Category: Azure

Introducing Skylines Summer Sessions

Today we kick off what we have called Skylines Summer Sessions.

Over the Summer months, Skylines Academy, myself and Richard Hooper will be interviewing guests from around the world on Azure related subjects, we get to ask them some fun questions and guests will also be giving us a demo on their subject which will be available on YouTube Live for you to ask questions 🙂

You can catch our first episode with Thomas Maurer who is talking to us and giving a demo on Azure Arc today!

Join us at 6pm GMT +1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n164SSoC388&feature=youtu.be

Tune in, ask your questions, and learn about Azure every Tuesday throughout Summer. You can find out more over at the site.



Azure Tips n Tricks

I have had a fair bit of time recently and spent most of my time learning the content I wanted to learn, nice to have that time right?

I have been going through the Azure Tips n Tricks website and videos created by Michael Crump, you can follow Michael on Twitter and please also check out his twitch stream which is a lot of fun.

There are currently around 260+ blog posts and videos which cover a number of Azure tips and tricks and I reckon everyone will learn something by checking them out, I have learned a tonne of new things already.

Here are a list of some of my favorites so far: –

Plenty more to go through, but I do recommend everyone has a look at them as you will absolutely learn something new.



Azure DevOps Best Practice Template Project

I wanna show you how you can take an existing Azure DevOps project and use this as a template for any new project within Azure DevOps. So let’s say you create a brand new project within Azure DevOps and set up a default Wiki and add a dashboard etc. (think of your ideal DevOps project setup).

Ok, now that you have this in place you can actually export the entire project – why might you want to do that I hear you ask?

This is so we can effectively clone this best practice project and use, again and again, heck you can even source control the template if you so wish.

So how do you export your best practice website template with you lovely custom process flow, wiki, etc in place? – this is where the following link comes in handy.

https://vstsdemodata.visualstudio.com/AzureDevOpsDemoGenerator/_wiki/wikis/AzureDevOpsGenerator.wiki/58/Build-your-own-template

From this above link check the part that says Building a new custom template and you’ll see a link that is basically this:-

https://azuredevopsdemogenerator.azurewebsites.net/?enableextractor=true

Log in and then look for the link top right that says Build your own template

Now select the Organization you want to use and select the project you wish to use as the best practice template project.

Ignore the error about query items, seems to be a bug, Click Generate Artifacts and you should now have a zip file containing several JSON files.

So now we have the project template JSON files exported how do we create a new project based on this zip file? – well, unfortunately, you need to use the AzureDevopsDemoGenerator tool again.

Log back into the AzureDevopsGenerator and click on the ‘choose template‘ button as seen below:-

and then click Private and then choose your zip file which is the file you exported.

Now fill in the last screen like the screen below and boom!

You now have a new Azure DevOps project which is based on your best practice project like so.


Please give this a try and let me know your thoughts on how useful this is for ya – enjoy!

Gregor



European Cloud Conference

The European Cloud Conference will take place on October 27-29, 2020 in Nice, France and is Europe’s leading Independent Microsoft Azure Conference.

Book your tickets for this amazing Azure conference and make sure to sign up for the mailing list so you don’t miss out on any news.

The conference will be Europe’s first annual conference dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Azure.

So who should attend? – If you’re a technology leader or have an interest across any area within Azure this is the go-to event for you. If your a Developer, work in Operations, Infrastructure or DevOps, manager, security expert or even at C-Level management then this is the conference you need to attend in 2020.


8 Full day Expert Azure Tutorials have been announced

Azure Security Best Practices

Mustafa Toroman, MVP, MCT
Authority Partners, Bosnia And Herzegovina

Top 3 Highlights of Attending your this Tutorial:

  • Learn about Identity in cloud
  • Network security
  • Data protection

Level: 400
Topic: Security
Category: IT Pro


Kubernetes on Azure

Vishwas Lele, MVP, Microsoft Regional Director
Ais, United States

Top 3 Highlights of Attending this European Cloud Conference 2020 Tutorial:

  • Learn about Key Kubernetes Concepts
  • Deep dive into AKS
  • Learn how AKS integrates with other Azure services

Level: 400
Topic: Azure Migrations
Category: Developers


Azure Messaging – From 0 to 100 in One Day

Sean Feldman, MVP
Particular Software, Canada


Top 3 Highlights of Attending this European Cloud Conference 2020 Tutorial:

