Walk-through: Get Started With Sitecore 9 in Azure App Services

In a matter of minutes anyone can spin up a new fully functional Sitecore® Experience Platform™ (XP) in Azure using the PaaS cloud computing model. This is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

PREREQUISITES

1. You need a Sitecore license xml file. If you don't already have one through your organization or Sitecore partner, you may be able to request a free 60-day trial license.

2. You need an Azure account. If you don't have one you can create a free one, and it even comes with $200 free credits to spend in Azure. If you have an MSDN subscription, it will come with some monthly free credits you can use in Azure.

  • $50/month free credits - Visual Studio Professional
  • $100/month free credits - MSDN Platforms
  • $150/month free credits - Visual Studio Enterprise

3. You will need a credit card. DON'T WORRY, as long as you pay attention to your billing you won't be charged a penny, but in order to use some of the app services you have to remove spending restrictions (more on that topic below). It's a Microsoft thing - don't ask me why.

WALK-THROUGH

1. First, we need to remove the spending limit in your Azure subscription. If you do not do this, your Sitecore Azure deployment will fail.

  • Sign in to the Account Center.
  • Select a subscription and add a payment method.
  • If the subscription is disabled due to the spending limit being reached, click this notification: "Subscription reached the Spending Limit and has been disabled to prevent charges." Otherwise, click Remove spending limit in the SUBSCRIPTION STATUS area.
  • Select an option that is appropriate for you.

2. Log in to Azure Portal.

3. Click the App Services button in the toolbar.

4. This will launch the App Services view. Click the Add button in the App Services toolbar.

5. Enter "Sitecore" in the search bar and hit enter. You will see the Sitecore Experience Cloud Web App in the search results.

6. Click it, and then in the following dialog click Create.

7. Select the subscription to use, and create a new Resource Group (name it whatever you want). 

8. Click the Configure Required Settings button.

9. In the Environment tab, select the Version, Topology and Size for your Sitecore deployment. You may also select additional modules to deploy, such as Commerce, Web forms, SXA, etc.

Use this configuration for development and testing, as it's the least expensive model to deploy and operate. This is a Sitecore Experience Platform configuration that runs:

  • Four Sitecore roles: Content DeliveryContent ManagementProcessing, and Reporting as a single WebApp instance.
  • Five xConnect roles: SearchCollection, Reference DataMarketing Automation, and Marketing Automation Reporting as a single WebApp instance.

Here is some documentation on the additional topologies and configurations available in Sitecore Azure.

10. When ready, click the Next button to go to the Region tab. Select a Location and AI Region in your geographical area if possible.

11. When ready, click the Next button to go to the Credentials tab and fill out the form as needed. 

12. When ready, click the Next button to go to the Summary tab to review your settings.

13. Click the OK button to close the settings wizard.

14. Click the Review Legal Terms button.

15. Review the details, and click Create.

16. And now you can click OK to create and deploy your Sitecore.

 

17. You will see a notification that your deployment is in progress. It will take around 30-45 minutes to fully deploy, so time to have a snack and take Fido for a walk.

Note: Occasionally the Azure deployment will fail for various, and seemingly random, reasons. I've found that if you just go delete the Resource Group and start over, it will eventually succeed.

18. By the time you get back it will be finished!

19. Go back to the App Services view, and you'll see your new services.

20. Click your "single" web app to see its properties.

21. Click the URL to access your new Sitecore website. Since this is a "single" sized deployment with both CM and CD in the same instance, you can add "/sitecore" to the URL to access the Sitecore shell.

It looks like a lot of steps, but once you get used to it you can spin up a new Sitecore instance in a variety of versions, topologies and architecture sizes in just a few minutes.

As always, please let me a comment if this was useful for you, or if there are ways to improve this post. Enjoy your new Azure App Services!

~David

 

 

 

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