dnn evoq azureDNN's new cloud-based solution Evoq leverages Microsoft Azure’s cloud server technology. Azure is Microsoft’s answer to Amazon Web Services and it’s an awesome way to make sure your enterprise .Net applications can effectively scale and maintain consistent up-time around the world. DNN Evoq utilizes this technology to provide the DotNetNuke content management system in more of a SaaS-based model. Additional features such as one-click website cloning and auto-scaling make a lot of sense if you’re running concurrent environments for development, staging, or several child portals. One issue we've faced developing directly on Evoq's Azure setup is the out-of-box limited availability of traditional development toolsets.


A Developer is Only As Good As the Tools They Use

A seasoned developer doesn't need much more to survive than a command line and Notepad – but even Bear Grylls would rather have dry matches than be stuck rubbing sticks together. The tools that a developer can use help them gain efficiency and make their lives easier. Unfortunately, once you RDP into your DNN Evoq Azure instance you’ll notice no Visual Studio and no SQL Management Studio. This means you’re stuck with editing code files in Notepad and really having no way to directly script your database. Luckily, with a few quick (once downloaded) updates you can have at the very least a decent way to directly script your database to make necessary modifications and updates.

Installing SQL Management Studio

Just getting the correct SQL Server Express (FREE) found, downloaded, and installed can be an interesting challenge. We had success with using SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM – Management Studio Express opposed to trying to find an SQL Server Express installation package that included the optional tool of Management Studio.

Connecting to Object Explorer is a Brick Wall

At least for the way DNN Evoq on Azure is setup, your account credentials will not let you connect to Object Explorer. You’ll probably see a message like:

Cannot open database "master" requested by the login. The login failed.

This primarily is because you do not have a master account – your account (Windows Authentication) only allows you access to your database, so letting you directly connect to Object Explorer and view everyone on your shared server’s databases would be more privileges than you are granted. The snafu here is that SQL Management Studio will default your login on start-up to connecting to Object Explorer – which makes it seem like you just can’t login. No fear, there is hope!

Database Connection Work Around

  1. Close out of the initial dialogue that Management Studio presents and click ‘New Query’ you’ll be again prompted with a login dialogue – however it is only starting a new query, not attempting to load Object Explorer for the entire server.
  2. Click ‘Options’ and enter in your specific database instance in the ‘Connect to database’ field
  3. Click ‘Connect’
  4. Voilà! You've got a SQL Query window that you can use to run scripts directly against your specific database.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

If you’re unsure of the consequences of your script or are testing I implore you to monkey around on a test server with a replicated schema. Running any query directly on your database can have extremely adverse effects and without the capabilities to use embedded Management Studio functionality like backups before running data altering queries you run the serious risk of making unrecoverable errors. Having said that, if you know what you’re doing this process will allow you direct scripting capabilities with DNN’s Evoq Cloud product and hopefully give you the customization and flexibility you’ll need for your specific solution.

On Azure Cloud and need some development experts? Look no further than shooting us a quick message and we’d be glad to help. If you have any questions, feedback, or additional ways that you've been working with DNN Evoq on Azure that would be useful to supplement this information please add to the comments below.

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