Microsoft released new Azure SDK 2.7 for Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2015 in mid July 2015. Azure SDK 2.7 is the first supported Azure SDK for the final release of Visual Studio 2015. Let’s take a quick look some at the cool new tools/features which were introduced with Azure SDK 2.7.

Account Management for Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 enable developers to manage multiple accounts. The account can be azure accounts, business accounts or Microsoft accounts. Multiple Azure accounts enable developers to easily switch between azure accounts just by clicking the account name. Account management can be performed in Visual Studio 2015 “Account Setting Section”. Account Settings can be accessed after login to Visual Studio. Follow below screen to login using a Microsoft account.


Visual Studio automatically logs into the account if the first login account information was saved. Click arrow to open dropdown menu as mentioned in below image and click “Account Setting.



The account setting screen will appear, where developers can Add/Remove accounts.



This account settings also enables developers to switch easily between multiple accounts, so that you no longer have any sign-out-then-sign-in-again flows in the IDE.


Cloud Explorer for Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 does support limited Azure subscription management from the Server explorer. Visual Studio Server explorer has an Azure node. If selected it provides browsing to some of the Azure resources.


Azure SDK 2.7 provides Cloud explorer within Visual Studio. Cloud explorer enables developers to browse all the Azure resources, view properties, view logs, attach debugger, start/stop resource, and download publish profile. Cloud explorer includes the ability to search resources by name, which makes it easy to find just the resource(s) you are interested in. The status bar of Cloud explorer has two tabs; Action and Properties. The Action tab displays all the actions that can be performed of the selected resource, while the properties tab displays all the properties of the selected resource.



Cloud explorer provides a setting icon to manage Azure accounts.


Remote debugging for Virtual Machines

Attaching a debugger to a remote process running in the cloud is a common developer scenario. With Azure SDK 2.7 the developer can now use the same remote debugging capabilities available with Virtual Machines based on the Azure resource manager stack. You can enable debugging on a Virtual Machine through Cloud Explorer by selecting the Virtual Machine and clicking on the action Enable Debugging.


When debugging is enabled the action tab show option “Attached Debugger”. This option opens an attach process window where the developer can select w3wp.exe process to debug.


Remote Profiling Azure Web Apps

Microsoft extended remote diagnostic and debugging capabilities by adding support for remote profiling for Web Apps, similar to the existing profiling functionality found in the Cloud Service tooling experiences.

To profile a Web App, right-click the app’s node and select the Start Profiling option from Server Explorer (This feature will be available in Cloud Explorer in future release). The remote profiler session will start, and as you click through your website the profiling data will be queued up in Azure. Once you stop the remote profiler using the same Server Explorer gesture, the profiling data collected in your Azure Web App will be downloaded and opened in Visual Studio 2015 (remote profiling support is currently limited to Visual Studio 2015). Then you can inspect the data and learn how your site is operating live in Azure.




Swagger Tweaks for Client Developers

Swagger is a metadata specification that works similarly to WSDL to describe your API in a way that code generators can build client proxies. It’s built around JSON to specify API metadata, structure and data models. Swagger is a simple yet powerful representation of RESTful API. With a Swagger-enabled API, you get interactive documentation, client SDK generation and discoverability.

This change reduces the complexity of the Swagger output and as a result enables better quality of the code generated in Visual Studio. With the functionality we’re using in the API App Consumption dialog (shown below), which outputs the generated C# client code needed by any .NET app to reach out and communicate with the back-end Azure API app. Now it’s easier than ever to reach out to your deployed API Apps from your client apps. Microsoft also brought the Swagger file browsing to Visual Studio 2015, so the developer can work with local Web API projects and not just those you deploy to Azure.


Given a Web API project with Swashbuckle (tool for generating Swagger) Swagger generation will open the Web API code up to being consumed by the API Apps client generation tools. The new optimizations in the template result in cleaner generated code that has a more explicit and easy-to-follow nomenclature, which a developer can use to determine which client methods result in which API calls.

Hadoop Tools for Visual Studio

This update includes a series of updates to the tools for Visual Studio developers who are using the power of Hadoop on Azure.

HDInsight is a cloud implementation on Microsoft Azure of the rapidly expanding Apache Hadoop technology stack that is the go-to solution for big data analysis. It includes implementations of Storm, HBase, Pig, Hive, Sqoop, Oozie, Ambari, and so on. HDInsight also integrates with Business Intelligence (BI) tools such as Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services, and SQL Server Reporting Services.

Microsoft Azure offering HDInsight service in the Azure cloud. Azure SDK 2.7 makes available a number of Visual Studio project templates under the category HDInsight.