Archives For azure

Bash azure

In my previous post ( I showed you how to download your Windows Azure account information, also known as your publishing settings, using the Windows Azure command line tools. In this post I’ll show you how to import these settings into the command line.

Once again, just a reminder that I’m using the command line tools on a MacBook Air with OSX (Mountain Lion) installed, and I’m using Google Chrome as my default browser. However, the experience should be identical on Windows and Linux as well.

The first thing you’ll need want to do is open an instance of your command line (Terminal, Bash, Command Prompt, etc.) and type the following:

azure account import -h

00 account import h

This simply shows you the usage of the command. In this case there isn’t much to see. Find the location of the .PUBLISHSETTINGS file you download. If you don’t know what a .PUBLISHSETTINGS file is, or you haven’t downloaded one, please refer to my previous post ( The next thing to do is to invoke the command with the following:

azure account import [[PATH TO YOUR .PUBLISHSETTINGS FILE]]

01 account import

Once the import completes, type the following into the terminal to see a list of your accounts:

acute account list

02 account list

As you can see from above, I happen to have three Windows Azure subscriptions associated with my Microsoft account. If you happen to be like me and have multiple accounts, I’ll show you how to use a specific account with the command line tools in my next post.

Although the account settings have been successfully imported, there is one more thing to do. The .PUBLISHSETTINGS file contains sensitive information. If someone else gets your file, they will be able to control your Azure services. To prevent this from happening be sure to delete your .PUBLISHSETTINGS file. In a Mac terminal issue the following command:


03 delete file

That’s it! You can now take control of your Windows Azure subscriptions.

Did you know you can try Windows Azure for free for 30 days? Just go to and sign up.

Bash azure

In my previous post ( I showed you how to install the cross platform command line tools to manage your Windows Azure services from your local console. However, before you can start taking control of Windows Azure you need to provide your account information to the command line. In this post I’ll show you how to download this information.

Once again, just a reminder that I’m using the command line tools on a MacBook Air with OSX (Mountain Lion) installed, and I’m using Google Chrome as my default browser. However, the experience should be identical on Windows and Linux as well.

If you don’t have a Windows Azure account you’ll need to sign up for one. You can try Windows Azure for free for 30 days. Just go to and sign up.
The first thing you’ll need want to do is open an instance of your command line (Terminal, Bash, Command Prompt, etc.) and type the following:

azure account download -h 

01 account download
This will launch your default browser and prompt you to log in with the Microsoft account associated with your Windows Azure subscription(s).
02 sign in
After you successfully sign in your account information, known as your publish settings, will start downloading.
03 download
Once your publish settings are downloaded you’re ready to import them into your command line to start managing your Windows Azure resources. I’ll show you how to do that in my next post.

Azure CLI Day 0 – Install

September 3, 2013


As you know, I’m a huge fan of Windows Azure. One of the features I’ve come to truly appreciate over the past two months is the cross platform command line tools we’ve created to enable you manage your Azure resources right from the terminal. While we’ve got some great documentation ( on the tool, I wanted to spend some time writing a series of short blog posts showing you how to get started using the tools to manage your cloud. In this initial installment, I’ll show you how to install the tools.

 A quick note, I’m using a MacBook Air with OS X (Mountain Lion) installed. I’m also using Google Chrome as my default browser. The steps to install the tools on Windows and Linux are slightly different.
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the tools by going to Depending on your OS, you’ll need to download the correct installer.
00 download
In my case, I download the version for Mac. Once downloaded double-click the installer to launch it.
01 install startAfter double-clicking Install Command Line Interface, click Continue on the Introduction screen.
02 install introduction
“Read” the license and click Continue.
03 install license
Agree to the license
04 install license agree
Click Install
05 install installation type
After the installation completed successfully, click Close.
06 install summary
To test the install, launch an instance of your platform’s command line (Bash, Terminal, Command Prompt, etc.), type azure and press Enter.
07 console

If you see something similar to the picture above the installation was successful and you’re almost ready to start managing your Windows Azure services from the command line.
In the next post I’ll show you how to download your Windows Azure account information.
Did you know you can try Windows Azure for free for 30 days? Just go to and sign up.

TL;DR – Download and install the new Windows Azure Training Kit. Now!

