Azure: Dreamspark Azure, decent offering by Microsoft

Hey I have been checking out this Dreamspark Azure offer, and not sure how it compares to the other companies, but it’s cool.  There is no credit card, no your webapp doesn't work some weird reason.  It isn’t much, but since you can keep for as long as you want, consider using it to demonstrate your web skills and knowledge about Azure.  Microsoft Azure is here to stay.


Get signed up at the if you are a student with an *.EDU email account.  Follow the instructions on the site and get your free, long term (nothing is forever, exceptions for theologies of course) use of an Azure based website or webapp.  So what do you get? Quite a bit.

Create Microsoft Account, for serious fun

First to get started, make a new Microsoft Account, you can use your *.EDU email, but I would recommend that you create a new Outlook account, after all this is a serious fun kind of thing.  Keep your GMail for whatever.   Serious fun is a way to make money, while having fun.  Just using Bing search gets you reward points!  Why?  Because Bing needs more people searching for stuff, we don’t read your email to get our search terms.  But Microsoft does give you stuff, an average family of four using just Bing for searches can make a few bucks for Starbucks or similar things!  See, serious fun.

Ok get signed up at these two places

  • Get signed up at the
  • Create a new Microsoft Account at:
  • Make sure you remember your Microsoft account, when you use Bing Searches on your Mobile device AND on Windows, you get a lot more points per day! $5 Starbuck’s card is 475 points, and I get about 600 points per month!  Not bad right?
  • Now what you don’t get, but I think would be awesome: Use my points for Azure Access!

Now here is what you get with the Dreamspark Azure

  • Full Azure Web App (Web Site) that has:
    • Properties and properties settings that you can experiment with
    • Application Settings that set up to use .NET framework, PHP Version, Java, Python Version, Web Sockets, Debugging (Remote from Visual Studio), App Settings, Connection Strings
    • Troubleshoot Live HTTP Traffic and Mitigate problems using rules to automatically detect issues
    • Authentication / Authorization settings that allow you to set Active Directory Authentication
    • Set deployment credentials
    • Tinfoil Security: you have to pay for that, it’s third party
    • Zend Z-Ray: This is a management dashboard you can experiment with
    • WebJobs: This is a big deal, you can create and run WebJobs (I haven’t tried this yet though in Dreamspark Azure)
    • Create Backups of your web app (web sites)
    • Diagnostic Logs: Create logs to monitor your web app (web site), this is an important part of successful web management
    • (Web App) Extensions: Seems like you can add apps created by others as well as create your own.  For instance I just loaded Visual Studio Online (not Visual Studio Code which runs on your system, Visual Studio Online runs only in your browser!)
    • Users: Add Roles to better understand how to use them
    • Add Tags for whatever reason you want
  • MySQL Database
    • 0.02 Gigabytes (ok, that’s 20 megabytes)
    • 4 active connections
    • Multi-Tenant
  • Joomla
    • Didn’t get this working, give it a try.
    • I can do the content management with Visual Studio Online

This is a great opportunity to get started with Azure!

Keep an eye on this blog for more information on how to make the best use of Dreamspark Azure.