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Deploying Directus to Azure Web Apps with Docker

Published February 26th, 2024

Written By
Durojaye Olusegun
Durojaye Olusegun
Guest Author

This guide outlines the steps to deploy Directus on Azure using Docker, with a focus on utilizing PostgreSQL as a database.

Before You Start ​

Before deploying Directus on Azure, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

Create and Set Up a Resource Group ​

To begin the deployment process, you need to set up a resource group in Azure. A resource group acts as a logical container to group and manage related Azure resources. It allows you to organize your resources, control access permissions, and manage them collectively.

Sign into your Azure account via the Azure Portal. Head to Resource groups and click the Create button.

Provide a unique name for your resource group and choose the Azure subscription to link your new group to. Select the appropriate region for your resource group, considering factors like data residency and proximity to users, and adjust other settings if required.

Setting Up Azure Database for PostgresSQL ​

Directus connects to an existing database, so it's time to create one. Enter your new resource group and, in the Overview pane, click the Create button to initiate the resource creation process.

In the Azure Marketplace pane, search for and select a Azure Database for PostgreSQL resource. Secure your new database with PostgreSQL authentication, a strong password, and consider firewall rules for additional protection.

Credentials for Azure PostgreSQL.

Save the server's name, username, and password for later use when configuring Directus.

Finally, click on Review + Create and then Create to create your new PostgreSQL Database deployment.

Preparing a Docker Configuration File ​

Create a docker-compose.yml file on your local computer and open it in your text editor. Copy and paste the following before saving:

yml
version: "3"
services:
  directus:
    image: directus/directus:10.9.3
    ports:
      - 8055:8055
    volumes:
      - ${WEBAPP_STORAGE_HOME}/database:/directus/database
      - ${WEBAPP_STORAGE_HOME}/uploads:/directus/uploads
    environment:
      KEY: "replace-with-random-value"
      SECRET: "replace-with-random-value"
      ADMIN_EMAIL: "admin@example.com"
      ADMIN_PASSWORD: "d1r3ctu5"
      DB_CLIENT: "pg"
      DB_HOST: "YOUR_PDS_DB_URL"
      DB_PORT: 5432
      DB_DATABASE: "postgres"
      DB_USER: "YOUR_DB_USER"
      DB_PASSWORD: "YOUR_DB_PASSWORD"
      WEBSOCKETS_ENABLED: true
version: "3"
services:
  directus:
    image: directus/directus:10.9.3
    ports:
      - 8055:8055
    volumes:
      - ${WEBAPP_STORAGE_HOME}/database:/directus/database
      - ${WEBAPP_STORAGE_HOME}/uploads:/directus/uploads
    environment:
      KEY: "replace-with-random-value"
      SECRET: "replace-with-random-value"
      ADMIN_EMAIL: "admin@example.com"
      ADMIN_PASSWORD: "d1r3ctu5"
      DB_CLIENT: "pg"
      DB_HOST: "YOUR_PDS_DB_URL"
      DB_PORT: 5432
      DB_DATABASE: "postgres"
      DB_USER: "YOUR_DB_USER"
      DB_PASSWORD: "YOUR_DB_PASSWORD"
      WEBSOCKETS_ENABLED: true

Let’s go through some of the key parameters in this configuration file above:

  • Update the image tag to the latest version of Directus. At the time of writing, it is 10.9.3.
  • Set the DB_HOST value to the your Azure Database for PostgreSQL's server name. You can find it in the resource's overview section.
  • Also set DB_USER and DB_PASSWORD to the credentials you set up during the creation of your Azure Database for PostgreSQL.
  • ${WEBAPP_STORAGE_HOME} is automatically populated by the Azure App Service that is mapped to persistent storage for your Directus project.

Deploying Directus on a Web App Service ​

Within the Azure Marketplace, select the Web App resource. When creating a Web App, you will step through multiple configuration pages.

Basics ​

  • Subscription/Resource Group: select the same resource group we created and used earlier.
  • Publish: Select "Docker Container".

Azure Web App Basic Configuration

Docker ​

Select Docker Compose and Docker Hub as the source for your app's configuration. Set the Docker Hub Access Type to Public and upload your docker-compose.yml file prepared earlier.

Docker configuration settings

Following the creation of the Web App Resource, Directus is now successfully deployed and can be visited via the default domain in the Azure Web App page.

Troubleshooting Tips ​

Here are few troubleshooting tips:

Connection Issues with Azure Database for PostgreSQL ​

If you encounter connectivity problems between Directus and your Azure Database for PostgreSQL, consider the following steps:

  • Firewall Rules: Ensure that the firewall rules for your Azure Database allow connections from the Azure Web App. You can configure this in the Azure Portal under the Connection Security section for your PostgreSQL server.
  • Connection String: Double-check the values in your docker-compose.yml file for DB_HOST, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, and other related parameters. Any discrepancies here can result in connection failures.

Azure Web App Deployment Failures ​

In case your Azure Web App deployment fails, consider the following:

  • Docker Image Compatibility: Ensure that the Directus Docker image version specified in your docker-compose.yml file is compatible with the Azure Web App environment. Check for updates or use a different version if needed.
  • Resource Group Permissions: Confirm that the Azure account used for deployment has the necessary permissions to create and manage resources within the specified resource group.
  • Docker Configuration Validation: Validate your docker-compose.yml file for syntax errors or inconsistencies. Incorrect configurations can lead to deployment failures.

Directus Interface Login Issues ​

If you experience problems logging into the Directus interface:

  • Admin Credentials: Ensure that the ADMIN_EMAIL and ADMIN_PASSWORD values in your docker-compose.yml file match the credentials you are using to log in.
  • Environment Variable Changes: If you make changes to environment variables after the initial deployment, restart the Directus container to apply the new configurations.

Summary ​

This tutorial has guided you through setting up a resource group, configuring Azure Database for PostgreSQL, and deploying Directus using Docker on an Azure Web App.

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