Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Creating a Web Site with Azure's New App Service

Once neat feature of Azure, that I love demoing, is the ability to create a simple web site, backed with tools such as WordPress. You could create this pretty easily using the wizard – either create a bare bones IIS web site, or pre-load it with a variety of packages from the gallery – Simple! Azure Web sites – however they are now so last week!

By that, I meant that last week, Microsoft announced a huge new feature: Azure App Service. This feature is, an evolution of the old Web Site and Web/Worker Role features. Those old features are gone from the UI. IN the old portal it now looks like this:

image As you can see, there is no explicit option for Web Sites any more. The website option is now a subset of Web Apps.  And it turns out to be almost as easy as it used to be!  I now show you how to create my standard WordPress sample site using Azure Web Apps. You do it as follows:

1. Open the Portal, click on Web Apps and then click New:


2. From here, you can click on the From Gallery and get a popop:

image 3. I just scroll down and find the WordPress gallery item:

image 4. With WordPress (or any other gallery item you want to play with) selected, I click the arrow at the bottom right of the popup. This brings up an application configuration screen:

image 5. As you can see, I've filled in the basics: site name (defaults to a site within the .azurewebsites.net domain), database details and where to put the db (and the account used to bill this web site!). Once filled in, it's another click on the right arrow where you can specify details of the MySQL database (and agree to the terms and conditions):


6. Finally, click the check icon at the bottom right of the screen, and the application (aka web site) will be created. Once that is done (it takes a couple of minutes to create a new web site and  My SQL database), you can then logon and install/configure WordPress. And then you canstart to blog. I'll leave the details of creating a Wordpress site as a topic for other sites! But here's the site with literally 2 minutes work:


In summary: while the explicit option to create a web SITE is gone, it's very simple to create a simple web application that just consists of a single web site. Web sites are dead, long live web applications…

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