Fun with Azure

I’m still waiting on a Storage and Hosting account with Azure. This kind of bites since I am a member of the Cloud Services Advisory Group– I’d have thought I’d get some preferential treatment, but no. Still, I am using the Windows Azure SDK to build stuff. This means that I can still experiment locally. A little while ago, while checking to see if my F# code would run OK with a cloud service, I ran into a deployment issue. I had the SQL Server Express database installed and had the Development Fabric and Development Storage up and running via VS2008. I pressed F5, Internet Explorer eventually popped up, and I saw

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

I then clicked on the Development Fabric, selected the Web Role, and saw this reported in the Web Role window:

Role state Suspended
Role state Started
Role state Stopping
Role state Stopped
Role state Aborted

Also, the ball next to the WebRole was blue instead of green. Blue means bad. (Aside: Is this some sophomoric gag to the team: the role has ‘blue balls’?) Frustrating! I checked that everything was configured correctly and it was. So, I asked my good friend, Google, how to solve the problem. I asked it, You know what? It only had one answer. Here’s the issue: my home PC uses a username with a space in it. At home, I use full names as user names. Example, I am Scott Seely. This means that my user profile points to C:UsersScott Seely. The files/scripts that the Development Fabric uses do not account for spaces in temp folders, which means me and anyone else who dares put a space in their user name will suffer the same fate. The fix is to start the Development Fabric from an elevated command prompt, started from the Microsoft Service Hosting SDK Command Prompt, found under Start–>All Programs–>Microsoft Service Hosting SDK 1.0.0. Make sure that all copies of dfservice.exe are terminated. With that command prompt up, run this command:

bindevfabricdfservice -sp “C:fabrictemp”

Now, you can run your application on the fabric.

BTW, the F# code runs fine on Azure on my local machine. I still don’t know about the situation when running in the cloud, but I assume it will be no more than adding a few DLLs at most.

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