Azure B2C: Customize Layouts

In the post ASP.NET Core with Azure B2C Auth we did a walkthrough of setting up the basics of Azure B2C and creating a new application that used our new B2C setup for auth. This post is going to be using that same setup to show how to replace the Microsoft provided pages for sign up/sign in with your own custom pages.

Custom Page Hosting

Our custom page needs to be hosted somewhere public with CORS enabled. If the test application was hosted somewhere public we could just us it, but since it is running on localhost that isn’t currently an option. We are going to use Azure Blob storage for hosting in this example.

Create A Storage Account

From the Azure Portal select Storage accounts.

Click the Add button.

Next, on the Create storage account page, I used a new resource group and tried storage accounts names until I found an unused one. For the rest of the fields, I took the defaults and then clicked Review + create.

On the review + create page it takes a few seconds for the account to be validated. After validation click the Create button.

After the storage deployment is complete click the Go to resource button.

Setup Blob storage

The above will land you on the Overview page for the new storage account. Select CORS from the menu.

Since this is just a test I’m allowing everything under the Blob service, for a real deploy I would recommend only allowing the values you expect requests from. After setting your values click the Save button.

Back on the storage menu on the right side of the screen select Blobs.

Click the + Container button to create a new blob storage container.

In the new container, page enter a name and select your public access level. I’m going with the most permissive access level, for a production system you will need to evaluate the appropriate access level for your use case. Click OK when done.

When done you will be returned to your list of containers. Click on the container that was just created to view the details.

Create a custom page

Now that we have our blob storage we need to create the HTML page that we want to to use instead of the default. The following is the code for the page I’m going to use. It is going to be super ugly as I’m not going to use any styling.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Custom Page!</title>
    <h1>Custom Page!</h1>
    <div id="api"></div> 

You can make this page look however you want, but it will always need the div with the ID of API as this is where Azure will inject the elements that actually handle the signup/sign in. Save your page.

Upload custom page to blob storage

Back in Azure click the Upload button and then select your file and click the Upload button.

After upload, you will be returned to the list of items in your current container. Click the item you just created. In the details copy the URL as we are going to need it to give B2C the location of our custom page.

B2C use custom page

In your portal head back to your Azure AD B2C page and select User flows.

Select the flow you want to use the custom page for. In our case, we are going to be using the flow for Sign up and sign in.

In the Customize section select Page layouts.

In the bottom of the page select Yes for  Use custom page content and past the link to your blob from above into the Custome page URI field and click Save.

Try it out

With all of the above setup you can now go back to the application using B2C and hit your sign in link and you will see your custom page. Here is what the one in the sample looks like.

Obviously, this example is really ugly and isn’t something you would do to your users, but it gives you the basic idea of how to use a custom page.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully the above will help you get started with customizing you B2C related pages to give your users a more consistent look and feel. The above only uploaded an HTML page to blob storage, but you could also upload a CSS file or any other assets you need. Also, don’t forget if your site is publicly accessible the assets can be stored with the rest of your application in that is appropriate, just remember to configure CORS to allow requests from Azure.

If you want more information on this topic check out the official docs from Microsoft on the subject.

ASP.NET Core with Azure B2C Auth

I ran into a previous co-work a while back and they were talking about using Azure’s B2C for authentication on their apps. It sounded like a good solution. This blog post is going to cover getting the Azure B2C setup and will cover creating a sample application that will use B2C for authorization.

Create Azure Active Directory B2C

This all assumes you already have an Azure account. If you don’t you can sign up for a free trial (not an affiliate link). After you are signed up head to the Azure Portal.

Note: you can skip this section if you want to use the default Active Directory that is on your Azure account.

In the upper left click the Create a resource link.

In the search box look for Azure Active Directory B2C.

After selecting Azure Active Directory B2C more information will load to the right in a new panel. Click the Create button to continue.

Next, select if you want to create a new B2C tenant or use an existing one. I don’t have an existing one so the following flow will be for creating a new tenant.

On the next panel, you will need to enter an organization name and initial domain name. After entering valid values click the create button.

Switch Active Directory

Now that the new directory has been created we need to switch to the new directory in the Azure Portal. In the left panel click Azure Active Directory.

Click the Switch directory link.

