In the Windows Azure AppFabric May 2011 CTP, we released enhancements to Service Bus including the new message-oriented middleware features around Queues and Topics. More details regarding these features can be found here: Introducing the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus May 2011 CTP. These enhancements will go live with an update to the commercially available service in a few months.
Currently we have two versions of the Access Control service in our production environment: the January 2010 version and the April 2011 version. More details regarding this can be found here: Windows Azure AppFabric April release now available featuring a new version of the Access Control service!.
Until the production Service Bus is updated it continues to use the January 2010 version of the Access Control service. But once Service Bus is updated it will also be able to use the new April 2011 version of the Access Control service. Once the Service Bus update goes live we strongly recommend to customers to update their Service Bus solutions to use the new version of the Access Control service for two reasons:
Following are explanations on the current state, what will change once Service Bus gets updated, and how you can prepare.
Current state in the production environment
In the Windows Azure AppFabric Management Portal, the two versions of Access Control are labeled ACSV1 for the January 2010 release and ACSV2 for the April 2011 release.
Today when you create a new Service Bus namespace, a matching ACSV1 namespace is automatically created with the namespace suffix “–sb”. This ACSV1 namespace is used by Service Bus.
The two versions of the Access Control service support the same protocol and authorization token format that is expected by Service Bus today (OAuth WRAP SWT), and are fully compatible for all runtime operations. However, ACSV2 supports a new, richer management service protocol based on OData. While the two services are runtime-compatible, they are not compatible for code performing automated setup of access control rules and service identities via the management service.
Following the Service Bus update
For backwards-compatibility with existing applications, Service Bus namespaces that exist in the production environment at the time of the update will not be automatically switched over to ACSV2, and will continue to use ACSV1. You will need to migrate these namespaces from ACSV1 to ACSV2 on your own, coordinated with updates to your code that calls the management service.
As we update the service in a few months, we will provide tooling and step-by-step guidance for how to perform the migration from ACSV1 to ACSV2.
While we will provide detailed guidance as we release the update, the migration process will generally involve the following test-then-migrate sequence of steps:
Running applications should not experience any service disruption resulting from this switch.
The version differences and migration will mostly affect applications that automatically provision rules in ACSV1 using the management service. Since the management service differs between ACSV1 and ACSV2, the guidance will suggest a process that can be outlined as follows:
How to prepare
Our LABS environment at http://portal.appfabriclabs.com already includes the enhancements to Service Bus, as well as the new version of Access Control. Hence, you can use this environment, free of charge, to start planning your migration and test it.
In the LABS environment already today, when customers create new Service Bus namespaces the system will generate a new Access Control namespace with the “-sb” suffix, but that namespace is created in ACSV2. This will be the production experience when we release the update to Service Bus in a few months.
You can immediately start developing this new management code path creating rules against ACSV2 against the versions of Service Bus and Access Control that are available in the May 2011 CTP environment at http://portal.appfabriclabs.com.
As always, if you have any questions or feedback feel free to visit the Connectivity for the Windows Azure Platform forum.
The AppFabric Team.