Running multiple dependent services: .NET Core and Visual Studio with Azure Dev Spaces

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to develop multi-service applications using Azure Dev Spaces, along with some of the added benefits that Dev Spaces provides.

Call another container

In this section, you're going to create a second service, mywebapi, and have webfrontend call it. Each service will run in separate containers. You'll then debug across both containers.

The diagram shows the webfrontend service calling (as indicated by an arrow) the mywebapi service.

Download sample code for mywebapi

For the sake of time, let's download sample code from a GitHub repository. Go to and select Clone or Download to download the GitHub repository. The code for this section is in samples/dotnetcore/getting-started/mywebapi.

Run mywebapi

  1. Open the project mywebapi in a separate Visual Studio window.

  2. Select Azure Dev Spaces from the launch settings dropdown as you did previously for the webfrontend project. Rather than creating a new AKS cluster this time, select the same one you already created. As before, leave the Space defaulted to default and click OK. In the Output window, you may notice Visual Studio starts to "warm up" this new service in your dev space in order to speed up things when you start debugging.

  3. Hit F5, and wait for the service to build and deploy. You'll know it's ready when the Visual Studio status bar turns orange

  4. Take note of the endpoint URL displayed in the Azure Dev Spaces for AKS pane in the Output window. It will look something like http://localhost:<portnumber>. It might seem like the container is running locally, but actually it's running in the dev space in Azure.

  5. When mywebapi is ready, open your browser to the localhost address and append /api/values to the URL to invoke the default GET API for the ValuesController.

  6. If all the steps were successful, you should be able to see a response from the mywebapi service that looks like this.

    The web page shows a json array of two strings: "value1" and "value2".

Make a request from webfrontend to mywebapi

Let's now write code in webfrontend that makes a request to mywebapi. Switch to the Visual Studio window that has the webfrontend project. In the HomeController.cs file, replace the code for the About method with the following code:

public async Task<IActionResult> About()
   ViewData["Message"] = "Hello from webfrontend";

   using (var client = new System.Net.Http.HttpClient())
             // Call *mywebapi*, and display its response in the page
             var request = new System.Net.Http.HttpRequestMessage();
             request.RequestUri = new Uri("http://mywebapi/api/values/1");
             if (this.Request.Headers.ContainsKey("azds-route-as"))
                 // Propagate the dev space routing header
                 request.Headers.Add("azds-route-as", this.Request.Headers["azds-route-as"] as IEnumerable<string>);
             var response = await client.SendAsync(request);
             ViewData["Message"] += " and " + await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();

   return View();

The preceding code example forwards the azds-route-as header from the incoming request to the outgoing request. You'll see later how this facilitates a more productive development experience in team scenarios.

Debug across multiple services

  1. At this point, mywebapi should still be running with the debugger attached. If it is not, hit F5 in the mywebapi project.
  2. Set a breakpoint in the Get(int id) method in the Controllers/ValuesController.cs file that handles api/values/{id} GET requests.
  3. In the webfrontend project where you pasted the above code, set a breakpoint just before it sends a GET request to mywebapi/api/values.
  4. Hit F5 in the webfrontend project. Visual Studio will again open a browser to the appropriate localhost port and the web app will be displayed.
  5. Click on the “About” link at the top of the page to trigger the breakpoint in the webfrontend project.
  6. Hit F10 to proceed. The breakpoint in the mywebapi project will now be triggered.
  7. Hit F5 to proceed and you will be back in the code in the webfrontend project.
  8. Hitting F5 one more time will complete the request and return a page in the browser. In the web app, the About page will display a message concatenated by the two services: "Hello from webfrontend and Hello from mywebapi."

Well done!

You now have a multi-container application where each container can be developed and deployed separately.

Next steps