When you’re accepted into the Azure Services Platform, you receive three e-mails, two of which contain invitation codes. Navigating the signup process isn’t exactly intuitive, so following is an illustrated journey through the signup processes Azure Services (SQL Services and .NET Services), as well as Azure Storage and Windows Azure hosted compute services.
Updated 11/13/2008: Windows Azure Services Platform changed to Azure Services Platform per comment by Microsoft’s Ryan Dunn.
Updated 11/11/2008: Added setting up a Hosted Service in addition to the Storage Service (see the end of this post).
Accepting the Microsoft Connect Invitation for the Azure Services Platform
The first message is a !!Do Not Delete!! Invitation Code to Microsoft .NET Services and Microsoft SQL Services message with an Invitation Code from MsftConn@microsoft.com with an XXX-XXXX-XXXX format.
A second Your Invitation Code to Microsoft .NET Services and Microsoft SQL Services is activated! message invites you to sign up for .NET Services and SQL Services at Microsoft Connect (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=129453), which leads to the following Azure Services Platform’s New Customers screen (shown partially below; click to display the full 1024x768 page):
A solution is a container for your applications that access .NET Services, SQL Services, or both. Pasting the invitation code and clicking Sign Up opens the Create Solution page:
The name you assign to the solution becomes the UserName and the password that you’re assigned when you click Create Solution becomes your initial password for UserName/Password service authentication.
Click the link under the Provisioning is complete! headline to open the Getting Started page:
Changing the Default Password
You can change the password later in the Azure Services Platform’s Getting Started page by clicking the link to your solution to the right of the excerpt shown above (click the partial screen capture to display the entire page) to open the Manage Solution and Manage Services page:
Note: Clicking any button leads to an overview page for the service.
Click the Solution Credentials link to open the .NET Services Access Control Service page:
Click the Solution Password link to change the password from the default. You can add alternative CardSpace and X.509 certificates as credentials on this page.
Creating a Storage Account in the Azure Developer Portal
The third e-mail message is an Invitation Code to Windows Azure message from firstname.lastname@example.org with a GUID token to create an Azure Developer Portal Account for a project at http://lx.azure.microsoft.com. Projects provide access to Azure Storage and Compute resources. (You are allowed to create two storage projects in the November CTP.)
Click the New Project link of the Developer Portal’s home page to open the Create a New Service Component page:
Click the Storage Account button to open the Create a Project – Project Properties page. Type a unique name and optional description of the storage account in the text boxes:
Click Next to open the Create a Project – Storage Account page and type a unique name the project’s storage account:
Click Create to create the project and its storage account and list endpoints for Blob, Queue, and Table storage sevices, as well as a primary and secondary Access keys (128-byte SHA1 hash values) that serve as storage access tokens (passwords):
Creating a Hosted Services Project in the Azure Developer Portal
Return to the Create a New Service Component page and click the Hosted Services button to open the Create a Project – Hosted Service page and type a unique name for the hosted service:
Click Create to open the Hosted Service project page, which displays the 16-character Application ID, auto-assigned domain name, URL for this page, and a Base64-encoded “secret key.”
Save these values in a safe place.
You will return to the preceding page when you publish your application to the hosted service you just created in the Deploying a Service on Windows Azure technical article by Jim Nakashima. You must enter your ApplicationID in the Portal Page of the project’s Properties Sheet when you deploy the project.
Click Learn More to open Live Services’ home page. You need a separate invitation to create Live Services with the Live Services SDK.
This completes your registration for SQL Services, .NET Services, and Azure Storage and Hosted Compute services.
Add the following links to you favorites menu or toolbar:
- Return to the Azure Services Platform Getting Started Page
- Return to the Azure Services Developer Portal Summary Page
The Windows Azure SDK includes basic sample projects that demonstrate programming these services.
An Automated Test Harness for SQL Data Services
You can give SQL Data Services a test drive with this SQL Data Services (SDS) Test Harness Updated to the Windows Azure Services Platform that uploads the complete Northwind sample database (original eight tables only) to your SDS project: