Entrepreneur Week

Entrepreneurship Week Event: Turning Your Ideas into a Reality

In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, Microsoft Boston and Microsoft Natick will be hosting free two-hour special events for aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage startups. You’ll hear a keynote address from a successful startup founder and a panel of local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship experts will be sharing insights and taking questions. Later you’ll have the opportunity to network with other local startups and entrepreneurs and to hear about Microsoft BizSpark and other business solutions offered by Microsoft.

Boston event featuring keynote speaker:
Gilad Rosenzweig, Founder, Smarter in the CityPanelists:
Cathy Waters, Director, Emerson Launch
Jack Kelly, Founder, iRecover
Vicky Wu Davis, Founder, Youth CITIES
Natick event featuring keynote speaker:

Taneshia Camillo, Founder, The Haute House Design Studio

And panelists:

Bridget Neville, Senior Statistical Analyst, Ariadne Labs
John Miller, Executive Director, MRECo and Serial Entrepreneur
Suzan Czajkowski, Digital Marketing Consultant & Communication Coach, Constant Contact

Westfarms event featuring keynote speakers:

Joshua Drew, Microsoft Tech Evangelist
Seth Goodall, SBA Regional Admin
Johnna Scott, CT Innovations

Panelists will include:
Ashley Stone, Beauty Entourage
Neil Shah, Avitus Orthopedics

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your business idea up and off the ground. Spots are limited and filling quickly.

Register today at

aka.ms/BostonEntrepreneur

aka.ms/NatickEntrepreneur

aka.ms/WestfarmsEntrepreneur

Contact Eliza Mulcahy, Community Development Specialist with questions at elmul@microsoft.com.

Download Presentation: BizSpark-Westfarms

How to view, add, edit and remove files in Azure Web App using the Kudu service Dashboard

Sometimes the little things to perform can seem like an obstacle. Take editing files on a Platform as a Service.

Sure you can use Git or your favorite FTP client to get files off of Azure and edit them. But what if your company, school, computer etc. restricts access to performing this?

My fellow colleague James Sturtevant wrote a great blog post on how to overcome this obstacle.

Some call it magic…others call it Kudu!

 

Remove The Spending Limit in Azure to use the Azure Marketplace

The Azure Marketplace is your online store for software applications, developer services and data, all pre-configured for Microsoft Azure. In order to access some of these services a credit card is required to be configured within the Azure portal.

BizSpark members have a luxury of free Azure credits but at times their compute charges may exceed the limits of what their plan is. A credit card is required as well.

Here is a quick video of how to add a payment method to your subscription.

PHOTO CREDIT: George Eastman House Collection

How to Install and Run WordPress on Microsoft Azure

This post is not just about installing and running WordPress on Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, but it is to show you the many ways you can. Each developer has their own style. Each client or customer has their own needs. If you are implementing WordPress you can choose the approach based on the needs for the project. We will look at simple one click deploys to full virtual machine environments.

Did you know there are actually six different approaches to configuring WordPress out on Azure? Web Apps, Scalable Web App, Virtual Machine, LAMP Virtual Machine, WordPress Virtual Machine, Web App + Virtual Machine!

I have a Channel 9 video or you can follow step by step below.

Web Apps

  1. Log in to the Azure Management Portal.
  2. Click New -> Web + Mobilenew-web-app
  3. Search for WordPress. Make sure you choose just WordPress. We will look at some of the others later on.wordpress-search
  4. Click Create to get to the installation and configuration of the Web App. 
  5. Enter a host name for the web app in the Web app box. This name will be the URL that you will use to access the website. {myhostname.azurewebsites.net}. Depending upon your App Service plan, you can change that hostname to a custom domain name. Also, your hostname will have to be unique. You will see a red x if it is not.
  6. Select a Resource Group or create a new one. For more information about resource groups, see Using the Azure Portal to manage your Azure resources.
  7. Select an App Service plan/Location or create a new one. For more information about App Service plans, see Azure App Service plans overview
  8. Click Database. This is the configuration for the MySQL DB. You will need to provide a Database Name, keep the Database Type as Shared, choose a Location (should be the same location as your web app) and then a Pricing Tier.
    Something to note – the MySQL DB is hosted by a company called ClearDB. They have their own plans and pricing which is different from Azure. There is a free tier, however the size of the DB is very small. Be sure you review the pricing before you continue.
    cleardb-pricing
  9. Click OK.
  10. You will need to accept the legal terms from Clear DB and then click Create.
  11. In a mater of moments your site should be created. You will get a prompt in the portal when it is complete.
  12. You can navigate to your website and finish the WordPress installation.
    wordpress-install

