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  • Java Spotlight Episode 97: Shaun Smith on JPA and EclipseLink

    - by Roger Brinkley
    Interview with Java Champion Shaun Smith on JPA and EclipseLink. Right-click or Control-click to download this MP3 file. You can also subscribe to the Java Spotlight Podcast Feed to get the latest podcast automatically. If you use iTunes you can open iTunes and subscribe with this link:  Java Spotlight Podcast in iTunes. Show Notes News Project Jigsaw: Late for the train: The Q&A JDK 8 Milestone schedule The Coming M2M Revolution: Critical Issues for End-to-End Software and Systems Development JSR 355 passed the JCP EC Final Approval Ballot on 13 August 2012 Vote for GlassFish t-shirt design GlassFish on Openshift JFokus 2012 Call for Papers is open Who do you want to hear in the 100 JavaSpotlight feature interview Events Sep 3-6, Herbstcampus, Nuremberg, Germany Sep 10-15, IMTS 2012 Conference,  Chicago Sep 12,  The Coming M2M Revolution: Critical Issues for End-to-End Software and Systems Development,  Webinar Sep 30-Oct 4, JavaONE, San Francisco Oct 3-4, Java Embedded @ JavaONE, San Francisco Oct 15-17, JAX London Oct 30-Nov 1, Arm TechCon, Santa Clara Oct 22-23, Freescale Technology Forum - Japan, Tokyo Nov 2-3, JMagreb, Morocco Nov 13-17, Devoxx, Belgium Feature InterviewShaun Smith is a Principal Product Manager for Oracle TopLink and an active member of the Eclipse community. He's Ecosystem Development Lead for the Eclipse Persistence Services Project (EclipseLink) and a committer on the Eclipse EMF Teneo and Dali Java Persistence Tools projects. He’s currently involved with the development of JPA persistence for OSGi and Oracle TopLink Grid, which integrates Oracle Coherence with Oracle TopLink to provide JPA on the grid. Mail Bag What’s Cool James Gosling and GlassFish (youtube video) Every time I see a piece of C code I need to port, my heart dies a little. Then I port it to 1/4 as much Java, and feel better. Tweet by Charles Nutter #JavaFX 2.2 is really looking like a great alternative to Flex. SceneBuilder + NetBeans 7.2 = Flash Builder replacement. Tweet by Danny Kopping

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  • My Session in TechED 2010 Beijing

    - by Shaun
    Thanks for all people who attended my session at the TechED 2010 on the 2nd of Dec in Beijing. I had uploaded my presentation (in Chinese) and the demos codes here. As I said in my session please feel free to email me ([email protected]) if you have any questions about the Windows Azure platform. And please have a look on my company’s website (www.ethos.com.cn) if you are interested.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Host AngularJS (Html5Mode) in ASP.NET vNext

    - by Shaun
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2014/06/10/host-angularjs-html5mode-in-asp.net-vnext.aspxMicrosoft had announced ASP.NET vNext in BUILD and TechED recently and as a developer, I found that we can add features into one ASP.NET vNext application such as MVC, WebAPI, SignalR, etc.. Also it's cross platform which means I can host ASP.NET on Windows, Linux and OS X.   If you are following my blog you should knew that I'm currently working on a project which uses ASP.NET WebAPI, SignalR and AngularJS. Currently the AngularJS part is hosted by Express in Node.js while WebAPI and SignalR are hosted in ASP.NET. I was looking for a solution to host all of them in one platform so that my SignalR can utilize WebSocket. Currently AngularJS and SignalR are hosted in the same domain but different port so it has to use ServerSendEvent. It can be upgraded to WebSocket if I host both of them in the same port.   Host AngularJS in ASP.NET vNext Static File Middleware ASP.NET vNext utilizes middleware pattern to register feature it uses, which is very similar as Express in Node.js. Since AngularJS is a pure client side framework in theory what I need to do is to use ASP.NET vNext as a static file server. This is very easy as there's a build-in middleware shipped alone with ASP.NET vNext. Assuming I have "index.html" as below. 1: <html data-ng-app="demo"> 2: <head> 3: <script type="text/javascript" src="angular.js" /> 4: <script type="text/javascript" src="angular-ui-router.js" /> 5: <script type="text/javascript" src="app.js" /> 6: </head> 7: <body> 8: <h1>ASP.NET vNext with AngularJS</h1> 9: <div> 10: <a href="javascript:void(0)" data-ui-sref="view1">View 1</a> | 11: <a href="javascript:void(0)" data-ui-sref="view2">View 2</a> 12: </div> 13: <div data-ui-view></div> 14: </body> 15: </html> And the AngularJS JavaScript file as below. Notices that I have two views which only contains one line literal indicates the view name. 1: 'use strict'; 2:  3: var app = angular.module('demo', ['ui.router']); 4:  5: app.config(['$stateProvider', '$locationProvider', function ($stateProvider, $locationProvider) { 6: $stateProvider.state('view1', { 7: url: '/view1', 8: templateUrl: 'view1.html', 9: controller: 'View1Ctrl' }); 10:  11: $stateProvider.state('view2', { 12: url: '/view2', 13: templateUrl: 'view2.html', 14: controller: 'View2Ctrl' }); 15: }]); 16:  17: app.controller('View1Ctrl', function ($scope) { 18: }); 19:  20: app.controller('View2Ctrl', function ($scope) { 21: }); All AngularJS files are located in "app" folder and my ASP.NET vNext files are besides it. The "project.json" contains all dependencies I need to host static file server. 1: { 2: "dependencies": { 3: "Helios" : "0.1-alpha-*", 4: "Microsoft.AspNet.FileSystems": "0.1-alpha-*", 5: "Microsoft.AspNet.Http": "0.1-alpha-*", 6: "Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles": "0.1-alpha-*", 7: "Microsoft.AspNet.Hosting": "0.1-alpha-*", 8: "Microsoft.AspNet.Server.WebListener": "0.1-alpha-*" 9: }, 10: "commands": { 11: "web": "Microsoft.AspNet.Hosting server=Microsoft.AspNet.Server.WebListener server.urls=http://localhost:22222" 12: }, 13: "configurations" : { 14: "net45" : { 15: }, 16: "k10" : { 17: "System.Diagnostics.Contracts": "4.0.0.0", 18: "System.Security.Claims" : "0.1-alpha-*" 19: } 20: } 21: } Below is "Startup.cs" which is the entry file of my ASP.NET vNext. What I need to do is to let my application use FileServerMiddleware. 1: using System; 2: using Microsoft.AspNet.Builder; 3: using Microsoft.AspNet.FileSystems; 4: using Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles; 5:  6: namespace Shaun.AspNet.Plugins.AngularServer.Demo 7: { 8: public class Startup 9: { 10: public void Configure(IBuilder app) 11: { 12: app.UseFileServer(new FileServerOptions() { 13: EnableDirectoryBrowsing = true, 14: FileSystem = new PhysicalFileSystem(System.IO.Path.Combine(AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory, "app")) 15: }); 16: } 17: } 18: } Next, I need to create "NuGet.Config" file in the PARENT folder so that when I run "kpm restore" command later it can find ASP.NET vNext NuGet package successfully. 1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> 2: <configuration> 3: <packageSources> 4: <add key="AspNetVNext" value="https://www.myget.org/F/aspnetvnext/api/v2" /> 5: <add key="NuGet.org" value="https://nuget.org/api/v2/" /> 6: </packageSources> 7: <packageSourceCredentials> 8: <AspNetVNext> 9: <add key="Username" value="aspnetreadonly" /> 10: <add key="ClearTextPassword" value="4d8a2d9c-7b80-4162-9978-47e918c9658c" /> 11: </AspNetVNext> 12: </packageSourceCredentials> 13: </configuration> Now I need to run "kpm restore" to resolve all dependencies of my application. Finally, use "k web" to start the application which will be a static file server on "app" sub folder in the local 22222 port.   Support AngularJS Html5Mode AngularJS works well in previous demo. But you will note that there is a "#" in the browser address. This is because by default AngularJS adds "#" next to its entry page so ensure all request will be handled by this entry page. For example, in this case my entry page is "index.html", so when I clicked "View 1" in the page the address will be changed to "/#/view1" which means it still tell the web server I'm still looking for "index.html". This works, but makes the address looks ugly. Hence AngularJS introduces a feature called Html5Mode, which will get rid off the annoying "#" from the address bar. Below is the "app.js" with Html5Mode enabled, just one line of code. 1: 'use strict'; 2:  3: var app = angular.module('demo', ['ui.router']); 4:  5: app.config(['$stateProvider', '$locationProvider', function ($stateProvider, $locationProvider) { 6: $stateProvider.state('view1', { 7: url: '/view1', 8: templateUrl: 'view1.html', 9: controller: 'View1Ctrl' }); 10:  11: $stateProvider.state('view2', { 12: url: '/view2', 13: templateUrl: 'view2.html', 14: controller: 'View2Ctrl' }); 15:  16: // enable html5mode 17: $locationProvider.html5Mode(true); 18: }]); 19:  20: app.controller('View1Ctrl', function ($scope) { 21: }); 22:  23: app.controller('View2Ctrl', function ($scope) { 24: }); Then let's went to the root path of our website and click "View 1" you will see there's no "#" in the address. But the problem is, if we hit F5 the browser will be turn to blank. This is because in this mode the browser told the web server I want static file named "view1" but there's no file on the server. So underlying our web server, which is built by ASP.NET vNext, responded 404. To fix this problem we need to create our own ASP.NET vNext middleware. What it needs to do is firstly try to respond the static file request with the default StaticFileMiddleware. If the response status code was 404 then change the request path value to the entry page and try again. 1: public class AngularServerMiddleware 2: { 3: private readonly AngularServerOptions _options; 4: private readonly RequestDelegate _next; 5: private readonly StaticFileMiddleware _innerMiddleware; 6:  7: public AngularServerMiddleware(RequestDelegate next, AngularServerOptions options) 8: { 9: _next = next; 10: _options = options; 11:  12: _innerMiddleware = new StaticFileMiddleware(next, options.FileServerOptions.StaticFileOptions); 13: } 14:  15: public async Task Invoke(HttpContext context) 16: { 17: // try to resolve the request with default static file middleware 18: await _innerMiddleware.Invoke(context); 19: Console.WriteLine(context.Request.Path + ": " + context.Response.StatusCode); 20: // route to root path if the status code is 404 21: // and need support angular html5mode 22: if (context.Response.StatusCode == 404 && _options.Html5Mode) 23: { 24: context.Request.Path = _options.EntryPath; 25: await _innerMiddleware.Invoke(context); 26: Console.WriteLine(">> " + context.Request.Path + ": " + context.Response.StatusCode); 27: } 28: } 29: } We need an option class where user can specify the host root path and the entry page path. 1: public class AngularServerOptions 2: { 3: public FileServerOptions FileServerOptions { get; set; } 4:  5: public PathString EntryPath { get; set; } 6:  7: public bool Html5Mode 8: { 9: get 10: { 11: return EntryPath.HasValue; 12: } 13: } 14:  15: public AngularServerOptions() 16: { 17: FileServerOptions = new FileServerOptions(); 18: EntryPath = PathString.Empty; 19: } 20: } We also need an extension method so that user can append this feature in "Startup.cs" easily. 1: public static class AngularServerExtension 2: { 3: public static IBuilder UseAngularServer(this IBuilder builder, string rootPath, string entryPath) 4: { 5: var options = new AngularServerOptions() 6: { 7: FileServerOptions = new FileServerOptions() 8: { 9: EnableDirectoryBrowsing = false, 10: FileSystem = new PhysicalFileSystem(System.IO.Path.Combine(AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory, rootPath)) 11: }, 12: EntryPath = new PathString(entryPath) 13: }; 14:  15: builder.UseDefaultFiles(options.FileServerOptions.DefaultFilesOptions); 16:  17: return builder.Use(next => new AngularServerMiddleware(next, options).Invoke); 18: } 19: } Now with these classes ready we will change our "Startup.cs", use this middleware replace the default one, tell the server try to load "index.html" file if it cannot find resource. The code below is just for demo purpose. I just tried to load "index.html" in all cases once the StaticFileMiddleware returned 404. In fact we need to validation to make sure this is an AngularJS route request instead of a normal static file request. 1: using System; 2: using Microsoft.AspNet.Builder; 3: using Microsoft.AspNet.FileSystems; 4: using Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles; 5: using Shaun.AspNet.Plugins.AngularServer; 6:  7: namespace Shaun.AspNet.Plugins.AngularServer.Demo 8: { 9: public class Startup 10: { 11: public void Configure(IBuilder app) 12: { 13: app.UseAngularServer("app", "/index.html"); 14: } 15: } 16: } Now let's run "k web" again and try to refresh our browser and we can see the page loaded successfully. In the console window we can find the original request got 404 and we try to find "index.html" and return the correct result.   Summary In this post I introduced how to use ASP.NET vNext to host AngularJS application as a static file server. I also demonstrated how to extend ASP.NET vNext, so that it supports AngularJS Html5Mode. You can download the source code here.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Microsoft Townhall, An Example for Azure and MVC

