Clustering with the Bing Maps Silverlight Control – Part 3

Publishing to Windows Azure

In the previous 2 parts we have created a Photo-Map with the Bing Maps Silverlight Control and implemented server-side clustering. Now we are going to publish this application to Windows Azure.

Let’s start with the photos. I use SpaceBlock which is available on CodePlex to upload the photos into my Windows Azure Blob Storage.


In this example we don’t want to deal with access control so we just set public access rights on the root-folder:


In the SQL Azure Server Administration Tool we create now a new database.


We will also need to set the firewall rules. In order to allow our Windows Azure application to access the database we need at least “Allow Microsoft Services”. This can be done by simply ticking the checkbox. Since we also want to access the database from our local machine we need to grant access to our own IP address as well. In order to do that we click on “Add Rule”. The web site automatically determines our IP-address. We copy this address and paste it in the start- and end- of the IP range. Then we submit the new rule.


We should now have 2 firewall rules.


Now we need to create the table and populate it with our data. There are a couple of migration tools out there but if we use SQL Server 2008 R2 we already have all we need. In the SQL Server Management Studio we right-click on your database and select from the context menu “Tasks” and then “Generate Scripts”.


In the wizard we select the objects that we want to script and then in the advanced options we select that we want to script for a SQL Azure database and that we want both the schemas and the data.


Now we change the database connection in our SQL Server Management Studio to our SQL Azure database. We will get the details for the connection from the SQL Azure Server Administration Page.



Finally we execute the script that was generated with the wizard before:


All right, the data is already in the cloud now we need to do the same with our application. In the application we need to switch the baseURL in the MainPage.xaml.vb from our local machine to the Windows Azure Blob Storage:

    'Public Shared baseURL As String = "http://localhost"
    Public Shared baseURL As String =

In the web.config we need to modify the connection string. We can generate a connection string in the SQL Azure Server Administration Page but that one didn’t quite work for me. In order to make it work I had to append @ServerName to the User ID:

<add name="TalkingDonkeyAzure" connectionString=";Database=TalkingDonkey;User ID=jkebeck@siljplpmxm;Password=YOUR_PWD;Trusted_Connection=False;" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

Once we have made the changes we can build our application again and create a new or open an existing Cloud Service project in Visual Studio. In my example I have an existing application with a couple of samples and I want to add this one to it. In the Solution Explorer I create a new folder under the Web Role project and add the xap-file as well as the htm- and js-files as existing items from the project that we have been working on. The web service goes into the root of this web role project since that’s where our code expects the service endpoint.


Once we have tested the project we can right-click on the Azure-Project and select “Publish” from the context menu:


This will package the solution, open Windows Explorer at the folder where the package was created and it will also open the Windows Azure Administration page where you can upload the package to a staging environment and test it before you swap it with the production environment.


That’s it. Ciao for today 🙂

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