Tutorial: Deploy to Azure App Service with Jenkins and the Azure CLI

To deploy a Java web app to Azure, you can use Azure CLI in a Jenkins Pipeline. In this tutorial, you do the following tasks:

  • Create a Jenkins VM
  • Configure Jenkins
  • Create a web app in Azure
  • Prepare a GitHub repository
  • Create Jenkins pipeline
  • Run the pipeline and verify the web app

Create and configure Jenkins instance

If you do not already have a Jenkins master, install Jenkins on a Linux VM.

The Azure Credential plug-in allows you to store Microsoft Azure service principal credentials in Jenkins. In version 1.2, we added the support so that Jenkins Pipeline can get the Azure credentials.

Ensure you have version 1.2 or later:

  • Within the Jenkins dashboard, click Manage Jenkins -> Plugin Manager -> and search for Azure Credential.
  • Update the plug-in if the version is earlier than 1.2.

Java JDK and Maven are also required in the Jenkins master. To install, sign in to Jenkins master using SSH and run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install -y openjdk-7-jdk
sudo apt-get install -y maven

Add Azure service principal to a Jenkins credential

An Azure credential is needed to execute Azure CLI.

  • Within the Jenkins dashboard, click Credentials -> System ->. Click Global credentials(unrestricted).
  • Click Add Credentials to add a Microsoft Azure service principal by filling out the Subscription ID, Client ID, Client Secret, and OAuth 2.0 Token Endpoint. Provide an ID for use in subsequent step.

Add Credentials

Create an Azure App Service for deploying the Java web app

Create an Azure App Service plan with the FREE pricing tier using the az appservice plan create CLI command. The appservice plan defines the physical resources used to host your apps. All applications assigned to an appservice plan share these resources, allowing you to save cost when hosting multiple apps.

az appservice plan create \
    --name myAppServicePlan \ 
    --resource-group myResourceGroup \
    --sku FREE

When the plan is ready, the Azure CLI shows similar output to the following example:

  "adminSiteName": null,
  "appServicePlanName": "myAppServicePlan",
  "geoRegion": "North Europe",
  "hostingEnvironmentProfile": null,
  "id": "/subscriptions/0000-0000/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.Web/serverfarms/myAppServicePlan",
  "kind": "app",
  "location": "North Europe",
  "maximumNumberOfWorkers": 1,
  "name": "myAppServicePlan",
  < Output has been truncated for readability >

Create an Azure web app

Use the az webapp create CLI command to create a web app definition in the myAppServicePlan App Service plan. The web app definition provides a URL to access your application with and configures several options to deploy your code to Azure.

az webapp create \
    --name <app_name> \ 
    --resource-group myResourceGroup \
    --plan myAppServicePlan

Substitute the <app_name> placeholder with your own unique app name. This unique name is part of the default domain name for the web app, so the name needs to be unique across all apps in Azure. You can map a custom domain name entry to the web app before you expose it to your users.

When the web app definition is ready, the Azure CLI shows information similar to the following example:

  "availabilityState": "Normal",
  "clientAffinityEnabled": true,
  "clientCertEnabled": false,
  "cloningInfo": null,
  "containerSize": 0,
  "dailyMemoryTimeQuota": 0,
  "defaultHostName": "<app_name>.azurewebsites.net",
  "enabled": true,
  < Output has been truncated for readability >

Configure Java

Set up the Java runtime configuration that your app needs with the az appservice web config update command.

The following command configures the web app to run on a recent Java 8 JDK and Apache Tomcat 8.0.

az webapp config set \ 
    --name <app_name> \
    --resource-group myResourceGroup \ 
    --java-version 1.8 \ 
    --java-container Tomcat \
    --java-container-version 8.0

Prepare a GitHub repository

  1. Open the Simple Java Web App for Azure repo. To fork the repo to your own GitHub account, click the Fork button in the top right-hand corner.

  2. In GitHub web UI, open Jenkinsfile file. Click the pencil icon to edit this file to update the resource group and name of your web app on line 20 and 21 respectively.

    def resourceGroup = '<myResourceGroup>'
    def webAppName = '<app_name>'
  3. Change line 23 to update credential ID in your Jenkins instance

    withCredentials([azureServicePrincipal('<mySrvPrincipal>')]) {

Create Jenkins pipeline

Open Jenkins in a web browser, click New Item.

  1. Enter a name for the job.
  2. Select Pipeline.
  3. Select OK.
  4. Select Pipeline.
  5. For Definition, select Pipeline script from SCM.
  6. For SCM, select Git.
  7. Enter the GitHub URL for your forked repo: https:\<your forked repo\>.git
  8. Select Save

Test your pipeline

  1. Go to the pipeline you created
  2. Click Build Now
  3. After the build completes, select Console Output to see build details.

Verify your web app

Do the following to verify the WAR file is deployed successfully to your web app.

  1. Open a web browser:

  2. Browse to http://&lt;app_name>.azurewebsites.net/api/calculator/ping

  3. You should see text similar to the following:

    Welcome to Java Web App!!! This is updated!
    Today's date
  4. Go to http://<app_name>.azurewebsites.net/api/calculator/add?x=<x>&y=<y> (substitute <x> and <y> with any numbers) to get the sum of x and y

    Calculator: add

Deploy to Azure Web App on Linux

Once you use Azure CLI in your Jenkins pipeline, modify the script to deploy to an Azure Web App on Linux. Web Apps on Linux supports Docker. As such, you provide a Dockerfile that packages your web app with service runtime into a Docker image. The plug-in builds the image, pushes it to a Docker registry, and deploys the image to your web app.

  1. Create an Azure Web App running on Linux.

  2. Install Docker on your Jenkins.

  3. Create a Container Registry in the Azure portal.

  4. In the same Simple Java Web App for Azure repo you forked, edit the Jenkinsfile2 file as follows:

    1. Update to the names of your resource group, web app, and ACR (replacing the placeholders with your values).

      def webAppResourceGroup = '<myResourceGroup>'
      def webAppName = '<app_name>'
      def acrName = '<myRegistry>'
    2. Update <azsrvprincipal\> to your credential ID

      withCredentials([azureServicePrincipal('<mySrvPrincipal>')]) {
  5. Create a new Jenkins pipeline as you did when deploying to Azure web app in Windows using Jenkinsfile2.

  6. Run your new job.

  7. To verify, in Azure CLI, run the following command:

    az acr repository list -n <myRegistry> -o json

    You should see results similar to the following:

  8. Browse to http://<app_name>.azurewebsites.net/api/calculator/ping (replacing the placeholder). You should see similar results to the following:

    Welcome to Java Web App!!! This is updated!
    Today's date
  9. Browse to http://<app_name>.azurewebsites.net/api/calculator/add?x=<x>&y=<y> (replacing the placeholders). The values you specify for x and y are summed and displayed.

Next steps