    - by Shaun
    Microsoft just released an example named Microsoft Townhall which was built and deployed on Azure. It uses ASP.NET MVC as its webiste framework and the SQL Azure plus LinqToSQL as its the database and the ORM framework. You can download the source code at the MSDN Code Gallery. Basides the Azure it might be more useful to us to learn how they utilized ASP.NET MVC. Just a very quickly review I found it utilized the Enterprise Library Unity as the main IoC container for controllers, services and repositories and customized a lot of ModelBinders, Filters, etc.   Hope this helps, Shaun   All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Found a good tool for jQuery Coding &ndash; jQueryPad

    - by Shaun
    Just found a good (looks like) tool for jQuery coding and debugging from the appinn.com (Chinese) named jQueryPad by Paul Stovell. With it we don’t need to switch between the visual studio and the browser when coding and debugging. There’s only one main screen where we can type the HTML and jQuery code and just press F5 to see the result in the bottom frame. .NET Frameworks 3.5 is required.   Hope this helps. Shaun   All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • New Silverligh-based Protal for Windows Azure AppFabric Labs

    - by Shaun
    Wade Wegner introduced a good news about the Windows Azure platform, which is the new Silverlight-based portal for Windows Azure AppFabric Labs had been launched. You can have a look here. As we know the new Silverlight-based portal of Windows Azure had been published on the Nov of last year but the AppFabric part still not changed. (Clicked the AppFabric link will direct to the old portal.) Now the Silverlight-based AppFabric portal is available for Labs. For more information about this new portal and new features with the latest Windows Azure AppFabric CTP please refer to Wade’s blob post.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • ASP.NET MVC 3 Arrived

    - by Shaun
    The Gu and the Haack had just announced the ASP.NET MVC 3 RTM had been released yesterday. You can download the intall file, release note and source code here. As the Gu said with the ASP.NET MVC 3 there are some other productions released as well NuGet IIS Express 7.5 SQL Server CE 4 Web Deploy & Web Farm Framework 2.0 Orchard 1.0 WebMatrix 1.0 The Orchard is a CMS and blogging system which build from ASP.NET MVC 3 with the new Razor view engine which can be found here and here.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Web Camps by Microsoft

    - by Shaun
    Just knew from Wang Tao that Microsoft will launch the Web Camp event in many cities to share their technologies and experience on web application building. The topics of this Web Camps would focus on ASP.NET, jQuery and Entity Frameworks and how to build a cool web application based on them which I’m very interesting. And another reason is that, it’s FREE.   Please have the detail information and register at http://www.webcamps.ms/, which is built on Windows Azure. And the speaker in Beijing would be Scott Hanselam and James Senior – WOW!   Hope this helps, Shaun   All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Windows Azure SDK 1.2 Available - .NET 4.0 Support

    - by Shaun
    The Windows Azure team had just announced the release of the latest version of its tools and SDK (v1.2) at the TechED 2010 New Orleans. You can download it here. The biggest new feature/improvement of this version of the SDK would be Visual Studio 2010 RTM and .NET 4.0 support. It gives us the facilities to build our azure-based applications on top of .NET 3.5 and 4.0 as well. So the guys who is working on, like me, or is going to be working on .NET 4 would better to have this SDK installed I think. Also there are some other information about the envolution of the Windows Azure at this TechED session you can find here.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Happy Chinese New Year!

    - by Shaun
    Today is Dec the 29th in Chinese Traditional Calendar, that means on Thursday (3rd of Feb) we will have the Chinese New Year! For those who doesn’t know about the Chinese New Year please visit the wikipedia site. This is the most important holiday not only for the Chinese in China, but the Chinese all around the world. Here I would like to say: ????. (Chun Jie Kuai Le, Happy Chinese New Year). OK I have 3 news with my celebration: The new windows azure developer portal had been published for a while and the windows azure team wants to get to know how do we think about it. Here is a survey avaiable you can send your feedback. PS, please refer to my previous blog for the features of this new site. The latest Window Azure Platform Training Kit Jan Update had been released that you can download here. There is a demo and a hands-on lab about the Windows Phone 7 application with Windows Azure avaiable which should be interesting. If you have heard about the new feature for SQL Azure named SQL Azure Federation, you might know that it’s a cool feature and solution about database sharding. But for now there seems no similar solution for normal SQL Server and local database. I had created a library named PODA, which stands for Partition Oriented Data Access which partially implemented the features of SQL Azure Federation. I’m going to explain more about this project after the Chinese New Year but you can download the source code here.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • SignalR Auto Disconnect when Page Changed in AngularJS

    - by Shaun
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2014/05/30/signalr-auto-disconnect-when-page-changed-in-angularjs.aspxIf we are using SignalR, the connection lifecycle was handled by itself very well. For example when we connect to SignalR service from browser through SignalR JavaScript Client the connection will be established. And if we refresh the page, close the tab or browser, or navigate to another URL then the connection will be closed automatically. This information had been well documented here. In a browser, SignalR client code that maintains a SignalR connection runs in the JavaScript context of a web page. That's why the SignalR connection has to end when you navigate from one page to another, and that's why you have multiple connections with multiple connection IDs if you connect from multiple browser windows or tabs. When the user closes a browser window or tab, or navigates to a new page or refreshes the page, the SignalR connection immediately ends because SignalR client code handles that browser event for you and calls the "Stop" method. But unfortunately this behavior doesn't work if we are using SignalR with AngularJS. AngularJS is a single page application (SPA) framework created by Google. It hijacks browser's address change event, based on the route table user defined, launch proper view and controller. Hence in AngularJS we address was changed but the web page still there. All changes of the page content are triggered by Ajax. So there's no page unload and load events. This is the reason why SignalR cannot handle disconnect correctly when works with AngularJS. If we dig into the source code of SignalR JavaScript Client source code we will find something below. It monitors the browser page "unload" and "beforeunload" event and send the "stop" message to server to terminate connection. But in AngularJS page change events were hijacked, so SignalR will not receive them and will not stop the connection. 1: // wire the stop handler for when the user leaves the page 2: _pageWindow.bind("unload", function () { 3: connection.log("Window unloading, stopping the connection."); 4:  5: connection.stop(asyncAbort); 6: }); 7:  8: if (isFirefox11OrGreater) { 9: // Firefox does not fire cross-domain XHRs in the normal unload handler on tab close. 10: // #2400 11: _pageWindow.bind("beforeunload", function () { 12: // If connection.stop() runs runs in beforeunload and fails, it will also fail 13: // in unload unless connection.stop() runs after a timeout. 14: window.setTimeout(function () { 15: connection.stop(asyncAbort); 16: }, 0); 17: }); 18: }   Problem Reproduce In the codes below I created a very simple example to demonstrate this issue. Here is the SignalR server side code. 1: public class GreetingHub : Hub 2: { 3: public override Task OnConnected() 4: { 5: Debug.WriteLine(string.Format("Connected: {0}", Context.ConnectionId)); 6: return base.OnConnected(); 7: } 8:  9: public override Task OnDisconnected() 10: { 11: Debug.WriteLine(string.Format("Disconnected: {0}", Context.ConnectionId)); 12: return base.OnDisconnected(); 13: } 14:  15: public void Hello(string user) 16: { 17: Clients.All.hello(string.Format("Hello, {0}!", user)); 18: } 19: } Below is the configuration code which hosts SignalR hub in an ASP.NET WebAPI project with IIS Express. 1: public class Startup 2: { 3: public void Configuration(IAppBuilder app) 4: { 5: app.Map("/signalr", map => 6: { 7: map.UseCors(CorsOptions.AllowAll); 8: map.RunSignalR(new HubConfiguration() 9: { 10: EnableJavaScriptProxies = false 11: }); 12: }); 13: } 14: } Since we will host AngularJS application in Node.js in another process and port, the SignalR connection will be cross domain. So I need to enable CORS above. In client side I have a Node.js file to host AngularJS application as a web server. You can use any web server you like such as IIS, Apache, etc.. Below is the "index.html" page which contains a navigation bar so that I can change the page/state. As you can see I added jQuery, AngularJS, SignalR JavaScript Client Library as well as my AngularJS entry source file "app.js". 1: <html data-ng-app="demo"> 2: <head> 3: <script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-2.1.0.js"></script> 1:  2: <script type="text/javascript" src="angular.js"> 1: </script> 2: <script type="text/javascript" src="angular-ui-router.js"> 1: </script> 2: <script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.signalR-2.0.3.js"> 1: </script> 2: <script type="text/javascript" src="app.js"></script> 4: </head> 5: <body> 6: <h1>SignalR Auto Disconnect with AngularJS by Shaun</h1> 7: <div> 8: <a href="javascript:void(0)" data-ui-sref="view1">View 1</a> | 9: <a href="javascript:void(0)" data-ui-sref="view2">View 2</a> 10: </div> 11: <div data-ui-view></div> 12: </body> 13: </html> Below is the "app.js". My SignalR logic was in the "View1" page and it will connect to server once the controller was executed. User can specify a user name and send to server, all clients that located in this page will receive the server side greeting message through SignalR. 1: 'use strict'; 2:  3: var app = angular.module('demo', ['ui.router']); 4:  5: app.config(['$stateProvider', '$locationProvider', function ($stateProvider, $locationProvider) { 6: $stateProvider.state('view1', { 7: url: '/view1', 8: templateUrl: 'view1.html', 9: controller: 'View1Ctrl' }); 10:  11: $stateProvider.state('view2', { 12: url: '/view2', 13: templateUrl: 'view2.html', 14: controller: 'View2Ctrl' }); 15:  16: $locationProvider.html5Mode(true); 17: }]); 18:  19: app.value('$', $); 20: app.value('endpoint', 'http://localhost:60448'); 21: app.value('hub', 'GreetingHub'); 22:  23: app.controller('View1Ctrl', function ($scope, $, endpoint, hub) { 24: $scope.user = ''; 25: $scope.response = ''; 26:  27: $scope.greeting = function () { 28: proxy.invoke('Hello', $scope.user) 29: .done(function () {}) 30: .fail(function (error) { 31: console.log(error); 32: }); 33: }; 34:  35: var connection = $.hubConnection(endpoint); 36: var proxy = connection.createHubProxy(hub); 37: proxy.on('hello', function (response) { 38: $scope.$apply(function () { 39: $scope.response = response; 40: }); 41: }); 42: connection.start() 43: .done(function () { 44: console.log('signlar connection established'); 45: }) 46: .fail(function (error) { 47: console.log(error); 48: }); 49: }); 50:  51: app.controller('View2Ctrl', function ($scope, $) { 52: }); When we went to View1 the server side "OnConnect" method will be invoked as below. And in any page we send the message to server, all clients will got the response. If we close one of the client, the server side "OnDisconnect" method will be invoked which is correct. But is we click "View 2" link in the page "OnDisconnect" method will not be invoked even though the content and browser address had been changed. This might cause many SignalR connections remain between the client and server. Below is what happened after I clicked "View 1" and "View 2" links four times. As you can see there are 4 live connections.   Solution Since the reason of this issue is because, AngularJS hijacks the page event that SignalR need to stop the connection, we can handle AngularJS route or state change event and stop SignalR connect manually. In the code below I moved the "connection" variant to global scope, added a handler to "$stateChangeStart" and invoked "stop" method of "connection" if its state was not "disconnected". 1: var connection; 2: app.run(['$rootScope', function ($rootScope) { 3: $rootScope.$on('$stateChangeStart', function () { 4: if (connection && connection.state && connection.state !== 4 /* disconnected */) { 5: console.log('signlar connection abort'); 6: connection.stop(); 7: } 8: }); 9: }]); Now if we refresh the page and navigated to View 1, the connection will be opened. At this state if we clicked "View 2" link the content will be changed and the SignalR connection will be closed automatically.   Summary In this post I demonstrated an issue when we are using SignalR with AngularJS. The connection cannot be closed automatically when we navigate to other page/state in AngularJS. And the solution I mentioned below is to move the SignalR connection as a global variant and close it manually when AngularJS route/state changed. You can download the full sample code here. Moving the SignalR connection as a global variant might not be a best solution. It's just for easy to demo here. In production code I suggest wrapping all SignalR operations into an AngularJS factory. Since AngularJS factory is a singleton object, we can safely put the connection variant in the factory function scope.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Node.js Adventure - Node.js on Windows

