For all those who wish to have a feel of what the cloud is like and how easy it is to implement a cloud based backend for your web application, this is exactly what you have to read.
When I was asked to develop a cloud based system for my University, I wasn’t even sure of what a “cloud-based” system is. I was absolutely new to Windows Azure. But it did not take me long to figure out how to create a backend for my web application on the cloud. And this step-by-step tutorial should make it easier for all those web designers out there to help you develop a backend for your web app in Windows Azure and connect to it using PHP.
Step 1: Login to Windows Azure (You need to have an account for this. If you don’t then you should definitely give it a try. Go for the 90 day free trial). On the dashboard click on New –> Compute –> Website –> Custom Create
Step 2: Enter a URL for the web application and choose a geographical location to store your data from the combo box. For database option choose Create a new SQL database. Enter a name for the connection string and click on next.
Step 3: Enter a name for the database and for server choose New SQL Database Server. Provide a login name and password, choose a region to store data and click on next to advance to the next step. Configure advance database settings by specifying the database size and press on the tick mark.
Step 4: The website should be visible in the list of websites. Click on the name of the website and click on WebMatrix to download WebMatrix software.
Step 5: Open WebMatrix. Click on New to open up a window to choose the file type to be created. This is where HTML and/or PHP pages are developed and can be uploaded.
Step 6: Once the code has been added, press on Run. The code is now updated and the webpage opens up.
Step 1: Login to Windows Azure. Click on the website to open the dashboard for the website. Click on Linked Resources to view the database created for the website.
Step 2: Click on the database to open up the dashboard for the database. Click on Manage and enter login details to login.
Step 3: Click on Create new table to create a new table in the database. Once the table is created click on Edit beside the table to add attributes and define their data types.
Step 1: Login to Windows Azure. Click on the website name –> linked resources –> database name to open up the dashboard for the database. Click on Show connection strings to view the connection string to the database in ADO.NET, ODBC, PHP and JDBC.
Step 2: Using PHP code to connect - it is possible to connect to Windows Azure SQL database using the connection string as follows:
Step 3: The data can be manipulated by embedding T-SQL statements within the PHP code as follows: