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Learn Cloud Computing with Windows Azure – Part 8 – System Requirements for Windows Azure Development


Microsoft provides the required tools and framework to start the development process in no time as a software development kit. To install this Software development kit we need to consider some of the basic required software’s and hardware that plays as a prerequisite to run the software development kit on to the development environment.  [more]

Below are some of the requirements that should be taken care before installing the SDK on to the development environment.

  • Operating System – Windows 7 (Excluding Home Basic), Windows Server 2008,
  • Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express or Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional or above.
  • SQL Server 2008 Express Edition or Above.
  • IIS 7 with ASP.NET and IIS Management Console.
  • IIS URL Rewrite Module
  • ASP.NET MVC3 tools update
  • ·NET Framework 3.5 (If Windows Server 2008 OS is used)

When we go with the manual installation of the Windows Azure SDK, we need to consider the above requirement before step forward on installing any of the Azure tools. Alternatively Microsoft provides an option to download and install automatically using the Web Platform Installer. With the Web platform installer for Windows Azure we automatically see the below list of component installed without any hassle.

  • Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Windows Azure SDK
  • Visual Web Developer 2010, if you do not have Visual Studio 2010
  • Required IIS feature settings
  • Required hot fixes

So basically a novice can automatically install the required software without spending much of the time on looking out for the required software’s.

Windows Azure Software Development Kit (SDK):

Windows Azure SDK is the package provided by Microsoft to install the required tools and framework that are basically required to start developing applications on Windows Azure Platform over the cloud. With the SDK as we already seen we have 2 options to install the required software’s, one options is to manually install the supporting software’s once by one and the other options is to do an automatic installation using the Web Platform Installer. Windows Azure SDK 1.6 is the latest version of the development kit release by Microsoft on December 2011 and some of the cool stuffs included in the package (as per MSDN website) are as follows.

  • Service bus enhancements
  • Caching enhancements
  • HPC integration
  • Windows Azure SDK for Node.js
  • Windows Azure SDK for Java
  • Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse
  • New Tools for Open Source Software technologies


SQL Azure Federation



  • SQL Azure Enhancements

Increased Database Size

Price Cap for Large Databases

SQL Azure Federation

Metro styled Refreshed SQL Azure Management Portal

Microsoft provides the SDK updates with each of the fixes that the customer really face in their day to day development. Now coming to the installation of the Windows Azure SDK 1.6 installation we have the below 2 options as we discussed above.

Automatic SDK Installation:

Web Platform installer is used to do the automatic installation of the Windows Azure SDK using the link below.

Windows Azure SDK 1.6 Automatic Installation Link

We can see an installer wizard pops up and start installing the SDK straight away without looking out for the required software’s. By the time of installation the required software’s are automatically installed over the web.

Manual SDK Installation:

With the manual installation we need to download the required SDK executable one by one using the link below.

Windows Azure SDK 1.6 Manual Installation Link
To install the Windows Azure SDK Manually follow the below steps as per Microsoft MSDN suggestions one by one in the order.

· Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

· Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional or above.

· Install SQL Server 2008 Express Edition

· Enable IIS7 with ASP.NET and WCF HTTP Activation, Static Content, IIS Management Console, HTTP Redirection and optionally CGI, ISAPI Extensions, ISAPI Filters, Directory Browsing, HTTP Errors, Logging Tools, Request Monitor and Tracing, Request Filtering.

· Install IIS URL Rewrite Module 2.0.

· Install the Windows Azure Authoring Tools

· Install the Windows Azure Emulator

· Install the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update

· Install the Windows Azure Libraries for .NET 1.6 – November 2011 – WindowsAzureLibsForNet-x86.msi or WindowsAzureLibsForNet-x64.msi

· Install the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 – November 2011 – WindowsAzureTools.VS.100.exe.

· Install the Hotfix: Enable Windows Azure IntelliTrace on 32-Bit OS (not required for x64 OS).

· Install the Hotfix: Correct WCF metadata when hosting behind a load balancer (.NET 3.5 Roles) (Windows 7 Hotfix).

· Install hotfix: Add useRequestHeaderForMetadataAddress to configuration file to enable Hotfix.

The above steps will provide the necessary tools that are required by the Azure SDK to start with the application development on the development environment. Once are done with the above steps completely we are well set to proceed further to start developing the application.

About Author: Karthikeyan Anbarasan, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in ASP.NET/IIS Architecture. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of the www.f5debug.net website and has authored books on Windows Phone and Business Intelligence(SSIS). He is also a Passionate Speaker and a Blogger on Microsoft Technologies.

You can Join Me On: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn

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