Azure PowerTip 1: Installing Azure Powershell using the Web Platform Installer

This post explains how to install the Microsoft Azure Powershell Commandlets using the Web Platform Installer (WPI).

Today, there are a multitude of ways how you can manage your Microsoft Azure Resources.

Often, I find myself fiddling around in the Azure Portal and creating, deleting and configuring stuff. However, since I have become a big fan of Powershell, I am obviously very pleased that the Azure team provides a handful of very useful Powershell cmdlets. Using Powershell cmdlets you are not only faster than browsing through the blades in the portal but once you have a working command, automation is a piece of cake.

This sounds great as it is, but…

I have personally struggled several times when it came to installing and using the Azure Powershell cmdLets. In this post I explain how you can get the Azure Powershell cmdlets installed on your machine using the Web Platform Installer (WPI).

 

There are lots of approaches how to install the Azure Powershell cmdlets:

  1. Using the Web Platform Installer (WPI)
  2. Using the *.exe standalone installer
  3. Installing the Azure SDK

This post focuses on the Windows Platform Installer (WPI) approach.

 

What is the Web Platform Installer (WPI)

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The Web Platform Installer (WPI) is a handy tool that helps you as a developer with the installation of the stuff that you need in your daily work. Think of it as a package manager comparable to Nuget or Chocolatey but for the SDK’s, Tools and Frameworks that are needed when developing .NET Web Applications.

The stuff that the WPI can install is divided into different categories:

 

Spotlight:
The spotlight contains stuff that is “hot” as in “new”.

Products/Server:
Anything from IIS features, Azure Service Pack, Service Bus to Web Deploy

Products/Frameworks:
.NET, PHP, Python, Powershell or older ASP.NET MVC

Products/Database:
Sql Server Compact/Express, Drivers for PHP, Sql Server Migration Assistant

Products/Tools:
Tools for Visual Studio, Office Development, SDKs, Visual Studio Community, older VS Express Versions, etc.

Products/Windows Azure:
Azure SDKs and Tools

Applications:
Any open source or commercial web app that you can think of: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Orchard, DasBlog, Magento, Wikis, CMS’s, e-commerce solutions, blogs, forums, galleries, etc. You name it, WPI has it.

 

Installing the Azure Powershell cmdlets with the Web Platform Installer (WPI)

If you have never used it, go get it at:

https://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx

Using the WPI comes with a couple of benefits:

  • Its small (under 2MB)
  • It updates itself automatically
  • It lets you install multiple components in one go
  • It will show you which stuff is already installed on your machine
  • It lets you update already installed components
  • It will always provide you with the newest versions, no search engine fiddling required
  • It can manage dependencies and will automatically install all the packages that your package depends on

 

The main disadvantage is that you need to be online to use it. Working on your dev machine, you will most likely be connected to the internet anyway, so the WPI is a great fit.

Follow these steps to install the Azure Powershell cmdlets:

  1. Download and start the Web Platform Installer from here: https://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx
  2. Search for Azure Powershell and click “Install”
  3. If WPI tells you to reboot during the installation, reboot your machine and restart the Web Platform Installer from the start menu
  4. Once the installation of Azure Powershell is completed, reboot your machine again.

Note: The WPI just installs the Azure Powershell cmdlets. It will not install an executable. This is a trap. If you check your start menu for something like “Azure Powershell” after the installation, you will be disappointed.

The Azure Powershell cmdlets are installed into the Microsoft SDK folder within Program Files (x86):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Azure\PowerShell

This means that we will just use our good old Powershell.exe to access the Azure cmdlets.

Note: In order to use the Azure Powershell cmdlet you must reboot your machine after the installation.

So, after a reboot you can start Powershell.exe from the start menu.

 

Verifying the Microsoft Azure Powershell Installation

To list all the Azure related cmdlets use this command:

Get-Command *Azure*
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If you don’t get any results at all, you the installation failed or you didn’t reboot your machine.

To list all the Azure related Powershell Modules and their versions, use:

Get-Module *Azure*

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