# Thursday, 01 November 2012

You like posters? You like Windows Azure? Then this one is for you: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=35473.

Have fun printing it out and hanging it up near the office of the IT manager to convince him to move to Azure Smile.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:36:45 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The following document in the Microsoft Patterns & Practices about Windows Azure deals with multitenancy. It ships with a book explaining several important things like:

  • The Tailspin scenario
  • Hosting a multi-tenant application on Windows Azure
  • Choosing a multi-tenant data architecture
  • Partitioning multi-tenant applications
  • Maximizing availability, scalability and elasticity
  • Securing multi-tenant applications
  • Managing and monitoring multi-tenant applications

Best of all, it also comes with sample code.

If you’re interested then download it over here.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:08:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 29 October 2012

Last week there was already the news that .NET 4.5, the latest version of the framework at this moment, was deployed on Windows Azure Web Sites. However what confused a lot of people was that it didn’t show up in the portal. As of now it does.

So instead of seeing this under the Configure tab:


You’ll now see:


Now only the current version of node.js needs to be added to the portal. Btw, that’s 0.6.20.

Also be sure to check out this screencast at Channel 9 about the upgrade to .NET 4.5.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 29 October 2012 12:13:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 28 October 2012

I just opened the Preview portal and was welcomed by a small guidance wizard with a quick tour. After that I noticed that there were some new icons and that the +NEW menu got an upgrade as well.

So in the main menu there’s a new add-ons item:


And in the +NEW button on the lower left there’s also the new feature “Store”:


However when clicking it I got the message:


That’s a bit of a bummer so I guess I’ll have to wait before I can make use off the new things being provided here. I have a good feeling that next week Microsoft will reveal a lot more about this during the BUILD conference.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 28 October 2012 10:45:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 21 October 2012

Today I gave a presentation in Milan, Italy at WebNetConf. The atmosphere was great and there was a big audience and almost no no-show which is great.

The talk itself was the last one of the day and you can see I was very much focused:


I really enjoyed the day, the interaction, the sushi and pizza they served during noon and the simply the whole event. I got to know people from all over the world as 11 nationalities were represented and there was quite a lot of interaction which I find great.

The presentation itself had the following description:

Orchard CMS, distilled in the secret laboratories at Microsoft but later on open sourced, is a great way to start building sites with a CMS topping. This session will show you how to set it up, create custom modules and put it on Windows Azure with a little help of WebMatrix.

Update: I got to know that my sessions scored a 4.5 / 5. Cool!

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 21 October 2012 00:02:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Lately I’ve been fiddling around with node.js and like it a lot. Since I also like Windows Azure a lot I decided to try some of the samples from the site.

When I tried out the sample from Node.js Web Application using the Windows Azure Table Service it turned out that there were some mistakes in the provided sample code. I gave direct feedback to the people at hand but as long as it’s not updated, or is just not up to all the typing, a working example can be found here. The only thing to do as an extra, I wrote a readme.txt but I know nobody will read it…, so simply create a new storage account. Then copy over the STORAGE ACCOUNT NAME and the PRIMARY ACCESS KEY (both can be found in the modal window that shows when you select a storage account and hit the i manage keys button at the bottom bar) and put these in place of the variables in server.js.

Hint: you can make use of WebMatrix 2 to open the project and run it by hitting F12, after having filled in the needed keys of course. Enjoy!

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 18:21:20 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 16 October 2012


do you like to BUILD networks and hang out together with your peers and fellow tech loving friends? If that’s the case be sure to come over on October 30th to the Microsoft building in Zaventem and watch the BUILD live stream together. Please register over at Microsoft BUILD 2012 Live stream event.


Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:21:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 07 October 2012


Windows Azure Service Bus

Windows Azure Service Bus, WASB, has been around for quite a while already but I just noticed that it appeared now as well in the Preview portal which is cool. It shows off the continued investment by the Microsoft teams to port all of the goodness that Windows Azure provides to the renewed portal instead of keeping it in the old Silverlight based one. I sure do hope soon all, and of course new, features are all ported over and we can make use of the new portal entirely without having to switch back and forth each time.

Some screenshots:




Admins and co-admins

Also new in the portal is the fact that one can now create new co-admins for a subscription. That means less round trips to the old portal as well!



Import a saved database from BLOB storage

A new addition is the ability to import a saved database from BLOB storage.


Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 07 October 2012 13:07:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 04 October 2012

Yesterday Microsoft celebrated the launch of Windows Server 2012 at a dedicated event. Besides the WS2012 track there was also a great Windows Azure tracks, http://www.microsoft.com/belux/technet/demo-azure/, where I was one of the speakers. The presentation I talked about was Windows Azure Web Sites. One of the new features on the Windows Azure platform that I like a lot as it makes it super easy to deploy all kinds of web related technologies onto like classic ASP, ASP.NET based sites, PHP and node.js. I created professional websites with the first three environments and am now looking into node.js as well.

