Part 2 of this series discussed a number of important ways to customize the HTML client in Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch, including user authentication. After you've designed, customized, and tested your application, you're probably ready to deploy it to a production environment. However, instead of hosting your applications on the traditional in-house, on-premises server, have you considered publishing them to Windows Azure, the cloud computing platform from Microsoft? Because Windows Azure services are pay-per-use, you pay only for the resources you actually consume. This option can help small businesses avoid having to buy and maintain a physical infrastructure, or needing to hire staff to manage their servers and data.
We won't cover Windows Azure's details and benefits. Check out the Azure site for that information, as well as related services, pricing, and so on. This article will show you how to take your applications live on the Internet in just a few minutes with the help of LightSwitch and Windows Azure.
To use the techniques described in this article, you need a Windows Azure subscription and a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) to activate your subscription. If you already have a subscription, you can skip to the next section and get started on this article's procedure. If you don't have a Windows Azure subscription, you can activate a free trial subscription that will expire in one month. The free trial offers all the required services to publish a LightSwitch HTML application, as well as providing additional tools and services (including virtualization) that you can test in various contexts. (Be sure to read all the subscription terms before activating.)