Since I switched my blog over to a static site generated via Pretzel I have been looking for even easier ways to publish posts. @vikingcode has a great post on how to configure a empty shim project to kick off Pretzel on push to Azure.
Jekyll is nice but if you’re not a Rubyist or if you don’t like Liquid (the templating engine that Jekyll uses) it may not be as nice to you. One of the early projects of Code52 was Pretzel which started off as a .NET app with Jekyll compatibility. Since then, Razor has been added as well as other enhancements. The “problem” with Pretzel was that you’d have to prebake the site and commit the site to Git, rather than just the “source” files.
Azure “relaunched” a few months back, including a new product “Windows Azure Web Sites” (WAWS). WAWS is essentially Microsoft’s version of AppHarbor or Heroku - Git (or TFS, or FTP) deployed sites “to the cloud”. WAWS lets you use a whole stack of web tech - .net, node.js, java, php, python and potentially more.
Now thanks to this post I was able to switch up my workflow. Instead of pushing from my desktop to Azure the _site folder. I now have a service hook configured on CodePlex that pushed the source to Azure and then on the Azure side Pretzel is run to generate my site. It is always great to remove a step in any workflow.
If you try this out and have problems with incorrect paths, I submitted a pull request to fix a bug when using the -d switch