Satalyst Brilliance on 10 Aug 2015

PT 1: Azure App Services in Visual Studio 2015 & VSO

The aim of this blog is to quickly demonstrate how to use the new Azure capabilities inside Visual Studio 2015 and VSOnline / TFS 2015 Build to quickly start your build and deployment pipeline for Azure App Service Components.

Most of the steps in this post have been covered in numerous other articles, I have taken the opportunity to include as many links to these in an attempt to bring them all together in one place.

To demonstrate the capabilities of both Build and VS2015, I am going to use a very simple Api App that is within a Logic App. This will additionally document how CI/CD is evolving in this new Application Service Platform (at least for these two components)

Part One: Build and Deploy a Logic App

Step 1 – Use Azure Resource Manager to provision the logic app and api app.

Azure Resource Manager (ARM) has been around for a while now and it is also the platform on top of which Logic Apps are built. Conversely we will use it to deploy a Logic App into Azure. Simply create a new project as described in the following post Deploy from Visual Studio.

Once created simply amend ‘’ file to give your logic app a unique name and define the plan name as shown below:

logic app

Note: you can also go into LogicApp.json file and amend the sku element to ‘free’. Depends how flush you are with cash.

However this is all you need to do to prepare your Logic App project for deployment.

Step 2 – Set Up Visual Studio Online to Deploy this on Check In

We next set up VSOnline Build configuration to run these ARM scripts in Azure and provision the logic app. We do this by simply creating a new empty build definition and adding a step to run a powershell script. Further details are given here – PowerShell Deploy to Azure

Once done it will look something like the one below – (Note only one parameter for the ResourceGroupLocation)

Powershell script_640x323

Next Turn on build on Check in, this can be done simply by adding a trigger as shown below. At present it is only possible to apply a filter on a Git project at branch level which I can see as being a problem as we flesh out this build pipeline.

Powershell trigger_640x335

Step 3 – Check in your changes and watch it deploy.

Back to VS2015 now and push you changes back into your source repository. (For this project we are using a VSOnline backed GIT repository). If you have set everything up alright you should see the Build console appear in VSOnline as seen below.

Build console in VSOnline_640x355

Now to check to make sure everything has worked – You could login to the Azure console and navigate to the resource and the new components we have just deployed.
A more easy option would be to view the resources in VS 2015 using the Cloud Explorer – this will group the resources so they appear as a logical unit.

VS 2015 using the Cloud Explorer

We have successfully created a logic app and provisioned it resources (including an API APP) in Azure and you are ready to start building it up.


Using basic Azure Resource Manager (ARM) functionality it is easy to get started with a simple Logic app. Deploying a simple template using Azure Powershell is straight forward and so far VSOnline build does exactly what we want. In the next article we will try to flesh out the API app somewhat and use VSOnline Build to build and deploy this continuously.

In Part 2, we will look at building and deploying an API App into Logic App.