Yesterday Microsoft released the Windows Azure Training Kit 2013 Refresh (I know, the name really rolls of the tongue). In all seriousness though, this is a great resource for both developers and IT professionals who want to learn about the Windows Azure platform. The training kit includes the following:

  • 50+ hands-on labs
  • 25+ demos
  • 30+ presentation

The August 2013 refresh includes the following new and updated content:

  • New Lab: Going Live with Windows Azure Web Sites
  • New Lab: Automatically Scaling Web Applications on Windows Azure Web Sites
  • New Lab: Creating a Windows Azure Mobile Service with a Custom API
  • New Lab: Introduction to Windows Azure Active Directory
  • Updated: Introduction to Windows Azure Access Control
  • New Exercises: Getting Started with Windows Azure Storage
  • Updated: Windows Azure Service Bus Messaging

This is a great free resource for helping you get started with Azure.

Wait, what’s that you say? You think there should be something else in the kit? You’re in luck! The Windows Azure Training Kit is on GitHub. After you read the Contribution License Agreement (CLA) feel free to contribute. Happy forking!

Day 2 at Build

June 27, 2013


As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at the //build/ conference in San Francisco this week. Rather than share all my raw notes with you as I did yesterday, I thought I’d just give the TL;DW (too long; didn’t watch) version of day two. Hopefully it’s a bit more helpful. Here you go:

  • The Windows Azure release cadence is on hyperdrive with over 100 releases since the last Build conference in October 2012.
  • The Windows Azure application model supports the scenarios businesses care most about.
    • Web. Windows Azure Web Sites makes it easy to create new highly scalable web sites. Currently over 130,000 sites are running in Windows Azure web sites and it is now generally available.
    • Mobile. Windows Azure Mobile Services reduces the friction in creating secure services that can be used across platforms (Web/Windows/Windows Phone/iOS/Android). Today over 20,000 services are hosted in Windows Azure Mobile Services and it is now generally available.
    • Cloud scale. For cloud scale apps Windows Azure has enabled autoscaling, per minute billing, and no longer charges for stopped virtual machines.
    • Enterprise grade. To enable enterprise grade app Windows Azure has had a strong focus on identity management, integration, and data.
      • Identity management. Windows Azure Active Directory makes securing cloud based resources a snap. It enables integration with other SaaS providers such as Basecamp, Box, Dropbox, Concur, and event AWS and Google. 3.2 million business and 68 million users are currently using Windows Azure Active Directory. Best of all, it’s free!
      • Integration. BizTalk services makes it possible to address the key business scenarios of B2B EDI and EAI between cloud, on-premises, and partner resources.
      • Data. Windows Azure has always had a strong focus on data and continues to make improvements in SQL, NoSQL, and BLOB storage as well as provide new offerings such as Hadoop via HDInsight.
  • With Windows, Windows Phone, and Windows Azure Microsoft is making it easier for developers to connect the dots between devices and services no matter what platform they’re starting from.
  • Windows 8.1 makes it easier for apps to work together through multitasking, richer sharing experiences, and enabling calendar and contact integration.
  • There are a number of ways to share code between the Windows and Windows Phone platform, giving developers the power and flexibility needed to maximize code reuse and leverage platform specific features.

Day 1 at Build

June 26, 2013


//Update: I decided to remove my raw notes and just keep the TL;DR recap

I’m at the Microsoft //build/ conference this week and thought I’d take the time to share my daily notes with you. These notes are pretty raw, but I hope they help.


  • It’s all Windows, all the time
  • Improve user efficiency and productivity by new multi-monitor options for Windows Store and desktop apps
  • Bringing the power of Bing to Windows
    • Bing has been integrated into the Windows shell experience to provide a unified search across the desktop, apps, store and web
    • Bing powers the Windows Store to provide customized app recommendations, suggested search queries, and suggested search results
  • The Windows Store has been completely redesigned
    • Makes it easier for users to find the apps they want and keeps those apps up to date automatically
    • Gives developers flexibility when it comes to monetizing apps from supporting stored value and gift cards, providing support for Alipay for once of the largest markets in the world (China), and enable consumables for purchase within an app
  • Windows 8.1 has also made great improvements for the enterprise
    • Empowers the mobile professional with improvements in reliability and power efficiency, mobile broadband for anywhere connectivity, and making printing safe and secure from any device.
    • Enables great security with workplace join, web application proxy, work folders, selective wipe, and biometric integration.


