Q32.Developing Windows Azure Applications?

Microsoft has made it easy for developers to develop Cloud applications by providing features in the popular and widely used development tool Visual Studio. Just as in developing on-premise applications using Visual Studio, we can develop a Cloud application in Visual Studio. The process of developing Cloud applications involves some specific steps which we will discuss in the coming questions. Rest assured, your existing knowledge of .NET, C#, Workflow Foundation, Windows Communication foundation and SQL Server is useful to develop a Cloud application.

Below are the features given in Visual Studio which will make it easier to develop azure cloud applications.

Templates


Visual Studio provides project templates for creating Windows Azure applications. These are Web role and Worker role Templates. Some of the templates are:

ASP.NET Web Role
ASP.Net MVC Web role
WCF Web Role
Silverlight Business Application
Worker role
Cache Worker role
Worker role with Service Bus Queue

Each template includes a ready framework of code which speed up your application development. When we use these templates in our cloud service project, we get the ready to use code which is based on the template we choose.

Development Fabric and Development Storage


Cloud applications do not run locally. During development stage it is not possible to frequently upload the application to the cloud. Microsoft enables us to run Cloud applications locally. It provides the ‘Development Fabric’ which creates a cloud environment in our local machine.

Similar to the Development Fabric, Microsoft provides ‘Development Storage’ which simulates the Blob, Queue, and Table Storage services available in the cloud. Not only development, we can also test the applications locally.

In the testing stage, we can also arrive at the number of instances required. This is useful while setting the configuration files when moving the applications to the cloud. After testing is complete and if the application is working fine, you can upload the application code and the configuration files from within Visual Studio.

Two-step process


Windows Azure enables a cloud application to be staged and then put into production. When the application is staged or put on a stage, it will function just as any Cloud application but will not be available for the end user and will be available only to you. This allows a developer to completely test the application and then go live when all the requirements are satisfied. Switching between from 'stage to production' is easy and seamless.