A few things to note with the Web App. You can utilize a free tier with Azure. If you choose the Free plan and the Free ClearDB you will pay nothing. Also, be sure you look at all of the plans. Some allow custom domains, staging slots and more!

app-service-plans

Scalable Web App

I am not going to go into too much detail with this one. This web app provides various sets of optimizations and plugins such as using Azure Storage for Media content, Jetpack etc. It was built to maximum performance of running WordPress on Azure Websites. You still need a MySQL DB hosted by ClearDB.

The steps for installing this is identical to the Web App, except you need to find Scalable WordPress when you search.

scalable-wp

Also, there is an option that is required to configure an Azure Storage Account.

  1. Click on Storage Account configuration to either link a new or existing storage account to this resource group.
    Tip – I would first create a Storage Account and then link it to this web app.

    1. Search for Storage Account
      storage-search
    2. Then follow the configuration blade by entering a name for the account, pricing, resource group and location.
      storage-config
    3. Be sure you look at the pricing and the redundancy!
      storage-price
  2. The rest is the same as the Web App.
  3. When all complete, login on WordPress Admin and go to Plugins to make sure the Azure Storage Plugin is installed.
  4. Then look at Settings and Azure to make sure the Storage Name is added as well as the access key!

Super fast to get going and now you are ready for the traffic to hit your site!

Virtual Machine

I am not going to go into detail at all with this option. Basically you stand up a Linux VM and start install everything on it. I have a blog post that walks you though the steps. At the end you are left with a LAMP VM running WordPress. In order for it to scale make sure you choose the appropriate plan and if you want a bit of redundancy make sure you create an availability set.

LAMP Virtual Machine

You might say, wait a minute, isn’t that the same as what you just said above. YES! It is. However, the one above you do all the work to get everything installed. A LAMP stack VM is done for you.

There are Projects that MS Open Tech builds, HTML5 Labs that contributes to the Edge platform and VM Depot where a community managed repository of Linux and FreeBSD virtual machine images for easy deployment to Microsoft Azure reside.

You can search for a open source product or platform and most likely there is an image that is ready to go and deploy. Let’s use LAMP as an example.

  1. Click on New > Compute
  2. Search for LAMP and you will see a listing of results.
  3. Choose the result that best fits your need. (I usually choose a Bitnami LAMP with Ubuntu)
    lamp-results
  4. Click on Create
  5. A blade will open up with all of you configuration options and configure as needed.
  6. The Azure portal will alert you when it is complete.
  7. Then you can SSH into via the dns name
  8. From there you still need to install WordPress. See my post on installing WordPress.

One thing to note, If you choose a VM with configured software you might need to read the README to find out usernames and passwords to certain products. Bitnami has a wiki that is pretty useful. They are pretty locked down with their VM’s so make sure you check that out to make sure you are able to access the resources.

WordPress Virtual Machine

You now are going to definitely say this is the same as above. Because it is. Instead of searching for LAMP you search for WordPress. You will get VM’s and containers with WordPress already installed.

wordpress-search

Same steps as above and same tips re: preinstalled software. Make sure you find all of that out before you start.

Web App + Virtual Machine

We saw how to stand up a VM. We saw how to deploy a Web App. This version does both. You have MySQL running on the VM and the Web App running on your App Service.

There are a few different approaches.

  • Create a Linux VM with MySQL running on it.
  • Create a Linux VM with MySQL and Apache for the phpMyAdmin tools
  • Create a LAMP VM that is preconfigured
  • Use a MySQL container

In each of the cases, you really want MySQL running and accessible. Some tips.

  • Make sure that port 3306 is open in the endpoint configuration within the VM in Azure.
  • Make sure the local host adddress is not bound in the my.cnf for MySQL to accept incoming requests.
  • Make sure your DB user is either from any host or the web app host

Then from the Web App install side you will do things a bit differently. Instead of using one of Azures WordPress Web App, search for Empty PHP and install that. Same steps with configuration as above.

