Updated: July 16, 2013
The Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio are available on the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio download page. The Windows Azure SDK is included with the installation. Therefore, you don't have to install the SDK separately.
You can also install the Windows Azure Tools by using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. This installer simplifies the process of installing and configuring Internet Information Services (IIS), the Windows Azure SDK, and the Windows Azure Tools.
To determine which versions of Visual Studio and Visual Web Developer are supported by the Windows Azure Tools, see Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio.
Installation and Upgrade
Azure SDK compatibility issue
If you are using Visual Studio 2012, you must use the 1.71 version or later of the Windows Azure Tools. If you are using Visual Studio 2013, you must use the 2.1 version or later of Windows Azure Tools.
Solution and Projects
Path too long
You might receive the following error if your solution and project names are too long:
The specified path, file name, or both are too long. The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters.
To correct this, create a Windows Azure project with a shorter solution and project name.
Dependencies and project references between role projects
You can’t directly refer to one project from another in Windows Azure solutions. This limitation is because each project is treated as a separate and independent role that will be deployed to a separate set of virtual machines. If a role’s project contains code that another role must use, you must factor the code out of the role and into another assembly that you can reference from both role projects.
Debugging and Running from Visual Studio
Keep the Windows Azure project set as the StartUp project when you run or debug an application
To run or debug your cloud application using the storage emulator, you must set the cloud project as the start-up project. Make sure that the following setting is not selected: Solutions | Build and Run | For new solutions use the currently selected project as the startup project in the Options dialog box.
Breakpoints set in one file might be hit in all of the files that have the same name
When multiple roles in a single Windows Azure project contain a file with the same name, for example, WorkerRole.cs or WorkerRole.vb, breakpoints set in one of the files might be hit in all of the files. For more information about the Require source files to exactly match the original version debugging option, see General, Debugging, Options Dialog Box.
If you encounter this issue even when the option is selected, restart Visual Studio and try again.
IIS update to support FastCGI applications
To run a cloud service that uses the FastCGI module to host non-ASP.NET applications on the storage emulator, the following update is required: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967131
Windows Azure applications that use the FastCGI module require a hotfix
To run a Windows Azure application that uses the FastCGI module to host non-ASP.NET applications on the storage emulator, the following update is required: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967131
“WaWorkerHost.exe has stopped working” message
Unhandled exceptions in the worker role are not caught by the storage emulator. When a worker process terminates, it is restarted. This can result in repeated “WaWorkerHost.exe has stopped working” messages. This message does not indicate an error and does not affect future runs.
Using the storage emulator with SQL Server Express 2008
By default, the local Windows Group BUILTIN\Administrator is not included in the SQL Server system administrator server role on new SQL Server Express 2008 installations. To use the local storage services on SQL Server Express 2008, add yourself to the system administrator role. For more information, see SQL Server 2008 Security Changes.
Changing the instance of SQL Server that is used by the storage emulator
The storage emulator uses the default instance of SQL Express. To change the instance of SQL Server that is used, run the following command from the Windows Azure SDK command prompt:
DSInit.exe /sqlinstance:<SQL Server instance>