Deploy ASP.NET Core 3 Previews to Azure App Using Extensions

A few weeks ago when the post Deploy ASP.NET Core 3 Previews to Azure App Service I got an email from Jerrie Pelser who pointed out that there are extensions available for App Service that allow usage of the public previews of ASP.NET Core 3 without having to do a self-contained deployment.

In addition to Jerrie’s suggestion pajaybasu pointed out in this Reddit post that using Docker is another option. Pajaybasu also pointed out a line in the original post where I that self-contained deployments were the only option which of course was incorrect.

The first half of this post is going to be the same as the original post which covers the creation and the initial publication to Azure App Service. The last half will cover using an extension to enable the preview version of ASP.NET Core.

Sample Application

I used the following .NET CLI command to create a new ASP.NET Core application using React for its front end.

dotnet new react

After the creation process is complete open the project in Visual Studio. I highly recommend using the Visual Studio 2019 preview release when working with any .NET Core 3 applications.

Publish to App Service

In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer right click on the project file and select Publish.

Select App Service for the publish target. Here we are creating a new app service. Next, click Publish.

The next dialog if the information about the new App Service that will be created. I took the defaults for the most part. I did create a new resource group for this application to make the resources easier to clean up in the future. I also changed the hosting plan to the free tier. Click Create to continue.

The Error and the Warning

As part of the publishing process, a browser will be opened to the address of the application. When this happens you will see an error about ANCM In-Process Handler Load Failure (if you are using IIS In-Process Hosting).

If you look back at Visual Studio you will see the following warning that your application requires the .NET Core runtime 3.0 and App Service only supports up to 2.2. Since we are going to fix this in App Service I recommend selecting Don’t perform check in the future (only this profile).

Another Fix

For this version of the fix, go to your App Service in the Azure Portal. In the menu under the Development Tools select the Extensions option.

On the next page click the Add button at the top. Click on the Choose Extension and select the ASP.NET Core 3.0 (x86) Runtime option.

Next, click Legal Terms, read the terms and if you are OK with the terms then click the OK button. You will then have to click OK on the add extension blade which will start the extension installation.

If you were to load your site at this point you would still get the 500 error. Under Settings click the Configuration and click on General settings turn Web sockets On and click Save.

At this point, your site should be working. You can also go back and turn web sockets back off and the site will continue working. I have no idea what toggling web sockets does to make everything start working, but thanks to this comment on a GitHub issue for the key to getting this working.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, between this post and the previous one using a self-contained deployment, you won’t have any issues trying out the .NET Core 3 with App Service.

Azure Functions Introduction

Serverless seems to be all the rage these days. Each of the major cloud providers has a serverless offering with Azure Functions, AWS Lambda, and Google Cloud Functions. One of the big selling points of serverless function is the automated scaling based on your workload and the low cost.

For example with Azure using consumption billing, you get 1 million executions for free with each additional million executions costing only $0.20. It does get more complex as there is a charge based on execution time mixed with resource consumption, but you can check out the pricing page for the details.

This post is going to cover creating and calling a very simple function. Note that you will need an Azure account, if needed you can sign up for a free account.

Function App Creation

There are a lot of options to create a new function using everything from Visual Studio to the Azure CLI. For this post, we will be using the Azure Portal to create our function. Head to the portal and using the search box at the top search for function and in the results select Function App.

The above will take you to a list of your functions apps. Click either the Add button at the top of the page or the Create Function App button to create a new Function App.

The next step has a lot of options, but for this first, go we are going enter an App name and take the defaults for the rest of the options and click Create.

Clicking create will queue the deployment of a new function app and return you to the list of function apps on your account. After a few minutes, your new app should show in the list, this took almost 3 minutes for me. Once your app shows in the list select it.

Add a Function

Now that we have a Functions App it is time to add a Function. On the menu click the next to Functions.

The next screen will ask you to select a development environment. I will be using the In-portal option. After making the selection click Continue.

The next page will ask about how the function should be triggered. We will be using the Webhook + API option. There are a lot of options for triggers I recommend selecting the More templates option and exploring at some point. When finished click the Create button.

After the creation is finished you will see the code for your new function, which is defaulted to take a request with a name and respond with hello using the name supplied.

From the above page, you can make changes to your function and save them. To try the function out hit the Run button. Hitting the run button will show you the Test area where you can change and run the request to your function as you want and use the Run button to send the request.

