MFF UK - NSWI152 - Cloud Application Development
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NSWI152 - Cloud Development

LAB 1 - Create & Deploy simple Web Site to Azure App Service

  1. Create new Visual Studio project using ASP.NET Empty Web Site template.

  2. Add new item to the root folder of the project - Web Form (place code in separate file) - Deafult.aspx

  3. In Default.aspx - Add <asp:Label ID="MyLabel" runat="server" /> inside the <form> element.

    	<form id="form1" runat="server">
    			<asp:Label ID="MyLabel" runat="server" />
  4. In Default.aspx.cs Page_Load method - Set Text property of the MyLabel control to whatever string:

    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    	MyLabel.Text = "Hello World from Azure";
  5. (Start the WebSite locally to verify the result - Ctrl+F5)

  6. Publish the WebSite to Azure AppService

    1. RClick project name in Solution Explorer window - Select Publish Web Site.
    2. Select Microsoft Azure App Service as the publish target.
    3. Create new AppService (or choose existing one if you already created one). Create App Service
    4. Publish the website to Azure and check the result. Publish
  7. Change anything and re-publish the result to Azure.

[OPTIONAL] Automatic Deployment from GitHub

  1. Push the solution source code to your GitHub account.

    You might want to simplify your website by removing unnecessary configuration which can cause issues when building the app. See my GitHub commit.

  2. Setup an automatic deployment from GitHub to Azure AppService:

    1. Create new Azure AppService using Azure Portal.
    2. Go to Deployment Options blade and set up your GitHub repository as deployment source (note other deployment sources available - VSTS, OneDrive, Dropbox, git, ...) Git Hub Deployment
    3. Check the result - the application should be deployed within few seconds.
    4. Change anything in your website and push the commit to GitHub - the application should be redeployed within few seconds.

LAB 2 - Web Job with Azure SQL connectivity

In this lab we will create and deploy a WebJob (background task) which connects to Azure SQL database. The job will run in scheduled time intervals, read data from a EmailQueue table and send e-mail via SendGrid mail service (in future lab we might move the queue from Azure SQL to Azure Storage Queues).

  1. Create new Azure SQL server and database:

    1. Go to Azure Portal and use Create Resource button in left panel to create a new SQL Database.

    2. Fill in the name and other properties of the DB + create a new SQL server to host the DB ()

      Create Sql Database

  2. In Visual Studio open new SQL Query window for the new DB

    Note: In practice you usualy use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or Microsoft SQL Server Operations Studio to perform DB-related development/management tasks. In this lab we will use plain Visual Studio to demonstrate an alternate option.

    1. In Visual Studio open Cloud Explorer panel (you can use Quick Launch) and navigate to your database - SQL Databases / Open SQL Server Object Explorer (r-click)

      Cloud Explorer Sql

      1. Connect to your Azure SQL server

      Connect Azure Sql

      1. Confirm adding of your current IP address to Azure SQL Server firewall (You can check firewall rules using Azure Portal - Go to you SQL Server and see Firewall / Network Settings section)

      Visual Studio Azure Sql Server Firewall

    2. In SQL Server Object Explorer navigate to your DB and open New query... (r-click)

      New Query

  3. Create the EmailQueue table in your DB:

    CREATE TABLE dbo.EmailQueue	(
    	Recipient nvarchar(MAX) NOT NULL,
    	Subject nvarchar(400) NOT NULL,
    	Body nvarchar(MAX) NOT NULL,
    	Created datetime NOT NULL,
    	Sent datetime NULL
  4. [OPTIONAL] Create new SQL login account for the application not to use system administrator account

    Note: In real scenario you don't want your applications to use the system administrator account to access the DB. Dedicated login account for each client should be created (with restricted access rights).

    1. In master DB run the following SQL query
     CREATE LOGIN CloudDevLogin WITH PASSWORD = '***new password***'
    1. In your application DB run following SQL query
     EXEC sp_addrolemember N'db_owner', N'CloudDevUser'
  5. Add new Console Application (.NET Framework) project to the solution.

