Just a few days ago the team in Redmond has announced the general availability for Azure Search and other new announcements along with it.

For the past few months I had the opportunity to talk, blog and answer questions about Azure Search while it was still under public preview. Today however, the service is no longer in preview and this means that the search-as-a-service solution managed by Microsoft is now fully baked with SLA, stable and less-changing REST API schema and models which can be concluded as: full-text search in a box.

The purpose of Azure Search is to help software developers implement a search system within their applications (whether web, mobile or desktop) without the friction and complexity of writing SQL, JavaScript (or anything else) queries and with all the benefits of an administration-less system.

Not only did the team make the service generally available, but they also added some more flavor to this release since it comes out with great new features such as an indexer mechanism which allows Azure Search to literally crawl for data in any modern data repository such as Azure DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database or SQL Server running on Azure VMs and also the concept of suggesters (previously under preview in the 2014-10-20-Preview API version – I wrote about suggesters in the Azure Search Client Library update announcement here) which allows users to specify a suggest algorithm upon running the suggest operation available in Azure Search.

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By the time of this writing, Azure Search Client Library, available on Nuget here, has officially been downloaded for 201 times. In order to properly celebrate this, I’m going to have the next release of the library published asap. Lots of new capabilities are on their way, so stay tuned!

One more thing: should there be a specific feature you feel is missing, do drop me a comment, message, e-mail, tweet etc. and I’m personally make sure that your requirement will go straight staring up in the product backlog.

Alex

I’m super excited to announce the public availability of Azure Search Client Library, a client library which works as a wrapper around the REST API available for the Azure Search Service.

This library intends to make you development tasks easier when it comes do doing any management or querying related tasks on your Azure Search indexes. The client library is available on NuGet (https://www.nuget.org/packages/AzureSearchClient) and the current version is 0.5.5355.2536. I’ve also written a short Getting Started-like documentation which is available at

Among others, this NuGet package is also my first and foremost ever NuGet package publicly made available on NuGet.org so I’d appreciate it even more if you’d leave comments on whatever you’d like to see next in the package.

Alex

 

I’ve been scrathing my nerves trying to get around an Azure Cache relates situation that I came across in one of my recent projects.

There are multiple caching scenarios and options available for Azure, but I’m going to talk about this in a different post. For now, just keep in mind that I decided to go with a dedicated co-located role for caching, which basically means a different VM that serves all the caching request. I’ve also configured the caching clients (all the pieces of code that request cache) to use the caching cluster configured on that Azure Caching Role.

In order to configure that particulat scenario, you have several options available for importing the references (.dlls) and configuring your configuration files (mostly web.config sections), but the most common and simple usage scenario is to go with the NuGet Package Manager and install the Windows Azure Caching package.

As of 31st of July, the latest version of WAC package is 2.1.0.0. Moreover, if you search around your favourite search engine a little, you’ll come across an article mentioning the WAC package and that you should configure the NuGet package Manager to show pre-release versions of the package as well. This article was posted somewhere in late-June. IMHO, once I saw 2.1.0.0 was already a stable release, I was amazed and pleased by the hard work of the Azure team at Microsoft.

After installing the package, I got this strange exception in my code:

There is a temporary failure.     Please retry later.  (One or more specified cache servers are unavailable, which could be caused by busy network or servers.  For on-premises cache clusters, also verify the following conditions. Ensure that security permission has  been granted for this client account, and check that the AppFabric Caching Service is allowed through the  firewall on all cache hosts. Also the MaxBufferSize on the server must be greater than or equal to the  serialized object size sent from the client.). Additional Information : The client was trying to communicate  with the server: net.tcp://MvcWebRole1:24233.

The inner exception stated:

No such host is known

Unfortunatelly, both exceptions are extremely generic, considering the cache cluster name is configured corrently and running smoothly (you can always use the Azure emulator to confirm). However, the code just decided not to run.

After a little more research, I found out that MS also announced the new SDK, namely Windows Azure SDK 2.1. However, this time they didn’t do all the usual marketing campains for some reason that I’m not really aware of. I also found out that the latest release of the WAC package only works with that specific SDK (apparently reading the NuGet package description is required :-) ), so here I am, running this line of script in the Package Manager console and making everything work:

Install-Package Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Caching -Version 2.0.0.0

I hope this post finds you in good peace and helps you solve similar problems in a shorter period of time!

A.

P.S.: sometimes (random cases), the script for installing the WAC package (v. 2.0.0.0), after uninstalling WAC 2.1.0.0 fails. Don’t worry though, since the web.config file is correctly modified by the WAC installer and all the references exist and are correctly included in the project.