msdnA new article in MSDN Magazine explores how to create, develop, and deploy a Windows Azure application in Visual Studio 2010. The article, Developing and Deploying Windows Azure Apps in Visual Studio 2010, describes the steps you’ll take to get your application up and running in the cloud.

Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find in the article.

How to Create a Cloud Service Project in Visual Studio

A Windows Azure role is an individually scalable component running in the cloud where each instance of a role corresponds to a virtual machine (VM) instance.

There are two types of role:

  • A Web role is a Web application running on IIS. It is accessible via an HTTP or HTTPS endpoint.
  • A Worker role is a background processing application that runs arbitrary .NET code. It also has the ability to expose Internet-facing and internal endpoints.

It is easy to add or remove roles in the cloud service after project creation has completed.

Data in the Cloud

To take advantage of the scaling nature of the cloud, you need to be aware of the new storage services. Windows Azure Storage provides scalable blob, queue, and table storage services, and Microsoft SQL Azure provides a cloud-based relational database service built on SQL Server technologies.

Blobs are used for storage of named files along with metadata.

The queue service provides reliable storage and delivery of messages.

The table service gives you structured storage, where a table is a set of entities that each contain a set of properties.

How to Debug

This MSDN Code Gallery page contains a number of code samples to help you get started with building scalable Web application and services that run on Windows Azure. You can walk through the code sample to learn to debug.

How to Deploy

Here’s a good process to follow when deploying an application to Windows Azure:

  • Get your application running locally in the Windows Azure Development Fabric using local storage.
  • Run your application locally in the Development Fabric using a Windows Azure Storage Account.
  • Run your application on Windows Azure using a Windows Azure Storage Account.

Moving to Azure Storage, Creating a Hosted Service

Upgrade you project to work against a Windows Azure Storage account in the cloud. This involves getting a storage account and making the configuration changes to run the Thumbnails service against your storage account. Executing locally but using cloud storage for data is a great way to ensure that your code will run when hosted on Windows Azure.

The article describes how to set up Azure storage and a hosting service, step-by-step.

Updating the Service Configuration

If you want to spin up additional instances of your service in anticipation of additional load, or shut down unused instances, you can do that by modifying the deployment configuration on the fly.

Resources

The Windows Azure Tools and Visual Studio 2010 make it easy to create, edit, configure, debug and deploy applications that run on Windows Azure. They allow you to leverage your existing skills with ASP.NET and with Visual Studio.

See Developing and Deploying Windows Azure Apps in Visual Studio 2010.

To learn more about Windows Azure, see:

 

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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