Last night’s Visual Studio LightSwitch demo went well. So well in fact, that I need to share the recipe I used for the presentation.
My laptop is due to be replaced. In fact, I’m shopping for new one right now, and I am leaning towards a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, and will make the decision this weekend. Until then, I still need to push through with my old laptop.
Sadly, I can’t install Windows 8 on my current laptop, and Visual Studio 2013 runs way too slowly on the laptop to be of any productive value to me. This where Azure Virtual Machines comes to my rescue. Part of my “recipe” for the demonstration includes the use of Windows Azure for, well, almost everything. Here is the recipe I used:
- 1 Office 365 with SharePoint Online. All of my notes, slide decks, and presentation files are stored in SharePoint Online.
- 1 helping of Office 365 and the Word Web App. Using the Word Web App saved my bacon a few times. My presentation notes, include code snippets, were compiled into a Word document that I edited with the Word Web App. There were times where I used different computers, and even my phone, to add and edit presentation notes in the document.
- 1 Office 365 and the PowerPoint Web App. I edited and saved most of my PowerPoint slides using the Office 365 PowerPoint Web App. Similar to using the Word Web App, I was able to do some of fine tuning of the PowerPoint file using a desktop version of PowerPoint, syncing the changes to SharePoint instantly.
- A dash of 1 Windows Azure Cloud Service. My recipe includes a Windows Azure Virtual Machine, so I needed to create the cloud service to provision the machine.
- 1 helping of Windows Azure Cloud Storage. To store the Windows Azure Virtual Machine files, some storage is needed.’
- 1 heap of Windows Azure Virtual Machine. A Windows Server 2012 machine was created using a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter image. This bad boy was cranked up to use 4 cores, with 7 GB of memory (a “Large” instance). I then installed Visual Studio 2013 Professional on it, and made sure that the latest/greatest Azure SDK’s were installed.
- 2 helpings of Windows Azure (Free) Web Sites. I created two Azure web sites for the purpose of hosting the applications I created for the demos, including one of the web deployed desktop client, and the other a HTML client,
- 2 SQL Azure Databases. Again, like the web sites, I created 2 distinct SQL Azure databases for deployment of each of the two demo applications.
With that list of ingredients, it was easy get going…
- From my laptop I fired up the Windows Azure Management console.
- Started up the Cloud Service, which in turn, started up my Virtual Machine.
- With the Virtual Machine running, I RDP’d into the Virtual Machine.
- I then launched Visual Studio, and then began the demos.
- With each demonstration of a deployment, I deployed each of the applications and databases to the appropriate Azure service.
- Once the demos were completed, and the presentation finished, I stopped the Cloud Service which in turned shut down the Virtual Machine.
With the approximately 2 hours of the presentation, and the prep time creating the Azure services and installing Visual Studio, it cost me a whopping total of $3 for the Azure stuff (which was free really because I have a bunch credits anyway).
I’d say that this is a pretty good case study that I could present to those curious about what Azure can do. Don’t you?