Archive for June, 2011

Windows Azure: How-To Create a Certificate in pfx format

June 8, 2011 1 comment

In this article, I will show you how to create a certificate in pfx format. This certificate will be required to create a remote desktop login to your Windows Azure application web role instance.

If you want to create a Remote Desktop connection to your Windows Azure web role instance, view my previous post on How-To Create Remote Desktop to Windows Azure.

  1. From step 4 in my previous post on How-To Create Remote Desktop to Windows Azure., select Create from the drop down.
  2. Enter a name for this certificate. Then click OK.
  3. Now, click View on the newly created/selected certificate.
  4. Click on the Details tab, and click on Copy to file.
  5. The Certificate Export Wizard should pop-up. Click Next.
  6. Select Yes, export the private key and click Next.
  7. Select Personal Information Exchange – PKCS #12 (.PFX) option and click Next.
  8. Enter the password that you will use to login when you connect to the Remote Desktop. Then click Next.
  9. Click Browse and select where to save the PFX file and give the file a name. Then click Next.
  10. Review the settings and click Finish. Navigate to the folder that you selected for the cert to export to and you will find the PFX file there.

Windows Azure: How-To Create Remote Desktop to Windows Azure

June 8, 2011 1 comment

In this article, I will show you how to create a remote desktop connection to your Windows Azure application web role. I will assume that you have already created a Windows Azure project and a Web Application project in Visual Studio. If you have not do, please see my post here on How To Create Classic ASP Solution.

  1. Load your Windows Azure Project in Visual Studio
  2. On the Windows Azure project, Right-Click and select Publish
  3. On the pop-up wizard, click on Configure Remote Desktop Connections
  4. Select a certificate. Enter username, password, confirm password, and expiration date and click OK. Then click OK again on the Deploy Windows Azure Project wizard.
    If you do not have a certificate created, see How-To Create a Certificate in pfx format

Note: You should be able to see some changes made to the ServiceConfiguration.cscfg and ServiceDefinition.csdef files.





Windows Azure: How-To Add Instance in Management Portal

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment

In this article, I will show you how you can add/reduce instances for your Windows Azure application. You can also use the steps below to edit other configurations in your application. This is equivalent to editing the .csdef file in your source code solution from Visual Studio.

  1. Login to the Windows Azure Management Portal using your Live ID at
  2. Once you’re logged in, click on Hosted Services, Storage Accounts & CDN at the lower left of the page.
  3. Next, click on your application where its type is Deployment.
  4. At the ribbon on the centre top of your page, click on Configure.
  5. Click on Edit Current Configuration in the pop-up window.
  6. Now, look for the instance count tag that shows how many instance your application has and edit the number of instance count.
  7. Finally, click OK and wait for the application to be updated.

Note: If you have at least one instance running, there will be no downtime to your application. So  you don’t have to worry that there is downtime while the updating be being executed.

How-To Create a .cmd Command File

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

In this article, I will show you how to create a .cmd file. This post is actually created to support my previous article on Windows Azure: How to Enable Classic ASP Support. It is actually very simple to create a .cmd command file. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Launch Notepad by clicking on Start then type Notepad on the search bar. Click on Notepad to launch the program.
  2. Type in your commands in Notepad. For example: start /w pkgmgr /iu:IIS-ASP
  3. Save your file with a name of your choice BUT with an extension of .cmd.
    Make sure that the Save as type is All Files, and Encoding is ANSI

That’s it!! You have created your own .cmd file.

Windows Azure: SQL Azure Data Sync

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

In this article, I will show you how to synchronize the databases between on-premise SQL server and SQL Azure. FYI, no code involved in this demonstration.


Register for SQL Azure Data Sync Service


  1. Navigate to
  2. Read the Terms Of Use.
  3. Check the "I have read and I accept the Terms Of Use" checkbox, if you accept the Terms Of Use.
  4. Click Next.
    Terms of Use
  5. Fill out the "User Registration" form.
    "Registration Code" can be applied from
  6. Click Submit.
    User Registration

Create an Agent for your SQL Server Database


  1. Once your SQL Azure Data Sync account is ready, return to the SQL Azure Data Sync UI.
  2. Navigate to Agents tab.
  3. Click Generate Agent Key.
  4. Enter the Agent’s name and click Generate.
  5. Then, highlight the Agent key and copy it to the clipboard.
    Generate Agent Key
  6. Install the AgentServiceSetup.msi by clicking the download link.
  7. Install the service accordingly to the instruction.
  8. Once the installation completed, launch the Agent Configuration Tool from Start | All Programs | Microsoft SQL Azure Data Sync CTP | SQL Azure Data Sync Agent CTP2.

