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Developing and Deploying your First Windows Azure Application

 

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see on how to develop an application using Windows Azure tools and host the same to the cloud. We can see many blogs which shows some basic idea on the steps followed to create an application and host it online in the azure portal, I have given my steps on how to do the same in my way of putting things together.

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Overview:

Before we start developing the azure application we need to check some pre requisites in order to develop the application. We need to have an Azure pass for the management portal, we can request the pass using the below link

http://windowsazurepass.com/

Once we get access to the Management portal we need to download the SDK for Azure using the below link

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/sdk/

Once we downloaded and installed the required SDK and the access to the management portal we are set to start with our development on the first azure sample.

Steps:

Now open Visual Studio 2010 in administrator mode (right click and select Run as Administrator) to open the IDE. Once the IDE is opened now navigate to File –> New Project –> and select the Cloud tab in the left side menu. You can see the Windows Azure project template as shown in the below screen

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Now give the application name and select the desired location and click ok. It will open a windows as shown in the below screen

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Here we can see some different roles provided by the azure templates. These are the roles available and used as per the requirement. The major of them are as follows

  • Web Role – Basically a web application like an ASP.NET application.
  • Worker Role – Similar in behavior to a traditional Windows service application, that is it runs behind the scenes.
  • VM Role – Toget some configuration and maintenance related stuffs from the OS in the cloud.

In our sample we are going to see on the Web Role, so we have restricted to concentrate only on that. Now select the Web Role and click on ok button. You solution explorer and the IDE will be as shown below

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This screen is your start up application web page. we can do our changes as per the requirement and publish it online in the cloud. In our example we have changed some small stuffs as shown in the below screen

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Now Press f5 to build and execute the application to see the sample result locally before publishing it to the cloud. We can see some emulators loaded and we can see the status at the bottom of the page as shown in the below screen

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These emulators are used to process the web role as an Azure product. Now we can see the desired result locally as shown in the screen below

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Now we have some fabric controls running at the background to get the process executed. to see that we can go to the task bar and we can see the task running as shown in the screen below

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We can select the required emulator UI to check the process and do some manipulations like viewing the status and logs in the deployment process and do a complete maintenance of the deployment as shown in the screen below

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So once we are done with our process we are now ready to deploy the application to the Azure cloud. For the deployment process to be followed we need to start with publishing the application to the cloud. Before doing that we need to login to the management portal using the below link

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

We can see a screen like below. Select the Sign into Management portal at the top right corner

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After selecting that sign in to management portal you will be asked for the Username and Password to authenticate the process as shown in the below screen

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Once we gave the correct credentials and click on submit button will navigate to the main screen of the portal as shown in the below screen

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This is the new management portal developed using Silverlight by Microsoft. This portal provides the complete accessibility to do all the manipulations of application.

Now we are all set to publish the application, we have some process in publishing the application like we can create a service files and upload them to the server. When we do a publish we will get files as shown below. To do that right click on the web application project in the solution explorer from the IDE as shown in the below screen

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Now select the Publish option and we can see the configuration window as shown in the below screen

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Here we have 2 options to select the publishing, we can directly publish the application online or we can create a service package only and manually do a online upload. Lets select the first option on Creating Service package only as shown in the below screen and click on OK

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Now we can see the publishing process started and we can see the active comments at the bottom in the Output screen as shown in the below screen

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Once the publish gets completed you can see the result as shown in the below screen

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Now a folder will be opened as publish with the 2 configuration files as shown in the below screen

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Now we are all set with the Azure project to be published online using the configuration files. Now move to the management portal and do the below steps. Select New Hosted Service as shown in the below screen

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We need to do the configuration as shown in the below screen

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Here we need to give the path for the configuration file and the package file locations which we got from publishing the application

You will see a warning as shown in the below screen. Just we can omit that warning and click on the OK button.

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Now we can see the services getting published and started as shown in the screen below

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The process will take some time to proceed since its process is to upload the configuration and create the application online. We should not refresh the page until the process get completed.

Once the process get completed we can see the screen as shown in the below screen.

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Now the process is hosted online in the cloud and we are ready to access the site online. Now click on the Appication Name F5debug and we can see the DNS name and the URL to access the application as shown in the screen below

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Now click on the url http://f5debug.cloudapp.net/ will open our application in cloud as shown in the screen below

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We can administer the application online in the portal using the below options available in the portal as shown in the screen below

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We can delete this service using the stop button and then create a new service since in evaluation process which Microsoft gives access we can create only one service at a time

Conclusion:

So in this article we have seen some basic on how to create an Azure application using the Visual Studio 2010, create service packages and publish in the azure portal.

About Author: Karthikeyan Anbarasan, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in ASP.NET/IIS Architecture. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of the www.f5debug.net website and has authored books on Windows Phone and Business Intelligence(SSIS). He is also a Passionate Speaker and a Blogger on Microsoft Technologies.

You can Join Me On: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn

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This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. For accuracy and official reference refer to MSDN/ TechNet. I have documented my personal experience on this blog.

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