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The executives have tasked you with exploring and comparing the cloud platform vendors so you can make recommendations on the best fit for BallotOnline’s IT needs.

Microsoft Azure Sign-Up Instructions

The executives have tasked you with exploring and comparing the cloud platform vendors so you can make recommendations on the best fit for BallotOnline’s IT needs. You will examine Microsoft’s Azure platform by getting an account and creating a test page to assess the usability of the product.

The following instructions will guide you through the process of getting started with Microsoft Azure: getting an Azure account, completing the Microsoft Azure Project 3 lab assignment, and cleaning up your cloud after the project has been graded to avoid future unexpected charges to your account.

If you have trouble completing any of the steps below, contact your instructor for help.

Part A: Microsoft Azure Sign-Up Instructions

Step 1: Create the Account

  • Go to: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0170p/ to open your Azure account through the Azure for Students program (Note: as noted on the page, this program may become unavailable at times; if so, sign up through the normal Azure account sign-up page: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0044p/ or https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/. If you sign up not through the Azure for Students program, you will get a different initial offer.)
  • Follow the instructions on the page to sign up or apply for the Azure program.
  • Be sure to use your UMGC student email address.
  • Once completed, you should have access to some free Azure services for one year and $100 Azure credits to be used within the first 12 months (or if you sign up through the normal Azure signup page, you will get $200 of Azure credits for use during the first month)

Part B: Microsoft Azure Project Instructions

Now that you have the account set up, you can begin the lab activity. You will use the Microsoft Azure App Service to migrate a simple web application, consisting of a single PHP web page to test the Microsoft Azure platform.

Step 1: Sign In to the Microsoft Azure Portal

  • Go to Microsoft Azure.
  • Sign in to the account you created earlier (with your email address), if you are not signed in automatically.
  • You will see your Microsoft Azure dashboard

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Step 2: Create a Web App

  • Click + Create a resource, Web, Web App.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

  • Enter the name of your app: BallotOnlinePOC-.
  • Make sure “Azure for Students” is selected under Subscription. Or if you are not using the Azure for Students you should see other subscription based on the offer that you signed up for.
  • For Resource Group, select Create new, and add RG to the end of the group name.
  • Leave everything else as is.
  • Click Create. This may take a few minutes.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Step 3: Deploy the App

  • In the dashboard, click the App Services icon on the left (a globe icon)

Used with permission from Microsoft.

  • The App Services screen comes up. Click your application name.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

  • Your application App Service is shown.

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  • Click Deployment Credentials under Deployment. Find and click on FTP. Then click on the Dashboard button.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Step 4: Get the FTP information

  • Copy and save the FTPS Endpoints, Username, and Password. You will need to click Show for the password before copying. Save them in a notepad or Word document. You will need these in the next step.

Step 5: Transfer Files Using FTP

How to Transfer Files Using FileZilla FTP Client

When deploying applications to the cloud, it is often necessary to transfer application and data files to the server on the cloud. The standard protocol to transfer files between computer systems is the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

To transfer files using FTP, you first connect to the remote computer, which requires you to specify its internet address using a URL or an IP address. If the remote computer is running the FTP server program, the connection will be accepted. You then need to log in to the FTP server using a username and password that the server recognizes. Once the connection is established and you are logged in, you can list folders on the remote computer, transfer files both ways, etc.

There are several ways of using FTP, depending on the operating system: command line interface, FTP-enabled internet browser, or an FTP client program. A popular FTP client is a free software package called FileZilla. It has versions for most popular operating systems, including Windows and Mac OS X.

Go to https://filezilla-project.org/ and download the FileZilla Client version for your operating system. Install the package and open it. On top of the screen, you will see a bar with input boxes for host name, password, and port. Below, on the left side of the screen, you will see the file system browser of your machine.

Fill in the host name, username, and password, and leave the port empty so it will use the default FTP port. Click Quickconnect. If the connection and log-in succeeds, you will see a success message below, and the right side of the screen will show the folder on the remote machine accessible to the FTP protocol. You may now drag files both ways, and they will be transferred between connected machines.

The list of successful connections will be shown in the Quickconnect drop-down, so you may later connect to them without entering your credentials.

  • Download this index.php file to your computer. Make sure that it is downloaded as “index.php”. Some browser may rename the file. If so, rename it back to index.php. It has to be named that for this lab to work.
  • Select an FTP client of your choice (command line using FTP command, FTP connection using your browser, or a free FTP client like FileZilla).
  • Use the FTP deployment endpoint, username, and password from Step 4.
  • Find the index.php file on the “local site” (left pane) in FileZilla. Most likely, it is in your Downloads folder.
  • Transfer the index.php file to your Microsoft Azure site by dragging the index file over to the “remote site” (right pane) in FileZilla. Make sure it is uploaded to the wwwroot directory/folder.

Step 6: Confirm That the Application Is Working

  • Back on the Overview screen, click the application URL

Used with permission from Microsoft.

  • You should see the “Congratulations” web page.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Step 8: Submit the Microsoft Azure Proof of Concept to the Instructor

  • Leave the application running and submit the application URL as the step submission.
  • In Project 3, under Generate Microsoft Azure Proof of Concept (POC), enter the application URL directly in the step submission input field.

Part C: Microsoft Azure Project Cleanup Instructions (After Project Is Graded)

Once you have received your final grade for the project from the instructor, you will need to terminate and delete the app to avoid additional charges to your Microsoft account.

Step 1: Sign in to Microsoft Azure

Step 2: Go to Application Services in the Dashboard

  • In the dashboard, click the App Services icon on the far left (a blue globe icon)

Used with permission from Microsoft.

  • Click on the application name.
  • Your application App Service is shown.

Step 3: Delete the Application

  • Click Stop in the top right menu.
  • Click Yes to confirm.
  • Click Delete in the top menu.
  • It will prompt you to type in the app name to confirm. You can copy and paste this from the warning text above it.
  • Make sure Yes is selected for the Delete App Service plan.
  • Click Delete.

Step 4: Confirm App is Deleted

  • Enter your app URL in a browser to confirm that the page is down. You should see an “Error 403 – This web app is stopped” message

Used with permission from Microsoft.

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