    - by Shaun
    Two weeks ago I had had a talk with Wang Tao, a C# MVP in China who is currently running his startup company and product named worktile. He asked me to figure out a synchronization solution which helps his product in the future. And he preferred me implementing the service in Node.js, since his worktile is written in Node.js. Even though I have some experience in ASP.NET MVC, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, I don’t think I’m an expert of JavaScript. In fact I’m very new to it. So it scared me a bit when he asked me to use Node.js. But after about one week investigate I have to say Node.js is very easy to learn, use and deploy, even if you have very limited JavaScript skill. And I think I became love Node.js. Hence I decided to have a series named “Node.js Adventure”, where I will demonstrate my story of learning and using Node.js in Windows and Windows Azure. And this is the first one.   (Brief) Introduction of Node.js I don’t want to have a fully detailed introduction of Node.js. There are many resource on the internet we can find. But the best one is its homepage. Node.js was created by Ryan Dahl, sponsored by Joyent. It’s consist of about 80% C/C++ for core and 20% JavaScript for API. It utilizes CommonJS as the module system which we will explain later. The official definition of Node.js is Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. First of all, Node.js utilizes JavaScript as its development language and runs on top of V8 engine, which is being used by Chrome. It brings JavaScript, a client-side language into the backend service world. So many people said, even though not that actually, “Node.js is a server side JavaScript”. Additionally, Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking IO model. This means in Node.js there’s no way to block currently working thread. Every operation in Node.js executed asynchronously. This is a huge benefit especially if our code needs IO operations such as reading disks, connect to database, consuming web service, etc.. Unlike IIS or Apache, Node.js doesn’t utilize the multi-thread model. In Node.js there’s only one working thread serves all users requests and resources response, as the ST star in the figure below. And there is a POSIX async threads pool in Node.js which contains many async threads (AT stars) for IO operations. When a user have an IO request, the ST serves it but it will not do the IO operation. Instead the ST will go to the POSIX async threads pool to pick up an AT, pass this operation to it, and then back to serve any other requests. The AT will actually do the IO operation asynchronously. Assuming before the AT complete the IO operation there is another user comes. The ST will serve this new user request, pick up another AT from the POSIX and then back. If the previous AT finished the IO operation it will take the result back and wait for the ST to serve. ST will take the response and return the AT to POSIX, and then response to the user. And if the second AT finished its job, the ST will response back to the second user in the same way. As you can see, in Node.js there’s only one thread serve clients’ requests and POSIX results. This thread looping between the users and POSIX and pass the data back and forth. The async jobs will be handled by POSIX. This is the event-driven non-blocking IO model. The performance of is model is much better than the multi-threaded blocking model. For example, Apache is built in multi-threaded blocking model while Nginx is in event-driven non-blocking mode. Below is the performance comparison between them. And below is the memory usage comparison between them. These charts are captured from the video NodeJS Basics: An Introductory Training, which presented at Cloud Foundry Developer Advocate.   Node.js on Windows To execute Node.js application on windows is very simple. First of you we need to download the latest Node.js platform from its website. After installed, it will register its folder into system path variant so that we can execute Node.js at anywhere. To confirm the Node.js installation, just open up a command windows and type “node”, then it will show the Node.js console. As you can see this is a JavaScript interactive console. We can type some simple JavaScript code and command here. To run a Node.js JavaScript application, just specify the source code file name as the argument of the “node” command. For example, let’s create a Node.js source code file named “helloworld.js”. Then copy a sample code from Node.js website. 1: var http = require("http"); 2:  3: http.createServer(function (req, res) { 4: res.writeHead(200, {"Content-Type": "text/plain"}); 5: res.end("Hello World\n"); 6: }).listen(1337, "127.0.0.1"); 7:  8: console.log("Server running at http://127.0.0.1:1337/"); This code will create a web server, listening on 1337 port and return “Hello World” when any requests come. Run it in the command windows. Then open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:1337/. As you can see, when using Node.js we are not creating a web application. In fact we are likely creating a web server. We need to deal with request, response and the related headers, status code, etc.. And this is one of the benefit of using Node.js, lightweight and straightforward. But creating a website from scratch again and again is not acceptable. The good news is that, Node.js utilizes CommonJS as its module system, so that we can leverage some modules to simplify our job. And furthermore, there are about ten thousand of modules available n the internet, which covers almost all areas in server side application development.   NPM and Node.js Modules Node.js utilizes CommonJS as its module system. A module is a set of JavaScript files. In Node.js if we have an entry file named “index.js”, then all modules it needs will be located at the “node_modules” folder. And in the “index.js” we can import modules by specifying the module name. For example, in the code we’ve just created, we imported a module named “http”, which is a build-in module installed alone with Node.js. So that we can use the code in this “http” module. Besides the build-in modules there are many modules available at the NPM website. Thousands of developers are contributing and downloading modules at this website. Hence this is another benefit of using Node.js. There are many modules we can use, and the numbers of modules increased very fast, and also we can publish our modules to the community. When I wrote this post, there are totally 14,608 modules at NPN and about 10 thousand downloads per day. Install a module is very simple. Let’s back to our command windows and input the command “npm install express”. This command will install a module named “express”, which is a MVC framework on top of Node.js. And let’s create another JavaScript file named “helloweb.js” and copy the code below in it. I imported the “express” module. And then when the user browse the home page it will response a text. If the incoming URL matches “/Echo/:value” which the “value” is what the user specified, it will pass it back with the current date time in JSON format. And finally my website was listening at 12345 port. 1: var express = require("express"); 2: var app = express(); 3:  4: app.get("/", function(req, res) { 5: res.send("Hello Node.js and Express."); 6: }); 7:  8: app.get("/Echo/:value", function(req, res) { 9: var value = req.params.value; 10: res.json({ 11: "Value" : value, 12: "Time" : new Date() 13: }); 14: }); 15:  16: console.log("Web application opened."); 17: app.listen(12345); For more information and API about the “express”, please have a look here. Start our application from the command window by command “node helloweb.js”, and then navigate to the home page we can see the response in the browser. And if we go to, for example http://localhost:12345/Echo/Hello Shaun, we can see the JSON result. The “express” module is very populate in NPM. It makes the job simple when we need to build a MVC website. There are many modules very useful in NPM. - underscore: A utility module covers many common functionalities such as for each, map, reduce, select, etc.. - request: A very simple HTT request client. - async: Library for coordinate async operations. - wind: Library which enable us to control flow with plain JavaScript for asynchronous programming (and more) without additional pre-compiling steps.   Node.js and IIS I demonstrated how to run the Node.js application from console. Since we are in Windows another common requirement would be, “can I host Node.js in IIS?” The answer is “Yes”. Tomasz Janczuk created a project IISNode at his GitHub space we can find here. And Scott Hanselman had published a blog post introduced about it.   Summary In this post I provided a very brief introduction of Node.js, includes it official definition, architecture and how it implement the event-driven non-blocking model. And then I described how to install and run a Node.js application on windows console. I also described the Node.js module system and NPM command. At the end I referred some links about IISNode, an IIS extension that allows Node.js application runs on IIS. Node.js became a very popular server side application platform especially in this year. By leveraging its non-blocking IO model and async feature it’s very useful for us to build a highly scalable, asynchronously service. I think Node.js will be used widely in the cloud application development in the near future.   In the next post I will explain how to use SQL Server from Node.js.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • DocumentDB - Another Azure NoSQL Storage Service

