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Decrypting Windows Azure Package (CSPKG) in Windows Azure SDK

Decrypting Windows Azure Package (CSPKG) in Windows Azure SDK

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When you build your Windows Azure Application the final products is a CSPKG file which is uploaded to Windows Azure portal along with ServiceConfiguration.cscfg. The CSPKG file actually a ZIP file which consist your whole solution along with configuration needed to deploy your solution in Windows Azure.

If you look inside the CSPKG file you will see a file with extension CSSX name as Your_Role_Name_GUID.cssx and this file also is a ZIP file however this file is initially encrypted by MSBuild process. You can decrypt this file if you wish to do so by using any of the below described method:

Option 1: Modifying MSBuild properties for "CorePublish" target and CPACK command (Applicable to Windows Azure SDK 1.3)

  1. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\Cloud Service\1.0\Visual Studio 10.0
  2. Open Microsoft.CloudService.targets in any text Editor
  3. Look for the target names as CorePublish and setup NoEncryptPackage property to "True" as below inside the CSPACK Command within the target


Completed "CorePublish" target should look like as below:




    <Message Text="CorePublish: PackageWebRole = $(PackageWebRole)" />

    <Message Text="Publishing starting..." />

    <Message Text="RolePlugins       is @(RoleProperties->'%(RolePlugins)')" />

    <Message Text="Publishing to '$(OutDir)Publish'" />

    <MakeDir Directories=" $(OutDir)Publish " />

    <Message Text="ServiceDefinitionCopy is @(ServiceDefinitionCopy)" />

    <Message Text="ServiceConfigurationCopy is @(ServiceConfigurationCopy)" />

    <Message Text="Roles is @(Roles)" />











    <!-- Copy service configuration to output directory -->

    <Message Text="Copying the service configuration file." />

    <Copy SourceFiles="@(ServiceConfigurationCopy)" DestinationFolder="$(OutDir)Publish" />

    <Message Text="DiagnosticsFilesCreated is @(DiagnosticsFilesCreated)" />

   <Delete Files="@(DiagnosticsFilesCreated)" ContinueOnError="true" />

    <Message Text="Publishing process has completed."/>




Option 2: Setting Up Environment Variable (Applicable to all Windows Azure SDK)

You can set environment variable _CSPACK_FORCE_NOENCRYPT_ to "true" which will force the build system to generate an unencrypted package. This method applies for Windows Azure SDK 1.2 and 1.3. 



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  • Hi Avkash,i followed the stepus you mentioned and was successful in decrypting the package.Now my question is,where can i find the service definition file(.csdef) in the service package file that has been decompressed??

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