It’s another release of #windowsazure tools galore …. Or how teams can excel in continuous delivery mode!

051313_0924_Didyouknowh1.pngToday another couple of major releases have been thrown at the world. And not the least to be honest! Different teams within the Windows Azure Delivery Team in Redmond have created several new packages at your disposal/use/fingertips:

  • A new release of the Windows Azure SDK already now on version 2.2. It returns us all the features we had for 2.1 in Visual Studio 2012 but now also in version 2013! Plus now everything can be found underneath the Windows Azure tree instead of websites as a separate childitem.

    In Visual Studio 2012 – SDK 2.1 you had:

    Now in Visual Studio 2013 – SDK 2.2 you have

    One of the new features also in there is the possibility to logon with you credentials instead of certificates

    The connect will do the same things as explained in next release topic J, hang in there !

    Another handy thing is that for Windows Azure SQL Databases you no longer need to pass throught the management portal in order to have access to your databases

  • There’s also an update available for all you Powershell lovers out there: Windows Azure Powershell 0.7.0, an upgrade to the Augustus release of the cmdlets/tools. One of the better and newer things is the support for WAAD authentication support, so no more need for publishingfile downloads or certificates in order to manage your Windows Azure assets! How does it work?

    Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Install the new Powershell tools
  2. Open the Windows Azure Powershell commandline (or a normal powerhell console and do import-module Azure)
  3. Use the Add-AzureAccount cmdlet, and it will open up a window where you need to enter your account name (LiveId or org id)

    After entering your ID, then it could be that your account is recognized either as a Live ID, Org ID or even both. If so choose the most appropriate one you’d like to use:

    Enter your password :

    And you’ll be returned to the prompt:

  4. Of course you can not only add but also Get-AzureAccount

    and Remove-AzureAccount (with a prompt of course!)

What else is in their changelog: 2013.10.21 Version 0.7.0

  • Windows Azure Active Directory authentication support!
    • Now you can use your Microsoft account or Organizational account to login from PowerShell without the need of any management certificate or publish settings file!
    • Use Add-AzureAccount to get started
    • Checkout Add-AzureAccount, Get-AzureAcccount and Remove-AzureAccount for details
  • Changed the file format which is used to store the subscription information. Information in the original file will be added to the new file automatically. If you downgrade from 0.7.0 to a lower version, you can still see the subscriptions you imported before the 0.7.0 upgrade. But anything added after the 0.7.0 upgrade won’t show up in the downgrade.
    • Changed the assembly name and namespace from Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Commands.*
    • Select-AzureSubscription
      • Now you can use it to select or clear either the current subscription or the default subscription
      • Replaced the -Clear parameter with -NoCurrent parameter
    • Set-AzureSubscription
      • Removed -DefaultSubscription and -NoDefaultSubscription parameters. Go to Select-AzureSubscription with -Default and -NoDefault parameters.
    • New-AzureSqlDatabaseServerContext
      • Replaced the -SubscriptionData parameter with -SubscriptionName parameter
  • Upgraded Windows Azure SDK dependency from 1.8 to 2.0
  • Added support for a new virtual machine high memory SKU (A5)
  • Next to the Windows env’s favorite commandline, there’s also a new Crossplatform tooling edition available (already at v0.7.3!!)

    Biggest new thing available is the ability to shutdown a VM on stop.

  • And then for the master piece, or like the French are willing to call it: La Piece de Résistance: The Windows Azure Service Management Libraries

    Yes you heard it folks: no more need of calling the API directly, MS now packaged (or started packaging) the Management API in an easy to use library distributed throught Nuget packages. For adding the packages just run Install-Package
    Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management and all the API goodness will be coming dripping into your project at your disposal J (if you want to take a look on the available ones separate you can do so either through the package manager GUI or through the PowerShell NuGet cmdlets BUT … you need to keep in mind these are PreRelease version packages. So to get these you need to either select “Include Prerelease” or run the cmdlet Get-Package -ListAvailable -Filter –IncludePrerelease (the IncludePrerelease is the key here J )

    What comes with the package so far:

    The base needed :

    Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Common

    Description:         Provides infrastructure for common error handling, tracing, configuration, and HTTP/REST-based pipeline manipulation. The package also exposes the CloudContext type, which enables centralized discovery of available Windows Azure libraries.

    Supported Platforms

    • .NET Framework 4.5, 4.5.1
    • .NET for Windows Store apps
    • Windows Phone 8
    • Silverlight 5
    • Portable Class Libraries

    Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Common.Dependencies

    Description:         Provides popular portable components for a common HTTP pipeline and JSON parsing. This package is included as a dependency to other libraries such as the Windows Azure Management Libraries and should not be directly added to your project.

The goods:

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management

Description:         Provides Windows Azure infrastructure and data center management operations, including the ability to create and manage affinity groups.

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management.Compute

Description:         Provides virtual machine and hosted service management capabilities to developers. Launch, restart, scale, and manage VMs, hosted services, virtual disks, operating system images, and more.

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management.Libraries

Description:     This set of packages open up a rich surface area of Windows Azure services, giving you the power to automate, deploy, and test cloud infrastructure with ease.These services support Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Hosted Services, Storage, Virtual Networks, Web Sites and core data center infrastructure management.

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management.Storage

Description:         Provides storage management operations for Windows Azure, including the ability to create, delete, and configure storage service accounts and credentials.

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management.VirtualNetworks

Description:         Provides virtual network management capabilities for Windows Azure.

Nuget Package:        Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Management.WebSites

Description:         Provides management capabilities for Windows Azure Web Sites. Deploy, configure, debug, and scale your websites using familiar APIs.

The cool thing is that the new PowerShell release immediately implements the above new created Packages in order to keep everything aligned. If you want an in to depth blogpost on the topic read the program owner for this solution , namely Brady Gaster (@bradygaster)

  • With all the abovely mentioned new “offline” toys there’s also a new version of the portal available; The Portal now runs on version 3.11 instead of 3.10 (uh? Portal versions you say? Well yes .. Press CTRL-A and you get to see the version numbers and more info regarding the portal )

    The biggest improvement or new thing can be found in the settings pages. Here’s what:

    In v 3.10

    You had this familiar screen

    But in the “newer” version or v3.11

    You see the addendum at your left hand site:

    Where you can now attach your subscription(s) to a domain, which makes multi-tenancy more manageable in the future

    • Check you Usage per subscription

    • Change the domain assigned to the subscription
    • Also on filtering this allows you to filter multi subscriptions by domain

As you can see a lot of new toys to play with and a lot of tiny tweaks in everything that makes our life’s way more easy.


6 thoughts on “It’s another release of #windowsazure tools galore …. Or how teams can excel in continuous delivery mode!

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