All the best features in the world don’t mean a thing if people can’t see your product. As a vendor, you always want to be in front of as many users as possible. You also want to get people using your product quickly. We’ve recently launched the Kentico Cloud Sample site in the Azure Marketplace to do just that. In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to getting going with Kentico Cloud in Azure.
When the Azure Marketplace launched in 2014, it gave developers a new way to jumpstart their projects by providing access to boilerplates and templates from many vendors. Since that time, this list has continued to grow, branching into multiple categories like core services, add-ons, and CMS platforms. The pre-made packages simplified development and configuration, while guiding users through the process of creating an instance of the product.
Kentico has long been a part of this Marketplace, with the initial launching of Version 6 years ago. Since then, we’ve updated the package to latest version with each major release, helping companies get started with Kentico quickly and simplifying their initial deployments. We are stoked to announce that Kentico Cloud now joins those ranks!
Today, you can find the Kentico Cloud sample site listed in the Marketplace, just waiting for you to use. This project creates a great boilerplate site for your Kentico Cloud development, while also creating and configuring your hosting environment with ease. This can be especially helpful for anyone wanting to stand up a site quickly, whether it's a new project, a demo, or just evaluating the platform. Let me show you just how easy it is…
1. Create a new Kentico Cloud Sample Site app
In the Azure Portal, you can find Kentico Cloud listed under the Web + Mobile section of the Marketplace. This area contains lots of options for CMSs, intranets, and other site architectures.
Selecting the Kentico Cloud Sample Website option shows you the details of the product, along with publisher and support information.
Clicking Create kicks off the process.
2. Configure the hosting environment
Before creating the project, Azure needs to know how you want to host it. In the portal, set the App settings for your app name, resource group, and service plan. You may want to create a new service plan specifically for you new site, or select an existing resource group to keep systems together.
3. Pin to your dashboard
After creating your new app, pin it to your Dashboard for easy access. If you have a lot of Azure resources, you may want to make a custom desktop just for the new application.
4. Completing the configuration
After the app service is created, access your site using the new URL. This will load a “Sample Site Configuration” page for your new site. From here, you can:
· Create a new Kentico Cloud account
· Sign in using an existing account
· Use the sample project content
Choose the option that best suits your need. Note that using the sample account will allow you to load content, but not update it.
Oh, snap! An error! Well, not really. When the app is first created, it may try to launch itself using HTTP. If you see this message, just update your browser URL to https://... to get to the main configuration page. This is an extra setting we added to the sample site to ensure your content and information stays secure. Because you’re using a *.azurewebsites.net URL, you can leverage the built-in SSL cert for anything on that domain.
Check out your new site
With your service and site configured, you are now ready to view the goods. The sample site tells you everything you wanted to know about goats and coffee, using an ASP.NET MVC 5 site behind the scenes. The sample code includes displaying content items, module content, and inline links and images.
What’s extra awesome is that all your hosting is already done! By leveraging the Azure Marketplace app, you’ve already configured your app service and plan, along with the sample code.
Now that your site is up and running, you are free to update it however you like. Because it runs in an Azure App Service, you can FTP, integrate with Git, or whatever system floats your boat. If you just want to view the code and make changes on the fly (because YOU have no FEAR!), you can open Visual Studio and use the Cloud Explorer to view the file system directly.
While in the files, be sure to check out the web.config file. This is where your Kentico Cloud Project ID will be set. If you used the sample project initially, you’ll want to update this with your Kentico Cloud project id when you create your own project in the system.
For an even easier editing experience, check out the new Azure App Service Editor tool in the portal to update your code.
There you have it! The Azure Marketplace is all about simplifying your deployment and getting you started quickly. With the new Kentico Cloud option, you can stand up your starter sites in seconds and get off to coding your project in no time. We hope you love this new option and use it for you next project. Good luck!
You can check out the Kentico Cloud in the Azure Marketplace here.