Amazon Web Services Tools For Visual Studio

Recently I’ve been needing to make a few tweaks to the hosting for my cocktailsrus project. It’s hosted on Amazon EC2, and until now I have been logging on to the Amazon console whenever I need to make changes. That’s not a great hardship, as it is (unsurprisingly) a well constructured and user friendly interface.

But it turns out there’s a better way. Amazon have created a set of tools that integrate with Visual Studio. They make it easy to manage your instances directly through Visual Studio.

The tools give you a new set of project templates for working with Amazon Web Services (including EC2):

project templates dialog

And you also get a new set of tools for managing your instances. The AWS Explorer window is available via View | AWS Explorer.

View drop down

When you open it, you need to select the account and region you want to manage:

.account and region dropdowns

These only become available after you’ve clicked on the Add Account icon (highlighted in red above). The icon brings up a dialog allowing you to enter your credentials. If you don’t know your secret key, you can get it via the AWS console.

credentials dialog

Once you’ve completed the form, you can manage your instances (including security groups etc.) directly from inside Visual Studio.

Here’s the big picture view of a management screen:

Visual Studio with tools

And here’s a close up (with a few details snipped out for obvious reasons):

detail of Visual Studio tools

The toolkit integrates with both 2008 and 2010, and allows you to manage AWS through a familiar user-friendly Visual Studio interface – and without having to log on to the console every time you want to make a change.

Kevin Rattan

For other related information, check out these courses from Learning Tree:

Cloud Computing Technologies: A Comprehensive Hands-On Introduction

Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services

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