Course info
Jan 24, 2011
2h 25m

This course introduces you to the tools and techniques you need to build cloud applications on the Windows Azure platform. The modules focus on hands-on examples for using the development tools in Visual Studio and showing you how to accomplish common tasks in Windows Azure development.

About the author
About the author

Matt is an independent consultant with expertise in web application design and development and systems integration. As a writer, Matt has contributed to several journals and magazines such as MSDN Magazine. Matt regularly shares his love of technology by speaking at local, regional, and international conferences such as DevWeek, Prairie Dev Con, That Conference, and VS Live. As a Pluralsight Author, Matt has created more than 30 courses on the topics of web, mobile, and cloud development.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction to Windows Azure
Hello and welcome to this course introducing you to Windows Azure. My name is Matt Milner and I'll be your guide as we go through a hands on exploration of building applications for Microsoft's cloud platform. In this course we're going to be focused on Microsoft's offering around cloud computing, so I first wanted to just make sure everyone grasps that concept of what this new shift in the platform is all about. When we think about building an application for the cloud, we're really taking advantage of this infinite set of resources out there and Microsoft's data center that allows us to pay as we go, if you will, scale up our application as our customer demand calls for, and take advantage of someone else managing all the details for us of hardware failures and patches and all that good stuff so that we don't have to hire and pay folks that need to do that work. So there are a few things we're going to need to understand about building applications. The good news is a lot of your skills from building. NET applications translate over quite nicely. When we think about the Windows Azure platform or this cloud computing platform, there's three major components, each which is made up of smaller components. The key piece is Windows Azure itself, the core platform, which is made up of compute, or you could think of it as virtual machines with processing power, storage for storing your data, storing your images, and large files, and a management API and set of tools for managing your applications, working with deployments and upgrades. We'll also be looking at Microsoft SQL Azure or relational database service out in the cloud, so providing us all the familiar tables and keys and relationships, all the things we expect from a relational database, but in a highly scaled out reliable fashion in the cloud. And we'll finally look at Windows Azure AppFabric, so we'll see how we can get secure internet scale and internet protocol friendly messaging, web service messaging, HTTP messaging, through a relay to help us deal with the complexities of large networks and crossing the internet and dealing with firewalls and network address translation. So as we go, we'll be looking at each of these components, we'll see in the core platform how to build web applications. We'll learn how to build worker applications or things that are like services, code that's going to be running all the time, and we'll also see how to manage those applications in the terms of how do we publish our applications out to the cloud from our local machine. We'll see how to use the storage components, we'll learn how to work with tables in order to store data or entities with lots of properties. We'll look at using blob storage and we'll see how to store things like images, videos, audio files, large objects, and how to access those and secure them. And we'll also be looking at the cues that are in the storage component as well for sending small messages between our different compute nodes so that we can send commands or send message back and forth between those nodes. We'll move on and look at SQL Azure and see how to work with relational data in the cloud, primarily focused on what are the tools that we use to manage that data and what are some of the details that are slightly different from working with a regular SQL Server database. And finally we'll look at web services in the cloud and we'll see just how to host web services within a Windows Azure role or how to host it out in the cloud, but also how to take advantage of the Windows Azure AppFabric component to enable our services and our client applications that are running in our own data centers behind firewalls and network address translators to integrate with and talk to services that are running in other data centers or out in the Windows Azure cloud. As you begin to think about Windows Azure, I just want to put a picture in your head. As we go in we're going to be looking at a lot of code in Visual Studio, it's kind of hard to visualize sometimes what we're talking about when we talk about going out to the cloud, but this is an idea about a typical deployment perhaps out in Windows Azure, where on the left you can see we have everything load balanced and scaled out. I've got three different instances of my web role, you can think of that as my website, so running on three different servers, and I have two different instances of a worker role, those things can talk to each other, I can pass messages and have that worker role, that compute power processing things. And then we also have the storage services in the back end there where I've got my queues, tables and blobs, and again, load balanced, scaled out, reliable storage built for internet scale. And underneath it all here we have the fabric controller, that's the magic, if you will, that's the piece that Microsoft provides in their platform that monitors our systems. If a web role instance goes down, for example, one of our servers goes down, that controller notices that and it will replace it, bring up another virtual image matching the ones we already have and pull that up and add it back in and it will automatically swap it out. So this is the kind of ever we're going to deploy into, this is what we get when we go out to the cloud and take advantage of these giant data centers and these infinite computing resources. So I hope you're ready for a hands-on journey into Microsoft's cloud computing platform as we see how to build web application, we'll be building a simple event management application as we go along, and I hope you enjoy the ride.