In case you missed, last week the Windows Azure Mobile Services shipped support for HTML clients. Here’s a recap.

The HTML client provides a JavaScript library that developers can use when building both Websites and PhoneGap/Apache Cordova apps.  The new HTML client combined with Cross-origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support helps developers leverage the great Mobile Services functionality available to native application developers today including:

  • Turn-key structured storage for your HTML5/JS applications
  • Authentication using common popular social identity providers such as Microsoft Account, Facebook, Twitter and Google
  • Scheduled scripts for performing periodic tasks in the background
  • Server script for push Notifications to native Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS and Android apps
  • Partner services from the Windows Azure Store including SendGrid for email, Twillio for text/SMS and pusher for push to browser based clients         

Besides enable this great features, the team has created HTML client tutorials for the following scenarios on the Mobile Services developer center:

Getting started Get started with Mobile Services
Data Get started with data
Validate and modify data using server scripts
Add paging to your queries
Authentication/User Management Get started with authentication
Use scripts to authorize users
Services Send email from Mobile Services with SendGrid
Schedule backend jobs in Mobile Services
Tools Automate mobile services with command line tools


Why don’t you take it for a spin. Visit and build your first HTML app using Mobile Services using the HTML Quick Start project in the Windows Azure portal.

(Pssst…If you still haven’t tried Windows Azure what are you waiting for? Let me give you some encouragement. How about 90 days for free on me. Just go here to learn more.)

If you live in or around Cincinnati I invite you to attend next week’s Windows Azure IaaS Bootcamp. If you aren’t close to Cincinnati find a location closer to you here.

Whether you build apps or support the infrastructure that runs the apps, the cloud can be a really big place. For some, it’s a natural evolution for their application and infrastructure to embrace the power and scale of the cloud. For others, it’s a journey that has to begin with a single step.

Windows Azure provides that first step with a scalable, flexible platform for deploying your applications your way. With our Infrastructure as a Service platform (IaaS) called Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you get the flexibility to choose between Windows and Linux with full control over the operating system configuration and installed software, matched with the portability of Hyper-V disk images. Windows Azure Virtual Machines provide the perfect environment for meeting all of your Infrastructure-as-a-Service needs.

To learn more about our Infrastructure as a Service platform, we invite all developers and IT Professionals to join local Microsoft cloud experts as they introduce you to the Microsoft Cloud Platform, dive deep into Windows Azure Virtual Machines, and help walk you through a hands-on demonstration of the power of IaaS on the Windows Azure platform.

You can register for the event here.

Session Requirements

Be sure to bring a modern laptop that is capable of running the following to make the most of your time at the Bootcamp:

The lab portion of this exercise will require you to connect to the Windows Azure Portal via a modern web browser where you will provision three separate virtual machines in the cloud and configure them each via a Remote Desktop client connection. The lab materials are all online, so no special software is required to install or use them.

If you want to work on other labs while you’re here, you might also want to install the various tools and frameworks that are part of the Windows Azure SDK. Check out various downloads here. Installers are available on that site for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Details on system requirements for those SDKs can be found by following that link.

All participants registering for the event will get a FREE 90-day trial of the Windows Azure platform and services, including access to the Virtual Machines preview.

All participants that successfully complete the lab and demonstrate their running application to the instructor will be put into a drawing for some amazing prizes!

Seriously? You still haven’t tried Windows Azure? No worries, I can help you with that! For a free 90 day trial just go here.


Overnight the Windows Azure Mobile Services team released official support for Android. Along with the SDK Microsoft has also written a number of tutorials to help you get started. The best place to start if you’ve never used Windows Azure Mobile Services before is the Getting started with Mobile Services tutorial. After you complete the initial walkthrough, there are a number of options you can look at depending on what your specific needs are:


Get started with data – Learn how you can use Mobile Services to store and retrieve data from an app.

Validate and modify data using server scripts – You can use server scripts to validate and modify data when you are inserting and updating it. This tutorial show you how to define and register server scripts with mobile services and how to modify your app to take advantage of the new behaviors you define through the scripts.

Adding paging to your queries – This tutorial shows how you can use paging to manage the amount of data that Mobile Services returns to your app.


