There’s been a huge increase in the need to get trained in Microsoft Azure, and as a result the interest / need to get certified in Azure has been increasing as well. The only difficulty with the certification is there are 3 primary Microsoft certification exams on Azure and it can be a little unclear which exam is right for “You.” In this article I will outline the differences between the different Azure certification exams / certifications, and hopefully I’ll help you decide which is best for you to start with.
Update 9/30/2016: This week Microsoft announced some really big and amazing changes to the Microsoft Certification program and how the Azure certification exams fit in with MCSD and MCSE certifications. As a result, you want to reference the 2016 Edition of Where to start with Azure Certification article instead.
Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Web Apps for Developers
The “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Web Apps for Developers” book written by Rick Rainey has been made available as a Free eBook on the Microsoft Virtual Academy website. This book covers the necessary information to help developers advance their technical skills in developing, deploying and managing Web Applications hosted within the Microsoft Azure platform using the Web Apps feature set. This book is written to target .NET developers from beginner to advanced. Read More
Microsoft Azure Stack is a fairly new feature set to complement the Azure Platform, however, Azure Stack isn’t quite the usual feature addition to the Microsoft Azure Platform. Azure contains features such as App Service (Web Apps, Logic Apps, Mobile Apps, API Apps), Storage (Blobs, Tables, Queues), Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, Load Balancer, VPN Gateway, Management Portal, Key Vault, and Azure SDK. Until now, when a new feature was released for Microsoft Azure it was hosted like the previous list; in the Azure cloud within Microsoft data centers. Azure Stack changes this; it changes EVERYTHING! With Microsoft Azure Stack, you will now be able to host all the Azure services I just listed within your own Enterprise datacenter; within your private cloud. Azure Stack brings with it a huge innovation to the hybrid-cloud ecosystem. This article will describe exactly what this means for Developers, IT Pros and the rest of the Enterprise. Read More
The book “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Automation” written by Michael McKeown is written to target IT Pros and PowerShell developers to help them understand the core concepts of Azure Automation. This includes using runbooks based on PowerShell Workflow, and orchestrating frequent deployment (ala DevOps) and life cycle management through the use of automating Azure resource setup and maintenance. Read More
2016 Global Azure Bootcamp
Another year means another Global Azure Bootcamp. The Global Azure Bootcamp 2016 is the fourth annual Azure Bootcamp. This is a global event that provides a single day, deep dive class helping thousands of people learn about building Cloud Computing Applications on the Microsoft Azure platform.
The 2016 Global Azure Bootcamp will be on April 16, 2016. Don’t forget to mark your calendars, so you too can get your Azure on! Read More
When the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer was first released, it did seem a little odd that Microsoft would neglect supporting Linux. However, they did support both Windows and Mac OSX initially. In good news, there have been a number of updates to the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer announced with a short roadmap of what’s to come in the future. Read More
The new Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer provides a GUI interface for managing Azure Storage from both Windows and Mac OS X. Rather than build this functionality into the Azure Management Portal, the Azure Storage Explorer is a stand-along application that runs natively on the PC.
Just as all Azure Web Apps need configuration values, most applications also need to have database Connection String values configured. With Azure Web Apps the Connection Strings are stored/retrieved in a very similar fashion as Azure Web App Application Settings. Connection Strings are also Key / Value pairs of String values, but are separated out into their own section.
Connection Strings are typically used to store the connection information for one or more databases the Web App needs to connect to for storing and retrieving data. The Connection String types supported are SQL Database, SQL Server, MySQL and Custom. Most often the Connection Strings used will be for some kind of SQL RDMS, but the Custom type allows for an additional Connection String to be configured any other type of database connection necessary.
As with Application Settings, the Connection Strings are accessed as normal from .NET code and the values will come from what is set within the Azure Management Portal. In other development environments (Node.js, Java, PHP, Python) the Connection Strings are exposed to code as Environment Variables. Additionally, the Connection Strings are editable within the Azure Management Portal, but are read-only when access through code. Read More
All web applications have some kind of configurations necessary. The method of storing and accessing these settings varies on different web application platforms. In ASP.NET they are normally stored within <appSettings> element of the web.config file. The Microsoft Azure Web Apps Service allows for these application settings to be configured within the Azure Web App configurations in the cloud, and then subsequently accessed from application code as needed. With .NET applications the application settings are accessed exactly as AppSettings contained within the web.config file. In other web platforms (Java, Node.js, PHP and Python) the application settings are access via Environment Variables.
Application Settings are stored as a Key / Value pair. These are both stored as String values. Read More