This is the first of a three part series on running a rails application on Windows Azure using SQLAzure as your database backend. The Rail Guides website, of course, has a wonderful getting started article that I couldn't possibly do justice. This small series is just a very simple demonstration of one possible way of developing a rails application on Microsoft's Azure platform.
In this part, we'll simply be focusing on getting a basic rails application running on your laptop or desktop using IronRuby and SQL Server and links to download bundles that you can try out for yourself. If you already know how to do all that, skip to the end of this article to the download bundles and head over to Part 2: Connecting your rails application to SQLAzure
Installing IronRuby 1.1
IronRuby 1.1 runs on either .NET Framework v3.5 or v4. I'll be using the package targeted at .NET v3.5 for our example simply because I wasn't sure if most people would have the newer framework installed on their machines. Ruby normally lives in a self-contained folder. Installing IronRuby, therefore, is as simple as downloading this 4MB zip file and unpacking it. For the purposes of this article, I've created a root folder called
and unzipped the contents of the IronRuby zip file to
Install IronRuby on Rails by typing:
.\igem install rails --version 2.3.8
You should see output similar to the following:
C:\Sample\IronRuby\bin>igem install --version 2.3.8
Successfully installed rake-0.8.7
Successfully installed activesupport-2.3.8
Successfully installed activeresource-2.3.8
Successfully installed rails-2.3.8
8 gems installed
Installing SQL Server Active Record Adapter
For rails to use the active-record pattern with MS SQL Server, we’ll also need to install the
c:\Sample\IronRuby\bin>.\igem install activerecord-sqlserver-adapter --version 2.3.8
Successfully installed activerecord-sqlserver-adapter-2.3.8
1 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for activerecord-sqlserver-adapter-2.3.8...
Installing RDoc documentation for activerecord-sqlserver-adapter-2.3.8...** **
Configuring SQL Server
SQLAzure is based on SQL Server 2008 and uses SQL Authentication. I’m not going to cover SQL server installation in this article. Please ensure you install SQL Server 2008 (or 2008 Express) on your development machine and enable SQL Server authentication mode.
For our example, let’s ensure we have the following setup on our SQL Server:
Please ensure the ‘myuser’ login has CRUD privileges on the ‘dev’ database.
Creating a vanilla rails application
Create the canonical rails application in our sample as follows:
As you would expect, that should create a host of new files that comprise our new rails application.
Configuring our rails application to talk to SQL Server**
The database.yml database configuration file under C:\Sample\myapp\config\ tells rails how to connect to the application’s database. Replace the following default connection string in database.yml that was generated:
with the following:
We have now installed IronRuby, Rails and other necessary gems and configured our database.yml with the appropriate connection string to tell rails how to talk to SQL Server.
All that remains is starting up the application:
You should see the webrick web server start up:
WARNING: YAML.add_builtin_type is not implemented
=> Booting WEBrick
=> Rails 2.3.8 application starting on http://0.0.0.0:3000
=> Call with -d to detach
=> Ctrl-C to shutdown server
[2010-09-06 20:34:18] INFO WEBrick 1.3.1
[2010-09-06 20:34:18] INFO ruby 1.8.6 (2009-03-31) [i386-mswin32]
[2010-09-06 20:34:18] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=5076 port=3000
Browse to http://localhost:3000 and you should see the “Welcome Aboard” rails default home page. Click on the “About your application’s environment” link and you should see “sqlserver” listed next to “Database adapter”. We now have a rails application running on our development station talking to SQL Server.
We’re now just a few steps away from tweaking this setup slightly to get out rails application to talking to your SQLAzure account instead.
The bundle assumes you have an existing SQL Server installed on your machine with the following configuration:
SQL Server: localhost
The bundle contains:
All requisite gems
Sample rails app
Unzip this sample.zip file on to your root folder. Double click on
runme.bat under the c:\sample folder to start your rails app.
In the next part, we'll see how to point your rails application to use SQLAzure as it's backend.