Wrapping Up

While we have only scraped the smallest part of the surface of Azure Function Apps I can see why people are excited about the value they can provide. It was surprisingly simple to get started.

Stay tuned if you are interested in functions as I  play to do more exploration on this topic.

Azure Application Insights: Analytics

I found one more feature of Azure Application Insights I wanted to point out before changing subjects. If you are just joining it might be worth checking out the previous entries in this series.

Add Application Insights to an Existing ASP.NET Core Application
Azure Application Insights Overview


On the overview of your Application Insights resource click on the Analytics button.

This will take you to a page that will let you query your Application Insight data. The following is the page you will see with one of the example queries and the results it provides.

The official docs for Analytics provide a lot of good resources and I recommend checking them out. We are going to do some exploration in this post, but this post won’t be enough to fully explorer all you can accomplish with Analytics.

If you want to explore Analytics and you don’t have a site up yet or your site doesn’t have much data, like my sample application, check out the Analytics Playground provided by Microsoft.


Analytics provides a very powerful way to query for information about your application. The first thing I recommend you doing is exploring the schema of the data available. The left side of the page provides the details of the schema that is available. As you can see in the screenshot below you can query details from traces, page views, request, performance counts just to call out a few. Each type has its own set of fields available.

Query Entry

The query entry area is in the top center of the page. You can read up on the details of the query language here. Thankfully the query editor provides IntelliSense as you can see in the screenshot below.

While the syntax isn’t anything like SQL the data is organized in a way that having SQL experience helped me think about how to explored and relate the data.


Clicking the Run button will execute your query and you will the results in the bottom of the page. As you can see the results default to a time chart based on the render statement in the query above.

The chart type can be changed in the results area. There is also an option to view results in a table view (this is the default view if you don’t have a render statement in your query).

Wrapping Up

It is amazing how many features Application Insights provides. I glad I happened to notice Analytics. If you are using Application Insights take the time and really explore all the features that it provides. You never know when you will find a feature that could up being a critical insight into your application.

Azure Application Insights Overview

In the Add Application Insights to an Existing ASP.NET Core Application post from last week, we got Application Insights up and running. This week my plan was to show off some of the features of Application Insights. It turns out this is hard to do in a meaningful way when your application isn’t getting any usage. While I have next to no data for most of the screenshots I still want to point out some of the areas of Application Insights that seem like they would be very useful.

Sample Application

For the most part, the post linked above is a good starting point with the exception of instead of using a React application I switched out for a Razor Pages application. The following is the command to create a Razor Page application with auth using the .NET CLI.

dotnet new webapp --auth Individual

The reason for this change was to get more items in App Insights since Razor Pages makes a request to the server per page.

Application Dashboard

The first item I recommend you check out is the Application Dashboard. On the Azure Portal select your App Insights resource and at the top click Application Dashboard.

This link will drop you on a page that will let you see how your application is doing at a glance. This includes everything from Unique sessions and Failed requests to Average I/O rate and Average available memory.

Live Metrics Stream

From your application dashboard or the App Insights menu you if you select Live Metrics Stream you will see real-time information about Incoming Requests, Outgoing Request, Overall Health, and a list of servers your application is running on and some stats about your usage on those servers.


As a developer, a lot of the items in the Investigate menu jump out to me as being really helpful.

For example, Failures will give you a graph of failures over your selected timeframe with a list of the failed operations and a summary of the top 3 failed response codes, exception types, and dependency failures. The following screenshot is what it looks like, but my sample application doesn’t have any failures so it may not be super helpful.

The other option I want to point out is Performance which will give you a great summary of how your application is performing with break down by operation. This operation level view is a great place to spot areas in your application that may need some perf work.

Wrapping Up

This post covered a small fraction of the value provided by Application Insights. I encourage you to give the service a try especially if you are running a .NET application and most of the value can be provided without having to make any code changes.

Add Application Insights to an Existing ASP.NET Core Application

I have been using Azure’s App Service to host the web applications I am playing around with for a few years now. The service makes it simple to get an application hosted. Today I decided to try out Application Insights which is an application performance management (APM) service provided by Azure which integrates very well with App Service. In fact, you can enable Application Insights for your App Service Application without the need to make any code changes.

This post is going to cover using an existing App Service application and enabling Application Insights. This post is assuming that you already have an Azure account. If you don’t you can sign up for a free Azure account.

