Home / Deploying a Docker based web application to Azure App Service


A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries and settings.

This lab outlines the process to build custom Docker images of an ASP.NET Core application, push those images to a private repository in Azure Container Registry (ACR). These images will be used to deploy the application to the Docker containers in the Azure App Service (Linux) using Azure DevOps.

The Web App for Containers allows the creation of custom Docker container images, easily deploy and then run them on Azure. Combination of Azure DevOps and Azure integration with Docker will enable the following:

  1. Build custom Docker images using Azure DevOps Hosted Linux agent

  2. Push and store the Docker images in a private repository

  3. Deploy and run the images inside the Docker Containers

MS teamsWant additional learning? Check out the Automate Docker container deployments module on Microsoft Learn.

Before you begin

  1. Refer the Getting Started page to know the prerequisites for this lab.

  2. Click the Azure DevOps Demo Generator link and follow the instructions in Getting Started page to provision the project to your Azure DevOps.

Setting up the Environment

  1. The following resources needs to be configured for this lab:

    • Azure Container Registry

    • Azure Web App for Containers

    • Azure SQL Server Database

  2. Launch the Azure Cloud Shell from the Azure portal and choose Bash.

  3. Create Azure Container Registry:

    i. Create a Resource Group. Replace <region> with the region of your choosing, for example eastus.

      az group create --name DockerRG --location <region>

    ii. Create ACR( Azure Container Registry)

     az acr create -n <unique-acr-name> -g DockerRG --sku Standard --admin-enabled true
  4. Create Azure Web App for Containers:

    i. Create a Linux App Service Plan:

    az appservice plan create -n myappserviceplan -g DockerRG --is-linux

    ii. Create a custom Docker container Web App: To create a web app and configuring it to run a custom Docker container, run the following command:

    az webapp create -n <unique-appname> -g DockerRG -p myappserviceplan -i elnably/dockerimagetest
  5. Create Azure SQL server and Database: Create an Azure SQL server.

     az sql server create -l <region> -g DockerRG -n <unique-sqlserver-name> -u sqladmin -p P2ssw0rd1234

    Create a database

     az sql db create -g DockerRG -s <unique-sqlserver-name> -n mhcdb --service-objective S0
  6. Create a firewall rule for SQL server that allows access from Azure services

     az sql server firewall-rule create --resource-group DockerRG --server <your-sqlserver-name> --name AllowAllAzureIps --start-ip-address --end-ip-address
  7. Update web app’s connection string

    az webapp config connection-string set -g DockerRG -n <your-appservice-name> -t SQLAzure --settings defaultConnection='Data Source=tcp:<your-sqlserver-name>.database.windows.net,1433;Initial Catalog=mhcdb;User Id=sqladmin;Password=P2ssw0rd1234;'

    Update your app service name and SQL server name in the above command. This command will add a connection string to your app service with the name defaultConnection.

  8. Navigate to the resource group. You can see that the following components are provisioned.

    Azure Components Description
    Azure Container RegistryAzure Container Registry Used to store images privately
    Web App for Containers Web App for Containers Docker images are deployed to containers in this App Service
    App Service Plan App Service Plan Resource where App Service resides
    SQL Server SQL Server SQL Server to host database
    SQL database SQL database SQL database to host MyHealthClinic data

    Post Azure Deployment

  9. Click on the mhcdb SQL database and make a note of the server details under the header Server name.

    DB Server URL

  10. Navigate back to the resource group. Click on the container registry and make a note of the server details under the header Login server. These details will be required in the Exercise 2.


Exercise 1: Configure Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)

Now that the required resources are provisioned, the Build and the Release definition need to be manually configured with the new information. The dacpac will also be deployed to the mhcdb database so that the schema and data is configured for the backend.

  1. Navigate to the Pipelines option under the Pipelines tab. Select the build definition MHCDocker.build, and select the Edit option.


  2. In the Run services, Build services and Push services tasks, authorize (only for the first task) the Azure subscription and update Azure Container Registry with the endpoint component from the dropdown and click on Save.




    Tasks Usage
    Run services Run services prepares suitable environment by restoring the required packages
    Build services Build services builds myhealth.web image
    Push services Push services pushes myhealth.web image tagged with $(Build.BuildId) to container registry
    Publish Build Artifacts Publish Build Artifacts used to share dacpac for database deployment through Azure DevOps artifacts
  3. Navigate to the Releases section under the Pipelines tab. Select the release definition MHCDocker.release, click Edit option and then click on the Tasks section.


    Release Tasks

  4. The usage details of the agents are provided below:

    Agents Usage Details
    DB deployment The Hosted VS2017 agent is used to deploy the database
    Web App deployment The Hosted Ubuntu 1604 agent is used to deploy the application to the Linux Web App
  5. Under the Execute Azure SQL: DacpacTask section, select the Azure Subscription from the dropdown.

    Execute Azure SQL: DacpacTask: This task will deploy the dacpac to the mhcdb database so that the schema and data are configured for the backend.

    Update DB Task

  6. Under Azure App Service Deploy task, update the Azure subscription and Azure App Service name with the endpoint components from the dropdown.

    Azure App Service Deploy will pull the appropriate docker image corresponding to the BuildID from repository specified, and then deploys the image to the Linux App Service.

    Update repository

  7. Click on the Variables section, update the ACR details and the SQLserver details with the details noted earlier while the configuration of the environment and click on the Save button.

    Update variables

    The Database Name is set to mhcdb, the Server Admin Login is set to sqladmin and the Password is set currently to P2ssw0rd1234.

Exercise 2: Initiate the CI Build and Deployment through code commit

In this exercise, the source code will be modified to trigger the CI-CD.

  1. Click on Files section under the Repos tab, and navigate to the Docker/src/MyHealth.Web/Views/Home folder and open the Index.cshtml file for editing.

    Edit code

  2. Modify the text JOIN US to CONTACT US on the line number 28 and then click on the Commit button. This action would initiate an automatic build for the source code.

    Line Edit

  3. Click on Pipelines tab, you will see MHCDoker.build build is queued. Double click on Build # or Commit to view the build in progress.



  4. The Build will generate and push the docker image of the web application to the Azure Container Registry. Once the build is completed, the build summary will be displayed.

    Build Summary

  5. Navigate to the Azure Portal and click on the App Service that was created at the beginning of this lab. Select the Container Settings option and provide the information as suggested and then click the Save button.

    Field Value to be provided
    Image Source Select the value Azure Container Registry
    Registry Select the registry value from the dropdown
    image Select the value myhealth.web
    Tag Select the value latest. This is required to map Azure Container Registry with the Web App.

    Update registry

  6. Navigate to the Azure Container registry created and then select the Repositories option to view the generated docker images.


  7. Navigate to the Releases section under Pipelines tab, and double-click on the latest release displayed on the page. Click on Logs to view the details of the release in progress.

    Release Progress

    Release Progress

    Release Progress

  8. The release will deploy the docker image to the App Service based on the BuildID tagged with the docker image. Once the release is completed, the release Logs will be displayed.


  9. Navigate back to the Azure Portal and click on the Overview section of the App Service. Click on the link displayed under the URL field to browse the application and view the changes.

    Web app URL

    Final Result

  10. Use the credentials Username: user and Password: P2ssw0rd@1 to login to the HealthClinic web application.


With Azure DevOps and Azure, we have configured a dockerized application by leveraging docker capabilities enabled on Azure DevOps Ubuntu Hosted Agent.