In my previous post, I talk about why you can not add Visual Studio Online to an Existing Windows Azure MSDN benefit subscription. In this post, I will show you how to add and existing Visual Studio Online (formally know as TFS Online) to your existing Windows Azure account.
Create Your “Pay-As-You-Go” Account
If you already, have a “Pay-As-You-Go” account you can jump to the “Link Your Existing Visual Studio Online Account” section
First you have to sign in to your Windows Azure account. You should see something like this.
Click on the Add Subscription button. This will take you to the Add Subscription page. You should see a few choices, scroll down until you see the “Pay-As-You-Go” selection highlighted below.
You should then be brought to the purchase section,
Note, you might have to validate your mobile number and/or put in a credit card number. Click purchase, and after a minute or so, your “Pay-As-You-Go” account is established. You can view it by clicking on the Portal button or visiting the Windows Azure Portal.
Linking Your Existing Visual Studio Online Account
Now that you have the “Pay-As-You-Go” account added to Windows Azure, we can click on the Visual Studio Online tab in the Windows Azure portal
or click the new button.
If you click, the new button you will have to navigate to “App Services”, then “Visual Studio Online”, then “Link to Existing”. For me, since my Windows Azure credentials were the same as my Visual Studio Online credentials, it automatically populated the account name. Click the button and the Link to Existing Account message will appear.
Once the account has been linked you will see the account ready screen.
Now, from the Windows Azure dashboard, you will see your Visual Studio Online account.
I don’t know about you but when I watched the Visual Studio launch earlier this week I was really excited about some of the cool new features added. The first thing I wanted to try out was Visual Studio Online. I figured I have a Windows Azure account setup through my MSDN subscription so I’d be set. Unfortunately, like most people found out when they tried to add their Visual Studio Online account they could not. We were all getting this message…
You have no eligible Windows Azure subscriptions. To buy monthly user licenses or shared resources for your Visual Studio Online account, you’ll need another Windows Azure subscription.
I went to the Windows Azure account portal to make sure that I did have an active subscription, in fact I have two, but I still could not add or link my existing Visual Studio Online account. I posted a message on one of the Windows Azure list and after a few hours some one pointed me to this forum post. This forum post explains why you can not add an Visual Studio Online account to an existing Windows Azure MSDN account. It essentially boils down to billing. The Windows Azure MSDN benefit has the ability to “cap” the spending in Windows Azure. This does not work for Visual Studio Online. If you think about it, it makes sense. Do you not want to lose access to your source code because you hit your spending limit? Probably not. In order to add your Visual Studio Online account you have to get create a Windows Azure “Pay as you Go” subscription. Don’t worry, you get a bunch of the benefits free.
Within a Visual Studio Online account, you simply pay for user plans for the users who join your account and for resources that are shared amongst all users on the account. The first five users with the Basic plan and all eligible MSDN subscribers (Visual Studio Professional with MSDN and above) can join your account at no charge. Learn more about Visual Studio with MSDN.
Hopefully this helps. My next post will talk about Adding Visual Studio Online to an Windows Azure MSDN benefit.
This Part 4 of a series of posts about my “upgrade” to Windows Azure.
Next up in the series is customizing the Windows Azure Web Site. Note: This blog post is based on the Preview version of Windows Azure Web Sites and might change in the future.
Note: There is an article on the Windows Azure site that will cover some of this content.
When you first come to you web site from the management portal you are presented with a screen similar to this.
The start page gives you three options:
Get the tools
WebMatrix is a free, lightweight web development tool that includes everything you need to create web sites and publish applications for Windows Azure. WebMatrix supports the latest web technologies, including ASP.NET, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, Node and more. The Windows Azure SDKs allow you to build applications that take advantage of Windows Azure's scalable cloud computing resources.
Clicking on this link will redirect you to the latest and greatest version of WebMatrix.
Install a Windows Azure SDK
Clicking on this link will redirect your to the downloads page for all of the Windows Azure SDKs. There are SDKs available for Mobile development, including Andriod, iOS, Windows Phone 8, and Windows Store. Here are some of the others
- .NET: Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012
- Media libraries and player frameworks.
Publish your app
After you set up a web site and dependent resources, such as a database, you can download the generated publish profile, import it into a development tool such as WebMatrix or Visual Web Developer, and deploy your web site to Windows Azure within seconds. You can also publish your web application from FTP directly by setting up deployment credentials in the portal and pushing the application to Windows Azure from your favorite FTP client.
There will be more on this in a future blog post.
Integrate source control
Set up continuous deployment from source control providers like TFS, CodePlex, GitHub, Dropbox, or Bitbucket. You can also deploy from a local Git repository on your machine.
There will be more on this in a future blog post.
The dashboard allows you to see some performance metrics of your site. These are CPU Time, Data In, Data Out, HTTP Server Errors, and Requests.
The usage overview shows you where you might be in trouble of hitting the limits of the the type of site you have (free, shared, reserved).
This shows you every thing that you will need to connect to your Windows Azure services.
The monitor displays the some of the web sites performance counters like CPU time, Data In, Data Out, etc.
Choose the version of .NET language runtime to use. The current supported version is v.3.5 and v4.5
Choose the version of PHP to use. The current supported versions are 5.3 and 5.4.
Lists the domain names that are associated with your account. If you have a Shared or Reserved instance, you can click on Manage domains to add or remove domains or subdomains.
You can turn on any of the application diagnostics like application logging to the file system and application logging to a Windows Azure Storage account.
