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Using Azure Storage Queues from .NET

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Azure Storage Queues provide an easy to implement messaging communication mechanism for reliably passing messages to/from different components of a single application or multiple applications. Storage Queues have an HTTP/HTTPS API to allow for support of any development platform; however, Microsoft does provide a .NET SDK to make it even easier to implement from C# or other .NET languages.

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Quick Post – Azure Services Overview

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Intro to Azure for Developers FREE Webinar On-Demand from Opsgility

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The other day I hosted a FREE Webinar with Opsgility that provides an Introduction to Azure for Developers. In this webinar I went over an introduction to what IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are. Then I dove into the Azure Portal and showed how to create IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) VMs with Windows and Linux, as well as how to remote into those VMs with Remote Desktop and SSH; respectively. I also went into deploying a Web Application into an Azure Web App PaaS (Platform as a Service) service directly from within the Visual Studio IDE, and I even showed how you can easily deploy a website directly from Github into an Azure Web App as well! I also discussed Azure SQL Database (“Database as a Service”), as well as a few additional services and features.

I encourage you to watch the entire webinar recording to see the whole demo…

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Top 10 Tricks to Save Money with Azure Virtual Machines

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This post contains 10 tips and tricks you can use to save money on your Virtual Machines (VMs) running in the Microsoft Azure cloud. The cost analysis of the cloud can be scary at first, and it’s actually one of the reasons companies are shy to start adopting the cloud. Once you know these tricks you’ll feel confident that you won’t overspend and go broke in Microsoft Azure.

Some of these tips are almost secrets, as they aren’t really talked about anywhere. I know these from my years of experience working with Microsoft Azure and getting to know many of the ins and outs of the platform. So, read below, and benefit from my years of Azure experience in just a few minutes.

Using these tips will certainly help you save your company or organization money, and will likely impress your boss!

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Azure Functions Visual Studio Tools Preview

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functions_colorThe serverless computing realm of cloud computing has been growing in interest and functionality lately. Recently, Azure Functions reached General Availability and an eagerly anticipated v1.0 release. Microsoft has not stopped there, in fact they just recently released a Preview of the new Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions. These tools bring Azure Functions support into the Visual Studio IDE!

Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions Preview

The new Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions is currently in a Preview release state. As a result, the tools aren’t fully complete yet, and as with any Preview release it can be expected that things may / will change a bit before the final release. All preview releases can be expected to have some rough spots, bugs, and limitations. That being stated…

The requirements to install the Visual Studio Tools for Azure Functions are:

  • You must be running Visual Studio 2015…

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Visual Studio 2017 Development using a VM in Azure

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screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-10-43-14-amIn the past the only option for writing code and building software using Visual Studio was to install it on your local machine. With technologies like Windows Hyper-V and VMWare things became less invasive by allowing you to develop software inside of a Virtual Machine (VM). With the cloud, things have become even easier. You can now easily, spin up a Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, use it for what ever you need, then shut it down or delete it when it’s no longer needed. This can be an extremely valuable tool for any software developer; especially when you might need multiple development environment configurations on a regular basis. This article helps you navigate the benefits as well as the process of utilizing Microsoft Azure to host multiple development machines running Visual Studio 2017 in the cloud.

A newer version of this article exists for setting up a Visual Studio…

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Azure Functions vs Web Jobs: How to choose?

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There are a few choices when it comes to implementing custom background processing tasks. The main options in the Microsoft Azure cloud are to use either Azure Functions or Azure Web Jobs. Functions are newer, cooler, and may seem to be the obvious choice going forward, however, the choice isn’t really that easy. This article outlines the points you need to consider when deciding between Azure Functions or Azure Web Jobs.

Azure Functions are Web Jobs

Before we get into the specifics of when Azure Functions are appropriate, or when Azure Web Jobs are appropriate, it’s best to mention that Azure Functions are built on top of the Azure Web Jobs foundation. So, essentially, Azure Functions are Web Jobs. You could almost say that between the two, it’s Web Jobs all the way down.

With Azure App Service and Web Apps, Microsoft implemented Azure Web Jobs as a means to…

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