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Transitioning Application Insights from the VSO Portal to the Azure Portal

Posted on 6 august, 2015

Senior Program Manager, Application Insights
If you’re still using the older version of Application Insights in the Visual Studio Online portal, you’ll have to update your application to use the new version hosted in the Azure Preview portal by October 15. We first announced in a February blog post that Application Insights has been making a transition from the Visual Studio Online portal to being one of the services offered in the new Azure Preview portal. We continue to invest in Application Insights features and functionality in our Azure portal experience, and hit a milestone in April when we reached the Public Preview level of maturity at delivering on our vision of a comprehensive 360° view across your live application’s performance, availability and usage. Furthermore, in the new version of Application Insights in the Azure Preview portal, we are continually expanding the range of supported application types to include iOS, Android, Windows device apps and web applications hosted on-premises or in the cloud, in J2EE or .NET.

Transition Schedule

Today we are announcing more details on the transition of Application Insights from the VSO portal to the Azure portal. On October 15, 2015 Application Insights in the VSO portal will move to a read-only mode. It will not accept new data from the MMA agent or our telemetry SDKs and no longer execute webtests configured in the VSO portal. You will still be able to use Application Insights in the VSO portal to view data collected prior to October 15. Application Insights in the VSO portal will be retired on November 30, 2015. NOTE: If you have not already done so, now is the time to move your applications from Application Insights in the VSO portal to Application Insights in the Azure portal.

How do I transition my applications to use Application Insights in the Azure portal?

The process of transitioning your application is documented here in detail. The primary steps for an ASP.NET app are:
  1. Get a subscription to Microsoft Azure, so you can login to http://portal.azure.com.
  2. Remove the old SDK from your application. Delete the NuGet packages, delete ApplicationInsights.config, and delete our scripts from your web pages.
  3. Add the new SDK. In Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 or later, right-click your web app project and choose Add Application Insights. Build your app. If your code used the old API, you’ll need to update to the new API.
  4. Run in debug mode and view data on the new portal: right-click your project and choose Open Application Insights Portal.
  5. In the portal, click Usage and follow the instructions to add scripts to your web pages. Click Availability to set up web tests: Availability-Usage

Understanding Application Insights in the Azure portal

To further ease the transition, we have created a series of short videos to explain how you can use the Application Insights experience in the Azure portal to achieve the same tasks you did using the VSO portal. The specific videos are:
  1. How to monitor your application's usage?
  2. How to understand your application's performance?
  3. How to monitor your application's availability?
  4. How to use alerting?
  5. How to search your app's diagnostic log data?
  6. What do we have in the Azure portal for dashboards?
  7. How do SDKs change in moving to the Azure Portal version of Application Insights?

Work still on our plate: dashboards

While there is not exact feature parity between the experiences of Application Insights in VSO and in the Azure portal, we have been driven by customer data to implement the right set of features in the new Azure portal experience.  The search and metrics analysis capabilities are far more powerful than what we had in the VSO portal and we now support more platforms than in VSO (especially Android and iOS). The most highly requested feature we are missing in the Azure portal is dashboards. We have done a lot of work in this direction, such as simplifying the process of adding tiles to a blade via the Tile Gallery. So, in the next few weeks, Application Insights chart tiles will soon be customizable and auto-refreshing. You'll be able to build a dashboard using a maximized blade including charts from many different components of an application or even different Azure resources. Dashboard Example We have more work to do, including additional types of tiles and more size options and we recognize the key missing part still is the ability to share this dashboard experience with other users. Please know we are working to get a solution for that as well. In the meantime you can create a sharable dashboard using Power BI and Stream Analytics with data exported from Application Insights.

Summary

If you haven’t already transitioned your applications to using Application Insights in the Azure Preview portal, do it now! With improvements across the board in Application Insights’ built-in analytics, fast and powerful diagnostics and 360° view, you can benefit now from a better understanding of your application’s availability, performance and usage. Finally, please share your ideas for new or improved features at the Application Insights User Voice page and for any questions visit the Application Insights Forum.