If you’ve been waiting for an Azure Portal Desktop App, then you’ll be happy to learn that Microsoft now has an Azure Portal App for Windows in Preview. It’s unclear when this first became available, but a quick search reveals it’s been available for a few months now. This Azure Portal App allows you to install a desktop experience for the Azure Portal on a Windows machine. It seems to be framing in the Azure Portal website into a desktop app window, but it does feel more native than the browser experience. Plus, it provides all the same features of the Azure Portal; including the Azure Cloud Shell experience!
Download Azure Portal App Preview
If you still use Internet Explorer and navigate to the Azure Portal, it will prompt you with a “Download or Continue” prompt experience. This is something that I actually discovered by accident, so I thought I’d share it with everyone. The prompt screen you see will look like the following screenshot.
If you’re interested in trying out the Azure Portal App Preview (and do not want to use Internet Explorer), you can navigate directly to https://portal.azure.com/App/Download within your favorite web browser.
Alternatively you can click the following button to go there too:
Azure Portal App Experience
The Azure Portal App provides a similar user experience for managing Azure resources to the web-based Azure Portal. For the most part it looks identical to the Azure Portal web application. The app has a title bar at the top with the same elements from the web app. However, the app has back and forward navigation buttons, in addition to the Windows minimize, maximize, and close buttons you would expect of a desktop application.
Here’s a screenshot of what the Azure Portal App experience looks like to give you a visual example of it being the same:
At first glance it appears that the app is just framing in the Azure Portal web application to give you a dedicated window experience; outside the web browser. Although, it’s unclear if this is what they are doing, or if it’s a more integrated and complex application than this.
It doesn’t seem Microsoft has the system requirements for the Azure Portal App listed anywhere at this time. Although after some digging into where it gets installed to, I found the app uses Electron. As a result it seems to be pretty lightwieght, and you shouldn’t have any issues installing it on any of your physical or virtual machines.
Here’s a look at the main folder where it’s installed:
If you want to poke around yourself, it gets installed to the following location:
If you have any comments on the new Azure Portal App “Preview”, please share them by posting a comment on this article. I interested to hear what everyone thinks about this app. Also, if you have any blocking issues, please contact Azure Support to directly give Microsft feedback on this preview experience.