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Windows Azure - Creating and Deploying Web Role

On October 15, 2011 Articles | Microsoft Azure
In this article we are creating a web role using Visual Studio 2010. This will make the reader familiar with Windows Azure.
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Creating a Web Role

In this article we are creating a web role using Visual Studio 2010. This will make the reader familiar with Windows Azure.

Open Visual Studio 2010 and use the command New Project. From the appearing dialog box select the Windows Azure Project option from Visual C# group.

WinAzure1.gif

Enter an appropriate name for the project and click Ok to continue. Now you will be prompted with another dialog for selecting the type of project.

Double click on the ASP.NET Web Role option to select a web role project and click Ok button.

WinAzure2.gif

Now you are ready with the Web Role project. Now execute the application and you will be able to see the application inside the browser. From the system tray, you can verify the Windows Azure Emulator as running.

If successfully executed, you can see the web role opened in a browser like below:

WinAzure3.gif

Exceptional Case 1

In case the emulator raised an error like below dialog, you have to restart Visual Studio in the Computer Administrator context.

WinAzure4.gif

Exceptional Case 2

In case you are struck with issue of Compute Emulator Shutdown issue, you can resolve it with the link

Deploying the Web Role


After developing the web role, we have to package it and deploy to the cloud. The entire steps in this are:

  • Create Web Role
  • Create Package
  • Deploy to Cloud

Creating the web role is already performed. Now we need to do the following steps.

Create Package

For creating the package, right click on the project context menu and click Package.

WinAzure5.gif

Now as dialog box will be appearing, leave the default options selected and click the Package button on the dialog.

WinAzure6.gif

After performing the packaging, the folder containing package is opened in a new explorer window automatically.



There are two files in the folder as shown above:

  • Configuration File
  • Service Package File

The Configuration file contains the instance count, application setting entries etc.

Deploy to Cloud

The deploying part contains deploying the package file and the configuration file. For deploying the files, we need to sign in to the Windows Azure Portal.

After signing in, click on the New Hosted Service button from the left top panel. The following dialog box appears.



Detailing Input Fields in Dialog Box

The subscription list automatically selects the default subscription (trial).

In the service name text box, enter a name for the service.

In the service URL prefix text box, enter a unique prefix name.

In the region, select an appropriate region of deployment.

Enter an appropriate deployment name in the final text box.

Select Package

Now, we need to specify the Package location and Configuration file. Use the Browse locally… button for these and select the files from your local machine.

After specifying all the inputs, click the Ok button. (In case of instance warning box, click Yes to override it for time being)

Now you can see that the entry is shown as preparing to upload in the list.



Waiting for Upload Operation

We need to wait a few minutes for the upload operation to be completed. After the upload operation is completed the instance will be started.

After all the operations are completed the status will turn to ready as show in the image below:



Getting the Deployed Url

For viewing the deployed web role we need to get the url. For this select the Deployment 1 row from the list above.



From the property pane on the right we can see the DNS name.

Viewing the Deployed Web Role

Clicking on the DNS name link from the properties the web role will get opened in the browser as shown below (please note the staging url)



More Information


Some additional information has to be known while dealing with roles.

Virtual Machine Size


The virtual machine size provides the resource capacity of the virtual machine. The parameters varying with virtual machine size are:

  • CPU Speed
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Instance Storage (Hard Disk)
  • I/O Performance

The sizes for virtual machine are:

  • Extra Small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra Large

The cost of billing will be varying depending on the virtual machine size.

The ServiceDefinition.csdef file can be used to specify the VM size.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<
ServiceDefinition name="WebRoleExample" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceDefinition">
  <
WebRole name="WebRole1" vmsize="Small">
    <Sites>
      <
Site name="Web">
        <
Bindings>
          <
Binding name="Endpoint1" endpointName="Endpoint1" />
        </
Bindings>
      </
Site>
    </
Sites>
    <
Endpoints>
      <
InputEndpoint name="Endpoint1" protocol="http" port="80" />
    </
Endpoints>
    <
Imports>
      <
Import moduleName="Diagnostics" />
    </
Imports>
  </
WebRole>
</
ServiceDefinition>

Instance Count

The number of instances of the Web Role can be specified using the instance count option. The number of instances will be managed by a Load Balancer automatically by the cloud.

The ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file can be used to specify the instance count.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<
ServiceConfiguration serviceName="WebRoleExample" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceConfiguration" osFamily="1" osVersion="*">
  <
Role name="WebRole1">
   
<
Instances count="1" />
    <ConfigurationSettings>
      <
Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.Diagnostics.ConnectionString" value="UseDevelopmentStorage=true" />
    </
ConfigurationSettings>
  </
Role>
</
ServiceConfiguration>

Locating the files

From the solution explorer we can locate the files as shown below:



Summary

In this article we have seen how to create and deploy a web role in Windows Azure.
 

Jean Paul

Jean Paul is a Developer plus Architect working on Microsoft Technologies for the past 12 years. He is very much passionate in programming and his core skills are SharePoint, ASP.NET & C#.  ...

Personal Blog: http://jeanpaulva.com/
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