A new panel will show on the right side of the screen with a list of directories you have available. Select the one you created in the steps above or an existing one you would like to use.

Using the search box in the top middle of the portal find Azure AD B2C.

Sample Application

Before moving forward on the Azure side we are going to create our sample client application. This little detour will make it easier for me to point out what values in Azure need to go where in the application configuration.

To create a new web application already set up to use Azure B2C use the following .NET CLI command from a command prompt. There is also a Visual Studio template if you prefer that route.

dotnet new webapp --auth IndividualB2C

In the resulting application, your appsettings.json will have the following section for AzureAdB2C.

"AzureAdB2C": {
  "Instance": "",
  "ClientId": "11111111-1111-1111-11111111111111111",
  "CallbackPath": "/signin-oidc",
  "Domain": "",
  "SignUpSignInPolicyId": "",
  "ResetPasswordPolicyId": "",
  "EditProfilePolicyId": ""

Azure AD B2C Setup

Back to the Azure portal and the Azure AD B2C service page. In the Overview page, the first thing we need to make note of and use to set some configuration values in our application for is the Domain name.

In your appsettings.json file use this value for your Domain value.

"Domain": ""

The subdomain is also used to build the Instance like the following.

"Instance": ""

On the panel that loads hit the Add button. On the new Application panel, we need to give the application a Name, select the type of clients which is Web App / Web API in our case. Next, is the Reply URL which with default setup is your base url/sigin-oidc. I messed this value up in the beginning and got some really strange errors. Finally hit the Create button.

After the creation process is complete copy the value in the Application ID field and use it as ClientId in your appsettings.json file.

Back in Azure select the User flows (policies) option.

At the top of the panel that loads click the New user flow button. The next panel shows a selection of flows that can be added. The application we are making will use both the Sign up and sign in flow and the Password rest flow. I’m only going to walk through the first one, but the second one is very smiliar. Click on the Sign up and sign in like.

In the creation process you will need to set a Name for the flow and select the Identity providers that are valid for the flow. You also have the choice of fields to collect with this flow and which ones should be returned with the claim. After those options are set click the Create button.

The Name form this screen will need to be entered in your appsettings.json file for the SignUpSignInPolicyId value. Here is what I ended up with in my settings file with the Sign Up and Reset Password policies.

"SignUpSignInPolicyId": "B2C_1_SignInOut",
"ResetPasswordPolicyId": "B2C_1_PasswordReset"

Run the sample

At this point, you can run your sample application and click the Sign in link and you will see a page similar to the following which is coming from Azure B2C.

There are ways to customize the pages users will see under the associated flow in Azure.

Wrapping Up

I hit quite a few issues getting Azure B2C setup. I hope this post will help you all bypass some of the issues I hit.

GitHub and Azure Pipelines: Build Triggers

In response to my post on GitHub and Azure Pipelines, I got the following question on Reddit.

Does this automatically detect branches? From your screenshot, you’re building master. If you copy to feature-A, does a new pipeline automatically get created and built?

When I initially answered this question I didn’t go deep enough. The answer to does a new pipeline automatically get created and built is no as I replied, but I think the intent of the question is do I have to go set up a new pipeline every time I create a new branch and the answer to that is also no. The existing pipeline will be triggered when any change is checked in on any branch by default. Do note that it won’t be triggered when the branch is created only when a change is checked in.

Limiting Builds

There are a couple of ways to control what branches trigger continuous integration builds. The first is by making edits to the azure-pipeline.yml file in the repo and the second is via an override in the Azure Pipeline.


The official Build pipeline triggers docs are really good, but I will cover the basic here for including branches and excluding branches. Check for docs for information on path includes/excludes as well as how to control PR validation. As an example here is the yaml file used to define a build in this repo.

  vmImage: 'Ubuntu 16.04'

  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

- script: dotnet build Sqlite --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'

In order to control what branches get built, we need to add a trigger section. The smilest example is to list the branches you want to build. Ending wildcards are allowed. See the following example (trigger section taken from the official docs).

  vmImage: 'Ubuntu 16.04'

  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

- script: dotnet build Sqlite --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'

- master
- releases/*

This would build master and all branches under releases, but nothing else. The following shows how to use includes and excludes together. Again the triggers section is taken from the official docs.

  vmImage: 'Ubuntu 16.04'

  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

- script: dotnet build Sqlite --configuration $(buildConfiguration)
  displayName: 'dotnet build $(buildConfiguration)'

    - master
    - releases/*
    - releases/old*

This would build master and everything in under releases that does not start with old. Really go read the official docs on this one to see all the ins and outs.