Getting started with Windows Azure
Welcome to this module on getting started with Windows Azure. My name is Matt Milner. In this module we're going to ramp you up on what you need to know to get started developing cloud solutions. So we're going to look at how to install the Windows Azure SDK and what that's going to provide you. We're going to take a look at how you can then use Visual Studio 2010 to create cloud solutions or applications that you'll be able to deploy out into the Windows Azure cloud environment. And finally, we'll look at how you emulate the cloud on your local machine in order to build and test your applications before you go through the process of pushing them up to the cloud.

Publishing Azure solutions
Hello and welcome to this module on publishing your applications to Windows Azure. My name is Matt Milner. In this module we're going to take a look at first how you get an account or set up a subscription to Windows Azure and then how you allocate your services or you set up the services that you want to host your application logic and host the data that you're going to store out in the storage system. Finally we'll take a look at some checklists, if you will, or a set of steps that you'll want to do before you publish your application out there to make sure it's ready to run out in the cloud environment. And finally, we'll actually publish a service out to the cloud, we'll see how that works from weakness Visual Studio to get you all set up, have your application up and running in the cloud environment.

Working with Azure storage
Welcome to this module on Windows Azure storage. My name is Matt Milner. In this module we're going to take a look at how the Windows Azure SDK provides a nice. NET wrapper for you for all of the storage APIs. We'll see how to configure that and how to use that within your code. Specifically we'll look at table storage or how you can store entities out in a structured storage that's highly scalable and reliable. We'll take a look at queues, the ability to pass messages between processing nodes, and we'll take a look at blob storage so that we can store things like images and video files and large objects out in the storage system as well. We'll see how each of those plays into an existing application and how we work with those through this SDK API.

Getting started with SQL Azure
Welcome to this module, introducing SQL Azure. My name is Matt Milner. In this module we're going to take a look at how you provision databases out in SQL Azure, get those things set up and choose a size, also see the tools that you can use to manage your database, so SQL Management Studio and the like to connect, create tables and stored procedures. We'll look at how you can use ASP. NET providers for membership and role and profile information, the steps you need to do to use those with SQL Azure. And finally we'll look at how you can access SQL Azure just like you do today with your on-premises SQL server, so using ADO. NET, Entity Framework or your other favorite database tools.

Windows Azure AppFabric and Services
Hello and welcome to this module on web service hosting in Windows Azure and using the AppFabric ServiceBus. My name is Matt Milner and I'm an instructor with Pluralsight. In this module we're going to take a look at basic web service hosting or hosting WCF services within Windows Azure, so we'll see how, for the most part, it's fairly straightforward. There are a couple things to keep in mind in terms of load balancing and some of the behaviors. We'll then take a brief look at what the Windows Azure AppFabric provides in terms of a set of services that you can use from your cloud applications or from your on-premise applications for secure internet messaging. We'll take a look then at how you host services that use the ServiceBus component of AppFabric where you can have a public endpoint that's available for your services, even if that service is an on-premise service. And we'll look at how you can consume services from Windows Azure through the ServiceBus, so there are some unique steps you need to take in terms of the configuration, we'll see how you can then expose those services through the ServiceBus and consume them from your Windows Azure applications.