Quick Look – Azure App Configuration

Application configuration has always been a pain. It was a pain back in the WinForm days. It was a pain in the ASPX days. It is a pain in the cloud days.

Why is app configuration a pain? Quite frankly, it is because of the lack of a reliable and coherent solution. With no real out of box solution, developers must recreate how to handle application configuration on each new project.

Here at Don’t Panic Labs, we have some common ways we handle application configuration. We have used a trick where each developer can have their own hidden .settings file, allowing each developer to manage their settings. We have also used Azure’s built-in configuration at the individual instances.

However, this still means that we have configuration settings in many places and no central configuration story. Each project requires a lot of manual configuration tweaks; we have changes in AppSettings files and for most of our Azure Web Apps.

Marking what could be a change for the better, Microsoft recently released Azure App Configuration. This is the central configuration management we have all wanted but haven’t taken time to build for ourselves.

With Azure App Configuration, we have a centralized place for parameters and settings, plus we get the ability to have different configurations per environment.

The amount of code to set this up is minimal; we simply make a few tweaks to our Web App’s Program.cs file.

Here are some links to help you get started:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-app-configuration/quickstart-aspnet-core-app?tabs=core2x

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-app-configuration/howto-labels-aspnet-core

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/aspnet/core/fundamentals/environments?view=aspnetcore-3.1