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Windows Azure News: Support for Windows 8, SDK 1.5, Storage Replication and Others

by Abel Avram on Sep 15, 2011 |

Microsoft has announced at the BUILD conference a number of new tools for developing applications that interact with the cloud: Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8, Windows Azure SDK 1.5, Windows Azure Marketplace, Replication for Windows Azure Storage, Service Bus September Release, and Windows Azure Service Management API.

Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8

This week has seen plenty of Windows 8 related news, including the availability of Windows 8 Developer Preview edition. It is interesting that Microsoft has started all engines, coming with an Azure Toolkit for Window 8 available on CodePlex long before the next version of its flagship OS will hit the streets. Among others, applications can benefit from Azure for storage, various services, device notifications, and authentication.

Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 provides the following features:

  • Visual Studio project templates
  • Guidance as code samples, documentation and best practices
  • Reusable services and libraries code

Developers can now create Metro-style applications using web technologies, JavaScript and HTML5, or .NET ones, C#, C++, and VB. The Windows Azure blog has detailed the new Windows Push Notification service (WNS) which is similar to Microsoft Push Notification Service (MPNS) and it is used to send notification to enabled devices.

Windows Azure SDK 1.5

The Windows Azure SDK 1.5 comes with the following new features:

  • Re-architected emulator, which enables higher fidelity between local and cloud developments.
  • Support for uploading service certificates in csupload.exe.
  • A new csencrypt.exe tool to manage remote desktop encryption passwords.
  • Enhancements in the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio for developing and deploying cloud applications.
  • The ability to create ASP.NET MVC3 Web Roles and manage multiple service configurations in one cloud project.
  • Improved validation of Windows Azure packages to catch common errors like missing .NET assemblies and invalid connection strings.

Windows Azure Marketplace

The Windows Azure Marketplace comes with 2 major features:

  • The marketplace will be open to 25 more countries starting next month
  • The Microsoft Translator APIs is available on Marketplace and provides translation services for 35 languages

Windows Azure Storage. Azure Storage is now enhanced with transparent replication which creates backups of blobs and tables in different locations belonging to the same region.

Service Bus September Release

The Service Bus has received new features -Queues, Topics and Subscriptions-, enabling these scenarios:

  • Asynchronous Cloud Eventing – Distribute event notifications to occasionally connected clients (for example, phones, remote workers, kiosks, and so on)
  • Event-driven Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) – Building loosely coupled systems that can easily evolve over time
  • Advanced Intra-App Messaging – Load leveling and load balancing for building highly scalable and resilient applications

Windows Azure Service Management API. The Windows Azure Service Management API can now be used to roll back configuration updates and service upgrades in progress, and deploying with multiple write operations.

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