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Getting Started with Windows Azure

Getting Started with Windows Azure - Part 9: Manually Deploy ASP.NET MVC application to Windows Azure WebSites using WebMatrix

May 23 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   

Introduction:

In this article, we are going to see how we can manually test and deploy the application which we developed in Visual Studio 2012 to Windows Azure Websites using the WebMatrix tool. In our earlier article we have seen how to deploy the ASP.NET MVC application which we developed in Visual Studio 2012 to the Azure environment using the inbuilt tools and services by packaging and uploading from the Visual Studio IDE itself. So here we are going to do the manual work on deploying the application that too using the WebMatrix tool. For the beginners who are not comfortable of WebMatrix is a free and lightweight web development tool with which we can Create, publish, and maintain any website with ease.

Let us see the step-by-step approach to deploy the application which we developed in our previous article using the WebMatrix tool.

Steps:

Open the ASP.NET MVC application, which we developed in Visual studio 2012 IDE as an administrator. Build and execute the project once to check if any dependencies are not associated in any issues or any errors as shown in the screen below:

asp .net mvc application

Since we are going to deploy the application to the Windows Azure Websites, which are like a shared hosting environment, we have very limited resources that can be very much helpful to the application maintenance. So to start with, open the application in Visual Studio IDE, go the web application project, right click on the project, and select the option “Convert to Web Application” as shown in the screen below:

Convert to Web Application

Now again right click on the project and select the publish option, which will create a list of publishable files and folders, which we can manually package and upload to the Azure environment as shown in the screen below:

publish

Now a new window open, which is the Publish wizard with which we can directly publish the application to the Windows Azure environment but it, will publish to the Cloud Services. Since we want to publish the application to the Windows Azure Web sites we can simply proceed the below steps as shown in the screen below:

connection

Since we selected the File system we can see the files and folders that are required to run the application on the IIS web server will be published to this folder and we can see the status in the Visual Studio IDE itself as shown in the screen below:

files and folders

Navigate to the folder which we selected for the publish files options and we can see a list of files and folders that the visual studio generates which are very much required to start the project in any IIS Supportive environment. Now go to the folder, right click on the folder name, and select the option “Open as website with Microsoft WebMatrix” as shown in the screen below:

Open as website with Microsoft WebMatrix

If WebMatrix was not installed, first install the tool from the Microsoft website free of cost and then open the files. We can see the list of files and folder that are available as a list view in the Microsoft WebMatrix environment as shown in the screen below:

list view

Click on Run and select the browser to which we want to check the application, here in our case we use the Internet explorer and we can see the application runs perfectly as this tool inbuilt has its own IIS Express running to manage the requests that comes from the application as shown in the screen below:

run application

Now the files and folders are working perfectly and we need to upload these files to the Windows Azure Web Sites, so first create an empty Window Azure website with the website name and the basic region and subscription to provision as shown in the screen below:

Windows Azure Web Sites

On successful Windows Azure web site creation navigate to the website Dashboard and get the FTP details, which can be used to upload the deployable files to the Windows Azure environment as shown in the screen below:

dashboard

Now go back to WebMatrix and select the Remote option available at the top left corner and select the publish option. We can see a windows which asks if we have a hosting environment or need to create one. Select we have a hosting environment option and select the FTP or web deploy option and enter the FTP details as shown in the screen below:

FTP details

Click on Test Connection option and see if the provided credentials are accurate, once the connection is successful proceed with publishing and access the website online.

Conclusion:

Therefore, in this article we have seen how to manually test the application developed using Visual Studio 2012 IDE in a Microsoft WebMatrix tool and upload the application directly from the tool to the Windows Azure websites easily in simple steps.


Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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