      Configure AgentConfigData.xml

  9. Check the "Encrypt Password" checkbox.
    Ecrypt Password
  10. Click "Edit Agent Key" and paste the agent key from your clipboard into the Agent Key space.
    Agent Key
  11. Click "Ping Sync Service" to confirm that the Sync Service is running and your proxies can successfully connect to the service.
  12. "Successfully pinged service" alert will pop up if the connection successfully established.

    Add SQL Server Databases to the Agent

  13. Click "Add Member" from the toolbar.
  14. Add the SQL Server details.
  15. Click "Test Connection".
  16. If the connection succeeds, click Save and close the dialog.
    SQL Server Configuration

      Run SQL Azure Data Sync Agent Service

  17. Open run.exe.
  18. Search for services.msc.
  19. Click on the program called "Services".
  20. Look for SQL Azure Data Sync Agent CTP2.
  21. Right click on it and Start the service.
  22. Click Apply then click OK.
  23. Close the Services window and return to the SQL Azure Data Sync web UI.

    Register the SQL Server Databases


  1. Navigate back to
  2. Go to "Databases" tab.
  3. Click "Add".
  4. Register your database accordingly for your on-premise SQL Server and SQL Azure server.
    Add Databases
    * For the first time synchronization, please create a SQL Azure database.

    Create a Sync Group

  1. Navigate to
  2. Go to "Sync Groups" tab.
  3. Click "New Sync Group".
  4. Click on the "Registered Databases" dropdown list.
  5. Add both on-premise SQL Server and SQL Azure server databases into the "Member List".
  6. Type your preferable "Sync Group Name" and click Next.
    New Sync Group
  7. Select the tables from each server that you want to synchronize.
  8. Check the "Enabled" checkbox and set your preferable schedule time for the synchronization.
  9. Click "Create Sync Group".
    Add tables
  10. Well, that all for the demonstration. You may view the Synchronization logs from the "Sync Logs" tab.

Windows Azure: How to create Hosted Service

June 4, 2011 Leave a comment

In this article, I will show you how to create a Hosted Service in Windows Azure. A hosted service is used to host your Windows Azure application. It’s like setting up your hosting server, web server, networking, and domain name all in one place here.

  1. Login to the Windows Azure Management Portal using your Live ID at
  2. Once you’re logged in, click on the New Hosted Service at the top left of the page.
  3. From the pop-up wizard, choose your subscription account from the dropdown.
  4. In the Service Name, type a name for this service. It will help you identify the service when you have deployed multiple services.
  5. In  Choose a URL for your service, type a subdomain name to create the URL at which your service will be available.
  6. If you have created Affinity groups and you want to assign this service to a particular group, click the radio button next to the Affinity Group dropdown. Otherwise leave the default setting of No Affinity.
  7. Choose a region for your service to be hosted at.
  8. If you’re not deploying a package to the service at this time, choose Do not deploy. Then click OK.

    Deploying a service

  1. From Step 8 above, choose either Deploy to stage environment or Deploy to production environment instead of choosing Do no deploy
  2. Clear the Start after successful deployment if you doesn’t want to run it after a successful deployment.
  3. Give a name for this deployment.
  4. For package location, Browse locally or Browse storage for the service package (cspkg) file.
  5. For configuration file, Browse locally or Browse storage for the Service configuration (cscfg) file.
  6. Optionally, add a certificate if you already have one. Then click OK.

Windows Azure: SQL Azure Database connection string

June 3, 2011 Leave a comment

In this article I will show you how to get connection string for your application to connect to your SQL Azure database.

If you have had experience developing ASP.NET application, the connection string below might be familiar to you.

Data Source=<DATABASE SERVER>;Initial Catalog=<DATABASE>;User ID=<USERNAME>;Password=<PASSWORD>

However in Windows Azure Platform, the connection string is a little bit different from the above. Rather of wasting time figuring out what the connection string to your database is, you can actually get the connection string to your specific Windows Azure SQL Database right from the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal.

Assuming that you have already create your SQL Azure Database, follow the steps below to get your connection string from the Windows Azure Management Portal. If you haven’t do so, see my previous post on How to create a SQL Azure Database.

  1. Login to Windows Azure Management Portal using your Live ID at
  2. Once you’re logged in, click on the Database button at the lower left of the page.
  3. Click on the database you wish to view it’s connection string. Then on the Properties panel at the right side of the page, click on the button next to View.


    Now, you will be able to see 3 different connection string for your database. Copy & Paste the relevant connection string.

    IMPORTANT: Review that you want to use the UserName to connect to the database. Also, you will need to change the Password for the selected user.