Tutorial #1. How to create your free student DreamSpark Azure account

Before we start coding we need to prepare everything so we can create and publish our web site to Microsoft Azure.

Wondering what is Microsoft Azure? You already know how to visit web sites using a browser. In general, a web site is made up of a set of pages/documents which contain instructions that tell the browser how to present content to the person viewing the web site. Developers use a programming language such as JavaScript and HTML to create these pages. But, in order for others to be able to view your web site, you need to publish those pages on a server that can be accessed over the Internet.

You can use your home computer as a server to host the web site but there are several issues:

  • Your website may be slow to load. Your Internet at home is designed to download and view other people’s websites, not to distribute files on your computer to thousands of users around the World
  • In order to make files on your computer available over the Internet you need to have a good knowledge of static IP addresses, web servers etc.
  • If you turn off the computer, have internet connectivity issues, or hackers attack you – your web site will not be available for others to view

That’s why, when you are ready to publish your site to the Internet it is simplest and safest to find a company which provides servers for professional hosting. These companies provide space on their own servers and manage the internet connection and tools for publishing and managing your web sites.

Microsoft has the biggest number of servers of any company around the World. These servers are located in datacenters and you can access these resources for free to publish your first website. Microsoft provides the resources to publish websites, to host websites, to monitor your websites using a variety of technologies. They also support a number of other services useful for coders as well. All these resources, technologies, and tools together form a ready to use platform called Microsoft Azure.

In order to get access to servers in Microsoft Azure, you need to create an account. Thanks to accounts Microsoft Azure will be able to identify you. Usually, any account can be defined as a set of properties, and depending on a situation, this set can contain different number of properties with information there. For example, your parents have passports and driver licenses, which allow to identify them not just by their names but photos, unique numbers there etc. When you visit the school, your teacher can identify you just by looking at you. Of course, it’s not easy in case of twinsJ So in order to pass identification in Azure you need to create an account as well. Usually, it’s your login (name of the account) and password (a secret word for identification). Thanks to the account, Microsoft Azure will be able to find web sites which belong to you and allows access to tools which help manage your sites.

So, in the first step we need to spend some time creating our own accounts and getting access to Azure.

Step 1. Create your DreamSpark account

To create your own DreamSpark Azure  account, visit http://www.dreamspark.com.

Select the Students tab

A DreamSpark account will give you access to Microsoft Azure, the ability to download tools for developers and access to products such as Windows Server, SQL Server and more. Select the Create Account button, and then select Create Account and Sign up Now on the next page.

Fill out the fields on the account creation form such as name, password, country, birthday and gender


You do not need to provide any address or credit card information

To create an account you need to specify an email address.  If you don’t have one, you can use this opportunity to create one. Just select Get a new email address on the page and create your own address in the outlook.com domain.

Once you create an account, the browser will redirect you back to the DreamSpark page. Once you arrive at this page, confirm the country, select preferred communication options and click the Continue to verify button.


The last step is the most complicated because you need to prove you are a student. Dreamspark.com provides great resources but only for students, so you need to provide some proof of your student status. There are different ways to do it: Your teacher can register the school in the DreamSpark program and you can use your school email; A Microsoft employee can provide you with a verification code;You can use an ISIC (International Student Identity Card). If none of those work, you can provide a copy of a document that proves you are a student:


Use your phone to take a picture of your report card or student ID card and submit it using the form shown above. This verification process takes the longest because it must be verified manually. It will take 3-7 days to verify your account. The other verification methods will verify within minutes.

Step 2. Activate your DreamSpark Azure benefits

Now that you have your DreamSpark account. You can get your free Azure access. Visit www.dreamspark.com,  and sign in with your account. Select the Student tab and select Software catalog. The Software catalog is where you get access to lots of free software. To activate the Azure benefit, select Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark.


The Microsoft Azure DreamSpark page lists the Azure features you have available for free as a student


Click the Register now button to sign up for your Azure benefit.

The Azure activation form will be prefilled by your data form your DreamSpark account. You will need access to a phone to complete the “Verification by phone


Enter your phone number. If you can receive text messages, click Send text message button to receive a short text message with verification code, enter this code to the next field and click Verify code. If you cannot receive text messages select the Call me radio button, enter your phone number and select Call to receive an automated phone call which will provide you with the verification code. Enter the code into the next field and click Verify code.

Wait until the Sign up button changes from grey to green. Then click the Sign up button.

Congratulations your DreamSpark and Azure accounts are ready to go!


You now have access to the management panel. In the next tutorial, I will show how to deploy your first web site. Trust me that is going to be easier than creating your account!