Alpha Cloud - Alpha Anywhere Developer's Guide

Publishing Your First Application to the Alpha Cloud

In this section we publish and deploy your web project directly to the Alpha Cloud. The first publish requires some minimal setup using the following steps:

Creating a Cloud Publish Profile
Edit Basic Publish Settings
Setting Connection strings For Your New Profile
Publish Your Web Project
Publishing Updates of Your Web Project

Creating an Alpha Cloud Publish Profile

  1. Select the "Alpha Cloud" icon on the web control panel toolbar and select the menu item labeled "Publish" to open the "Alpha Cloud Publish" dialog.

  2. Click the list box item labeled "<Create New Profile>" and click the OK button.
    Note: Once you have created one of more publish profiles, you can select them from the list and when you click the OK button, they will begin publishing immediately.

  3. The "Profile Name" dialog will be displayed.

  4. Enter a unique name for your new profile.
    Note: The list to the left shows existing profiles and their type so you don't duplicate a name.

  5. Click the "OK" button. The "alpha Cloud - Publish Settings" dialog will display.

Basic Publish Settings

The Alpha Cloud basic publish settings dialog (shown below) makes it easy to publish an application quickly without having to manage all of the resources for your web site.

  • The application name and web site names you provide will be used to create an application and web site with default settings if they do not exist.
    If you have already created an application or web site, the existing one will be used.
  • A deployment and deployment schedule will also be created automatically and your web project will be pushed to the cloud.

To create your publish settings for Alpha Cloud:

  1. Select the application you want to publish your web project to, or enter a new name to create a new application. The name must be unique within the subscription and account you are working in.

  2. Set the User and Role Publication Option.

    The security information for your web project includes initial users and groups you want to publish as well as page permissions.

    • The first time you publish your application, you will want to include users and groups.
    • After that, you will probably only want to publish page permissions.

    The default option of "Preserve" will only publish users and groups if they have not been published for your application previously.

    Options for publishing Users and Roles are:

    • Preserve - Publish only if no users or roles are found.
    • Ignore - Do not publish users and roles.
    • Merge - Add new users and roles.
    • Replace - Replace all users and roles.
    • Merge Roles - Add new roles.
    • Replace Roles - Replace all roles.
  3. Set the level of logging detail you want to have created.

    This option controls the amount of information captured for each web request. An application performs better with minimal logging, but you may need to collect more detail for debugging purposes.

    The default option of "Basic" will capture minimal information, including errors.

    Options for logging are:

    • None - Turns off all logging (most efficient).
    • Basic - Minimal data will be collected, including errors.
    • Diagnostic - Enables basic logging plus additional diagnostic information.
    • Complete - Detailed logging is enabled for both Xbasic and IIS.
    • Debugging - Detailed logging is enabled for both Xbasic and IIS. Detailed error information is returned over the web.

  4. Select the Alpha Anywhere Application Server for IIS build number you want to run for your server.

    Note: The drop down list has options to select the current (released) and the current pre-release builds. Once you save your profile, these numbers will be saved with your profile. Alpha Cloud will never change the build number without you choosing a new one, as this could cause unexpected issues with your running application.

  5. Click OK to save your settings. The "Connection Strings" dialog will display.

Setting Connection Strings For Your new profile

  1. Check each of the connection strings in your application to make sure your database and storage connections are accessible from Alpha Cloud. The way you connect to your database from a development machine and the way you connect to your database from a running Alpha Cloud application may be different. For example, to access your database from the internet, your database must be accessible outside of your firewall.

  2. If you need to change your connection strings for Alpha Cloud, click the button labeled "Set AlphaDAO Connection Strings" and follow the instructions.
  3. Once you have completed your changes, click the button labeled "OK" and your application will begin publishing.

Publish Your Web Project

As your application publishes, you can watch the progress as Alpha Anywhere sends your application components to Alpha Cloud and then deploys your application. You can publish your application without deploying it using advanced publishing dialogs discussed in the next section.

After a successful publish, the Application Published to Alpha Cloud dialog below will be displayed. The dialog will automatically update showing you the current status as your application is being deployed.

Follow the instructions on the page:

For example you can click on the link to go directly to your deployed application. This will close the dialog.

You can also copy the link to your application to the clipboard and paste it into a browser later.

Note: Keep in mind that if a new server instance must be started, you may have to wait a while to access your application. If you deploy in public tenancy, your application may be available in a matter of seconds.

If you click on the tab entitled Server Instances you can see the server instances your application is being deployed on. Once the server recognizes that your deployment is assigned to it, you will see a heartbeat timestamp appear on that page.

Congratulations! Your web project has been published and deployed on Alpha Cloud.

Oops! Something went wrong. What do I do?

Occasionally an error may occur during deployment. If an error occurs, the list of events will include error messages in the description column. If the message makes sense and appears to be temporary, you may want to republish (or redeploy) your application. If the error appears to be more permanent, click Copy Publish Events to Clipboard and paste the clipboard contents into an e-mail addressed to [email protected].

Note: If you should forget to copy the list of events to the clipboard, you can use the Cloud View dialog to see those events again. This dialog also has a button to copy the events to the clipboard.

Click the Close button on the Application Published to Alpha Cloud dialog to return to the Alpha Anywhere Web Control Panel.

Note: If you are using an advanced Alpha Cloud publish profile and have chosen NOT to deploy, but to simply publish your files to Alpha Cloud, the dialog below will be displayed.

Publishing Updates of Your Web Project

After your initial publication, you will want to publish changes. You can either publish your entire project again, or only publish changes. This is called "Incremental Publishing".

To publish updates to Alpha Cloud:

  1. Select the "Alpha Cloud" icon on the web control panel toolbar and select the menu item labeled "Publish" to open the "Alpha Cloud Publish" dialog.

  2. Select your publish profile.

  3. To publish only changes, click the checkbox labeled "Only publish changed files?"

  4. If you have checked "Only publish changed files?" another checkbox will appear to the right labeled "Publish security settings?"
    • This checkbox will control whether project settings and users and roles are also published to Alpha Cloud along with your changed files.
    • Alpha Cloud will use the settings previously published unless you check this box to include any changes.
    • If you have added any new Users, Roles or User-Role assignments to your web project and want to publish them to Alpha Cloud, check this box.

      Note: Be sure to set the "User and Role Publication" option in your Alpha Cloud Publish Settings to "Merge" or "Merge Roles" to apply the updates during deployment.

  5. To see a list of files to be published, click the checkbox labeled "Show list of files to be published?"

  6. Click the OK button to begin publishing.