Once running you will notice the website is blank. We will need to do the following:

  • Click on continuous deployment
    continuos-deployment
  • We then can choose how we will deploy WordPress. Local or Remote. It is up to you.
    exernal
  • I will choose External and enter in the GitHub URL for WordPress (https://github.com/WordPress/WordPress.git) and finish the install.
  • Make sure you add the Storage account and the Azure Storage plugin to take advantage of making your website scream.

View the full video on Channel 9

WordPress Your Way

 

Website Debugging with Vorlon.js

I have worked for digital agencies for most of my career. I was a developer and eventually became the Director of Technology at a few of them. I have worked with web technologies since 1996 and have gone through iterations of design and build trends. From the Adobe Flash splash-screen phase to home page takeovers. From content needing to be “above the fold” to iframes to ActiveX and more! When I was working at Byte Interactive from 2003 to 2007 we were a big .NET and Flash web agency. We did some PHP and Java but most of our clients were .NET. In the 06/07 time frame we started dabbling in the Mobile design space. It wasn’t until we were bought out by Story Worldwide in 2007 when we started to get more into the mobile space. We worked on iOS and some Android and mobile web as well. I then left Story in 2010 and became the Director of Mobile Technology at Affinion Group. This is where I started to get heavy involved with the Mobile Web. From build patterns to testing on all sorts of devices. The “band” was getting back together in late 2010 (ex Byte and ex Story) to form a new company called WELD Media. I jumped in as VP of Technology and we supported web and mobile web heavily before I joined Microsoft.

Marshall St Mayhem
Marshall St Mayhem

During all of these companies we had many types of projects. Ranging from small promotional websites to full blown eCommerce applications. We had to support IE 7 for some time as well as all of the newer mobile devices. When it came to testing we used a bunch of methods that have stood the test of time. Different browsers. Browser add-on (Firebug, YSlow, Web Developer Toolbar) we used F12 and inspect element heavily. Heck, we even set up old PC’s and Macs as a test lab. We purchased iPod Touches, iPads, Android phone and tablets. But the common denominator with all of these is you had to be near the device or using the browser to help debug. It did not matter the “tool” you used. You had to open up the website and see for yourself or try and replicate the issue. And there were issues. As a developer, you are able to keep your dev machine up to date. But not so much your clients. Especially when the IT departments lock down versions.

QA Lab - Photo Credit: Library of Congress
QA Lab – Photo Credit: Library of Congress

I remember a few of our clients were still running IE6 when IE8 and Chrome were the standard. IE6! Ugh, that was the absolute worst. Even better, they might be using the latest version of a browser but the plugins are out of date (see Flash) or not installed. There is nothing you can do when you are trying to debug that type of issue other than heading down to the clients office and see for yourself (we did this a few times).

These issues are all present today and even worse. With the explosion of connected devices accessing the web makes it even harder to debug and troubleshoot an issue. How many flavors of Android are there now? Last count – 10! Even iOS has a lot. And lets not even touch on screen resolution.

So what happens when your client calls you up after the project has launched and says “I am looking at the site on my home computer and it does not work” or “The site is not working on my mobile phone”. Aside from saying the typical developer line “it works on my phone/computer”, what do you do?

Client on phone - Photo Credit: Library of Congress
Client on phone – Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Vorlon.js

In comes Vorlon.js. The remote debug web tool. It is ideal for situations like this. A simple line of code on your website and you can inspect til your heart is content the issue on your clients device. How does this work you say? Magically! Not really. Vorlon.js is built upon some great development library standards like Node.js, Socket.IO and Express. Vorlon.js runs on it’s own server (or Node.js server) to host the dashboard and the service. The service is using Socket.IO to get a connection to the dashboard as well as the various devices that we be connecting to the site that you are debugging. The site that you are debugging contains a reference to a JavaScript file that is served by the Vorlon server which contains all of the plugins and client code to interact with the client and the dashboard.

architecture

Get Started with Vorlon.js

Lets talk about how we use it and get started.

First you need to make sure Node.js is installed. Head on over to Nodejs.org and download and install for your platform of choice.

Once installed, create a project directory somewhere on your computer and you can utilize the Node Package Manager to install Vorlon.js.

