Friday, November 15, 2013

Azure: Create an Azure package file without using a Cloud Service project

A customer asked me if there was a way to keep their existing solutions intact and still be able to create an Azure package. Normally you have to add a Cloud Service project to your solution. This Cloud Service project contains all the information and required configuration to correctly build your Azure package.

But if you don’t want to do this, there is way around it by using the cspack command line tool for this(available as part of the Windows Azure SDK: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/gg432988.aspx )

This tool allows you to create a deployment package from scratch.

Here are the required steps:

  • Create a servicedefinition file(.csdef). Probably the easiest way is to copy it from an existing cloud service project and adapt it to your needs
  • Build the (web) applications that you want to deploy
  • Execute the cspack command line tool using the following parameters:

cspack “c:\<path to the csdeffile>\servicedefinition.csdef” /role:<Name of the role as defined in the csdef file>;<location of the binaries> /sites:<Name of the role>;<name of the site path>;<location of the website files>

If you have multiple roles and sites, you have to add multiple /role & /sites arguments.

An example if you have the following servicedefinition file:

cspack “c:\testazurecloud\sampledefinition.csdef” /role:WebApplicationRole;c:\testazurecloud\MyWebApplication\bin /sites:WebApplicationRole;Web;c:\testazurecloud

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