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Azure Scheduler 102 – Creating a Job

What is a Job Collection?

Simple Definition: Job Collection is a Collection of jobs that runs in a particular region.

A job collection contains a group of jobs, and maintains settings, quotas and throttles that are shared by jobs within the collection. A job collection is created by a subscription owner, and groups jobs together based on usage or application boundaries. It’s constrained to one region. It also allows the enforcement of quotas to constrain the usage of all jobs in that collection; the quotas include MaxJobs and MaxRecurrence.

What is a Job?

Simple Definition: a Task to be completed in a given time.

A job defines a single recurrent action, with simple or complex strategies for execution. Actions may include HTTP requests or storage queue requests.


How to create Scheduler Job?


Step 1: create a job collection

Note: this will create a standard job collection. If you need to change it to free plan (which allows only 5 jobs maximum) use the Scale configuration tab.


Step 2: Now you can choose the action type

  • Invoking a Web Service over HTTP/s


  • Post a message to a Windows Azure Storage Queue



 Selecting Action Type:

Invoking a Web Service over HTTP or HTTS will enable to choose http methods.


Post a message to a Windows Azure Storage Queue will enable inputs to enter storage and queue access details.


You can use existing Azure Resources as well.


Step 3: selecting schedule

You can run as a one time job by

  • Running it immediately by selecting “Now”


  • In a specific time


OR you can create a recurring job


The job status can be monitored via the portal

The queue message will be created in the queue in the specified schedule

Following is a job with a message viewed using storage explorer.


Creating a Scheduler may fail!

Creating the scheduler collection may fail if the queue name is not provided properly.

NOTE: “Queue name must be 3-63 characters in length may contain lower-case alphanumeric characters and dashes.”

< Back to Inroduciton


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Azure Scheduler 101 – Introduction

Purpose: Run jobs on simple or complex recurring schedules

Windows Azure Scheduler allows you to invoke actions – such as calling HTTP/S endpoints or posting a message to a storage queue – on any schedule. With Scheduler, you create jobs in the cloud that reliably call services inside and outside of Windows Azure. You choose whether to run those jobs right away, on a recurring schedule, or at some point in the future.


Where can we use Scheduler?

  • SaaS apps can use Scheduler to invoke a web service that performs data management on a set schedule
  • Internal Uses (1st party):

    Process long running requests – Http/s requests will timeout when a response is not received within a certain amount of time. For complex requests, such as a series of SQL queries against a large database, posting a message to storage queues allows you to complete the work without building additional asynchronous logic into your web service.

    • Windows Azure Mobile Services powers its scheduled scripts feature with the Scheduler. Skype, XBOX Video also uses scheduler to schedule its tasks.
    • Another Windows Azure service uses the Scheduler to regularly invoke a web service that performs diagnostic log cleanup and data aggregation
  • Enable a service to be invoked when offline – Typically, a web service needs to be online at the time the Scheduler invokes the endpoint. With messages posted to storage queues, however, the service can be offline when the Scheduler sends the message and field the request when it later comes online.
  • Recurring application actions: As an example, a service may periodically get data from twitter and gather the data into a regular feed.
  • Daily maintenance: Web applications have needs such as daily pruning of logs, performing backups, and other maintenance tasks. An administrator may choose to backup the database at 1AM every day for the next 9 months, for example.


You will have a new section in the azure portal


If not, you can enable it using preview services


Portal Access High level view

Job collections: which lists available job collections which simple groups jobs.

Jobs: this section will show all the jobs which we can filter by job collection or status.


Next lets create a job > Next Post

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Microsoft beats Amazon on Cloud Storage Prices

Microsoft has replaced Amazon to achieve the top performer position in the 2013 report of Nasuni Corporation.

“This year, our tests revealed that Microsoft Azure Blob Storage has taken a significant step ahead of last year’s leader, Amazon S3, to take the top spot. Across three primary tests (performance, scalability and stability), Microsoft emerged as a top performer in every category” – Nasuni 2013 Cloud Storage Report

The new prices will be applied from March 13th 2014.


Recent upgrades on azure storage layers has shown great improvements.



A pricing comparison:

Azure IaaS Disks are $0.095/GB-month with Geo Redundancy. With AWS in order to get high durability of VM disks, customers have to pay the price of both EBS Standard Volumes ($0.05/GB-month) and EBS Snapshot to S3 ($0.095/GB-month), which is 34% more expensive.

You can read the report HERE


You can watch the report HERE


Another study of Cloud SAYS

Though Amazon EC2 has the lowest price advantage over the other 4 providers at $0.12 per hour (now tied with Windows Azure), the lowest cost does not always mean the best value for a customer looking for maximizedperformance.Read More


To get Azure pricing HERE

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Simplest way of compressing files using .net 4.5


We will try to create a sample project to demonstrate compression using .net 4.5

  1. Create a sample Console project
  2. Right click references > Add References

    Search and add the DLL “System.IO.Compression.FileSystem”


  3. Now let’s add a sample folder called “test” and add 2 sample text files in it.

  4. Now select the 2 sample test files and change the property “Copy to output directory” to “copy if newer”

    This will create the test folder and copy both the test files in to it in the debug folder which is the working folder for the program.


  5. Now you can use the following code in the Main program to compress the “test” folder


    Syntax (C#)

    public static void CreateFromDirectory(

        string sourceDirectoryName,

        string destinationArchiveFileName


    sourceDirectoryName: The path to the directory to be archived, specified as a relative or absolute path. A relative path is interpreted as relative to the current working directory.

    destinationArchiveFileName: The path of the archive to be created, specified as a relative or absolute path. A relative path is interpreted as relative to the current working directory.




    System.IO.Compression.ZipFile.CreateFromDirectory(“test”, “”);


    Output in Debug folder:


    Applying this in Windows Azure:

    Storing in the local file system won’t be applicable in azure environment. We need to store in a centralized location where all servers can access them.

    You can upload your files into a blob container and compress those files using a worker role & store them in another blob container.


    Moreover, there are plenty of other libraries that we use to compress. All has its pros and cons.


    Download Code Sample from HERE

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