Skip to main content


Update as of 10/25/2016:

Azure SDK 2.9.5 release summary
Release date: September 27, 2016

No breaking changes to Azure SDK 2.9 have been introduced in this release.

Updated features in Azure Resource Manager tools include:

  • Add references to resources that aren’t defined in your template, but exist in your subscription or are defined in other templates
  • Allow developers to quickly run the server side validation of their template
  • Create Azure Resource Group projects from the templates in the Azure Quick Start templates and Azure Stack Quick Start templates on Github
  • Updated features from Web Tools
  • Remote Debugging for App Services with improved reliability

We’re excited to announce a new release of Azure SDK for .NET. This post includes details for each feature area and how the new functionality will improve your Azure development experience within Visual Studio.

Download the Azure SDK 2.9 for .NET

Release summary

In this release we’ve made significant improvements to numerous components of the Visual Studio Tools for Azure.

  • Visual Studio “15” preview
  • Performance Diagnostics with Service Profiler (preview)
  • Diagnostic Improvements for visualizing data with Application Maps
  • Event Hub for Azure Diagnostics
  • KeyVault support for ARM templates
  • Secondary App Service Creation
  • Tools for Docker preview
  • Microsoft Service Fabric Tools for Visual Studio
  • Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio
  • Azure Resource Manager Tools for Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio “15” preview

Azure SDK 2.9 is the first supported SDK for the Visual Studio “15” Preview. It provides the same functionalities and features supported in the Azure SDK 2.9 for Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio 2015.

Performance Diagnostics with Service Profiler (preview)

One of the top areas of customer feedback is around the need for better tools to diagnose performance degrades in live services.  Working with a number of internal and external customers we have been working on a set of tools and services to better tackle this problem, and it’s time to share this with the broader community.

Today we are happy to announce the Service Profiler (Preview). Service profiler extends the set of functionality in Azure diagnostics and App Insights to provide you with a service and a collection agent to summarize, profile and diagnose performance issues in your live cloud applications and service. The Service Profiler agent automatically profiles .NET and Azure framework events (or you can manually declare your own) with low overhead, and builds up a number of intelligent samples in the service.  Using the Service Profiler summary page you see the performance data in a range of requests and percentile buckets, which makes it easy to spot issues in certain requests and certain percentiles (e.g. in the long tail).  Clicking on a sample takes you to a detailed view of what happened in the request and that makes it clear and simpler to find the hot path in the code.

You can try the Service Profiler (Preview) today, watch a demo video, and/or try the live site demo. The preview currently supports VMs, Cloud Services (Web and Worker roles), VMScaleSet, and Service Fabric.  While this extends the set of tools and services in Azure diagnostics and App Insights, there is no additional dependency on Azure agents or services in the preview other than the Service Profiler itself.  Please inquire about our limited private preview for App Service.

KeyVault support for ARM templates

If you're using Azure Resource Manager templates to manage an Infrastructure as Code or Continuous Deployment workflow you've had to try to marshal secrets between a “secret store” and tools to deploy templates to Azure. In Azure Resource Manager templates you can provide references to secrets in Azure KeyVault and in the 2.9 Azure SDK you can use the tools available in VS to make this as simple as saving the secret. You can read more about saving KeyVault Secrets in this tutorial for KeyVault Support in ARM Templates.

Secondary App Service Creation

If you’re using Azure App Service, chances are that you’re creating multiple App Service containers for various components of your application. You may have a scenario in which a Web App and a Mobile App both make use of a REST API you’re hosting in an API App, for example. Or you may have one App Service containing a multitude of background WebJobs that process incoming data. With the 2.9 SDK update, we’ve enabled support for creating multiple App Services at once. This feature enables you to create a series of App Service containers into which your code can be deployed. You can learn more about the new functionality in App Service Tools in this post.

Visual Studio 2015 Tools for Docker preview

The Visual Studio 2015 Tools for Docker preview enables developers to build and debug their applications in a locally hosted Docker container and publish their application to an Azure Docker Host. You can read more about Tools for Docker in the Tools for Docker documentation.

Microsoft Service Fabric Tools for Visual studio

Today we are releasing the new Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Tools for Visual Studio 2015 and Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Tools for Visual Studio “15” preview. Both releases require Microsoft Azure Service Fabric SDK 2.0 and Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Runtime 5.0.

We introduced a set of new features to empower developers to easily build, test, and diagnose Service Fabric applications. Using well-known and beloved tools, we focused on helping developers easily adopt Microsoft Azure Service Fabric and be efficient in delivering value through software development.

In this release we have simplified the available service templates for building Service Fabric services, to quickly get you started, this also includes the ability to only create differentiated packages based on what’s already deployed on your cluster. We also made it possible for you to easily start a remote debugging session or view streaming traces in Visual Studio, through interaction with a Service Fabric cluster in Cloud Explorer.

If you need to include guest executables in your Service Fabric Applications, you can now easily integrate the service package structure in your Service Fabric application project in Visual Studio and package and deploy the executable together with other services.

Service Fabric development is now also available using Visual Studio “15” Preview and we introduced support for developing on Windows 7 using Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and Visual Studio “15” preview. All tools have been localized to support the localized versions of Visual Studio.

You can read more about these features on the Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Tools blog.

Diagnostics updates

With this latest update to the Azure SDK, we’ve improved the experience for viewing and consuming Diagnostics data in two ways. First, you can now view application topology for Azure Diagnostics using Application Insights new Application Map on the Azure Portal. Secondly, we are excited to announce that Azure developers can now stream Azure diagnostics counters and events within seconds to your Azure Event Hub. This includes ETW events, Performance Counters, Windows Event Logs and Application Logs.  Azure Event Hub is a highly scalable publish-subscribe service that can ingest millions of events per second and stream them into multiple applications (e.g. Azure Stream Analytics, Azure HD Insight, Machine Learning, Elastic Search/ELK and many more). You can visit the following links to learn how to use AI Application Map, or read more about using Event Hub for Azure Diagnostics.

Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio updates

Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio is now merged into Azure SDK release and the tool will be automatically installed when you install Azure SDK. In the mean time, you can always download the latest Azure Data Lake Tools or learn more in the Data Lake Analytics documentation on since we frequently update the tool. In this release we have added the functionalities to view all the U-SQL metadata entities in Server Explorer, as well as create some of them. HDInsight Tools for Visual Studio now supports HDInsight version 3.3, including showing Tez graphs and other language fixes.

Azure Resource Manager Tools for Visual Studio Code

If you’re a Visual Studio Code user, you’ll want to install and try out the new Azure Resource Manager Tools extension, which is available in the Visual Studio Marketplace or from directly within the Visual Studio Code tool using the command “ext install azurerm-vscode-tools.” The Visual Studio extension provides a set of templates, snippets, and scripts that demonstrate creating and deploying Azure Resource Management Templates in cross-platform environments.


If you don’t already have an Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial – or activate your Azure subscription if you’re an MSDN subscriber – and start using all of the above features today. Then visit the Azure Developer Center to learn more about how to build apps with it. Please submit bugs through Connect, suggestions through UserVoice, and issues that you observe via Report a Problem. in the Visual Studio IDE.


This blog post is a collaboration of multiple people. Many thanks to Cristy Gonzalez, Mikkel Mork Hegnog, Xiaoyong Zhu, and Brian Moore.

  • Explore


    Let us know what you think of Azure and what you would like to see in the future.


    Provide feedback

  • Build your cloud computing and Azure skills with free courses by Microsoft Learn.


    Explore Azure learning