Tag Archives: Windows Azure

Node.js on Windows Azure

Last week, I wrote about getting a node.js hello world app running on my local machine in 10 minutes. But what if you want to run node.js on Windows Azure? Turns out that takes about 10 minutes to get running as well – and you can do it from Windows or Mac … in fact, any machine that runs Chrome (or Firefox or Safari … any major browser except IE, the market leader that gets no love Winking smile).

While you can create a local environment for node.js development on Azure, the Cloud9 IDE runs in a browser. That’s a very low-friction way to get started. Eventually, you still might want to get the Visual Studio environment working, because the remote debugging features are pretty outstanding, and they require VS. But for now, just follow these instructions for creating a node.js hello world on Windows Azure.

I considered writing up a separate set of instructions, but I don’t think I could improve on these. If you have any trouble as you are following along, don’t hesitate to contact me. Remember that you can get a 90-day free trial easily, and if you are a startup you have access to a LOT of free Azure through your MSDN subscription (in fact, if you have an MSDN subscription from any source, it includes Azure benefits).

The experience is awesome – I’ve been excited about the possibility of a browser-based development environment for some time, and node.js on Cloud9 to Azure delivers. I could see building a fairly sophisticated app purely in this environment (although again, I’d probably want to take advantage of remote Visual Studio’s debugging or unit tests at some point).

The only thing I found to be slightly janky in the example is creating a new deployment … if you choose to create a new one on this screen:

create a new deployment

Then make sure you overwrite the existing deployment name that shows up on the next screen:

create a new hosted service

In future node.js post, I’ll discuss some scenarios that are good fits for node, and I’ll review javascript itself and what’s different programming server-side javascript compared to client-side.

Software GR

I’m heading out to speak at Software GR tonight. My goal is to give developers a broad overview of the competitive landscape. I’m not just going to jump up and down and say “We’re great! They’re crap!” The cloud is still in such a state of rapid growth that there are pockets of excellence all over the industry. I want developers to know where the good stuff is and why they would naturally gravitate to one vendor over another.

Microsoft has a great story with Windows Azure, and it’s only getting better. Our competitors are doing some pretty cool things, too – together, we’re all continuing to raise the bar on a nearly daily basis. That’s good for everybody.

It’s a great time to be a developer.

Get started on Windows Azure today with the Windows Azure 30-day pass!

If you want to give Windows Azure a spin without having to provide a credit card, go to this link and enter your country and the promo code PFOLEY. This is a great way to experiment and prototype, but after 30 days, all your deployments and data will be erased, so make sure you don’t put anything into production using this pass.

Questions? Leave a comment or send me an email.