Sample Application and App Service Creation

In case you don’t have an existing application in Azure App Service here is a quick walkthrough of the application I used for this post. If you have an existing application you can skip to the next section.

From the .NET CLI I used the following command to create a global.json targeting .NET Core 2.2 in the directory the application is being created in. You don’t have to do this step, but I needed it because I have .NET Core 3 preview installed and I wanted this post to target the current production release of .NET Core.

dotnet new globaljson --sdk-version 2.2.105

Next, run the following command to create a new ASP.NET Core application using the React template. Any of the templates are fine so feel free to use a different one as long as it will give you a web application.

dotnet new react

Now open the new project in Visual Studio and right-click on the project file and click Publish.

Select App Service and then click Publish.

The next dialog is all about the setup of your App Service. I took the defaults for the most part, with the exception of the Resource Group which I made sure to create one just for this application to allow for easy clean up later. When you have all your options selected click Create. Note that there is an option to setup Application Insights from this screen, but we are going to handle this on the Azure side after the fact for this post.

After the deployment is done your application should open up in a browser.

Add Application Insights from the Azure Portal

Now that we have an application running in an Azure App Service we are ready to add in Application Insights. First head to the Azure Portal and select App Services from the menu.

From your list of App Services select the one you want to add Application Insights to. From the menu select Application Insights. In the details click the Turn on site extension button to update the Application Insights extension if needed.

On the next screen select the Location where you would like the Application Insights deployed. You can tweak what will be instrumented based on the language your application is built in, I just kept the defaults. When all your selections are done click Apply.

When you click apply, you will get a warning that your site will have to be restarted. For a test application, this isn’t a big deal, but if you are on a production application you might want to do this during a slow period. Click Yes to continue.

After the process is complete click the View Application Insights data link to view your Application Insights Overview.

The overview will give you a fast overview of how your application is doing with graphs of Failed request, Server response time, Server requests, and Availability.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this will help you get going with Application Insights. This post didn’t cover many of the features that Application Insights provides, but should get you set up so you can explore all the features the service provides.

Deploy ASP.NET Core 3 Previews to Azure App Service

I have found some time to play around with some of the features coming with ASP.NET Core 3 and I needed a place to host some of the applications I’m playing around with. Azure App Services has always been a great place for this type of thing, but as you will see in the details below it doesn’t support ASP.NET Core 3 by default currently.

This post is going to walk through creating a new ASP.NET Core 3 React application and publishing it to a new App Service with the default setting and then show you what to change to get the application to run.

Sample Application

I used the following .NET CLI command to create a new ASP.NET Core application using React for its front end.

dotnet new react

After the creation process is complete open the project in Visual Studio. I highly recommend using the Visual Studio 2019 preview release when working with any .NET Core 3 applications.

Publish to App Service

In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer right click on the project file and select Publish.

Select App Service for the publish target. Here we are creating a new app service. Next, click Publish.

The next dialog if the information about the new App Service that will be created. I took the defaults for the most part. I did create a new resource group for this application to make the resources easier to clean up in the future. I also changed the hosting plan to the free tier. Click Create to continue.

The Error and the Warning

As part of the publishing process, a browser will be opened to the address of the application. When this happens you will see an error about ANCM In-Process Handler Load Failure (if you are using IIS In-Process Hosting).

If you look back at Visual Studio you will see the following warning that your application requires the .NET Core runtime 3.0 and App Service only supports up to 2.2.

The Fix

After dismissing the dialog above you will see a summary of the publish profile we created above. Click the Pincel next to the Framework-Dependent value for Deployment Mode.

In the dialog that pops up set the Deployment Mode to Self-Contained and select an appropriate Target Runtime for your App Service. In the case of this sample which is deployed to a Windows App Service, we are using win-x86.

Back on the publish profile summary screen click the Publish button to redeploy the application to App Service with the new settings. When the process finishes this time you should see a browser load with your application running properly.

Wrapping Up

This is a great example of the power of being able to do self-contained deployments. If this option didn’t exist then we would have no option for running .NET Core 3 applications on App Service.

Create React or Angular Application from Visual Studio with Authentication

Having templates that provide a good starting point for a new application is an important part of the value that is provided by Microsoft. Nothing kills progress faster than having to spend a week trying to discover the recommended way to set up a project. Thankfully template is an area that Microsoft continues to invest in.

