Azure Resources: The Sites You Need

Tempted to test out Windows Azure? There’s a wealth of resources out there to make it easy to get started with Azure development. Here’s our pick of the key ones you’ll need.

Free Windows Azure Trial
You can sign up for a free 90-day trial of Windows Azure that includes up to 750 hours of processing, 500MB of storage and 1 1GB SQLAzure database. That’s more than enough to build and start experimenting with Windows Azure-based apps. (You’ll need a credit card, but won’t be charged anything unless you exceed the allocated free hours.)

Windows Azure Tools & SDK
If you already have Visual Studio, then these add-in tools will instantly have you ready to develop with Azure in no time.

Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Edition
Don’t have a full copy of Visual Studio? Don’t worry! The free express edition of Visual Web Developer is all you need to begin Azure app development.

Windows Azure Development Centre
MSDN’s dedicated site for Windows Azure development resources. Tutorials and code samples a-plenty on offer.

Windows Azure Platform Training Kit
This mammoth collection of resources offers presentations, demos and hands-on lab sessions detailing every aspect of Windows Azure. There’s a lot to work through, but if you consume this content you’ll be a master of all things Azure.

Technical Library
The Windows Azure technical library has an exhaustive set of samples and documentations. If you need to know something specific about Azure development, chances are you’ll find it here.

Windows Azure Marketplace
The Azure Marketplace is where Azure developers can sell their wares to others. As well as full-blown applications, there are plenty of building blocks for Azure services, letting you save time on development by leveraging the work of others.

Picture by emdot


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