  6. Add following code to Program.cs Main method (application entry-point):

    	static void Main(string[] args)
    		while (true)
    			Console.WriteLine("Checking for new e-mails to be sent...");
    			using (var conn = new SqlConnection(ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["MainDatabase"].ConnectionString))
    				var cmd = new SqlCommand("SELECT * FROM EmailQueue WHERE Sent IS NULL", conn);
    				using (var reader = cmd.ExecuteReader())
    					while (reader.Read())
    						Console.WriteLine($"Email ID:{reader["ID"]} found...");
    						using (var smtpClient = new SmtpClient())
    							smtpClient.Host = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpHost"];
    							smtpClient.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpUsername"], ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpPassword"]);
    								from: ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpFrom"],
    								recipients: reader["Recipient"].ToString(),
    								subject: reader["Subject"].ToString(),
    								body: reader["Body"].ToString());
    							// TODO: Write EmqilQueue.Sent to DB
    							Console.WriteLine($"Email ID:{reader["ID"]} sent...");
    			Thread.Sleep(30_000); // 30sec
  7. Add corresponding ConnectionStrings and AppSettings sections to App.Config file.

    Note: In real scenario you would set the values to development settings. These will be overriden by Azure Portal Application Settings (see bellow).

    	<!-- Will be replaced with Azure Portal Application Settings -->
    	<add name="MainDatabase" connectionString="Data Source=sql.development.local;Initial Catalog=CloudDev;User Id=development;Password=development;Application Name=CloudDevWebJob"/>
    	<!-- Will be replaced with Azure Portal Application Settings -->
    	<add key="SmtpHost" value="mail.development.local" />
    	<add key="SmtpUsername" value="" />
    	<add key="SmtpPassword" value="" />
    	<add key="SmtpFrom" value="" />
  8. Publish the result as Azure Web Job...

    Publish Azure Web Job

    Note: The job will be failing now. We have to set the production Application Settings.

  9. [OPTIONAL] Create a new SendGrid account in Azure and use it's credentials to send mails.

  10. Go to Azure Portal, locate the App Service hosting the WebJob and set appropriate Application Settings (ConnectionStrings and AppSettings):

    App Settings

  11. Try the job by adding a row to EmailQueue table.

LAB3 - Application Insights [Ji�� Kanda]

  1. In Azure Portal create a new Application Insights service associated to the App Service created in LAB1.
    1. You can easily create one through navigating to your App Service - Application Insights blade:

      App Insights

    2. Check Application Settings section - there is a new APPINSIGHTS_INSTRUMENTATIONKEY setting added automatically (If not, create one on your own - you can find the instrumentation key in Properties section of the Application Insights service.)

  2. Install Application Install Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web NuGet Package to the Web Application project created in LAB1 and publish the project to Azure.

LAB4 - Azure Storage Account - Blobs

  1. In Azure Portal create a new Azure Storage Account - StorageV2 (general purpose v2). Familiarize yourself with the configuration options available:

    Storage Account

  2. Add new container to the Blob service section of the storage account created:

    Storage Account New Blob Container

  3. Install Windows.AzureStorage NuGet package to both WebApplication and WebJob projects in your solution.

  4. In your Web Application, add a simple form which uploads a file to the blob container you created earlier.

    1. Add FileUpload control and a Button to your Default.aspx page
      <asp:FileUpload ID="MyFileUpload" runat="server" />
      <asp:Button ID="GoButton" Text="GO!" OnClick="GoButton_Click" runat="server" />
    2. Add button-click handler to the Default.aspx.cs file
      protected void GoButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
      	if (MyFileUpload.HasFile)
      		var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["StorageAccountConnectionString"]);
      		var blobClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudBlobClient();
      		var containerReference = blobClient.GetContainerReference("test"); // namo of your container
      		var blobReference = containerReference.GetBlockBlobReference(MyFileUpload.FileName);
    3. Add StorageAccountConnectionString to your web.config file (you will find the connection string on Azure Portal in Access Keys section of the Storage Account blade). For production deployment you can use the Application Settings section of App Service to set the value.
  5. In yout Web Application, add a simple list of files stored in your blob container + simple download action.

