Microsoft provides a gallery of software that can be installed into a web
site, DNN (formerly DotNetNuke) is one of them. This article decribes how to
create a web site in Azure and install DNN in it. There are two parts of the
procedure, the first part is the Azure part and the second part is the DNN
Microsoft allows us to have up to 10 Azure websites for free. There are
limitations of course. The size of the free databases are limited to 25 MB.
If you need more resources then the cost is likely minimal but if you just
want to explore DNN then you can do that for free.You will need to provide
two passwords. As far as I know they can be the same but they also can be
The password for the SQL Server has some requirements, such as a mixture
of lower and upper case and a number or punctuation. I forget the details
but be prepared for it.
After creating he web site, DNN will show an initial configuration page.
It will ask for a username and password to be created. This will be for rthe
SuperUser account. The default username is "host". Keep "host" as the
username unless you are sure you want something else. The password is not
have as many requirements as the does the password for the SQL Server and
you will be entering the SuperUser (host) password very often whereas you
will not need the SQL Server password often.
You will need the following peices of information:
- SERVER LOGIN NAME and PASSWORD
- Go to Azure. Create an
account if you do not have one.
- Click on "Portal" in the top right and log in if necessary.
- Click on WEB APPS at the top of the menu at the left.
- Click on "NEW" in the bottom-left. You will see the following in the
- There are four columns. The fourth column, the right-most column, is
just for messages. The top icon in the left will be selected; leave that
selected. At the top of the second column is "WEB APP". It is selected;
leave that selected. In the third column select "FROM GALLERY". You will
then see the following:
- To make selection easier, click on "CMS" in the menu in the left.
- Find "DNN Platform" in the list in the middle; click on it.
- Click the arrow in the bottom-right to proceed. You will then see
- Provide an URL; this will be part of the URL used to navigate to
- For the database, select "Create a free 20 MB SQL Database" if
possible. If you already have a free 20 MB SQL Database then you will
not be able to create another one for that subscription.
- I am not sure what
- Select whatever region you want.
- Click the arrow in the bottom-right to proceed.
- For the server, select "New SQL database server".
- Provide a SERVER LOGIN NAME, SERVER LOGIN PASSWORD and enter the
password again for the CONFIRM PASSWORD.
- Click n the arrow in the bottom-right to proceed.
- The web site will be created; it might require more than a minute to
- Click on the website URL on the right to browse to the site.
- You will probably need to wait another minute for the website to
You will now need to complete the DNN installation. The form is a DNN
form, not an Azure form, so it is not customized for Azure. We will get the
information we need for the DNN installation.
- Open a new browser window (or tab) and go to the Azure Portal as
above and click on "ALL ITEMS".
- You will see the web site and the database listed. Select the
database that was created.
- Click on "SQL Database connection strings for ADO .Net, ODBC, PHP,
- Note the ADO.Net Server, Database and User ID.
- At the botton of the connection strings it says "Allow the
connection in firewall rules"; click on "firewall rules". It will show
you a window with your IP address. You need to click on the arrow
pointing to the right to add your IP address to the Firewall rules. Then
click on "SAVE" at the bottom.
For the purposes of thes instructions, assume that the connection string
Return to the DNN configuration page. Then fill in the DNN Installation
form as in the folllowing:
- Leave as "host". The "host"user is the super-user and it typically
- Use whatever password you want to use; it is separate from any Azure
- Website Name
- Whatever name you want.
- If you choose "Default Template" then you will get a complete sample
web site for a bicycle store. It will look like an actual store; you
might think there was a mistake. Unless you are already familiar with
DNN and you know you want a store web site, choose a blank web
site. The blank web site template will create a web site much
easier to learn from.
- Whatever language you choose.
- Database Setup
- Leave it set to "Custom".
- Database Type
- Set to "SQL Server/SQL Server Express Database"
- Server Name
- Use the server from the connection string. Assuming the connection
string is as shown above, then the server name here would be
- Database Name
- Use the database from the connection string. Assuming the connection
string is as shown above, then the database here would be
- Object Qualifier
- Leave blank
- Select "User Defined"
- Database Username
- The Username you used to create the database (the User ID from the
- Database Password
- The password you used in Azure to create the database.
- Run Database As
- Leave it set for "Database Owner".
Finally, DNN will be installed. It took more than 2 minutes for my
installation to complete.