Couple of days back, I started to look at Windows Azure and in the process, I first started reading about it on the Windows Azure website. And one of the logical (and preferred) learning methods for me, personally, was to learn-by-doing (experiential learning). So I started with the basic .NET Web Application with SQL Azure tutorial. I will recommend anyone starting to learn more about Windows Azure, to get hands-on with this tutorial. The entire tutorial is easy to understand and follow, builds on the sample logically and incrementally, and helps quickly ‘see’ what the app would be like – needless to say that the application created at the end of the tutorial can be put to use in day-to-day activities immediately as well.
There is one bit of note that I wanted to share from my experience with this tutorial. When you are in the section named “DEPLOYING YOUR APPLICATION TO WINDOWS AZURE” and in Step 8, the tutorial suggests keeping the defaults as shown and then clicking the ‘Publish’ button to start the publishing it. I did the same and did not quite notice that keeping the defaults, as suggested, in my case meant that the ‘Environment’ field was set to ‘Staging’ as shown below.
But the screenshot displayed in the tutorial shows the ‘Environment’ set as ‘Production’.
(image source: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/tutorials/web-app-with-sql-azure/)
And because of this, even though I had changed the entries in the ‘Web.Release.Config’ (as mentioned in the tutorial), I kept getting a error on the web site after deploying and publishing the app. The error wasn’t too descriptive either to be of much help. It was after quite some time and browsing through various forums, discussion groups and going through the tutorial steps again, I made the changes suggested in the Tutorial to the ‘Web.config’ file (instead of the ‘Web.Release.Config’ file since my project was setup for the ‘Staging’ environment) and it finally worked!
The other option possibly could have been to change the ‘environment’ variable to ‘Production” and have the changes mentioned in the tutorial to the ‘Web.Release.Config’, as suggested in the tutorial.
Sharing this experience, incase you happen to see a similar error too when you are working through this tutorial.