4.1 Introduction to Azure App Services

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Time
18 hours 58 minutes
Difficulty
Intermediate
CEU/CPE
9
Video Transcription
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>> Welcome back. Here we are in the first episode of
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our Module 4 with an introduction
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>> to Azure App Services.
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>> The objectives include understanding
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what App Service plans are,
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taking a look at Web Apps,
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and then some Web Jobs.
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First, what are Azure App Services?
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Azure App Services allow for building
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and hosting Web Apps inside of Azure.
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You can choose multiple programming languages,
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as well as Windows or Linux to host your Web Apps without
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worrying about provisioning or
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managing the underlying infrastructure.
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Azure App Service is designed to take
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advantage of many of Azure's other capabilities,
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such as security, load balancing,
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auto-scaling, and automated management.
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You can incorporate DevOps like capabilities by
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performing continuous deployment using
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tools like Azure DevOps,
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GitHub, and Docker Hub.
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Much like the serverless compute options
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we covered back in a previous module,
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you only pay for the compute resources
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you use inside of the App Service.
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When you create an App Service plan,
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you're creating the compute resources
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in the Azure region selected during the setup.
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Any apps that you deploy into
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the App Service plan will run on
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those compute resources in the region.
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Like I mentioned on the previous slide,
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you don't have to worry about maintaining
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those compute resources inside the Azure App plan.
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As with all things in the Cloud,
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there are different tiers and versions of
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the app service plans all the way from free to isolated.
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Let's jump out to Azure's documentation
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and review these plans.
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Here we are out in the documentation for
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the App Service plans and
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taking a look at some of the pricing,
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let's scroll down a little bit.
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Here we have our six tiers
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that we're going to be concerned with from free,
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shared, basic, standard, premium, and isolated.
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I just want to highlight some of
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the differences we have in-between some of these.
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In the free insured plans we are
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limited by the number of apps we can have,
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but from basic, standard, premium,
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isolated, we have unlimited number of apps.
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Also the free and shared do not have
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an SLA and we're only able to provision one instance.
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Another feature to consider is the deployment slots,
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which we'll cover in a later episode.
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These are only covered in the standard,
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premium, and isolated App Service plans.
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Another thing to look at is auto-scaling,
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which is only available inside
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of standard premium isolated.
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This is the ability to auto-scale the number of
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instances we have in response to our resource usage.
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Another thing to look at is our Always On
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and custom domains in which tiers they're available in.
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That's just a handful of
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the things that I wanted to point out.
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Definitely take a look at this chart on
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your own and just try to point out
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some major differences between some of
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the tiers that you might
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think would be important for the exam.
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Back to our slides,
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we also have something called an App Service Environment,
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which is a feature of the Azure App Services.
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It provides a full, isolated,
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and dedicated environment for running your applications.
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The App Service Environment is meant for
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apps that might require high scalability,
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isolation, secure network access,
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and high memory utilization,
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and these also support Windows and Linux,
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Web Apps, Docker Containers,
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Mobile Apps, and Functions.
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App Service Environments are meant to run and support
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a single application and are
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deployed into a virtual network in your tenant.
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This allows granular control over
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inbound and outbound network traffic,
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as well as connecting to on-premises resources
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over a site-to-site VPN or ExpressRoute connection.
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Now we've talked about where
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our Web Apps are going to live,
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let's talk about actually creating a Web App.
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When creating a Web App, you have
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a couple of decisions to make.
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First, we need to choose a globally
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unique URL for the Web App name,
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and it will have a domain suffix of Azure websites.net.
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Next, we need to choose our runtime stack
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or our language our Web App is going to be built on.
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Here we have a couple of screenshots
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of a few choices that are available,
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such as.NET, Java,
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or Python, but there's many more.
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We also get to choose the operating system
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that our Web App is going to run on.
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Choosing the operating system can
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affect how much logging is available,
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as well as other Web App options we'll see later.