    - by Shaun
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2014/08/25/documentdb---another-azure-nosql-storage-service.aspxMicrosoft just released a bunch of new features for Azure on 22nd and one of them I was interested in most is DocumentDB, a document NoSQL database service on the cloud.   Quick Look at DocumentDB We can try DocumentDB from the new azure preview portal. Just click the NEW button and select the item named DocumentDB to create a new account. Specify the name of the DocumentDB, which will be the endpoint we are going to use to connect later. Select the capacity unit, resource group and subscription. In resource group section we can select which region our DocumentDB will be located. Same as other azure services select the same location with your consumers of the DocumentDB, for example the website, web services, etc.. After several minutes the DocumentDB will be ready. Click the KEYS button we can find the URI and primary key, which will be used when connecting. Now let's open Visual Studio and try to use the DocumentDB we had just created. Create a new console application and install the DocumentDB .NET client library from NuGet with the keyword "DocumentDB". You need to select "Include Prerelase" in NuGet Package Manager window since this library was not yet released. Next we will create a new database and document collection under our DocumentDB account. The code below created an instance of DocumentClient with the URI and primary key we just copied from azure portal, and create a database and collection. And it also prints the document and collection link string which will be used later to insert and query documents. 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var endpoint = new Uri("https://shx.documents.azure.com:443/"); 4: var key = "LU2NoyS2fH0131TGxtBE4DW/CjHQBzAaUx/mbuJ1X77C4FWUG129wWk2oyS2odgkFO2Xdif9/ZddintQicF+lA=="; 5:  6: var client = new DocumentClient(endpoint, key); 7: Run(client).Wait(); 8:  9: Console.WriteLine("done"); 10: Console.ReadKey(); 11: } 12:  13: static async Task Run(DocumentClient client) 14: { 15:  16: var database = new Database() { Id = "testdb" }; 17: database = await client.CreateDatabaseAsync(database); 18: Console.WriteLine("database link = {0}", database.SelfLink); 19:  20: var collection = new DocumentCollection() { Id = "testcol" }; 21: collection = await client.CreateDocumentCollectionAsync(database.SelfLink, collection); 22: Console.WriteLine("collection link = {0}", collection.SelfLink); 23: } Below is the result from the console window. We need to copy the collection link string for future usage. Now if we back to the portal we will find a database was listed with the name we specified in the code. Next we will insert a document into the database and collection we had just created. In the code below we pasted the collection link which copied in previous step, create a dynamic object with several properties defined. As you can see we can add some normal properties contains string, integer, we can also add complex property for example an array, a dictionary and an object reference, unless they can be serialized to JSON. 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var endpoint = new Uri("https://shx.documents.azure.com:443/"); 4: var key = "LU2NoyS2fH0131TGxtBE4DW/CjHQBzAaUx/mbuJ1X77C4FWUG129wWk2oyS2odgkFO2Xdif9/ZddintQicF+lA=="; 5:  6: var client = new DocumentClient(endpoint, key); 7:  8: // collection link pasted from the result in previous demo 9: var collectionLink = "dbs/AAk3AA==/colls/AAk3AP6oFgA=/"; 10:  11: // document we are going to insert to database 12: dynamic doc = new ExpandoObject(); 13: doc.firstName = "Shaun"; 14: doc.lastName = "Xu"; 15: doc.roles = new string[] { "developer", "trainer", "presenter", "father" }; 16:  17: // insert the docuemnt 18: InsertADoc(client, collectionLink, doc).Wait(); 19:  20: Console.WriteLine("done"); 21: Console.ReadKey(); 22: } the insert code will be very simple as below, just provide the collection link and the object we are going to insert. 1: static async Task InsertADoc(DocumentClient client, string collectionLink, dynamic doc) 2: { 3: var document = await client.CreateDocumentAsync(collectionLink, doc); 4: Console.WriteLine(await JsonConvert.SerializeObjectAsync(document, Formatting.Indented)); 5: } Below is the result after the object had been inserted. Finally we will query the document from the database and collection. Similar to the insert code, we just need to specify the collection link so that the .NET SDK will help us to retrieve all documents in it. 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var endpoint = new Uri("https://shx.documents.azure.com:443/"); 4: var key = "LU2NoyS2fH0131TGxtBE4DW/CjHQBzAaUx/mbuJ1X77C4FWUG129wWk2oyS2odgkFO2Xdif9/ZddintQicF+lA=="; 5:  6: var client = new DocumentClient(endpoint, key); 7:  8: var collectionLink = "dbs/AAk3AA==/colls/AAk3AP6oFgA=/"; 9:  10: SelectDocs(client, collectionLink); 11:  12: Console.WriteLine("done"); 13: Console.ReadKey(); 14: } 15:  16: static void SelectDocs(DocumentClient client, string collectionLink) 17: { 18: var docs = client.CreateDocumentQuery(collectionLink + "docs/").ToList(); 19: foreach(var doc in docs) 20: { 21: Console.WriteLine(doc); 22: } 23: } Since there's only one document in my collection below is the result when I executed the code. As you can see all properties, includes the array was retrieve at the same time. DocumentDB also attached some properties we didn't specified such as "_rid", "_ts", "_self" etc., which is controlled by the service.   DocumentDB Benefit DocumentDB is a document NoSQL database service. Different from the traditional database, document database is truly schema-free. In a short nut, you can save anything in the same database and collection if it could be serialized to JSON. We you query the document database, all sub documents will be retrieved at the same time. This means you don't need to join other tables when using a traditional database. Document database is very useful when we build some high performance system with hierarchical data structure. For example, assuming we need to build a blog system, there will be many blog posts and each of them contains the content and comments. The comment can be commented as well. If we were using traditional database, let's say SQL Server, the database schema might be defined as below. When we need to display a post we need to load the post content from the Posts table, as well as the comments from the Comments table. We also need to build the comment tree based on the CommentID field. But if were using DocumentDB, what we need to do is to save the post as a document with a list contains all comments. Under a comment all sub comments will be a list in it. When we display this post we just need to to query the post document, the content and all comments will be loaded in proper structure. 1: { 2: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 3: "title": "xxxxx", 4: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 5: "postedOn": "08/25/2014 13:55", 6: "comments": 7: [ 8: { 9: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 10: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 11: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 14:00", 12: "commentedBy": "xxx" 13: }, 14: { 15: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 16: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 17: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 14:10", 18: "commentedBy": "xxx", 19: "comments": 20: [ 21: { 22: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 23: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 24: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 14:18", 25: "commentedBy": "xxx", 26: "comments": 27: [ 28: { 29: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 30: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 31: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 18:22", 32: "commentedBy": "xxx", 33: } 34: ] 35: }, 36: { 37: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 38: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 39: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 15:02", 40: "commentedBy": "xxx", 41: } 42: ] 43: }, 44: { 45: "id": "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx", 46: "content": "xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx. xxxxxx, xx, xxxx.", 47: "commentedOn": "08/25/2014 14:30", 48: "commentedBy": "xxx" 49: } 50: ] 51: }   DocumentDB vs. Table Storage DocumentDB and Table Storage are all NoSQL service in Microsoft Azure. One common question is "when we should use DocumentDB rather than Table Storage". Here are some ideas from me and some MVPs. First of all, they are different kind of NoSQL database. DocumentDB is a document database while table storage is a key-value database. Second, table storage is cheaper. DocumentDB supports scale out from one capacity unit to 5 in preview period and each capacity unit provides 10GB local SSD storage. The price is $0.73/day includes 50% discount. For storage service the highest price is $0.061/GB, which is almost 10% of DocumentDB. Third, table storage provides local-replication, geo-replication, read access geo-replication while DocumentDB doesn't support. Fourth, there is local emulator for table storage but none for DocumentDB. We have to connect to the DocumentDB on cloud when developing locally. But, DocumentDB supports some cool features that table storage doesn't have. It supports store procedure, trigger and user-defined-function. It supports rich indexing while table storage only supports indexing against partition key and row key. It supports transaction, table storage supports as well but restricted with Entity Group Transaction scope. And the last, table storage is GA but DocumentDB is still in preview.   Summary In this post I have a quick demonstration and introduction about the new DocumentDB service in Azure. It's very easy to interact through .NET and it also support REST API, Node.js SDK and Python SDK. Then I explained the concept and benefit of  using document database, then compared with table storage.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Where's My Windows Azure Subscriptions

    - by Shaun
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2013/11/03/wheres-my-windows-azure-subscriptions.aspxYesterday when I opened Windows Azure manage portal I found some resources were missed. I checked the website for those missed cloud service and they are still live. Then I checked my billing history but didn't found any problem. When I back to the portal I found that all of those resource are under my MSDN subscription. So I remembered that if this is related with the recently Windows Azure platform update.   This feature named "Enterprise Management", which provides the ability to manage your organization in a directory which is hosted entirely in the cloud, or alternatively kept in sync with an on-premises Windows Server Active Directory solution. By default, all existing windows azure account would have a default Windows Azure Active Directory (a.k.a. WAAD) associated. In the address bar I can find the default login WAAD of my account, which is "microsoft.onmicrosoft.com". To change the WAAD we can click "subscriptions" on top of the manage portal, select the active directory from the list of "filter by directory" and select the subscription we want to see, then press "apply". As you can see, the subscription under my MSDN was located in a WAAD named "beijingtelecom.onmicrosoft.com". This is because when Microsoft applied this feature, they will check if you have an existing WAAD in your subscription. If not, it will create a new one, otherwise it will use your WAAD and move your subscription into this directory. Since I created a WAAD for test several months ago, this subscription was moved to this directory.   To change the subscription's directory is simple. First we need to create a new WAAD with the name we preferred. As below I created a new directory named "shaunxu". Then select "settings" from the left navigation bar, select the subscription we wanted to change and click "edit directory". You don't have the permission to edit/change directory unless your Microsoft Account is the service administrator of this subscription. Then in the popup window, select the WAAD you want to change and press "next". All done. You need to log off and log in the portal then your subscription will be in the directory you wanted. And after these steps I can view my resources in this subscription.   Summary In this post I described how to change subscriptions into a new directory. With this new feature we can manage our Windows Azure subscription more flexible. But there are something we need keep in mind. 1. Only the service administrator could be able to move subscription. 2. Currently there's no way for us to see our Windows Azure services in more than one directory at the same time. Like me, I can see my services under "shaunxu.onmicrosoft.com" and I must change the filter directory from the "subscriptions" menu to see other services under "microsoft.onmicrosoft.com". 3. Currently we cannot delete an existing WAAD.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Azure &ndash; Part 6 &ndash; Blob Storage Service

    - by Shaun
    When migrate your application onto the Azure one of the biggest concern would be the external files. In the original way we understood and ensure which machine and folder our application (website or web service) is located in. So that we can use the MapPath or some other methods to read and write the external files for example the images, text files or the xml files, etc. But things have been changed when we deploy them on Azure. Azure is not a server, or a single machine, it’s a set of virtual server machine running under the Azure OS. And even worse, your application might be moved between thses machines. So it’s impossible to read or write the external files on Azure. In order to resolve this issue the Windows Azure provides another storage serviec – Blob, for us. Different to the table service, the blob serivce is to be used to store text and binary data rather than the structured data. It provides two types of blobs: Block Blobs and Page Blobs. Block Blobs are optimized for streaming. They are comprised of blocks, each of which is identified by a block ID and each block can be a maximum of 4 MB in size. Page Blobs are are optimized for random read/write operations and provide the ability to write to a range of bytes in a blob. They are a collection of pages. The maximum size for a page blob is 1 TB.   In the managed library the Azure SDK allows us to communicate with the blobs through these classes CloudBlobClient, CloudBlobContainer, CloudBlockBlob and the CloudPageBlob. Similar with the table service managed library, the CloudBlobClient allows us to reach the blob service by passing our storage account information and also responsible for creating the blob container is not exist. Then from the CloudBlobContainer we can save or load the block blobs and page blobs into the CloudBlockBlob and the CloudPageBlob classes.   Let’s improve our exmaple in the previous posts – add a service method allows the user to upload the logo image. In the server side I created a method name UploadLogo with 2 parameters: email and image. Then I created the storage account from the config file. I also add the validation to ensure that the email passed in is valid. 1: var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.FromConfigurationSetting("DataConnectionString"); 2: var accountContext = new DynamicDataContext<Account>(storageAccount); 3:  4: // validation 5: var accountNumber = accountContext.Load() 6: .Where(a => a.Email == email) 7: .ToList() 8: .Count; 9: if (accountNumber <= 0) 10: { 11: throw new ApplicationException(string.Format("Cannot find the account with the email {0}.", email)); 12: } Then there are three steps for saving the image into the blob service. First alike the table service I created the container with a unique name and create it if it’s not exist. 1: // create the blob container for account logos if not exist 2: CloudBlobClient blobStorage = storageAccount.CreateCloudBlobClient(); 3: CloudBlobContainer container = blobStorage.GetContainerReference("account-logo"); 4: container.CreateIfNotExist(); Then, since in this example I will just send the blob access URL back to the client so I need to open the read permission on that container. 1: // configure blob container for public access 2: BlobContainerPermissions permissions = container.GetPermissions(); 3: permissions.PublicAccess = BlobContainerPublicAccessType.Container; 4: container.SetPermissions(permissions); And at the end I combine the blob resource name from the input file name and Guid, and then save it to the block blob by using the UploadByteArray method. Finally I returned the URL of this blob back to the client side. 1: // save the blob into the blob service 2: string uniqueBlobName = string.Format("{0}_{1}.jpg", email, Guid.NewGuid().ToString()); 3: CloudBlockBlob blob = container.GetBlockBlobReference(uniqueBlobName); 4: blob.UploadByteArray(image); 5:  6: return blob.Uri.ToString(); Let’s update a bit on the client side application and see the result. Here I just use my simple console application to let the user input the email and the file name of the image. If it’s OK it will show the URL of the blob on the server side so that we can see it through the web browser. Then we can see the logo I’ve just uploaded through the URL here. You may notice that the blob URL was based on the container name and the blob unique name. In the document of the Azure SDK there’s a page for the rule of naming them, but I think the simple rule would be – they must be valid as an URL address. So that you cannot name the container with dot or slash as it will break the ADO.Data Service routing rule. For exmaple if you named the blob container as Account.Logo then it will throw an exception says 400 Bad Request.   Summary In this short entity I covered the simple usage of the blob service to save the images onto Azure. Since the Azure platform does not support the file system we have to migrate our code for reading/writing files to the blob service before deploy it to Azure. In order to reducing this effort Microsoft provided a new approch named Drive, which allows us read and write the NTFS files just likes what we did before. It’s built up on the blob serivce but more properly for files accessing. I will discuss more about it in the next post.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • GitHub Integration in Windows Azure Web Site

