WordPress and the power of Azure SQL

Microsoft Azure is surely one of the best cloud platforms available right now, it offers many services, from Machine Learning to Website Hosting, and each one is guaranteed by the Microsoft name. It is the best solution for companies or startups and there are a lot of great opportunities to try it for free such as the Bizspark program, if you’re a startup you definitely want to check this out, or the MSDN free credit.

In the last post we saw the flexibility and scalability of the Mobile Services especially combined with Xamarin, what we’re going to see today is how to setup a WordPress website in Microsoft Azure.

You can find lots of guides on this topic but they all use the standard procedure, that would be to install WordPress from the Azure marketplace.

In this way we are forced to use a MySQL database that, on Azure is available only from ClearDB and that is much more expensive than the Azure MSSQL databases. Also if you’re a member of Bizspark or MSDN, you can’t use the free credit since ClearDB is not part of Azure.

To solve the problem we have two solution:

  1. Setup a Virtual Machine with MySQL and use it for the database
  2. Use Project Nami  (Not Another MySQL Interpreter) and use an Azure SQL database

The second solution is simpler to manage and scale and since this is the main goal of cloud computing we will go for it!

Project Nami

Project Nami has a single initial goal — to teach WordPress to natively speak MSSQL while maintaining full compatibility with properly written plugins and themes.  This is an important item to note.  Any plugin, theme, or function written to access the database via the WordPress API will operate normally.  Only those items which attempt fully built MySQL queries will fail.  This puts us in the unique position of being able to declare that all WordPress features we have tested are operating as expected.  Import, export, paging, multisite… virtually every item which has not functioned in prior MSSQL attempts is operating.  In fact, we are not aware of any bugs in the project at this time.

Using Project Nami is insanely simple, you just need to go to this page and click the “Deploy to Azure” button.

After we’ve logged in using our Azure account an automated tool will start and we will be able to setup our website.
When the tool completes we can simply navigate to our website and go on with the WordPress setup!

Last step is to send a tweet to @projectnami to thank them for their amazing work and to show them your website for their gallery!