Windows Azure Development

Getting Started local development with Azure Cosmos DB services – Part 2

May 29, 2017 .NET, .NET Core 1.0, .NET Core 1.0.1, .NET Framework, ASP.NET, Azure, Azure SDK Tools, Azure Tools, Cloud Computing, CodeSnippets, CosmosDB, Document DB, Microsoft, PaaS, SaaS, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2015 Update 3, Visual Studio 2017, VisualStudio, VS2015, VS2017, Windows, Windows 10, Windows Azure Development, Windowz Azure No comments

In my previous article we discussed about setting local development environment using Cosmos DB Emulator for Windows. With this part 2 of the article, we will cover developing, debugging and integration related aspects of using Cosmos DB Emulator.

Developing with Cosmos DB Emulator

Once you have Cosmos DB emulator installed and running on your machine, you can use any supported Cosmos DB SDK or Cosmos DB REST API to interact with emulator. This process is same as you are using a Cosmos DB cloud service.

Cosmos DB Emulator also provides a build-in visual explorer through which you can view,create and edit collections and documents.

image

Before you integrate Cosmos DB SDK or Cosmos DB REST API you would need to generate master key for authentication. Unlike cloud service, Cosmos DB emulator only support single fixed account and master key.  You would not be able to communicate with Emulator without this master key.

Default Master Key:

Account name: localhost:<port>

Account key: C2y6yDjf5/R+ob0N8A7Cgv30VRDJIWEHLM+4QDU5DE2nQ9nDuVTqobD4b8mGGyPMbIZnqyMsEcaGQy67XIw/Jw==

PS: This key is only to be used in Emulator. You cannot use the same key for Production(Cosmos DB Cloud Service).

Furthermore, if you want to set your own key. You can go to command line references and run DocumentDB.Emulator.exe with sufficient command switch to set your own key. Remember it should meet the key security requirements. See command-line tool reference for more information.

The Azure Cosmos DB Emulator is installed by default to the C:\Program Files\Azure Cosmos DB Emulator  or C:\Program Files\DocumentDB Emulator  directory.

Once you have account name and key, you are good to go with development and debugging using Azure Cosmos DB emulator.

Let us start looking at how to use CosmosDB SDK. Once you add Cosmos DB SDK for .NET from NUGET sources. You would need to import the following namespaces to reference necessary classes.

 using Microsoft.Azure.Documents;
   
 using Microsoft.Azure.Documents.Client;
   
 using Microsoft.Azure.Documents.Linq;

Simple code to establish connection:

// Connect to the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator running locally use DocumentClient class in : 
DocumentClient client = new DocumentClient(
    new Uri("https://localhost:8081"), 
    "C2y6yDjf5/R+ob0N8A7Cgv30VRDJIWEHLM+4QDU5DE2nQ9nDuVTqobD4b8mGGyPMbIZnqyMsEcaGQy67XIw/Jw==");

In the above code block we are directly embedding endpoint, key in the source code.But as a suggested approch keeping in mind to easily point to production service would be maintain the key in Web.config appSettings.

   <add value="https://localhost:8081/" key="endpoint"/>
    <add value="C2y6yDjf5/R+ob0N8A7Cgv30VRDJIWEHLM+4QDU5DE2nQ9nDuVTqobD4b8mGGyPMbIZnqyMsEcaGQy67XIw/Jw==" key="authKey"/>
 

Add NuGet reference to Microsoft.Azure.DocumentDB  (always use the latest version of the library)

image

For the ease of this article, I am going to use the existing ToDoList sample from DocumentDB Samples provided by Microsoft. You can originally find the same source from C:\Program Files\DocumentDB Emulator\Packages\DataExplorer\quickstart.

image

Copy and Unzip DocumentDB-Quickstart-DotNet.zip and open todo.sln in Visual Studio 2017 and your solution structure will look like below:

image

Now run the application in your Visual Studio.

1. You will see an initial screen:

image

2. Click on Create New:

image

3. New record will be added to your Azure Cosmos DB Emulator:

image

4. To verify in Cosmos DB emulator now open Cosmos DB explorer, click on Collections and Select ToDoList

image

5.Expand Documents and select item with id:da305da3-c1dc-4e34-94d9-fd7f82d26c58

image

Hope this article was helpful for you with initial development.  Share your feedback through comments and share this to your friends and colleagues.

Useful Links:

Getting Started local development with Azure Cosmos DB services – Part 1

May 20, 2017 .NET, Azure, Azure SDK, Azure SDK Tools, Azure Tools, Cloud Computing, Computing, CosmosDB, Data Services, Document DB, Emerging Technologies, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, PaaS, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, VS2013, VS2015, VS2017, Windows 10, Windows Azure Development, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windowz Azure 1 comment , ,

Azure Cosmos DB is a multi-API, multi-model highly scalable NoSQL database services from Microsoft Azure platform. In order to develop an application consuming Azure Cosmos DB requires an azure live subscription or emulator in your local machine.

The Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides a local development/test environment for Azure Cosmos DB development purposes. Using Azure Cosmos DB Emulator, you can develop and test your application locally, without needing an azure subscription or without subscription costs.

With this article I am going to take you through necessary steps and requirements to set up your local environment.

1. Pre-Requisites:

Azure Cosmos DB emulator has the following software and hardware requirements:

  • Software requirements
    • Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, or Windows 10
  • Minimum Hardware requirements
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 10 GB available hard disk space

2. Installation:

  • Download Azure Cosmos DB Emulator   (DocumentDb.Install.msi)   ** do not get confused by the name. Azure Cosmos DB is a super set of Document DB, and the DocumentDb emulator they tweaked a bit to support Cosmos Db.
  • Install DocumentDb.Install.msi

Additionally Azure CosmosDB emulator can be run on Docker for Windows. After installing Docker for Windows, you can pull the Emulator image from Docker Hub.

docker pull microsoft/azure-documentdb-emulator

imageimageimage

3. Start/Launch Azure Cosmos DB Emulator:

image image

After some time you can see the emulator started. When the Azure Cosmos DB emulator launches it will automatically open the Azure Cosmos DB Data Explorer in your browser.

The address will appear as https://localhost:8081/_explorer/index.html

Incase you have closed browser and later would like to open the explorer again, you can open the Data Explorer by right clicking on the taskbar menu.

image

image

Now you can write some sample app to try it, or download already created sample applications from Microsoft depending on the preferred platform of your choice.

4. Limitation of Azure Cosmos DB Emulator: (or Differences between Azure Cosmos DB Emulator vs Real Cosmos DB Cloud Service)

Since the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides an emulated environment running on a local developer workstation, there are some fundamental differences between the emulator and an Azure Cosmos DB account in the cloud:

The following table is also helpful in determining when to use Cosmos DB Emulator and when direct cloud service. Depending on the choice of requirement, you would need to use associated services efficiently.


Cosmos DB Emulator Cosmos DB Cloud Service
Supports only a single fixed account and a well-known master key. Key regeneration is not possible. Supports multiple accounts and different master keys. You can regenerate keys any time from Azure Portal.
Non scalable Highly scalable
Does not support larger data sets Support for large data sets
Does not simulate consistency levels Different Consistency levels available
Does not simulate multi-region replication Configurable as part of the platform, as needed basis.
Does not support quota override feature Supports document size limit increases, increased partitioned collection storage etc.
Might not support most recent changes to Cosmos Db platform Most recent platform update will be available.

Hope this article was helpful for your initial start. If you would need to understand further on Azure Cosmos DB development follow the links. I will be writing further insights in later sessions.

Azure SDK for .NET 3.0 available for Visual Studio 2015/2017

April 2, 2017 .NET, .NET Framework, Add-In's, App Service, Azure, Azure SDK, Azure SDK Tools, Cloud Services, General, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio 2017, VS2013, VS2015, VS2017, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Azure, Windows Azure Development, Windowz Azure No comments

Windows Azure SDK for .NET, which include SDKs, basic tools, and extended tools for Visual Studio development for Azure Cloud enabled applications.  Microsoft has released latest Azure SDK for .NET along with Visual Studio 2017 (RTW). The new version v3.0 will support only Visual Studio 2015/2017, if you are using Visual Studio 2013 you can use Azure SDK for .NET v2.9.6.

You can have both the version side by side, by uninstalling earlier version first for Visual Studio 2013 and installing latest version to support newer visual studio.

There is not much major changes included in this release:

  • All the tools you need to do Azure development will be part of Visual Studio 2017 going forward.
  • For Visual Studio 2015 the SDK will still be available through WebPI.
  • Microsoft have discontinued Azure SDK for .NET releases for Visual Studio 2013 now that Visual Studio 2017 has been released.

Download: Azure SDK for .NET 3.0  – VS 2015   |  VS 2013 (v2.9.6 )   |  All Versions (including Java/Node.JS)

Azure Tips: Service Bus vs Azure Queue

September 20, 2016 Azure, Cloud Services, Windows Azure Development No comments

Azure Service bus is a queuing technology that supports advanced features and allows access by processes created using various technologies and running in different domains. It allows ability to publish a message to multiple subscribers.  read more

Azure Queue is another queuing technology. However, it does not support the ability to publish a message to multiple subscribers. When a message is picked up, it is made invisible until the visibility timeout elapses. read more

Redis Cache–Azure Plans

August 13, 2016 .NET, ASP.NET, Azure, Cloud Computing, Data Caching, Data Hubs, Emerging Technologies, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Performance, Redis Cache, Windows Azure Development No comments

redis-white

Azure Redis Cache, a secure data cache based on Open source Redis Cache, which will provide you a fully managed/serviced instance from Microsoft. Means you don’t have to bear the burden of managing the server/software patches etc..