Get started with authentication – Learn how to authenticate users in your app through a variety of identity providers, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, and then leverage profile data to add features like greeting users by name.

Use scripts to authorize users – You can use scripts to authorize particular activities for authenticated users. This tutorial demonstrates how to create and register a script that filters data query results based on a userID, to ensure that users only access data that matches their userID values.


Get started with push – Push notifications let you deliver information to your app’s users through tile, badge, and toast notifications. This topic shows you how to use Mobile Services to send push notifications to an Android app. In this tutorial you add push notifications using the Apple Push Notification service (APNS).


Send email from Mobil Services with SendGrid – Learn how to add email functionality to your Mobile Service using the SendGrid email service. This topic demonstrates how to add server side scripts to send email using SendGrid.

Schedule backend jobs in Mobile Services – Learn how to use the Mobile Services job scheduler functionality to define server script code that is executed on a schedule that you define.


Automate mobile services with command-line tools – This topic shows how to use use the Windows Azure command-line tools to automate the creation and management of Windows Azure Mobile Services. It describes how to install the tools and how to perform common tasks including creating a new mobile service, creating a table, registering a script on a table operation, deleting a table, and deleting an existing mobile service.

This may have flown under your radar, but several weeks ago we (that’s the royal Microsoft WE) launched a new hub for Windows Azure on Channel 9. This hub serves as an index and entry point for all video content related to Windows Azure. Since the launch we have already made progress on building a video library to help developers get started learning Windows Azure. Introduction videos have been created for core services like Mobile Services, Web Sites, Cloud Services, and SQL Databases. This page also features three video series: Cloud Cover, Web Camps TV, and Subscribe!. Finally, this page highlights videos that have been recorded at events like BUILD and TechEd. I encourage you to check it out at

I think the introduction video series we created will be the most beneficial to you, especially if you’re new to Windows Azure. Below is a description of each series as well as direct links to each series.

Windows Azure Mobile Services Windows Azure Mobile Services
(14 videos)
This series is designed to help you learn about, and keep you up to date on, the latest from Windows Azure Mobile Services – a powerful turnkey backed for your Windows Store, Windows Phone 8 and iOS applications (Android coming soon).
Windows Azure Web Sites Windows Azure Web Sites
(4 videos)
Quickly and easily deploy sites to a highly scalable cloud environment that allows you to start small and scale as traffic grows. Use the languages and open source apps of your choice then deploy with FTP, Git and TFS. Easily integrate Windows Azure services like SQL Database, Caching, CDN and Storage. You can try out what you see in this series with 10 Web Sites for FREE!
Windows Azure Virtual Machines & Networking Windows Azure Virtual Machines & Networking
(4 videos)
Easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines. Migrate applications and infrastructure without changing existing code.
Windows Azure Storage & SQL Database Windows Azure Storage & SQL Database
(9 videos)
Windows Azure offers multiple services to help manage your data in the cloud. SQL Database, formerly known as SQL Azure Database, enables organizations to rapidly create, scale and extend applications into the cloud with familiar tools and the power of Microsoft SQL Server™ technology. Tables offer NoSQL capabilities at a low cost for applications with simple data access needs. Blobs provide inexpensive storage for data such as video, audio, and images.
Windows Azure Cloud Services Windows Azure Cloud Services
(8 videos)
This series is a mini online course that teaches you Windows Azure Cloud Services from beginning. We’ll start our cloud journey by setting up development environment, and then continue to explore some fundamental concepts of Windows Azure Cloud Services. The series builds a solid foundation for you to create highly-available, scalable applications and services using Windows Azure’s rich PaaS environment, and to deliver great SaaS solutions to customers anywhere around the world.
Windows Azure Media Services Windows Azure Media Services
(3 videos)
Create, manage, and distribute media in the cloud. With Windows Azure Media Services businesses can now quickly build a media distribution solution that can stream audio and video to Windows, iOS, Android, and other devices and platforms.
Windows Azure Service Bus Windows Azure Service Bus
(2 videos)
Applications and Services are increasingly connected and require integration across platform and network boundaries. Windows Azure Service Bus provides rich messaging and connectivity features for todays connected devices and continuous services. In this series learn about the latest improvements and features available and get in-depth guidance on how to implement rich messaging patterns with Windows Azure.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Windows Azure Hub on Channel 9 for new content!