be using the laptop all day.
· A basic knowledge of programming concepts and familiarity with Visual Studio
· A basic knowledge of web-programming and how Internet applications work
· An understanding of the Microsoft web-stack (Windows Server, IIS, .Net, basic security etc.)
· Perform the following software setup. Allow 1½ hours to complete the setup.
To check that you won’t have any time-consuming machine-set-up problems on the Windows Azure camp, perform the following steps to check the installed software works as advertised. This step is important because there isn’t enough time to do troubleshooting on the camp for a failing installation.
1. Right-click Visual Studio and select Run as administrator. If prompted click Yes at the UAC prompt.
a. Visual Studio opens.
2. Select File|New| Project.
a. The New Project dialogue opens.
3. In the frameworks dropdown list, ensure .NET Framework 4 is selected.
a. In the Installed Templates pane, select Visual C#|Cloud and click OK.
i. The New Windows Azure Project dialogue opens.
b. Select ASP.Net Web Role then click the “>” button. And click OK.
i. It takes a few seconds but eventually a Windows Azure ASP.Net project appears in the Solution Explorer.
c. Press the F5 key to run the naked Windows Azure ASP.Net solution in the local Compute and Storage Emulators.
i. After a short time the default ASP.Net template appears in the web browser.
d. If errors occur at this stage, fix them before you attend the Windows Azure Camp. Almost all problems with lab work on the Windows Azure Developer Campare related to laptop setup. It can take a long time to fix these errors and you will therefore lose useful coding time. It is therefore best to fix any setup errors before you attend the Windows Azure Camp. The most common errors are to do with the Storage Emulator and the SQL Server setup. SQL Server is used as the store for the Storage Emulator. The most likely errors are that the Storage Emulator is confused by which instance of SQL Server it should use. If there are multiple instances of SQL Server this is very common.
Try some of the following commands to fix the problem:
e. Open the Windows Azure Command Prompt by right-clicking and selecting run as administrator.
i. If you have multiple instances of SQL Server (including SQL Express) installed, the Storage Emulator needs to be initialised to use the correct instance of SQL Server. It is preferable to use SQL Server Express. The following commands are ways to set the Storage Emulator up to point to the correct instance. It is likely that the syntax of one of the following commands will fix the problem. Notice that you may need to provide your own SQL Server <instance_name>.
1. dsinit /sqlinstance:.\SQLEXPRESS
2. dsinit /sqlinstance:\SQLEXPRESS
3. dsinit /sqlinstance:.
4. dsinit /sqlinstance:
5. dsinit /sqlinstance:.\MSSQL
6. dsinit /sqlinstance:.\<instance_name>
7. dsinit /sqlinstance:<instance_name>
· The first two commands are syntactical variations that set SQL Express up as the database for the Windows Azure Storage emulator. In theory, either one should work, in practice, if one fails, try the other.
· Commands 3 and 4 are syntactical variations that set the default SQL instance up as the database for the Windows Azure Storage emulator. In theory, either one should work, in practice, if one fails, try the other.
· Command 5 should set up the default SQL instance named MSSQL as the database for the Windows Azure Storage emulator.
· Commands 6 and 7 are syntactical variations that set the <instance_name> (you need to provide the SQL Server instance name) up as the database for the Windows Azure Storage emulator. In theory, either one should work, in practice, if one fails, try the other.
4. Once the errors are fixed – your machine is ready for the Windows Azure Developer Camp. If as a result of step 1 you have had to fix the SQL Server setup, please go back to step 1 in “Checking the Setup” and retry the creation of a project to make sure you have no errors.
You will need administrative access to SQL Server.
Note: Of all the problems we get on this camp, delegates not having administrative access to the SQL Server they have installed on their laptop is the biggest. For example:
· If the laptop is domain-joined and an administrator from the domain installed it, that is a problem that is impossible to fix in the camp and you are guaranteed a wasted trip if you were hoping to complete hands-on labs on your laptop.
· If you are using a domain account (with cached credentials) that doesn’t have administrative access to the laptop, you will be unable to de-install/re-install SQL Server from your machine. Again, you are guaranteed a wasted trip if you were hoping to complete hands-on labs on your laptop.
· If you have no knowledge of the password for a local administrative account on your laptop, you will similarly be unable to de-install/re-install SQL Server and yet again, you are guaranteed a wasted trip if you were hoping to complete hands-on labs on your laptop.
It is not possible to stress enough how much of a dead-end it is to be a delegate on the camp who has a machine on which he/she cannot complete the lab work because of permission issues.
As an IT Pro who uses a laptop, you’ll almost certainly have the required software already installed. You will need:
· A working Windows Azure subscription – see details above. You need to have successfully applied and been granted access to the Windows Azure Virtual Machines preview.
· A basic knowledge of the Windows infrastructure stack (Windows, Windows Server, Active Directory, Web, Security, SQL Server etc) to the level required by an IT Pro.
· Perform the following software setup:
How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this Camp? You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this Camp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.
Who can attend the Camps? Students, developers, technologists, IT Pros, architects, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.
How much does it cost to attend this Camp? Your luck's in - it's free.
What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the Camp? There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the Camp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the Camp.
What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day? Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!