Introduction

In this module, you connect a web application to a database. You manage changes to the database schema in Azure Pipelines.

In the Create a multistage pipeline by using Azure Pipelines module, you helped the Tailspin Toys web team design and build a multistage release pipeline. The team uses the pipeline to move changes through a series of stages. Changes move through the Dev stage, the Test stage, and finally the Staging stage, which resembles a production environment.

The stages that you and the team defined provide the overall shape of the pipeline. But you can add more to each stage. For example, in the Dev stage you can verify that multiple components, such as the web application and a database, work as expected in a real environment.

Currently the web application reads test data from local files. In this module, you connect the website to Azure SQL Database and load your database with sample data.

When an application uses a database, the database administrator (DBA) and the app developers work together to design and maintain the database schema. Think of the schema as a blueprint that dictates how the data will be organized. Azure DevOps can help developers and DBAs coordinate their plans and deploy database schema changes quickly and safely.

Learning objectives

In this module, you:

  • Connect a relational database to your website. For this example, you use Azure SQL Database and Azure App Service.
  • Coordinate changes to the database schema by using a release approval.
  • Use PowerShell to share variables among pipeline stages.

Prerequisites

The modules in this learning path form a progression. To follow the progression from the beginning, start with these learning paths:

We also recommend that you start at the beginning of the Deploy applications with Azure DevOps learning path.

If you want to go through just this module, set up a development environment on your Windows, macOS, or Linux system. You need these assets:

You can get started with Azure and Azure DevOps for free. You don't need an Azure subscription to work with Azure DevOps. But here you'll use Azure DevOps to deploy to resources that exist in your Azure subscription.

In this environment, you'll complete the exercises in this and future modules. You can also use it to apply your new skills to your own projects.

Note

Keep in mind that you can use Azure DevOps to build and deploy almost any kind of application written in any language. In this module, you'll be working with a .NET Core application written in C#.

You don't need to be an expert in .NET or C# to complete this module. You can apply the patterns you learn here to your own projects that use your favorite programming languages and frameworks.

Meet the team

You met the Space Game web team at Tailspin Toys in previous modules. As a refresher, here's who you'll work with in this module.

Cartoon depiction of Andy

Andy is the development lead.

Cartoon depiction of Amita

Amita is in QA.

Cartoon depiction of Tim

Tim is in operations.

Cartoon depiction of Mara

Mara just joined as a developer and reports to Andy.

Mara has prior experience with DevOps. She's helping the team adopt a more automated process that uses Azure DevOps.