Tutorial: Deploy a PHP (Laravel) and MySQL Flexible Server app on Azure App Service

APPLIES TO: Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible Server

PHP Web App in Azure with Flexible Server

Azure App Service provides a highly scalable, self-patching web hosting service using the Linux operating system. This tutorial shows how to create a PHP app in Azure and connect it to a MySQL database. When you're finished, you'll have a Laravel app running on Azure App Service on Linux.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Setup a PHP (Laravel) app with local MySQL
  • Create a MySQL Flexible Server
  • Connect a PHP app to MySQL Flexible Server
  • Deploy the app to Azure App Service
  • Update the data model and redeploy the app
  • Manage the app in the Azure portal

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create an Azure free account before you begin. With an Azure free account, you can now try Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible Server for free for 12 months. For more information, see Try Flexible Server for free.


To complete this tutorial:

  1. Install Git
  2. Install PHP 5.6.4 or above
  3. Install Composer
  4. Enable the following PHP extensions Laravel needs: OpenSSL, PDO-MySQL, Mbstring, Tokenizer, XML
  5. Install and start MySQL

Prepare local MySQL

In this step, you create a database in your local MySQL server for your use in this tutorial.

Connect to local MySQL server

In a terminal window, connect to your local MySQL server. You can use this terminal window to run all the commands in this tutorial.

mysql -u root -p

If you're prompted for a password, enter the password for the root account. If you don't remember your root account password, see MySQL: How to Reset the Root Password.

If your command runs successfully, then your MySQL server is running. If not, make sure that your local MySQL server is started by following the MySQL post-installation steps.

Create a database locally

At the mysql prompt, create a database.


Exit your server connection by typing quit.


Create a PHP app locally

In this step, you get a Laravel sample application, configure its database connection, and run it locally.

Clone the sample

In the terminal window, navigate to an empty directory where you can clone the sample application. Run the following command to clone the sample repository.

git clone https://github.com/Azure-Samples/laravel-tasks

cd to your cloned directory. Install the required packages.

cd laravel-tasks
composer install

Configure MySQL connection

In the repository root, create a file named .env. Copy the following variables into the .env file. Replace the <root_password> placeholder with the MySQL root user's password.



For information on how Laravel uses the .env file, see Laravel Environment Configuration.

Run the sample locally

Run Laravel database migrations to create the tables the application needs. To see which tables are created in the migrations, look in the database/migrations directory in the Git repository.

php artisan migrate

Generate a new Laravel application key.

php artisan key:generate

Run the application.

php artisan serve

Navigate to http://localhost:8000 in a browser. Add a few tasks in the page.

PHP connects successfully to MySQL

To stop PHP, type Ctrl + C in the terminal.

Create a MySQL Flexible Server

In this step, you create a MySQL database in Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server. Later, you configure the PHP application to connect to this database. In the Azure Cloud Shell, create a server in with the az flexible-server create command.

az mysql flexible-server create  --resource-group myResourceGroup --public-access <IP-Address>


  • Make a note of the servername and connection string to use it in the next step to connect and run laravel data migration.
  • For IP-Address argument, provide the IP of your client machine. The server is locked when created and you need to permit access to your client machine to manage the server locally.

Configure server firewall to allow web app to connect to the server

In the Cloud Shell, create a firewall rule for your MySQL server to allow client connections by using the az mysql server firewall-rule create command. When both starting IP and end IP are set to, the firewall is only opened for other Azure services that do not have a static IP to connect to the server.

az mysql flexible-server firewall-rule create --name allanyAzureIPs --server <mysql-server-name> --resource-group myResourceGroup --start-ip-address --end-ip-address

Connect to production MySQL server locally

In the local terminal window, connect to the MySQL server in Azure. Use the value you specified previously for <admin-user> and <mysql-server-name> . When prompted for a password, use the password you specified when you created the database in Azure.

mysql -u <admin-user> -h <mysql-server-name>.mysql.database.azure.com -P 3306 -p

Create a production database

At the mysql prompt, create a database.


Create a user with permissions

Create a database user called phpappuser and give it all privileges in the sampledb database. For simplicity of the tutorial, use MySQLAzure2020 as the password.

CREATE USER 'phpappuser' IDENTIFIED BY 'MySQLAzure2020';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON sampledb.* TO 'phpappuser';

Exit the server connection by typing quit.


Connect app to MySQL flexible server

In this step, you connect the PHP application to the MySQL database you created in Azure Database for MySQL.

