Home / Deploying a Dockerized Java app to Azure Web App for Containers


With Azure Web App for containers, it is easy to deploy container-based web apps. You can pull container images from Docker Hub or a private Azure Container Registry, and deploy the containerized app with your preferred dependencies to production in seconds.

What’s covered in this lab

In this lab, you will learn how you can set up a Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipelines with Azure Pipelines to deploy a container-based Java web application to an Azure web app for containers.

This lab will show how you can

  • Create a new Azure App Service with Container and configure it to use Apache Tomcat
  • Create a new MySQL database
  • Use Azure App Service Task to deploy a WAR file

Prerequisites for the lab

  1. Refer the Getting Started page to know the prerequisites for this lab.

  2. Use the Azure DevOps Demo Generator to provision the project to your Azure DevOps Org. Use the MyShuttle template.

Exercise 1: Configuring a CI pipeline to build and publish Docker image

In this task, you will configure a CI pipeline that will build and push the image to Azure Container Registry.

  1. Open the Azure Portal.

  2. Select + Create a resource and search for Container Registry. Select Create. In the Create Container Registry dialog, enter a name for the service, select the resource group, location, Enable Admin User and click Create.

    Create Azure Container Registry

  3. In the Azure DevOps portal, select Builds from Pipelines. Select MyShuttleDockerBuild and click Edit.

  4. Lets look at the tasks used in the build definition.

  5. Select the Maven task. This task is used to build the pom.xml file. The maven task is updated with the following additional settings

    Parameter Value Notes
    Options -DskipITs --settings ./maven/settings.xml Skips integration tests during the build
    Code Coverage Tool JaCoCo Selects JaCoCo as the coverage tool
    Source Files Directory src/main Sets the source files directory for JaCoCo

    Maven task settings

  6. Then there is Copy task. We will copy the WAR file from the sources directory to the staging folder.

    Parameter Value Notes
    Source Folder $(build.sourcesdirectory) Copy from the source folder
    Contents target/myshuttledev*.war, *.sql Copy the MyShuttle WAR file
    Target Folder $(build.artifactstagingdirectory) Copy it to the default staging folder
  7. Next, we have a Publish task to publish the build artifacts to Azure Pipelines.

    Parameter Value Notes
    Path to publish $(build.artifactstagingdirectory) Copy contents from the staging folder
    Artifact name drop Provide a name for the artifact folder.
    Artifact publish location Visual Studio Team Services/TFS we will publish it to Azure pipelines
  8. Next, there are two Docker tasks to build and publish the images. Select the first Docker task and notice that the Command is set to Build. The other settings of the Docker compose tasks are as follows:

    Parameter Value Notes
    Azure Subscription Authorize your Azure subscription The subscription that contains your registry
    Container Registry Type Azure Container Registry This is to connect to the Azure Container Registry you created earlier
    Azure Container Registry Your registry Select the Azure Container registry you created earlier
    Command build Docker command
    Dockerfile src/Dockerfile Point to the src folder for the docker file
    Use default build context Uncheck this option  
    Build context . (dot representing the root folder) The build context should be the root folder
    Image name Web:$(Build.BuildNumber) Sets a unique name for each instance of the build
    Qualify image name Check (set to true)  
    Include Latest Tag Check (set to true) Adds the latest tag to the images produced by this build

    Docker build task

  9. There is a second Docker task with almost the same settings. The only change is the Command is set to Push and the Image name is set to Web:$(Build.BuildNumber). This action will instruct the task to push the Web image to the container registry.

    Maven task settings

  10. Click the Save and Queue button to save and queue this build. Make sure you are using the Hosted Ubuntu 1604 build agent.

  11. Wait for the build to complete. When it is successful, you can go to your Azure portal and verify if the images were pushed successfully. images/Azure Container Registry Images

  12. If you are following this from the Eclipse lab, you can also verify if the images were pushed correctly from the Azure Explorer view. Sign in to Azure, refresh Azure Container Registry. Right click and select Explore Container Registry. You should see the image - tagged with the build number.

    Explore Container Registry

Exercise 2: Deploying to an Azure Web App for containers

In this exercise, we will setup a Release pipeline to deploy the web application to an Azure web app. First,let’s create a Web App for Container with MYSQL.

