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Recently I discovered the possibility of adding notes to specific point s in time on the application insights classic metrics. This is a very interesting way of marking specific, important events in your application lifecycle, for example, deployments. It turns out, that an Azure DevOps extension exists to mark application deployments, This might be a point in time where your applications starts to behave differently, due to a bug or new functionality. These events may arise from your application as well. An interesting event could be the time of publishing content in a Content Management System, as it might influence the behaviour of your web application. This blogpost explains how to use annotations in application insights and the things that don’t work (yet)
Source code can be found here
In the out of the box configuration for Sitecore on Azure, application insights has been enabled by default. However, this configuration is optimally configured. In normal situations, it’s very valuable to have insights in your infrastructure: what connections provide a lot of errors, latency or other issues. This blogpost explains on how to get these insights with for Sitecore.
There are situations where not all custom facets have been loaded into your session, or where you want to explicitly check for updates on a custom facet in xConnect, for example when external systems might have been making changes to this facet. This blogpost explains how to use the trackerContactID to query xconnect, which can be used to get these custom facets.
Using deployment slots in Azure App Services is a best practice to deploy Sitecore your application with zero downtime. However, there are some drawbacks, for example when slot specific settings are being used. This blogpost describes how to come around these issues.
Although this blog focuses primarily on Sitecore, this blogpost is applicable for any application which is hosted on an Windows Azure App Service.
The file system,which is used by Azure App Services, always points to D:\home, but it is in fact a link to a (slow) performing share. Sitecore can greatly benefit from enabling a local cache, this blogpost describes how to enable this cache.
A common problem on Azure web apps when scaling up or swapping slots is “stuttering”. At the moment an instance is added to the pool (scale out) or your swap is swapped (reload the app on the slot), your application is “cold , which means that your application on that instance needs to be reloaded. In the case of Sitecore (or other large applications), this may take a while. In this period, visitors may face a long loading time, which may take up to a few minutes.
Note: Although this blogpost series is focused towards deploying Sitecore with the speed of light, all the information in this blogpost regular web applications and app service deployments
Deploying multiple web deployment packages to multiple app services may take some time. Where parallel jobs in the Build are possible, this is not possbile (yet) in Azure. ARM templates could be used (but I am not 100% sure), but we chose to use app service deployments, as it gives us much more flexibility.