Tag Archives: Windows Azure

Get ready to “Meet #WindowsAzure” in a live streamed event June 7 at 4:00 PM Boston time

You new to Windows Azure?
Experienced with Windows Azure?
Wondering what all  the buzz is about…

You can Meet #WindowsAzure in a live stream featuring keynote speaker Scott Guthrie (@ScottGu) along with other Azure/cloud experts. Event is June 7 at 4:00 PM Boston time (UTC-7 hours).

I will be watching and you can find discussions on the Twitters…. I am @codingoutloud, the event hashtag is #MeetAzure, and be sure to check out the Lanyard page that Magnus set up.

Also if you are an Azure fan in the Boston area, please check out the Boston Azure cloud user group (www.bostonazure.org). The group meets monthly, with occasional special events, such as the 2-day bootcamp later this month. The group events are usually at NERD in Cambridge, MA.


  1. www.meetwindowsazure.com
  2. Registration page: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9809415
  3. Live Stream page: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9809426
  4. Boston Azure cloud user group: www.bostonazure.org

MEET Windows Azure Blog Relay:


“Cloud Computing 101, Azure Style!” and “Building Cloud-Native Applications on Azure” – Two Talks I Presented at New England Code Camp 14

Yesterday I attended New England Code Camp 14 (check out the #necc14 twitter stream while it lasts). I enjoyed many talks:

  1. Maura Wilder on JavaScript Debugging (@squdgy)
  2. Jason Haley on Comparing the Azure and Amazon Cloud Platforms (@haleyjason)
  3. Jim O’Neil on Dissecting the Azure @Home Application (@jimoneil)
  4. Abby Fichtner on Lean Startups (@hackerchick)
  5. MC’d by Abby, various folks talking about their experiences at startups — 4 talks jam-packed into a fast-paced one-hour session:
    1. Vishal Kumar of savinz.com (“mint.com for shopping”)
    2. Allison Friedman (@rateitgreen) of Rate It Green (“yelp for the green building industry”)
    3. Sean Creely (@screeley) of Embedly (“make friendly embedded links”) – a Y Combinator company providing a service for turning tweets containing media links into something more user friendly (e.g., embed inline YouTube video rather than a link taking you to YouTube)
    4. Marc Held (@getzazu) of getzazu.com (“alarm clock 2.0”)

At Uno’s afterwards, I enjoyed chatting with many folks, including Veronica and Shawn Robichaud (all the way from Maine!), John from BUGC and Blue Fin, Slava Kokaev, entrepreneurs Marc, Billy, Brian, Vishal, and Dan Colon, dev evangelists Jim O’Neil and Chris Bowen, Yilmaz Rona from Trilogy, and of course Maura.

At the Code Camp, I presented twice on Azure-focused topics:

  1. Cloud Computing 101: Azure Style! – an introduction to cloud computing, and an overview of the services that Microsoft’s cloud stack offers
  2. Building Cloud-Native Applications with Azure – a mind-blowing tour of some of the changes that await the technology community as we move our world into the cloud

The Boston Azure User Group is one year old! You can follow the group on twitter @bostonazure. You can also follow me on twitter @codingoutloud. And I hope to see you at the next Boston Azure meeting on Thurs October 21 from 6:00-8:30 PM at NERD (registration and more info).

Redeeming an Azure Token

At some select events (like Boston Azure Firestarter, Boston Azure User Group hands-on meeting, or even Protein Folding with Azure @home), Microsoft sometimes provides tokens for participants who wish to try out Windows Azure for real – by deploying real bits into the cloud – deploying multiple instances of Web Roles and Worker Roles, using Queue for scaling, storing data and blobs in Azure Storage and exercising SQL Azure… Some of the tokens are good for up to 4 weeks – which is awesomely convenient for really kicking the tires on Azure if you are a developer. Which I am… Here is a little guidance on getting your account set up once you have a token in hand.

Note that you will be interacting with the Windows Azure Developer Portal (or Dev Portal for short) to redeem your token and establish your temporary account. The Dev Portal is useful to learn about and get to know.

1. First visit http://windows.azure.com and log in with the provided credentials. Use the provided email address for your Windows Live ID.

(NOTE: If any of the images in this post are too small to read, click on them to see a larger version.)