You can turn on any of the three site wide diagnostics settings like Web Server Logging, Detailed Error Messages, and Failed Request Tracing.
Endpoint monitoring lets you monitor the availability of HTTP or HTTPS endpoints from geo-distributed locations. You can test an endpoint from up to three geo-distributed locations. A monitoring test fails if the HTTP response code is greater than or equal to 400 or if the response takes more than 30 seconds. An endpoint is considered available if its monitoring tests succeed from all the specified locations.
Specify name/value pairs that will be loaded by your web application when it starts.
Show any connection strings associated with linked resources.
Use this setting to add, remove, or reorder your web site's default documents.
Specify a custom script processor to handle requests for the file extension that you specified. To do this, provide a path for the custom script. The path must be relative to the FTP root directory of the web site. You can use optional arguments.
Windows Azure offers three modes for you to run your web sites: Free, Shared, and Reserved. In the Free and Shared modes, all web sites run in a multi-tenant environment and have quotas for usage of CPU, memory, and network resources. You can decide which sites you want to run in Free mode and which sites you want to run in Shared mode. Shared mode employs less stringent resource usage quotas than Free mode. The maximum number of sites you can run in Free mode may vary with your plan. When you choose Reserved mode, all your web sites run in Reserved mode on dedicated virtual machines that correspond to standard Windows Azure compute resources.
Note: This can affect the cost of running your web site on Windows Azure.
This count denotes the number of processes dedicated to a web site. By increasing the value for this setting, you can scale your web site for additional throughput and availability.
Note: This can affect the cost of running your web site on Windows Azure.
This will show you a list of other Windows Azure Services that you have linked or attached to the web site, like a database.
This Part 3 of a series of posts about my “upgrade” to Windows Azure.
Next up in the series is creating the Windows Azure Web Site. Note: This blog post is based on the Preview version of Windows Azure Web Sites and might change in the future.
To get create a new Web Site from the management portal you simply need to click on the + New button.
Creating the Web Site
From here a menu will appear. Hint: if you are in the Web Sites section of the Table of Contents, you will get three new web site selections available, otherwise you will have to navigate “Compute" then “Web Site”
You’ll see that I have 3 options
Quickly create your web site by specifying a URL. You can perform tasks like deployment and configuration later.
Create a web site with additional options, such as a new or existing database, or with continuous deployment from source control.
Choose a web application from the gallery. This lets you choose from one of the many preconfigured ASP.NET applications like WordPress.
Click on Quick Create and you will be asked to enter a URL and Region for your website like this.
Whether you are choosing a Free, Shared or Reserved web site you must select the subdomain to use with .azurewebsites.net. The site will do a real time check to see if you have chosen a name that already exists like this.
If the subdomain you have chosen is valid and available the text box will look like this.
If you region is good, you can click on Create Web Site.
Unfortunately, I could not get a screen shot to show the status will it was creating but this is what the page looks like after
You’ll notice now that I have a second web site created, in like 10 seconds. with a notification telling me it was complete.
For custom complete you are asked for a little bit more information.
URL: Must be a subdomain that is valid an available
Region: Chose a region close to where your primary users will be.
Database: Select from the following choices
If you have existing databases, you can select one of them. If you select Create a new SQL Server database or Create a new MySQL database, you will get prompted for more details around that database. Note: If the web site region and database region do not match, you will get an alert similar to this.
Publish from source control: If you select this option, you have the ability to chose from one of many options including:
- Team Foundation Service
- External repository
- Local Git Repository
Each one of these will take to a login page for that service where you can authorize access to the service.
For the Gallery, you get to choose from a wide selection of prebuilt sites and templates. These are broken up into categories to make the selection easier. Here are some (not all) of the out of the cloud templates:
- Acquia Drupal
- ASP.NET Empty Site
- BlogEngine.NET (my favorite)
- and many more….
Once you choose one, there will be prompts for the specific site you choose to install.
This Part 2 of a series of posts about my “upgrade” to Windows Azure.
Next up in this series is the Windows Azure Management Portal. It can be accessed directly at https://manage.windowsazure.com/ or by visiting http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/ and clicking on the portal link in the upper hand corner.
To access the portal you will need to sign in with the same Windows Live account that you used to create the account.
Note: There are two different sign is screens available, one for those the use a Microsoft Account for Office 365 and one that use a “regular” Windows Live account like hotmail.com or msn.com.
The “home page” for the portal is broken up into 4 parts:
Part 1 - Navigation Bar
The navigation bar allows you to view documentation, pricing, downloads, community and support. You can also change the language and access your account.
Part 2 – “Table of Contents”
This lets you access off of the Windows Azure Services that you have. There will be a number beneath each services which indicates what have many “items” you have activated with that service. In my example, I have 1 Web Site and 2 SQL Databases. You can click on any of these to access the service.
Part 3 – Main Body
This is where the settings or actions of the service items live. In the example above, you see all items which lists all of the services I have and their current status.
For the “All Items” selection you get a list of all the services that you have a subscription and their statuses. Windows Azure allows you to have multiple subscriptions linked to one account, that is why the subscription column is present.
Part 4 – App Bar
The app bar is synonymous with the Windows 8 app bar, it provides actions that you can take based on what service you are in and what item is selected. In the example above I have a web site selected so I am presented with the ability to:
- Create a new Web Site
- Browse the Site
- Stop the Site
- Restart the Site
- Manage Domains
- Delete the Site
- Install Web Matrix
- View (context sensitive) Help