    1. Add following code snippet to your Default.aspx file:
       <asp:Repeater ID="FilesRepeater" ItemType="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Storage.Blob.IListBlobItem" runat="server">
       		<asp:LinkButton ID="FileLink" CommandArgument="<%# Item.Uri %>" Text="<%# Item.Uri %>" OnCommand="FileLink_Command" runat="server" /><br />
    2. Add following code snippet to your Default.aspx.cs file:
       protected override void OnPreRender(EventArgs e)
       	var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["StorageAccountConnectionString"]);
       	var blobClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudBlobClient();
       	var containerReference = blobClient.GetContainerReference("test");
       	var blobs = containerReference.ListBlobs();
       	FilesRepeater.DataSource = blobs;
       protected void FileLink_Command(object sender, CommandEventArgs e)
       	var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["StorageAccountConnectionString"]);
       	var blobClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudBlobClient();
       	var blobReference = new CloudBlockBlob(new Uri((string)e.CommandArgument), blobClient);

LAB5 - Azure Storage - Queues

  1. Send Message
    1. Default.aspx
       <asp:TextBox ID="QueueMessageTB" runat="server" />
       <asp:Button ID="SendToQueueButton" Text="Send to Queue" OnClick="SendToQueueButton_Click" runat="server" />
    2. Default.aspx.cs
       protected void SendToQueueButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
       	var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["StorageAccountConnectionString"]);
       	var queueClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudQueueClient();
       	var queueReference = queueClient.GetQueueReference("test"); // your queue name
       	var message = new CloudQueueMessage(QueueMessageTB.Text);
  2. Retrieve Message
    1. Default.aspx
       <asp:Label ID="QueueMessageLb" runat="server" />
       <asp:Button ID="GetMessageButton" Text="Get from Queue" OnClick="GetMessageButton_Click" runat="server" />
    2. Default.aspx.cs
       protected void GetMessageButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
       	var storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["StorageAccountConnectionString"]);
       	var queueClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudQueueClient();
       	var queueReference = queueClient.GetQueueReference("test"); // your queue name
       	var message = queueReference.GetMessage();
       	if (message != null)
       		QueueMessageLb.Text = message.AsString;
       		QueueMessageLb.Text = "No message returned...";

LAB 6 - Service Bus

Part 1: Microsoft Azure

In Microsoft Azure portal create new Service Bus namespace. Recommended pricing tier is Standard (allows to work with Topics)

Part 2: Working with Queues and Topics

LAB 7 - Azure Redis

Part 1: Redis in Microsoft Azure

In Microsoft Azure portal create new Redis service. Recommended pricing tier is Basic and for education reasons I would recommend to allow port 6379 (non SSL).

Part 2: Managing Redis locally

Download Redis Server installer from and install with default settings.

Part 3: Working with Redis in .NET application

Pull changes from this repository to your computer. You should see new Redis solution folder with RedisCache project. It is a simple console application.

  • Implement Redis client libraries for .NET
  • Implement caching (get and set operations)
  • Implement counter for each user request

LAB 8 - Serverless Computing

During LAB 8 you will create your own Logic App workflow. See presentation for more information.

LAB 9 - Azure Search

Part 1: Azure Search in Microsoft Azure

In Microsoft Azure portal create new Azure Search service. You can choose Free pricing tier for our purposes. Provisioning of your service can take up to 15 minutes.

Part 2: Download Updated project from this Repo

You should see new solution folder AzureSearch. There is a new WinForm project in this solution folder. Try to build it.

Solution Explorer

Part 3: Introduction to Azure Search

Presentation (PDF)

Part 4: Setup SDK and application logic

Step 1: Add new NuGet package Microsoft.Azure.Search to your project

Step 2: Implement ButtonIndex_Click event

using (var serviceClient = new SearchServiceClient("name", new SearchCredentials("key")))
   var actions = new IndexAction<Article>[]

   var batch = IndexBatch.New(actions);

   ISearchIndexClient indexClient = serviceClient.Indexes.GetClient("articles");

Step 3: Create new Index in Azure Search

  • visit and find your Azure Search service
  • choose Indexes item and click on the Add index button
  • define your Index (do not forget use all fields from Article class)

Azure Search Index

Step 4: Implement ButtonSearch_Click event

using (var indexClient = new SearchIndexClient("name", "index", new SearchCredentials("key")))
   var parameters = new SearchParameters()
      // Select = new[] { "" }

   var results = indexClient.Documents.Search<Article>(Keyword.Text, parameters);

   ResultGrid.DataSource = results.Results.Select(x => new
      Score = x.Score,
      Title = x.Document.Title,
      Category = x.Document.Category,
      Text = x.Document.Text
   }).OrderByDescending(x => x.Score).ToList();

Part 5: Optional tasks

Scoring profiles: Create new default scoring profile so that Title will have higher priority in search results than other fields.

Scoring functions: Extend your scoring profile with scoring functions. Lets say we want to prioritize newest items (use Created field).