VSTS Extension – Tagging all resources within a Resource Group

In my current project I’ve stumbled upon a problem. We have many ARM templates and need to add tags to all resources. Doing this within templates can be cumbersome, so I’ve created a small VSTS extension that adds tags to all resources within a specific resource group.

The extension can be installed from https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=PeterRombouts.autotagging-extension

The working is pretty simple; enter the values for your subscription, and resourcegroup, and then add the tags.

The tag pairs should be entered, one pair per line, comma separated. The extension will add these tags to all resources in the given resource group, and will not do anything to the existing tags.

Remarks? Please do give feedback! The project is available on Github if you want to contribute!

ARM Outputs in VSTS pipelines

In my work as Cloud Solution Architect I often find teams struggling with the exact same problem. In this blogpost I will highlight one of those problems; passing on ARM output variables within a VSTS pipeline.

Many developers have Powershell or other scripts in place, that fix this problem, but I want to highlight an extension, which is freely available and does this for you, for free!

ARM Outputs by Kees Schollaart

 

This extension enables you to use the ARM Deployment outputs in your VSTS environment.

This step will use the last successful deployment within the selected resource group. If this deployment has outputs, all of them are copied to VSTS variables by the ARM Output key.

These outputs can then be used by default VSTS ways: $(same-key-as-in-arm-template)

Usually this task is ran directly after the ‘Azure Resource Group Deployment’ task.

So my pro-tip; Stop using your own scripts and implement this handy extension!

PS: On a sidenote, Kees is also a great guy, give him a tweet after you install this in your project 😉

Link to Marketplace: https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=keesschollaart.arm-outputs
Kees on Twitter: https://twitter.com/keesschollaart

LogicApp Template Creator

When trying to put your LogicApp code in a CICD pipeline, it is always problematic getting your code into a proper template.
Obviously switching to ‘LogicApp Code View’ is an option, but there is a better solution to this problem.

LogicAppTemplate is a PowerShell commandlet that makes is very easy to get the content (even automatically) of the app and save it to disk.

The usage is very simple, open up a PowerShell window and execute the next command:

Big thanks to Jeff Hollan who authored this!

Disappearing code in Logic Apps

Recently my team and I were building and debugging LogicApps. At one point we seemed to have disappearing code within our code of these apps.
Obviously something is wrong when we were editing these apps.

Please note that we’ve got many LogicApps with custom code and mappings that we code using the code view, because not all properties can be set using the designer.

The problem

The problem arises when you are in ‘Logic App Code View’, and switch to ‘Logic App Designer’.
When switching back, the following popup arises:

In this case, we did not change anything, just switched to designer and back.
But, this is actually what triggers this problem.

Thanks to ‘Versions’ you can quickly see and use WinMerge (or any other tool) to compare the files:

In this sample, the ‘queueType’ magically disappeared, but in other cases other mappings of JSON object were deleted.

Conclusion

Always check, when the designer asks you to ‘Save changes’, if you actually made any changes.
I hope this helps someone out, it gave me and my team a real headache finding this out.

Debugging Azure Functions with LogicApps locally

Azure Functions are a great example of how serverless is conquering the cloud world we live in today. There are also many blogs in how-to-write-functions out there, of which the latest use the precompiled functions, in Visual Studio 2017.

Think of a scenario, where you want to test a LogicApp against your function, but that app obviously cannot connect to localhost. You have two options; You can deploy the Functions app to Azure and use remote debugging or you can use your own localhost, with the use of ngrok.

This blog will explain how to debug locally, when using other services in the cloud.
Continue reading “Debugging Azure Functions with LogicApps locally”

Deploy LogicApps using linked templates

Deploying LogicApps with VSTS is easy. You can create a new project using the steps defined in this post and you are all set with deployment settings in place.

But, when you add more and more LogicApps your JSON file will grow and you might be better off putting each LogicApp within its own JSON. Not to speak of the parameters running wild within your files…
This post will explain how to set this up, and what is needed in your VSTS builds to enable the deployment of all the linked apps.

Continue reading “Deploy LogicApps using linked templates”

Using tokens for custom settings in VSTS CICD Pipelines

In this blog I will explain how to separate your settings from your configuration files, when deploying from VSTS. I will show with an example how you can deploy your WebApp and store all variables in VSTS, eliminating the need for developers to have all settings and configurable values within Web.config transformation files.

When deploying your WebApp to various on-premise environments from VSTS, you can use Web.config transformations for separation of your various variables. But, sometimes, the *.Config transformations do not meet your needs.

Continue reading “Using tokens for custom settings in VSTS CICD Pipelines”

End-to-End testing AngularJS apps from Visual Studio

There are many methods of testing your application. Great tools like Selenium are widely used, and developers (should) write unit tests for their code. In a DevOps team, we want to run tests automated, ideally using continuous integration tools like TeamCity or Release Manager.

This post will show an example of testing your AngularJS fully automated from within Visual Studio or your continuous integration tooling.
Continue reading “End-to-End testing AngularJS apps from Visual Studio”