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Friday, 9 September 2011

Not running in a hosted service or the Development Fabric - Azure

I got an InvalidOperationException with message "Not running in a hosted service or the Development Fabric" while trying to access my Azure site hosted on my local IIS. I have encountered this before and solved it but this time it confused be further so I thought this time I should document it.

The cause of this issue is that you are not running you Compute Emulator or your Storage Emulator. You can get these when you download and install the Windows Azure SDK (currently at v1.4). Once you have these you must have them running and, according to Michael Collier's blog post, they must be running as administrator too.

This can be done in two ways:

  • Going to Start > All Programs > Windows Azure SDK v1.4 > Compute Emulator and run it as administrator (which I can't find how to do).
  • Run the site in debug mode. This will cause the emulators to start running (since Visual Studio is running as administrator). Your IIS hosted site will then also be able to run.

I found the first way didn't work but that was because I didn't know I had to run them as administrator before I read Collier's post. However, after reading it I still can't figure out how to run it as administrator without using Visual Studio.

So usually I hit F5 to start debugging in the{random port} page that starts up. I then close that window and continue using my IIS hosted site now that the emulators are running as administrator.

I have found one further complication though on the odd occasion. It seems that if you attempted to run your site before you had the emulators running, got the error and then started the emulators, you would still get the error. When this happens I found if I restart my site and application pool in IIS manager it will begin to work with the already running emulators correctly.


I now believe that you must have your Azure Compute Emulator(s) running as administrator before your site and application pool start up to run an Azure site successfully in IIS in a development environment.

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  1. Awesome! Great work with this post, i am sure people should have got impressed with this post.

  2. Hi Colin, Thanks for the post - was exactly what I was looking for. In reference to your point you can right-click -> properties on the "Computer Emulator" program and then under the "Compatibility" tab you can select "Run this program as administrator". You've probably found this anyway by now as quite an old post but thought I'd mention it.