On July 31 2013, the Windows Azure team has released the Windows Azure SDK 2.1 and it’s full of goodies!
Visual Studio Server Explorer
In Server Explorer, instantly view information about running cloud services, storage accounts, virtual machines, and service bus resources. Also in Server Explorer, filter your view of resources by subscription, region, or both to show only the information that you care about right now.
- Information is automatically populated so that you don’t have to request the information on each node to see the information.
- You can filter the resources that appear so that you can focus on your current work without being distracted by information from unrelated projects. See How to: Filter Windows Azure Resources in Server Explorer.
- Nodes for cloud services are now labeled by deployment so that you can easily locate Production and Staging deployments.
Cloud Services – New Emulator Express has a reduced footprint and can run as a normal user
By using Emulator Express, you can run your cloud services locally without requiring elevated permissions. Therefore, you can run Visual Studio as a normal user. However, this approach has limitations. See Debugging a Cloud Service with Emulator Express. The Emulator Express is a version of the Windows Azure Compute Emulator that runs a restricted mode – one instance per role – and it doesn’t require administrative permissions and uses 40% less resources than the full Windows Azure Emulator. Emulator Express supports both web and worker roles.
Virtual Machines – Start and Stop Virtual Machines / Suspend billing directly from within Visual Studio
You can manage the state your virtual machines in Windows Azure from Server Explorer in Visual Studio. Instead of losing the state of your virtual machine when you stop it, you can now stop the virtual machine and leave it in an inactive state until you need that machine again. When you need it again, you can restart it without losing any changes that you made. See Managing Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
Service Bus – New high availability options, Notification Hub support and Improved Visual Studio tooling
The Windows Azure Service Bus July 2013 release contains a number of new features and capabilities.
- For more robust high availability, Service Bus now supports Paired Namespaces, which enables you to connect two namespaces. When you activate the secondary namespace, messages are stored in the secondary queue for delivery to the primary queue at a later time. If the primary container (namespace) becomes unavailable for some reason, automatic failover enables the messages in the secondary queue to be delivered to the primary queue. For more information, see Asynchronous Messaging Patterns and High Availability & Paired Namespace Implementation Details and Cost Implications.
- In this release, the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio contain enhancements and changes to the management of Service Bus messaging entities using Server Explorer. The most noticeable change is that the Service Bus node is now integrated into the Windows Azure node. For more information, see Browsing Service Bus Resources with the Visual Studio Server Explorer.
- Support for Windows Azure Notification Hubs was added as part of the official Windows Azure SDK, inside of Microsoft.ServiceBus.dll (previously the Notification Hub functionality was in a preview assembly). You are now able to create, update and delete Notification Hubs programmatically, manage your device registrations, and send push notifications to all your mobile clients across all platforms (Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android).
Visual Studio 2013 Preview – Azure SDK support for Visual Studio 2013 Preview
They added a new VM image to the Windows Azure VM Gallery that has Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 Preview, SharePoint 2013, SQL Server 2012 Express and the Windows Azure 2.1 SDK already installed on it. This provides a really easy way to create a development environment in the cloud with the latest tools.
Visual Studio 2013 VM Image: Windows Azure now has a built-in VM image that you can use to host and develop with VS 2013 in the cloud
PowerShell Automation (separate download) – Lots of new PowerShell commands for automating Web Sites, Cloud Services, VMs, Storage, Service Bus and SQL Database.
- Windows Azure PowerShell (Last updated July 2013)
- Cross-platform Command Line Interface (Last updated July 2013)
- Get started with Windows Azure cmdlets tutorial
- Windows Azure management cmdlets
Download Windows Azure SDK 2.1
- SDK 2.1 for VS 2010 – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=313855
- SDK 2.1 for VS 2012 – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=313853
- SDK 2.1 for VS 2013 – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=313852
Find Out More
- Announcing the release of the Windows Azure SDK 2.1 for .NET
- Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.1 Release Notes
- Breaking Changes
- What’s New in the Service Bus 2.1 Release (May 2013)
- How To: Upgrade Projects to the Current Version of the Windows Azure Tools
The Windows Azure SDK for .NET 2.1 includes Windows Azure Storage 2.0.6, Windows Azure Service Bus 2.1, Windows Azure Caching 2.0, and Windows Azure Configuration Manager 2.0.1 libraries.