    - by Shaun
    Microsoft had just announced an update for Windows Azure Web Site (a.k.a. WAWS). There are four major features added in WAWS which are free scaling mode, GitHub integration, custom domain and multi branches. Since I ‘m working in Node.js and I would like to have my code in GitHub and deployed automatically to my Windows Azure Web Site once I sync my code, this feature is a big good news to me.   It’s very simple to establish the GitHub integration in WAWS. First we need a clean WAWS. In its dashboard page click “Set up Git publishing”. Currently WAWS doesn’t support to change the publish setting. So if you have an existing WAWS which published by TFS or local Git then you have to create a new WAWS and set the Git publishing. Then in the deployment page we can see now WAWS supports three Git publishing modes: - Push my local files to Windows Azure: In this mode we will create a new Git repository on local machine and commit, publish our code to Windows Azure through Git command or some GUI. - Deploy from my GitHub project: In this mode we will have a Git repository created on GitHub. Once we publish our code to GitHub Windows Azure will download the code and trigger a new deployment. - Deploy from my CodePlex project: Similar as the previous one but our code would be in CodePlex repository.   Now let’s back to GitHub and create a new publish repository. Currently WAWS GitHub integration only support for public repositories. The private repositories support will be available in several weeks. We can manage our repositories in GitHub website. But as a windows geek I prefer the GUI tool. So I opened the GitHub for Windows, login with my GitHub account and select the “github” category, click the “add” button to create a new repository on GitHub. You can download the GitHub for Windows here. I specified the repository name, description, local repository, do not check the “Keep this code private”. After few seconds it will create a new repository on GitHub and associate it to my local machine in that folder. We can find this new repository in GitHub website. And in GitHub for Windows we can also find the local repository by selecting the “local” category.   Next, we need to associate this repository with our WAWS. Back to windows developer portal, open the “Deploy from my GitHub project” in the deployment page and click the “Authorize Windows Azure” link. It will bring up a new windows on GitHub which let me allow the Windows Azure application can access your repositories. After we clicked “Allow”, windows azure will retrieve all my GitHub public repositories and let me select which one I want to integrate to this WAWS. I selected the one I had just created in GitHub for Windows. So that’s all. We had completed the GitHub integration configuration. Now let’s have a try. In GitHub for Windows, right click on this local repository and click “open in explorer”. Then I added a simple HTML file. 1: <html> 2: <head> 3: </head> 4: <body> 5: <h1> 6: I came from GitHub, WOW! 7: </h1> 8: </body> 9: </html> Save it and back to GitHub for Windows, commit this change and publish. This will upload our changes to GitHub, and Windows Azure will detect this update and trigger a new deployment. If we went back to azure developer portal we can find the new deployment. And our commit message will be shown as the deployment description as well. And here is the page deployed to WAWS.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Html.RenderAction Failed when Validation Failed

    - by Shaun
    RenderAction method had been introduced when ASP.NET MVC 1.0 released in its MvcFuture assembly and then final announced along with the ASP.NET MVC 2.0. Similar as RenderPartial, the RenderAction can display some HTML markups which defined in a partial view in any parent views. But the RenderAction gives us the ability to populate the data from an action which may different from the action which populating the main view. For example, in Home/Index.aspx we can invoke the Html.RenderPartial(“MyPartialView”) but the data of MyPartialView must be populated by the Index action of the Home controller. If we need the MyPartialView to be shown in Product/Create.aspx we have to copy (or invoke) the relevant code from the Index action in Home controller to the Create action in the Product controller which is painful. But if we are using Html.RenderAction we can tell the ASP.NET MVC from which action/controller the data should be populated. in that way in the Home/Index.aspx and Product/Create.aspx views we just need to call Html.RenderAction(“CreateMyPartialView”, “MyPartialView”) so it will invoke the CreateMyPartialView action in MyPartialView controller regardless from which main view. But in my current project we found a bug when I implement a RenderAction method in the master page to show something that need to connect to the backend data center when the validation logic was failed on some pages. I created a sample application below.   Demo application I created an ASP.NET MVC 2 application and here I need to display the current date and time on the master page. I created an action in the Home controller named TimeSlot and stored the current date into ViewDate. This method was marked as HttpGet as it just retrieves some data instead of changing anything. 1: [HttpGet] 2: public ActionResult TimeSlot() 3: { 4: ViewData["timeslot"] = DateTime.Now; 5: return View("TimeSlot"); 6: } Next, I created a partial view under the Shared folder to display the date and time string. 1: <%@ Control Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewUserControl<dynamic>" %> 2:  3: <span>Now: <% 1: : ViewData["timeslot"].ToString() %></span> Then at the master page I used Html.RenderAction to display it in front of the logon link. 1: <div id="logindisplay"> 2: <% 1: Html.RenderAction("TimeSlot", "Home"); %> 3:  4: <% 1: Html.RenderPartial("LogOnUserControl"); %> 5: </div> It’s fairly simple and works well when I navigated to any pages. But when I moved to the logon page and click the LogOn button without input anything in username and password the validation failed and my website crashed with the beautiful yellow page. (I really like its color style and fonts…)   How ASP.NET MVC executes Html.RenderAction In this example all other pages were rendered successful which means the ASP.NET MVC found the TimeSolt action under the Home controller except this situation. The only different is that when I clicked the LogOn button the browser send an HttpPost request to the server. Is that the reason of this bug? I created another action in Home controller with the same action name but for HttpPost. 1: [HttpPost] 2: [ActionName("TimeSlot")] 3: public ActionResult TimeSlot(object dummy) 4: { 5: return TimeSlot(); 6: } Or, I can use the AcceptVerbsAttribute on the TimeSlot action to let it allow both HttpGet and HttpPost. 1: [AcceptVerbs("GET", "POST")] 2: public ActionResult TimeSlot() 3: { 4: ViewData["timeslot"] = DateTime.Now; 5: return View("TimeSlot"); 6: } And then repeat what I did before and this time it worked well. Why we need the action for HttpPost here as it’s just data retrieving? That is because of how ASP.NET MVC executes the RenderAction method. In the source code of ASP.NET MVC we can see when proforming the RenderAction ASP.NET MVC creates a RequestContext instance from the current RequestContext and created a ChildActionMvcHandler instance which inherits from MvcHandler class. Then the ASP.NET MVC processes the handler through the HttpContext.Server.Execute method. That means it performs the action as a stand-alone request asynchronously and flush the result into the  TextWriter which is being used to render the current page. Since when I clicked the LogOn the request was in HttpPost so when ASP.NET MVC processed the ChildActionMvcHandler it would find the action which allow the current request method, which is HttpPost. Then our TimeSlot method in HttpGet would not be matched.   Summary In this post I introduced a bug in my currently developing project regards the new Html.RenderAction method provided within ASP.NET MVC 2 when processing a HttpPost request. In ASP.NET MVC world the underlying Http information became more important than in ASP.NET WebForm world. We need to pay more attention on which kind of request it currently created and how ASP.NET MVC processes.   Hope this helps, Shaun   All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Remote Debug Windows Azure Cloud Service

    - by Shaun
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2013/11/02/remote-debug-windows-azure-cloud-service.aspxOn the 22nd of October Microsoft Announced the new Windows Azure SDK 2.2. It introduced a lot of cool features but one of it shocked most, which is the remote debug support for Windows Azure Cloud Service (a.k.a. WACS).   Live Debug is Nightmare for Cloud Application When we are developing against public cloud, debug might be the most difficult task, especially after the application had been deployed. In order to minimize the debug effort, Microsoft provided local emulator for cloud service and storage once the Windows Azure platform was announced. By using local emulator developers could be able run their application on local machine with almost the same behavior as running on Windows Azure, and that could be debug easily and quickly. But when we deployed our application to Azure, we have to use log, diagnostic monitor to debug, which is very low efficient. Visual Studio 2012 introduced a new feature named "anonymous remote debug" which allows any workstation under any user could be able to attach the remote process. This is less secure comparing the authenticated remote debug but much easier and simpler to use. Now in Windows Azure SDK 2.2, we could be able to attach our application from our local machine to Windows Azure, and it's very easy.   How to Use Remote Debugger First, let's create a new Windows Azure Cloud Project in Visual Studio and selected ASP.NET Web Role. Then create an ASP.NET WebForm application. Then right click on the cloud project and select "publish". In the publish dialog we need to make sure the application will be built in debug mode, since .NET assembly cannot be debugged in release mode. I enabled Remote Desktop as I will log into the virtual machine later in this post. It's NOT necessary for remote debug. And selected "advanced settings" tab, make sure we checked "Enable Remote Debugger for all roles". In WACS, a cloud service could be able to have one or more roles and each role could be able to have one or more instances. The remote debugger will be enabled for all roles and all instances if we checked. Currently there's no way for us to specify which role(s) and which instance(s) to enable. Finally click "publish" button. In the windows azure activity window in Visual Studio we can find some information about remote debugger. To attache remote process would be easy. Open the "server explorer" window in Visual Studio and expand "cloud services" node, find the cloud service, role and instance we had just published and wanted to debug, right click on the instance and select "attach debugger". Then after a while (it's based on how fast our Internet connect to Windows Azure Data Center) the Visual Studio will be switched to debug mode. Let's add a breakpoint in the default web page's form load function and refresh the page in browser to see what's happen. We can see that the our application was stopped at the breakpoint. The call stack, watch features are all available to use. Now let's hit F5 to continue the step, then back to the browser we will find the page was rendered successfully.   What Under the Hood Remote debugger is a WACS plugin. When we checked the "enable remote debugger" in the publish dialog, Visual Studio will add two cloud configuration settings in the CSCFG file. Since they were appended when deployment, we cannot find in our project's CSCFG file. But if we opened the publish package we could find as below. At the same time, Visual Studio will generate a certificate and included into the package for remote debugger. If we went to the azure management portal we will find there will a certificate under our application which was created, uploaded by remote debugger plugin. Since I enabled Remote Desktop there will be two certificates in the screenshot below. The other one is for remote debugger. When our application was deployed, windows azure system will open related ports for remote debugger. As below you can see there are two new ports opened on my application. Finally, in our WACS virtual machine, windows azure system will copy the remote debug component based on which version of Visual Studio we are using and start. Our application then can be debugged remotely through the visual studio remote debugger. Below is the task manager on the virtual machine of my WACS application.   Summary In this post I demonstrated one of the feature introduced in Windows Azure SDK 2.2, which is Remote Debugger. It allows us to attach our application from local machine to windows azure virtual machine once it had been deployed. Remote debugger is powerful and easy to use, but it brings more security risk. And since it's only available for debug build this means the performance will be worse than release build. Hence we should only use this feature for staging test and bug fix (publish our beta version to azure staging slot), rather than for production.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Remote Desktop to Your Azure Virtual Machine

