ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure

[For more recent information on using ASP.NET MVC with Windows Azure please see this post.]

Before you get started with ASP.Net MVC and Windows Azure – please install this hotfix.

Strictly speaking, ASP.Net MVC projects are not supported on Windows Azure.  That is to say that we haven't spent the time to fully test all of the MVC scenarios when running on Windows Azure. 

That said, for the most part, they do work, just as long as you know what tweaks you need to make in order to get up and running.

I've attached a sample application that Phil and Eilon on the MVC team put together to help make it easier for you to get started.

I’ll walk through the changes:

1. Start by creating a Blank Cloud Service.  File –> New Project –> Visual C# –> Cloud Service –> Blank Cloud Service.  I call it MVCCloudService


2. Right click on the solution node in Solution Explorer and select “Add New Project”


3. In the Add New Project dialog, navigate to the Web node under Visual C# or Visual Basic and select the ASP.Net MVC Application (I call it MVCWebRole). 


4. In Solution Explorer, right click on MVCWebRole and select “Unload Project”


5. Right click again on MVCWebRole and select “Edit MVCWebRole.csproj”


6. Add <RoleType>Web</RoleType> to the top PropertyGroup in the project file.

<Project ToolsVersion="3.5" DefaultTargets="Build" xmlns="">
{. . .}

7. Reload the project, be sure to save the project file.


8. If you want to use the Windows Azure runtime library, add a reference to Microsoft.ServiceHosting.ServiceRuntime.dll by right clicking on the References node and selecting “Add reference…”.  Scroll down in the .Net Tab and you’ll find it.


9. Right click on the Roles node in the MVCCloudService project and select Add –> Web Role Project in solution…


Select the MVCWebRole project.


10. Set Copy Local = true on the MVC DLLs:

  • System.Web.Abstractions

  • System.Web.Mvc

  • System.Web.Routing

These assemblies are not available when running on Windows Azure and need to be deployed with the Service Package.

Expand the References node in the MVCWebRole and right click on System.Web.Abstractions and select Properties.  Change “Copy Local” to true.  Repeat for the other DLLs


With these changes, the edit, build, debug, publish and deploy functionality will all work in Visual Studio with the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio installed.

That said, it is still "use at your own risk".

Note: The sample has not been modified to use the Windows Azure ASP.Net provider (for example, the membership provider), stayed tuned.

The sample project is attached to this blog post.

Comments (28)

  1. In my prior post that talked about the difference between the Cloud Service templates and the Role templates

  2. If you’ve purposefully been ignoring the announcements out of PDC, I don’t blame you one bit. Everybody

  3. Recently I posted about the Windows Live Tools Web Role Template that integrates with the Windows Azure

  4. Well it looks like there is significant buzz about Azure and other tech announced/demoed at PDC. Enabling

  5. Well it looks like there is significant buzz about Azure and other tech announced/demoed at PDC. Enabling

  6. Were you wondering why the sample project I got from Phil attached to my post, ASP.Net MVC on Windows

  7. Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from DotNetShoutout

  8. mh415 says:

    Is this advice still valid now that both Azure and ASP.NET MVC have been updated?  Is your sample project still the one to use for getting started with Azure + MVC?

  9. mh415 says:

    I’m trying out this attachment with the January version of Azure and the RC of MVC.NET.  Opening a view file in the project crashes VS.  Help?

  10. The crash is due to a known issue in the CLR that affects more than just this scenario — the CLR team is working on a patch.

    The issue presents itself (or not) depending on order in which the MVC, ASP.Net and System.Core assemblies load – taking a different path through the product that loads these assemblies in a different order can resolve the problem.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  11. I’ve received some comments as well as have been contacted by a couple of customers about an issue they

  12. mh415 says:

    Since MVC is now on RC2, I thought I’d modify a new project rather than use the download attached to this post which is for the pre-beta version of MVC.  Sorry to be dense, but I don’t know how to follow your above instructions, probably because I’m new to .NET and VS.  Which file should be modified to add these properties?  I tried searching the pre-beta download for "PropertyGroup" to give me a clue, but the search came up empty.  

    Also, should we start the modifications from a blank MVC application, or a blank Web Cloud Service?

  13. mh415 — I provided a better set of instructions so that will be a lot easier to follow.  HTH.

    I also updated the attached sample for RC2.

  14. ASP.Net MVC RC2 released a few days back and I’ve already gotten a number of requests to update the MVC

  15. Simpable says:

    Jim Nakashima has updated his ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure post to support ASP.Net MVC RC 2 .

  16. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from

  17. mh415 says:

    In step #9, I’m only given the option to add a "New Worker Role in Project".  The option for "Web role project in solution" is grayed out.  Perhaps this means I misunderstood what you did in step #6?

  18. mh415 says:

    Re: my last comments.  It must be because I messed up in step #1 and didn’t create a blank cloud service.  I chose "Web Cloud Service".  That’s what I get for coding after midnight.

  19. zzeeshann says:

    When I double Click on the View aspx file visual studio closes automatically.

  20. @zzeeshann, please uninstall the tools, download and install the latest tools.  We did a refresh of the tools that should resolve your problem.  Let me know if it doesn’t.

  21. DiryBoy says:


  22. DiryBoy says:

    本文叙述了本人怎么将默认的 MVC 应用程序发布到云端,并给出了一些相关的文章和注意事项以及自己的想法。

  23. DiryBoy says:

    本文叙述了本人怎么将默认的 MVC 应用程序发布到云端,并给出了一些相关的文章和注意事项以及自己的想法。

  24. Anthride says:

    You are the greatest.

    Now , I Can work wtth ASP.NET MVC on AZURE

    Tank you


  25. mali_Software Enginerr says:

    MOhammad ali has updated his ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure post to support ASP.Net MVC RC

  26. M_ali raj says:

    Mohammad ali I.T has updated his ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure post to support ASP.Net MVC RC

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