Customize Sitecore Azure toolkit deployment

Get familiar with packaging approach for Sitecore on Azure (SoA) to understand the basics of packaging SoA solution. Also check out Getting started with Sitecore Azure Toolkit to understand configuration peices of packaing process.

Sitecore Azure Toolkit may also be referred to as Sitecore Azure SDK or Provisioning SDK.

This article explains what you need to do to create a custom configuration of SoA Web Deployment Package (WDP). Described configuration below is catered to example ARM templates AM0, AM, AMS.
Unlike XM deployment type, AM type is created to deploy Sitecore app and connect it to already existing resources.

Expanded view of SAT resources

This is to add to what’s mentioned in offical doc article and SAT README file.

Cargo payloads (SCCPL) packages

SCCPL packages located at /cargopayloads folder in Sitecore Azure Toolkit (SAT) distributive. They hold configurations that can be applied to WDP during the packaging time. There are common SCCPL as well as role specific ones. For example, Sitecore.Cloud.Security.sccpl contains SQL scripts that get executed to configure Sitecore databases (i.e. set up database users, configure Sitecore admin user password) during deployment.

For more details on how to create custom SCCPL packages check out Bas Lijten’s blog post.

WDP mapping configuration files

You can find config mapping files in the /configs folder of SAT. These types of configs describe resources that WDP will include after packaging. Configs use JSON format. There are two types of configs: common and role specific.
Common config lists SCCPL packages that will be applied to each WDP. Here is an example of common config for AM type ARM templates:

    "sccpls":["Sitecore.Cloud.Common.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.Search.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.ApplicationInsights.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.Thundercracker.sccpl"]

Where as the other type describes role specific configurations. Here is example of role specifc config for AM type ARM templates:

            "role" : "appcd",
            "archiveXml" : "aM.App.archive.xml",
            "parametersXml": "aM.CD.parameters.xml",
            "sccpls" : ["Sitecore.Cloud.RoleSpecific_CD.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.Redis_CD.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.DisableAnalytics.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.Thundercracker_CD.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.Security_CD.sccpl"]
            "role" : "appcm",
            "archiveXml" : "aM.App.archive.xml",
            "parametersXml": "aM.CM.parameters.xml",
            "sccpls" : ["Sitecore.Cloud.RoleSpecific_CM.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.DisableAnalytics.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.HttpsRedirection.sccpl", "Sitecore.Cloud.IPSecurity.sccpl"]


You can see more examples at sitecore-on-azure/configs folder.

MSDeploy configs

These XML files represent MSDeploy manifest (archive.xml) and MSDeploy parameters (parameters.xml) configurations. The archive.xml contains descriptions of SQL databases, SQL scripts and IIS application. Whereas parameters.xml has list of parameters that can be used to configure your application during the deployment process. For instance, set database connection strings or use sitecore admin password variable to set sitecore admin user password etc.


You can see more MSDeploy configuration examples at sitecore-on-azure/msdeployxmls folder.

Automate packaging process

Here is example PS code that can be used to assemble SoA WDP for AM deployment:

Start-SitecoreAzurePackaging -sitecorePath '.\Sitecore 8.2 rev.' `
                             -destinationFolderPath .\aM `
                             -cargoPayloadFolderPath .\resources\8.2.1\cargopayloads `
                             -archiveAndParameterXmlPath .\resources\8.2.1\msdeployxmls `
                             -commonConfigPath .\resources\8.2.1\configs\ `
                             -skuConfigPath .\resources\8.2.1\configs\aM0.packaging.config.json

Note that example above uses which has databases stripped out of Sitecore distributive as they are not necessary for AM deployment type.
Tha’s why config has Sitecore.Cloud.Security.sccpl reference removed comparing to default configuration in common.packaging.config.json file.

You can use packageSoA.ps1 script as an example.

Upload WDP into Azure Blob

Once WDPs are ready, you need to make them available over HTTP for deployment MSDeploy process. I used AzCopy tool to upload them into my Azure Blob storage account.
You can use uploadSoAWdp2AzBlob.ps1 example script to upload WDPs int your Azure Blob. The script creates resourcelist.json file with links to uploaded resources.

Deploy Sitecore on Azure

To deploy SoA using desired ARM templates, follow instctions described at Sitecore Azure Quickstart Templates project.