Windows Azure is not just about services. It is an ever-evolving cloud platform that has a set of tools and SDKs that enable you to get started quickly developing cloud applications.
Getting started with Windows Azure requires the following:
You can also integrate different SDKs and tools with Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio 2012. The Windows Azure tools and SDK are free downloads. After you download the tools and SDK, you must set up a Windows Azure account. You can sign up for a free 90-day account to get started.
After you download the Windows Azure tools and SDK and create a Windows Azure account, you can use Visual Studio to build and deploy applications to your account. When you’re ready you will be able to test, stage, and ultimately deploy your applications to a production environment. While you’re developing (and especially while you’re developing offline), you can use the emulator — an emulated Windows Azure environment that is installed with the tools — to test your applications locally.
Figure 5-5 illustrates at a high level the process of developing cloud applications. In the diagram, you can see the left side represents a local development environment. Installed ...