With Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2010 (news, site) out for review, Microsoft is also releasing some extensions to keep us all excited about developing .NET applications. One of these extensions is the The Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio and the latest version is out as a technology preview.
What's New in the Toolkit
The May CTP (Community Technology Preview) of the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio includes support for both Visual Studio 2010 beta 1, Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition with SP1.
Also new in the May CTP is improved debug and run capability for cloud services within Visual Studio by beefing up the integration with Development Fabric and Storage services in Azure.
Visual Studio - Azure Toolkit
What's in the Toolkit?
The toolkit for Visual Studio offers a number of project templates in both VB.NET and C# for building Cloud services, tools for changes Service roles, integrated local development using the Development Fabric and Development Storage services and the ability to debug Cloud service roles running in the Development fabric.
Also included is the ability to build and package cloud services and browse the Azure Developer portal.
Updated Azure SDK
The Azure SDK is installed as part of the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio and this has also been updated. You can learn about the updates on the Azure Developer blog.
Developing Cloud Services for Azure
With the Azure Tools for Visual Studio you can create cloud services, web roles, worker roles and service packages. To learn how to create these components, there's a great how-to article on the MSDN (using VS2008).
You can download the May CTP and give it a try. Just remember, it's not production ready. Microsoft is expected to announce production dates sometime in the fall.