October, 2009

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Windows Azure Tools and Visual Studio 2010

    • 8 Comments

    Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio

     

    Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio extend Visual Studio to enable the creation, building, configuring, debugging, running and packaging of scalable web applications and services on Windows Azure.

     

    Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 – Coming Soon!

     

    We’re putting the final touches on our upcoming November release of the Windows Azure Tools, SDK and cloud which will support Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2. 

     

    We’re really excited about this release as not only does it support Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, but it also adds a new UI over the service definition and configuration files, adds new template options for creating roles, improves debugging integration with the development fabric and integrates with a number of new platform features and improvements.

     

    Please check back regularly for availability. In the meantime, if you have Visual Studio 2008, you can use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 to get the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

    You can also learn more about Windows Azure at http://azure.com.

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Changing the Windows Azure Service Configuration when running on the DevFabric

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    Here’s a fun little thing I found out about recently.  Suppose, I have a Cloud Service that I’m running on the devfabric and I want to simulate a configuration change.

    I’ll start by creating a cloud service with a single web role:

    image

    Opening the service configuration file, I can see that the instance count is set to 1.

    <Role name="WebRole1">
        <Instances count="1" />
    </Role>

    I hit F5 and my service has 1 instance of the web role running on the devfabric:

    image 

    Note that the deployment ID is 51 – it’s in brackets in deployment(51).

    To change the configuration while my apps is running, I open up the Windows Azure SDK command prompt (found in the start menu) and navigate to where I created my cloud service.  An easy way to get there is to right click on the Cloud Service node in Solution Explorer and select “Open Folder in Windows Explorer”.

    image

    In that directory will be a ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file.  This corresponds to the file in your cloud service project. Edit the value of your ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file (the one you edited before) and change the instance count to 3.

      <Role name="WebRole1">
        <Instances count="3" />

    Now use the command line tools csrun to update the service configuration file.  The command line help shows the command is:

    /update:<deployment-id>;<configuration-file> [/launchBrowser]

    You’ll remember above that in my case the deployment ID was 51.  So my command will be:

    > csrun /update:51;ServiceConfiguration.cscfg

    csrun will then tell me that the new settings have been updated and when I look at the devfabric UI again, I hit refresh and I see that there are now 3 instances of the Web Role.

    There are a couple of tricks here – because we are debugging this service, we started the role instances as suspended.  Click on the Service Deployment, in my case deployment(51) and hit the play button to get those instances to run.

    image

    What you’ll also notice now is that if you hit “break all” in VS to stop in the debugger, VS is still only debugging one instance of RdRoleHost.exe which is the host process for the web role.

    image

    To debug the new web role instances while not stopping this session, go to the VS Debug menu and select “Attach to Process” and select the RdRoleHost.exe processes that are not currently being debugged and click “Attach”.

    image 

    Hit “run” and now you’re debugging all of the role instances after making the configuration change.

    image

    Alright, I admit – a bit of a party trick to impress your friends with (now I have you guessing what kind of parties I go to) and not terribly useful in the July CTP as the role instances restart when the service configuration file changes.  You may also see some cases where the dfagent crashes (these are not the droids you are looking for).

    Letting the cat out of the bag here – in the upcoming release, you will have more control over what happens with your roles after a configuration change and it may be interesting to debug this scenario.

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 Coming Soon

    • 2 Comments

    Recently, I updated a somewhat out of context (for this blog) post titled "Windows Azure Tools and Visual Studio 2010”. 

    One of the things you’ll notice is that we let the cat out of the bag that we’ll be releasing something new and big in November!  (ok, maybe not a big surprise given that PDC 2009 is in November as well) 

    It’s one of the reasons my blog has been quieter than usual over the last months, there’s a lot of stuff coming and I’ll have a lot of posts in November and December.

    That said, the main reason for the post is to provide a landing page for a link we have from Visual Studio 2010.  In fact, we have a lot of cool Visual Studio 2010 integration features to talk about.

    Let me elaborate.

    When you first start up Visual Studio 2010 beta 2, you’ll see in the “Getting Started” tab that there is a section for “Cloud”.  Here you can get directed to a lot relevant content for developing for Windows Azure, notably a number of links to the newly redesigned azure.com.

    image

    When you click on File –> New Project, you’ll also see that by default (no tools installed), we have a node under Visual Basic and Visual C# entitled “Cloud Service”.

    When you select that node, you’ll see the following – a project template called “Enable Windows Azure Tools”

    image 

    When you create that project VS will open up a page with the following:

    image

    Here, you can click on “Download Windows Azure Tools” to get the latest tools for Visual Studio. 

    Today – it will take you to the page I mentioned above – we’re getting our exciting upcoming release ready for you! 

    From my previous post:

    We’re really excited about this release as not only does it support Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, but it also adds a new UI over the service definition and configuration files, adds new template options for creating roles, improves debugging integration with the development fabric and integrates with a number of new platform features and improvements.

    Stay tuned!

  • Cloudy in Seattle

    Windows Azure Service Management PowerShell cmdlets

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    In case you didn't see this on Ryan Dunn's blog, we just released some neat Powershell cmdlets that wrap the Service Management API and allow you to script your deployments, upgrades and most of what you can do today in the Developer Portal.

    They are available here:http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/azurecmdlets

    The csmanage tool that utilizes the Service Management API may also be of interest to you: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsazuresamples

    I generally don’t like to just make announcements like this on my blog but since it is very Windows Azure developer tool related, I wanted to include it.

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