Using Windows Azure to scale your Silverlight Application

When deploying your Silverlight application out to your customers, there are a number of points that could become bottlenecks. Looking at it at a high level there are 3 main ones

  1. Getting your files to the client (.xap + other media)
  2. Processing requests
  3. Retrieving data

Lets tackle these in order

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WCF services hosted on Windows Azure

I’ve gotten quite a few questions asking how to get WCF services working correctly under Windows Azure. There are 2 main issues here

  1. Windows Azure has a bug hosting Azure services in the current CTP
  2. The PDC Labs are incorrect (it only works when running inside of the Microsoft Lab PCs)

I was discussing this with Steve Marx while I was in Seattle who pointed me in the right direction.

The developer fabric in the current CTP isn’t hosting SCF services correctly. If you try and retrieve the WCF metadata, it will be returned incorrectly. So here are the steps to correctly host WCF and generate the client proxies. Note: This is my opinion based on what Steve mentioned to me, this isn’t his way.

At a high level, we need to create the WCF service, set it to basicHttpBinding, host it in the ASP.Net dev server. Get our client app to generate the proxy from the metadata. Host the WCF service in Azure, then update the client app to point to the Azure endpoint.

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