That will install Vorlon.js. The -g option with NPM installs the package globally. So you will not see the files in your project directory. You will have to navigate to the directory that global packages are installed to if you want to modify or copy the installation. On Windows you can find it at C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\ on a Mac /usr/local/lib/node_modules.

Once installed, you can issue the vorlon command to get the server up and running

Now you have a server running on your localhost on port 1337. To get access to the dashboard, just open your favorite browser and navigate to http://localhost:1337/dashboard/.

vorlondash

Start using Vorlon.js

In order to start debugging you will have to add a single reference to your client project.

Hacking Productivity with Microsoft Office 365

Hacking Things Done

Don’t worry, we’re not about to tell you how to code an app in under five minutes. (But if you want to try, we’d love to see it!) We do want to tell you about Hack Productivity, a new online hackathon from Microsoft with $32,500 in prizes for apps that help people make stuff happen — with ease (and panache).

Hack Productivity, launching today, gives you access to the Office 365 APIs for mail, calendar, contacts, photo/video, and files so you can create tech solutions that allow people to do everything they set out to do, and more. As an added challenge, we’re also asking you to build an entirely new Add-in (extension) for your app.

Your solution needs to help people manage their lives — but how is totally up to you. For instance, you could build an app that:

  • helps people create photo albums with images shared by their friends
  • creates a weekly schedule for everyone in the household
  • collates a daily to-do list based on incoming email
  • creates a filing system for school assignments and research work
  • designs a new collaboration system for the office
  • suggests a friend date when you haven’t seen one of your contacts in awhile
  • uses Pavlovian push notifications to defeat procrastination

There are lots of ways to sauce this enchilada, if you know what we mean. Your time-saving, achievement-producing app will be up cash prizes, plus some other shoutout-worthy swag:

  • meeting w/ a Microsoft product exec
  • one-year allowance on a premium Office 365 service
  • expenses-paid trip to a Microsoft conference
  • Surface products

We’ll be providing lots of support throughout the hackathon, including online office hours, tutorials, and tech tips. So check off the first thing on your to-do list: Register & start building your productivity hack @ msoffice365.devpost.com.
Photo Credit: Bain News Service – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
 

 

 

Azure Certification Jump Start in New York City

If you’re interested in any of the following, this is a must-attend, free, hands-on event!

  • Becoming Azure certified
  • Improving your marketability in the new cloud-optimized world
  • Becoming a systems architect
  • Staying current on the latest technologies
  • Becoming a cloud EXPERT

Join us for a full day focused on architecting Microsoft Azure systems and solutions. You’ll also discover what’s required to pass the MCP Azure Certification exam.

We’ll cover all the exam objectives, including PowerShell, through live demos, hands-on labs and discussions, and we will tailor the agenda to fit your needs and concerns.

Agenda: (subject to change without notice)
Everyone who attends will receive a copy of the Microsoft Press guide, 70-534 Exam Reference: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (co-authored by Dan and a $40 value). The event also includes breakfast, lunch, and drinks during the social hour — all at no cost to you, thanks to our generous sponsors.

View detailed agenda

Everyone who attends will receive a copy of the Microsoft Press guide, 70-534 Exam Reference: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (co-authored by Dan and a $40 value). The event also includes breakfast, lunch, and drinks during the social hour — all at no cost to you, thanks to our generous sponsors.

We hope you can join us, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Speakers:
Dan Stolts
Sr. Technology Evangelist, Microsoft
Brian Lewis
Sr. Technology Evangelist, Microsoft

 

Developing for the Microsoft Band Android Edition

In my last post we looked at getting set up to develop a Windows Phone app using the Microsoft Band SDK as well as Visual Studio Community Edition on a Windows 10 machine. We also looked at using the Web Tiles, which utilizes a web interface to build a communication tile that you install with your Microsoft Health App. In this post, we will look at getting going with Android development.

In order to start development for the Microsoft Band let’s go over some ground rules. You are not building an app for the “Band”. You are building an app for a mobile device (aka Phone) which will take advantage of all of the sensors within the Band. Think of the Band as sending and receiving information. It sends data from it’s sensors and receives data from the app that you create.

There are 2 major aspects of developing for the Band. The “app” and the “Band UI”. The app is something that you have full control over. The UI, the code, the OS (yes, we support Android, iOS and Windows development). The Band UI is more structured and starts with the Tile which is the first interaction with your app. Once the user engages with the Tile, you then can create Pages with information and actions.