    - by Shaun
    The Windows Azure Team had just published their new development portal this week and the SDK 1.3. Within this new release there are a lot of cool feature available. The one I’m looking forward to is Remote Desktop Access to your running Windows Azure Virtual Machine.   Configuration Remote Desktop Access It would be very simple to make the azure service enable the remote desktop access. First of all let’s create a new windows azure project from the Visual Studio. In this example I just created a normal MVC 2 web role without any modifications. Then we right-click the azure project node in the solution explorer window and select “Publish”. Then let’s select the “Deploy your Windows Azure project to Windows Azure” on the top radio button. And then select the credential, deployment service/slot, storage and label as susal. You must have the Management API Certificates uploaded to your Windows Azure account, and install the certification on you machine before in order to use this one-click deployment feature. If you are familiar with this dialog you will notice that there’s a linkage named “Configure Remote Desktop connections”. Here is where you need to make this service enable the remote desktop feature. After clicked this link we will set the configuration of the remote desktop access authorization information. There are 4 steps we need to do to configure our access. Certificates: We need either create or select a certificate file in order to encypt the access cerdenticals. In this example I will use the certificate file for my Management API. Username: The remote desktop user name to access the virtual machine. Password: The password for the access. Expiration: The access cerdentals would be expired after 1 month by default but we can amend here. After that we clicked the OK button to back to the publish dialog.   The next step is to back to the new windows azure portal and navigate to the hosted services list. I created a new hosted service and upload the certificate file onto this service. The user name and password access to the azure machine must be encrypted from the local machine, and then send to the windows azure platform, then decrypted on the azure side by the same file. This is why we need to upload the certificate file onto azure. We navigated to the “Hosted Services, Storage Accounts & CDN"” from the left panel and created a new hosted service named “SDK13” and selected the “Certificates” node. Then we clicked the “Add Certificates” button. Then we select the local certificate file and the password to install it into this azure service.   The final step would be back to our Visual Studio and in the pulish dialog just click the OK button. The Visual Studio will upload our package and the configuration into our service with the remote desktop settings.   Remote Desktop Access to Azure Virtual Machine All things had been done, let’s have a look back on the Windows Azure Development Portal. If I selected the web role that I had just published we can see on the toolbar there’s a section named “Remote Access”. In this section the Enable checkbox had been checked which means this role has the Remote Desktop Access feature enabled. If we want to modify the access cerdentals we can simply click the Configure button. Then we can update the user name, password, certificates and the expiration date.   Let’s select the instance node under the web role. In this case I just created one instance for demo. We can see that when we selected the instance node, the Connect button turned enabled. After clicked this button there will be a RDP file downloaded. This is a Remote Desctop configuration file that we can use to access to our azure virtual machine. Let’s download it to our local machine and execute. We input the user name and password we specified when we published our application to azure and then click OK. There might be some certificates warning dislog appeared. This is because the certificates we use to encryption is not signed by a trusted provider. Just select OK in these cases as we know the certificate is safty to us. Finally, the virtual machine of Windows Azure appeared.   A Quick Look into the Azure Virtual Machine Let’s just have a very quick look into our virtual machine. There are 3 disks available for us: C, D and E. Disk C: Store the local resource, diagnosis information, etc. Disk D: System disk which contains the OS, IIS, .NET Frameworks, etc. Disk E: Sotre our application code. The IIS which hosting our webiste on Azure. The IP configuration of the azure virtual machine.   Summary In this post I covered one of the new feature of the Azure SDK 1.3 – Remote Desktop Access. We can set the access per service and all of the instances of this service could be accessed through the remote desktop tool. With this feature we can deep into the virtual machines of our instances to see the inner information such as the system event, IIS log, system information, etc. But we should pay attention to modify the system settings. 2 reasons from what I know for now: 1. If we have more than one instances against our service we should ensure that all system settings we modifed are applied to all instances/virtual machines. Otherwise, as the machines are under the azure load balance proxy our application process may doesn’t work due to the defferent settings between the instances. 2. When the virtual machine encounted some problem and need to be translated to another physical machine all settings we made would be disappeared.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Windows Azure Evolution &ndash; Welcome to VS2012

    - by Shaun
    When the Microsoft released the first preview version of Windows 8 and Visual Studio, many people in the community were asking if the windows azure tool is available to it. The answer was “NO”. Microsoft promised that the windows azure tool will only support the Visual Studio 2010 but when the 2012 was final released, windows azure tool should be work. But now alone with the new windows azure platform was published we got the latest Windows Azure SDK 1.7, which is compatible to the Visual Studio 2012 RC.   You can retrieve the latest version of the Windows Azure SDK through Web Platform Installer, which I think it’s the easiest and simplest way to download and install, since besides the SDK itself it also needs some other components. To download the latest windows azure SDK from Web Platform Installer, just go to the windows azure website and clicked the Develop, .NET and click the blue “install” button. Then you need to select which version of Visual Studio you want to use, Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio 2012 RC. After selected the current version you will download an EXE file. This file will lead you to install the Web Platform Installer 4.0 (if you haven’t installed) and the latest windows azure SDK. You can see the version name is June 2012, 1.7. Finally the WebPI will detect the dependent components you need to download and begin to install. But if you want to challenge yourself you can download the components and install them manually. The standalone installations are listed in this page with the instruction on how to install them with necessary pre-requirements.   Once you finished the installation you can open the Visual Studio 2012 RC and as usual, it need to be run as administrator. If you clicked the New Project link from the start page, navigated to Cloud category you will find that there no project template available. Is there anything wrong? So, if you changed the target framework from the default .NET 4.5 to .NET 4 you will see the azure project template. This is because, currently the windows azure instance does not support .NET 4.5. After clicked OK you will see the role creation window, which is similar as what you have seen before. But there are some new role templates in this SDK. Firstly you will have ASP.NET MVC 4 web role available, which means you can create ASP.NET MVC 4 applications for internet, intranet, mobile and WebAPI on the cloud. Then there are two new worker role templates, “Cache Worker Role” and “Worker Role with Service Bus Queue”. “Worker Role with Service Bus Queue” is a worker role which had added necessary references to access the Windows Azure Service Bus Queue. It also have some basic sample code in the worker role class which could read messages from the queue when started. The “Cache Worker Role” is a worker role which has the in-memory distributed cache feature enabled by default. This feature is different than the Windows Azure Caching. It allows the role instance to use its memory as a in-memory distributed cache clusters. By using this feature you can have one or more worker roles as some dedicate cache clusters. Alternatively, you can make part of your web role and worker role’s memory as the cache clusters as well. Let’s just create an ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Role, and click F5 to run it under the local emulator. If you have been working with azure for a while you should know that I need to setup the local storage emulator before running locally if it’s a fresh azure SDK installation. But in this version when we started our azure project the Visual Studio will check if the storage emulator had been initialized. If not, it will run the initializer automatically. And as you can see, in this version the storage emulator relies on the SQL Server 2012 Local DB feature. It will create the emulator database and tables in the default local database. You can set the storage emulator to use a standard SQL Server default instance by using the command “dsinit /instance:.”. The “dsinit” tool now is located at %PROGRAM FILES%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Azure\Emulator\devstore After the Visual Studio complied and deployed the package our website should be shown in the browser. This is the MVC 4 Web Role home page on my Windows 8 machine in IE10. Another thing you might notice is that, in this version the compute emulator utilizes IIS Express to host the web roles instead of the full IIS. You can add breakpoint in the code and debug, and you can use the local storage emulator to test your code for accessing the storage service. All of them are same as what your are doing now on SDK 1.6. You can switch to use IIS to run your web role in local emulator. Just open the windows azure porject property windows, in the Web page select “Use IIS Web Server”. For more information about this please have a look on Nuno’s blog post. In the role property page in Visual Studio there’s no massive changes. You can configure your role settings such as the endpoints, certificates and local storage, etc.. One thing was added is the Caching tab. Here you can specify enable the caching feature or not, and how much memory you want to use as the cache cluster. I will introduce more details about it in the future posts. The publish and package feature are also no change. You can publish your project to azure directly through Visual Studio 2012, while you can create the package and upload manually. Below is the SDK version of my deployment which is 1.7.30602.1703 in the developer portal.   Summary In this post I introduced about the new Windows Azure SDK 1.7 especially on how it works on the latest Visual Studio 2012 RC. There’s no significant changes in the visual studio tool in this version but some small enhancement such as ASP.NET MVC 4, Cache Worker Role, using SQL 2012 Local DB and IIS Express, etc..   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • SQL Azure Reporting Limited CTP Arrived

