Get started with Sitefinity Cloud

Sitefinity Cloud has been designed to deliver ease of use and fast project ramp-up. To get started, first your organization must be provisioned with a service in Sitefinity Cloud. Then you must setup your project and invite the respective users that will contribute to the project.

Service provisioning

Each customer organization, using Sitefinity Cloud is provided with their personal tenant space. This is a designated partition of Sitefinity Cloud, where your project lives and you get access to the tools to manage it. Each tenant space represents a Microsoft Azure subscription specifically configured for the customer organization. This subscription contains automatically configured hosting services, such as Application Services, Database, Redis cache, and so on, an Azure DevOps organization for your company, and a Sitefinity project.

Required information

When placing your Sitefinity Cloud order you specify the desired project parameters such as:

  • The domain name of your website
    This information is used to configure the Prodution and Staging environment URLs. 

    NOTE: You must set a DNS record provided by the Sitefinity Cloud team in order to verify ownership of the domain 

  • An SSL certificate (*.pfx file) for your domain name.
    Alternatively, you can request the Sitefinity Cloud technical team to setup an SSL certificate for your domain name(s)
  • A range of public IP addresses
    This information enables the Sitefinity Cloud technical team to grant these addresses access to Sitefinity Cloud. The addresses can belong to your organization and any partner organizations that will be working on your project.
  • Project name

This information is used to configure your Sitefinity cloud tenant space and your first project.

NOTE: You can have more than one Sitefinity Web Applications running in your tenant space. You can manage multiple websites from each Web Application. For more information about the pricing and conditions please contact the Sitefinity Cloud Sales team.

Setup your project

When starting with Sitefinity Cloud you can choose whether to start with a blank project, or deploy an existing project to your Sitefinity Cloud account.

Start with an empty project

If you want to start with a blank project and develop it in Sitefinity Cloud, you can instruct the Sitefinity Cloud technical team to provision a blank Sitefinity project in your tenant space. You can continue developing your project by following the instructions in Code updates and Code deployment articles.

Deploy an existing Sitefinity project to Sitefinity Cloud

If you have an existing Sitefinity project, that you want to migrate to Sitefinity Cloud, you can select this approach instead of starting with an empty project. Keep in mind that your existing project must be running on Sitefinity version compatible with Sitefinity Cloud. For a list of  conditions that your project must comply with, check the information in the Requirements article.

To deploy an existing project to Sitefinity Cloud, the Sitefinity Cloud team provisions an empty code repository in your account. You must commit your project solution to the code repository and provide the Sitefinity Cloud team with a database backup that must be restored in your account. Once your project solution has been checked in, the Sitefinity Cloud team makes the necessary adjustments for the project to run against the Sitefinity Cloud services, connects it to the restored database and promotes the code to the Production environment.

NOTE: When your database is set up in Sitefinity Cloud, it will be automatically upgraded to the latest stable Enterprise Edition of SQL Server. If you have been running the database locally on an older version, the backups you generate from Sitefinity Cloud might no longer be compatible, and you might have to upgrade your local SQL Server. For more information see Backup and restore the project database.

Account provisioning

A Sitefinity Cloud account grants access to the Sitefinity Cloud Management Portal (based on Azure DevOps) and  specific sections of the Azure Management Portal (for monitoring, troubleshooting and access to database backups).

When getting started with Sitefinity Cloud, an account for the main contact from your organization is provisioned upon setting up your tenant space. At any stage in the process you can request the Sitefinity Cloud technical team to setup additional users that will be working on your project. These users can be members of your organization, or partner company users that need to work on the project.

For each user you want to add to your project, you must provide their email address. The Sitefinity Cloud team will setup these users by creating their accounts in your Sitefinity Cloud  Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). 

Configuring access rights

When you request a user to be added to your project you also specify their access rights to the Sitefinity project and your Sitefinity Cloud tenant space.Depending on your requirements, each user is assigned roles in their Azure AD account, and these roles are mapped to Sitefinity roles automatically. Custom roles are also supported.

By default, all users that you request to be added to your Sitefinity Cloud tenant space are provisioned with a Developer role. This role grants a user full access to the Management Portal fetaures, including Code repositories, Dashboards, CI/CD Pipelines, and so on. For more information about the features included in the Management Portal see Management Portal. Users in the Developer role can also log in to your organization's Azure Portal and view the application insights, logs and other available information.

If you you want to grant a user a limited set of access rights, you can request the Sitefinity Cloud team to assign them to the Stakeholder role. Users in this role can only access the Management Portal, and see a limited set of features there. Stakeholders cannot access the project Code repository or trigger a CI/CD pipeline.

Login to Sitefinity Cloud

Once a user's account has been created they will receive an email invitation from the Sitefinity Cloud team. This email contains the user's login username, the Sitefinity Cloud account URL and further instructions how to proceed. Depending on whether your users have an Azure AD account, or you have integrated your Active directory with Azure, they will have to go through the following process to complete their Sitefinity Cloud account provisioning:

  • Existing Azure AD or private AD synced with Azure AD - users will receive an email invitation on their corporate emails. These users could sign in to Sitefinity Cloud with their own work identity.
  • Non-existing or private AD - users will receive an invitation on their corporate emails. Users will then have to follow the instructions in the email to set their own passwords with Azure.
  • Social Email Addresses (Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) - These users can sign in to Sitefinity Cloud with their public identity by connecting their existing email accounts to Azure AD.

Login to the Management Portal

Upon successful account provisioning you will be able to login to the Sitefinity Cloud Management Portal with your account. The invitation email contains your organization's Sitefinity Cloud URL.

Once you login to your Sitefinity Cloud Management Portal, you are presented with your project Dashboard. This is the central hub for your project, containing useful information and shortcuts to important areas. From your dashboard you can easily access:

  • Production and Staging environments public and backend URLs 
  • Production and Staging environments logs
  • Application metrics and Deployment dashboards
  • Database backups

The dashboard is visible by everyone who has access to your Sitefinity Cloud project Management Portal. It is based on Azure DevOps Wiki, and you can easily customize it to suit your project needs, add more useful shortcuts, or share information with other team members.

Login to your Sitefinity website

You can access your production Sitefinity website on the domain you have provided upon setting up your project. The staging website URL is also available at wwwstg.yourwebsitedomain. For your convenience, both the production and staging website domains are listed on your Sitefinity Cloud account home page Wiki.

To login to your Sitefinity website backend in Sitefinity cloud follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the website backend URL, for example www.yoursebsitedomain.com/Sitefinity
  2. On the backend login form use the Sitefinity Cloud (via Azure B2B) option
    LoginFormbackend
  3. You will be automatically redirected to Microsoft Azure to complete your login

Login to Azure Portal

Via the integration with Azure AD, Sitefinity Cloud provides a seamless single sign-on (SSO) experience between all components of the solution. Using your Sitefinity Cloud account, you can log in to the Azure Portal to see your website Application Insights. A shortcut to Application Insights is also available on each metric available on your Application Metrics dashboard. For more information about Sitefinity Cloud dashboards, see Dashboards.

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