While the summer here in Seattle has been short, we managed to ship an updated version of the SharePoint and Windows Azure Developer Training Kit for all of you wanting to explore how these two technologies come together. Below, you can find the updated kit plus some additional information on how to get up and running with your development environment, your Windows Azure account, and of course some additional references as you seek out some practical guidance beyond the kit.
There are two ways to interact with the developer kit. The first is online through the SharePoint and Windows Azure Developer Learning Center: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/SPAzureTrainingCourse. Here you can browse the labs online, review sample code and decks, and more. You can also download an offline version of the developer kit as well from here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=24398. You can then run the EXE, which will install all of the files locally for you to work with.
Your Development Environment
You’re going to want to code against something once you’ve downloaded the kit, and you have a couple of options. The first is to install all of the required software locally, which would include:
- Windows (Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 Client) – must be 64x
- SQL Server 2008 R2 (or Express)
- SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio
- Visual Studio 2010 Professional
- SharePoint Server 2010 (Foundation)
- Windows Azure Tools and SDK
- Office Professional Plus 2010
- SharePoint Designer 2010
- Expression Blend (Optional)
Now, before you run off and begin installing all of this, you have a couple of options.
1. Download the IW VM that you can use as your primary (and virtualized) development environment: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=21099. Note that you would need to install the Windows Azure SDK, Expression Blend and SQL Server 2008 R2 bits on this VM, but it does save a lot of downloading and setting up. It’s also good for 180 days before expiring.
2. Use the Easy Set-Up Script to install most of the above software to get your SharePoint environment set up. You would also need to install the Windows Azure SDK, Expression Blend and update the SQL Server 2008 R2 bits here as well. But again, a more streamlined way to set up your environment.
Once you’ve got all of your software set up and ready to go, you’ll also need to obtain a Windows Azure Developer Account. You can get a free trial account here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/free-trial/. You can also find out more generally about Windows Azure by visiting the Windows Azure landing page here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/.
There are a few decent resources to help you along with integrating these two sizeable platforms:
- Developing Microsoft SharePoint Applications using Windows Azure (MSPress).
- Windows Azure Platform Developer Training Kit.
- SharePoint and Windows Azure: Why They’re Better Together.
- Connecting SharePoint and Windows Azure using Silverlight Web Parts.
- Pushing Content from SharePoint to Windows Azure Storage.
- Vishwas Lele’s blog post on SharePoint and Azure integration.
I’m sure there is more, and as I find more links, I’ll update this blog. Feel free to reach out to me with interesting links and content, and I’ll cross post.