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Comparing & Exploring the No Silverlight Windows Azure Portal


Recently in the Meet Azure, Microsoft released the new No Silverlight – HTML5 Windows Azure Portal to the public. But right from the day we are aware of the preview and trying out with the new portal it was really a great interface by the Microsoft Azure team. The old Silverlight Windows Azure Management portal is quite good for a new developer to explore each and every stuff that is new, but with this new No Silverlight portal we can see it very easy to navigate and also very much elaborated way of accessing the components usage.         [more]

Let us jump start to see the latest portal, once we login to the Windows Azure Management using the http://windows.azure.com we will see the old browser with the key components accessible and at the bottom in the status bar we can see the New Preview Portal as shown in the screen below.


Clicking on Visit the Preview Portal we can see the new No Silverlight – HTML5 Azure Management Portal. We can see a beautiful interface which lists all the items available that are created before with our old azure portal with the subscription as shown below.


The left side menu has the list of available and subscribed components that can be used while creating or deploying our application to the Azure Environment. In the right side menu we can see the deployed application with the type of service, status, subscription and Location it belongs to. Left menu has WEB SITES and VIRTUAL MACHINES which are the new key components that are introduced in the MEET Azure event which we will be seeing in detail in our upcoming articles. Now let us navigate to the different tabs and see how its been shown up with the new interface. First let us go with Cloud Services and we can see the comparison of the OLD and the NEW interface as shown below.

Hosted Service in OLD Interface:


As Cloud Services in New Interface:


Clicking on each of the Services in both old and new interface will provide the complete details of the application deployed and with the new interface we can see excellent options with the Dashboard on how the application is scaled and monitored which is not available with the older interface.

Old Interface:


New Interface:


These are the basic changes which we can see when comparing the OLD Interface with the NEW one, but still we have many things left with the Cloud Services in our upcoming articles. Now let us move to the next topic which is the Storage Services we will see how the interfaces are changed as shown in the screen comparisons below.

Storage Services in OLD Interface:


As Storage in NEW Interface:


Clicking on the application name in both the interface will provide the details (Blob, Table, Queue urls and the Keys that are needed), but in the New Interface we have additional option on Dashboard which needs to be configured in order to manage and monitor the storage services as shown in the screen below.

OLD Interface:


New Interface:


In Storage we can configure the monitoring in the Configure tab located above but it may change some charges as applicable. In the NEW Interface we can get the Primary and Secondary Access Keys directly by pressing the MANAGE KEYS at the bottom which will be located in the listing as well as in the detailed view of the application selected.

Our next topic to explore is the Database, here also we have a listing view and a Detail view. In the OLD Interface we can see the database listed as per the subscription selection and then the Server Selection and then finally the database. Where each and every time we need to navigate between the servers and check the complete details of each of the database whereas in the new interface, we can see all the databases that are available with the subscription in one place irrespective of which server it belongs to as shown in the screen below.

Database in OLD Interface:


SQL Database in NEW Interface:


Now clicking on each of the database we can see the detailed view in both the interfaces but in the new interface we have nicely placed options which is very much easy to keep things handy as shown in the screens below.

OLD Interface:


NEW Interface:


One things to note down is the Manage Option, the Web interface to Create, Update, Insert and Delete the object in SQL database which is available still with the SILVERLIGHT Version. Clicking on Manage at the bottom still refers to the OLD Interface of the Windows Azure which most probably will be changed to the No Silverlight version pretty soon.

Now we have done with exploring the different services, now lets see how we can add a new service by comparing from the OLD interface. In the OLD Interface we have a option at the top most Ribbon Menu as New Hosted Service, New Storage Account and New Database server. In the NEW interface at the bottom left corner we have a NEW button with a + symbol which indicated clicking on it will add new services as shown in the screens below.

OLD Interface:


NEW Interface: After clicking on NEW button at the left bottom Status bar.


We will explore in detail on each of the components in detail in our upcoming articles, now we will see the remaining changes in the interface. We have Help and Support in our OLD interface which provides the completed documentation on most of the topics which is still available in the NEW interface at the bottom right corner (?) symbol as shown in the screens below:

Help and Support in OLD Interface:


As Help in NEW Interface:


In our OLD Interface we have option to search from a list of component (Component Specific) like we have option to search the Hosted services alone or search the database alone or search the Storage Account alone which is component specific and we don’t see an option to search the complete list of available and registered components but with this NEW Interface have option to search from the list which is a consolidated output of all the available and registered components with in the subscription as shown in the screens below.

Search in OLD Interface:


Search in NEW Interface:


In OLD Interface we have option to provide the feedback on the portal and the components to the Microsoft Product team which takes the real feedback and try to implement the missing part which is available in both the Interfaces as shown in the screens below. In Old interface we have the feedback link at the bottom right corner and in the NEW interface we have the feedback at the top middle bar.

Feedback in OLD Interface:


Feedback in NEW Interface:


Now we are almost explored most of the major changes with the OLD Interface and now once we upgraded to the new Preview Portal to get back to the OLD Portal again we have an option at the top which provides a link to Take me to the previous Portal clicking on this will navigate back to the old portal. At any point of time we can navigate easily between the old portal and the new portal which will be familiar for each of the developers to manage the Azure account. That’s it for today, we will explore more with the new Azure portal in our upcoming articles one by one until then keep looking for the new updates.

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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