Here is a checklist that can be used to gauge your web app prior to launch it in production. It includes questions that developers or IT professionals or cloud solution architects ask customers when they seek guidance to avoid common pitfalls not obvious to new users. Use this checklist to confidently deploy and launch your web application on Azure App Service. Continue reading “Azure Web Apps – Basic Operations Checklist”
Azure Web Apps has a cool feature called Deployment slots. Using a deployment slot when deploying you application code to production has a few benefits:
- allows you to validate your web app changes in a staging deployment slot before pushing the changes to production web app
- By deploying a web app to a slot first and swapping it into production ensures that all instances of the slot are warmed up before being swapped into production. This eliminates cold start for your application. The traffic redirection is seamless, and no requests are dropped as a result of swap operations. You can also use Autoswap which means every time you push your code update to that slot, App Service will automatically swap the web app into production after it has already warmed up in the slot.
- Gives you the flexibility to rollback . After a swap, the slot with previously staged web app now has the previous production web app. If the changes swapped into the production slot are not as you expected, you can perform the same swap immediately to get your “last known good site” back.
Before using Deployment slots which gives you the ability to spin up multiple development environments to test and stage your application reducing risk downtime due to code deployment , you might have a few question on how to use them . Here are some questions I captured to help understand what you need to know before you start using this feature with your web app .
Why use multiple environments? Working directly on your production site is a recipe for disaster you may regress issues or create new issues/bug with your production site breaking critical or non-critical functionality. Once you have a broken production site, rolling out a fix could take from minutes to hours or days during which period your site is down.
More and more developers are using CMS based solutions for developing their websites. Umbraco CMS is one of the popular .NET CMS solutions used by many developers. In this blog post I will share with you how to setup multiple environments for a staging and production sites for Umbraco CMS on Azure Web Apps.
What you will learn
- Setup local development site
- Setup a staging environment
- Setup Courier2 deployment module
- Deploy from staging to production site
Zend Z-Ray is a debugging/profiling solution offered by Zend technologies. Azure App service team has partnered with them to bring their solution into Azure App service helping developers build better PHP applications on our platform.
To enabled Zend Z-ray , you must have atleast one web application on Azure Web App service. Login to Azure management portal and select your web application.
Click on Settingsà Zend Z-ray
You may select the respective tier based on what type of web app you are using. For development purposes, you should use the FREE Sku and for production websites you should use STANDARD Sku.
For this blog post I am going to use STANDARD Sku . Once you select the Sku , you need to purchase the feature (Note that this feature is in preview mode and hence free to use until they are in preview mode. )
If you browse your website now, you will see a status bar for Z-ray that shows all information you need to debug your applications
Once the feature has been successfully enabled , click on Z-Ray Management dashboard to configure the profiler to show up in the browser status bar only if admin of the website and not your end users .
Use the secured mode to allow only admin/developer of your site to access the profile on your site
Click on the Tokens tab on the left side menu to create a new token
Specify the IP address restriction or URL based restriction for your website
To use the token, add the token URL as a GET parameter to the page URL. For example: http://mywebsite.com/path/page.php?zsdbt=<token-string>
To remove an access token, click the Remove Token button under the Actions column in the Tokens list. To expired an access token without removing it, click the Expire Token button .
You can view real-time info on all the requests being made to the Web server, including non-browser based requests, such as APIs, Web services, and mobile requests. Click on Z-Ray Live! On the left side menu . When using an Access token , only URLs with the access token will be displayed with Z-Ray Live !