Setting Up Continuous Deployment of an ASP.NET App with Gulp from VSTS to an Azure Web App using Scripted Build Definitions

A few weeks ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts on how to set up continuous deployment to Azure Web Apps, and how to get Gulp to run as a part of it. I covered how to do it from GitHub using Kudu, and how to do it from VSTS using XAML-based build definitions. However, I never got around to do a post about how to do it using the new scripted build definitions in VSTS. So that is why this post is going to be about!

The Application

The application I’ll be working with, is the same on that I have been using in the previous posts. So if you haven’t read them, you might want to go and have a look at them. Or, at least the first part of the first post, which includes the description of the application in use. Without that knowledge, this post might be a bit hard to follow…

More...

Uploading Resources to Blob Storage During Continuous Deployment using Kudu

In  my last post, I wrote about how to run Gulp as part of your deployment process when doing continuous deployment from GitHub to an Azure Web App using Kudu. As part of that post, I used Gulp to generate bundled and minified JavaScript and CSS files that was to be served to the client.

The files were generated by using Gulp, and included in the deployment under a directory called dist. However, they were still part of the website. So they are still taking up resources from the webserver as they need to be served from it. And also, they are taking up precious connections from the browser to the server… By offloading them to Azure Blob Storage, we can decrease the amount of requests the webserver gets, and increase the number of connections used by the browser to retrieve resources. And it isn’t that hard to do…

More...

Setting Up Continuous Deployment of an ASP.NET app with Gulp from GitHub to an Azure Web App

I just spent some time trying to figure out how to set up continuous deployment to an Azure Web App from GitHub, including running Gulp as part of the build. It seems that there are a lot blog posts and instructions on how to set up continuous deployment, but none of them seem to take into account that people actually use things like Gulp to generate client side resources during the build

More...

Combining Windows Server 2016 Container, ASP.NET 5 and Application Request Routing (ARR) using Docker

I recently did a blog post about how to get an ASP.NET 5 application to run in a Windows Server container using Docker. However, I kept thinking about that solution, and started wondering if I could add IIS Application Request Routing to the mix as well. What if I could have containers at different ports, and have IIS and ARR routing incoming requests to different ports based on the host for example. And apparently I could. So I decided to write another post about how I got it going.

Disclaimer: There is still some kinks to work out regarding the routing. Right now, I have to manually change the routing to point to the correct container IP every time it is started, as I don’t seem to find a way to assign my containers static IP addresses…

Disclaimer 2: I have no clue about how this is supposed to be done, but this seems to work… Smile

More...

Running ASP.NET 5 applications in Windows Server Containers using Windows Server 2016

A couple of days ago, I ended up watching a video about Windows Server 2016 at Microsoft Virtual Academy. I think it was A Deep Dive into Nano Server, but I’m not sure to be honest. Anyhow, they started talking about Windows Server Containers and Docker, and I got very interested.

I really like the idea of Docker, but since I’m a .NET dev, the whole Linux dependency is a bit of a turn-off to be honest. And yes, I know that ASP.NET 5 will be cross-platform and so on, but in the initial release of .NET Core, it will be very limited. So it makes it a little less appealing. However, with Windows Server Containers, I get the same thing, but on Windows. So all of the sudden, it got interesting to look at Docker. So I decided to get an ASP.NET 5 app up and running in a Windows Server Container. Actually, I decided to do it in 2 ways, but in this post I will cover the simplest way, and then I will do another post about the other way, which is more complicated but has some benefits…

More...

Building a simple PicPaste replacement using Azure Web Apps and WebJobs

This post was supposed to be an introduction to Azure WebJobs, but it took a weird turn somewhere and became a guide to building a simple PicPaste replacement using just a wimple Azure Web App and a WebJob.

As such, it might not be a really useful app, but it does show how simple it is to build quite powerful things using Azure.

So, what is the goal? Well, the goal is to build a website that you can upload images to, and then get a simple Url to use when sharing the image. This is not complicated, but as I want to resize the image, and add a little overlay to it as well before giving the user the Url, I might run into performance issues if it becomes popular. So, instead I want the web app to upload the image to blob storage, and then have a WebJob process it in the background. Doing it like this, I can limit the number of images that are processed at the time, and use a queue to handle any peaks.

More...

Making X.509 authenticated HTTP requests in Windows 8 apps – a.k.a Calling the Azure Management API from Store apps

Recently I decided that I wanted to see how easy it would be to build a Windows 8 application that consumed the Windows Azure Management API. It seemed like it should be an easy thing, and something that could potentially end up in a nice management/overview/dashboard kind of application. However, it isn’t quite that simple as I thought as Windows Azure uses certificates for authentication of the HTTP requests being used.

Using certificates for HTTP requests isn’t really that hard, at least not when working in .NET. But in Windows 8 apps, we are using WinRT, which is way more sandboxed, and to be honest, a bit more complicated, which makes it a little bit more complex…

More...

Getting started with Node.js or Hello World in JavaScript

Node.js has got a whole lot of attention for some time now, and I guess it is time for me to get myself an opinion on what it is, and why it is so cool. And while doing so, I will try and write some blog posts offering my opinion and learnings regarding the platform.

In this first post, I will walk through setting up the “environment” needed to build apps, build an initial “Hello World” app to see that it al works. But let’s start with the first question you will ask if you have never worked with Node. What is Node? Well, it is basically a application runtime built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime called V8. And what does that mean? Well, it means that you get a way to run JavaScript efficiently outside of the browser.

More...

Building a simple custom STS using VS2012 & ASP.NET MVC

In my previous post, I walked through how “easily” one can take advantage of claims based authentication in ASP.NET. In that post, I switched out the good old forms authentication stuff for the new FedAuth stuff. In this post, I want to take it a step further and actually federate my security, but instead of just using the Windows Azure ACS’s built in identity providers, I want to build a very simple one of my own.

A lot of the solution is based on the STS project that we could get by using VS2010 and the WIF SDK. However, this project was a Web Site project using Web Forms, and I really wanted a MVC version for different reasons.

If you are fine with using VS2010 and the WIF SDK, adding a custom STS is really easy. Just create a new web project, right-click the project and choose “Add STS Reference…” and then, walking through the wizard, there will be a step that offers you to select an STS. In this step, you choose “Create a new STS project…”, which will generate a custom STS project that you can modify to your needs. Unfortunately, that option isn’t available in VS2012. Using the “Identity and Access” add-on, you are only allowed to connect to an existing STS, the ACS or a local test STS, not an STS project.

More...

Compressing messages for the Windows Azure Service Bus

As a follow up to my previous post about encrypting messages for the Service Bus, I thought I would re-use the concepts but instead of encrypting the messages I would compress them.

As the Service bus has limitations on how big messages are allowed to be, compressing the message body is actually something that can be really helpful. Not that I think sending massive messages is the best thing in all cases, the 256kb limit can be a little low some times.

Anyhow… The basic idea is exactly the same as last time, no news there…but to be honest, I think this type of compressions should be there by default, or at least be available as a feature of BrokeredMessage by default… However, as it isn’t I will just make do with extension methods…

More...