  • Balanced tutorial between theory and hands on exercises
  • Practical Azure messaging knowledge distilled in one day
  • Learn from an Azure Messaging expert and MVP

Level: 400
Topic: Messaging
Category: Developers



Azure Virtual Machines 101

Vladimir Stefanovic,
AZURE MVP,
MCT REGIONAL LEAD
Superadmins, Serbia



Aleksandar Nikolic, MVP
M.O.3.A.K. IT Consulting, Serbia

Top 3 Highlights of Attending this European Cloud Conference 2020 Tutorial:

  • Azure VM Deep Dive
  • Azure VMSS Deep Dive
  • Designing VMs Architecture

Level: 300
Topic: Cloud Compute
Category: IT Pro


Low-Code Cloud App Development and App Modernization

Paul Swider, AZURE MVP
Realactivity, LLC, United States

Top 3 Highlights of Attending this Tutorial:

  • Learn the value of low-code when migrating business apps to Azure
  • See how Power Apps can be used as part of an Azure App Modernization strategy
  • End to end demos of integration with Azure Services.

Level: 300
Topic: Cloud Compute
Category: Developers


A Day of Customer Identity Implementation with Azure Active Directory B2C

John Garland, MVP, MCT
Wintellect, United States

Top 3 Highlights of Attending this European Cloud Conference 2020 Tutorial:

  • Learn how to use Azure AD B2C to provide secure authentication for your application
  • Go beyond the basics and see how you can customize Azure AD B2C to match both your identity needs as well as your brand
  • Learn how to use Custom Policies in Azure AD B2C to enable advanced identity experiences

Level: 300
Topic: Identity & Access
Category: Developers


Getting Gremlins to Improve Your Data

Chad Green, MVP
Scholarrx, United States

Top 3 Highlights of Attending this European Cloud Conference 2020 Tutorial:

  • Understand the basics of graph databases
  • Get hands-on experience setting up, configuring, and optimizing a graph database
  • Get hands-on experience working with graph databases in your applications

Level: 300
Topic: AI
Category: Developers


Monitoring Solutions in Azure

Magnus Martensson, MVP, MICROSOFT REGIONAL DIRECTOR
Loftysoft, Sweden

Level: 300
Topic: Azure Management
Category: Developers & IT Professionals


Book your place now to attend.

You can find out more information about the venue and also make sure to check out the faqs.



Moving an Azure DevOps repo to use Github Actions instead

In this blog post, I am going to take an existing web application that resides in Azure DevOps and port it to build and deploy within GitHub and use GitHub Actions to build and deploy the same site to GitHub.

Here you can see I have a website in Visual Studio which is currently pointing at a repository inside Azure Devops.

And here is what it looks like inside Visual Studio 2019 with the connection to Azure DevOps.

Now I am going to remove the connection from the Azure DevOps repo by clicking on remove like so:-

When I click on remove, this removes the connection from the code to the Azure DevOps repository. Then I go to the Sync area and it now asks me where do I want to push the code to.

This time I choose to Publish to GitHub.

Give the new repository a name (for within GitHub) and press Publish

This will push the code to a new GitHub repository called AzureGlobalBootCamp2020 which you can now see below.

Now we need to create a GitHub Action so that the code is built and pushed to Azure (like it was from within Azure DevOps previously).

From within your new GitHub repo click on Actions at the top.

I then chose Setup a new workflow yourself

This will take you to a screen and create a main.yaml file.

name: Deploy ASP.NET Core app to Azure Web App

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master
  pull_request:
    branches:
      - '*'
# CONFIGURATION
# For help, go to https://github.com/Azure/Actions
#
# 1. Set up the following secrets in your repository:
#   AZURE_WEBAPP_PUBLISH_PROFILE
#
# 2. Change these variables for your configuration:
env:
  AZURE_WEBAPP_NAME: AzureGlobalBootCamp2020     # set this to your application's name
  AZURE_WEBAPP_PACKAGE_PATH: '.'                 # set this to the path to your web app project, defaults to the repository root
  DOTNET_VERSION: '3.1.100'                      # set this to the dot net version to use

jobs:
  build-and-deploy:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:

      # Checkout the repo
      - uses: actions/checkout@master
      
      # Setup .NET Core SDK
      - name: Setup .NET Core
        uses: actions/setup-dotnet@v1
        with:
          dotnet-version: ${{ env.DOTNET_VERSION }} 
      
      # Run dotnet build and publish
      - name: dotnet build and publish
        run: |
          dotnet build --configuration Release
          dotnet publish -c Release -o '${{ env.AZURE_WEBAPP_PACKAGE_PATH }}/myapp' 
          
      # Deploy to Azure Web apps
      - name: 'Run Azure webapp deploy action using publish profile credentials'
        uses: azure/webapps-deploy@v2
        with: 
          app-name: ${{ env.AZURE_WEBAPP_NAME }} # Replace with your app name
          publish-profile: ${{ secrets.azureWebAppPublishProfile  }} # Define secret variable in repository settings as per action documentation
          package: '${{ env.AZURE_WEBAPP_PACKAGE_PATH }}/myapp'

# For more samples to get started with GitHub Action workflows to deploy to Azure, refer to https://github.com/Azure/actions-workflow-samples

I then pasted this into the main.yaml file and changed the following:-

AZURE_WEBAPP_NAME: AzureGlobalBootCamp2020
DOTNET_VERSION: ‘3.1.100
publish-profile: ${{ secrets.azureWebAppPublishProfile }}

The last entry above publish-profile requires you to create a new secret in GitHub under Settings -> Secrets and call it azureWebAppPublishProfile and you need to paste in the publishing profile from your Azure Web App

The above screen shows me in the Azure Portal and I’ve clicked into my Azure App Service and when I click on Get Publish Profile it downloads the content of the Publish profile which I paste into the new Secret with GitHub.

And with that we are done, GitHub will kick off the GitHub Action and built and deploy my web app changes when I publish any change to GitHub right into Azure for me.

Note
To read more on using GitHub Actions with .Net you can read more on GitHub here -> https://github.com/actions/setup-dotnet

Feel free to comment below if this is useful or if you have any feedback etc.



Azure Weekly

Azure is an ever-changing platform, its amazing just how often its updated, it’s also really hard to stay up to date with the numerous new services and the changes to existing services.

It’s also very hard to keep abreast of all of the Azure news throughout the year, months and weeks.

Azure weekly is a great way to keep up to date with what’s new each and every week.

Azure weekly is brought to you by the folks from Endjin – they do a number of amazing things with Azure and are a company worth checking out.

They are up to week 264 at this time of writing this article, so what are you waiting for? – go find out what’s new recently, subscribe and don’t miss a thing going forward.

You can also contribute content to Azure Weekly, so if you have a blog post and have Azure content contact them and you may end up appearing in the weekly newsletter.

You can also follow Azure Weekly on twitter at @AzureWeekly

Please let me know what you think of Azure Weekly.


Tags:


AzureCharts.com

I have been familiar with Azurecharts.com long before it was mentioned on twitter by Mark Russinovich who you are all hopefully following on twitter.

The site is written by Alexey Polkovnikov and is one I keep coming back to and always point people to. There is a lot of very useful links on here.

The site has a number of features that I wanted to cover and you can read about what it can be used for in the about page.

The main concept is that you can go here and see what is new in each area of Azure right down to the actual azure service itself and this is continually updated for you.

I wanted to cover the areas which I think are incredibly useful that you may have missed within the site, so lets dive right in.

Highlights
Highlights allow you to choose a job role and it will highlight the azure services most likely to be of interest for that role.

Overview
The overview lists all of the Azure services and you can click on each to be taken to the relevant azure docs page to learn more.

SLA
The SLA section shows you the SLA (service level agreement for Azure services which has an SLA.

Status
This screen shows us which services are Generally Available or in Preview.

Timeline
This screen shows us the timeline for when we can expect to see the feature rolled out to the particular region show for the service.

Regions
This screen allows us to compare services by region, and will shows us the timeline and the status for the service you click on.

Presence
Presence shows us how many regions the service you click on is present within and can show future availability stats for some services.

Solutions
Solutions are where you can choose a service and then from the drop-down at the top make a choice and it will take you to the docs for the selection you make – so for example, if I select the Azure Cosmos DB service I can then choose from the solutions drop down like so: –

Stories
Stories are where you can select an azure service and read customer stories on how they implemented the service and has some very interesting ideas and usages of the technology.

Fun
Within the fun screen there is an azure quiz and an azure menu covering starters, main dishes, and desserts, go take a look.

Summary
In summary, this is a great site with a tonne of useful information and one to share with your team or on twitter, etc. – huge thanks to Alexey for putting this together and keeping it up to date.



Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn in my eyes is highly under rated, I want to show you why there is more to it than you have probably realised.

Learning Paths
Learning paths are a great way to explore a topic, there are currently around 1000 learning paths, so what are you waiting for, there is something for everyone in there, which means you. #alwaysbelearning

Filter
You can filter your learning by –

  • Product
  • Roles
  • Levels
  • Type (Learning Paths or Modules)

Bookmarks
Bookmark your learning choices and come back to them, you owe it to yourself to have learning goals and to finish the learning path or module, don’t start it and leave it, become good at finishing and not good at starting.

Collections
Collections are where you can group your own collection of learning paths and modules which might relate to a specific learning goal you have. This is perfect if you are studying for an exam or want to know more about a more general topic like server-less as an example.

Achievements
If you complete a module within a learning path you earn points and badges along the way and you can see these listed under achievements which can be found under your profile and looks like so: –

I myself have realised I haven’t been using Microsoft Learn for a while and there is a lot of great new content which I am off to check out now.

Let me know which level your on – I’m currently on level 8.



Global Azure BootCamp 2020 – Glasgow Edition

Saturday April 25th, 2020 is the date for this years Global Azure BootCamp Glasgow edition, in conjunction with the Glasgow Azure user Group.

You can read about last year’s event and learn about whats involved and the format for the day, were looking for 6 speakers to come to Glasgow on April 25th and give a 60 minute talk on anything Azure related.


The call for speakers page to submit a talk is now open

The page for signing up to attend will go live Monday 20/01/2010.

We hope to see you there!



Azure Advent Calendar wrap-up

The #azureadventcalendar was a shared idea between myself and @pixel_robots

Some quick stats as I write this: –

15,800 thousand YouTube views
15,000 website views from over 120 countries
1,300 hours of videos watched
1,200 subscribers

We set out with the idea of asking the Azure community for 25 videos / blog posts with a Christmas theme, with the idea in mind that it would give people the chance to show off their skills, learn new skills and contribute back to the community over December.

We asked people via twitter who would like to contribute to this idea in the middle of September to give people time to decide if they could manage to contribute in December (a 20-30 minute video isn’t easy, especially towards that time of year).

Before we knew it we had more than 25 filled up and it was clear that this might be a bit more popular than first thought, we increased it to 50 and before you know it we had increased it to 75. In order to avoid too many duplicate subjects we decided to cap it at 75.

Wow! 75 videos/blog post contributions would be pretty amazing.

We considered several ideas but wanted to keep it simple: –

  • Anyone could contribute
  • We could have had advertisements but kept it without as it was a community project for the community by the community and this was important to us both.

I would create the website and keep that up to date daily, and chase people for content, Richard was looking after our YouTube channel and scheduling the videos to go out at midnight.

Richard also designed the logo which I loved the second I saw it and we decided to use this as the brand and he also created video thumbnails for each video for people to use on twitter, videos and blog posts.

Now the real reason this was successful was due to the contributors, we were both blown away by the quality of content from each contributor and the Christmas theme just made it pretty cool.

Richard and I both had our Twitter and LinkedIn full with tweets and articles with the above logo in it, very regularly throughout the month which was super cool to see.

Setup
The website was basic and I was updating it daily with links to blog posts and using a very simple .Net Web app, and using Azure DevOps to build and deploy the web app to Azure, I also made use of staging slots to deploy the changes, check the links etc worked and then swapped the staging slot for production – super easy to do and well worth it.

Richard had the YouTube channel setup with the logo and scheduled the videos to be released using a schedule which was pretty sweet. He also created a thumbnail for each video for the contributor to use as they saw fit.

Highlights
The highlights for me were many, but one that stands out for me personally was seeing people who had never taken part in something like this, some had never created a blog post, many had never created a video before.

The hard part of the project was chasing people for content, especially when it was mid December and everyone is busy!

To end this post I want to mention the next project which you should keep your eye on by Joe Carlyle and Thomas Thornton called the #AzureSpringCleanup – personally looking forward to see more azure community coming together and creating awesome new content.

Please leave any feedback you have on the #azureadventcalendar below.