Azure Pipelines

To override the CI build from Azure DevOp go to the build in question and click Edit.

Next, select Triggers and Continuous integration and check Override YAML.

After checking the override you will see a lot more options light up. As you can see in the following screenshot the same include and exclude options are available with the same options for wildcards.

Wrapping Up

As you can see Azure Pipelines provides a lot of flex ability in how a build gets triggered. On top of what I covered here, there are also options for setting up scheduled builds as well as trigging a build with another build is completed. If you hit a scenario that couldn’t be covered I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Azure DevOps Project

After last week’s post on Azure Pipelines: Release to Azure App Service I came across a much easier way to get started using Azure DevOps and Azure App Servies. This post is going to walk through this process which is started from the Azure Portal side instead of Azure DevOps.

The names here are going to be a bit confusing. When I say Azure DevOps I am talking about the rebrand of Visual Studio Team Services which includes services for boards, repos, pipeline, etc. When I say Azure DevOps Project, or just DevOps Project, I am referring to the project type this post is going to be using from the Azure Portal side.

Create DevOps Project

From the Azure Portal click the Create a resource button.

For me, DevOps Project was in the list of popular items. If you don’t see it list you can use the search at the top to find it. Click on the DevOps Project to start the process.

On the next page, you have options to start a new application with a lot of different languages or to deploy an existing application. For this example, we are going to select .NET and click the Next button. This screen is a great example of how Microsoft is working hard to support more than just .NET.

For .NET the next choice is ASP.NET or ASP.NET Core. No surprise I’m sure that we are going to go with ASP.NET Core. There is also an option for adding a database, but we aren’t going to use it for this example. Click Next to continue.

The next step is to select which Azure Service the new application should run on. We are going to use a Linux Web App to match what last week’s sample was running on. Click Next to continue.

There are quite a few settings on this next screen, but they are all pretty clear. The first group of settings is for the Azure DevOps project and you can either use an existing account or the process will create one for you. A Project name is required.

The next group of settings is for the Azure App Service that will be created. Subscription should default in if you only have one. Web app name is going to control the URL Azure provides as well as play in the naming of the resources that are created. Click Done to start the creation process.


After clicking down above the deployment of all the need resources will start. This process takes awhile. The portal will redirect you to a status page similar to the following while deployment is in progress. It took a little over 4 minutes for mine to complete.

When the deployment is complete click the Go to resource button.


The Overview page for the project gives a great summary of the whole CI/CD pipeline that was created with links to the associated Azure DevOps pages to manage each step. The Azure resources section will have the URL you can use to access the running application.

The resulting application should look similar to the following.

Wrapping Up

This process is a much easier way to get started if you are going all in with Azure. If you read last week’s post you know there is a lot that goes into creating something close to this setup manually and even then it was missing the nice overview provided by this setup.

Azure Pipelines: Release to Azure App Service

This post is going to use the same Azure DevOps project used in last week’s Azure Repos and Azure Pipelines post which had a build pipeline and add a release pipeline that deploys to an Azure App Service.

This walkthrough is going to assume you have an Azure account already set up using the same email address as Azure DevOps. If you don’t have an Azure account one signup for an Azure Free Account.

Build Changes

The build set up in last week’s post proved that the code built, but it didn’t actually do anything with the results of that build. In order to use the results of the build, we need to publish the resulting files. This will be needed later when setting up the release pipeline.

