Setup the Windows Azure Development Environment manually

Author: Jas Sandhu

Date: Monday, December 27, 2010, 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Tutorial, Get Started, Setup

Table of Contents

Note:This article pertains to the CodePlex SDK initially released late 2009. The Windows Azure team has since then released a newer version of the Azure SDK for PHP on Github. Please refer to the Windows Azure PHP Developer Center for documentation on this more recent version of the SDK.

Please stay tuned and come back here regularly as we are working on refreshing the tutorials to deliver up to date and useful content for our PHP developers.


Windows Azure offers a "local cloud development platform", which lets you test and debug on your local Windows machine before you actually deploy to the cloud. This article explains how you can manually install and configure the different elements (IIS, PHP, Windows Azure SDK, etc.).

Step 1: Before you start; the initial requirements

The Windows Azure SDK 1.4 supported Operating Systems are: Windows 7;Windows 7 Enterprise;Windows 7 Home Premium;Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit;Windows 7 Professional;Windows 7 Professional 64-bit;Windows 7 Ultimate;Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit;Windows Server 2008 R2;Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2;Windows Vista Service Pack 2 ( from this link)

For the latest updates on installation notes and requirements visit the "Standalone Windows Azure SDK" section on MSDN.

Step 2: Microsoft .NET Framework

The Windows Azure SDK requires the .NET Framework 3.51. If you are running Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2008 SP2, you should be covered. If you are running an operating system prior to Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, apply the following guidance:

Step 3: Enable and Configure IIS 7.0 settings and FastCGI

On Windows Server 2008:
  1. Click the Start button, and then point to All Programs. Point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.
  2. In Server Manager, under Roles Summary, verify that Web Server (IIS) appears in the list of available roles. If it does not, click Add Roles to install IIS.
  3. In Server Manager, under Roles Summary, click Web Server (IIS).
  4. In the Web Server (IIS) management window, click Add Role Services.
  5. In the Add Role Services dialog box, under Application Development, click both ASP.NET and Static CGI, then click Next to install.
On Windows 7/Windows Vista:

1. Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.


2. Click on Programs,


3. Then click Programs and Features.


4. In the Program and Features dialog box, click Turn Windows features on or off.


5. Expand Internet Information Services, expand Web Management Tools and then select IIS Management Console, IIS Management Scripts and Tools and IIS Management Service.

6. Expand World Wide Web Services, expand Application Development Features, and then select both ASP.NET and CGI.

7. Expand Common HTTP Features, and then select Default Document, Directory Browsing, HTTP Errors and Static Content.


8. Install the selected features by clicking OK.

Important: Make sure you have the latest service pack and critical updates for the version of Windows that you are running. To find recent security updates, use Windows Update.

Step 4: Downloading the Windows Azure SDK

Note: if you are upgrading from previous version of the SDK, you must exit any currently running versions of the Windows Azure Simulation Environment before installing the new SDK.

The SDK is available in a 64-bit version and a 32-bit version.

Note: The 32-bit version of the SDK cannot be installed on a 64-bit operating system. Running the SDK under Microsoft Windows-32-bit-On-Windows-64-bit (WOW64) is not supported.

You should check to see which operating system type your machine is running. Click the Start button, then right-click on Computer, and select Properties.



You will need to download the latest version of the Windows Azure SDK here:

Next, select the file you wish to install, -x64 for 64-bit or -x86 for 32-bit:


Click Run and follow the installation instructions:





When installation is complete, you should see the Windows Azure SDK on the Start menu. The Menu should now include, under \Programs\Windows Azure SDK v1.4, the following icons:


At this point, you can start the Windows Azure Compute Emulator to verify that everything went well. Just launch the "Storage Emulator" from the Start Menu:


Or from here:


The Compute Emulator should start:


Step 5: Downloading and installing SQL Server Express

Although installing SQL Server is optional, it's recommended that you get it. SQL Server is used by the Windows Azure Storage Emulator, which provides the features for blobs, queues and tables. If you already have either SQL Express 2005 or SQL Express 2008 or Microsoft SQL Server, then you can skip this step.

Otherwise, you can install the free SQL Express edition from here:

Pick the 32-bit or 64-bit "Database Only" edition:


Once the installer is downloaded (about 60MB), launch the setup.

1. Select "New Installation":


2. Accept the license terms:


3. Choose features (leave at default), and click "Next":


4. Instance configuration (leave at default), and click "Next":


5. Server configuration (leave at default), and click "Next":


6. Database engine configuration (leave at default), and click "Next":


7. Finish:


8. At this point, you can start the Windows Azure Storage Emulator to verify that everything went well. Just launch the "Storage Emulator" from the Start Menu:


Or from here:


9. And the result should be:


Step 6: Getting and Installing PHP

If you do not have a configured version of PHP on your machine, you will need to download PHP from Select the PHP version you want to use.

For example, PHP 5.3.4 "VC9 x86 Non Thread Safe":

Run the installation:




Decide in which directory to install PHP. Important: Take note of this directory path - you will need it later when you use the command line tools.


Select the Web server setup to use:


Continue, and finish the PHP installation.


PHP is now installed and configured. ; You are ready to run PHP applications with Windows Azure.

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