Deploy BidNow to Azure

BidNow is a sample application built upon Microsoft Azure platform, taking use of Azure storage, SQL Azure and AppFabric. In its latest version, there are three roles: two web roles (one for the website and one for the services) and one worker role, which could cause a deployment problem because my Azure subscription (for MSDN Ultimate subscribers) has only 1500 included (free) compute hours per month, an equivalent of 2 compute instances (cores) running through a month. Even if I run each role with one compute instance (2 by default), the included hours can only support two roles. What about the other one?

The worker role is in charge of handling the long running operations that could hurt the website’s performance. For example, the image processing tasks, when a new Auction item is created, are handled by the worker in order to decrease the workload from the Web and Services web roles. Actually the worker role doesn’t have intimate relationship with the web roles as there’s no direct communication between them. Instead the worker role talks to the storage account and the SQL Azure database.

Fortunately, I have another Azure subscription as a Microsoft partner, which allows another 750 compute hours that I can use to serve the worker role exclusively. What I did is splitting up the original solution file into two: one includes only web roles and the other one includes worker role. Then deploy the two packages under two subscriptions respectively.

Check it out at

Hardware component list of my new computer

CPU – Intel Core i7 930 (BX80601930)

Heatsink – CoolerMaster V8 (RR-UV8-XBU1-GP)

Motherboard – Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (GA-X58A-UD5)

Memory – OCZ Platinum 6GB DDR3-1600 (OCZ3P1600LV6GK)

CORSAIR Vengeance 24GB DDR3 1600 (CMZ12GX3M3A1600C9)

Video Card – XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 (HD-577A-ZNFC)

Hard Drive –

      • 1 X Kingston SSDNOW V+ Series 128GB (SNVP325-S2/128GB) – for System
      • 2 X Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 (WD1002FAEX), RAID-0 – for Archive

Case – CoolerMaster HAF 932 (RC-932-KKN1)

Power Supply – CoolerMaster Silent Pro 850W Modular (RS-850-AMBA-J3)

Monitor – BenQ E2420HD (E2420HD)

Wireless Adapter – D-LINK Rangebooster DWA-140 (DWA-140)

Input Device – Logitech Wireless Desktop MK300 Keyboard and Mouse Combo (920-001971)

UPS – CyberPower 1500VA900Watts (CP1500AVRLCD)

Isn’t that fancy?

hmmm…, sort of… Hot

Windows 7’s ‘GodMode’

Windows 7’s so-called GodMode is actually a shortcut to accessing the operating system’s various control settings. By creating a new folder in Windows 7 and renaming it with a certain text string at the end, users are able to have a single place to do everything from changing the look of the mouse pointer to making a new hard-drive partition.

To enter "GodMode," you only need to create a new folder and then rename the folder to the following:


Once that is done, the folder’s icon will change to resemble a control panel and will contain dozens of control options. I’m not sure it’s my idea of playing God, but it is a handy way to get to all kinds of controls.

Software is Service !!!


Microsoft announced Azure yesterday at PDC 2008. They also published a website ( for it. What is Azure ? A Services Platform, from my understanding software vendors can create all kinds of web applications/services with Azure SDK and then publish them to the the Services Platform hosted by Microsoft in order to take advantages of Azure services and resources. All the computing is processed by the central servers, all the resources are provided by the central servers, all the administrations are through central servers. Consumers of the software vendors can use these services for their regular life via a thin client, like a web browser. This type of system architecture has an interesting name – Cloud Computing.

Windows Azure, Cloud computing, these made me recall a thought Bill.G introduced in 2000 – all the software products will become services and be used by consumer via web browser, and all the computing is done by servers(lots of them). He really did this way. DOTNET is the first phase of the huge blueprint, now I think Windows Azure is the second.

Software is Service !!!

Applying ASP.NET Ajax Templates to showing dynamic data


ASP.NET Ajax Templates is a new fancy part of Microsoft Ajax Client library 4.0. Brad Abrams introduced how to use ASP.NET Ajax Templates on static data in his article <<Building a Great Ajax application from Scratch>> at I was thinking why don’t I create an example playing with real dynamic data? OK, let’s do it!

I’ll make some improvements to the photo galary application in Brad’s article. Here I am going to use two methods to call the WCF services and get data returned back to client script – the direct WCF service support integrated in ScriptManager and the ADO.NET Data Services Support. The latter is another fancy part of ASP.NET AJAX Client Library 4.0, which enables you to interact with an ADO.NET Data Service from client script using JSON or XML. Also, be sure to add [WebGet] to the webmethods in PhotoService.cs as ASP.NET AJAX ADO.NET Data Services Support accesses the services with GET verb by default.

Here’s the code:

<%@ Page Title="" Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/site.master" AutoEventWireup="true"
CodeFile="Default2.aspx.cs" Inherits="Default2" %>

<asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderID="head" Runat="Server">
    <link href="StyleSheet.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
    <link href="css/default.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

        <script type="text/javascript">

            function onTitleChange(title, id) {
                Sys.Debug.trace(title + id);
                photoService.query("/SetPhotoTitle?title=" + title + "&id=" + id, onComplete, cbFailure);

            function onComplete(results) {

            function cbFailure(error, context, operation) {
                $get("spanResults").innerHTML = "Error occurred while performing operation " + error;

            function flashTarget(value, binding) {
                var target = binding.get_target();

                .css('backgroundColor', 'orange')
                .animate({ backgroundColor: 'red' }, 500)
                .animate({ backgroundColor: 'yellow' }, 1000)
                .animate({ backgroundColor: 'white' }, 500);
                return value;


<asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderID="Content" Runat="Server">

    <asp:ScriptManager runat="server" ID="sm">
            <asp:ScriptReference Path="js/jquery-1.2.6.debug.js" />
            <asp:ScriptReference Path="js/jquery.color.js" />
            <asp:ScriptReference Path="js/DataService.js" />
            <asp:ScriptReference Path="js/MicrosoftAjaxTemplates.debug.js" />
            <asp:ServiceReference Path="~/PhotoService.svc" />

    <div id="Div1">
        <div id="template1" class="sys-template">
                <li><b>{binding ID, convert=flashTarget}</b><br />
                (<span>{binding Title, convert=flashTarget}</span>)</li>

        <div id="template2" class="sys-template">
            <ul class="photoslist">
                <!--* if (ImagePath) { *-->
                <img sys:src="{{ 'Images/' + ImagePath }}" />
                <!--* } else { *-->
                <img src="Images/1.jpg" />
                <!--* } *-->

                <input id="titleTextBox" type="text" value="{binding Title, convert=flashTarget}"
                class= "short" onchange="{{ 'onTitleChange(this.value, ' + ID + ');' }}"/>

        <asp:Label ID ="spanResults" runat="server" />

    <script type="text/javascript">

        //ASP.NET AJAX Client Library for ADO.NET Data Services
        //The method in svc gets called via HTTP GET
        var photoService = new Sys.Data.DataService("PhotoService.svc");

        function() {
            photoService.query("/getAllPhotos", cbSuccess1, cbFailure);
            PhotoService.getAllPhotos(cbSuccess2, cbFailure);

        function cbSuccess1(result, context, operation) {
            var simple1 = $create(Sys.UI.DataView, {}, {}, {}, $get('template1'));

        function cbSuccess2(result, context, operation) {
            var simple2 = $create(Sys.UI.DataView, {}, {}, {}, $get('template2'));