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Tag: Azure

The White Pages are now Running on Windows and SQL Azure

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve hosted it internally on our premises. Part of the reason for this was that I wanted to have full control over what was going on with it, and I wanted to work in a familiar environment. For me, that was of course the Microsoft stack. While SharePoint has excellent blogging features, made even better by the Community Kit for SharePoint: Enhanced Blog Edition, my feeling is that its feature set is more applicable to an inside the firewall deployment. Also, if I were to use SharePoint for this purpose, I’d be constantly distracted by the desire to improve upon it.

What I needed was a platform that was focused on blogging, and that I wouldn’t wind up tinkering with too much. I settled on WordPress, which seemed to be very well supported, and quite good at what it did. WordPress had direct integration with Windows Live Writer, and had apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and now Windows Phone 7.

WordPress natively runs on PHP and MySQL, and typically runs in Linux environments. However, since IIS supports PHP and MySQL runs on Windows, it is possible to get it running in my “familiar environment”. Normally doing this sort of thing is a bear, but by using the Web Platform Installer from Microsoft, the installation was a breeze. All that was necessary was to run it, and select WordPress as a desired application. The installer then took care of downloading PHP, MySQL, WordPress, and integrating them all together. After answering a few account and password questions, I was up and running, and have been ever since.

The one drawback of this approach was that I was hosting it myself, and therefore always concerned with reliability and uptime. More importantly it has been sharing a server with other applications, and more than once has gone down because another system needed a reboot, crashed, or something. A hosted environment was obvious, and since I’ve been exploring the Azure platform lately, I thought I’d see what was involved.  One of the advantages of the MVP program, which I’m newly a part of is that you are allocated a certain amount of Azure computing hours, so off I went experimenting.

Happily, one weekend later, this blog has been transitioned to a high speed, and highly available platform, that most importantly, I don’t have to maintain. Not only that, but I’ve been able to take MySQL out of the picture completely, and I’m using a SQL Azure database as my data store. I had several false starts right away, and I’m going to document the approach  that I took and post it here shortly, but for now, I’m pretty happy with the results.

Hello Azure!

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I’ll Be At the Microsoft World Partner Conference Next Week

The Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) is being held in Washington next week. It’s an different sort of conference, and I almost elected not to go this year. In the past I’ve found the sessions to be a little light (but then, I am a techie, and this is a business conference) but this year it’s a solid line up.

I’m looking forward to meeting a few of the Product Managers, particularly around the Azure and BPOS space. My spider sense is telling me that very interesting things are about to happen here, and my company is very well positioned to take advantage of the cloud, and the new emphasis on it from Microsoft.

It will also be very good to catch up with our friends from Nintex, who are not only fun, but are always working on interesting things.

If you want to follow the goings on, you can follow the #wpc10 hash tag on Twitter. I’ll probably be more active than normal on twitter, I can be found at @diverdown1964, and I may even try my hand at liveblogging,but don’t count on it.

If you’re going to be there,and you run into one of the many John White there, I’ll be the tall one. Please say hi!

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