Windows Azure Learning Plan

 Note: On June 7th, Microsoft dramatically enhanced the Windows Azure Platform. I'm leaving this resource here, but an updated version is now here:


- Buck

Because Windows Azure is a platform, like Windows or Linux, there are a lot of things to know about it. Whenever I'm faced with learning such a broad technology I try to work "outside in"  - that is, from a general perspective (understanding what it is) to a specific set of knowledge (knowing how to use it).


There are lots of resources for learning Windows Azure, so I thought I would put together a series of posts that lets you focus in on what you want to care about. Because the technology changes a great deal, I'll try and keep this "head" post up to date, and if you see anything I'm missing, feel free to post a comment here. Note that this isn’t all of the information you can find - it's the list I use to help others get up to speed. It's my "window" into Azure.


The first section (this post) is the "general overview" section of links and resources. It covers the "what is this thing" question, and of course each of these links will spawn off to more of them.


General Information

Audience: Everyone

Overview and general  information about Windows Azure - what it is, how it works, and where you can learn more.


Lots of free books:

Cloud Computing Paradigms

Video: Lap Around the Windows Azure Platform

Updated List of all "How To" Documents for Azure

Official Microsoft Site


Audience: Systems and Programming Architects

Patterns and practices for Windows Azure, How it works,  and internals.


Audience: Developers

Information on Web, Worker, VM and other roles, and how to program them.


Audience: Developers, Data Professionals

Blobs, Tables, Queues, and other storage constructs, and how to program them.

Other Features

Audience: Developers, System Integrators

Service Bus, Authentication and Caching, in addition to other constructs in Azure development.


Audience: Developers, Security Analysts

General and Specific security considerations, remunerations and remediation.

SQL Azure

Audience: Developers, Data Professionals

SQL Server Azure information for architecting and managing applications in the cloud RDBMS.

Windows Azure and SQL Azure Use-Cases

Audience: Architects, Developers, Computing Professionals

Use-case patterns for Windows and SQL Azure.


Here is a list of videos on developing software on Windows Azure: (another set here)

Session 01: Windows Azure Overview
Session 02: Introduction to Compute
Session 03: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 1
Session 04: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 2
Session 05: Windows Azure Storage, Part 1
Session 06: Windows Azure Storage, Part 2
Session 07: Introduction to SQL Azure
Session 08: Windows Azure Diagnostics
Session 09: Windows Azure Security, Part 1
Session 10: Windows Azure Security, Part 2
Session 11: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 1
Session 12: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 2, and Q&A

Course materials and code samples

Reference & Credit: by Frank Gartland

Comments (9)
  1. Don Glover - MSFT says:

    The underly link for the How tos is wrong, it takes you off to an info world article.

  2. BuckWoody says:

    Don – thanks for the catch. Fixed.

  3. Deep Fried Bytes podcast says:


    I recently hear you on the DFB podcast and I was interested on the sample you said your site had on stateless ASP.Net programming.

    I searched your site for a bit, but I was unable to find it. I was wondering if you could point me to it.

    Thank you,


  4. Kevin Kline says:

    Ok, I had recommended…/sqlazure as the best starting point for SQLAzure newbies.  But that site is clearly not as good as your content, Buck.

    Excellent and clear learning plan!

    Best regards,


  5. BuckWoody says:

    Thanks, Kevin! I'll try and keep this up to date. I plan to look at it every month or so and make sure the info is fresh.

  6. I feel it is good start point for cloud… Is there anything added now?

  7. Roy says:

    Do you have material targeted for or reading suggestions for guiding/teaching current Sr. Infrastructrue Engineers & Infrastructure Architects (storage, network, server, AD, etc.) as they become more involved in the cloud story?

  8. BuckWoody says:

    Roy – yes – check the "Architecture" section here, and also the MSDN Architect magazine.

Comments are closed.

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