Azure Deployment Environments now in Preview 

Any business knows that development in cloud environments require a fast, secure, and compliant way to allocate resources. The more complex the environment, the harder (and slower) gaining the right access can be. This severely lowers productivity and when environments are not fully centralised, there is no way to know for sure that they are maintaining security and compliance. 

Fortunately for you, Azure Deployment Environments (ADE) is now in public preview! ADE is a managed service that allows your team of developers to implement app infrastructure with project-based templates fast. These templates enable consistency and the integration of best practices while also maximising security and compliance. They’re also cost-efficient

To begin, enter your Azure Portal and search for Azure Deployment Environments.  

Azure Deployment Environments tab preview.
Azure Deployment Environments

Quickly create and deploy environments 

With ADE’s template feature, the complex process of setting up and deploying environments has been eliminated. Instead, you’ll be templating and defining your environments based on the different stages of development. This makes it easier for developers to focus on coding, leaving the infrastructre to the IT and Infrastructure Admins. 

Developers also won’t need to worry about backend processes. ADE combines with established CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) pipelines, simplifying how you can see the effect of code changes on app performance. You can create a new dev environment and deploy it with each feature branch to check how your changes work in a production-like environment. Alternatively, when creating pull requests, you can use dev environments for higher-quality code reviews.  

The use of infrastructure-as-code (IAC) enables features like custom schedules as well as different branches across environments such as dev, test, staging and production. The IAC also stays in the hands of the developers, allowing them to create and destroy any environment they have created without the interference from IT Admins.  

Sandbox and on-demand environments for testing can be implemented directly from wherever your developers are working – whether it’s from a CLI (client line interface) or a custom developer portal. And, as ADE automatically groups templates together based on projects, developers can quickly pick and supply the right environment when working across multiple environments and subscriptions. This means they can get back to coding and testing applications without having to worry about the complexities of creating the environment for their project.  

Collaborating and encouraging deployment best practices 

As mentioned, ADE supplies your developers with an array of standardised templates based on your company configurations. This helps you make sure that your dev team is working from the same environment, making project collaboration easier.  

Currently, templates are built as ARM (Azure Resource Manager) files, though eventually, this will include Terraform and Bicep files too. They’re kept in source control repositories with versioning, access control and pull request processes. This means developers have fewer limitations and hurdles when collaborating across teams. 

As developers continue to build and redeploy environments, they can easily communicate new ideas and best practices with their team. This will help empower the individuals on your team to share tips and tricks, new findings, and improve your pre-configured environments. 

And with the addition of resource mapping, your environments will be implemented to the correct Azure subscription. This saves the hassle of accurately tracking expenses across the organisation, without the need for temporary subscriptions. You can guarantee that the correct policies are already applied to the environment, influencing changes as required.  

It also gives your admins the power to control the scope and role developers have over their environment from the development stage to production. This way, you can offer more flexibility for sandbox environments during development while maximising and maintaining security in current production environments.