Azure Stack TP3 Gives Visual Studio Some DevOps Hooks

Now that Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 is out, Visual Studio developers building apps in the Azure cloud platform can take it for a spin.

Microsoft's Azure group has been working on a version of its Azure cloud platform for companies who want to be able to host their own, and now there's a version with Visual Studio hooks that is solid enough for Visual Studio developer to pound on.

The current version of Azure Stack is Technical Preview 3, which indicates that as far as base features, it's near-complete but needs some fit-and-finish polishing. Microsoft describes Azure Stack at its essence as an on-premises extension of the Azure cloud platform, mainly aimed at organizations who want to be able to host Azure within its own datacenter, and be able to interchangeably use Azure Stack or a public Azure cloud to spin up services or build and deploy apps.

A likely scenario for Azure Stack is in development of healthcare apps, where security policies might prevent some companies from building and testing live apps with sensitive information on a secure but public cloud. (Redmond Magazine's Jeff Schwartz has more details on proof of concepts and hardware companies who will be making turnkey datacenter hardware available upon release here.)

For Visual Studio developers, support for Azure Stack means there's a consistency from cloud to on-premises when it comes to the building-test-deliver process. "The tools you use, and DevOps processes you follow in Azure can be transferred to Azure Stack," writes Andrew Zeller, in a blog post about the TP3. "There's a unified deployment experience across Azure and Azure Stack and you can set up a hybrid CI/CD pipeline wherever you need to run your app."

Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and Team Foundation Server all support Azure Stack. Developers can download and get more information on Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 here.

Developers who don't have access to an Azure Stack environment can actually check out TP3 by creating an Azure Stack-emulated environment. Instructions for doing that are here.

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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