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DEMO: Using Labels for Environments

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Overview
DifficultyIntermediate
Duration1h 14m
Students158
Ratings
4/5
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Description

Configuration is an important aspect of determining an application’s behavior. Settings files often include sensitive information like passwords and API keys. In this course, we will look at how to protect that sensitive information while the app is being developed and when it is in production.

Azure’s App Configuration Service allows you to manage access to settings data and we will see how to use it within a .Net application. We will look at using Azure Key Vault in conjunction with App Configuration Service, and how to access Azure Key Vault directly from your application and from apps running in a container within a Kubernetes cluster.

Next, we look at the idea of shifting left security testing within your development process, and how we can automate security testing as part of implementing a compliant development process. Much of this will involve using extensions from the Azure marketplace within your DevOps build pipeline.

This course contains numerous demonstrations from the Azure platform so that you can get a first-hand look at the topics we will be covering. If you have any feedback relating to this course, please contact us at support@cloudacademy.com.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about app configuration
  • Run and deploy apps with the Azure App Configuration service
  • Use Azure Key Vault to store secrets and certificates
  • Access Key Vault directly from your apps, including those running within a Kubernetes cluster
  • Create a compliant development process by integrating code analyzers, branch policies, quality gates, open-source library scanning, and automated penetration into a build pipeline

Intended Audience

  • Intermediate-level developers, DevOps engineers, and product managers
  • Anyone interested in learning how to implement secure app configurations and development pipelines

Prerequisites

To get the most out of this course, you should have some pre-existing knowledge of software development and of using Microsoft Azure.

Transcript

When I initially set up the database connection string, I left the label blank. Now, I'm going to show you how you can use labels to differentiate between environments. Let's go back to the portal and delete the database connection string and remake it with a label of Release. Having done that, I can now make what is essentially a copy of the setting by right-clicking on the ellipsis button on the far right, and selecting Add value. I'll paste in the DevDb connection string, and set the label to Development.

Going back to Visual Studio, I'll create another profile called HowAppConfigProd and change the ASPNETCORE ENVIRONMENT variable to Release. Next, I have to adjust the CreateHostBuilder and program.cs by adding a select option, specifying any key and using the environment name as the label filter. We'll need to add Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration .AzureAppConfiguration to the using statements. You'll also notice that I'm now using the connect method to retrieve the configuration settings. Because user secrets don't really work outside the development environment, I'm going to have to create a release environment-specific appSettings JSON file, and put the Azure App Configuration connection string in it. If I run the Prod profile, the ProdDb connection string is retrieved by its label and we connect to the correct database.

About the Author

Hallam is a software architect with over 20 years experience across a wide range of industries. He began his software career as a  Delphi/Interbase disciple but changed his allegiance to Microsoft with its deep and broad ecosystem. While Hallam has designed and crafted custom software utilizing web, mobile and desktop technologies, good quality reliable data is the key to a successful solution. The challenge of quickly turning data into useful information for digestion by humans and machines has led Hallam to specialize in database design and process automation. Showing customers how leverage new technology to change and improve their business processes is one of the key drivers keeping Hallam coming back to the keyboard.