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Tips and Tricks for:  Windows Azure


The Problem:   Windows Azure dev storage fails to initialize if you don't have SQLExpress.

The Windows Azure tools for Visual Studio tools allow you to simulate Windows Azure storage with a local instance of SQL Server.  It assumes that you've installed SQL Server Express Edition when you installed Visual Studio.  If you didn't install SQL Express you run into the error message:

Windows Azure Tools: Failed to initialize the Development Storage service. Unable to start Development Storage. Failed to start Development Storage: the SQL Server instance ‘localhost\SQLExpress’ could not be found. Please configure the SQL Server instance for Development Storage using the ‘DSInit’ utility in the Windows Azure SDK.

As the message states you can fix this with the dsinit.exe tool, which you'll find in the Windows Azure SDK directory. 

Solution: Use disinit to create the simulation database in a local instance of SQL Server.

dsinit.exe can be found in "c:\Program Files\Windows Azure SDK\v1.1\bin\devstore".  If you run it with the /? parameter you get this help screen:

dsinit.exe help panel for  windows azure default development storage location

Run the dsinit.exe program again with the name of the instance, in this case "." to initialize the storage:

dsinit;windows azure sdk; utility

Once it runs it shows what it's done:

dsinit;windows azure sdk


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