Today, Microsoft made a number of nice updates to their Visual Studio tools and templates. On thing pointed out in Scott Hanselman’s blog post about it (and Scott Guthrie’s post as well), was the update that lets developers publish ASP.NET Web Site projects to WIndows Azure Web Sites. Given that I haven’t messed around with Windows Azure Web Sites, I figured that it’d be fun to try this out.
After installing the new tooling and opening Visual Studio 2012, I created a new Web Site project.
I then right-clicked my new project in Visual Studio and chose the “Publish Web Site” option.
If you haven’t published to Windows Azure before, you’re told that you can do so if you download the necessary “publishing profile.”
When I clicked the “Download your publishing profile …” link, I was redirected to the Windows Azure Management Portal where I could see that there were no existing Web Sites provisioned yet.
I quickly walked through the easy-to-use wizard to provision a new Web Site container.
Within moments, I had a new Web Site ready to go.
After drilling into this new Web Site’s dashboard, I saw the link to download my publishing profile.
I downloaded the profile, and returned to Visual Studio. After importing this publishing profile into the “Publish Web” wizard, I was able to continue towards publishing this site to Windows Azure.
The last page of this wizard (“Preview”) let me see all the files that I was about to upload and choose which ones to include in the deployment.
Publishing only took a few seconds, and shortly afterwards I was able to hit my cloud web site.
As you’d hope, this flow also works fine for updating an existing deployment. I made a small change to the web site’s master page, and once again walked through the “Publish Web Site” wizard. This time I was immediately taken to the (final) “Preview” wizard page where it determined the changes between my local web site and the Azure Web Site.
After a few seconds, I saw my updated Web Site with the new company name.
Overall, very nice experience. I’m definitely more inclined to use Windows Azure Web Sites now given how simple, fast, and straightforward it is.