How to deploy your First Windows Azure application
There are basically two ways to deploy Windows Azure applications
to the cloud.
- Using the Windows Azure Web Portal.
- Using the Windows Azure Management API.
Since this is your first deployment, we will concentrate on option
number 1, which better illustrates this process. Having said this, keep
in mind that using number 2 is the preferred alternative when it comes
to automating this task.
Preparing your solution for deployment
The first step is to “package” the Windows Azure solution by creating
a single file with the extension .cspkg, which will
contain all the application and configuration files that will be deployed
to the cloud. This task can be accomplished by using the command-line
tool “cspack”, included with the Windows Azure SDK. Specific instructions
and options on how to use it can be found at the MSDN library online
help, located here:
said this, there are multiple wizards and wrappers that facilitate this
action. The most common one is included with the Visual Studio tools
for Windows Azure, and it is as simple as right-clicking on the Windows
Azure project and selecting the “Package” option. As you can imagine,
this option is using the cspack utility behind the
curtains, but without the hassle of having to type all the required
options. When this process is complete, a folder with two files will
be displayed: the beforementioned .cspkg file, and a configuration file
– with the extension .cscfg - that includes different properties and
parameters associated with the deployment. Once this process has been
completed, the solution can be uploaded to the cloud following the next
1. Sign in to the Windows Azure Portal at
After signing in, the following screen will be displayed:
2. On the ribbon, click New Hosted Service.
The Create a New Hosted Service dialog box is displayed:
3. The following table describes the values that you enter in the
dialog box to deploy your Windows Azure application:
Dialog Box Control
Choose a subscription
Your subscription should be shown. If it is not, select it from
Enter a name for your service
Type a name for the hosted service, such as My new service.
Enter a URL prefix for your service
Type a prefix to create the URL where your production application
will be available.
This prefix must be unique among all of the hosted services
running on Windows Azure.
Choose a region
Select the region closest to you to ensure the best performance.
Accept the default options of deploying the application to the
staging environment and starting the successful deployment.
Enter the name for the deployment, such as My new deployment.
Browse to the folder where the .cspkg file was created.
Browse to the folder where the ServiceConfiguration.cscfg
file was created.
4. Click OK
Depending on the number of instances selected for your deployment,
the following warning dialog box might be displayed:
Applications that run in Windows Azure must be scalable to accommodate
varying workloads and must be reliable by making an instance of the
application always available. To do this, a minimum of two instances
of a role should be running. Additional role instances can be started
as needed. You can avoid this message by defining the instance count
for each role in the ServiceConfiguration.cscfg files as 2 or more.
Keep in mind that increasing the number of instances also increases
the amount you are billed for compute services.
5. Click Yes to continue. When the application is
successfully deployed, you will see your deployment listed with a status
6. Click on the deployment to select it.
7. Click the URL for the sample application in the Properties
pane. The URL is listed in the DNS name field:
8. Your application will be displayed in your default web browser.
For more information on how to use the Service Management API for
deployment purposes, please visit the MSDN Library online help, located
Also, specific instructions on how to publish directly from Visual
Studio can be found here: