Management portal

The Management Portal layer of Sitefinity Cloud is based on Microsoft Azure DevOps. It provides a user interface to allow working with the project’s management tools.

The Management Portal includes: 

  • Source Control / Repos
    Using the Management Portal, Sitefinity Cloud users can directly access their project repository. The repository contains all code files of the Sitefinity Web Application project, including all configuration files that are stored on the file system.

    NOTE: Similar to the on-premise version of Sitefinity, the project is configured to store configuration files in Auto mode. This means that your website stores some of its configuration files on the file system, and others in the database. For more information see Auto-storage mode of configurations.

    The code repository supports the full functionality available in Azure DevOps Repos, including a variety of features such as git repository, code reviews, pull requests, and so on.
  • Pipelines
    Sitefinity Cloud provides preconfigured pipelines enabling customers to manage their website development cycle according to best practices. You can view the pipeline execution steps and logs by clicking on the pipeline name in your Sitefinity Cloud project's Pipelines section.
    The functionality is delivered on top of Azure DevOps Pipelines.
    • Application pipelines
      • CI.CD - Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) processes that provide the ability test and release new functionalities with the click of a button. The pipeline releases can be easily traced. The CD also provides interface for manual approval of deployment to the Production environment. Moreover, in cases where the system fails to start after a package has been deployed, an automatic rollback is triggered to restore the system to the previously running state.
        For more information, see Deploy code changes to the Cloud.
      • Application.Restart - Restart the application on any environment with zero downtime and without the need to re-deploy. The restart utilizes a similar approach as the blue-green deployment process to ensure there is no downtime for the application. The output cache and CDN cache for Sitefinity pages are purged after the restart.
        For more information, see Restart the application.
      • Cache.Purge - Purge the output cache and CDN cache on any environment. The pipeline offers the following options:
        • Purge all Sitefinity pages from Server & CDN cache.
        • Purge all static files from CDN cache (CSS, JS, etc.)
        • Purge by URL from CDN cache - any assets that match the URL(s) exactly will be purged from the cache.
        For more information, see Purge the cache.
    • Database pipelines
      • DB.Export - Triggered automatically every week to create backups of the environment databases. You can access these database backups and restore them locally for development and testing purposes. On-demand backups can be initiated by customers.
      • DB.Import - Restore a database from a .bacpac file to any environment. The input parameter for the pipeline is the URI of the .bacpac file. The .bacpac file can come from the existing db-backups container or it can be uploaded to the new db-imports container, part of the Database Storage Account. Bacpac files from external Azure Storage Account Containers can also be used, provided the URI contains a valid SAS token.
      • DB.RestoreBetweenEnvironments - The environments have been isolated to create a safe mechanism for deploying and testing code changes, while content editing on the production environment remains uninterrupted. The environments use separate databases. Use this pipeline to restore a database from one environment to another.
      For more information, see Backup and restore the database.
  • User management
    In the Users section of the Management Portal, customers are able to invite users to the project. Additionally, project administrators can configure roles and permissions for users to control what information that is accessible and manageable by them.
    For more information, see User management.
  • Domain management
    The Domains section of the Management Portal enables you to setup new domains and domain aliases to your Sitefinity Cloud environments and manage their certificates.
    For more information, see Domain management.
  • Integration Hub
    The Integrations section of the Management Portal provides the Sitefinity Integration Hub, which enables organizations to connect Sitefinity to 1,000+ business-critical systems and third-party applications. The Integration Hub is built on a leading iPaaS platform - Workato, which the website administrators use to create custom data connectivity and workflow automation scenarios via a low-code/no-code visual designer.
    For more information, see Integration Hub.
  • Boards
    The Boards section of the Management Portal provides a hub for organizing teamwork by utilizing the built-in scrum boards, backlogs, planning tools, and ability to link code changes with work items. Boards also include powerful analytics tools and dashboard widgets that allow you to gain insights into the health and status of your project.
  • Documentation / Wiki
    The Wiki section of the Management Portal provides a hub for organizing and sharing information with the team working on the project. For example, customers can add release notes, product documentation and any other information which should be available to everyone working with the project in the Sitefinity Cloud Management Portal. The Wiki portal supports markdown, as well as all other features outlined in Azure DevOps Wiki.

Manage service hooks

Members of the Access Repos and Pipelines group can manage the integration with external services using Azure DevOps service hooks.
Service hooks let you run tasks on other services in response to events happening in your project in Azure DevOps. See Azure DevOps documentation describing all supported service hooks events.
Among the most popular services, available as the target of service hooks, are Grafana, Jenkins, Slack, Trello, and Zappier. See Azure DevOps documentation for the complete list of supported service hooks targets.

When you want to integrate any of these services with Azure DevOps, you must set up a service hooks subscription. To do this, you use the Service Hooks functionality on the Management Portal by navigating to Project Settings » General.
If the available services do not satisfy a certain use case, you can integrate a generic service Web Hooks, which provides a way to send a POST request with a JSON payload of the event data to a custom endpoint.

Example service hooks use cases:

  • Create a new message or card in Slack or Trello whenever a new Azure Boards work item is created
  • Update a Grafana dashboard annotation upon completion of an Azure Pipelines deployment
  • Call a custom endpoint whenever a new pull request is created
    The target endpoint can be implemented as an Azure Function or Logic App, Incoming Webhook connector in Microsoft Teams, or any other tool that exposes a RESTful API.

    NOTE: Because the Azure DevOps organization and Microsoft Teams must belong to the same Azure Active Directory, configuring a Microsoft Teams service hook is not supported out of the box. As an alternative, you can use the Web Hooks service to send the event to a customer-controlled endpoint. This will then forward the event to an Incoming Webhook connector in the customer’s Microsoft Teams organization.

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