Windows Azure - Create an Azure Service Package Using Windows Azure Tools V1.4 For VS 2010

In this article we are going to see how to create an Azure Application package using the Visual Studio 2010 Azure tool from the latest (August 2011) release.

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see how to create an Azure Application package using the Visual Studio 2010 Azure tool from the latest (August 2011) release.

Overview:


With the latest (August 2011) release of the Windows Azure Tool Kit V1.4 for Visual Studio 2010, we can see some major changes as far as the development is concerned with Visual Studio 2010 IDE. You can get the complete list of enhancements of the Visual Studio 2010 Windows Azure tool kit V1.4 from my earlier article using the following links.
Now in this article we will see one of the enhancements which is used for packaging the application before doing a manual publish to the Windows Azure Management Portal. Let us see the step by step process of how to use the new enhancement for packaging and uploading to the Azure portal.

Steps:


Before installing Windows Azure Tool Kit V1.4 for Visual Studio 2010, when we are trying to publish the application online to Azure portal we have 2 options (Packaging locally/ Publishing to online) after the development process is completed. The following screen shows the option Publish to publish our application online using a wizard and we don't see any separate option for Packaging over here.Z

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Clicking on publish, will open a window with an option to create service package or to deploy it online directly from VS 2010. Normally we will use the first option (Create Service Package) when we want to have a full control on over deployment process.

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Now after installing Windows Azure Tool Kit V1.4 for Visual Studio 2010, when we are done with our development process and ready to deploy it right-click on the Project name and we can see an option as Package as shown in the screen below. Also we can see an option as Publish which we don't have much control over the deployment (Check this article for the steps on Publishing the application).

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Once we click on the Package option we can see a pop up asking for some basic configuration details as shown in the screen below like Selecting the Service Configuration file (Since Windows Azure tool Kit V1.4 supports Multiple Service Configuration – Check this article to get more details – Windows Azure – Multiple Service Configurations for Azure in VS2010).

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The Next option will be which version for the build configuration needs to be taken for packaging like if the IDE needs to take the Debug version of the Release version as shown in the screen below.

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Now selecting the options based on the requirement we can see an option to configure the Remote Desktop Connection (We can see  in our next article). Now click on Package for the process to start and build the package for deployment.

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We can see the status at the bottom of the IDE as shown in the screen below. We can see the status as Publish started which indicates that the packaging of application is started and it's in progress.

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Once the packaging has completed we will see the files opened in an explorer as shown in the screen below. We can use these packages to upload to the Windows Azure Portal as a regular process (Check this article to see the step by step process on deployment – Developing and Deploying your First Windows Azure Application).

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Conclusion:

So in this article we have seen how to use the Packaging option in Visual Studio 2010 IDE for Azure application with the latest Azure Tool Kit V1.4 release.