• 4 min read

Azure Preview Portal Improvements (June Update)

Today we’re proud to announce a new set of improvements to the Azure Preview portal. Like last time, all these enhancements are in response to the great feedback we’ve received from you.

Hi, Azure friends!

Today we’re proud to announce a new set of improvements to the Azure Preview portal. Like last time, all these enhancements are in response to the great feedback we’ve received from you. We’re very grateful for your feedback and look forward to more of it!

Here’s a quick summary of the main changes:

  • Navigation improvements
  • Browse improvements
    • Refresh list of resources
    • Recently accessed resources
    • Create from Brows
  • Create an empty resource group
  • Deploy custom templates

Navigation Improvements

In this release, we’ve introduced a new navigation bar that includes breadcrumbs, quick access to start customizing

Nav Bar

The breadcrumbs let you know where you are and how you got there by showing you each of the blades you’ve visited. Clicking on a breadcrumb brings the blade into focus. For example, clicking “Web Apps” brings the Web Apps browse list into focus. Clicking on the first item at the left (Microsoft Azure) takes you back to the Startboard.


The portal provides advanced customization options, but many of you told us that they weren’t very discoverable. Now, you can enter customization mode by clicking the “Customize” icon next to your name.

Customization Mode

Previously, the user menu was only available from the Startboard. Now, no matter where you are in the portal, you can always see what directory you’re signed in to and be able to change directory and settings with a couple clicks.

User Menu

We’ve also made some minor tweaks to the jump bar on the left to accommodate the most commonly used patterns:

  • Moved Browse All up (now below Home), as it was the most used element
  • Renamed Help to Support, to be more reflective of the functionality exposed by that item
  • Made Audit Logs available directly from the Notifications hub

Improvements to Browse

Browse enables you to navigate through your resources and find the one that you are looking for. It is one of the most used entry points in the portal. We’ve made a few improvements to this area to make it easier for you to find the resources you’re looking for.

We introduced a Refresh command in most Browse blades, so you don’t need to refresh the portal when you just want to refresh this list.



We also added a new category for your most recently used resources.

Recent Resources


Items can be manually removed from this list via the context menu as shown below:



Pinning Recent to the Startboard provides even quicker access to this list and can be customized to show up to 14 items.


Pinning Recent


You can now create new resources using the Add command on Browse blades.



Eventually this functionality will be available for all resource types; today it is available for the following types:

  • App Service Environments
  • Application Insights
  • Cloud Services
  • DocumentDB
  • MySQL
  • NewRelic
  • Resource Groups
  • Search
  • Web Apps

Create empty resource group

Empty resource groups can be created from Browse via the Add command mentioned above or from the Marketplace by searching for “resource group.”

Resource Group


Notice that in this case the entry point for creating the empty resource group is Browse (you can tell by looking at the breadcrumbs!).

Create from Resource Manager Templates

Resource Manager templates provide a declarative way of describing a deployment of one or more resources. The portal allows you to configure your template and track in-progress operations.

If you already have a template, just go to the Marketplace, search for “template deployment,” and select the first item in the list:

Template Deployment


This will take you to the Custom deployment create flow where you can paste the existing template in the Edit template section and specify parameter values in the Edit parameters section.

Custom Deployment


GitHub and azure.com integration

There’s a great set of community contributed templates on GitHub you can use or contribute to.

Once you’ve chosen a template, you can open it directly in the portal by clicking the Deploy to Azure button. This will open the Custom Deployment blade in the portal with the template automatically loaded.




You can also find community templates on azure.com and click the Deploy to Azure button to deploy them in the same way.

Deploy to Azure

Pro Tip: Deep Links and Bookmarks

As you navigate the Portal the URL bar is updated when you open a blade that can be accessible via a deep link. For example, if you go to the All Resources view the URL in the browse will be updated to https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseAllResourcesBlade. You can create a bookmark with this URL and start the Portal directly in the All Resources blade or the blade for any resource instance!

Coming Soon…

There’s a lot of great stuff in this update! Our team is already working on the next set of improvements. Here are a few you can expect to see soon:

  • Improved performance. This is a main area of focus for our team. We’ve made a lot of improvements and we know there’s work ahead of us, but we are working hard on this!
  • More improvements to navigation
  • Simplified resource creation experience

I’d like to close with a big thanks to YOU. Your feedback has driven the work for this update and all the work that we are currently doing.