SAVE THE DATE: Developers Academy 4

dev academy 4

Windows Azure & .NET 4

Many customers and developers ask me lately if it possible to running  ASP.NET 4.0 applications on Windows Azure. Most of them use VS2010 Beta 2 + November 09 Azure SDK.

The answer: Windows Azure currently supports .NET 3.5 SP1.

Windows Azure Drive Beta Released

A beta release of Windows Azure Drive is now available. It was announced as XDrive at PDC 2009.Azure

With Windows Azure Drive, your Windows Azure applications running in the cloud can use existing NTFS APIs to access a durable drive. The Windows Azure application can read from or write to a drive letter (e.g., D:) that represents a durable NTFS volume for storing and accessing data. For more information, see Beta Release of Windows Azure Drive on the Windows Azure Team Blog.

More detailed information can be found in the technical white paper here and at MSDN.

Using Windows Azure drive can significantly ease the migration of existing Windows applications to the cloud, enabling a more seamless migration experience while simultaneously reducing the amount of time it takes to move the applications from your own Windows environment to a Windows Azure environment.

In order to mount a Windows Azure Drive you will need to use Feb 2010 version of the Windows Azure SDK. The SDK provides the following Windows Azure Drive APIs for your Windows Azure application to use:

  • Create Drive – Creates a Page Blob formatted as a single partition NTFS volume VHD.
  • Initialize Cache – Allows an application to specify the location and size of the local data cache for all Windows Azure Drives mounted for that VM instance.
  • Mount Drive – Takes a formatted Page Blob and mounts it to a drive letter for the Windows Azure application to start using.
  • Get Mounted Drives – Returns the list of mounted drives. It consists of a list of the drive letter and Page Blob URLs for each mounted drive.
  • Unmount Drive – Unmounts the drive and frees up the drive letter.
  • Snapshot Drive – Allows the client application to create a backup of the drive (Page Blob).
  • Copy Drive – Provides the ability to copy a drive or snapshot to another drive (Page Blob) name to be used as a read/writable drive.


SQL Database Migration To SQL Azure

Many customers are asking about migration from SQL to SQL Azure. This post will describe the considerations you have to take and the migration process.sql-azure-logo-lg

First of all, be familiar with SQL Azure limitations:

SQL Azure does not run in backward compatibility mode (SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005). It is running compatibility mode 10 (SQL Server 2008).  Thus, all deprecated SQL Server 2000 and 2005 features will not work in SQL Azure (for the most part, there might be a few exceptions). 

If you work with SQL 2000/2005, first upgrade it to 2008 or SQL 2008 Express and get everything working there first. Then go through the migration process to SQL Azure.

Note that there are TSQL commands that are not supported by SQL Azure. There is a tool (SQLAzureMW) in codeplex ( that will analyze your database and also analyze SQL Profiler trace files (to cover your dynamic generated SQL) and tell you what is not compatible.  From there, you have a great start on figuring out what you need to do in order to get your database in SQL Azure.  Once your database is compatible, you can also use SQLAzureMW to actually migrate your database for you to SQL Azure. (SQLAzureMW requires SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP).

My recommendation is to start with SQLAzureMW and let it give you a rough idea of how much work you will need to do.  Then you can decide if you need to go through the upgrade process to SQL Server 2008 first before you go to SQL Azure.

Have fun!

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 Error Message – THE APPLICATION CANNOT START

If you running the VS 2010 Ultimate Beta 2 and you are getting a screen with an error message – THE APPLICATION CANNOT START, you can fix this problem:

Use Visual Studio Command Prompt (2010) and  run “devenv /resetuserdata”.

[C]:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual Studio 10.0Common7IDE>devenv /resetuserdata

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