  1. Sign into your Azure Portal.

  2. In the Azure Portal, choose + Create a resource, search for Web App for Containers + MYSQL, select and click Create.

    New Web App for Containers

  3. Provide the following details and click Create-

    • Enter a name for the new web app
    • Choose the Azure subscription
    • Select existing or create new resource group for the web app.
    • Leave the App Service plan/Location as it is.
    • In the Configure Container option, select Azure Container Registry. Select the Registry, Image and Tag from the respective drop-downs and click Apply.
    • In the Database section, provide all the required mandatory information and note down Server Name, Server admin login name, Password to a notepad. We will use it later in the Deployment pipeline.

    Creating MyShuttle Web App for Containers Creating MYSQL Server

  4. Once the provisioning is complete, go to the web app Overview page, and select the URL to browse the web app. You should see the default Tomcat page.

  5. Append /myshuttledev to the web application context path in the URL to get to the MyShuttle login page. For example if your web app URL is https://myshuttle-azure.azurewebsites.net/ , then your URL to the login page is https://myshuttle-azure.azurewebsites.net/myshuttledev/

    Login Page

    We could configure Continuous Deployment to deploy the web app when a new image is pushed to the registry, within the Azure portal itself. However, setting up an Azure Pipeline will provide more flexibility and additional controls (approvals, release gates, etc.) for application deployment.

  6. Back in Azure DevOps account, select Releases from the Pipelines hub. Select the Release definition - MyShuttleDockerRelease and click Edit Pipeline.


  7. Hover the mouse on Tasks and select Azure-Dev. Configure the environment as below -

    • Pick the Azure subscription
    • Enter the App Service that you created

    VSTS Release Defintion

  8. Select the Execute Azure MYSQL:SqlTaskFile task, choose the Azure subscription, and provide the DB details which were noted down earlier during the creation of the database server.

    • Select the Host Name from the drop down. You can find this value in the Properties page of the created MYSQL database in Azure portal.
    • Server Admin Login - You can find this value in the Properties page of the created MYSQL database in Azure portal. Go to Variables section and enter the value for the variable - $(DBUSER).
    • Enter the Password. This is the password provided during the creation of MYSQL database in Azure portal. Go to Variables section and enter the value for the variable - $(DBPASSWORD). Click the lock icon to decrypt the dummy value and then, enter the password.


    • A MYSQL script that is version controlled and provided here which creates the database, tables and populate records.

    MySQL DB

  9. Select the Deploy Azure App Service task and make sure that the following values are provided. Note that the task allows you to specify the Tag that you want to pull. This will allow you to achieve end-to-end traceability from code to deployment by using a build-specific tag for each deployment. For example, with the Docker build tasks you can tag your images with the Build.Number for each deployment.

    • Registry or Namespace - Provide the value of Login server of the created Container Registry. You will find it in the Overview section.
    • Image - Provide the value as web. This is where the container image is stored after build.
    • Tag - Provide the value as $(Build.BuildNumber).

    Build Tags

  10. Select Save and then click + Release | Create Release.

  11. Check the artifact version you want to use and then select Create.

  12. Wait for the release is complete and then navigate to the URL http://{your web app name}.azurewebsites.net/myshuttledev. You should be able to see the login page.

Exercise 3: Configuring MySQL connection strings in the Web App

  1. Navigate to the Web app that you have created. Click Application Settings and scroll down to the Connection Strings section

  2. Add a new MySQL connection string with MyShuttleDb as the name and the following string - jdbc:mysql://{MySQL Server Name}.mysql.database.azure.com:3306/alm?useSSL=true&requireSSL=false&autoReconnect=true&user={your user name}@{MySQL Server Name}&password={your password}. Replace the following with values that you have noted down

    • MYSQL Server Name - Server Name in the MYSQL Server Properties page
    • Your user name - SERVER ADMIN LOGIN NAME in the MYSQL Server Properties page
    • Your password -Password that you provided during the creation of MYSQL server in Azure

    MySQL Connection

  3. Click Save to save the connection string.

  4. You should be able to login to the application now. Return to the web application and try logging in using any of the below username/password combination:

    • fred/fredpassword
    • wilma/wilmapassword
    • betty/bettypassword