Development Setup

To get started with the Microsoft Band development, we will first need to get our machine up and running. Whether you are on Windows or Mac, the steps are pretty much the same.

  1. Download and install Java JDK
  2. Download and install Visual Studio Emulator for Android (Windows) or Xamarin Android Player (Mac)…Visual Studio Emulator for the Mac coming soon.
  3. Download and install Android Studio
  4. Download the Android SDK for Microsoft Band

Once everything is downloaded and installed, you can start by creating an empty Android project.

After the project is created and before you start coding, you will need to make sure we have the Microsoft Band SDK (jar file) added to our project. In Android Studio we can drag our jar file into our lib directory. Once we do that, make sure you right click on the jar file and choose “Add as Library” so it is added to your Gradle and project.

Now you are ready to start development!

Development Process

The process of creating an app and connecting to the band is in 3 steps.

  1. The first step in our app is to make a connection to a Band. To make a connection, the Band and the our Android device must be paired. Item to note – this will not work within the emulator, you will need a device. You can use the Band Client Manager to get a list of paired Bands, and establish a connection to one or more paired Bands.

     
  2. Once we get a list of paired bands we can then start the process of subscribing to its sensors. The subscriptions are managed by the Band Sensor Manager on the Band Client. For each hardware sensor, the Sensor Manager allows the application developer to create a subscription. A subscription is essentially a platform-specific callback mechanism. It will deliver data at intervals specific to the sensor. Some sensors have dynamic intervals, such as the Accelerometer (on Android and Windows), that allow developers to specify at what rate they want data to be delivered. Other sensors deliver data only as their values change.

    Item to note – sensor subscription can be taxing on battery. Use as needed.
  3. We also then can create a Event Listener to perform our operations.

    Item to note – The Heart Rate sensor requires user consent to access. You can prompt and check if the user provided the appropriate permissions before your calls.

     
  4. That is basically it. There are some clean up methods such as deregistering the event listeners when done, but more or less those couple of lines will get you up and running.

Take a look at the following Channel 9 Video for more detail on building the full app or the GitHub repo.

band-channel9

 

PHP and Azure Data Services

When we think of PHP we also think of MySQL. The perfect relationship. PHP can provide the logic and MySQL can provide the data storage. There are others like SQLite, Postgres, MariaDB, MongoDB and more. All of these provide great functionality and performance but there are a few services that Azure has that can be deployed quickly and managed really easy. We are going to look into 3 services that Azure utilizes to make deploying and building PHP apps really easy and scalable.

Using Azure Microsoft SQL Server

This is not something new. PHP has supported MS SQL for a while now but why not utilize the ability of creating a SQL DB out on Azure and using the ODBC drivers to connect to SQL. By using SQL as a Service you can build software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that use Azure SQL Database to provide flexibility to support both explosive growth. For workloads with unpredictable database resource consumption, the elastic database model gives you the ability to pool resources to use among a group of databases. Instead of overprovisioning a virtual machine to meet peak demand, you can use an elastic database pool to let hundreds or thousands of databases use resources within a budget that you control.

You are also removing virtually all infrastructure maintenance with SQL Database, which provides automatic software patching as part of the service. Meanwhile, built-in system replicas using the quorum writes technique help deliver inherent data protection, database uptime, and system stability, which means fewer hassles for developers and architects. System replicas are automatically moved to new computers, which are provisioned on the fly as old ones fail.

Now you do not have to focus on the “database server” you can just put your focus on your business and technology.

Here is an example. Using sqlsrv_connect and a MS SQL instance out on Azure, you can be up and running in no time.

Using Azure App (Mobile) Services

Azure App Service is the only cloud service that integrates everything you need to quickly and easily build web and mobile apps for any platform and any device. Built for developers, App Service is a fully managed platform with powerful capabilities such as built-in DevOps, continuous integration with Visual Studio Online and GitHub, staging and production support, and automatic patching. Using Mobile Apps in Azure App Service, it offers a highly scalable, globally available mobile application development platform for Enterprise Developers and System Integrators that brings a rich set of capabilities to mobile developers.

Why Mobile Apps?