In order to get the results we are looking for a few steps must be added to our build.  All the changes are being made in the azure-pipelines.yml. The following is my full yaml file with the new tasks.

  vmImage: 'Ubuntu 16.04'

  buildConfiguration: 'Release'

- task: [email protected]
  displayName: Build
    projects: '**/EfSqlite.csproj'
    arguments: '--configuration $(BuildConfiguration)'
- task: [email protected]
  displayName: Publish
    command: publish
    publishWebProjects: True
    arguments: '--configuration $(BuildConfiguration) --output $(build.artifactstagingdirectory)'
- task: [email protected]
  displayName: 'Publish Artifact'
    PathtoPublish: '$(build.artifactstagingdirectory)'

As you can see in the above yaml this build now has three different steps. The build (this is equivalent to what the post from last week was doing) and publish (this gets all the files in the right places) tasks are both handled using the [email protected] task.  Finally, the Publi[email protected] takes the results of the publish and zips them to the artifact staging directory where they can be used in a release pipeline.

Create an Azure App Service

Feel free to skip this section if you have an existing App Service to use. To create a new App Service open the Azure Portal and select App Services from the left navigation.

Next, click the Add button.

On the next page, we are going to select Web App.

Now hit the Create button.

The next page you will need to enter an App name, select the OS, and Runtime Stack before hitting the Create button. The OS and Runtime Stack should match the target of your application.

Create a Release Pipeline

On your project from the left navigation select Pipelines > Releases and then click the New pipeline button. If you already have a release pipeline setup this page will look different.

The next page has a list of template you can select from. In this example, we will be selecting Azure App Service deployment and then click the Apply button.



Artifact Set Up

After clicking Apply you will hit the pipeline overview page with to sets of information. The first is the Artifacts which for us is going to be the results of the build pipeline we set up in last week’s post. Click the Add an artifact box.

The Add an artifact dialog is where you will select where the release will get its build artifact form. We will be using the source type of build and selecting our existing build pipeline.

Once you select your build pipeline as the Source a few more controls will show up. I took the defaults on all of them. Take note of the box highlighted in the screenshot as it will give you a warning if you build is missing artifacts. Click the Add button to complete.


Stage Setup


Above we selected the Azure App Service template which is now in our pipeline as Stage 1. Notice the red exclamation, which means the stage has some issues that need to be addressed before it can be used. Click on the stage box to open it.


As you can see in the following screenshot the settings that are missing are highlighted in red on the Deploy Azure App Service task.  On Stage 1 click the Unlink all button and confirm. Doing this means there is more setup on the Deploy Azure App Service task, but this is the only way to use .NET Core 2.1 at the time of this writing. For some reason, the highest version available at the Stage level for Linux is .NET Core 2.0.

After clicking unlink all the options other than the name of the stage will be removed. Next, click on Deploy Azure App Service task which handles the bulk to the work will place for this pipeline. There are a lot of setting on this task. Here is a screenshot of my setup and I will call out the important bits after.

First, select your Azure subscription. You may be required to Authorize your account so if you see an Authorize button click it and go through the sign in steps for your Azure account.

Take special note of App type. In this sample, we are using Linux so it is important to select Linux App from the drop down instead of the just using Web App.

With your Azure subscription and App type selected the App Service name drop-down should only let you select Linux based App  Services that exist on your subscription.

For Image Source, I went with the Built-in Image, but it does have the option to enter use a container from a registry if the built-in doesn’t meet your needs.

For Package or folder, the default should work if you only have a single project. Since this, I have two projects I used the file browser (the … button) to select the specific zip file I want to deploy.

Runtime Stack needs to to be .NET Core 2.1 for this application.

Startup command needs to be set up to tell the .NET CLI to run the assembly that is the entry point for the application. In the example, this works out to be dotnet EfSqlite.dll.

After all the settings have been entered hit the Save button in the top right of the screen.

Execute Release Pipeline

Navigate back to Pipelines > Release and select the release you want to run. Then click the Create a release button.

On the next page, all you have to do is select the Artifact you want to deploy and then click the Create button.

Create will start the release process and send you back to the main release page. There will be a link at the top of the release page that you can click to see the status of the release.

The following is the results of my release after it has completed.

Wrapping Up

I took me more trial and error to get this setup going that I would have hoped, but once all the pieces are get up the results are awesome. At the very minimum, I recommend taking the time to at least set up a build that is triggered when code is checked into your repos. Having the feedback that a build is broken as soon as the code hits the repo versus finding out when you need a deliverable will do wonders for your peace of mind.

