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Set Up Your Development Environment



Before you start building your first MessageHandler system, you'll need to familiarize yourself with a few Microsoft Azure services and make sure that you have installed all required software tools.

By the end of this part of the Tutorial, you will:

  • Have installed all the required software tools.
  • Have a basic understanding of the key Microsoft Azure technologies needed to create a distributed system with MessageHandler.
  • Have prepared additional azure and third party services specific to the tutorial.

Installation Guide

The first part of this lesson will walk you through installing

  • The .NET 6 SDK
  • Visual Studio
  • Git

The .NET 6 SDK

.NET (pronounced as dotnet) is a free and open-source, managed computer software framework for Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems. It fully supports the C# and F# programming languages.

The MessageHandler libraries have been targetted at the latest LTS (long term support) version of the .NET framework, which currently is .NET 6

The .NET 6 SDK can be downloaded and installed from the official Microsoft site.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a popular code editor that you can use to write code for your project.

If you don’t have a preferred code editor yet, install Visual Studio 2022 community edition and/or Visual Studio Code depending on your target platform.


Git is a free and open source distributed version control system. It’s a tool that helps you save different versions of your code. It also helps teammates work together on the same codebase at the same time.

The steps to download and install Git depend on your operating system. Follow the guide for your specific environment.


All MessageHandler tutorials and guides are available from GitHub and can be cloned locally using git.

To access the public MessageHandler repositories, you will need a free GitHub account.

Once you have a GitHub account you can access these repositories from the MessageHandler organization on GitHub.

Microsoft Azure

MessageHandler has been purpose built to make development easier on the Microsoft Azure platform.

In this second part of the lesson, you'll prepare your Microsoft Azure environment.

Create an account

If you don't have an account for Microsoft Azure yet, go signup for one.

Signing up to Azure requires a credit card, but the services used by MessageHandler are cheap or even free, so you don't have to worry about the bill.

Azure Storage Services

Once you have an Azure acount, create a general purpose storage account.

MessageHandler uses Azure Storage Services to store events.

To manage these events, you are also advised to install Azure Storage Explorer, which is a free tool to manage your Azure cloud storage resources from your desktop

Azure Service Bus

For communication between the different software components, that will make up your distributed e-commerce system, MessageHandler uses either Azure Service Bus, Azure Event Hub or Azure IOT Hub.

For completing the tutorial you only need to create an azure service bus namespace though.

To manage messages in flight, you are advised to install Service Bus Explorer, which is an open source community tool that helps you to manage your Azure Service Bus namespace.

Additional Services

Distributed systems in the cloud can get very complex, partially because you will be integrating additional azure and even third party services into your software design as well.

The following services are not required for MessageHandler, but they serve a purpose during the tutorial and are used to illustrate potential complexity.

  • You will need an Azure Search Service to allow querying the sales orders received by your e-commerce system.
  • A Postmark account to send order confirmation mails to the buyer and seller.
  • And an Azure Sql Database to hold emails to send until the buyer provides their notification preferences.

Note that you can get a free Sql Database instance using the following Powershell as explained here.

New-AzureRmSqlDatabase -DatabaseName $DatabaseName -ServerName $sqlServer.ServerName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup.ResourceGroupName -Edition 'Free' -RequestedServiceObjectiveName 'Free'


Now that you have all the tools, Azure- and third party services you’ll need, you’re ready to start designing your distributed e-commerce system.

What’s coming next?

In Part 2 of the Tutorial, you’ll first create a model of the e-commerce business process to get an understanding of what you will be building.


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