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Getting Started with Windows Azure

Getting Started with Windows Azure - Part 3: Windows Azure Management Portal a closer look

Apr 11 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see about Window Azure Management Portal, a new rich UI for managing the application and websites that are deployed on the Windows Azure environment. In our previous article we have seen how to design and develop your first Windows Azure application by configuring the roles and instances that best suits the application needs. Initially the portal was in Microsoft Silverlight and later now it was revamped and redesigned with a rich user experience and now it’s available in HTML5 based portal which is very much responsive and quick compared to the earlier version of Microsoft Silverlight.

Windows Azure Management Portal:

As we know Windows Azure Management Portal is a web app that can be accessible using the browser, so let us start by opening Internet Explorer and navigate to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/ and we can see a nice portal opened up as shown in the screen below. Note that we need to provide a valid Live Credentials through which you registered for Windows Azure to authenticate your request to open the page.

Windows Azure Management Portal

The above screen is the home page of the Windows Azure website, in the top right corner we can see an option called Portal which is the option to navigate to the Windows Azure Management Portal. At the bottom of the Portal option we can see Free Trial, which can be used to register with Windows Azure if the account is already not registered. Since we have registered with the Windows Azure environment using a valid Windows Live Credentials and we already authenticated we can simply click on Portal, which will navigate to the responsive HTML Windows Management Portal as shown in the screen below:

 HTML Windows Management Portal

The portal is designed in such a way to show the different components in different tabs to see the list of services that are used in each and every component and a consolidated list of all the components can also be seen in the home screen of the portal. The portal at any point of time can be shifted to the older version as well and revert back to the new version if you are not familiar with the new UI. To revert to the older version we have an option at menu, click on the login name at the top right and we can see the option “Previous Portal” as shown in the screen below:

Previous Portal

The old portal as we mentioned is a Silverlight based and we can see the listing of the components and features are in a wide range to select based on the requirement as shown in the screen below. Again to go back to the New Responsive HTML5 portal click on the “Take me to the New Portal” at the bottom of the screen.

Take me to the New Portal

Now let us see some of the basic things which we often do in the Windows Azure Management Portal, to start with let us see how to add a new Windows Azure component. At the left bottom we can see an option Add with a plus symbol, clicking on that will open a list of options to select which component we are going to add as shown in the screen below:

list of options

Our next portion to see in this Windows Azure Management portal is to manage the subscription, see the pricing and the bill details of the current and previous months to keep a fair track on the amount in order to maintain within a certain range. To see these details click on the Subscription option in the top menu and select “Manage your Subscription” option as shown in the screen below:

Manage your Subscription

A new window opens with the option to enter the password to authenticate again as we are going to move into a Data Sensitive area to access the user specific subscription details. In the new screen click on the subscription name and we can see the details of the bill as shown in the screen below:

subscription name

We can also see the existing billing details by clicking on the Billing History tab in the menu and we can see the list of available bills form the previous billing cycles as shown in the screen below. To go back to the Windows Azure Management portal click on the Portal option at the top menu screen to get back and start using the Azure Components.

Portal

Conclusion:

Therefore, in this article we have seen how to use the Windows Azure Management Portal and the different options to use the portal effectively to utilize the sections wherever required.


Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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