AWS Developer Tools Blog

Multiple Application Support for .NET and Elastic Beanstalk

In the previous post we talked about the new deployment manifest you can use to deploy applications to AWS Elastic Beanstalk. You can now use the deployment manifest to deploy multiple applications to the same Elastic Beanstalk environment.

The deployment manifest supports ASP.NET Core web applications and msdeploy archives for traditional ASP.NET applications. Imagine a scenario in which you’ve written a new amazing application using ASP.NET Core for the front end and a Web API project for an extensions API. You also have an admin app that you wrote using traditional ASP.NET.

The toolkit’s deployment wizard focuses on deploying a single project. To take advantage of the multiple application deployment, you have to construct the application bundle by hand. To start, you need to write the manifest. For this example, write the manifest at the root of your solution.

The deployment section in the manifest has two children: an array of ASP.NET Core web applications to deploy, and an array of msdeploy archives to deploy. For each application, you set the IIS path and the location of the application’s bits relative to the manifest.

  "manifestVersion": 1,
  "deployments": {
    "aspNetCoreWeb": [
        "name": "frontend",
        "parameters": {
          "appBundle": "./frontend",
          "iisPath": "/frontend"
        "name": "ext-api",
        "parameters": {
          "appBundle": "./ext-api",
          "iisPath": "/ext-api"
    "msDeploy": [
        "name": "admin",
        "parameters": {
          "appBundle": "",
          "iisPath": "/admin"

With the manifest written, you’ll use Windows PowerShell to create the application bundle and update an existing Elastic Beanstalk environment to run it. To get the full version of the Windows PowerShell script used in this example, right-click here. The script is written with the assumption that it will be run from the folder that contains your Visual Studio solution.

The first thing you need to do in the script is set up a workspace folder to create the application bundle.

$publishFolder = "c:temppublish"

$publishWorkspace = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($publishFolder, "workspace")
$appBundle = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($publishFolder, "")

If (Test-Path $publishWorkspace){
	Remove-Item $publishWorkspace -Confirm:$false -Force
If (Test-Path $appBundle){
	Remove-Item $appBundle -Confirm:$false -Force

Once the workspace is set up, you can get the front end ready. To do that use the dotnet CLI to publish the application.

Write-Host 'Publish the ASP.NET Core frontend'  
$publishFrontendFolder = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($publishWorkspace, "frontend")
dotnet publish .srcAmazingFrontendproject.json -o $publishFrontendFolder -c Release -f netcoreapp1.0

Notice that the subfolder “frontend” was used for the output folder matching the folder set in the manifest. Now let’s do the same for the Web API project.

Write-Host 'Publish the ASP.NET Core extensiblity API' 
$publishExtAPIFolder = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($publishWorkspace, "ext-api") 

dotnet publish .srcAmazingExtensibleAPIproject.json -o $publishExtAPIFolder -c Release -f netcoreapp1.0 

The admin site is a traditional ASP.NET application, so you can’t use the dotnet CLI. For this project, use msbuild, passing in the build target package to create the msdeploy archive. By default, the package target creates the msdeploy archive under the objReleasePackage folder, so you need to copy the archive to the publish workspace.

Write-Host 'Create msdeploy archive for admin site'

msbuild .srcAmazingAdminAmazingAdmin.csproj /t:package /p:Configuration=Release

Copy-Item $publishWorkspace

To tell the Elastic Beanstalk environment what to do with all these applications, you copy the manifest from your solution to the publish workspace and then zip up the folder.

Write-Host 'Copy deployment manifest'
Copy-Item .aws-windows-deployment-manifest.json $publishWorkspace

Write-Host 'Zipping up publish workspace to create app bundle'
Add-Type -assembly ""
[io.compression.zipfile]::CreateFromDirectory( $publishWorkspace, $appBundle)

Now that you have the application bundle, you can go to the web console and upload your archive to an Elastic Beanstalk environment. Or you can keep using Windows PowerShell and use the AWS PowerShell cmdlets to update the Elastic Beanstalk environment to the application bundle. Be sure you’ve set the current profile and region to the profile and region that has your Elastic Beanstalk environment by using the Set-AWSCredentials and Set-DefaultAWSRegion cmdlets.

Write-Host 'Write application bundle to S3'
# Determine S3 bucket to store application bundle
$s3Bucket = New-EBStorageLocation
Write-S3Object -BucketName $s3Bucket -File $appBundle

$applicationName = "ASPNETCoreOnAWS"
$environmentName = "ASPNETCoreOnAWS-dev"
$versionLabel = [System.DateTime]::Now.Ticks.ToString()

Write-Host 'Update Beanstalk environment for new application bundle'

New-EBApplicationVersion -ApplicationName $applicationName -VersionLabel $versionLabel -SourceBundle_S3Bucket $s3Bucket -SourceBundle_S3Key

Update-EBEnvironment -ApplicationName $applicationName -EnvironmentName $environmentName -VersionLabel $versionLabel

Now check the update status in either the Elastic Beanstalk environment status page or in the web console. Once complete, you can navigate to each of the applications you deployed at the IIS path set in the deployment manifest.

We hope you’re excited about the features we added to AWS Elastic Beanstalk for Windows and AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio. Visit our forums and let us know what you think of the new tooling and what else you would like to see us add.