Solving Azure configuration problems

Putting up development environment for Azure development may be not so smooth and easy task to do. All tools have currently CTP status and it is normal that there may be some problems. Here is my short list of problems. I provide solutions that worked for me. If somebody comes out with different solutions then please feel free to drop me a line.

1. SQL Server

If you are starting with new development environment then you have to install also SQL Server to your computer. SQL Server Express 2005 and 2008 are good enough and they are both free.

2. Compiling libraries

Windows Azure SDK command promptAfter installing Azure packages you have to do some compiling work to get some binaries. Open Windows Azure SDK Command Prompt from Start-menu. Picture on right shows where it is located. To see larger copy of this image just click on it.

There is file called in Azure directory. Unzip this archive. If you want to unzip it to Azure folder then make sure you are logged in as administrator.

After extracting the archive go to Azure Command Prompt and move to folder where sample files are located. Run buildall.cmd and make sure there is no errors. If you are working under Azure folder then make sure your account has write permissions to this folder.

3. Creating table storage

Azure is installed with SQL Server settings that should be okay for most of development machines. However it may happen that you are not the lucky one with “correct” settings. Here are some guides that help you create table storage.

Go to Azure Command Prompt and move to folder where binaries of previous section are located. Run the following command:

    devtablegen AspProviders.dll

If you see output like this (click on image to see larger copy of it)

Azure development storage table generation

then everything is okay and you can move to next point. If you see database related errors instead then you have to modify these files:

  • c:\program files\windows azure sdk\v1.0\bin\Development.Storage.exe.config
  • c:\program files\windows azure sdk\v1.0\bin\DevtableGen.exe.config
  • c:\program files\windows azure sdk\v1.0\samples\MSBuild\Microsoft.Samples.ServiceHosting.targets

All these files contain database name. If you see there name of database server that doesn’t exist then you have to write correct database server there. After that run devtablegen.exe again.

4. Configuring table storage

As a next thing we have to run Development.Storage.exe that is located in Azure bin folder. Before running it make sure that it already doesn’t run. Development.Storage.exe should look like this.

Windows Azure development storage works

Stop all these services and select Table storage services from Tools-menu. Select AspProviders from dropdown and click Ok. Now is table storage configured and you can run services again.

To work safe on your Azure development environment I suggest you to be logged in as Administrator. By example Azure Development Fabric must be run as Administrator. And also you have a lot less UAC dialogs to confirm when you are logged in as Administrator. :)

Gunnar Peipman

Gunnar Peipman is ASP.NET, Azure and SharePoint fan, Estonian Microsoft user group leader, blogger, conference speaker, teacher, and tech maniac. Since 2008 he is Microsoft MVP specialized on ASP.NET.

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