Configure the database connection

In the repository root, create an .env.production file and copy the following variables into it. Replace the placeholder <mysql-server-name> in both DB_HOST and DB_USERNAME.



Save the changes.


To secure your MySQL connection information, this file is already excluded from the Git repository (See .gitignore in the repository root). Later, you learn how to configure environment variables in App Service to connect to your database in Azure Database for MySQL. With environment variables, you don't need the .env file in App Service.

Configure TLS/SSL certificate

By default, MySQL Flexible Server enforces TLS connections from clients. To connect to your MySQL database in Azure, you must use the .pem certificate supplied by Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server. Download this certificate) and place it in the SSL folder in the local copy of the sample app repository.

Open config/database.php and add the sslmode and options parameters to connections.mysql, as shown in the following code.

'mysql' => [
    'sslmode' => env('DB_SSLMODE', 'prefer'),
    'options' => (env('MYSQL_SSL') && extension_loaded('pdo_mysql')) ? [
        PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_KEY    => '/ssl/DigiCertGlobalRootCA.crt.pem',
    ] : []

Test the application locally

Run Laravel database migrations with .env.production as the environment file to create the tables in your MySQL database in Azure Database for MySQL. Remember that .env.production has the connection information to your MySQL database in Azure.

php artisan migrate --env=production --force

.env.production doesn't have a valid application key yet. Generate a new one for it in the terminal.

php artisan key:generate --env=production --force

Run the sample application with .env.production as the environment file.

php artisan serve --env=production

Navigate to http://localhost:8000. If the page loads without errors, the PHP application is connecting to the MySQL database in Azure.

Add a few tasks in the page.

PHP connects successfully to Azure Database for MySQL

To stop PHP, type Ctrl + C in the terminal.

Commit your changes

Run the following Git commands to commit your changes:

git add .
git commit -m "database.php updates"

Your app is ready to be deployed.

Deploy to Azure

In this step, you deploy the MySQL-connected PHP application to Azure App Service.

Configure a deployment user

FTP and local Git can deploy to an Azure web app by using a deployment user. Once you configure your deployment user, you can use it for all your Azure deployments. Your account-level deployment username and password are different from your Azure subscription credentials.

To configure the deployment user, run the az webapp deployment user set command in Azure Cloud Shell. Replace <username> and <password> with your deployment user username and password.

The username must be unique within Azure, and for local Git pushes, must not contain the '@' symbol. The password must be at least eight characters long, with two of the following three elements: letters, numbers, and symbols.

az appservice plan create --name myAppServicePlan --resource-group myResourceGroup --sku F1 --is-linux

The JSON output shows the password as null. If you get a 'Conflict'. Details: 409 error, change the username. If you get a 'Bad Request'. Details: 400 error, use a stronger password. Record your username and password to use to deploy your web apps.

Create an App Service plan

In the Cloud Shell, create an App Service plan in the resource group with the az appservice plan create command. The following example creates an App Service plan named myAppServicePlan in the Free pricing tier (--sku F1) and in a Linux container (--is-linux).

az appservice plan create --name myAppServicePlan --resource-group myResourceGroup --sku F1 --is-linux

Create a web app

Create a web app in the myAppServicePlan App Service plan.

In the Cloud Shell, you can use the az webapp create command. In the following example, replace <app-name> with a globally unique app name (valid characters are a-z, 0-9, and -). The runtime is set to PHP|7.0. To see all supported runtimes, run az webapp list-runtimes --os linux.

az webapp create --resource-group myResourceGroup --plan myAppServicePlan --name <app-name> --runtime "PHP|7.3" --deployment-local-git

When the web app has been created, the Azure CLI shows output similar to the following example:

Local git is configured with url of 'https://<username>@<app-name>.scm.azurewebsites.net/<app-name>.git'
  "availabilityState": "Normal",
  "clientAffinityEnabled": true,
  "clientCertEnabled": false,
  "cloningInfo": null,
  "containerSize": 0,
  "dailyMemoryTimeQuota": 0,
  "defaultHostName": "<app-name>.azurewebsites.net",
  "deploymentLocalGitUrl": "https://<username>@<app-name>.scm.azurewebsites.net/<app-name>.git",
  "enabled": true,
  < JSON data removed for brevity. >

You've created an empty new web app, with git deployment enabled.


The URL of the Git remote is shown in the deploymentLocalGitUrl property, with the format https://<username>@<app-name>.scm.azurewebsites.net/<app-name>.git. Save this URL as you need it later.

