Getting the Windows Azure Pre-Requisites via the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0

Author: Ben Lobaugh <ben@lobaugh.net>

Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 12:00:00 AM

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    For Windows developers, Windows Azure offers a local cloud development platform to test and debug your application before deploying to the cloud. There are two methods to get your development platform up and running.

    This tutorial will focus on getting you up and running with a PHP development environment on Microsoft Windows via the easy to use Web Platform Installer. We will be walking through platform setup and testing.

    To start things off we need to download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0 (May be referred to as WebPI). The WebPI is a lightweight yet powerful tool that will help us not only install the packages we require, but will also ensure all package dependencies have been met.

    Let's go download the WebPI from http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx

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    After you click "Download It Now" a File Download dialog will pop up. Click Run and allow any security warnings that may pop up.

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    Run the WebPI and you should see a screen similar to below. Please explore around the tool and get to know the options available to you.

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    The WebPI tool was designed with simplicity in mind and will attempt to ensure all dependencies are met for any package chosen for installation. With that in mind, let's select "Products" and "Tools". Scoll down a little and you will find the "Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP". Click "Add" and that is it. The WebPI will automatically included everything else you need to get your environment up and running. Does not get much easier than that. Now click "Install" to get the install rolling.

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    You will be presented with a dialog containing every item you chose to install and each dependency that goes along with it. This dialog contains the licenses to each software package. Review each license agreement and if you are satisfied click "I Accept" to continue with the installation.

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    Your selections should be installing now. This could take some time depending on how many packages you chose, speed of your internet connection, and available resources on your computer. Be patient. You may be required to reboot and/or approve security messages. Because SQL Express is needed for our data storage a dialog will show asking you to create a strong SQL Server administrator password. After filling in the password boxes and clicking "Continue" your install will resume.

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    You will see a screen similar to the following upon successful completion of your installation.

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    You may exit the WebPI. We can now start up the development environment and verify that it works. On your Start Menu you should have a new item called "Windows Azure SDK" followed by a version number. Open that folder and for now we will be working with the Compute Emulator. Click "Compute Emulator" to start the emulator. This may take a few seconds. If any security notices pop up allow them.

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    After the Compute Emulator has started you will have a new icon in you system tray. From that icon you can open the Compute UI, start/stop the Compute Emulator, and start/stop the Storage Emulator.

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    To test the development environment go back to the Start Menu and run the "Windows Azure SDK Command Prompt".

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    After that loads type "php -v" into the terminal that appeared. If your installation was successful and your compute emulator is running you should see PHP version output similar to the following.

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    Now let's make sure the storage emulator is working properly. Head back to the Start Menu and run "Storage Emulator" (Alternately you may control both emulators from the new system tray icon).

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    If the storage emulator successfully started you will see a screen similar to the following.

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    Congratulations, you are now ready to build, test and deploy PHP applications to the Windows Azure cloud!

    Troubleshooting

    'php' is not recognized as an internal or external command

    If the php command is not found you will have to manually set the path to your PHP installation. Open the Start Menu and right click on "Computer". Select "Properties".

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    On the left side of the properties dialog you will see "Advanced system settings", click on this and click "Environment Variables" in the new dialog.

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    The lower section, titled "System variables" contain the path statement we are looking for. Scroll down until you find "Path", click to highlight and click the edit button. In the new dialog that shows add ";C:\Program Files\PHP\v5.3" to the end of the Variable value textbox and click ok until all the dialogs have disappeared.

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    Re-open your terminal and PHP should now be accessible.

    MSVCR71.dll is missing

    If you receive an error such as the one below, please see the article, " Troubleshooting an MSVCR71.dll Error"

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    What next?

 
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