    - by Shaun
    It’s about 3 months later when I registered the SQL Azure Reporting CTP on the Microsoft Connect after TechED 2010 China. Today when I checked my mailbox I found that the SQL Azure team had just accepted my request and sent the activation code over to me. So let’s have a look on the new SQL Azure Reporting.   Concept The SQL Azure Reporting provides cloud-based reporting as a service, built on SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Azure technologies. Cloud-based reporting solutions such as SQL Azure Reporting provide many benefits, including rapid provisioning, cost-effective scalability, high availability, and reduced management overhead for report servers; and secure access, viewing, and management of reports. By using the SQL Azure Reporting service, we can do: Embed the Visual Studio Report Viewer ADO.NET Ajax control or Windows Form control to view the reports deployed on SQL Azure Reporting Service in our web or desktop application. Leverage the SQL Azure Reporting SOAP API to manage and retrieve the report content from any kinds of application. Use the SQL Azure Reporting Service Portal to navigate and view the reports deployed on the cloud. Since the SQL Azure Reporting was built based on the SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Service, we can use any tools we are familiar with, such as the SQL Server Integration Studio, Visual Studio Report Viewer. The SQL Azure Reporting Service runs as a remote SQL Server Reporting Service just on the cloud rather than on a server besides us.   Establish a New SQL Azure Reporting Let’s move to the windows azure deveploer portal and click the Reporting item from the left side navigation bar. If you don’t have the activation code you can click the Sign Up button to send a requirement to the Microsoft Connect. Since I already recieved the received code mail I clicked the Provision button. Then after agree the terms of the service I will select the subscription for where my SQL Azure Reporting CTP should be provisioned. In this case I selected my free Windows Azure Pass subscription. Then the final step, paste the activation code and enter the password of our SQL Azure Reporting Service. The user name of the SQL Azure Reporting will be generated by SQL Azure automatically. After a while the new SQL Azure Reporting Server will be shown on our developer portal. The Reporting Service URL and the user name will be shown as well. We can reset the password from the toolbar button.   Deploy Report to SQL Azure Reporting If you are familiar with SQL Server Reporting Service you will find this part will be very similar with what you know and what you did before. Firstly we open the SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio and create a new Report Server Project. Then we will create a shared data source where the report data will be retrieved from. This data source can be SQL Azure but we can use local SQL Server or other database if it opens the port up. In this case we use a SQL Azure database located in the same data center of our reporting service. In the Credentials tab page we entered the user name and password to this SQL Azure database. The SQL Azure Reporting CTP only available at the North US Data Center now so that the related SQL Server and hosted service might be better to select the same data center to avoid the external data transfer fee. Then we create a very simple report, just retrieve all records from a table named Members and have a table in the report to list them. In the data source selection step we choose the shared data source we created before, then enter the T-SQL to select all records from the Member table, then put all fields into the table columns. The report will be like this as following In order to deploy the report onto the SQL Azure Reporting Service we need to update the project property. Right click the project node from the solution explorer and select the property item. In the Target Server URL item we will specify the reporting server URL of our SQL Azure Reporting. We can go back to the developer portal and select the reporting node from the left side, then copy the Web Service URL and paste here. But notice that we need to append “/reportserver” after pasted. Then just click the Deploy menu item in the context menu of the project, the Visual Studio will compile the report and then upload to the reporting service accordingly. In this step we will be prompted to input the user name and password of our SQL Azure Reporting Service. We can get the user name from the developer portal, just next to the Web Service URL in the SQL Azure Reporting page. And the password is the one we specified when created the reporting service. After about one minute the report will be deployed succeed.   View the Report in Browser SQL Azure Reporting allows us to view the reports which deployed on the cloud from a standard browser. We copied the Web Service URL from the reporting service main page and appended “/reportserver” in HTTPS protocol then we will have the SQL Azure Reporting Service login page. After entered the user name and password of the SQL Azure Reporting Service we can see the directories and reports listed. Click the report will launch the Report Viewer to render the report.   View Report in a Web Role with the Report Viewer The ASP.NET and Windows Form Report Viewer works well with the SQL Azure Reporting Service as well. We can create a ASP.NET Web Role and added the Report Viewer control in the default page. What we need to change to the report viewer are Change the Processing Mode to Remote. Specify the Report Server URL under the Server Remote category to the URL of the SQL Azure Reporting Web Service URL with “/reportserver” appended. Specify the Report Path to the report which we want to display. The report name should NOT include the extension name. For example my report was in the SqlAzureReportingTest project and named MemberList.rdl then the report path should be /SqlAzureReportingTest/MemberList. And the next one is to specify the SQL Azure Reporting Credentials. We can use the following class to wrap the report server credential. 1: private class ReportServerCredentials : IReportServerCredentials 2: { 3: private string _userName; 4: private string _password; 5: private string _domain; 6:  7: public ReportServerCredentials(string userName, string password, string domain) 8: { 9: _userName = userName; 10: _password = password; 11: _domain = domain; 12: } 13:  14: public WindowsIdentity ImpersonationUser 15: { 16: get 17: { 18: return null; 19: } 20: } 21:  22: public ICredentials NetworkCredentials 23: { 24: get 25: { 26: return null; 27: } 28: } 29:  30: public bool GetFormsCredentials(out Cookie authCookie, out string user, out string password, out string authority) 31: { 32: authCookie = null; 33: user = _userName; 34: password = _password; 35: authority = _domain; 36: return true; 37: } 38: } And then in the Page_Load method, pass it to the report viewer. 1: protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) 2: { 3: ReportViewer1.ServerReport.ReportServerCredentials = new ReportServerCredentials( 4: "<user name>", 5: "<password>", 6: "<sql azure reporting web service url>"); 7: } Finally deploy it to Windows Azure and enjoy the report.   Summary In this post I introduced the SQL Azure Reporting CTP which had just available. Likes other features in Windows Azure, the SQL Azure Reporting is very similar with the SQL Server Reporting. As you can see in this post we can use the existing and familiar tools to build and deploy the reports and display them on a website. But the SQL Azure Reporting is just in the CTP stage which means It is free. There’s no support for it. Only available at the North US Data Center. You can get more information about the SQL Azure Reporting CTP from the links following SQL Azure Reporting Limited CTP at MSDN SQL Azure Reporting Samples at TechNet Wiki You can download the solutions and the projects used in this post here.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • CDN on Hosted Service in Windows Azure

    - by Shaun
    Yesterday I told Wang Tao, an annoying colleague sitting beside me, about how to make the static content enable the CDN in his website which had just been published on Windows Azure. The approach would be Move the static content, the images, CSS files, etc. into the blob storage. Enable the CDN on his storage account. Change the URL of those static files to the CDN URL. I think these are the very common steps when using CDN. But this morning I found that the new Windows Azure SDK 1.4 and new Windows Azure Developer Portal had just been published announced at the Windows Azure Blog. One of the new features in this release is about the CDN, which means we can enabled the CDN not only for a storage account, but a hosted service as well. Within this new feature the steps I mentioned above would be turned simpler a lot.   Enable CDN for Hosted Service To enable the CDN for a hosted service we just need to log on the Windows Azure Developer Portal. Under the “Hosted Services, Storage Accounts & CDN” item we will find a new menu on the left hand side said “CDN”, where we can manage the CDN for storage account and hosted service. As we can see the hosted services and storage accounts are all listed in my subscriptions. To enable a CDN for a hosted service is veru simple, just select a hosted service and click the New Endpoint button on top. In this dialog we can select the subscription and the storage account, or the hosted service we want the CDN to be enabled. If we selected the hosted service, like I did in the image above, the “Source URL for the CDN endpoint” will be shown automatically. This means the windows azure platform will make all contents under the “/cdn” folder as CDN enabled. But we cannot change the value at the moment. The following 3 checkboxes next to the URL are: Enable CDN: Enable or disable the CDN. HTTPS: If we need to use HTTPS connections check it. Query String: If we are caching content from a hosted service and we are using query strings to specify the content to be retrieved, check it. Just click the “Create” button to let the windows azure create the CDN for our hosted service. The CDN would be available within 60 minutes as Microsoft mentioned. My experience is that about 15 minutes the CDN could be used and we can find the CDN URL in the portal as well.   Put the Content in CDN in Hosted Service Let’s create a simple windows azure project in Visual Studio with a MVC 2 Web Role. When we created the CDN mentioned above the source URL of CDN endpoint would be under the “/cdn” folder. So in the Visual Studio we create a folder under the website named “cdn” and put some static files there. Then all these files would be cached by CDN if we use the CDN endpoint. The CDN of the hosted service can cache some kind of “dynamic” result with the Query String feature enabled. We create a controller named CdnController and a GetNumber action in it. The routed URL of this controller would be /Cdn/GetNumber which can be CDN-ed as well since the URL said it’s under the “/cdn” folder. In the GetNumber action we just put a number value which specified by parameter into the view model, then the URL could be like /Cdn/GetNumber?number=2. 1: using System; 2: using System.Collections.Generic; 3: using System.Linq; 4: using System.Web; 5: using System.Web.Mvc; 6:  7: namespace MvcWebRole1.Controllers 8: { 9: public class CdnController : Controller 10: { 11: // 12: // GET: /Cdn/ 13:  14: public ActionResult GetNumber(int number) 15: { 16: return View(number); 17: } 18:  19: } 20: } And we add a view to display the number which is super simple. 1: <%@ Page Title="" Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage<int>" %> 2:  3: <asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderID="TitleContent" runat="server"> 4: GetNumber 5: </asp:Content> 6:  7: <asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent" runat="server"> 8:  9: <h2>The number is: <% 1: : Model.ToString() %></h2> 10:  11: </asp:Content> Since this action is under the CdnController the URL would be under the “/cdn” folder which means it can be CDN-ed. And since we checked the “Query String” the content of this dynamic page will be cached by its query string. So if I use the CDN URL, http://az25311.vo.msecnd.net/GetNumber?number=2, the CDN will firstly check if there’s any content cached with the key “GetNumber?number=2”. If yes then the CDN will return the content directly; otherwise it will connect to the hosted service, http://aurora-sys.cloudapp.net/Cdn/GetNumber?number=2, and then send the result back to the browser and cached in CDN. But to be notice that the query string are treated as string when used by the key of CDN element. This means the URLs below would be cached in 2 elements in CDN: http://az25311.vo.msecnd.net/GetNumber?number=2&page=1 http://az25311.vo.msecnd.net/GetNumber?page=1&number=2 The final step is to upload the project onto azure. Test the Hosted Service CDN After published the project on azure, we can use the CDN in the website. The CDN endpoint we had created is az25311.vo.msecnd.net so all files under the “/cdn” folder can be requested with it. Let’s have a try on the sample.htm and c_great_wall.jpg static files. Also we can request the dynamic page GetNumber with the query string with the CDN endpoint. And if we refresh this page it will be shown very quickly since the content comes from the CDN without MCV server side process. We style of this page was missing. This is because the CSS file was not includes in the “/cdn” folder so the page cannot retrieve the CSS file from the CDN URL.   Summary In this post I introduced the new feature in Windows Azure CDN with the release of Windows Azure SDK 1.4 and new Developer Portal. With the CDN of the Hosted Service we can just put the static resources under a “/cdn” folder so that the CDN can cache them automatically and no need to put then into the blob storage. Also it support caching the dynamic content with the Query String feature. So that we can cache some parts of the web page by using the UserController and CDN. For example we can cache the log on user control in the master page so that the log on part will be loaded super-fast. There are some other new features within this release you can find here. And for more detailed information about the Windows Azure CDN please have a look here as well.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • &lt;%: %&gt;, HtmlEncode, IHtmlString and MvcHtmlString

    - by Shaun
    One of my colleague and friend, Robin is playing and struggling with the ASP.NET MVC 2 on a project these days while I’m struggling with a annoying client. Since it’s his first time to use ASP.NET MVC he was meetings with a lot of problem and I was very happy to share my experience to him. Yesterday he asked me when he attempted to insert a <br /> element into his page he found that the page was rendered like this which is bad. He found his <br /> was shown as a part of the string rather than creating a new line. After checked a bit in his code I found that it’s because he utilized a new ASP.NET markup supported in .NET 4.0 – “<%: %>”. If you have been using ASP.NET MVC 1 or in .NET 3.5 world it would be very common that using <%= %> to show something on the page from the backend code. But when you do it you must ensure that the string that are going to be displayed should be Html-safe, which means all the Html markups must be encoded. Otherwise this might cause an XSS (cross-site scripting) problem. So that you’d better use the code like this below to display anything on the page. In .NET 4.0 Microsoft introduced a new markup to solve this problem which is <%: %>. It will encode the content automatically so that you will no need to check and verify your code manually for the XSS issue mentioned below. But this also means that it will encode all things, include the Html element you want to be rendered. So I changed his code like this and it worked well. After helped him solved this problem and finished a spreadsheet for my boring project I considered a bit more on the <%: %>. Since it will encode all thing why it renders correctly when we use “<%: Html.TextBox(“name”) %>” to show a text box? As you know the Html.TextBox will render a “<input name="name" id="name" type="text"/>” element on the page. If <%: %> will encode everything it should not display a text box. So I dig into the source code of the MVC and found some comments in the class MvcHtmlString. 1: // In ASP.NET 4, a new syntax <%: %> is being introduced in WebForms pages, where <%: expression %> is equivalent to 2: // <%= HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(expression) %>. The intent of this is to reduce common causes of XSS vulnerabilities 3: // in WebForms pages (WebForms views in the case of MVC). This involves the addition of an interface 4: // System.Web.IHtmlString and a static method overload System.Web.HttpUtility::HtmlEncode(object). The interface 5: // definition is roughly: 6: // public interface IHtmlString { 7: // string ToHtmlString(); 8: // } 9: // And the HtmlEncode(object) logic is roughly: 10: // - If the input argument is an IHtmlString, return argument.ToHtmlString(), 11: // - Otherwise, return HtmlEncode(Convert.ToString(argument)). 12: // 13: // Unfortunately this has the effect that calling <%: Html.SomeHelper() %> in an MVC application running on .NET 4 14: // will end up encoding output that is already HTML-safe. As a result, we're changing out HTML helpers to return 15: // MvcHtmlString where appropriate. <%= Html.SomeHelper() %> will continue to work in both .NET 3.5 and .NET 4, but 16: // changing the return types to MvcHtmlString has the added benefit that <%: Html.SomeHelper() %> will also work 17: // properly in .NET 4 rather than resulting in a double-encoded output. MVC developers in .NET 4 will then be able 18: // to use the <%: %> syntax almost everywhere instead of having to remember where to use <%= %> and where to use 19: // <%: %>. This should help developers craft more secure web applications by default. 20: // 21: // To create an MvcHtmlString, use the static Create() method instead of calling the protected constructor. The comment said the encoding rule of the <%: %> would be: If the type of the content is IHtmlString it will NOT encode since the IHtmlString indicates that it’s Html-safe. Otherwise it will use HtmlEncode to encode the content. If we check the return type of the Html.TextBox method we will find that it’s MvcHtmlString, which was implemented the IHtmlString interface dynamically. That is the reason why the “<input name="name" id="name" type="text"/>” was not encoded by <%: %>. So if we want to tell ASP.NET MVC, or I should say the ASP.NET runtime that the content is Html-safe and no need, or should not be encoded we can convert the content into IHtmlString. So another resolution would be like this. Also we can create an extension method as well for better developing experience. 1: using System; 2: using System.Collections.Generic; 3: using System.Linq; 4: using System.Web; 5: using System.Web.Mvc; 6:  7: namespace ShaunXu.Blogs.IHtmlStringIssue 8: { 9: public static class Helpers 10: { 11: public static MvcHtmlString IsHtmlSafe(this string content) 12: { 13: return MvcHtmlString.Create(content); 14: } 15: } 16: } Then the view would be like this. And the page rendered correctly.         Summary In this post I explained a bit about the new markup in .NET 4.0 – <%: %> and its usage. I also explained a bit about how to control the page content, whether it should be encoded or not. We can see the ASP.NET MVC gives us more points to control the web pages.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Now Available &ndash; Windows Azure SDK 1.6

