Windows Azure is a great platform. It has different components (like Compute, Storage, SQL Azure, AppFabric) which can be used independently. So for example you can use just Windows Azure Storage (be it Blob, Queue or Table) without even using Compute (Windows Azure Roles) or SQL Azure or AppFabric. And using just Windows Azure Storage is worthy. The price is very competitive to other cloud storage providers (such as Amazon S3).
To use Windows Azure Storage from within your Windows Forms application you just need to add reference to the Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient assembly. This assembly is part of Windows Azure SDK.
O.K. Assuming you have created a new Windows Forms application, you added reference to that assembly, you tried to create your CloudStorageAccount using the static Parse or TryParse method, and you try to build your application. Don’t be surprised, you will get following error (warning):
Warning 5 The referenced assembly "Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient, Version=22.214.171.124, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35, processorArchitecture=MSIL" could not be resolved because it has a dependency on "System.Web, Version=126.96.36.199, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" which is not in the currently targeted framework ".NETFramework,Version=v4.0,Profile=Client". Please remove references to assemblies not in the targeted framework or consider retargeting your project.
And you will not be able to build.
Well, some of you may not know, but with the Service Pack 1 of .NET Framework 3.5, Microsoft announced a new concept, named “.NET Framework Client Profile” which is available for .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 and .NET Framework 4.0. The shorter version of what Client Profile is follows:
The .NET Framework 4 Client Profile is a subset of the .NET Framework 4 that is optimized for client applications. It provides functionality for most client applications, including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and ClickOnce features. This enables faster deployment and a smaller install package for applications that target the .NET Framework 4 Client Profile.
For the full version – check out the inline links.
What to do in order to use Microsoft.WindwsAzure.StorageClient from within our Windows Forms application – go to project Properties and from “Target Framework” in “Application” tab select “.NET Framework 4” and not the “* Client Profile” one:
The gotcha, is that the default setting for Visual Studio is to use Client Profile of the .NET Framework. And you cannot choose this option from the “New Project” wizard, and all new projects you create are targeting the .NET Framework Client Profile (if you choose a .NET Framework 4 or 3.5 project template).