There are many options for publishing your source code to Windows Azure Web Sites today. For example, you can publish from development tools like Visual Studio or Web Matrix, or push code from a local Git repository on your computer, or even set up continuous deployment from a provider like Team Foundation Service, GitHub, CodePlex, or Bitbucket. While all of these are great at what they do, they also require some familiarity with tools that come with a particular learning curve. Fortunately, that learning curve all but disappears with the new support for deployment from Dropbox, included in today’s release of the Azure Management Portal.
Dropbox is a free service that makes it easy to share your files between multiple computers by simply copying files to a local Dropbox folder, and now it’s just as easy to deploy a Web site to Windows Azure. Simply copy files to your Dropbox folder and press a button to deploy. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Here’s how to set it up:
- In the Azure Management Portal, select “Set up deployment from source control” from the Dashboard or Quick Start page.
- Select Dropbox in the wizard, and click next to authorize Windows Azure to have access to your Dropbox\Apps\Azure folder.
- Choose a name for the sub-folder under Dropbox\Apps\Azure that that will contain your Website source code.
To deploy, just copy your code to the chosen folder on your local computer, and press the “Sync” button in the portal to synchronize code from Dropbox to Windows Azure. That’s it!
All platforms supported by the Windows Azure SDK are supported, so you can copy sources for .NET, PHP, or Node applications and the right things will happen on the server to deploy and run your site. If you really want to take control of what happens during deployment, you can even take advantage of the same custom deployment script feature supported for Git deployment.
Similar to other deployment methods, Windows Azure keeps track of a deployment history for your Web site, so it’s easy to see what you’ve deployed and when it went live. If you ever want to go back in time, the deployment history allows you to redeploy a previous deployment with the click of a button.
Watch this 2 minute screencast to view a demo in action. Deployment to Windows Azure has never been simpler. Give it a try and see for yourself!