The topics I talked about were the following:

  • Setting up Wordpress with ease with a MySQL backed database through the portal
  • Deployment via FTP (classic ASP), Git (node.js) and Web Deploy via WebMatrix 2 (node.js based site on the Express template)
  • Publishing via Visual Studio 2012. Starting from a empty ASP.NET MVC 4, adding a Presentation model, making use of the Nuget packages EntityFramework and MvcScaffolding. Then creating a nice website, scaffolded, publishing it with EF migrations turned on so that the database gets generated in the linked SQL Database. Then updating the model, rescaffolding the views and updating the database and then again a redeploy.
  • Scaling. An important part as it can have significant meaning of capabilities
  • Pricing. I showed off a nice comparison between the different modes: Free, Shared and Reserved and what potential implications it might have on cost and how to save money with doing some calculations.
  • Architecture. Windows Azure Web Sites or short WAWS is a great piece of technology which is built on top of Windows Azure components which have been around for quite some time now. Abstracting away parts might give a bit less flexibility but one simply gets a lot for that in return so that one can get things up and running very easily and fast as well.
  • Questions and Answers.

If you want to take a look at the slide deck then download it from here: http://www.krisvandermast.com/downloads.html. Or watch it on Slideshare:

Also be sure to check out the blogs of other speakers like Kristof Rennen and Mike Martin. Both two homies of AZUG as well.

Me in action:

Kris van der Mast presenting about Windows Azure Web Sites

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 04 October 2012 20:13:25 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 02 October 2012

If you’ve already opened the new portal of Windows Azure then you’ll probably have noticed that both the .NET version and PHP version installed on Windows Azure Web Sites are filled in. However there’s no such thing currently for which version of node.js can be run on it. Bummer.

Of course, it’s not that difficult to find out for yourself, or find out near the end of this article. The steps involved make use of Git deployment as I just wanted to play around with that but FTP or web publishing can also be used of course.

Step 1: Create a new Windows Azure Web Site

Navigate to the portal:


Click on the CREATE A NEW WEBSITE link or on the big + NEW sign in the lower left corner, where I usually start my journey. Select WEB SITE > QUICK CREATE and give it a unique url. Select a region and press the CREATE WEB SITE button:


Once the initialization phase has passed you have the following result:


Step 2: Prepare for Git publishing

Click on the darker blue part which states the name of your freshly created web site. Then click on link Set up Git publishing. If needed you can always reset your deployment credentials when you forgot your username and password to deploy:


After having selected the Set up Git publishing link and it’s done its behind the scenes voodoo magic you’ll be presented the following screen. See that GIT URL? Well that’s going to be important in a couple of steps so either copy and paste it right now into notepad or keep in mind where you can easily find it back.


Step 3: Make a node.js script that shows the running version

This is the little script part that will show which version you’re running. Either locally, always safe to test there, and on Windows Azure.

Create a new folder on your hard disk and create in that folder a file named server.js. Open notepad or your favorite editing tool of choice and type in the following code (note that it’s javascript hence case sensitive):

var http = require('http');
http.createServer(function(req, res){
	res.writeHead(200, {'content-type': 'text/plain'})
	res.end('Version - ' + process.version);
}).listen(process.env.port || 1337)

Step 4: Getting Gitted and pushing it to Windows Azure Web Sites

If you haven’t installed Git yet, then do so now. If you’re on Windows I suggest you install Github for Windows as it also has a handy shell which hooks into Powershell.

If you opened the Git commandline and changed to the directory where you put the file server.js, start typing in the following commands:

  1. git init
  2. git add .
  3. git commit –m “Initial commit”
  4. git remote add azure   GIT URL (yes, that’s that url I told you to keep a hold on or keep it handy in notepad)
  5. git push azure master

That’s it. Open the portal again and if not finished already it’ll soon be and you’ll get to see your deployment:



Step 5: Le moment suprême: Hit that BROWSE button

Yes, that’s it, don’t be afraid. Click that BROWSE button at the bottom and get to see which version of node.js is running:


And the lucky winner is: v0.6.20.


This article simply showed how to create a small node.js script, make use of Git and easily deploy it to Windows Azure Web Sites and uncover the hidden version number of the running node.js version.

A tip: if you want to start with node.js and have some fancy debugging capabilities and easy web publishing, or ftp, to Windows Azure Web Sites then make use of the new cool tool on the block: WebMatrix 2.

For more instructional videos be sure to check out http://www.meetwindowsazure.com/DigitalChalkTalks and http://www.youtube.com/user/windowsazure.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:08:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |