Azure

Introduction to Azure App Configuration

This is part of a series of posts about Azure App Configuration:

  1. Introduction to Azure App Configuration
  2. Creating your first centralized configuration
  3. Import/Export configurations
  4. Using Labels to
  5. Add features flags to your application using Feature Management
  6. Comparison of two sets of configurations
  7. Restoring to a previous configuration
  8. Using Azure App Configuration in your Azure DevOps Pipelines

In this post I’ll walk through what is Azure App Configuration and how to get started using it in your applications, whether their on-prem or in the cloud.

What is Azure App Configuration?

Before we get started with Azure App Configuration lets first look at what is it. Microsoft docs explains it as follows…

Azure App Configuration provides a service to centrally manage application settings and feature flags.

Microsoft Docs – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-app-configuration/overview

Azure App Configuration helps you manage application settings and control their access centrally. It’s built on the simple concept of key-value pairs, and this service provides manageability, availability, and ease-of-use.

With modern programs, especially programs running in a cloud, you have many components that are distributed in nature. Spreading configuration settings across these components can lead to hard-to-troubleshoot errors during an application deployment. One key recommendation from the Twelve-Factor App guide is to separate configuration from code. 

By leveraging Azure App Configuration to store all the settings for your application and secure their accesses in one place, you can simplify your deployment tasks and eases the burden of dealing with permutations of configurations created by multiple applications, dependencies, and environments.

Let’s get started!

Prerequisites

Before we can begin you need to make sure you have the following installed and setup:

  1. An Azure Subscription. If you don’t have an Azure Account, you can sign up for one today for free and receive $200 in credits by selecting “Create a Free Azure Account…” or selecting “View->Command Palette” and searching for “Azure: Create an Account”
  2. Install Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code

Getting Started

Login to your Azure portal at https://portal.azure.com and click on the Create a resource link as shown here:

Next in the search field type ‘app configuration’ and press ‘Enter’. Then click on the Create button to create your Azure App Configuration. Currently this service is in preview but should be generally available soon.

When setting up your Azure App Configuration you will need to specify a few settings like Resource Name, Subscription, Resource Group, Location and Pricing Tier. Here is the resource that I’ll be setting up:

Now click on the Create button to have your resource created, which typically takes a minute or two. You will be notified in the Notifications area of the portal when your resource is ready.

Once your Azure App Configuration is created, navigate to it and you will see the following overview page that shows you your Endpoint for accessing your configurations along with other resource information.

Azure App Configuration overview

Now navigate to the Configuration explorer to start creating configurations values. Click on the Create button and select Key-value.

Now create a simple configuration called ‘Color’ and give it a value of ‘Blue’ and click Apply.

In order to access your configurations you will need your connection string and key. Navigate to the Access keys section to view your keys and connection string information.

Supported Platforms

At the time of this writing, Azure App Configuration provides configuration support for ASP.NET Core, .NET Core, .NET Framework, Azure Functions in .NET Core, and Java Spring. For Feature Management, it supports ASP.NET Core, .NET Framework, and Java Spring.

Pricing and General Availability

Earlier this week the Azure App Configuration team announced that Azure App Configuration would be made generally available on February 19, 2020.

Initially there will be two types of plans, Free and Standard. Until February 19 both plans will continue to be free, and after February 19 all plans will be migrated to the Free plan. You can choose to stay on this plan or upgrade to the Standard plan. Pricing has remained unchanged from a previous post and will commence on February 19.

 FreeStandard
Resources per subscription1Unlimited
Storage per resource10 MB1 GB
Key history7 days30 days
Requests per day1,000 (HTTP status code 429 will be returned for all requests once the limit is reached)Unlimited (First 200,000 included in the daily charge. Additional requests will be billed as overage)
SLANone99.9% availability
Security functionalityEncryption with Microsoft-managed keys
HMAC or AAD authentication
RBAC support
Managed identity
All Free tier functionality plus:
Encryption with customer-managed keys
Private Link support
CostFreeUS$1.20 per day, plus any overage charge at US$0.06 per 10,000 requests
Azure App Configuration pricing plans

Wrap-up

Azure App Configuration is a managed service that helps developers centralize their application and feature settings simply and securely.

I’ve been using it in my applications for the last few months and I love how easy it’s been to incorporate into my applications. I’m really excited that Azure App Configuration is nearing general availability later this month and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next, namely around Feature Management as this is still a simple offering and it will be nice when it’s available on more frameworks.

In my next post I’ll walk through in more detail about how you can import/export your configurations, compare them over time and use labels to filter certain values.

Enjoy!

Resources

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/app-configuration/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-app-configuration/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-app-configuration/howto-best-practices

Twelve-Factor App

Events

Registration is now open for Microsoft Build 2020

Microsoft Build 2020

Registration for this years Microsoft Build event is now open and will be held in Seattle from May 19 to May 21. You can register at https://register.build.microsoft.com

Microsoft Build focuses on latest trends and future looking technology innovations for leading architects, developers, start-ups and student developers.

Pricing and free child admission

The cost for Build is $2,395 USD and is all-inclusive and provides all access for the full three days or hands-on learning where you can meet with the engineers, and connect with the community.

