When Microsoft announced the initial Technical Preview release of Azure Stack it was also announced there would be additional services released in the coming weeks. This week, Microsoft announced the addition of Web Apps, SQL database, and MySQL database Platform as a Service (PaaS) services to the Microsoft Azure Stack platform, and some additional new tools too!

The recently released tools and services for Azure Stack can be downloaded and installed on top of any installation of the Azure Stack Technical Preview. This is really the first installment of many more Azure Stack services to come, beyond what comes with the Technical Preview itself.

Here’s a short list of the new services and tools just released for download:

  • Web Apps feature in Azure App Service
  • SQL and MySQL database resource providers; for Web Apps data tier support
  • Updated Azure PowerShell SDK
  • Updated Azure Cross-Platform Command-Line SDK (X-Plat CLI)
  • Native Visual Studio support for Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure Stack brings the power of Microsoft Azure into the on-premises data center. For more information on Azure Stack, please refer to the “What is Azure Stack?” article posted recently.

Azure App Service – Web Apps

Microsoft Azure Stack App Service brings the support for Azure App Services to on-premises data centers. The features of Azure Stack Web Apps are the same as Azure Web Apps. The containers for Web Apps are still called App Service Plans, and Azure Stack Web Apps are also hosted as a PaaS (Platform as a Service) service running on top of VMs (Virtual Machines) in the Azure Stack platform.

The Azure Stack Portal integrates the same familiar User Interface (UI) for managing Web Apps as in Microsoft Azure. This is done through using the same source code from Microsoft Azure to implement these features in Microsoft Azure Stack.

The initial release of the Azure Stack Technical Preview didn’t support Azure App Service services. This weeks release of the Microsoft Azure Stack App Service TP1 (Technical Preview 1) includes the additional support for the Web Apps feature of Azure App Service.


Full detailed instructions about the Microsoft Azure Stack App Service TP1 can be found in the Azure documentation article, “Add a Web Apps resource provider to Azure Stack”

SQL and MySQL Database

The addition of SQL Server and MySQL Resource Providers to Microsoft Azure Stack enable the ability to easily host SQL Server and MySQL databases on the Azure Stack platform. This provides a nice compliment to the Azure Stack Web Apps services so that both Web Apps and their back-end databases can be hosted within the Azure Stack platform.

Full detailed instructions on setting up both the SQL Server Resource Provider and MySQL Resource Provider are available within the Microsoft Azure Stack documentation; “Add a MySQL resource provider to Azure Stack” and “Add a SQL resource provider to Azure Stack”

PowerShell and Cross-Platform CLI

Both the PowerShell SDK and the X-Plat (Cross-Platform) CLI have been updated to include support for working with Microsoft Azure Stack. More information on downloading there can be found within the Azure documentation, “Tools and PaaS services for Azure Stack”

Native Visual Studio Support

With Azure Stack support in Visual Studio 2015 Update 1, developers will be able to deploy ARM (Azure Resource Manager) templates with the Azure SDK automatically finding Azure Stack hosted subscriptions for all clouds accessible to their accounts.

Azure Stack Github Templates

The Azure Stack Quick Start Templates hosted on Github provide a ton of pre-built Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates that deploy on Microsoft Azure Stack. The templates included cover MANY deployment scenarios, including (just a few here): Create a Virtual Network with DNS, Deploy VM Extensions to existing Windows VM, Create stand-alone SQL Server 2014 VM, and MANY MORE!

Not Production Ready

It is important that the Azure Stack Technical Preview does not come with a “Go Live” License. This means that Azure Stack Technical Preview is not support for hosting Production environments. The Azure Stack platform is brand new, and currently only a preview release. This is why it’s labeled a “Technical Preview.”

The Azure Stack Technical Preview is only meant for hosting a test environment where IT Pros and Developers can try out the Azure Stack platform. This allows two primary benefits: 1) Microsoft can get early feedback from customers / enterprises on the product, and 2) IT Pros and Developers can both get up to speed on Azure Stack so they are ready when the Production ready version is released.

More Information

For more information on Microsoft Azure Stack and this weeks PaaS services and DevOps tools release, please refer to the following links:

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect