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💡 Learn more : Azure Blueprints
It is important to have a repeatable process to create and update your Azure resources. For instance, you should create code, like Azure resource Manager (ARM) Templates, to create and update your environment with. When you have this, you can easily create and destroy an environment, like a development environment, that has all sorts of resources in it, like a Cosmos DB and a couple of Web Apps. Using templates like these, you ensure that your environments are always the same and that they can be created and destroyed quickly, because they don't require manual work. In addition to ARM templates, you should also automate the granting and revoking of access rights and applying compliance policies on resources.
All of this can be managed with Azure Blueprints. Azure Blueprints provides a mechanism that allows you to create and update artifacts (like policies and ARM templates) and assign them to environments and version them. Using this, you can store these artifacts and manage their versions and relate them to environments. For instance, you can see that version 1.1 of the dev environment blueprint is deployed to the xyz-subscription.
Let's take a look at how to create and assign an Azure Blueprint.
We'll create a new Azure Blueprint and its artifacts in the Azure portal.
(Create a Blueprint in the Azure portal)
(Make sure that the subscription has a parent Management Group)
(Add Blueprint artifacts)
(Add Blueprint a Resource Group artifact)
The Blueprint is now saved as a draft. You can now publish it and assign it to a subscription to deploy it.
(Publish Blueprint in the Azure portal)
(Assign Blueprint in the Azure portal)
Now that the blueprint has been assigned, you can see its status in the Assigned Blueprints menu. From there, you can view details about the assignment (like how the deployment is doing) and update or un-assign the blueprint.
(Assigned Blueprints in the Azure portal)
Finally, the deployment will be finished and the resources will be deployed. In my case, I've deployed a Web App, that gets a simple website from a Git repository. All of which, is described in the ARM template in the blueprint. This results in a fully deployed and running application.
(Simple website running in a Web App deployed by the Azure Blueprint)
Azure Blueprints is a great way to link deployments to deployment artifacts. This way, you can keep track of what is deployed, what version of the deployment scripts (artifacts) was used and manage the deployment and artifact lifecycle effectively. In the example above, we did all of that manually. You can also automate this process using tools like Azure DevOps. Go and check it out!