The Journey of an Azure SDK Upgrade


Editor’s note: The following post was written by Microsoft Azure MVP Frank Boucher as part of our Technical Tuesday series. 

Recently, with my team, we needed to upgrade a web solution to Azure SDK from 2.4 to 2.5.1. The upgrade was much longer and complex than expected. I decide to share what we learned so maybe others could benefit from our experience.

The problem
The upgrade of the code and library was not really a problem. The documentation is available on MSDN and it's easy to follow. Few breaking changes were part of the version 2.5. One is the reasons of this post: Diagnostics configuration must be applied separately after deployment. Once again, the documentation on MSDN is very helpful, once the service is deployed, we needed to execute a PowerShell script:

However, when we executed the script, we got some error for one of the roles.
Set-AzureServiceDiagnosticsExtension : BadRequest: The extension ID FakeVeryLongNameViewProcessorWorkerRole-PaaSDiagnostics-Production-Ext-0 is invalid.
The problem is far simple; the generated extension ID is too long. This bug is well known and is identified in the azure-pwershell github project. The solution could be as simple as rename the role name, but this solution was not a good option in our context.

The solution
We decide to call directly the Azure REST API. This is where things were a bit less obvious. The documentation was present, but less accurate.

The solution was simple in fact. First, we needed to add the extension calling the POST method. It's in this call that you pass the WadCfg.xmlfile and that we can specify a shorter ExtensionId. Then invoking another POST method, we update the deployment configuration.

A little extra
Our solution contains many roles. Looping through all the roles one by one was taking too long for the time frame we had when deploying in a production environment. We re-factorized our script to add all the extensions then only called the Upgrade Deployment once. This way, the execution was three times faster.

References
• Azure SDK for .NET 2.5 Release Notes
• Azure SDK for .NET 2.5.1 Release Notes
• Github - azure-powershell - issues #387
• Service Management REST API Reference

 

About the author

Frank Boucher leads a dedicated team of developers in the advancement of technology in the mobile, air, and telecommunication industries at Lixar IT, an Ottawa-based software company. Frank is a sought-after speaker, author, and trusted collaborator on Microsoft Azure. Follow him @fboucheros.


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