ASP.NET MVC In The Clouds
Quick question? What’s higher than a kite?
No, it’s not me nor Cheech and Chong. It’s a cloud!
Bad jokes (but funny video link) aside, Windows Azure, Microsoft’s foray into cloud computing, is getting a lot of attention right now. The basic idea behind cloud computing is you can host your application in the cloud and pay a monthly fee much like a utility such as paying for water and power.
The benefit is you don’t have to deal with the infrastructure work and maintenance and you get “elastic” scalability, meaning your application can dynamically scale to meet rising need without much work on your part. That’s the idea at least.
The Saturday evening before I left for the PDC, Eilon (lead dev for ASP.NET MVC) and I got together to try out ASP.NET MVC with the Azure Dev Fabric environment. This was something we promised to prototype for Jim Nakashima of the Azure team before the PDC, but were … ah … a little late to deliver. ;)
We had good reason as we had been pre-occupied with getting the Beta release out, but still felt bad for totally dropping the ball, hence the late Saturday night pair programming session.
It turned out that it didn’t take long to get the default ASP.NET MVC project template sample app running in the Dev Fabric, which Jim later posted to his blog. Unfortunately, we didn’t invite a QA person over that evening and didn’t test the entire site thoroughly. While the home and about page worked, the account pages requiring the Membership Provider didn’t. Doh!
Fortunately Jim recently updated the sample to now work with ASP.NET Providers running in the cloud and posted it to his blog. Even before Jim updated the sample we delivered to him, Aaron Lerch posted his own step by step guide to getting providers to work. Nice!
The sample project Jim posted has some fixes to the project that allow it to work in the actual cloud. There were a couple of minor bugs regarding rendering URLs with port numbers when using our form helpers (already fixed in our trunk) that would not affect most people, but does happen to affect running in the cloud.