Azure App Service: Types, Benefits and Limitations

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Do you know deploying a Web Application is considerably easier and faster than setting up a cloud-based Web server? Yes, it is! With the Azure app service, you can save a lot of time and effort and work efficiently. We will discuss the same in detail.

The topics covered in this blog are:

What is Azure App Service?

Microsoft’s Azure App Service is an HTTP-based platform as a service (PaaS) platform. It’s where you’ll find web apps, webpages, REST APIs, and mobile backends. As previously stated, the primary goal of Azure App Service is to make launching and administering applications easier and more efficient.

You may use Azure App Service to deploy in your favorite languages on both Windows and Linux platforms. You won’t have to worry about virtual machine sizing because it’s a completely scalable solution. There’s no need to buy server licenses, upgrade, or patch the servers because Microsoft takes care of everything.

Azure App Service

Additional security measures, load balancing, autoscaling, and automated management are all available through the Azure App Service. Additionally, the complete integration with Azure DevOps, GitHub, and Docker Hub improves application development processes.

You will be charged for your resources, as with all of Microsoft’s services. You choose an Azure App Service plan and are charged according to the plan for the computer you use. It is more expensive than a conventional VM, but as previously said, Microsoft manages many of the functions and tasks, and there is no requirement for a Server license, which is an often neglected cost.

Why Use Azure App Services?

1. Multiple Frameworks and Languages

ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, Java, Ruby, Node.js, PHP, and Python are all supported by Azure App Services. As background services, one can use PowerShell and other scripts or executables.

2. Automatic Updates

The OS and language frameworks will be patched and maintained by Azure App Service.

3. Security and Compliance

Azure App Service lets you manage service identities, limit IP access, and integrates with Azure Active Directory, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter.

4. Containerization and Docker Capabilities

For app developers, Docker or a custom Windows or Linux container can safeguard the wider application environment, reducing the risk of unanticipated errors. You may run Multi-container apps on Azure App Service and can migrate Docker skills directly to Azure App Service.

5. Optimization of DevOps

DevOps is a critical component of any application. Azure DevOps, GitHub, Azure Container Registry, BitBucket, and Docker Hub all offer continuous integration and deployment. It can promote updates via testing and staging environments.

6. Connectors out of the box

Azure App Service includes over 50 connectors to popular SaaS providers, as well as on-premise support via a hybrid connection and Azure Virtual Network.

7. Application Templates

In the Marketplace, one may select from a variety of application templates, that includes WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Check Out: Our blog post on Azure Certification Path 2022

Types of App Services

1. Web App

It allows us to deploy our web application without having to worry about the necessary infrastructure. In the traditional deployment method, we must configure the server with the right OS and IIS versions and monitor if the server is up and operating. The Azure Web App Service removes all of these stumbling blocks. Here are listed some of the features of the Web app service:

  • Code in.NET,.NET Core, PHP, JAVA, and Python is supported.
  • Support for auto-scaling based on load is built-in.
  • Visual Studio Online, GitHub, and BitBucket provide continuous integration and deployment functionality.
  • Virtual networking and hybrid networks are supported.
  • WebJobs functionality for long-running background operations is provided.

2. API App

It aids in the deployment of Web APIs. ASP.net Web API or the equivalent in other languages can be used to design and deploy APIs. You can use this API both internally and externally (for example, through an API request from Logic Apps). To secure the APIs, it provides identification. It includes a swagger implementation that allows us to test APIs.

3. Logic App

By orchestrating work and business processes, it assists us in creating functional workflows. It streamlines the process of designing and developing scalable integration solutions. We can also handle massive workflows with it.

For instance, Azure logic Apps can be used to send an email message to an administrator using Office 365 when a user uploads an invalid file to the application or to monitor tweets for a specific subject or term in a statement. Functions, Service Bus, SQL, Office 365, BizTalk, Azure blob storage, FTP, Twitter, and more connectors are utilized to construct enterprise connectivity solutions using Logic Apps.

