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Workshop Tromsø 20.09.2018

An Web app running in containers orchestrated by Docker Compose. In this workshop, all commands are run from the root folder of project unless otherwise noted.

We have prepared Git branches with solutions for each part - they are written out in bold text, e.g.

git checkout start


  • Install git
  • Install the latest version of .Net Core.
  • Install the latest version of Docker.
  • Install Visual Studio Code.
  • Run docker run --rm microsoft/dotnet:2.1-sdk-alpine.
  • Run docker run --rm microsoft/dotnet:2.1-aspnetcore-runtime-alpine.
  • Install postman.

Part 1: Anatomy of an ASP.Net Web App

git checkout start

In this part you will create a simple ASP.Net web app and web API, familiarising yourself with their architectures.

Create app from template

  • mkdir Workshop
  • cd Workshop
  • dotnet new mvc --no-https

Use Visual Studio Code to develop and debug

  • code .

  • When Visual Studio Code asks if you want to add "required assets to build and debug", press yes.
  • Ctrl + Shift + B to build (Shift + ⌘ + B on a Mac)
  • F5 to debug
  • You should see the default ASP.Net website template running in your browser.

Get to know ASP.Net

Solution: git checkout part1-mvc-template

Implement an actual app

Now you'll add a simple 2048 game and high score services.

Create HTML5 game

Link game from example site

  • Add <li><a href="Game.html">Game</a></li> to views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml.
  • Verify that the game can be opened from the menu

Solution: git checkout part1-add-game

Create High Score service

  • Create a directory called Services
  • In it, create the interface of a simple high score service, IHighScoreService.cs.
  • Implement it in a new file called HighScoreService.cs in the same directory.
  • Add it as a singleton to the service collection in Startup.cs
  • Create HighScoreController. Check that it works by visiting http://localhost:5000/api/highscore (You might need to restart the server).
  • Verify the value is 0, posting a high score of 1 using Postman and content type JSON, and verifying that the new high score is indeed one.

Solution: git checkout part1-highscore-service

Integrate High Score service

  • Create a new JS class in high_score_manager.js in wwwroot/js
  • The class should have a setHighScore and a getHighScore method which should use your highscore service to get and update the highscore
  • Add this file to Game.html's script imports.
  • Add HighScoreManager to application.js.
  • Use the HighScoreManager in game_manager.js.
  • Verify that scores/highScore.json is written to disk in the bin-folder.

Solution: git checkout part1-highscore-integration

Part 2: Local machine ain't good enough

Now we'll host the webapp in a Docker container

First Docker try

  • Update Program.cs and add .UseUrls("http://*:5000").
  • Create a Dockerfile to build and then contain the application
  • Create a .dockerignore file to copy the minimum needed files to the build context
  • Run docker build -t dips/workshop . to build the Docker image. The -t switch tells Docker to associate the tag dips/workshop with the newly built image.
  • Run docker run -p 5000:5000 dips/workshop to start the new container with our app. The -p switch tells Docker to connect one of our computers's (the host) network ports to one on our new container.
  • Verify that the app works in the browser.
  • By default, Docker containers will run in the background even if we interrupt them with Ctrl+C - docker ps gives us a list of the currently running containers, and docker kill <id> can shut down a container.

Adding mounting to preserve high score

  • Run docker run -p 5000:5000 -v <Path-To-Project>/scores:/app/scores dips/workshop
  • For Windows, you need to enable drive sharing in Docker settings. If you're using Docker Toolbox on Windows, this path has to be inside C:\Users.

Solution: git checkout part2-containerize

Part 3: Divide and conquer

We don't want the website and API in the same app. Let's fix this.

Create a new folder for the web project

  • Create a new folder called web in the root folder.
  • Move all files and folders to web, except LICENSE and
  • Recreate .dockerignore if it got lost in the moving process

Solution: git checkout part3-move-app

Move high score to own app

  • Create a new folder called api in the root folder.
  • Navigate into the api folder and create a new app dotnet new webapi --no-https
  • Open the project in VS Code code .
  • Update Program.cs and add .UseUrls("http://*:5000").
  • Move IHighScoreService, HighScoreService and HighScoreController to the new app.
  • Move services.AddSingleton<IHighScoreService, HighScoreService>(); to the new Startup.
  • Remove using Workshop.Services; from the original Startup.
  • Verify that the new service works using Postman.

Solution: git checkout part3-add-api

Create another Docker container

All commands here are called from the api-folder.

  • Create a Dockerfile to build and then contain the application
  • Create a .dockerignore file to copy the minimum needed files to the build context
  • In Startup.cs, add services.AddCors(); to public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services) and app.UseCors(builder => builder.WithOrigins("http://localhost").AllowAnyMethod().AllowAnyHeader().AllowCredentials()); to public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env) before app.UseMvc();.
  • Run docker build -t dips/api . to build the docker image
  • Run docker run -p 5000:5000 -v <Path-To-Project>/scores:/app/scores dips/api to run the app through the container
  • Verify it works using Postman.

Solution: git checkout part3-containerize

Make them work together

  • Create a new file, docker-compose.yml, in the root folder.
  • Navigate to the web folder and run docker build -t dips/workshop .
  • Navigate back to the root folder and run docker-compose up.
  • Enjoy your apps working together.

Solution: git checkout part4-compose

Congratulations! You now have a multi-container web application orchestrated by Docker Compose. Note how the app's concerns have been separated across the containers: so long as the API is available, our game doesn't care about how scores are stored. If we wanted, we could implement new high-score service backed by a proper database, and transparently replace the old service on-the-fly.

Extra credit

  • Right now, we have to manually set up CORS headers to allow the user to submit high scores, due to the same-origin policy. A far better way of handling this is to set up a reverse proxy - like Traefik or Nginx - to handle user requests and pass them on to the correct container. Add a reverse proxy to your application to intercept requests to api/highscore and pass them to the api container.
  • While Docker gives you command-line tools to manage running containers, they can get a bit hairy if you're running lots of applications with multiple containers. To make your life a bit easier, there are services which provide GUIs for container management, such as Portainer. Extend your docker-compose.yml file with a Portainer service to manage the containers from your browser.


Simple workshop introducing ASP.Net Core, Docker and Docker Compose.





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