Getting Started with Windows Azure

While ramping for Windows Azure, we created a quick set of steps to get other team members quickly started with Azure.  The goal is tight – get Azure running on your local box and be able to explore and run the Azure SDK samples.

Installing the Azure SDK and the Visual Studio Tools for Azure
Here’s a quick set of steps to install the VS tools for Azure and Azure SDK:

  1. Get a supported Operation System (OS) - Server 2008, Vista SP1, Win7
  2. Enable IIS.  In the Control Panel, use "Turn Windows Features on/off."
  3. Verify that ASP.NET is installed.  In the Control Panel, use "Turn Windows Features on/off." Check under IIS.
  4. Install “WCF HTTP Activation".”  In the Control Pane, use "Turn Windows Features on/off."  Find it under the .NET Framework 3.5.1 branch in the tree.
  5. Install Visual Studio 2008 or 2010, including SQL Server Express, VB, C#, and C++.
  6. Get the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio from .
  7. Get the Windows Azure SDK from

Installing the Azure SDK Samples
You need to unpack the samples:

  1. Extract the samples from the Azure SDK (e.g. c:\program files\Windows Azure SDK\v1.0\
  2. Create a "Samples" sub-directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Windows Azure SDK\v1.1\samples), and extract the zip.
  3. Open a command prompt so that you can run the .cmd files in “Samples” directory.
  4. From your "Samples" directory, run SetVCVars.cmd
  5. From your "Samples" directory, run BuildAll.cmd

Installing the Additional Azure SDK Samples
The additional samples include a sample ASP.NET provider for Azure Table Storage.  Our team is using this to test ASP.NET Forms Authentication with Azure Table Storage.

  1. Get the "Additional C# Samples” for the Azure SDK.  Here is a direct link to download the additional Azure samples.
  2. Add the additional samples to your “Samples” directory that you created above.  Note that these additional samples come with their own SetVCVars.cmd and BuildAll.cmd, so you can replace replace the SetVCVars.cmd and BuildAll.cmd that came with the Azure SDK Samples since you already ran them.

Additional Resources
Here are some key places to visit:

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Comments (4)
  1. Colin Bowern says:

    You forgot:

    8. Run Visual Studio as Administrator *hangs head in shame*

    Feels like we’re stepping backwards, not forwards on secure development efforts.

  2. J.D. Meier says:

    I agree and I’m poking around and asking folks some questions.

    Any more insights to share?

  3. Colin Bowern says:

    The thread on Azure involves one of the moderators in the MSDN forum ( might give you some information. Saad Ladki from the IIS team suggested that it might not be a result of IIS configuration.  I’m hearing a lot of people pointing fingers in other directions.  All I want to know is how we can get away from a bad decision that flies in the face of the immutable laws of security administration.

    Another similar move was made by the Windows Identity Foundation team which require you to run as admin.  They could just have easily selectively elevated or used a broker service to do their ceritifcate generation (rather than having the dev run as admin all the time).

  4. alik says:

    Keep leading the horse to the water.

    You have no idea how thirsty the horse is 🙂

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