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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

    OR

  • 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”

Or

  • 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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Asp.net Web API 101 – Basics

We will discuss some points and try to find “Why Web Api?”

  • Earlier we had following web services:

    • Soap services – supports only xml

    • WCF services – supports many data formats, Protocols: HTTP, TCP, UDP, and custom transports

      • For a comparison between SOAP & WCF: Here

      • For a comparison between WCF & Web Api: Here

  • Now apps are available in PCs, Mobiles, Tablets, Notebooks, electronic devices, etc. Not all these devices speak SOAP. But they do speak HTTP. When you have more clients, you need to scale. Web API tries to minimize unnecessary configurations and keeps it simple.
  • It is simply a framework that allows you to build HTTP services. Services that are activated by simple GET requests, or by passing plain XML over POST, and respond with non-SOAP content such as plain XML, a JSON string, or any other content that can be used by the consumer.
  • WCF was initially created to support SOAP + WS-* over a variety of transports. Not all platforms and devices support soap. There was need to non-SOAP services. WCF 3.5 added WebHttpBinding – a new binding to create non-SOAP service over HTTP, better known as a RESTful service. Although, WCF support increased over time, it came with some pain. So, the main goal of the Web APIs is to stop looking at HTTP through the eyes of WCF, and just use as a transport protocol to pass requests. Web API aims to properly use URIs, HTTP headers, and body to create HTTP services accessible by any devices and platforms available.

To Start a Web Api Project using Visual Studio 2013

  • Create a New ASP.NET Web Application


  • Select Web Api template


The project creates a sample Web API controller named “ValuesController”. It will be inherited from the ApiController class which defines properties and methods for API controller.

Since Web API is a http service, each controller will by default have HTTP METHODS.

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT
  • DELETE

Exercise 1:

http://localhost:16107/api/values

This URL will call the default Method “Get”

    // GET api/values

        public IEnumerable<string> Get()

        {

            return new string[] { “value1”“value2” };

        }

This will return a string array. Example: we can use this to retrieve a product catalog.

Exercise 2:

http://localhost:16107/api/values/001

This URL will call the default Method “Get”, now passing a parameter id.

        // GET api/values/5

        public string Get(int id)

        {

            return “value”;

        }

Example: we can use this to retrieve product by passing a product id.

Exercise 3: POST simple Json string using fiddler

We can use Fiddler, to send a POST requests.




FromBody attribute:

This forces Web API to read a simple type from the request body. However, only one argument in the action can be decorated with this attribute, and you get an exception when you try to decorate more than one. Without FromBody attribute it will return an error “HTTP/1.1 405 Method Not Allowed”. More

Exercise 4: POST Json Object using fiddler

Post Body = { “ProductName”=”Apple”, “Price”=”22”}


Exercise 5: POST Json Object as a Model using fiddler

Post Body = { “ProductName”=”Apple”, “Price”=”22”}



Exercise 6: POST Form data using fiddler

Change the content type

  • Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Change Request body

  • Name=’Apple’&Price=’22’


Exercise 7: PUT (update) Json string using fiddler



Exercise 8: DELETE using fiddler

Note: body part is not applicable for DELETE.



Summary

Now, we have a basic idea about Web API, how to start a project, understanding existing sample code when a Web API project is created, and how to call HTTP methods of Api Controller.

In the Next Blog we will see how can we can work with custom methods on API Controller.

References:

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_httpmethods.asp

http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/idof/2012/03/05/wcf-or-aspnet-web-apis-my-two-cents-on-the-subject/

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The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data.

Solution:

<system.serviceModel>
<bindings>
<wsHttpBinding>
<binding name=”MyService” maxReceivedMessageSize=”2147483647″>
<readerQuotas maxDepth=”2147483647″ maxStringContentLength=”2147483647″
maxArrayLength=”2147483647″ maxBytesPerRead=”2147483647″
maxNameTableCharCount=”2147483647″ />
<security mode=”TransportWithMessageCredential”>
<transport clientCredentialType=”None” />
<message clientCredentialType=”UserName” />
</security>
</binding>
</wsHttpBinding>
</bindings>

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