Your Windows Azure Boot Camp Supplies

This coming week I’ll be helping with my first Windows Azure Boot Camp of 2011.  This is going to be a lot of fun!

As a good camp counselor, I want to make sure you get the most out of your camp experience.  So, here are a few things you’ll need to bring with you to camp in order to have a good time.

  • Your laptop running one of the operating systems supported for Windows Azure Development.  Don’t forget your power cord!
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Server 2008
    • Windows Vista SP1/SP2
  • Visual Studio 2010.  You can get a trial version at  If you’re going to get a trial version, I’d suggest getting Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.  That will give you access to IntelliTrace, which can come in very handy when working with Windows Azure.
  • A SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (or higher) install.  If you have Visual Studio 2010, you’ll likely have a SQL Express instance.  Don’t have or want a SQL Express instance.  No worries!  You can use a full SQL Server instance install too.
  • Visual Studio Tools for Windows Azure.  This will install the Windows Azure SDK.  Get it here. Be sure to check the hotfixes if your OS needs it.  Be sure you have the latest SDK 1.3 refresh (see the Windows Azure Team Blog post here for more details).
  • Windows Azure App Fabric SDK
  • Windows Azure Platform Training Kit – January 2011 update.  We’ll be working through several of the hands on labs in this training kit.  It’s also a great source of information post camp.  Get it!

You’ll also want to make sure you have access to Windows Azure.  If you haven’t already, register for a FREE 30-day pass at and enter “DPCE01” for the promo code.  You’ll register with a Windows Live ID.  That Windows Live ID will be what you’ll use during the Windows Azure Boot Camp for working with Windows Azure.

So, how do you know if you’ve got all this ready to go?  Well, a simple smoke test is to make sure you can at least create a simple Windows Azure project with Visual Studio.  To check that, follow these simple steps.

  1. Open Visual Studio 2010 (make sure you do so as an Administrator)
  2. Create a new Project
  3. Select “Windows Azure Project”
  4. If you see the “New Windows Azure Project” dialog, you are ready!  Way to go!

For additional information, please be sure to check out

Hope this helps!  See you soon, campers!