Connection Strings

Different Take on Trial Software: Azure Test Drives

Azure Test Drives gives developers the ability to test out apps in the cloud without any commitment whatsoever.

Delivering on a promise from the last BUILD event earlier this year, Microsoft in mid-May introduced a new service for taking applications for test drives on Azure without any commitment whatsoever -- no credit card, no Azure subscription needed. It's kind of like the good ol' days of shareware, only better in that there's no real possibility of one having to give up any personal or banking info just to check out an app in a working environment.

Instead, those apps allow for anonymous login (if you know what I mean, you with the 20 Facebook personalities), which allows you to check out most of the apps using real info on images hosted on Azure. It's what I'd call the ideal developer environment.

Currently listed in the Azure Test Drive page are about a dozen apps, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, DataStax Enterprise, MapR Distribution, and VMTurbo Operations among them. Microsoft is also in search of partners who want to have Azure Test Drive versions of their apps hosted there in the Azure Marketplace.

Check out the Azure Test Drives here.

Here are ten more links I've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

Developer Tools Benchmarking 2016 survey (Building Apps for Windows) -- Contribute to survey on mobile dev tools

New UWP quickstart project, Mobile Services transition begins, and other Azure Mobile news (Writing...Data Services) -- Azure and mobile is a thing

Changes to Project JSON (.NET Blog) -- .NET Core tooling is making the move from from .xproj/project.json to .csproj/MSBuild

VS Macros are back! (Channel 9) -- An upgrade to Macros for VS 2013 now in the gallery

VSTS-Tools 'Keep' Build Extension (A Developer's Life) -- Increase the 10-day build default to "forever"

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Hits General Availability ( -- Finally...

Strings and the CLR - a Special Relationship ( -- More relationship, less politics

MSIs, Visual Studio Extension Manager and Possible Kim Kardashian (MOAR Objects) -- Breaking the Internet, one Kardashian at a time

Diagnostics Kit - a monitoring solution for .NET apps (Code Project) -- More than a log aggregator, much, much more

.NET Core is Boiling the Ocean ( -- Talk about a sea change, this isn't it

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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