# Thursday, July 05, 2012

I noticed on Twitter several people asking for this. However if you know the steps it’s pretty easy. So simply follow along and get the Orchard party started.

Preparation step – Set up a database

Normally one would simply deploy Orchard, make use of the built in SQL CE database and get going. However if you want to scale out, which is very easy in Windows Azure Web Sites, then it’s nothing more but logical to make use of a dedicated database for all deployed instances to keep your data in sync.

To accomplish this simply navigate to the portal and select from the left side menu the option SQL DATABASES. Click on the CREATE A SQL DATABASE.

Give it a meaningful name:


Then provide a login name and a password (make sure to make up a good one):


After the creation you can take a look at the details of the database and either stay on the first page or go to the DASHBOARD. Here you can see the connectionstring which is needed later on so be sure to copy that down or know where you can find it in the portal once you need it:


Ok, that concludes for the first part, let’s move on to the next one.

Preparation step – Create the new Web Site

Either make use of the big + sign in the lower left of the portal or click on CREATE A WEB SITE from the WEB SITES menu item in the portal. Select the FROM GALLERY and in there select Orchard CMS:



Configure the application you’re about to set up. Give it a unique name and select a region:


Let it spin and after a while you’ll notice the message that your site has been created. You can look up the web site in the portal:



Preparation step – Link the database with the Web Site

Ok, now while in that last screen select LINKED RESOURCES. From there on create a new one by clicking on LINK A RESOURCE:


Select for the option Link an existing resource and select there for the SQL Database option:


In the next screen select the database which was created in the first preparation step:


Provide the LOGIN NAME and LOGIN PASSWORD and finish.

Final step – Run the Web Site

Ok, we made it this far already which is great. Now select in the left hand menu the item WEB SITES. In the last column of the overview of your web sites select the url and let a new browser window open:


This is the oh-so-familiar startup screen of Orchard CMS itself. Fill in the required fields but instead of opting for the standard selected SQL Server Compact, select Use an existing SQL Server (or SQL Express) database.

Remember I told you to copy the connection string earlier on? Well, here’s where it’s needed. Fill in the connectionstring and make sure you fill in the right password as well. I chose for the default recipe for Orchard in my case and then clicked the Finish Setup button. Let the recipe cook up the Orchard CMS website and you’re in business:


As you can see, it’s pretty easy to do if you know the steps.

Checking the database

If you want you can connect to your database server and open the MyOrchardDB database. Be sure however to add the IP address you’re using at this moment in the firewall rules or else you won’t be able to connect to it. The portal will provide a warning and an option to directly add your current IP address to the allowed list which is a nice feature.

As you can see all the needed tables where created when cooking the recipe to be able to run Orchard CMS:


Grz, Kris.

Thursday, July 05, 2012 12:35:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, July 04, 2012

When deleting a VM from your Windows Azure account as you might not need it anymore and you want to cut down on costs you can simply navigate to the portal, select the VM and press the Delete icon at the bottom:


That’s only the VM but when I set it up initially I chose to have a the Storage account to be auto generated. As a good housekeeper I didn’t only want to delete the VM but also the associated Storage as that might also still incur costs which I don’t want.

However when I tried to do so I got the following:


Clicking the i for more information it gave me the following error message:

Storage account portalvhds0xgvcb5chg1gf has 1 container(s) which have an active image and/or disk artifacts. Ensure those artifacts are removed from the image repository before deleting this storage account.

Descriptive, but not really showing what I needed. It turned out to be that there’s also still a disk attached to the VM, but there was no indication in the portal that there was still something lying around. Simply navigating to Virtual Machines > Disks showed the associated disk:


Deleting this one and then going to the storage overview again I could delete the extra storage without problems:


I gave this back as feedback to the people at Microsoft and apparently it was listed as a bug but not yet taken care off. I’m sure it’ll be ironed out soon but in the mean time you can simply follow this little check to make sure you don’t have to pay extra costs when deleting a VM in total.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 7:28:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, July 01, 2012

Today is a bit of a special day for me. I started exactly 10 years ago on a professional level with ASP.NET. I has given me quite an interesting journey and quite a lot of interesting projects to work on with other dedicated people with whom I could exchange views and insights.

