Demystifying The Code

Working with Azure Table Storage from PHP

Introduction

Windows Azure Table Storage is a non-relational structured storage system in the cloud that offers massive scalability, durability and high availability.  The service is exposed with a RESTful API.  As such, it is easily consumable from a variety of platforms, including PHP.  In this post, I will illustrate how to consume Azure Table Storage via the RESTful API.  It is important to note that on July 31, 2009 we will reach Milestone 2 on the PHP SDK for Windows Azure.  Milestone 2 focuses on support for Azure Table Storage.  Accordingly, in all of the code you see in this blog post and the accompanying screencasts (Part I and Part II) illustrate accessing Azure Table Storage the “hard way”.  Much of the work I had to do by hand in the accompanying example here will be taken care of for you by the SDK.  That said, let’s dig in…

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Hosting a PHP Application in Windows Azure

Introduction

At MIX ‘09 we (Microsoft) announced support for FastCGI in Windows Azure.  FastCGI allows us to host applications like PHP both safely and performantly (warning – performantly is not a real word).  In this post, I will begin with a very brief overview of what Windows Azure is and why you might consider hosting your PHP apps on Windows Azure.  I will then provide you with a couple of resources that you can use to easily publish your PHP application to Windows Azure, including a link to a screencast I created that illustrates just how to publish a PHP application to Windows Azure.

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Azure Application Part 3: Expose (REST) Web Service And Consume in Silverlight

This is part 3 in this series where I am building an Azure shopping cart application from the ground up.  In this post, I will create a RESTful service using WCF and host it in Windows Azure.  This service will source it’s data from Azure Table Storage.  I will then illustrate how to consume this service from a Silverlight component hosted in Windows Azure.  Giddyup.

(In part 2 I illustrated how to set up and access Azure Table Storage in both the development environment, as well as in the cloud.  I created a Wine table, added a few entities and retrieved them both locally and from the cloud.  I did all this taking advantage of the ADO.NET Data Services .NET Client Library and the StorageClient sample application.)

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Azure Application Part 2: Access Azure Table Storage

This is part 2 in this series where I am building an Azure shopping cart application from the ground up.  In this post, I will create a simplified ASP.NET version of the wine catalog.  We will create a table in developer storage (the local version of Azure Storage) to store our wines and write 2 web pages: 1 to view all wines and another to add a wine.  We will then access the same table in the cloud in Azure Table Storage.

(In part 1 I prepared my environment by setting up my development environment, creating a Windows Azure Account and creating a Hosted Service account.  I then created a Web Cloud Service project in Visual Studio and wrote a very simple “Hello, World” example.  I ran this sample locally and debugged it.  I then deployed it to the cloud.)  

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Azure Application Part 1: Setup and running “Hello World”

This is part 1 in this series where I am building an Azure shopping cart application from the ground up.  In this post, I will illustrate how to setup your development environment, setup your Azure Services Developer Portal, including the process of requesting a token.  I will then build out a simple hello world example, run it in the development fabric, debug it and finally publish it to the cloud.  If you are already familiar with these topics and are already set up, please feel free to go directly to part II (if it is published).

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Building An Azure Application From The Ground Up

I have decided to start a multi-part blog/screencast series on developing an Azure application from the ground up.  There are 2 approaches one can take here: 1) Write the completed application first and then break it down into consumable pieces, with each piece becoming a blog post and/or screencast or 2) Write the application as you go along.  I am going to use a hybrid approach.  I have started an application, but will be adding and changing pieces as I move along.  Part of my reasoning is that, at the time of writing this post, not all of the Azure services are available, the most interesting of which is the new implementation of SDS (See Nigel Ellis’ MIX Session for more information).

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Azure Table Storage, the REST and ADO.NET Data Services Story

Azure Table Storage is exposed via ADO.NET Data Services.  What the heck does that mean?  In this post, I will do my best to answer that question.  I will start with a brief overview of REST, the architectural style underlying ADO.NET Data Services.  As part of that topic, I will illustrate all we are doing when accessing Table Storage is issuing REST calls.  I will then discuss the role ADO.NET Data Services plays, as well as the role of the StorageClient sample application.

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Demystifying The Code