Slides and Links from MPN Windows Azure Briefing 19th Oct 2011

Big thanks to everyone who attended my Windows Azure workshop in Birmingham yesterday. Two of you were kind enough to say it was the “best session of the day” – thanks! Shame my laptop twin gpus refuse to be tamed!

Main next steps are:

Other links

And finally, the slides can be download from Windows Azure Storage🙂

Slides and Links from Windows Azure Discovery Workshop Oct 11th

On Tuesday David and I delivered a Windows Azure Discovery Workshop in Reading. A big thank you to everyone who attended and asked such great questions – I know David and I really enjoyed the day even if the agenda went out the window early on!

The next step is to sign up at for FREE assistance to fully explore and adopt the Windows Azure Platform.

Note: We have further FREE Windows Azure Discovery Workshops taking place in November and December if you would also like to explore the possibilities whilst getting a more detailed grounding in the technology. They take place in Reading, are completely FREE and the next is on November the 8th.



Related Links:

Slides and Links from UK BizSpark Azure Camp Sep 30th

On Friday David and I delivered a new session as part of a great agenda for the BizSpark Azure Camp. Our session was “10 Great Questions to ask about the Windows Azure Platform”.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and asked such great questions – and also to the other speakers for making it a great day.

One of the things we discussed was “next steps”. I would recommend the monthly Windows Azure Discovery Workshops if you are new to the platform and would like to explore the possibilities whilst getting a more detailed grounding in the technology. They take place in Reading, are completely FREE and the next is on October the 11th. Hope to see some of you there.



Related Links:

Nice idea–“Under Fire” resources for the Windows Azure Platform

Just stumbled across this work from Alik. He has grouped together resources for those moments when you need answers quickly. Thanks Alik.

Handy online tool for accessing SQL Azure

Yesterday I posted on SQL Azure Backup from Red-Gate but I forgot to mention another handy tool they have in BETA – This is a zero install application (which one could call a “web site” Smile) and is a nice addition to my toolbag for working with SQL Azure.

Step 1: Provide the server details


Step 2: Write T-SQL Smile


Related Links

Backing up SQL Azure with Backup from Red-Gate

Last week I finally got round to trying out the beta of a new tool from Red-Gate software – SQL Azure Backup. It is an example of one of those tools that just makes you smile – small download, no install, works as advertised and even has a little “character” Smile

It can backup to SQL Server or to Windows Azure Blob Storage using Microsoft’s Import/Export Service.

Step 1: Enter your SQL Azure Details


Step 2: Enter details of the target – in this case a local SQL Express


Step 3: Make a cup of tea🙂


OR – watch what is happening. It creates a new db in SQL Azure for transactional consistency


Which then gets the schema and data


Which is ultimately deleted


Step 4: Backup is complete


Step 5: And the target database is ready


Related Links

Universal ASP.NET Providers??? Getting SQL Azure to handle your Session State

While pulling together this post on the August release of the Windows Azure Tools I noted that the ASP.NET MVC 3 template included “the new universal ASP.Net providers that support SQL Azure”. Which made me pause and think … “What universal ASP.NET Providers?”

Looks like their existence completely passed me by🙂

Scott Hanselman summarised the purpose of the Universal Providers back in June. Simply put they extend Session, Membership, Roles and Profile support to include SQL Compact Edition and SQL Azure. In all other ways they work like the existing SQL-based providers. They are released via a NuGet Package (something else I need to dig into more).

What this means is we now have a supported way of doing session state with SQL Azure, rather than via workarounds (e.g. this one from Wayne)

By default, the NuGet package sets the connection string to use a SQL Server Express database:



Initial Catalog=aspnet;

Integrated Security=True;

User Instance=True;



For SQL Azure you simply change to:

“data source=myDNSName;

Initial Catalog=myDatabase;

User ID=myUserName;






Related Links