A trigger in a Logic App workflow fires on a specific event or at a predetermined time. It creates the instance of Logic Apps that conduct the workflow actions when the trigger fires. Flow controls such as conditional statements, branching, and loops are included in the process.

4. Mobile App

It helps us to construct mobile application backends. Modern mobile apps may run on Android, iOS, or UWP, and in the background, the app will request any type of transaction from the back-end. It is similar to online services that support a mobile client. This service offers nearly all of the features that Web Apps do. It also has capabilities like as offline synchronization and pushes notifications.

Also Check: Top 60+ Azure Interview Questions

Azure App Service Benefits

1. HTTPS support is built-in

All App Service apps come with a free SSL/TLS certificate, allowing you to have in-transit encryption (as well as a trust level confirmed by a third-party authority) without spending any money.

It is only possible if you stick with App Service’s default domain name (the one that ends in *.azurewebsites.net) because the built-in HTTPS certificate only covers that domain. If you are planning to use a custom domain, you’ll have to “secure” it with your own certificate.

2. Multiple Languages and Framework

App Service can handle web applications built in the following server-side engines: ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, Ruby, Java, Node.js, Python, or PHP; in addition, PowerShell and other scripts or executables can be used as background services.

3. Manages Production Environment

App Service automatically updates the OS and language frameworks, eliminating the need to manually patch them, as we do with Web Servers.

4. DevOps Integration

Various CI/CD systems, such as Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, BitBucket, Docker Hub, or Azure Container Registry, can be used to set up Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) automation strategies.

5. High Availability on a Global Scale

App Service may be manually or automatically scaled up or down, allowing us to host our apps anywhere in Microsoft’s worldwide data centre architecture.

6. Compliance and Security

Users can be verified with several MS-native and third-party auth providers, such as Azure Active Directory, Google, Facebook, Twitter, or a Microsoft account, and App Service is ISO, SOC, and PCI compliant.

7. Restrict Access

You can set the web application to be publicly accessible (from anywhere on the internet), or you can use it only accessible from specified IP addresses (or IP masks) or other while-listing techniques.

8. Application Templates

The Azure Marketplace has various App Service templates, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. You may use that to construct typical apps quickly.

9. Integration between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

Dedicated tools can be used to deploy and debug App Service apps from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

10. Support for CORS

Specific RESTful API scenarios can be supported via Cross-Origin Resource Sharing.

Also Read: ADF Interview Questions

Azure App Service Limitations

  • The Shared pricing tier does not support App Service on Linux.
  • Only features that presently support Linux apps are displayed in the Azure interface. Features are activated on the portal as they are enabled.
  • Your code and content are given a storage volume for web content when pushed to built-in images, which Azure Storage supports. Compared to the container filesystem’s latency, this volume’s disc latency is higher and more changeable. The custom container option, which stores files in the container filesystem rather than on the content volume, may be advantageous for apps that frequently need read-only access to content files.
  • You have very little access to infrastructure because App Services is a component of the PaaS (Platform as a Service) concept. Therefore, checking log files or looking at IIS settings and event logs won’t help troubleshoot application issues.
  • You are unable to handle the server. Hence we are unable to set up any monitoring or administration software for third-party applications.
  • You are unable to monitor performance indicators like IIS queues because you don’t have access to the app server.

Azure App Service Pricing

The Azure App Service combines everything we need to build websites, web APIs, and mobile backends for any platform or device. It offers a pocket-friendly charge and lets us select any plan that meets our needs and requirements.

The free and shared plans allow us to test our app without breaking the bank. There is also a specialized Virtual Machine plan. You may find three sub-categories, Basic, Standard, and Premium. Our application is hosted in a private, dedicated Azure environment with an isolated plan.

Check Out: Azure App Service Pricing Page

Conclusion

Azure App Service is a Microsoft Azure PaaS (Platform as a Service) that can be used to develop and deploy applications on Azure. Many features are included, such as auto-scaling, IDE integration, and no server upkeep. Multiple deployment slots, such as staging and production, are also available.

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