Mobile Apps in Azure App Service offers a highly scalable, globally available mobile application development platform for Enterprise Developers and System Integrators that brings a rich set of capabilities to mobile developers. With Mobile Apps you can create API’s in minutes. Customize those API’s to include push notifications, authentication and more.

Here is an example on how to set up a Mobile app as well as integrating the service with a PHP application. There is a Azure JavaScript Library that you can import and use for your app.

Using Azure PHP SDK

The other way to utilize manage storage is via Azure Storage (blobs, files, tables). Azure Storage is massively scalable, so you can store and process hundreds of terabytes of data to support the big data scenarios required by scientific, financial analysis, and media applications. Or you can store the small amounts of data required for a small business website. Wherever your needs fall, you pay only for the data you’re storing. Azure Storage currently stores tens of trillions of unique customer objects, and handles millions of requests per second on average.

Azure Storage is elastic, so you can design applications for a large global audience, and scale those applications as needed – both in terms of the amount of data stored and the number of requests made against it. You pay only for what you use, and only when you use it.

In order to access Azure Storage in PHP you will need to install the Azure PHP SDK and configure your application as well as set up a storage account.

Wrap up

Each of these options will provide you with managed data storage, easy setup, and highly scalable so you can focus on your code and your business.

Check out phpmssqldemo.azurewebsites.net for examples of all three scenarios.

Using MS Open Tech to Quickly Build Your Virtual Machine

Azure Marketplace is a great place to start your search for a Virtual Machine to start building your app or infrastructure on. However, these VM’s are sometimes vanilla and will need to be configured to your liking. Let’s use Rails as an example. In order to get a Rails app on a Virtual Machine there are a bunch of steps you will need to perform. First, create the operating system VM, Linux. Make sure that is up to date (sudo apt-update). Then you need to install Rails, Nginx, Unicorn, some sort of database like Postgres and dont forget permissions and users.

Having a custom install is cool but sometimes the situation does not call for that. There is MS Open Tech for that.

msopen

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation to advance Microsoft’s investment in openness including interoperability, open standards and open source.

At MS Open Tech, we focus on providing our customers with even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments. We believe that openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business.

We’re a diverse team of engineers, standards professionals and technical evangelists who are experienced and passionate in working with an equally diverse set of technologies from Microsoft and others.

Every day, we are powering interoperability and opportunity across developers, partners, customers and competitors.

We build open source code. We create interoperability bridges. We contribute open standards specs. We work with a variety of standards organizations such as: W3CIETFOASISEcmaDMTF, and open source communities including: JQueryMongoDB,Apache CordovaRedisApache, Qpid.NET Foundation, OpenJDKEclipseNode.jsCocos2d,  Web Platform DocsSymfony, DoctrineWebKitGitHubCodePlex and more.

Our team works closely across Microsoft business groups to support our customers’ journey in a mobile first, cloud first world.

As a result, you can do more and achieve more with the openness of the Microsoft platform.

  • You can build with the tool of your choice.
  • You can work across platforms.
  • You can collaborate through code.

There are Projects that MS Open Tech builds, HTML5 Labs that contributes to the Edge platform and VM Depot where a community managed repository of Linux and FreeBSD virtual machine images for easy deployment to Microsoft Azure reside.

You can search for a open source product or platform and most likely there is an image that is ready to go and deploy. Let’s use WordPress as an example.

  1. Search for WordPress and you will see a listing of results.
  2. Choose the result that best fits your need.
    wpubu
  3. Click on Create Virtual Machine (or if you are familiar with PowerShell you can get a deployment script)
  4. Login to the MS Open Tech website using one of the 3 Authentication methods.
  5. You can fill out the minimum to create an account on the MS Open Tech site.
  6. Accept the T&C and Click Save
  7. The next step is to link your Azure account with MS Open Tech to create the deployment. If you have your publication file you can upload it, otherwise you can click the Azure Publish Settings link within the copy and it will download one for you (as long as you are currently logged into the Azure portal).
  8. Once downloaded, you can now upload it to the site.
  9. Once that is connected, you now can configure some of the VM settings. DNS Name, Username/Password as well as region, storage accounts and endpoints.
  10. Once you are happy with your configuration, click I agree and Create VM. It should take a few minutes and your new VM will show up in your Azure portal.
  11. One thing to note. If you choose a VM with configured software you might need to read the README to find out usernames and passwords to certain products.