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Windows Azure SDK 2.2 Adds Visual Studio 2013, Integrated Sign-in and Filter Support

by Anand Narayanaswamy on Nov 11, 2013 |

Microsoft has released Windows Azure SDK 2.2 with support for Visual Studio 2013 and integrated sign-in directly from within Visual Studio. The latest update also provides remote debugging cloud services and firewall management for SQL databases within Visual Studio in addition to updated Azure PowerShell Cmdlets and ScriptCenter.

The recent release iincludes support for integrated sign-in which enables developers to develop, test and manage Windows Azure resources within Visual Studio without having to download or use management certificates. In order to connect to Windows Azure, you have to right click on the Windows Azure icon within the server explorer inside Visual Studio and select Connect to Windows Azure context menu option.

If you make use of the integrated sign-in feature, authentication will be handled using the Windows Azure Active Directory associated with your account. This feature not only allows organizations and enterprises to use the same authentication model that they use for their developers on-premises in the cloud but also provides improved security.

Windows Azure SDK 2.2 enables you to filter subscriptions/regions by right clicking Filter Services context menu within the Server Explorer from within Visual Studio 2013. It is also possible to use management certificates to manage Windows Azure resources from the Cerificates tab including the ability to remotely debug cloud resources, which can be done by
selecting Debug as the Build Configuration on the Common Settings tab of publish dialog wizard.

The latest update also provides an ability to enable and configure the security firewall directly within Visual Studio. You will be prompted to add a firewall rule to enable access from your local IP address as soon as you try and connect to a SQL Database using the Visual Studio Server Explorer.

Along with the recent update, Microsoft has also released a set of pre-configured VM images of Visual Studio 2013 available within the Windows Azure Management Portal for use by MSDN subscribers. Moreover, the product team has also released a preview of new set of Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET that provides an ability to automate tasks
using any .NET language such as C#, VB, C++ and F#.

In his blog, Scott Guthrie has examined the usage of the new Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET, currently available via NuGet. However, you will be required to add the
-IncludePrerelease switch during the retrieval of the packages since the package is still in preview.

Microsoft has also released the source code of Windows Azure SDK under an open source license in addition to Windows Azure PowerShell 0.7.0 as a separate download. The PowerShell update provides support for Windows Azure Active Directory authentication and new cmdlets for media services and SQL database including a script center that provides sample scripts to automate common tasks on Windows Azure.

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