A few weeks ago in my ASP.NET Core 3: React Template with Auth post I went over creating a React application that included auth out of the box using the .NET CLI. In this post, we are going to create an Angular application with Auth from Visual Studio.

Required Installs

As of this writing .NET Core 3 Preview 4 was just released so please make sure you have the latest preview installed. Also, make sure and install the latest preview of Visual Studio. The screenshots in this post will be from the Visual Studio 2019 16.1.0 Preview 1 release. Make sure you have at least the ASP.NET and web development workload installed.

Project Creation

Open Visual Studio and from the Get started area on the left click Create a new project.

On the next screen select the ASP.NET Core Web Application project type and click Next.

On the next screen at a minimum enter a Project name and click the Create button.

On the next screen select the template you want to use. I will be selecting Angular, but the same authentication setup will work for React or React and Redux templates. After selecting your template type on the right side of the screen under Authentication click the Change link.

Select Individual User Accounts and click OK.

After the Change Authentication dialog closes click the Create button on the template selection dialog.

After a couple of minutes, the application will be ready to go. The only other step you will need to do is to apply the Entity Framework migrations. This can be done from the .NET CLI or the first time you try to register an account in debug mode you will be prompted to apply the migrations.

Wrapping Up

I’m not sure if I am alone in this or not, but I get super excited seeing the time being invested by Microsoft in making the getting started experiences better with every release. Having authentication available out of the box for a SAP backed by an API make getting started on a project super simple.

Azure B2C: User Profiles

In this post, we will be adding access to user profiles using Azure B2C. We will be building on the setup used in the ASP.NET Core with Azure B2C Auth post so make sure and check it out if something in this post isn’t clear. The following is the full list of post from what has turned in to a series on Azure B2C.

ASP.NET Core with Azure B2C Auth
Azure B2C: Customize Layouts
Azure B2C: Social Logins

User Profile Flow

The first step to enabling profile access is to add the Profile editing user flow. From the menu for your Azure B2C resource select User flows.

At the top of the list of user flows click the New user flow button. This will display a list of recommended flows to add. From the list click Profile editing.

On the Create page enter a Name for your flow, select which Identity providers can use the flow, select which User attributes to collect/display, and then create the Create button. The user attributes you select will control which fields show when the user is editing their profile. Also, notice the Show more link which will give you a full list of the user attributes available on your account.

Sample Application

Back in the sample application in the appsettings.json file enter the name of the profile editing user flow from above for the EditProfilePolicyId.

"EditProfilePolicyId": "B2C_1_Profile"

Run the application and after login, the user’s name will be a link which will take them to a page where they can edit their profile information.

The following is a sample of what the profile page looks like.

Tweaking the Layout

From the screenshot, you will notice that the order of the fields wouldn’t make a lot of sense to a user. Thankfully B2C provides a way to customize the order of files, labels, control types, etc. without doing a full custom page which is also an option if you need to match an existing application’s look and feel.

From the B2C menu, select User flows and click on your profile flow. Once in your profile flow select Page layouts and then in the details select Profile edit page.

You will see something similar to the following screenshot. As you can see it allows reordering of fields, label changes, etc.

User Attributes

If the built-in user attributes don’t cover all your needs B2C does allow you to add your own attributes. From the main menu of B2C click on User attributes and you will see a list of your current attributes as well as an Add button if you need a custom attribute.

Wrapping Up

Enabling profile access was a pretty easy process and the flexibility provided with the built-in customizations is nice. I’m betting that most people will end up using a custom layout to give users a consistent experience. If you need help getting started with a custom layout check out my Azure B2C: Customize Layouts post.

Thank You Open Source

I have a family member who has ALS which, among a lot of other things, remove the person’s ability to walk, talk and use their arms and hands. My family member is at the point that their arms and leg aren’t useable and speech is only understandable to a few.

Being the “computer person” in the family I have been helping to cobble together an assistive setup. We started with a product by Tobii which is meant for gamers but also works pretty well as a general eye-tracking device and paired that Windows 10’s eye control functionality on an entry-level Microsoft Surface Pro 6. This setup has helped to restore a level of interaction with the world that ALS had taken away and at a fraction of the cost of the medical grade solutions that are available.