    - by Shaun
    Microsoft has just announced the Windows Azure SDK 1.6 and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 1.6. Now people can download the latest product through the WebPI. After you downloaded and installed the SDK you will find that The SDK 1.6 can be stayed side by side with the SDK 1.5, which means you can still using the 1.5 assemblies. But the Visual Studio Tools would be upgraded to 1.6. Different from the previous SDK, in this version it includes 4 components: Windows Azure Authoring Tools, Windows Azure Emulators, Windows Azure Libraries for .NET 1.6 and the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. There are some significant upgrades in this version, which are Publishing Enhancement: More easily connect to the Windows Azure when publish your application by retrieving a publish setting file. It will let you configure some settings of the deployment, without getting back to the developer portal. Multi-profiles: The publish settings, cloud configuration files, etc. will be stored in one or more MSBuild files. It will be much easier to switch the settings between vary build environments. MSBuild Command-line Build Support. In-Place Upgrade Support.   Publishing Enhancement So let’s have a look about the new features of the publishing. Just create a new Windows Azure project in Visual Studio 2010 with a MVC 3 Web Role, and right-click the Windows Azure project node in the solution explorer, then select Publish, we will find the new publish dialog. In this version the first thing we need to do is to connect to our Windows Azure subscription. Click the “Sign in to download credentials” link, we will be navigated to the login page to provide the Live ID. The Windows Azure Tool will generate a certificate file and uploaded to the subscriptions those belong to us. Then we will download a PUBLISHSETTINGS file, which contains the credentials and subscriptions information. The Visual Studio Tool will generate a certificate and deployed to the subscriptions you have as the Management Certificate. The VS Tool will use this certificate to connect to the subscription in the next step. In the next step, I would back to the Visual Studio (the publish dialog should be stilling opened) and click the Import button, select the PUBLISHSETTINGS file I had just downloaded. Then all my subscriptions will be shown in the dropdown list. Select a subscription that I want the application to be published and press the Next button, then we can select the hosted service, environment, build configuration and service configuration shown in the dialog. In this version we can create a new hosted service directly here rather than go back to the developer portal. Just select the <Create New …> item in the hosted service. What we need to do is to provide the hosted service name and the location. Once clicked the OK, after several seconds the hosted service will be established. If we went to the developer portal we will find the new hosted service in my subscription. a) Currently we cannot select the Affinity Group when create a new hosted service through the Visual Studio Publish dialog. b) Although we can specify the hosted service name and DNS prefixing through the developer portal, we cannot do so from the VS Tool, which means the DNS prefixing would be the same as what we specified for the hosted service name. For example, we specified our hosted service name as “Sdk16Demo”, so the public URL would be http://sdk16demo.cloudapp.net/. After created a new hosted service we can select the cloud environment (production or staging), the build configuration (release or debug), and the service configuration (cloud or local). And we can set the Remote Desktop by check the related checkbox as well. One thing should be note is that, in this version when we set the Remote Desktop settings we don’t need to specify a certificate by default. This is because the Visual Studio will generate a new certificate for us by default. But we can still specify an existing certificate for RDC, by clicking the “More Options” button. Visual Studio Tool will create another certificate for the Remote Desktop connection. It will NOT use the certificate that managing the subscription. We also can select the “Advanced Settings” page to specify the deployment label, storage account, IntelliTrace and .NET profiling information, etc.. Press Next button, the dialog will display all settings I had just specified and it will save them as a new profile. The last step is to click the Publish button. Since we enabled the Remote Desktop feature, the first step of publishing was uploading the certificate. And then it will verify the storage account we specified and upload the package, then finally created the website in Windows Azure.   Multi-Profiles After published, if we back to the Visual Studio we can find a AZUREPUBXML file under the Profiles folder in the Azure project. It includes all settings we specified before. If we publish this project again, we can just use the current settings (hosted service, environment, RDC, etc.) from this profile without input them again. And this is very useful when we have more than one deployment settings. For example it would be able to have one AZUREPUBXML profile for deploying to testing environment (debug building, less roles with RDC and IntelliTrace) and one for production (release building, more roles but without IntelliTrace).   In-Place Upgrade Support Let’s change some codes in the MVC pages and click the Publish menu from the azure project node. No need to specify any settings,  here we can use the pervious settings by loading the azure profile file (AZUREPUBXML). After clicked the Publish button the VS Tool brought a dialog to us to indicate that there’s a deployment available in the hosted service environment, and prompt to REPLACE it or not. Notice that in this version, the dialog tool said “replace” rather than “delete”, which means by default the VS Tool will use In-Place Upgrade when we deploy to a hosted service that has a deployment already exist. After click Yes the VS Tool will upload the package and perform the In-Place Upgrade. If we back to the developer portal we can find that the status of the hosted service was turned to “Updating…”. But in the previous SDK, it will try to delete the whole deployment and publish a new one.   Summary When the Microsoft announced the features that allows the changing VM size via In-Place Upgrade, they also mentioned that in the next few versions the user experience of publishing the azure application would be improved. The target was trying to accomplish the whole publish experience in Visual Studio, which means no need to touch developer portal any more. In the SDK 1.6 we can see from the new publish dialog, as a developer we can do the whole process, includes creating hosted service, specifying the environment, configuration, remote desktop, etc. values without going back the the developer portal.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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  • Windows Azure Evolution &ndash; Deploy Web Sites (WAWS Part 3)

    - by Shaun
    This is the sixth post of my Windows Azure Evolution series. After talked a bit about the new caching preview feature in the previous one, let’s back to the Windows Azure Web Sites (WAWS).   Git and GitHub Integration In the third post I introduced the overview functionality of WAWS and demonstrated how to create a WordPress blog through the build-in application gallery. And in the fourth post I covered how to use the TFS service preview to deploy an ASP.NET MVC application to the web site through the TFS integration. WAWS also have the Git integration. I’m not going to talk very detailed about the Git and GitHub integration since there are a bunch of information on the internet you can refer to. To enable the Git just go to the web site item in the developer portal and click the “Set up Git publishing”. After specified the username and password the windows azure platform will establish the Git integration and provide some basic guide. As you can see, you can download the Git binaries, commit the files and then push to the remote repository. Regarding the GitHub, since it’s built on top of Git it should work. Maarten Balliauw have a wonderful post about how to integrate GitHub to Windows Azure Web Site you can find here.   WebMatrix 2 RC WebMatrix is a lightweight web application development tool provided by Microsoft. It utilizes WebDeploy or FTP to deploy the web application to the server. And in WebMatrix 2.0 RC it added the feature to work with Windows Azure. First of all we need to download the latest WebMatrix 2 through the Web Platform Installer 4.0. Just open the WebPI and search “WebMatrix”, or go to its home page download its web installer. Once we have WebMatrix 2, we need to download the publish file of our WAWS. Let’s go to the developer portal and open the web site we want to deploy and download the publish file from the link on the right hand side. This file contains the necessary information of publishing the web site through WebDeploy and FTP, which can be used in WebMatrix, Visual Studio, etc.. Once we have the publish file we can open the WebMatrix, click the Open Site, Remote Site. Then it will bring up a dialog where we can input the information of the remote site. Since we have our publish file already, we can click the “Import publish settings” and select the publish file, then we can see the site information will be populated automatically. Click OK, the WebMatrix will connect to the remote site, which is the WAWS we had deployed already, retrieve the folders and files information. We can open files in WebMatrix and modify. But since WebMatrix is a lightweight web application tool, we cannot update the backend C# code. So in this case, we will modify the frontend home page only. After saved our modification, WebMatrix will compare the files between in local and remote and then it will only upload the modified files to Windows Azure through the connection information in the publish file. Since it only update the files which were changed, this minimized the bandwidth and deployment duration. After few seconds we back to the website and the modification had been applied.   Visual Studio and WebDeploy The publish file we had downloaded can be used not only in WebMatrix but also Visual Studio. As we know in Visual Studio we can publish a web application by clicking the “Publish” item from the project context menu in the solution explorer, and we can specify the WebDeploy, FTP or File System for the publish target. Now we can use the WAWS publish file to let Visual Studio publish the web application to WAWS. Let’s create a new ASP.NET MVC Web Application in Visual Studio 2010 and then click the “Publish” in solution explorer. Once we have the Windows Azure SDK 1.7 installed, it will update the web application publish dialog. So now we can import the publish information from the publish file. Select WebDeploy as the publish method. We can select FTP as well, which is supported by Windows Azure and the FTP information was in the same publish file. In the last step the publish wizard can check the files which will be uploaded to the remote site before the actually publishing. This gives us a chance to review and amend the files. Same as the WebMatrix, Visual Studio will compare the files between local and WAWS and determined which had been changed and need to be published. Finally Visual Studio will publish the web application to windows azure through WebDeploy protocol. Once it finished we can browse our website.   FTP Deployment The publish file we downloaded contains the connection information to our web site via both WebDeploy and FTP. When using WebMatrix and Visual Studio we can select WebDeploy or FTP. WebDeploy method can be used very easily from WebMatrix and Visual Studio, with the file compare feature. But the FTP gives more flexibility. We can use any FTP client to upload files to windows azure regardless which client and OS we are using. Open the publish file in any text editor, we can find the connection information very easily. As you can see the publish file is actually a XML file with WebDeploy and FTP information in plain text attributes. And once we have the FTP URL, username and password, when can connect to the site and upload and download files. For example I opened FileZilla and connected to my WAWS through FTP. Then I can download files I am interested in and modify them on my local disk. Then upload back to windows azure through FileZilla. Then I can see the new page.   Summary In this simple and quick post I introduced vary approaches to deploy our web application to Windows Azure Web Site. It supports TFS integration which I mentioned previously. It also supports Git and GitHub, WebDeploy and FTP as well.   Hope this helps, Shaun All documents and related graphics, codes are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. Copyright © Shaun Ziyan Xu. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License.

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