Architect, Technologist, and gamer.

Director Engineering , Red Ventures

Use Kudu webhooks with Mobile Services for easy deployment notifications

Use Kudu webhooks with Mobile Services for easy deployment notifications

Kudu is all around great tool if your using Azure Websites. It will not only build and deploy your code from git, but it also provides a lesser known web interface available on every azure website. Simply go to https://{mysitename} and you'll drop into the Kudu web interface for your site. You'll find all manner of useful information here, including the very useful Debug console, and more to the point of this post, Webhooks. In their current iteration, you can subscribe to the PostDeployment event by providing a POST endpoint url which can receive and process the json payload from Kudu. This will fire every time an automatic or manually triggered deployment is completed for your site. For me, this hook was the final piece to making a Kudu deployment a first class part of my teams workflow. Meaning that I can now gather the necessary feedback to make building and deploying via Kudu just as viable as using my infrastructure hosted CI servers. Not that it isn't useful on its own, but unless me and my team know when the build has succeed or failed using the same messaging as the rest of our systems...then its not as useful to me for production code. So if my TeamCity and Bamboo CI servers are posting messages to my HipChat room, then I need my Kudu deployments to do the same thing.

What better way to do that than to leverage more "free" Azure platform services to get the job done. Mobile Services provides and extremely easy and fast way to build a custom API to do exactly what I need. After all, I just need a single web endpoint that can accept a public post request. Once received, I then need to parse the payload and send a message to my HipChat room. Easy stuff given that HipChat is quite popular and has many client libraries for both Node and .NET, both of which are supported in mobile services. In this case though, I opted for a Node backend. This allowed me to quickly build out my function in the Azure web portal and leverage one of the many HipChat client libs available on NPM.

Step 1 - Build your mobile service custom API

Create a new mobile service with a free database and a JavaScript backend in the Azure management portal.

Navigate to the API tab and create a new custom API called "chat" (or any name want in your route). Also make sure that the POST PERMISSION dropdown on the create window is set to "Everyone".

Now prior to adding the necessary functionality to the function of your new custom API, you'll want to clone your mobile repository service locally so that you can add any nmp module dependencies. You'll find the clone url on the configuration tab and you'll need your deployment credentials handy to complete the clone to your desktop. Once cloned, you'll see a package.json file in the root of your repository, this is where you can add your dependencies, install them, and commit them to your repository for use in your api. For my needs, I installed the node-hipchat package on npm via the command prompt npm install node-hipchat --save .The --save parameter will automatically add the dependency to your package.json file for you. Finally, commit and push your changes back.

Now that I've got the necessary dependencies pushed back to my mobile service, I'm ready to build out my function.

I'm simply using the data provided in the post body by the PostDeployment Kudu event and building out the message I want to display in my chat room when the deployment is complete. I don't need a whole lot of info in my case, but if you wanted to, the commit message, build times, etc are available as well (shown below).

Step 2 - Subscribe to the PostDeployment event for your website

Navigate to Kudu and go to Tools => Web hooks

Paste in your mobile service custom api endpoint which should look like this: . Once you see your api in the grid, then your all set.

Step 3 - Trigger a git deployment

You can trigger your deployment manually on the Deployments tab of your site be selecting Redeploy on your latest commit, or do a fresh commit to your monitored branch.

All said and done, it was a pretty easy way to get the necessary feedback into my teams workflow. No VS projects or private repos to worry about, just leveraging what's already there on Azure to get the job done quickly. And though my needs were simple in this case, you could just as easily send a push notification or an email in that same method with just a few extra lines of code. If you haven't given mobile services a good look, I highly suggest you dive in and check it out for yourself.

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