• 2 min read

Azure App Service improves Node.js and PHP developer experience

We're excited to be releasing a preview that introduces native Linux support for Node.js and PHP stacks.

In March 2015, Azure App Service entered general availability with the goal of making it easier for developers to do cool things in the cloud. This Platform as a Service (PaaS) for web and mobile developers has seen rapid growth with over 350K active customers and over one million active applications hosted on Azure. In addition to a great experience for .NET developers, it also includes support for the PHP, Node.js, Java and Python stacks as well as a number of open source web products. Today, we’re releasing a preview that introduces native Linux support for Node.js and PHP stacks.

App Service gives web and mobile developers a fully managed experience that takes away the effort of day to day management of the web server and operating system. To deliver that experience, we built on Microsoft’s unique differentiators with Windows Server. While PHP and Node.js have also been supported in App Service since the launch, we’ve heard loud and clear from some developers that having to deal with operating system compatibility quirks, like “path too long” errors with NPM or the web.config files and page rendering pipelines is too cumbersome. The preview now gives you the ability to choose Linux as an alternative to Windows as the base platform, making your web application run on Linux natively instead of Windows and thus making it easier for you to  work directly with .htaccess files or avoid using modified extensions or code. This includes streamlined deployment abilities with deployment slots, custom domains, SSL configuration, continuous deployment and horizontal and vertical scaling.

App Service is used heavily by our customers for digital marketing solutions running content management systems (CMS). In fact, WordPress makes up over fifty percent of this usage and another forty percent being other LAMP stack CMS's such as Drupal and Joomla!. All of these require some tweaking to run on Windows. In some cases, plug-ins and extensions are not supported which blocks deployments. With this preview, we have updated our marketplace instance of WordPress to run on Apache/Linux. We plan to have updates for Drupal and Joomla! in the future.

Data solutions on App Service

We are also working closely with web developers on improving your experience in App Service related to data solutions. Over the last few months, we’ve come a long way in our data solution portfolio for Web developers, including revamping our PHP client drivers for Azure SQL, a new version of the JDBC drivers, expanded support for Linux on our ODBC drivers, MongoDB protocol support in DocumentDB and an early technical preview of the new PHP on Linux SQL Server drivers. We will continue working on more data solutions that make it easier for web developers to bring great applications to market on Azure, whatever the language, stack and platform!

Azure offers many solutions for hosting MySQL, including:

In August we announced MySQL in-app for quickly spinning up MySQL dev/test stacks on App Service. We have a similar MySQL dev/test capability as part of the Linux preview.

Getting started

The preview of App Service on Linux is available today to all Azure customers. To get started, sign in or start a free trial and create an App Service instance. More information available in the App Service documentation.

We would love to hear your feedback on this preview. Please visit our feedback page to get it in the hands of our team.