[This article was contributed by the AppFabric team.]

Today we are excited to announce the release of the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP which includes capabilities that make it easy for developers to build, deploy, manage and monitor multi-tier applications across web, business logic and database tiers as a single logical entity on the Windows Azure Platform.

This CTP release consists:

  • AppFabric Developer Tools - Enhancements to Visual Studio that enable to visually design and build end-to-end applications on the Windows Azure platform.
  • AppFabric Application Manager – Powerful, yet easy way to host and manage n-tier applications that span web, middle and data-tier through the entire application lifecycle including deployment, configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting. The Application Manager includes a comprehensive application management portal that is powered by a REST API for monitoring the health of your n-tier application and performing management operations on the running applications.
  • Composition Model - A set of .NET Framework extensions for composing applications on the Windows Azure platform. This builds on the familiar Azure Service Model concepts and adds new capabilities for describing and integrating the components of an application. The AppFabric Developer Tools leverage the composition model to create an application manifest that is used by the AppFabric Application Manager at deployment time to understand the application structure and metadata.
  • Support for running Custom Code, WCF, WF - Formal support for executing Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) on Windows Azure and the composition of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and WF services, as well as custom code, into a composite application. In addition, it provides enhanced development, deployment, management and monitoring support for WCF and WF services.

You can read more details in this blog post: Introducing Windows Azure AppFabric Applications and the Channel 9 announcement video.

The release is already live in our LABS/Previews environment at: http://portal.appfabriclabs.com/.

There is limited space available to try out the AppFabric Application Manager CTP so be sure to sign-up as early as possible for a better chance to get access to the CTP.

To request access to the CTP follow these steps:

  • Sign in to the AppFabric Management Portal at http://portal.appfabriclabs.com/.
  • Choose the entry titled “Applications” under the “AppFabric” node on the left side of the screen.
  • Click on the “Request Namespace” button on the toolbar on the top of the screen.
  • You will be asked to answer a few questions before you can request the namespace.
  • Your request will be in a “pending” state until it gets approved and you can start using the CTP capabilities.

In order to build applications for the CTP you will need to install the Windows Azure AppFabric CTP SDK and the Windows Azure AppFabric Tools for Visual Studio. Even if you don’t have access to the AppFabric Application Manager CTP you can still install the tools and SDK to build and run applications locally in your development environment.

This CTP is intended for you to check out and provide us with feedback, so please remember to visit the Windows Azure AppFabric CTP Forum to ask questions and provide us with your feedback.

To learn more please use the following resources:

 AppFabric.tv - Announcing the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP

Don’t forget that we already have several Windows Azure AppFabric services (Service Bus, Access Control, Caching) in production that are supported by a full SLA. If you have not signed up for Windows Azure AppFabric yet be sure to take advantage of our free trial offer. Just click on the image below and get started today!

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The AppFabric Team.