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In this lab, you will learn to provision and manage resources in Azure with the new Azure Resource Manager. Then we will deploy our sample application into newly created infrastructure.


In this hands-on lab, you will learn how to:

  • Author Azure Resource Manager templates.
  • Deploy ARM Templates to Azure.
  • Integrate environments into VSTS Release pipelines.
  • Deploy City Power & Light to new Web App.


  • You should have completed the previous Continuous Integration HOL.


This hands-on-lab has the following exercises:


In the hands-on-labs you will be using Visual Studio Solutions. Please do not update the NuGet packages to the latest available, as we have not tested the labs with every potential combination of packages.

Exercise 1: Create an ARM Template in Visual Studio

  1. Open Visual Studio 2015.

  2. Select File -> New > Project....


  3. Select the Cloud -> Azure Resource Group project template and provide a name for the new solution. In the screenshot, we choose DevCampWebApp. Select a location. Create a new folder if you wish.


  4. In the Select Azure Template window, find the Web App template and select it. Click OK. This will create an Azure Resource project and add a web application resource.


  5. Open Solution Explorer and review the assets. Select the WebSite.json file and open it in the editor.


  6. The JSON Editor tool pane will open and provide an outline of the ARM Template. Expand each section to view the content.


    Note: If the tool pane does not open, ensure that you have the latest Azure SDK installed. At the time of this writing, the latest version is 2.9.

  7. Our new web application will need a globally unique DNS name. Locate the webSiteName variable. This will synchronize the editor view with the outline view. In the editor, replace the existing value webSite with dotnetapptest.


  8. The web application needs to be configured to work with the AzureAD, Azure Storage, Azure Redis Cache, and ASP.NET WebAPI that we configured earlier.

    In earlier exercises we have configured these settings as Web.config variables on our local machines, and in the Azure Portal for our DevCamp Azure Web App.

    ARM Templates can include child resources, which define options for a given parent resource. For a web app, we can add appsettings to adjust the environment variables present on our app, instead of or in addition to using web.config.

  9. In the JSON outline tool pane, select the Website parent resource. Right-click and select Add New Resource.


  10. Locate the Application Settings for Web Apps resource and select it. Enter a name and click Add.


  11. Locate the Properties node in the Application Settings resource.


  12. Replace the properties node with the following:

    "properties": {
        "AZURE_STORAGE_QUEUE": "thumbnails",
        "REDISCACHE_PORT": "6379",
        "REDISCACHE_SSLPORT": "6380",
        "AAD_APP_ID": "[YOUR APP ID]",
        "AAD_APP_REDIRECTURI": "[concat('https://', variables('webSiteName'), '')]",
        "AAD_INSTANCE": "{0}/{1}",
        "AAD_AUTHORITY": "",
        "AAD_GRAPH_SCOPES": "openid email profile offline_access Mail.ReadWrite Mail.Send User.Read User.ReadBasic.All",
        "GRAPH_API_URL": ""
  13. Locate the values surrounded by [YOUR ...]. We will need to replace these values with the correct settings for your web application. You can get these values from the Web.config created in the previous labs.

  14. If you do not have the values from the previous labs, open the Azure portal and find the web application in your resource group that starts with dotnetapp....

  15. Select Application Settings from the settings blade:


  16. Copy the values by double-clicking in the cell and copying the values. Paste them into the ARM template in the correct location that matches the key name.

    If you do not have the Application Settings you may have not completed the previous HOL and have to manually add them.



We are now ready to deploy our ARM Template containing an App Service Plan, and a Web App with environment variables to Azure.

Exercise 2: Deploy ARM Template to Azure using Visual Studio

  1. In Visual Studio, select the ARM Project. Right-click and select Deploy -> New...:


  2. Select your subscription and resource group from the drop-downs and click Deploy.


  3. A pop up will appear where you can enter a name for your app service and select the App Service plan. Enter a name, and select B1. This is a basic plan.


  4. Click Save.

    If Visual Studio fails to deploy the template and you receive the error message Add-AzureRmAccount: The term 'Add-AzureRmAccount' is not recognized... open an interactive Powershell (View -> Other Windows -> Powershell Interactive Window). Enter Connect-AzureRmAccount. It should prompt you to log in. Follow the instructions. Redeploy the template.

  5. Open the Azure Portal and verify that the app has been created in your resource group with the defined resources.


    Also check the Application Settings blade to verify that the environment variables were created as expected:


  6. To use authentication with this new web app, we need to update our AzureAD app registration to whitelist its URL. In the browser, navigate to the Application Registration Portal and select your application. Under the Platforms heading, select Add Url and paste in the URL of your newly created Azure Web App. Also, since two of our applications share the same * domain we need to add an entry for into the list. Click Save.


    See here for more information about redirect URIs.

    If you encounter error messages in the browser please try a redeploy via Visual Studio.

The resource group is now holding our "Test" environment web app and has been added to our app registration.

Exercise 3: Integrate new Web App into VSTS

  1. In VSTS, open the Release Definition that we started in a previous lab. You should be be able to find this by navigating to Releases in the Build & Release menu on the top navigation. We need to create a second environment to serve as our test web app.


  2. Click the drop-down arrow next to the existing Release Definition, and select Edit:


  3. In the Release Definition, first select Environment 1, then select Add and select Clone environment. We will use our existing Dev web app configuration as the template for the new test web app configuration.


  4. Rename the environment from Copy of... to Test by clicking on it's title.

  5. VSTS allows us to control and govern how releases happen between environments. Instead of automatically deploying our test environment after our dev environment, let's add an approval step. A user can look at the dev environment, confirm it is is ready, and then authorize a release to the test environment. Click the Pre-deployment conditions icon on the left side of the test environment, select the After environment trigger and the first environment:


    For the Pre-deployment approvers option, enter your account name and make sure User requesting a release or deployment should not approve is not checked. Then click the Save button:


  6. Switch to the Tasks blade. Update the App service name to match the web app that you just deployed via the ARM Template. The task now targets the test environment web app, rather than the dev environment web app.


  7. Save your Release Definition to finish adding the additional environment.

Exercise 4: Deploy City Power & Light to new Web App

With the updated Release Definition, we can now execute a release.

  1. Click on the Release button and in the drop-down choose Create Release.


  2. Select a Build to release into the environments. This is likely the largest numbered Build. Then click the Create button.


  3. Click the Release number to navigate to the Release Details screen


  4. On the top toolbar, select Logs to monitor the release process. When the release for the dev environment finishes, you will be prompted to approve the release to the test environment. Click Approve to continue the release.


  5. Once the test environment app has finished its release, open the app in the browser and login.


    Before you are trying to login make sure that you are browsing the https version of the app or a redirect loop will occur.

We have now created a new "test" environment web app and app service plan via an ARM Template, and integrated the new environment into our VSTS Release Definition.


In this hands-on lab, you learned how to:

  • Create an ARM Template in Visual Studio Code.
  • Deploy ARM Template to Azure via the XPlat CLI.
  • Integrate new Web App into VSTS.
  • Deploy City Power & Light to new Web App.

After completing this module, you can continue on to Module 6: Monitoring with Application Insights.

View Module 6 instructions for .NET.

Copyright 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Except where otherwise noted, these materials are licensed under the terms of the MIT License. You may use them according to the license as is most appropriate for your project. The terms of this license can be found at