One of the big items on our hit list was the ability to control an Amazon Fire TV Stick. For our first try, we used BlueStacks which is an Andriod emulator for Windows which allowed control of the Fire TV via a third party remote application (the remote application provided by Amazon is unusable as it requires swiping to get most actions done which don’t work well with eye tracking).

The above set up seemed like it was going to work well, but it turns out that the entry-level Surface Pro doesn’t have enough power to deal with BlueStacks without causing stability issues. After a lot of searching, I couldn’t find an alternative, so being a software developer I decided I would order my own Fire Stick and find a way to program one myself. Thanks to Amazone Prime I had my Fire Stick the same day.

I struck out hard on my Google-fu trying to find a way to control the device from Windows. This is where open source comes to my rescue. I found btastic’s repo windows-adb-remote on GitHub. Seems that btasctic forgot his remote when he was at his girlfriend’s house and whipped up a console application that uses adb to control his Fire Stick.

I was very excited at this point. Yes, adb made the interactions slow, but since the application was going to be used via eye control it was more than fast enough. Now I just needed a UI. I started working on a WPF front end, but before I got too far I decided noticed that a few people had forked btastic’s repo. Turns out that amolkamble46 had already added a UI in this repo!

I forked amolkamble46’s repo and added a bit of code to save the IP for the Fire Stick and I had all I needed. A couple of hours later the solution was installed and I got to the see the joy in the eyes of my family member all thanks to open source. Without the repos I found this process would have taken me so much longer.

I have always been thankful to the people who spend time working on open source software, but this has raised that appreciation to a whole new level. It also goes to show no matter your project or how useful you think it might be to other people you should put it out into the world because you never know when it will make a massive difference in someone’s life.

Azure B2C: Social Logins

This post is going to cover enabling a social login for a site using Azure B2C for authentication. If you are new to this set of posts you can find the initial setup of the sample application in the  ASP.NET Core with Azure B2C Auth post. I would also recommend checking out the Azure B2C: Customize Layouts to learn how to change the provided UI to provide your users with a consistent look and feel that matches the rest of your application.

Social Login Provider Setup

Azure B2C supports most of the login provides you would expect such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc. as well as any provider that supports OpendID Connect. No matter which option you pick you will have to register/signup your application with the provider. Unfortunately, Azure B2C doesn’t provide links to the registration pages of the services it supports so it is up to you to find those yourself.

For this example, I’m going to be walking through the process using Google. You can get all the details of Google’s OpenID Connect offering in their docs. To get started we need to set up our application in the developer console. The link will take you to the dashboard where you will see a message about selecting or creating a new project. Click the Create link. In the next page enter the Project name and click Create.

After the creation process finishes click Credentials from the navigation menu on the left.

On the top of the screen select OAuth consent screen. On this page, you will need to at least enter an Application name and an Authorized domain of (not shown in the screenshot, but still required) and click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Next, select the Credentials tab and click the Create credentials button and select the OAuth client ID option.

On the next page, select Web application as the application type. Enter a Name. For the next two fields, you will need your tenant ID from Azure B2C. In the screenshot, you can see my where I did this with my tenant ID of testingorg3. Also, make sure and enter the URLs in all lower case, I had redirect issues using mixed casing. For Authorized JavaScript origins use the URL and for Authorized redirect URIs use

After clicking create you will see a dialog with your client ID and client secret make note of these as they will be needed when we add the login provider in Azure B2C.

Azure B2C Changes

Now that we have the Google side setup head over to Azure and find your Azure B2C resource. Select Identity provides from the navigation menu and click the Add button.

Enter a Name, I’m just using the name of the provider. Then, click on Identity provider type which will trigger the Select social identity provider selection to show. Click Google and then click OK.

Next, click Setup this identity provider which will show a fly out where you will need to enter your Client ID and Client secret provided by Google. After entering your values click OK.

Next, click the Create button at the bottom of the Add identity provider screen. When this process is done we will have two identity providers for this B2C resource email and Google. Next, we need to enable our new Google provider for our sign up/sign in user flow. From the menu select User flows and then click the flow you have set up for Sign up and sign in.

Next, select Identity providers, this will show a list of providers available for the selected flow. Check any additional providers the flow should use, Google, in our case. Finally, click Save.

Try it out

With all the above change attempt a login with your application and you will see Google as a sign in option.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully the above will give you a jump start on adding support for social logins to your applications. Adding other providers will really close to what we did for Google from the Azure B2C prospective, of course the sign up process will vary by provider.