Azure Repos and Azure Pipelines

Last week’s post looked at using GitHub with Azure Pipelines. This week I’m going to take the same project and walk through adding it to Azure Repos and setting a build up using Azure Pipelines. I will be using the code from this GitHub repo minus the azure-pipelines.yml file that was added in last weeks post.

Creating a Project

I’m not going to walk you through the sign-up process, but if you don’t have an account you can sign up for Azure DevOps here. Click the Create project button in the upper right corner.

On the dialog that shows enter a project name. I’m using the same name that was on the GitHub repo that the code came from. Click Create to continue.

Adding to the Repo

After the project finishes the creation process use the menu on the left and select Repos.

Since the project doesn’t currently have any files the Repos page lists a number of options for getting files added. I’m going to use the Clone in VS Code option and then copy the files from my GitHub repo. If I weren’t trying to avoid including the pipeline yaml file an easier option would be to use the Import function and clone the repo directly.

I’m not going to go through the details of using one of the above methods to get the sample code into Azure Repos. It is a git based repo and the options for getting code uploaded are outlined on the page above.

Set up a build

Now that we have code in a repo you should see the view change to something close to the following screenshot. Hit the Set up build to start the process of creating a build pipeline for the new repo. This should be pretty close to the last half of last week’s post, but I want to include it here so this post can stand alone.

On the next page select Azure Repos as the source of code.

Next, select the repo that needs to be built for the new pipeline.

Template selection is next. Based on your code a template will be suggested, but don’t just take the default. For whatever reason, it suggested a .NET Desktop template for my sample which is actually ASP.NET Core based. Select your template to move on to the next step.

The next screen will show you the YAML that will be used to build your code. My repo contains two projects so I had to tweak the YAML to tell it which project to build, but otherwise, the default would have worked. After you have made any changes that your project needs click Save and run.

The last step before the actual build is to commit the build YAML file to your Azure Repo. Make any changes you need on the dialog and then click Save and run to start the first build of your project.

The next page will show you the status of the build in real time. When the build is complete you should see something like the following with the results.

Wrapping Up

As expected using Azure Repos with Azure Pipelines works great. If you haven’t yet give Azure DevOps a try. Microsoft has a vast offering with this set of products that are consistently getting better and better.

GitHub and Azure Pipelines

A few weeks ago Microsoft announced that Visual Studio Team Services was being replaced/rebranded by a collection of services under the brand Azure DevOps. One of the services that make up Azure DevOps is Azure Pipelines which provides a platform for continuous integration and continuous delivery for a huge number of languages on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

As part of this change, Azure Pipelines is now available on the GitHub marketplace. In this post, I am going to pick one of my existing repos and see if I can get it building from GitHub using Azure Pipelines. I’m sure Microsoft or GitHub has documentation, but I’m attempting this without outside sources.

GitHub Marketplace

Make sure you have a GitHub account with a repo you want to build. For this post, I’m going to be using my ASP.NET Core Entity Framework repo. Now that you have the basic prep out of the way head over to the GitHub Marketplace and search for Azure Pipelines or click here.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Pricing and setup section. There is a paid option that is the default option. Click the Free option and then click Install it for free.

On the next page, you will get a summary of your order. Click the Complete order and begin installation button.

On the next page, you can select which repos to apply the installation to. For this post, I’m going to select a single repo. After making your choice on repos click the Install button.

Azure DevOps

After clicking install you will be thrown into the account authorization/creation process with Microsoft. After getting authorized you will get to the first set up in the setup process with Azure. You will need to select an organization and a project to continue. If you don’t have these setup yet there are options to create them.

After the process complete you will be land on the New pipeline creation process where you need to select the repo to use. Clicking the repo you want to use will move you to the next step.

The next step is a template selection. My sample is an ASP.NET Core application so I selected the ASP.NET Core template. Selecting a template will move you to the next step.

The next page will show you a yaml file based on the template you selected. Make any changes your project requires (my repo had two projects so I had to change the build to point to which project I wanted to build).

Next, you will be prompted to commit the yaml file to source control. Select your options and click Save and run.

After your configuration gets saved a build will be queued. If all goes well you will see your app being built. If everything works you will see something like this build results page.

Wrapping Up

GitHub and Microsoft have done a great job on this integration. I was surprised at how smooth the setup was. It was also neat to see a project that I created on Windows being built on Linux.

