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Ruby on Rails in Windows Azure - Part 2 - Creating Windows Azure SDK 1.4 based Application to Host Ruby on Rails Application in Cloud

Ruby on Rails in Windows Azure - Part 2 - Creating Windows Azure SDK 1.4 based Application to Host Ruby on Rails Application in Cloud

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In the part 1 we have finished a Rails application name "RubyonAzure" as described in the link below:



Now to create Windows Azure Application, I took the Simon Davies written base sample from the link below:


 I am using the Simon Davies sample base application and then making changed to get it working on Ruby 1.9.2 and Rails 3.0.7. The solution in VS2010 looks as below:

If you open the RR application you will see two folders:

1.       RailsApp folder:  It will include your Rails Application

2.       Ruby Folder: This will include Ruby\Bin and Ruby\Lib folder



Now include the Ruby\Bin and Ruby\Lib files  in above Ruby Folder:

Note: Please remove the following folder as this is not needed and your package will be very smaller comparatively.




Now copy RubyonAzure project in “RailsApp” folder:


Now let’s include “Ruby” Folder in the VS2010 Solution as below:

Note: Ruby\lib folder is about 90MB so it will take good amount of time to include this folder in the VS2010 solution. If you remove \Ruby\lib\ruby\gems\1.9.1\doc from the original Ruby\Lib folder it will take about 1 hours to add all the files from the Ruby\Lib folder. 




Now let’s Include RailsApp folder in the Solution as below:


Now Open the Service Configuration (ServiceConfiguration.cscfg) and add the following:



<?xml version="1.0"?>
<ServiceConfiguration serviceName="RW" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceConfiguration">
<Role name="RR">
<Instances count="1" />
<Setting name="DiagnosticsConnectionString" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey=Storage_Account_Key” />
<Setting name="StorageAccount" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey= Storage_Account_Key" />
<Setting name="RubyFolder" value="Ruby" />
<Setting name="AppFolder" value="RailsApp" />
<Setting name="OutputContainer" value="testoutput" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.Diagnostics.ConnectionString" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey=Storage_Account_Key" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteAccess.Enabled" value="true" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteAccess.AccountUsername" value="avkash" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteAccess.AccountEncryptedPassword" value="***********************ENCRYPTED_PASSWORD**************************" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteAccess.AccountExpiration" value="2011-05-08T23:59:59.0000000-07:00" />
<Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteForwarder.Enabled" value="true" />
<Certificate name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.RemoteAccess.PasswordEncryption" thumbprint="*****************************************" thumbprintAlgorithm="sha1" />




Now Open Service Definition (ServiceDefinition.csdef) and include the following:



<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ServiceDefinition name="RW" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceDefinition">
<WorkerRole name="RR" enableNativeCodeExecution="true">
<Setting name="DiagnosticsConnectionString" />
<Setting name="RubyFolder" />
<Setting name="AppFolder" />
<Setting name="StorageAccount" />
<Setting name="OutputContainer" />
<InputEndpoint name="Server" port="80" protocol="tcp" />
<LocalStorage cleanOnRoleRecycle="false" name="App" sizeInMB="200" />
<Import moduleName="Diagnostics" />
<Import moduleName="RemoteAccess" />
<Import moduleName="RemoteForwarder" />




In the VS2010 based Solution, I have already included the Ruby 1.9.2 and Rails 3.0.0 which is located in Ruby folder. Your RubyonRails application is located in RailsApp folder inside the application.


Worker Role Source Study:


Step 1: When the Worker Role Starts, we copy Ruby + Rails files and our Ruby app application in two sub steps:


1.       In step 1, we copy Ruby (Bin and Lib) folder to Worker Role Local storage folder name \Ruby

2.       In step 2, we copy our RubyonRails application to Worker Role local Storage folder name \RailsApp


The code responsible for it is as below:



string rubyFolderName = RoleEnvironment.GetConfigurationSettingValue("RubyFolder");
if (localStorageRoot.FullName.EndsWith("\\") == false)
this.rubyLocation = string.Format("{0}{1}", localStorageRoot.FullName, rubyFolderName);
CopyFolder(string.Format("{0}\\{1}", this.roleRoot, rubyFolderName), this.rubyLocation);

string appFolderName = RoleEnvironment.GetConfigurationSettingValue("AppFolder");
if (localStorageRoot.FullName.EndsWith("\\") == false)
this.appLocation = string.Format("{0}\\{1}", localStorageRoot.FullName, appFolderName);
this.appLocation = string.Format("{0}{1}", localStorageRoot.FullName, appFolderName);
CopyFolder(string.Format("{0}\\{1}", this.roleRoot, appFolderName), this.appLocation);

this.endPoint = RoleEnvironment.CurrentRoleInstance.InstanceEndpoints["Server"].IPEndpoint;

