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Windows Azure SDK 2.0 Adds New PowerShell cmdlets with Enhancements for Storage and Service Bus

by Anand Narayanaswamy on May 20, 2013 |

The recently released Windows Azure SDK 2.0 for .NET includes new features and enhancements for web sites, cloud services, storage, service bus, PowerShell and is available as an open source project hosted on GitHub. It enables you to easily publish Windows Azure Web Sites from within Visual Studio by right clicking on the relevant project and selecting Publish option including the ability to associate Windows Azure subscription.

Windows Azure SDK 2.0 provides support for managing web sites through the Visual Studio Server Explorer. You will be able to view a list of all running Windows Azure based web sites inside the explorer as soon as you associate your Azure subscription with Visual Studio including the ability to start/stop web sites.

In order to retrieve the live site configuration settings from Windows Azure you need to make use of View Settings command. Moreover, the changes are persisted immediately into the running instance within Windows Azure without any need to either redeploy the application or even open the Windows Azure management portal.

The latest release provides an ability to stream Windows Azure web sites application logs directly into Visual Studio. In order to work with this feature, you will need to add a Trace statement to an ASP.NET web application and publish it to Windows Azure. However, tracing is disabled by default and can be enabled either through the Windows Azure management portal or directly within Visual Studio using the View Settings command within Server Explorer.

Windows Azure SDK 2.0 enables you to deploy your cloud services to new 4 core x 28GB RAM (A6) and 8 core x 56GB RAM (A7) VM sizes introduced as part of the recent IaaS release. It also provides support for Simultaneous Update (Blast Option) of a cloud service where you upgrade all roles and instances simultaneously instead of normal domain upgrade path.

In order to perform a simultaneous update using Visual Studio, you need to select the Advanced Settings tab within the Cloud Service Publish wizard and choose the Settings link next to the Deployment Update checkbox. Once you opt for this setting, the cloud service updates will be performed using this option and all roles and instances will be updated simultaneously.

Windows Azure SDK 2.0 enables you to configure Windows Azure diagnostics directly from within Visual Studio 2012 Solution Explorer and the changes are persisted in diagnostics.wadcfg XML file. It can then be deployed with your cloud service and the required modifications can be done without re publishing the application after initial deployment.

It enables you to review the live diagnostics data directly within Visual Studio Server Explorer including the ability to dynamically turn on or off more detailed diagnostic capturing on their cloud services without having to redeploy the service.

It is also possible to view a summary of live service errors and other important status by clicking the View Diagnostics Data command in Visual Studio 2012. Moreover, .NET Diagnostics Listener support to output trace statements to Windows Azure's diagnostics agent is enabled by default when you create new Cloud Service projects within Visual Studio 2012.

With the help of Windows Azure SDK 2.0, developers will be able to create and delete Windows Azure tables including the ability to add, edit and delete table entities from within the Visual Studio Server Explorer.

The recently released Azure SDK release includes an updated Service Bus client library with support for message browse, a new message pump programming model including an ability to automatically delete idle messaging entities.

Windows Azure SDK 2.0 includes new PowerShell cmdlets that enable you to automate Windows Azure web sites, cloud services, virtual machines as well as application services including Service Bus and the Windows Azure Store. It also provides support for blob CRUD operations via PowerShell in addition to new cmdlets for scaffolding.

Microsoft has also made significant changes to the library files. For instance, WindowsAzure.Diagnostics.dll no longer depends on WindowsAzure.StorageClient.dll. Moreover, WindowsAzure.ServiceRuntime.dll, WindowsAzure.Configuration.dll and the caching assemblies are now built against the .NET Framework 4.0 runtime and it is no longer possible to debug an SDK 1.6 service on the machine if you have installed SDK 2.0.

Along with Windows Azure SDK 2.0, Microsoft has published a new draft of the Windows Azure Cloud Service Support Policy.

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