If you have a public repo on GitHub and need a way to build give Azure Pipelines a try.

Deploying an ASP.NET Core Application to Microsoft Azure

This is the third post in a series on deploying a very simple ASP.NET Core application to the major cloud provides. This post is going to be dealing with setup and deployment to Microsoft Azure.

The following is are the other posts in this series.

Google Cloud Platform
Amazon Web Services
Microsoft Azure (this post)

Sample Application

This is the same as the first post in the series, but am including it in case you missed that post. The sample application that we will be deploying is the basic Razor Pages applications created using the .NET CLI. The following commands are what I used to create the application, create a solution, and add the project to the solution. I ran all these commands in a CloudSample directory.

dotnet new razor
dotnet new sln
dotnet sln add CloudSample.csproj

Microsoft Azure

The rest of this post is going to be based on the official Create an ASP.NET Core web app in Azure documentation. I already have all the Azure related stuff installed and have used it before, so it will be much easier for me to miss a step. If that happens please leave a comment and I will get the post fixed.

Azure Development for Visual Studio

The additional tools need to use Azure from Visual Studio are part of the Visual Studio installer. I’m assuming that Visual Studio is already installed. To add Azure select the Tools > Get Tools and Features menu.

After the installer launches close all instances of Visual Studio. From the list of features select Azure development and click the Modify button to start the installation.

Sign up for Azure

While the tools are installing is a good time to sign up for Azure if you don’t already have an account. You can sign up here. This is one of the parts that doesn’t work well when you already have an account, but the link above should guide you through the process.

Application Publication

Hope back in Visual Studio and open the solution you want to publish. In the Solution Explorer window right-click on the project and select the Publish menu option.

This will show the publish target dialog where you can select what you want to publish to. In this example, we are going to be publishing to an App Service. The details area select Create New option. Then click the Publish button to move to the next screen

The next step collects the information needed to Create an App Service. The first thing to set is the account in the upper right corner of the screen. This could already be set based on how you are logged in to Visual Studio. Next, click the New link next to the Resource Group and enter the name you want to use. Then click the New link next to the Hosting Plan.

In the Hosting Plan dialog, you get options to give the plan a name, pick your hosting location, and the size. For the Size, I recommend starting with the Free option. After all the options are set click OK.

This will return you to the Create App Service dialog where you can click the Create button to deploy the application. After deployment finishes the site will open in your default browser.

Wrapping Up

For me using Azure from Visual Studio is the simplest experience of all the cloud providers I have tried so far. I don’t guess that is surprising since Microsoft controls both products. Forgetting the integration with Visual Studio it seems that Azure App Services, Google App Engine, and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk are all on par with each other.

As always don’t forget to shutdown/delete the associated resources for your test project to avoid changes.

Identity Server: Deploy to Azure

This post is going to cover taking the existing set of applications we have been using to learn about Identity Server and deploying them to Azure. The starting point of the code can be found here.

Prep Work

The applications as they stand from the link above are not ready to be pushed to Azure most due to some configuration changes that are needed. We will go through each of the applications and take the hard-coded values and move them to appsettings.json.

API Application Configuration

The API application needs two configuration values for the address of the Identity Application and the address of the Client Application. The following two lines need to be added to the application’s appsettings.json file.

"IdentityServerAddress": "http://localhost:5000",
"ClientAddress": "http://localhost:5002"

Then in the Startup class, the values need to be used. The Identity Server address is used in the JWT Bearer setup.

o.Authority = "http://localhost:5000";

o.Authority = Configuration["IdentityServerAddress"];

Then the Client address is used in the CORS setup.


Identity Application Configuration

The Identity application needs a configuration value for the address of the address of the Client Application. The following line needs to be added to the application’s appsettings.json file.

"ClientAddress": "http://localhost:5002"

Next, the Config class needs a reference to configuration passed into the GetClients function.

public static IEnumerable<Client> GetClients(IConfiguration configuration)

Next, the references to http://localhost:5002 need to be replaced with the value from the configuration. The following is one example.

RedirectUris = { "http://localhost:5002/signin-oidc" },

RedirectUris = { $"{configuration["ClientAddress"]}/signin-oidc" },
Identity Application Entity Framework

As part of publishing this set of applications, this example is going to use Azure SQL and right now the application is set up to use SQLite. In the Startup class replace UseSqlite with UseSqlServer. The following is an example of one of the needed replacements.



