Azure DocumentDB – Point in time Backups

I have been reading and learning about DocumentDB the last month. I like it more and more…

I wrote a small DocumentDB C# 6.0 library that I want to share with you. The library offers a service to perform common requests to DocumentDB and a service to create and restore point in time backups.

A complete Microsoft backup solution is already planned: http://feedback.azure.com/forums/263030-documentdb

Wait… why did you write a DocumentDB backup solution if Microsoft said that they will implement it?

The reason why I wrote this quick and dirty point in time backup solution is that I want to use DocumentDB today and I don’t want to lose my data Sonrisa! I now that the database in Azure is safe but… what my application does something wrong and the data stored in azure gets damaged? I want to have the possibility to restore the data I had 1 hour ago, or yesterday, or last week…

In this first version only the documents are backed up.

You can find the library on my github:
https://github.com/softwarejc/documentdb-backups-csharp

Class Diagram

DocumentDB.Framework.classdiagram

How to use the library

We can extend the DocumentDBService class to define services to work with our collections:

Service definition:

image

How to use the service:

image

Fell free to leave me a comment and/or send me a pull request on Github!

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Azure DocumentDB and C#

The goal of this post is to write a C# sample application to perform basic requests to Azure DocumentDB:  Create, Read, Update, Delete and Find documents.

You can find the code on my github: https://github.com/softwarejc/documentdb

Relational databases have been the dominant approach to store data for decades and they will probably be used for a very long time. However a lot of modern applications work with JSON, a format that does not fit naturally in a relational system.

NoSQL databases came to solve this problem and to improve the scalability of relational databases.  NoSQL also allows working with data that change fast without having to change the database.

There are different types of NoSQL databases:

  • Document stores: MongoDB, Azure DocumentDB
  • Key/Value stores: Riak
  • Column stores: Cassandra
  • Big data analytics: HDInsight, Hadoop

The focus of this post is the document store offered by Microsoft: Azure DocumentDB.

You can read more about MongoDB vs DocumentDB here: http://justazure.com/mongodb-vs-azure-documentdb/

Create a DocumentDB in Azure

The creation of a DocumentDB is very straight forward.

Scott Hanselman explains it very good in this video:

https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Windows-Azure/Create-DocumentDB-on-Azure

You can read the about pricing information here:

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/documentdb/

How to use DocumentDB with C#

DocumentDB officially supports the following programming languages:

  • .NET
  • Node.js
  • Javascript
  • Python
  • Java

We will be using .NET C# 6.

The first thing that we have to do is to add a Nuget package that will do part of the job for us: Microsoft.Azure.DocumentDB:

Nuget

Continue reading

SPA AngularJS Authentication using Microsoft Azure Active Directory (ADAL)

The goal of this post is to add authentication to a single page application using a free subscription of Microsoft Azure Active Directory , for that we will use the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) for JavaScript.

Microsoft also offers other versions of this library for Windows Phone, Android and iOS applications – all of them also open source.

You can find all the code of the sample application that we will write on my git hub. You can also see a running demo here.

To use the demo you can login with a guest account:

user: guest@softwarejc.onmicrosoft.com
pass: Softwarejc123

Agenda

  • Some details about our sample application
  • Azure: Create a Microsoft Azure Active Directory and add an Application to it
  • How to use ADAL to add Authorization to a AngularJS state
  • How to use ADAL to add Authorization to a WebAPI controller
  • Conslusion

Some details about our sample application

We will add authentication to a very simple application – a list of tasks to do. This application uses SignalR to notify all connected clients when a note was added/removed.

ToDO list - Application architecture

ToDO list – Application architecture

The user will be asked for his user and password when he tries to open a restricted section of the application and all request to the “Authorized” WebAPI controller will return a “401 Unauthorized” error if the user was not identified.

Azure: Create a Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Add an Application to it

We need a Microsoft Azure Active Directory, by default you should have one on your azure account. If you want to create a new one just open Azure > Active Directory and add it. Continue reading

Azure SQL Server – Entity Framework Connection

By default when Entity framework is added to a project, a file “App.config” is created if it doesn’t exists yet.
( “Web.config” in web applications).
A default connection factory that will connect to a local database is added in this file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration>
 
  <configSections>
    <!-- For more information on Entity Framework configuration, visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=237468 -->
    <section name="entityFramework" type="System.Data.Entity.Internal.ConfigFile.EntityFrameworkSection, EntityFramework, Version=6.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" requirePermission="false" />
  </configSections>
 
  <startup>
    <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.5.1" />
  </startup>
 
  <!-- By default, when no connection string is specified use the local database.-->
  <entityFramework>
    <defaultConnectionFactory type="System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.LocalDbConnectionFactory, EntityFramework">
      <parameters>
        <parameter value="v11.0" />
      </parameters>
    </defaultConnectionFactory>
    <providers>
      <provider invariantName="System.Data.SqlClient" type="System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer" />
    </providers>
  </entityFramework>
 
</configuration>
  

This factory will be used when no connection string for the specified context is found. But let clarity how EF try to find the connection string to use…

Which connection string will EF use?

To connect to the database we use a context that extend DbContext.

By default if we don’t call a DbContext base constructor, E.F. will look for a connection string name using the name of our defined context.

namespace CodeFirstAzureTest.Data
{
    public class FoodContext : DbContext
    {
        public DbSet<Food> Foods { getset; }
        public DbSet<Recipe> Recipes { getset; }
        public DbSet<FridgeEntry> Fridge { getset; }
 
    }
}

It is possible to specify the name of the connection string or the complete connection string calling the base constructor:

using System.Data.Entity;
using CodeFirstAzureTest.Data.Entities;
 
namespace CodeFirstAzureTest.Data
{
    public class FoodContext : DbContext
    {
        // NOTE: Call base constructor to specify the connection string name
        public FoodContext() : base("name=MyFood") { }
 
        public DbSet<Food> Foods { getset; }
        public DbSet<Recipe> Recipes { getset; }
        public DbSet<FridgeEntry> Fridge { getset; }
 
    }
}

When no connection string is defined, if a defaultConnectionFactory is defined, EF will use it to create a connection string using the name of the connection string he needs.

e.g. If we don’t specify the connection string name in our context and EF cannot find any connection string the factory will create one using exactly this name. This is why by default the database created locally had this name in my previous post.

Connect EF to Windows Azure

To connect to a Windows Azure we need to do the following steps:

Continue reading

Creating a WordPress web site in Windows Azure

Today I played around with my WordPress. There were some things I wanted to try without risking my blog. I decided to create a new WordPress just for testing. This was a good opportunity to test out once more Microsoft Azure.

Windows Azure offers a lot of great services: Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Mobile Services, etc. There are different Purchase Options. I am using “Pay as you Go” this allows me not only to test Windows Azure but also to use some of their services for free.

Microsoft offers up to 10 web sites for free with up to 5GB of storage:


Creating a WordPress instance within Microsoft Azure is really easy, we have just to create a new web site using the WordPress template:

( If you want a complete and detailed guide Microsoft has already a great one: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/web-sites-php-web-site-gallery/ )

If you just want to know briefly the needed steps:

1. Create an account in Windows Azure.

2. Open Windows Azure portal and click “New” at the bottom left corner.

3. Select Web site > From Gallery.

image

3.  Select the WordPress app from the list of Blogs.

image

4. Enter the URL of your website and some administration details and you are done!

image

It takes 5 minutes (if you are already register Smile with tongue out ) to create a WordPress instance in Azure, here I can play around with things like e-Commerce Plugins.

My testing WordPress –> http://juancarlos.azurewebsites.net/

References: