New book: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Applications Using Windows Azure

developing sharepoint azure coverWe’re pleased to announce that Developing Microsoft SharePoint Applications Using Windows Azure (ISBN: 978-0-7356-5662-8, 336 pages) by Steve Fox is available for purchase.

Your expert guide to building Microsoft® SharePoint® applications in the cloud

Deliver custom, cloud-based business solutions using SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure™ together. By applying hands-on techniques from Microsoft cloud development expert Steve Fox, you'll learn how to increase the reach, resource capability, and reusability of your apps. Get the practical code exercises and solid advice you need—whether you're planning to build complete data-driven applications or hybrid solutions with simple Web parts.

Discover how to:

  • Deliver data from Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket into SharePoint and Microsoft Office applications
  • Use Microsoft Business Connectivity Services to connect to SQL Azure™ data
  • Create advanced web parts to surface SQL Azure data in Bing™ Maps, using the SharePoint client object model
  • Manage files in Windows Azure using BLOB storage
  • Deploy Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services to Windows Azure
  • Build business intelligence solutions, using SQL Azure, Microsoft SQL Server® Reporting Services (SSRS)


SharePoint and Windows Azure are two sizeable platforms unto themselves. SharePoint is Microsoft’s leading server productivity platform—the collaborative platform for the enterprise and the web. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s operating system in the cloud. Separately, they have their own strengths, market viability and developer following. Together, they are very powerful, because together they provide many benefits that neither provides alone. For example, they begin to expand how and where you deploy your code and data; they increase opportunities to take advantage of Windows Azure ”metered usage’” model, while at the same time reducing the storage and failover costs of on-premises applications; and they provide you with new business models and offerings that you can take to your customers to increase your own solution offerings. In short, there are interesting and compelling reasons to bring these two platforms together.

In this book, you’ll get introductory, hands-on experience on how you can integrate SharePoint and Windows Azure. These integrations range from the simple (such as data integration using Excel and Excel Services) to the more complex (using the service bus to connect remote Windows Phone 7 applications to SharePoint on-premises data). The underlying goal of the book, though, is to provide a prescriptive guide through some fundamental methods of integration.

Who Should Read this Book

This book exists to help .NET developers understand how they can take advantage of Windows Azure within SharePoint. The book tries not to delve too deeply into explanation of specific concepts and APIs; rather, provides you with step-by-step code-centric examples in C# that walk you through how you can achieve integrations between SharePoint and Windows Azure.

Although the book is more introductory in nature, you are integrating two hefty platforms with extensive capabilities. So, if you’re not comfortable just jumping in and trying things out, you may want to consult a beginning book on either SharePoint such as Beginning SharePoint 2010 Development (Wrox) or Windows Azure such as Programming Windows Azure (O’Reilly).

Also, there are some great resources that you can download from C9/MSDN:

· SharePoint 2010 Developer Training Kit:

· Windows Azure Developer Training Kit:

As you work throughout the book, you can also refer to the Additional References section at the end of each chapter for other relevant sources you might find helpful.

Who Should Not Read this Book

Not every book is aimed at every possible audience. If you don’t have a solid familiarity with .NET development in C#, you should brush up on the C# language, WPF, and web development concepts before tackling this book.


This book expects that you have at least a minimal understanding of .NET development and object-oriented programming concepts. This book also assumes you have some basic understanding of SharePoint 2010. Also, this book includes examples in C# only. If you have not yet picked up C#, you might consider reading John Sharp’s Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step (Microsoft Press, 2010).

Given the backdrop against which this book was written is cloud computing, it may also help if you have some understanding of what cloud computing is and how you go about building applications for the cloud.

Organization of This Book

This book is divided into ten chapters.

· Chapter One: Welcome to SharePoint and Windows Azure

· Chapter Two: Getting Started with Windows Azure and SharePoint

· Chapter Three: Consuming SQL Azure Data in SharePoint

· Chapter Four: SQL Azure and Advanced Web Part Development

· Chapter Five: Using Windows Azure BLOB Storage in SharePoint Solutions

· Chapter Six: Integrating WCF Services and SharePoint

· Chapter Seven: Business Intelligence and SQL Azure

· Chapter Eight: Using the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus and SharePoint

· Chapter Nine: Advanced Uses of WCF Services in SharePoint and Office

· Chapter Ten: Securing Your SharePoint and Windows Azure Solutions

Each chapter provides exercises that range from simple to complex, with the more complex topics towards the back end of the book.

Within each chapter you will find three to four examples, most have code that accompanies the example that you can download (see the section “Code Samples” in this introduction..

Conventions and Features in This Book

This book presents information using conventions designed to make the information readable and easy to follow.

· In most cases, the book includes separate exercises for Visual C# programmers.

· Each exercise consists of a series of tasks, presented as numbered steps (1, 2, and so on) listing each action you must take to complete the exercise.

· Boxed elements with labels such as “Note” provide additional information or alternative methods for completing a step successfully.

· Text that you type (apart from code blocks) appears in bold.

· A plus sign (+) between two key names means that you must press those keys at the same time. For example, “Press Alt+Tab” means that you hold down the Alt key while you press the Tab key.

· A vertical bar between two or more menu items (e.g. File | Close), means that you should select the first menu or menu item, then the next, and so on.

