Chapter 2. Your first steps with a web role

This chapter covers

  • Building a basic website
  • Signing up for Azure
  • Deploying your first cloud application

With the first chapter out of the way, you should have gotten a feeling for the lay of the land, installed the Windows Azure SDK, and run a Hello World application locally. Let’s dive right in to building a website to run on Azure. In this chapter, we’ll cover all the steps involved:

  • Starting a new Visual Studio project
  • Building the XHTML and code for the website
  • Running and debugging the site locally
  • Deploying the site to the Azure staging environment
  • Moving the site to the Azure production environment

Don’t let these steps daunt you. If you’ve ever developed a website with ASP.NET, you’re already ahead of the game. You’ll have to complete far fewer steps to deploy an application with Azure than you would with a traditional server.

In a large enterprise project one of us worked on, 15 percent of the work hours was spent planning the development, quality assurance, and production environments. Most of this time was used to define hardware requirements, acquire capital expenditure approval, and deal with vendor management. We could’ve shipped much sooner if we’d been able to focus on the application and not the underlying infrastructure and platform. Many organizations take three to six months just to deploy a server! You won’t require this much time to complete the entire process using Windows Azure.

2.1. Getting around the Azure SDK

2.2. Taking Hello World to the next level

2.3. Deploying with the Azure portal

2.4. Summary