Santa seems to have come early this year for Windows Azure developers. (Yes, I know… it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!) I just saw over on the Windows Azure blog that version 1.6 of the Windows Azure SDK is out. The SDK seems to be updated 2-3 times a year historically. What’s in the SDK? Well, a lot of stuff, but at the highest level, it is:
- The tooling within Visual Studio (project templates, compute, and storage emulators)
- The set of API libraries needed to program against Windows Azure’s various services (storage, caching, service bus, etc).
The 1.6 SDK for Windows Azure contains a lot of improvements that will make it even easier to build and deploy applications to the cloud. Along with the 1.6 SDK, they have also released a Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK and an updated version of the excellent Windows Azure Platform Training Kit (WAPTK). The training kit has been around since the early days of Windows Azure and is a fantastic learning resource. Just last month, the October 2011 update of the WAPTK introduced a bunch of new content around SQL Azure. The new November update is compatible with the 1.6 SDK.
Highlights of all 3 include (borrowed from the Windows Azure blog):
- Windows Azure SDK (November 2011)—Multiple updates to the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 that simplify development, deployment, and management on Windows Azure. The full Windows Azure SDK can be downloaded via the Web Platform installer here.
- Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK— Works in conjunction with the Windows Azure SDK and includes modules and features to author high performance computing (HPC) applications that use large amounts of compute resources in parallel to complete work. The SDK is available here for download.
- Windows Azure Platform Training Kit—Includes hands-on labs, demos, and presentations to help you learn how to build applications that use Windows Azure. Compatible with the new Windows Azure SDK and Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010. The training kit can be downloaded here.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the bits and loading them up this week. One of the features I’m looking forward to is an improved publishing process from Visual Studio. Brent Stineman, from Sogeti, has a new post up detailing the improved publishing experience. For a good read, check out:
I came across Brent’s post via Maarten Balliauw on Twitter. Maarten is a Microsoft MVP from Belgium who is an Azure guru. Maarten is well versed in both .NET and PHP. His blog is a great resource if you’re doing anything with Windows Azure, especially if you’re a PHP developer! (He should know… he’s one of the main developers of the PHP SDK for Windows Azure!)
And, don’t forget, if you’re looking to learn more about Windows Azure, be sure to attend one of the Windows Azure Dev Camp events coming up in December 2011 that I just posted last week!