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Getting Started with Windows Azure

Getting Started with Windows Azure - Part 4: Steps to create Windows Azure Websites

Apr 18 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see how to create a Windows Azure Websites which is a new component that is recently released as a service. In our previous article we have seen about the Windows Azure Management portal and the different sections of the portal in order to use it effectively. Windows Azure Web Sites is used to quickly and easily deploy websites to a highly scalable and available cloud environment. With this Azure create Web Sites we can quickly create a web site from the list of available packages that are listed in the Gallery. Let us see the steps by step process on how to create a new Windows Azure website.

Steps:

Open Windows Azure Management Portal in Internet explorer and login with the credentials which we used while registering initially. Once we authenticated successful we can see the list of Azure components as shown in the screen below:

list of Azure components

Now to start creating our website click on New at the left bottom of the page and we can see the list of components that are available to create with Windows Azure as shown in the screen below:

list of components

In the list of components we can see an option called Website which is in preview and yet to have the final version. Click on Websites and we can see 3 options which are Quick Create, Custom Create and Gallery in the list, out of which we will select Gallery option so that we can use a package which is available preconfigured and kept ready to use from the Gallery of Windows Azure websites.

Gallery of Windows Azure websites

Clicking on Windows Azure Website Gallery will open an inline popup wizard, which is used to start customizing the Website package with the configuration inputs that are required to initialize the website package to start using the website as shown in the screen below:

website package

Now in the list select the website packages which are predefined and available in the gallery. These web applications that are packaged and available in the gallery are tested apps in the Windows Azure websites and that runs perfectly without any interims or any issues. So we can use these apps in full trust with Microsoft providing a highly scalable environment for the application to perform to the core with the help of the Window Azure components. Let us use the most popular Word press websites in our example so that we can get a clear idea on the step-by-step process.

Word press website

Click on the Next arrow button at the bottom and we can see the option to configure the Site Settings and the input parameters that are required to customize the application to run on windows Azure. Enter the name of the website and select the database where we can select creating a new MySQL database or use an existing database from the list along with the Region to which the website should be deployed as shown in the screen below:

select website

Since we selected the option to use an Existing available database we will see the option to select which database to use from the list of available MySQL databases. Since we are going to use the MySQL free version we need to agree to the terms by clicking on the checkbox at the bottom of the page Wizard as shown in the screen below:

Existing MySQL databases

Clicking on Finish will start publishing the package application to the Windows Azure environment and we can see the status of the App being provisioned in real time as shown in the screen below:

status of the App

Once the provisioned is completed we can see the application available real time to access and use it to access it online. Now click on the application name and we can see the application dashboard along with the properties as shown in the screen below:

application dashboard

So what is the URL to access the application? Scroll down the dashboard and we can see the Site URL that is available which is used to access the application. Also we can see the different other options like FTP access link, FTP user credentials, Diagnostics Logs etc. as shown in the screen below:

different options

Clicking on the URL http://F5debugBRApp.azurewebsites.net will open the website in the browser, which we can customize it further as per the requirement.

Conclusion:

So in this article we have seen how to create a new Windows Azure Website from the list of available packages from the Gallery and customize it based on our requirement. We can use the different packages that are available from the Gallery or as well we can create our own Website application and deploy it directly to the Windows Azure websites through Visual Studio or WebMatrix tools that are available for deploying the application directly to Windows Azure environment.


Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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