Microsoft Azure Essentials free eBook series

Microsoft Press has recently started releasing a series of eBooks under the title Microsoft Azure Essentials. These books are all about Azure and they are written with the care and precision of traditional paper MS Press books. The best part though is that all of them are FREE.

Current books

There are four books currently in the series:

Fundamentals of AzureMicrosoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure

Michael S. Collier and Robin E. Shahan
February 2015
246 pages

The first book in the series serves as an introduction to the world of Azure. It balances its approach to Azure by looking at seven key areas. It also shows how to navigate both the old Management Portal and the new Preview Portal.

I am currently working my way through this book right now and I can honestly say that it is an excellent read – both as refresher on the older technologies and as an introduction to new ones.

Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure AutomationAzure Automation

Michael McKeown
March 2015
112 pages

The second book in the series is on Azure Automation. This is a timely topic as the world of dev ops has become huge. Azure Automation helps you with automating frequent tasks centered around continuous deployment.

Automation tasks are built using runbooks. They are created using Windows PowerShell Workflow and once completed are stored in Azure.

Using Azure to automate your tasks means you diminish the likelihood of errors and you can complete your work in a more timely manner.

Azure Machine LearningMicrosoft Azure Essentials: Azure Machine Learning

Jeff Barnes
April 2015
237 pages

The next eBook in the Microsoft Azure Essentials series is Azure Machine Learning. The book details instructions on how the developer can create predictive analytics models and then deploy them so that they can be consumed as a web service.

The book talks about some common machine learning algorithms and also provides samples on how to use the service.

Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Web Apps for DevelopersAzure Web Apps

Rick Rainey
June 2015
115 pages

This book was published to help developers get up to speed on Azure Web Apps. Since Web Apps are a new idea within Azure (some components like Azure Websites and Azure Mobile Services are repackaged here), this book is a nice companion for those just getting started. It is targeted at developers with experience in .NET and Visual Studio. Chapters in this book cover items such as Azure WebJobs, scaling your web apps, and monitoring and diagnostics.

Azure SQL Essentials

Microsoft Azure Essentials: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure

Carl Rabeler
June 2016
161 pages

“This ebook helps SQL Server database users understand Microsoft’s offering for SQL Server in Azure. The author walks you through the steps of getting started with SQL Server in an Azure virtual machine and with Azure SQL Database. Follow the numerous screenshots to create a trial subscription, create SQL Server in an Azure virtual machine, create an Azure SQL Database, migrate an on-premises database to each Azure environment, create users, back up and restore data, and archive data.”


These are the first three books in the Microsoft Azure Essentials series. More books are slated on future topics and I for one cannot wait for the rest. Azure is moving so fast right now and they are adding so many new features that it can be hard to stay up to date. This series of books is a great way to do just that.

About Ken Cenerelli
I am a technical writer/programmer writer/content developer, .NET developer, Microsoft MVP, public speaker, blogger, and Microsoft Azure nerd. I blog about technology at and am on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

3 Responses to Microsoft Azure Essentials free eBook series

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