Visual Studio Web Deployment Tutorial Series Updated for Windows Azure and LocalDB

Tom Dykstra - MSFT

This week we published an updated version of the popular 12-part tutorial series that shows how to deploy an ASP.NET web application with SQL Server databases. Here are links to the new tutorials, with notes about what’s in them and what’s new:

  • Introduction 
    • Overview of the series, prerequisites, download and run the sample application.
    • New overview of database deployment options. The tutorials show how to use Entity Framework Code First Migrations and the dbDacFx provider (for deploying SQL Server databases without using Migrations).  The old ones showed Migrations and the dbFullSQL provider (for migrating SQL Server Compact to SQL Server).
  • Preparing for Database Deployment 
    • How to set up Code First Migrations and create data deployment scripts for use with dbDacFx deployment.
    • Uses LocalDB instead of SQL Server Compact for the development databases. (For people who are using SQL Server Compact, the old tutorial has been left on the ASP.NET site.)
  • Web.config File Transformations
    • How to set up build configuration Web.config transformations (e.g., Release and Debug).
    • Introduces profile-specific Web.config transformations (e.g., Test and Production).
    • Demonstrates the new Web.config transformation preview feature, which makes testing and debugging transforms much easier.
  • Project Properties
    • Review of deployment options specified in project properties.
  • Deploying to Test (to IIS on the development computer)
    • How to install IIS, install SQL Server Express, create SQL Express databases, and deploy the application to local IIS.
    • Now covers IIS installation for both Windows 8 and Windows 7.     
    • Deploys schema and data for the membership database by using the dbDacFx provider.
    • Deploys schema and data for the application database by using Code First Migrations.
  • Setting Folder Permissions
    • How to enable the application to write log files in an application folder when it runs in local IIS.
  • Deploying to Production   
    • How to deploy to staging and production environments in separate Windows Azure Web Sites. (Most of the deployment procedures shown apply also to third-party hosting providers, and differences are noted.)
    • Creates profile-specific transformation files for staging and production.
    • Deploys robots.txt file to staging, excludes it from production by editing the .pubxml file.
  • Deploying a Code Update
    • How to deploy an application update that doesn’t involve a database change.
    • Uses FTP to add and remove app_offline.htm, shows how to get credentials for FTP access from the Windows Azure .publishsettings file.
    • Previews file changes to be deployed by double-clicking files in the Publish Web Preview pane.
    • Deploys individual files and previews file changes by right-clicking files in Solution Explorer.
  • Deploying a Database Update
    • How to deploy a database update, using Migrations for the application database and dbDacFx for the membership database.
  • Command Line Deployment
    • New tutorial that shows how to deploy by using the command line.
    • Reviews and explains key command line options.
    • Shows how to get credentials for Windows Azure deployment from the .publishsettings file.
  • Deploying Extra Files
    • New tutorial that shows how to customize the web publish pipeline by editing the .pubxml file, in order to deploy extra files that are not included in the project.
  •   Troubleshooting
    • Common errors and how to resolve them.

Feedback is welcome; you can post comments here or on the tutorials themselves.

— Tom Dykstra


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