New Windows Azure Book Now Available for FREE Download!

Everyone loves a deal:  here’s one that should appeal to developers who’ve been exploring the possibilities of Windows Azure.  A new book, “Windows Azure Platform: Articles from the Trenches Volume 1” is now available as a free PDF download. You can also view the book on slideshare.net. If you prefer a hard copy of the book, you can buy the book from lulu.com here

This book pulls together 20 great articles from 15 developers who have been developing on the Windows Azure Platform, and covers everything from getting started to implementing best practices for elastic applications.  You can read a bit more about the book on Eric Nelson’s blog here. Please do share your feedback with the authors; your comments will help them as they pull together the next volume, which should be out later this year.

Nice Offer! Here the ToC:

INTRODUCTION 6

From the Editor 6

Would you like to become an author for a future edition? 6

Introduction to the Windows Azure Platform 7

AE – Acronyms Explained 8

CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED 9

5 steps to getting started with Windows Azure 9

Step 1: Creating an Azure account. 9

Step 2: Provisioning a SQL Azure database 9

Step 3: Building a Web Application for Azure 10

Step 4: Packaging the Web Application for Windows Azure 11

Step 5: Deploying the Web Application to Azure. 11

The best tools for working with the Windows Azure Platform 14

Category: The usual suspects 14

Category: Windows Azure Storage 14

Category: Windows Azure diagnostics 17

Category: SQL Azure 18

Category: General Development 19

CHAPTER 2: WINDOWS AZURE PLATFORM 20

Architecting For Azure – Building Highly Scalable Applications 20

Principles of Azure Architectures 20

Partition Data 20

Colocation 21

Cache 21

State 21

Distribute Workloads Effectively 22

Maximise Resources 22

Summary 23

The Windows Azure Platform and Cost-Oriented Architecture 24

Cost is important 24

What costs to consider 24

Conclusion 25

De-risking Your First Windows Azure Project 26

Popular Risks 26

Non-Technical Tactics for Reducing Risk 27

Technical Tactics for Reducing Risk 28

Developer Responsibility 29

Trials & tribulations of working with Azure when there’s more than one of you 30

Development Environment 30

Test Environment 30

Certificates 31

When things go wrong 31

Summary 31

Using a Continuous Integration build to achieve an automated deployment of your latest build 32

Getting the right “bits” 32

Packaging for deployment 32

Deploying 33

Using Java with the Windows Azure Platform 35

Accessing Windows Azure Storage from Java 35

Running Java Code on Windows Azure 36

AzureRunme 37

CHAPTER 3: WINDOWS AZURE 39

Auto-Scaling Windows Azure Compute Instances 39

Introduction 39

A Basic Approach 39

The Scale Agent 39

Monitoring: Retrieving Diagnostic Information 40

Rules: Establishing When To Scale 41

Trust: Authorising For Scale 42

Scaling – The Service Management API 44

Summary 45

Building a Content-Based Router Service on Windows Azure 46

Bing Maps Tile Servers using Azure Blob Storage 49

Azure Drive 51

Guest OS 51

VHD 51

CloudDrive 52

Development Environment 53

Azure Table Service as a NoSQL database 55

Master-Detail structures 55

Dynamic schema 55

Column names as data 56

Table names as data 56

Summary 57

Queries and Azure Tables 58

CreateQuery() 58

Contexts 59

Querying on PartitionKey and RowKey 59

Continuation 60

DataServiceQuery 60

CloudTableQuery 61

Tricks for storing time and date fields in Table Storage 64

Using Worker Roles to Implement a Distributed Cache 68

Configuring the Cache 68

Using the Distributed Cache 69

Logging, diagnostics and health monitoring of Windows Azure Applications 71

Collecting diagnostic data 71

Persisting diagnostic data 72

Analysing the diagnostic data 72

More information 73

Service Runtime in Windows Azure 74

Roles and Instances 74

Endpoints 74

Service Upgrades 74

Service Definition and Service Configuration 75

RoleEntryPoint 75

Role 76

RoleEnvironment 76

RoleInstance 77

RoleInstanceEndpoint 78

LocalResource 78

CHAPTER 4: SQL AZURE 79

Connecting to SQL Azure in 5 Minutes 79

Prerequisite – Get a SQL Azure account 79

Working with the SQL Azure Portal 79

Create a database through the Server Administration 80

Configuring the firewall 80

Connecting using SQL Server Management Studio 81

Application credentials 83

Keep in mind – the target database 83

CHAPTER 5: WINDOWS AZURE PLATFORM APPFABRIC 85

Real Time Tracing of Azure Roles from Your Desktop 85

Custom Trace Listener 85

Send Message Console Application 86

Trace Service 86

Service Host Class 87

Service 88

Summary 88

MEET THE AUTHORS 90

Eric Nelson 90

Marcus Tillett 90

Richard Prodger 91

Saksham Gautam 91

Steve Towler 92

Rob Blackwell 92

Juliën Hanssens 92

Simon Munro 93

Sarang Kulkarni 93

Steven Nagy 93

Grace Mollison 94

Jason Nappi 94

Josh Tucholski 95

David Gristwood 95

Neil Mackenzie 96

Mark Rendle 96

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