When switching database providers make sure to delete and recreate your database migrations. I didn’t to begin with and it cost me a lot of time in changing down a strange error which this post covers.

Client Application Configuration

The Client application needs two configuration values for the address of the Identity Application and the address of the API Application. The following two lines need to be added to the application’s appsettings.json file.

"IdentityServerAddress": "http://localhost:5000",
"ApiAddress": "http://localhost:5001/"

Then in the Startup class, the Identity Server Address needs to be used in the AddOpenIdConnect call.

options.Authority = "http://localhost:5000";

options.Authority = Configuration["IdentityServerAddress"];

Next, the configuration values need to be passed to the Angular application. This process ended up being harder to figure out that I had anticipated and turned into a full blog post on its own. See this post for the details. The code for all the changes will also be on GitHub in case you need to the the diff for the client application.

Publish to Azure

Right-click on the Identity Application and select Publish.

This will show the Publish screen which provides the option to publish to Azure. We don’t have an existing App Service so we are going to create a new one. This page in the official docs explains all the options available on the publish screen. Click the publish button to continue.

The next screen that shows is the Create App Service Screen. I used all the default values and created a new Resource Group and App Service Plan. Keep in mind that the resource group and plan will be reused for the remaining two applications we are looking deploy. The only thing that will change between the applications on this screen will be the App Name.

The services tab looks like the following.

Next in the additional resources box lets hit the plus button next to SQL Database since our group of applications is going to need somewhere to store data. This will take us to the Configure SQL Database screen.

Since I don’t already have a SQL Server setup I am going to hit the New button to add one. That results in the next screen where you enter a name for the server as well as a username and password. After entering the required information click OK.

This will put you back on the configure database screen with most of it filled out. Make sure to set the database name you want to use.

Finally back on the Create App Service screen, you will see all the resources that you selected and configured. When you are satisfied with what you see click the Create button and let Azure do its magic.

When it is done you will see the profile now listed on the Publish page.

The above needs to be repeated for both the API and Client Applications, but using the Resource Group and App Service plan created above. Each profile should use a unique application name.

Identity Application Azure Configuration

The Identity Application needs access to the database that we created above. This means we need to set the DefaultConnection. The first step is to determine what the connection string should be. On the Azure Portal in your list of resources select the SQL database that we created above.

On the next page copy the provided connection string. Now navigate to the Identity App Service and under the Settings section select Application settings. Scroll down and find the Connection strings section and enter the copied value as the DefaultConnection.

Just above the Connection strings section we also need to enter a few values in the App settings section. For the Identity Application, we need the Twitter key and secret as well as the address of the client application. The following is a screenshot minus the actual values.

For the ClientAddress use the URL found in the Overview of the Client App’s App Service page.

API Application Azure Configuration

From the list of resources select the API App’s App Service page and in the Settings section select Application settings. In the App settings section add values for IdentityServerAddress and ClientAddress. As with the ClientAddress above the URLs for each application can be found on their respective App Service pages.

Client Application Azure Configuration

From the list of resources select the Client App’s App Service page and in the Settings section select Application settings. In the App settings section add values for IdentityServerAddress and ApiAddress.

Wrapping Up

At this point, you should be able to load up the application at the client address provided by Azure and have a working application. Overall the deployment to Azure was pretty easy. Getting the applications prepared to be deployed was a bit more challenging and sent me down a couple of rabbit holes. The code in its final state can be found here.

All Migrations are not Created Equal

While trying to deploy my sample Identity Server set of applications to Azure I got the following error when the Entity Framework migrations attempted to run.

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Column 'Id' in table 'AspNetRoles' is of a type that is invalid for use as a key column in an index

This was not something I would get when attempting to run locally, but it failed every time when using SQL Azure. Long store short is that the migrations that were trying to be applied were created when I was using Sqlite as a backing store (UseSqlite).

I deleted all the migrations and recreated them with the app being aware that it would be running on SQL Server (UseSqlServer) and all worked as it should. It makes total sense that the migrations would vary based on the data provider being used, but not something I had really thought about. Not something I will forget again.