System Requirements

You will need the following software to complete the practice exercises in this book:

· A Windows 64-bit compliant operating system (preferably Windows Server 2008 R2, but you could use Windows 7)

· SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010 (SharePoint Foundation is the free version of SharePoint and could be used this for many of the exercises in this book)

· SharePoint Designer 2010

· Microsoft Office (Professional Plus) 2010

· Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate

· .NET Framework 4.0

· Microsoft Expression Blend (Optional but recommended for Silverlight programming)

· SQL Server 2008 R2 (you could install just the Express version)

· Windows Azure Tools and SDK

· Windows Azure AppFabric SDK

· Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools

The hardware that you would require to install and run the preceding list of software should have:

· A Centrino or equivalent processor

· 4-8GB (64 Bit) RAM

· 10GB of available hard disk space

· A DirectX 9 capable video card running at 1024 x 768 or higher-resolution display

· A DVD-ROM drive (if installing Visual Studio from DVD)

· An Internet connection so you can download software or chapter examples and use Windows Azure


Depending on your Windows configuration, you might require Local Administrator rights to install or configure Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 products.

Code Samples

Most of the chapters in this book include exercises that let you interactively try out new material learned in the main text. All sample projects, in both their pre-exercise and post-exercise formats, are available for download from the book’s page on the web site for Microsoft’s publishing partner, O’Reilly Media:<your ISBN here>/

Click the Examples link on that page. When a list of files appears, locate and download the file.

Note Because some of the code samples are quite lengthy, error checking has been excluded. As a best practice for production code, you should always include some measure of error checking (e.g. try and catch). Treat the code samples as core, illustrative samples that you can use to build proof of concept applications with and not code that you would copy and paste into production.

Installing the Code Samples

Follow these steps to install the code samples on your computer so that you can use them with the exercises in this book.

1. Unzip the file that you downloaded from the book’s web site (name a specific directory along with directions to create it, if necessary).

2. If prompted, review the displayed end user license agreement. If you accept the terms, select the accept option, and then click Next.

Note If the license agreement doesn’t appear, you can access it from the same web page from which you downloaded the file.


To my wife, who continually supports my extracurricular projects that always seem to involve code and writing.


No man is an island, and I’d like to call out and thank a few people. First, I’d like to call out some of the developers and authors that I’ve researched and read as prep for this book. Your books and kits have helped guide me in this book, and as such are called out throughout so the readers of this book can continue the journey. I’d like to call out Hay & Prince (Azure in Action), Krishman (Programming Windows Azure), Redkar (Windows Azure Platform), Klein and Roggero (Pro SQL Azure). I’d also like to call out Todd Baginski and Ravi Vridhagiri, who’ve been working with me on a number of developer training kits and have helped me when asked without hesitation.

I’d also like to thank Andrew Whitechapel for being the technical reviewer for this book and Russell Jones for seeing the possibility in the idea and running with it as the lead editor on the book.

There are also many unseen people who work to get a book up and out so you can have it in front of you. And while I didn’t interact with all of you, I know that each of you play an integral role in the machinery of book production. So thanks to the O’Reilly and MSPress collaborators and coordinators who drove this book across the finish line.

Lastly, thanks to you the reader. Without you, this book would land in a vacuum.

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  1. Chapter 1 Welcome to SharePoint and Windows Azure
    1. Welcome to the Cloud
    2. What Is Windows Azure?
    3. What About SharePoint?
    4. Integrating SharePoint 2010 and Windows Azure
    5. Getting Ready to Develop
    6. Summary
    7. Additional References
  2. Chapter 2 Getting Started with SharePoint and Windows Azure
    1. Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket
    2. Integrating DataMarket Data with Excel and SharePoint
    3. Integrating DataMarket Data with a Visual Web Part
    4. Integrating Silverlight, Windows Azure DataMarket, and SharePoint
    5. Summary
    6. Additional References
  3. Chapter 3 Consuming SQL Azure Data
    1. Introduction to Business Connectivity Services
    2. Integrating SQL Azure with BCS by Using SharePoint Designer 2010
    3. Securing the Connection to SQL Azure
    4. Summary
    5. Additional References
  4. Chapter 4 SQL Azure and Advanced Web Part Development
    1. Interacting with SQL Azure Data
    2. Integrating the SharePoint Server Object Model and the Entity Data Model
    3. Surfacing SQL Azure Data in Bing Maps by Using the Client Object Model
    4. Summary
    5. Additional References
  5. Chapter 5 Using Windows Azure BLOB Storage in SharePoint Solutions
    1. Overview of Windows Azure BLOB Storage
    2. Integrating BLOB Storage and SharePoint
    3. Summary
    4. Additional References
  6. Chapter 6 Integrating WCF Services and SharePoint
    1. Creating and Deploying a WCF Service to Windows Azure
    2. Creating a Web Part
    3. Creating a Silverlight Web Part
    4. Creating a Custom List and Event Receiver
    5. Summary
    6. Additional References
  7. Chapter 7 Using SQL Azure for Business Intelligence
    1. Preparing the Data
    2. Creating a Report
    3. Using a WCF Service to Integrate SQL Azure Data with SharePoint
    4. Summary
    5. Additional References
  8. Chapter 8 Using the Windows Azure Service Bus with SharePoint
    1. Windows Azure AppFabric
    2. Creating a Service Namespace
    3. Using the Service Bus to Interact with SharePoint
    4. Accessing SharePoint via a WCF Service Proxy
    5. Calling an On-Premises Service via the Service Bus
    6. Summary
    7. Additional References
  9. Chapter 9 Using Windows Azure WCF Services in SharePoint and Office
    1. Custom WCF Services and Windows Azure
    2. Modeling Data by Using Business Connectivity Services
    3. Exposing the External System Data in Office
    4. Summary
    5. Additional References
  10. Chapter 10 Securing Your SharePoint and Windows Azure Solutions
    1. Options for Securing Your Applications
    2. Configuring BCS Security
    3. Configuring Shared Access Permissions for BLOB Storage
    4. Summary
    5. Additional References
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