2. You will see a screen like the following. Note the row with the light blue background; this background color only appears when your mouse is hovering there. Click on the Project Name that matches your token account name.


(Notice that the account owner is “waaccts@microsoft.com” – this is because you are using a Token. Azure supports having an overall account that pays the bills, then sub-accounts for developers. This is an example.)

3.  Now you are in! You can proceed to review some of the help resources lists, or click around on any of the tabs to the left. But to create a new application that you can host on the Azure cloud, you can click on the “New Service” link next to the green “+” sign.


4. After you choose “New Service” you will see the following. Note the two main options in the middle for Storage Account and Hosted Services.


Select Hosted Services to begin. Be sure to click on the words “Hosted Services” as opposed to the “Learn More” link, as they are different.

5. The next page will ask you for a name – this name will only be used to help you identify this service from a list in the developer portal, so don’t spend too much time coming up with the perfect name. You don’t need to provide anything for the Description.


After providing a name, click Next.

6.  Now you are faced with a form where the choices you make actually do matter.  Here’s what’ you’ll need to do:


Type in a “Public Service Name” – this will be the Internet-visible sub-domain from which your deployed application will be visible. For example, if you choose “foo” then your Azure Service will live at http://foo.cloudapp.net after you publish it.

After you settle on a Public Service Name (using Check Availability button as need), you also need to select a Region. Pick the “anywhere” region in your continent (or closest to your continent) such as Anywhere US and click Create.

Here’s what mine looked like before I clicked Create:


Now your Azure Service has been created.

7. You will see a screen inviting you to Deploy a Hosted Service Package. We won’t do that now (though you could if you had an application ready). Instead, we will create an Azure Storage Account. From here:


Click on the “New Service” link which is near the top-left – below the large Windows Azure logo – and you will see the same screen you saw in step 4:


This time select Storage Account and you will see the following:


Give it a name, as I did in screenshot, and click Next.

8. As in step 5, this is also an important choice, though not visible to humans visiting your site. You will need to know this address to program against it. Of course you can look it up in the Dev Portal at any time, but why not choose a logical name. Fill in the fields similar to step 5 – be sure to choose the same Region you chose with step 5 – and click Create.


9. You are now ready to build and deploy Azure applications that use Web Roles, Worker Roles, and various kinds of storage.

You will need the keys shows to programmatically access your storage.


You can always come back and look up the values of these keys, of course. Also, if a key is compromised, you can regenerate it easily, invalidating the prior one. There are two separate keys that can be used/invalidated independently. These keys are specific to this Storage Service you created; you can create more Storage Services with different keys and even use multiple of them together.

Registration open for Boston Azure Firestarter May 8, 2010

Flaming Firestarter Logo

On May 8, 2010 there will be a Firestarter event focused on learning about Microsoft’s Windows Azure Cloud Platform. This FREE, ALL-DAY, HANDS-ON, IN-PERSON event will be held at the Microsoft NERD building in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Here’s the idea…

You show up in the morning curious about Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure platform… and you leave at the end of the day loaded up from a crash-course/deep-dive into Azure, including a series of Azure-specific technical talks, Azure-specific programming experience (and working code), and access to resources to continue into the future…

Registration is now open!

Register at Eventbrite now.

What will be covered?

While we are still tweaking the schedule and exact contents, we didn’t want to delay opening registration. Rest assured the focus of the event is covering the most important Azure topics through a combination of informative talks and hands-on coding sessions.

We have some outstanding speakers lined up (including a keynote speaker we will announce soon).

More information on this community event – including a more complete/detailed schedule – will be updated progressively over the next few weeks on the web site of the Boston Azure cloud computing using group.

See you there!

[image credit: Firestarter logo built based on http://shaedsofgrey.deviantart.com/art/fire-45734782?moodonly=1 under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.]

First Boston Azure User Group meeting next week

We are getting close to the kick-off meeting of the Boston Azure User Group – next week, on Thursday October 22, 2009 starting with pizza at 6:30 at the NERD in Kendall Square. Microsoft’s Brian Lambert is the featured speaker.

We have a couple of behind-the-scenes planning meetings this week then will finalize the information on the bostonazure.org web site.

Have you joined the Boston Azure User Group mailing list?