Storing database connection strings for Azure cloud services (including encypting the connection strings)

As my Surface didn’t arrive on launch day, I had nothing better to do on a Friday night so here’s a blog post on Azure configuration settings. Prior to Azure, web.config was the place ASP.NET devs would store settings.  However, as you should consider web.config read-only in Azure, you should use the Azure .cscfg instead IF…


Using a Windows Azure startup script to prevent your site from being shutdown

Did you know that, by default, IIS will shutdown your site upon the following events? a) After being idle for 20 minutes.b) Every 29 hours (due to recycling). The first vistor to your site after one of these events will encounter a poor user experience (slow response) whilst a new IIS app pool is initialised. …


Azure ASP.NET to SQL Hello World! on the Introductory offer

“Inspired” by a pub discussion with a mate last night, I finally got around to doing a “hello world” ASP.NET->SQL sample on Azure today.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave it up as I don’t want it to start accruing charges.  However, I included a screen capture of it running below!  I set it up under the…


Interesting freely available content from recent web conference

Thought I’d share that I noticed that the videos from the sessions at MIX10 are freely available at:   For those unfamiliar with MIX10, it’s a “conference for web designers and developers building the world’s most innovative web sites”.   I’m planning to incorporate watching some of these videos into my ongoing training plan….


Troubleshooting an unresponsive web server (IIS) – Part 1 of 2, gathering the data

A web server is deemed to be unresponsive if it’s either not providing a response at all and/or it’s not achieving the response time (performance) expectations of the users.   In my “Troubleshooting 101” post, I mentioned that after the problem has been defined (ie basic facts collected), the next step in the troubleshooting process…


ASP.NET instrumentation (tracing) to a file

It’s often helpful to instrument your code to help with troubleshooting, etc.  Instrumentation is really just a fancy word for tracing. Here’s an example of tracing to a file from ASP.NET. <%@ Page Language=”C#” CompilerOptions=”/d:TRACE” %><script runat=”server”>void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e){                System.Diagnostics.Trace.WriteLine(String.Format(“{0},{1}”, DateTime.Now, “Hello world!”));}</script> <configuration>  <system.diagnostics>    <trace autoflush=”true”>      <listeners>        <add name=”mytrace” type=”System.Diagnostics.TextWriterTraceListener” initializeData=”c:\temp\mytrace.csv” />     …


Lucascan’s top 5 tips for a healthy ASP.NET application

These tips are reasonably well-known and have been blogged by others.  However, considering how often I come across these common “mistakes”, I felt yet another blog post was worthwhile: 1) Disable ASP.NET debugging in production! I cannot emphasize this enough, Set debug=”false” in all your web.config’s.   I’m regularly pleasantly surprised by how many production issues can…