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Finally, we're going to associate the Web App to
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an App Service plan that we've created previously.
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Placing the Web App inside the App Service plan will
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determine where the compute resources
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the Web App runs on.
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Inside of our Web App, we do have
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a couple of configuration options.
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The first is application settings,
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where we can define environmental variables
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and access these in the application during runtime.
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We also have connection strings,
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which is similar to what.NET developers might
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configure in a web.config file,
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like setting database connections
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or application credentials.
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We also have general settings where we can configure
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the programming stack, like version requirements,
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as well as a platform settings
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like keeping the app always on or
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setting cookie affinity and
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enabling secure FTP connections.
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We also have default documents where you can
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configure the default document or webpage,
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that is the root URL for the website.
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Something like index.html.
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You can also configure more than one and
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the first matching file is going to be used.
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Finally, we have path mappings.
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This is for Windows apps where you can customize
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the IIS handler mappings
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and virtual applications and directories,
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much you'd find in a Windows Server IIS deployment.
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We also have the ability to set custom domains.
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You can purchase domains
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directly through Azure or bring your own,
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and you'll want to make sure and check
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the App Service plan supports
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the configuration of custom domains,
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something we saw earlier when we were
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looking out at the Azure documentation website.
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We can also enable logging for our Web Apps.
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We have different options depending on
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the underlying operating system we choose.
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For Windows, we have an option of enabling
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application logging to the file system,
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but this is temporary and turns off after 12 hours.
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When choosing the second option for Blob,
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we have to have a Blob Storage container
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available for writing logs to,
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and this is more of a long-term solution.
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This is also only supported by.NET applications.
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We also have the option of enabling web server logging
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detailed error messages and failed requests tracings.
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For Web Apps running on Linux,
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we have fewer options and
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basically it's logging to the file system.
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We can set the disk space quota for the logs,
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as well as the retention period.
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When logging to the file system is enabled,
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we can access a special URL
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to download a zip file of the logs.
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Finally, inside of our app services we have Web Jobs.
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Web Jobs allow for running
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a program or script like it is a Web App.
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Web Jobs are only currently supported for
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app services configured on Windows and not Linux.
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We have two different types of Web Jobs.
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The first is continuous,
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or it starts immediately and it's typically
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written in an endless loop inside the application.
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The second is a triggered Web Job where it only
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starts when it is mainly ran or on a schedule.
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Web Jobs currently support a good amount of
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file types like batch files,
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executables, PowerShell scripts, and Python scripts.
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When creating a scheduled Web Job,
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it uses NCTRONTAB expressions,
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which are similar to CRON expressions.
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These expressions have an additional field
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at the beginning to mark the time in seconds.
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Here on the slide we have
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the format of what this expression looks like.
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We have seconds, minutes, hours, days,
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month and day-of-the-week,
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and down below we have a couple of examples here.
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That first one is showing
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a schedule that will run every five minutes.
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The second is showing one that will run
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every hour from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM.
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You see the 9-17
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representing the hour and the expression.
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The last example we have here is one that will
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run at 09:30 AM every weekday,
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which is indicated by the 1-5.
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You can also use English terms for
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the month and day, such as January,
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February, or Monday, Tuesday,
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Wednesday to configure the schedule.
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For the purposes of the exam,
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just understand what these look like and
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probably memorize how the expressions are laid out.
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That does it for some of the basics of our App Services,
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plans and configuring and
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creating Web Apps inside of them.
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Let's follow this up with a quick quiz question.
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Which tiers of the App Services plan
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support auto-scaling?
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Our tiers include standard, premium, and isolated.
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Basically meaning the free and basic tiers
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do not support auto-scaling.
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You can go back out to the Azure
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documentation to see that.
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Coming up next, we're going to jump back out
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to the Azure portal and we're going to
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build an App Service plan
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and then create a Web Job inside of it.
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See you in the next episode.
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