Living Inside a Cloud Should Be Easy, Right?

crescent-wrench

It’s been a few months since I dropped the Azure SDK on my desktop and the tooling and changed considerably to say the least.  The portal changed a bit as well, but once you get used to it, it just works for you, and unlike before you can see everything that’s going on “up there” at a glance.

However, back in the IDE, particularly inside the code there are more pieces that are supposed to bolt up to your Azure code.  And if you’re using an MVC 4 web role you can push in a NuGet package called Unity.Mvc4 with comes with the this handy little bootstrapper you can use to load your Unity container using the UnityConfig class that runs next to the bundler and routing configs in the App_Start folder.

This was one thing that I didn’t realize was new to the MVC 4 scaffolding.   These config classes help keep things we’ve piled into the Global.asax for a long time.  And the UnityConfig class follows suit nicely.

The idea with the bootstrapper is to help keep the type mappings contained, but loading when the app domain spins up each time.  All of the other pieces appear to act the same, i.e. life-time management, aliasing, and child containers.

The last thing I’ll mention about things fitting together is when I started this solution months ago, I was using a previous version and the upgrade wizard didn’t fire-up so I didn’t get a bump on my web role “and that’s when the fight started”.

If you’re trying to preserve your old solution and you’re trying to get it to act like an MVC 4 template, don’t.  If you don’t get the version bump from the IDE, stop.  Create (or add) a proper MVC 4 project from the project template dialog and go from there.  Copy your code to the new one, fix up the usings and references and keep going.

While I was doing this refactoring and sorting out my existing unit tests the code started to thin out and I realized that the MVC 4 bits could do what I was making the older MVC project do.  It just took a bit of frustration and brute force to recognize this and keep coding.

I had the unique pleasure of deleting a lot of code, and still have everything work, well.  Just had to sync with the tooling and the way things are supposed to fit together now.  Same tools, just a different approach sometimes when the bits are out in front of the IDE.  Not a bad thing, just different, and better.

*** Update ***

So I didn’t need the UnityConfig class anyway.  The NuGet step actually plugged the bootstrapper into the root of the website and exposed a static RegisterTypes(IUnityContainer container) method that handles the mappings.  I usually don’t wrap my type registrations in code, but rather in the configuration file so I can easily add types on the fly.  The bootstrapper exposes a static method that handles returning the container.  Here’s a code snippet with one registration added.

Bootstrapper

 

 

 

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HTH /oFC

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Clouds Need to Make Rain, right?

Clouds Need to Make Rain, right?So I’ve been working on this cloud stuff off and on for a few months now.  And while the cloud vendors try to make it easy to work with cloud stuff, things aren’t always intuitive unless you clear your mind and don’t try to do what you remember, but actually how you’re being told they need to work.

Then after taking your code around the block a few times, you take something someone else coded or created and make it your own.  Most of the time it works this way, but there are times when it doesn’t and you just have to apply brute force and push that rock back up the hill.  And once you do the first time, everything starts to click (and work).

I guess the idea here is working with cloud technology is fun, and challenging but you have to keep your eyes on what you set out to build initially and not get bogged down in why something doesn’t work.

If if  doesn’t work, start from scorched earth, as in, throw away *all of your code you just wrote* (hard to do sometimes) and start all over.  I did yesterday and tossed about 1,000 lines of source code – and worked around a problem in about 15 minutes I’d been dealing with for a while.

Of course there were other (positive) external forces that helped me get beyond the block I was experiencing, but scorched earth was the right, first, step to take.

And as it worked out, my piece of the cloud started raining on the scorched earth and once all of the smoldering finished, I had something really nice to work with and continue working with.

HTH – oFc