Over the past twelve months I’ve conducted a number of Windows Azure Boot Camps around the country with Microsoft’s Mike Benkovich. One of the biggest challenges we notice developers facing is simply getting all of the necessary components installed and configured so they can start developing for Azure. After the latest boot camp in Tulsa, Alex Culp (a colleague of mine at RBA) decided to put together a FAQ to help folks get up and running. Below are the most common questions (and answers) we’ve encountered this past year. I hope it helps.

Which versions and editions of Windows are supported for development?

Windows 7 (Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise Editions)
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Vista (Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise Editions) with Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2

Please note the following operating systems are not supported:
Windows XP
Windows Vista/7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium editions

Why do the Windows Azure SDK and tools for Visual Studio fail to install?

In order to install the Windows Azure SDK and tools for Visual Studio you must install Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2010.

How do I change the instance of SQL the Windows Azure storage emulator uses?

You can use the DSInit Command-Line Tool to specify which instance of SQL the Windows Azure storage emulator uses on your development machine. If you installed the Windows Azure SDK in the default location, DSInit can be found at C:Program FilesWindows Azure SDK<SDK version>bindevstore. Below is an example of how to use DSInit to configure the Windows Azure storage emulator to use the default (unnamed) instance of SQL Server on the local machine.

  1. Run a command prompt as an administrator.
  2. Change the working directory to C:Program FilesWindows Azure SDK<SDK version>bindevstore.
  3. Type the following DSInit /sqlinstance:. /forcecreate
  4. Press Enter

To view the most current option list, type DSInit /? at the command prompt from the installed location.

What if I receive an error message that one or more ports used by the Compute Emulator are currently used by other processes?

  1. Determine if any of the following ports are being used by a non-Windows service: 15095, 15096, 15097, 15098, 15099, or 15100. You can run netstat –an from the command line to determine which ports are currently in use.
  2. Navigate to the installation directory of the Compute Emulator. By default the Compute Emulator is installed at C:Program FilesWindows Azure Emulatoremulatordevfabric.
  3. In the DevFc.exe.config file, locate the add port entry that contains the conflicting port value and modify the value to use a non-conflicting port. The DevFc.exe.config file entries that can be affected are:
    <add key=”ManagementServicePort” value=”15095″ />
    <add key=”RepositoryServicePort” value=”15096″ />
    <add key=”AgentCallbackPort” value=”15097″ />
    <add key=”AgentPort” value=”15098″ />
    <add key=”PxeResponderPort” value=”15100″ />
  4. In the DfService.exe.config file, locate the dfservice element and modify the ManagementServicePort or RepositoryServicePort attribute to use a non-conflicting port.
    <dfservice ManagementServicePort=”15095″ RepositoryServicePort=”15096″ />
  5. Press F5 to restart the application or run the CSRun Command-Line Tool.

What if I receive an “Unable to connect to dfService” error message?

There are two potential causes of this problem. The first could be that a non-Windows Azure service is listening on a port Windows Azure requires. To resolve this, take the following steps:

  1. Identify any non-Windows Azure service that is listening on the following ports: 12000, 12001, 12002, 808, 16001, or 15100.
  2. Stop the identified service.
  3. Press F5 to restart the application.

The second cause of this issue could be due to a space in the Windows name of the user trying to run the service. To resolve this, take the following steps:

  1. Open a Windows Azure command prompt.
  2. Set the environment variable _CSRUN_STATE_DIRECTORY to a path that does not contain spaces. (For example, _CSRUN_STATE_DIRECTORY=c:dftemp)
  3. Use CSRun.exe /devfabric:start to start the emulator.

(For more information see the following MSDN article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh472165.aspx)

Why can’t I connect to SQL Azure from SQL Server Management Studio?

In order to connect to SQL Azure from SQL Server Management Studio, you need to be running SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 (Express or full edition). You can download the Express edition here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/editions/express.aspx. Be sure to select the download that includes the tools.

In order to connect to SQL Azure you also need to ensure that you’ve configured the SQL Azure firewall to accept traffic from your machine. You can find instructions on how to configure the SQL Azure firewall here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee621783.aspx

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