Brian Swan has a new post today looking at how you can update some PHP settings in your Windows Azure instance - an alternative to redeploying your every time your php.ini file might need an update.
I came across this question on Twitter last week: "How can I turn display_errors on for an application that is running in Windows Azure?" I have to admit that I was stumped. The only thing I could think of was to re-deploy the application with an updated php.ini file. But, I happened to mention this question to Ben Lobaugh who suggested a very simple idea: Store your PHP settings in some durable store external to your application as key-value pairs, then loop through the settings and update them with the ini_set function when a page loads.
He puts a big disclaimer on his suggestion, noting that it's "a hack and only a hack" and can be useful for someone still learning how to work with Azure and deployment. He shows how to use a Table storage to save the values and make them easier for the application to grab at runtime. Using the tools from their SDK, fetching and setting those values is a simple process. An idea like this, while convenient, could potentially cause performance issues down the line, do be careful with this recommendation (and be sure to load test).