AppFabric Apps (June 2011 CTP) – Deploying Simple Workflow App


In this post we are going expand upon an earlier post that dealt with building a Simple Workflow App.  In this post we are going to deploy the Simple Workflow app and discover how the Application Manager works in the Azure AppFabric Labs environment.

To deploy our application from Visual Studio we are going to right mouse click on our AppFabric Application and select Publish.

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We will now be prompted to provide an application name and of course provide our Namespace and  credentials.  No my namespace is not called “InsertYourNameSpaceHere”

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After  a couple minutes we will discover that our application has been published.

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From the Azure AppFabric Labs Portal (https://portal.appfabriclabs.com/Default.aspx) we can click on AppFabric Services.

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Next we can click on Applications

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and finally click on your namespace.  At this point, our Application Manager icon will become enabled.

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Once in the Application Manager we will discover our Summary and Application Dashboard. Within the Dashboard we can see that our SimpleAppFabricAppWithWorkflow app has been  Imported.  The Application contains two containers: An ASP.Net Web app and our Workflow Service.  In this scenario we also have two services both the ASP.Net Web app and our Workflow Service.

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By default, when we publish an app, it does not mean that it is actually functional.  We still need to deploy it from within the Application Manager.

To deploy this application we need to click on the SimpleAppFabricAppWithWorkflow link and then we can click on the Deploy Application link.

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We now want to click on the Deploy link to initiate the deploy process.  If we leave the Start this application after deployment completes checkmark enabled we can expect our application to be running when this process completes.

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After about 5 minutes we will see the state of our application change to Started and we will have a published Address for our public endpoints.

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We can click on this endpoint URL and will discover that our application is now accessible.

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Conclusion

All in all this process was pretty simple.  What I like about it is that I didn’t have to dig into a single configuration file to make sure I was pointed at the correct endpoint location of our Workflow service. Even though I only have a single Workflow service it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal.  But if you consider larger distributed applications where you may have many Workflow and WCF services this is a huge timesaver.

If you really think about all of the things that need to happen in the background to deploy an application to a remote server, Microsoft has done an extremely good job of keeping this very simple for us.

There are still many features of the Azure AppFabric Manager that i want to dig into including the Monitoring and Scale out features.  Look for another blog post that includes these features.

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