Wednesday 26 January 2011

Oakton involved in Development of Microsoft Azure Project for Queensland Government

We recently started work (a week ago) at the North Ryde Microsoft Offices on an Azure-based pledge application ( This relatively simple application supports the coordinaton of offers from private organizations and corresponding requests for help by flood-affected people in Queensland (and potentially other states affected by the floods).

As per the Australian Newspaper's IT section:

"Microsoft is helping to develop a flood-recovery pledge website for the Queensland government, which will go live later this week. It will be based on the company's Azure cloud computing technology. It has been working with partners Oakton, Devtest and Readify in its recovery program."

See original article at

The solution is using the following technologies to deliver the end product:
  1. Azure Web Roles (with 2 web applications on the one Web Role, which is allowed in the latest Azure 1.3 SDK).
  2. SQL Azure, Development against local SQL Express instances on each machine, SQL Deployment and schema changes with the SQL Azure Migration tool -
  3. Visual Studio 2010 using Data Dude Projects for Deployment
  4. ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0 (as opposed to MVC 3 which was just released and I did an initial mockup with) - with Entity Framework 4, EntityDataSource and the QueryExtender control ( , one of the new controls in .NET 4.0. We didn't use MVC based on the existing skills of the team and the short timelines.
  5. TFS 2010 with  the Agile template, using Web.Config transforms for different release builds as demonstrated in
  6. Forms-based authentication, with a slighly modified version of the ASP.NET SQL membership and Role Provider Database Scripts (so it works on SQL Azure). This is using scripts as described in the MS KB article here:
    This database can also be created by the SQL-Azure equivalent of the the aspnet_regql.exe  tool used for non-Azure applications called "aspnet_regAzure.exe".
  7. A secured SSL site for the internal Administrative application (e.g. for basic approvals and vetting).

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