Another mark is that I started the same day, thanks to the mentioning of a consultant who told me about its existence, I started on the ASP.NET forums. In the beginning only either lurking for information or simply to ask questions when I got stuck with something. I remember that after a while I was looking through some posts and noticed I knew the answer to one of them. I replied and a got a huge thank you!! back from the person who started the thread. Since then I’ve been trying to answer more and more question with the end result being that after 10 years I’m the number one recognition points holder: http://www.asp.net/community/recognition/hall-of-fame.

It’s been quite a remarkable and exciting time during those years and I loved it! The coming years will I not only continue to invest in ASP.NET, the forums, the (Belgian) community but also in something that inspires me and in which I believe: cloud computing, so be sure to see more blog posts about that topic as well around here.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, July 01, 2012 7:50:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today, and also tomorrow, I’m attending the Windows Azure Train The Trainer in Amsterdam. This is a Microsoft led gathering of Windows Azure enthusiasts getting together to get information directly from the Evangelists team, do hands on labs and interact.


Grz, Kris.

Saturday, June 30, 2012 2:35:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, June 29, 2012

If you like Windows 8, coding or UX and want to either show off what you created or learn new tricks then be sure to come to the Microsoft Windows 8 Summer App-a-thons in the coming months. There’s going to be one in Blankenberge and one in Antwerp (where I’m also going to). The concept is easy: come over, bring your laptop and friends and have fun while being creative. Oh yeah, there will also be prizes.

For registration for one or both the events (at day and/or at night) simply go to:



Place to be:

Casino Blankenberge

Zeedijk 150
Blankenberge 8370

Register here.

Share your cool idea so others might join as well on Trello.



Place to be:

To be confirmed

To be confirmed
Antwerp Belgium

Register here.

Of course Trello is available for this event as well.


Of course the community, besides Microsoft employees, will also be there so if you have questions or want to say hi, simply come over and talk.

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 29, 2012 7:22:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

As many of you out there I wasn’t able to attend Tech Ed North America 2012 either so I couldn’t go to all the cool sessions showing off about the newly released features of Windows Azure. Luckily for you and me Channel 9 has put all the recordings available for watching and/or downloading: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012?sort=status&direction=asc&t%5B0%5D=windows%2Bazure#tab_sortBy_status.

Here’s everything directly:

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 29, 2012 6:28:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, June 22, 2012

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition in Belgium. No I’m not talking about the great beer or the weather this time but about Community day, again like last years a fest for community minded people like myself.

The sessions

One of the important parts to gather a lot of people together is content and this year again there were lots of sessions to choose from. I took the following:

  1. Brewing beer with Windows Azure (Maarten Balliauw – Panagiotis Kefalidis):

    A very nice session by 2 of my buddies and AZUG comrades. The first part was about a new hobby they’ve mastered: brewing beer. Then the session took a small turn and showed the new site running on Windows Azure Web Sites, integrating temperature probes via Service Bus and making use of ACS. A very interesting concept of what can be done with Azure and all the new stuff that shipped only a couple of weeks ago.
  2. Creating rich, responsive display and editor user interfaces with KnockoutJS (Tom Van Gaever):

    KnockoutJS is that one very interesting MVVM javascript based framework. Both Tom and me were amazed to see that practically no one in the audience had tried, used or heard about it. It’s awesome! The session was taking a slowly paced introduction with small samples and building it up nicely for people who’ve never saw it.
  3. CQRS, only a buzzword or a suitable architecture for your problem domain? (Tim Mahy):

    For me this was the best session of the day. It was well put up and brought a nice story and in the end showed why certain decisions in one of their projects was chosen, which the difficulties were and how they got around them. Very well brought session.
  4. Github for .NET developers (Bart Wullems – Kristof Mattei):

    Most people make use of SVN or TFS but the new kid on the block is Git which increasing popularity. Both my Ordina colleagues brought an introduction session about Git via the command line, then going over making a repository on Github. After showing everything with the command line tools just to get people to know where it all started with the new handy tool I like myself, Github for Windows, was made use off to show that most common Git tasks can now also be done with a graphical tool.
  5. Little productivity tools every professional developer should know about (Dennis Doomen):

    A lot of this session was about OneNote. A cool tool from the Microsoft stables that I also like to make use off for personal reminders or quick jot downs. Dennis showed how they make use of it in an agile team, which conventions they make use off and how they share/work in such a way. Interesting approach. I didn’t see all of this session though as it was getting so extremely hot in the room that I wanted to go for some fresh air.
  6. NodeJS and Azure – what you need to know (Rob Ashton):

    NodeJS is one of those technologies which are either already popular or becoming popular fast depending on the area in the world. Of course it’s also a first class citizen in Windows Azure and this session was all about it. A very short but interesting and entertaining session.

The community

Aaaah, the community. The bunch of people who’re interested in learning more and keep up the motto: “Sharing is caring”. We love it! This year again there were a lot of people talking about technology, sharing ideas, talking about tech stuff, the new Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone 8, Windows Azure, … The community is strong in Belgium and it shows.

Also a bunch of MVPs and MEET members were present, even some from Holland and it was as usual a nice gather up and in the evening several of us had a very well tasting (geek)dinner in the restaurant of the cinema complex where the entire Community day was held.

The sponsors

Being a board member of AZUG myself I know all too well how important sponsors are for such events. This year there were again a lot of great sponsors and unlike other technical events there was a good interaction between the people before and after the stands. Most likely because no active recruitment was allowed and that gives more confidence of not getting harassed with uninteresting talks.

Likely one of the most appreciated sponsor initiatives was the Combell ice cream stand.


This was a great day and well spent time to interact, learn, meet people, laugh, enjoy ice cream, … Up to the next one!

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:05:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, June 08, 2012

Yesterday evening, after giving a course about HTML 5 myself at Ordina, I drove to Microsoft Belgium to watch the announcements about Windows Azure. Scott Guthrie did a cool recap of all the new features and demoed these in all clarity. There’s a great load of new stuff shipping into Azure. Most notably the new IaaS and Windows Azure Web Sites. Besides that it became clear that the old Silverlight portal, which was pretty slow, has been put into the background and replaced by a great fresh and modern looking HTML 5 portal. Kudos to the design team behind it!

If you want to view the screencast again of what’s been announced be sure to check it out here: http://www.meetwindowsazure.com/Conversations#ScottGuthrieMeet.

There was a really nice atmosphere at Microsoft Belgium as you can see:


The new Portal:


Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 08, 2012 7:52:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, May 31, 2012

I just noticed that the Developer Tools blog got an update and now try to get things more closely together from one starting screen on. If you want to read more about it all I suggest you take a look at the announcement made by Lisa Feigenbaum.



Another cool news is that the Dark Theme for the upcoming Visual Studio 11 will look like the following when it’s going to be released:




I think that’s awesome. Now the next thing on my wish list is that Microsoft Research Labs finally starts making those red lightsabers Smile.

And while we wait for all the great stuff coming we can still listen to some nice music:

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:31:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, May 28, 2012

Do you like to know what’s going on at Microsoft concerning Windows Azure? Even better, would you like to see Scott Guthrie presenting and breathing Windows Azure? If so then be sure to go sit in your comfy chair on June 7th and tune in for the streaming event or be there yourself in San Fransisco at Meet Windows Azure.


If you want to be involved the do the following:

So see you online for the event on the 7th! My Twitter handle is @KvdM

MEET Windows Azure Blog Relay:

Call to action: Link to this blog post on your blog and I will update this post to link to you!

Grz, Kris.

Monday, May 28, 2012 2:59:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |