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Use the Azure SDK Tools to Package, Run, and Deploy an Application

Updated: September 30, 2014

You can use the tools in the Windows Azure SDK to run, test, debug, and fine-tune your application before you deploy it as a cloud service to Windows Azure. The Windows Azure SDK includes the following tools:

  • Microsoft Azure compute emulator – A tool that locally emulates the environment in which cloud services run.

  • Microsoft Azure storage emulator – A tool that locally emulates the services of Windows Azure storage.

  • CSPack – A tool that creates an application package that can be deployed to Windows Azure.

  • CSEncrypt – A tool that is used to encrypt the password for remote desktop connections.

  • CSRun – A tool that is used to start the compute emulator with the appropriate application package.

For Windows Azure SDK support and retirement information, see Azure SDK for .NET Support and Retirement Information.

The compute emulator is a local emulator of Windows Azure that you can use to build and test your application before deploying it to Windows Azure. Some differences exist between running an application in the compute emulator and running it as a cloud service in Windows Azure.

After you install the Windows Azure SDK, you can run the compute emulator by using a menu choice in the Start menu, or you can use the CSRun Command-Line Tool.

The Microsoft Azure storage emulator is a local development environment for the Windows Azure storage services that you can use to build and test your application without incurring any cost. The storage emulator is available as part of the Microsoft Azure SDK. You can also download the storage emulator as a standalone package. See Using the Azure Storage Emulator for Development and Testing for more information.

An application for Windows Azure must include the code that runs in the application and the service model that is used by Windows Azure to define and configure your application to run in the environment. For more information about creating an application that runs as a cloud service, see Cloud Services. You create a ServiceDefinition.csdef file and ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file to define the service model of your application. For more information about creating these files, see Set Up a Cloud Service for Azure.

The compute emulator and Windows Azure use a package file (.cspkg) to run the application. You can create the application package by using the CSPack Command-Line Tool.

You can use a variety of features to assist you in testing your application in the compute emulator.

You may be developing an application that uses many role instances of which Windows Azure can handle easily. Unfortunately, your development computer might not have enough computing power to handle all of the roles running at the same time in the compute emulator.

You can easily increase or decrease the number of instances of a role that is running by modifying the Instances element within the configuration file for the service.

Windows Azure Diagnostics enables you to collect diagnostic data from a service. You can use diagnostic data for tasks like debugging and troubleshooting, measuring performance, monitoring resource usage, traffic analysis and capacity planning, and auditing. For more information about collecting diagnostic data, see Collect Logging Data by Using Azure Diagnostics. You can view the status of running role instances in the user interface of the compute emulator. For more information, see Trace the Flow of Your Azure Application.

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