Configure Authentication with Web Apps

This IT Pro Lab instructs learners on how to create and secure web apps on Azure. The importance of securing web apps cannot be overstated as attackers are constantly probing for vulnerabilities that would compromise user protection. This lab demonstrates the ability to use Active Directory to provide a database of authenticated users and credentia...

45 minutes
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Lab Overview:

Web apps are the primary way users access their online resources. This IT Pro Labs instructs the user to undertake two very important functions that any Azure developer would use on a regular basis. The first is the direct deployment of code to a functional application. Also known as code as architecture. The second phase of the lab covers the very important topic of web app security. Providing reliable authentication methods is vital if users are to be safe while using a web app.

Create an Azure Web App:

Azure makes it relatively easy to deploy a web application and the required dependencies to run the eventually provided code. This type of resource allocation is commonly known as code as architecture. This is the process of providing only the actual application code and environment it will need to run and then allowing Azure to create any actual virtual environments that will host this app. This makes it easier for developers to create the web app and focus on its performance and features rather than admin tasks.

Deploy Application Code:

In order to deploy code as architecture in Azure a few basic pieces of information are needed to create the virtual environment that the web app will use.

  • Desire OS
  • Runtime Stack for operation
  • Any optional features
  • Repository of code

Once these have been provided it is possible for Azure to automatically create the virtual environment and load the code that will run the web app. Note that all of this is much quicker than if a developer had to provision the VM and set up the runtime environment themselves, which ultimately means more time to actually work on the application.

Enable Authentication using Azure Active Directory:

Web applications are targeted heavily by attackers. It is important that proper authentication is used to protect users. Azure has several methods of authentication, but one that is commonly used by organizations across many projects is Active Directory. It provides an easy way to store user credentials and control what levels of access those users are granted. This is another benefit of a cloud solution in that all needed resources beyond the original application are available in other services. Once again the developer has a simple solution provided by Azure instead of having to install and administer an outside solution.

Lab Summary Conclusion:

Azure provides dedicated services that make it easier for developers to work on their applications without having to worry about administration of infrastructure. The learner demonstrated these skills by deploying a web app as code from a given repository. Once that was accomplished authentication was provided by Azure Active Directory. The speed and efficiency of this method of publishing web apps is a great demonstration of the value of Cloud Managed Services.