// Start the server


Step 2: Once above Ruby + Rails & our Ruby application copy process is completed we launch the Ruby application as below:


ProcessStartInfo spawnedProcessInfo = new ProcessStartInfo();
spawnedProcessInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
spawnedProcessInfo.WorkingDirectory = this.appLocation;
spawnedProcessInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;
//string args = String.Format(@"script\server --port {0} --binding {1}", this.endPoint.Port, this.endPoint.Address); // This is old code
// changed by Avkash to get it working
string args = String.Format(@"script\rails server --port {0} --binding {1}", this.endPoint.Port, this.endPoint.Address);
LogInfo(@"Arguments: {0}", args);
spawnedProcessInfo.Arguments = args;
spawnedProcessInfo.FileName = Path.Combine(this.rubyLocation, @"bin\Ruby ");
spawnedProcessInfo.RedirectStandardError = true;
spawnedProcessInfo.RedirectStandardOutput = true;

//Run It
Process spawnedProcess = new Process();
spawnedProcess.ErrorDataReceived += new DataReceivedEventHandler(spawnedProcess_ErrorDataReceived);
spawnedProcess.OutputDataReceived += new DataReceivedEventHandler(spawnedProcess_OutputDataReceived);
spawnedProcess.StartInfo = spawnedProcessInfo;

if (spawnedProcess.Start()) // This line Execute the process as >Ruby script\rails server –-port <Role_Port> --binding <Role_IP_Address>
this.id = spawnedProcess.Id;

LogInfo("Process Id {0} Started",this.id);



Note: When you are running this application in Development Fabric please set the following

      <Setting name="DiagnosticsConnectionString" value="UseDevelopmentStorage=true” />

      <Setting name="StorageAccount" value="UseDevelopmentStorage=true" />


Now run the application in the development fabric and you will see the following results in Compute Emulator UI:





Using the IP address and Port available in Computer Emulator we can launch the browser to check our application:




Now you can package this application and deploy on Cloud to test as below:


Note: Before packaging the application, please be sure to set your data connection string to your correct Windows Azure Storage

      <Setting name="DiagnosticsConnectionString" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey=Storage_Account_Key” />

      <Setting name="StorageAccount" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey= Storage_Account_Key" />

      <Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.Diagnostics.ConnectionString" value="DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=<Storage_Account_Name>;AccountKey=Storage_Account_Key" />


After publishing the Windows Azure Application in cloud you can verify it running  as below:

You can download the Windows Azure SDK 1.4 based VS2010  Solution from the link below (This sample includes Ruby 1.9.2 and Rails 3.0.7 package as well):



Leave a Comment
  • Please add 7 and 6 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • It is nice that you **could** do this...but seriously why would you?

    Here are my recommended steps:

    heroku create

    git push heroku master

    go have a beer


  • @scottw, You forgot "Step 3: Profit!" :)

  • Is this serious, or like a pun, joke, or what?!

    Azure needs to have basically the following:

    "git push Azure master"

    or for those command line incapable...

    right click & deploy to Azure.

    But all this... ya gotta be kidding me.

    ...my other idea, if you're going the MS route w/ Azure, just go with .NET/C# already and stop fiddling with all this other stuff. There are superior solutions available. Until Azure is 1 to 1 with those, this type of thing shouldn't even be mentioned, it just seems painful.

  • You guys have a point but let's not beat up Avkash. I mean, why do people climb mountains, or walk over hot coals, or poke themselves in the eye with a sharp stick?

  • Step 1: Create a potentially clumsy workflow that supports something you really want (RoR on Azure)

    Step 2: Elicit feedback.

    Step 3: Smooth over the most painful pain-points.

    Step 4: Go back to Step 2 until sufficiently painless.

    Step 5: Profit!

    What MSFT is doing here is just pushing out v0.1, like you would expect a start-up to do. Deploying is a feature, after all. A lot of this looks automate-able. Hopefully, someone will actually work on convention-izing a bunch of the repetitive elements.

  • Thank you so much for all your comments!!

    Your passion for RoR made you write these amazing comments and similar to my passion for RoR made me try running RoR in Azure. With the release of SDK 1.6, few steps above can be simplified as well.

    Yes, I do believe there are places where RoR deployment could be comparative much easier and less painful, however this blog is written to guide, someone who would want to use RoR in Windows Azure and my objective to help anyone who is interested in RoR and Azure.

    Once again, I love your passion for RoR and thank you so much for your comments!!


  • um... windows azure is a fraction of the cost of even a 1 dyno heroku deployment with a database.  (the free heroku setup only includes a 5 MEGAbyte database, so you HAVE to get the $15/mo shared database option)  So that's a pretty strong "why would you"...

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