Just like last year you’re able to bring your aspiring developer (ages 14–21) to the conference, which includes access to the extraordinary Student Zone, for free. There is also a limited number of child passes available.

My Build experience

I had the opportunity to attend my first Microsoft Build conference back in 2018 and I loved it and would recommend it to any developer. I know you can watch almost all of the sessions online from the comfort of your desk or couch but what makes attending Build special is the interaction with the engineers working on Microsoft products like Azure, Office, Windows, Visual Studio and so much more. You also get to meet and share ideas with thousands of other developers from all over the world who have similar passions for building awesome software with Microsoft products.

This event sells out so be sure to register quickly. For more details about Microsoft Build visit the website at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/build

Enjoy!

Resources

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/build

Azure

How to publish your APIs with the new developer portal in Azure API Management | Azure Friday

The all-new API Management developer portal lets you effortlessly publish your APIs. It’s customizable, lightweight, and intuitive.

In this episode of Azure Friday, Mike Budzynski joins Scott Hanselman to show how to publish your APIs with the new developer portal in Azure API Management.

[0:03:30] – Demo

Source: Channel 9

Resources

AzureCommunity

Azure Spring Clean 2020

Spring Bit Graphic

As the month of February 2020 is just around the corner, there will be an online community event promoting well managed Azure tenants.

Here is the scheduled list of articles which starts on February 3 2020:

03/02/20Azure RBAC – Best PracticesAlan KinaneAzure Foundations
04/02/20Azure Policy for AKSSam CoganAzure Policy
05/02/20Monitoring Containers on Azure with Windows Admin CenterDave RendónAzure Monitor
06/02/20How to use Tags to organize your Azure resourcesWim MatthyssenAzure Foundations
07/02/20Azure Governance – Best PractisesAmine CharotAzure Foundations
10/02/20Getting Started with Azure Monitor REST APIMartin EhrnstAzure Monitor
11/02/20Azure Cost Management – Best PractisesSarah LeanAzure Cost Management
12/02/20Protect your network resources with Azure FirewallLuis BeltranAzure Security Principles
13/02/20Monitoring Azure Site RecoveryKarel De WinterAzure Monitor
14/02/20Using Azure Advisor to baseline your platformSam HodgkinsonAzure Foundations
17/02/20Using Azure Resource Graph To Assess Your Azure Environment Quickly & EfficientlyJack TraceyAzure Foundations
18/02/20Azure Monitor – Best Practices for SanityKam SalisburyAzure Monitor
19/02/20Azure Storage and Backup Lifecycle Best PracticesDwayne NatwickAzure Foundations
20/02/20How to Use and Monitor Azure Update ManagementVukasin TerzicAzure Fundamentals
21/02/20Azure Security: my top 10 best practises to make your tenant secure as possibleShabaz DarrAzure Security Principles
24/02/20Simplify Large Scale Deployments with Azure BlueprintsIsham MohamedAzure Foundations
25/02/20Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) securing Clusters and ApplicationsAdil TouatiAzure Security Principles
26/02/20Azure Monitor – Autoscaling Resources Based on PerformanceAnthony MashfordAzure Monitor
27/02/20How to Avoid a Billing Shock With Azure Serverless SolutionsStanislav LebedenkoAzure Cost Management
28/02/20Securing Your Azure Platform Web ApplicationsTidjani BelmansourAzure Security Principles

Check out https://www.azurespringclean.com for all the details and keep an eye on the Twitter hashtag #AzureSpringClean.

Enjoy!

Resources

https://azurespringclean.com/

AzureCloud Native

What is a Container registry and Azure Container Service

In this episode of the Cloud Native Show, Shayne Boyer sits down Steve Lasker to discuss about registries and more specifically Azure Container Registry and the practices around using them for your applications.

Enjoy!

Resources

The Cloud Native Show – https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/The-Cloud-Native-Show/What-is-a-Container-registry-and-Azure-Container-Service
Free Azure Account – https://aka.ms/cldntvshw/freeazure
Azure Container Registry – https://aka.ms/cldntvshw/acr

AzureEvents

Global Azure Bootcamp changes to become Global Azure!

Global Azure Bootcamp - logo

Back at Microsoft Ignite, it was announced that the Global Azure Bootcamp was going to be rebranded to Global Azure and run across 3 days from Thursday April 23 to Saturday April 25.

This is the same great event but only better. Organizers now have the freedom to host one or more events across the 3 days. All around the world user groups and communities want to learn about Azure and Cloud Computing and providing the community flexibility in terms of when they can host an event or how many events is a win.

Global Azure is the biggest community event about the Microsoft Azure platform.

Global Azure

The hashtag remains the same #globalazure, and be sure to checkout the new website at https://globalazure.net and keep an eye out for more details.

Enjoy!

Resources

https://globalazure.net/

https://globalazure.net/Blog/Post/172/Global-Azure-Bootcamp-is-dead-Long-live-Global-Azure/

AzureEducation

How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020 — Issues and lessons learned

https://ift.tt/2Sx1FQn The year 2019 is almost over, and usually, we take the time to look back at the year and also to find some New Year’s resolutions for the new year. Why not take all that energy and prepare for the cloud computing era and advance your career by learning Microsoft Azure. In this post, […]

How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020 — Issues and lessons learned