Benko-Quick-Tip: How to setup Windows Azure for Web Publish

happy cloud iconWhat’s the deal with a 10 minute wait time to deploy my Windows Azure project to the cloud? I understand that when I deploy Windows Azure Fabric is actually allocating instances and starting machines for me, but sometimes, especially in development,those 10 minutes can seem slow. Well, with the release of Windows Azure 1.3 and the addition of admin mode, full IIS we can work around that that nuisance and set up our instance to install web deploy for us so we can use a Web Publish to the instance’s IIS. Wade Wegner and Ryan Dunn have both published blog posts that detail how this is done, and I recommend reading thru them to get the details.

(Hover over the black box to get to the Silverlight controls to play the video…)

The basic process that happens is that thru the magic of Startup tasks you can run the Web Platform Installer to do the work of adding the WebDAV publishing for you.  Ryan bundled up the loose files into a plug-in zip file that you can add to your SDK’s plug in folder, to be able to complete the task quick and easily. You can download the plug-in from his site, simply download the file from the link and extract the contents to your "%programfiles%\Windows Azure SDK\v1.3\bin\plugins\WebDeploy" folder, and then adding the imports code to your Service Definition file:

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Caution: This work around is meant only for a development purposes in which you have a single instance you’re deploying to. Because we make changes to the instance after deploy, if you re-publish the package whatever changes you’ve made and pushed to Windows Azure thru this method will be overwritten with whatever the last uploaded package contained. For that reason when you’re done working thru your changes you should go thru a re-deploy of your cloud package. I’ve created a new “Benko-Quick-Tip” video that shows how to do this at  http://bit.ly/bqtAzWebDeploy.

By the way – if you’ve got an MSDN Subscription and want to see how to activate your benefits I’ve created a quick-tip video for that too – http://bit.ly/bqtAzAct1.

Enjoy!