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Windows Azure 2.1 SDK Supports Visual Studio 2013

The SDK also includes a virtual machine with a built-in VS 2013 instance.

Microsoft has released the 2.1 update of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET, a "major refresh" that includes, among other things, Visual Studio 2013 Preview support.

Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of Windows Azure, made the announcement on his blog. In addition, Azure has a built-in virtual machine (VM) image of Visual Studio 2013 Preview for developers who want to work completely remotely.

Guthrie noted that the 2.1 SDK update also works with versions back to Visual Studio 2010, and side-by-side with the 1.8 and 2.0 SDK releases.

The new VM image of Visual Studio 2013 Preview contains more than just Visual Studio; it contains SharePoint 2013, SQL Server 2102 Express and the Azure 2.1 SDK. "This provides a really easy way to create a development environment in the cloud with the latest tools," Guthrie wrote. He also mentioned Microsoft's new pricing policy on VMs that allows developers to create one and keep it; there is no longer a charge for maintaining a VM, only for actively using it.

The Visual Studio Server Explorer has also been beefed up with the 2.1 SDK. The main improvement is that all Windows Azure services have been combined under one Azure node, allowing more centralized management. Service bus namespaces, VMs, Web sites, cloud services and storage accounts are included. The one thing missing from the node is Windows Azure Mobile Services, which Guthrie said will be added to the node with the final release of Visual Studio 2013.

Visual Studio Team Foundation Services has been updated to support the new SDK, including automated tests and builds, Guthrie said.

Microsoft announced the Visual Studio 2013 Preview at its Build conference in June. It's a "go-live" preview, so Microsoft will support it. The final version is expected this Fall.

Guthrie will talk more about building applications using Windows Azure at the VSLive! conference later this month, during his keynote on Aug. 20.  

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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