What is Redis Cache?

Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache and message broker. It supports data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs and geospatial indexes with radius queries. Redis has built-in replication, Lua scripting, LRU eviction, transactions and different levels of on-disk persistence, and provides high availability via Redis Sentinel and automatic partitioning with Redis Cluster.

You can run atomic operations on these types, like appending to a string; incrementing the value in a hash; pushing an element to a list; computing set intersection, union and difference; or getting the member with highest ranking in a sorted set.

In order to achieve its outstanding performance, Redis works with an in-memory dataset. Depending on your use case, you can persist it either by dumping the dataset to disk every once in a while, or by appending each command to a log. Persistence can be optionally disabled, if you just need a feature-rich, networked, in-memory cache.

Redis also supports trivial-to-setup master-slave asynchronous replication, with very fast non-blocking first synchronization, auto-reconnection with partial resynchronization on net split.

5 High-level Use Cases of Redis Cache

1. Session Cache
One of the most apparent use cases for Redis is using it as a session cache. The advantages of using Redis over other session stores, such as Memcached, is that Redis offers persistence. You can maintain your applications user, role and authorization permission lists etc in Redis Cache for faster accessibility.

2. Full Page Cache (FPC)
Outside of your basic session tokens, Redis provides a very easy FPC platform to operate in. Going back to consistency, even across restarts of Redis instances, with disk persistence your users won’t see a decrease in speed for their page loads

3. Queues
Taking advantage of Redis’ in memory storage engine to do list and set operations makes it an amazing platform to use for a message queue. Interacting with Redis as a queue should feel native to anyone used to using push/pop operations with lists in programming languages such as C#, Python, Java, Php etc.

4. Leaderboards/Counting
Redis does an amazing job at increments and decrements since it’s in-memory. Sets and sorted sets also make our lives easier when trying to do these kinds of operations, and Redis just so happens to offer both of these data structures.

5. Pub/Sub
The use cases for Pub/Sub are truly boundless. You can use it for social network connections, for triggering scripts based on Pub/Sub events, and even a chat system built using Redis Pub/Sub!

[Courtesy: ObjectRocket]

Finally let us come to context of this blog to take you to essential pricing model from Microsoft:

Azure Redis Cache is available in three tiers:

  • Basic—Single node, multiple sizes, ideal for development/test and non-critical workloads. The Basic tier has no SLA.
  • Standard—A replicated cache in a two-node primary/secondary configuration managed by Microsoft, with a high-availability SLA.
  • Premium—All of the Standard tier features, including a high-availability SLA, as well as better performance over Basic and Standard-tier caches, bigger workloads, disaster recovery, redis persistence, redis cluster, enhanced security and isolation through Virtual Network Deployment.
  • ** Basic and Standard caches are available in sizes up to 53 GB(250 MB, 1 GB, 2.8 GB, 6 GB, 13 GB, 26 GB, 53 GB. )
  • ** Premium caches are available in sizes up to 530 GB with more on request.

[Courtesy: Microsoft]

Useful Links:

Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 – Download

June 27, 2016 .NET, .NET Core 1.0, .NET Framework, .NET Framework 4.5, .NET Framework 4.5.2, .NET Framework 4.6, ASP.NET, ASP.NET 5.0, ASP.NET Core 1.0, ASP.NET MVC, C#.NET, Community, JavaScript, Microsoft, MSDN, Trial Downloads, Updates, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio SDK, VisualStudio, VS2015, WCF, Web API v2.0, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Azure, Windows Azure Development, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK, Windows Store Development, WPF, WWF, XAML No comments

Today Microsoft has released Update 3 for Visual Studio 2015. Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 includes a variety of capability improvements and bug fixes. To find out what’s new, see the Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 Release Notes. For a list of fixed bugs and known issues, see the Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 MSDN Article.

Download:
Visual Studio Community 2015 with Update 3 – Web Installer –  ISO
Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with Update 3 – Web Install –  ISO
Visual Studio Professional 2015 with Update 3 – Web Installer –  ISO
Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 – Web InstallerISO
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2015 with Update 3 – Web Installer –  ISO
Visual Studio Test Professional 2015 – Web InstallerISO
Visual Studio Express 2015 for Windows 10 – here
Visual Studio Express 2015 for Web – here
Visual Studio Express 2015 for Desktop – here