Configure database settings

In App Service, you set environment variables as app settings by using the az webapp config appsettings set command.

The following command configures the app settings DB_HOST, DB_DATABASE, DB_USERNAME, and DB_PASSWORD. Replace the placeholders <app-name> and <mysql-server-name>.

az webapp config appsettings set --name <app-name> --resource-group myResourceGroup --settings DB_HOST="<mysql-server-name>.mysql.database.azure.com" DB_DATABASE="sampledb" DB_USERNAME="phpappuser" DB_PASSWORD="MySQLAzure2017" MYSQL_SSL="true"

You can use the PHP getenv method to access the settings. the Laravel code uses an env wrapper over the PHP getenv. For example, the MySQL configuration in config/database.php looks like the following code:

'mysql' => [
    'driver'    => 'mysql',
    'host'      => env('DB_HOST', 'localhost'),
    'database'  => env('DB_DATABASE', 'forge'),
    'username'  => env('DB_USERNAME', 'forge'),
    'password'  => env('DB_PASSWORD', ''),

Configure Laravel environment variables

Laravel needs an application key in App Service. You can configure it with app settings.

In the local terminal window, use php artisan to generate a new application key without saving it to .env.

php artisan key:generate --show

In the Cloud Shell, set the application key in the App Service app by using the az webapp config appsettings set command. Replace the placeholders <app-name> and <outputofphpartisankey:generate>.

az webapp config appsettings set --name <app-name> --resource-group myResourceGroup --settings APP_KEY="<output_of_php_artisan_key:generate>" APP_DEBUG="true"

APP_DEBUG="true" tells Laravel to return debugging information when the deployed app encounters errors. When running a production application, set it to false, which is more secure.

Set the virtual application path

Laravel application lifecycle begins in the public directory instead of the application's root directory. The default PHP Docker image for App Service uses Apache, and it doesn't let you customize the DocumentRoot for Laravel. However, you can use .htaccess to rewrite all requests to point to /public instead of the root directory. In the repository root, an .htaccess is added already for this purpose. With it, your Laravel application is ready to be deployed.

For more information, see Change site root.

Push to Azure from Git

Back in the local terminal window, add an Azure remote to your local Git repository. Replace <deploymentLocalGitUrl-from-create-step> with the URL of the Git remote that you saved from Create a web app.

git remote add azure <deploymentLocalGitUrl-from-create-step>

Push to the Azure remote to deploy your app with the following command. When Git Credential Manager prompts you for credentials, make sure you enter the credentials you created in Configure a deployment user, not the credentials you use to sign in to the Azure portal.

git push azure main

This command may take a few minutes to run. While running, it displays information similar to the following example:

Counting objects: 3, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 291 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: Updating branch 'main'.
remote: Updating submodules.
remote: Preparing deployment for commit id 'a5e076db9c'.
remote: Running custom deployment command...
remote: Running deployment command...
< Output has been truncated for readability >

Browse to the Azure app

Browse to http://<app-name>.azurewebsites.net and add a few tasks to the list.

PHP Web App in Azure

Congratulations, you're running a data-driven PHP app in Azure App Service.

Update model locally and redeploy

In this step, you make a simple change to the task data model and the webapp, and then publish the update to Azure.

For the tasks scenario, you modify the application so that you can mark a task as complete.

Add a column

In the local terminal window, navigate to the root of the Git repository.

Generate a new database migration for the tasks table:

php artisan make:migration add_complete_column --table=tasks

This command shows you the name of the migration file that's generated. Find this file in database/migrations and open it.

Replace the up method with the following code:

public function up()
    Schema::table('tasks', function (Blueprint $table) {

The preceding code adds a boolean column in the tasks table called complete.

Replace the down method with the following code for the rollback action:

public function down()
    Schema::table('tasks', function (Blueprint $table) {

In the local terminal window, run Laravel database migrations to make the change in the local database.

php artisan migrate

Based on the Laravel naming convention, the model Task (see app/Task.php) maps to the tasks table by default.

Update application logic

Open the routes/web.php file. The application defines its routes and business logic here.

At the end of the file, add a route with the following code:

 * Toggle Task completeness
Route::post('/task/{id}', function ($id) {
    error_log('INFO: post /task/'.$id);
    $task = Task::findOrFail($id);

    $task->complete = !$task->complete;

    return redirect('/');

The preceding code makes a simple update to the data model by toggling the value of complete.

Update the view

Open the resources/views/tasks.blade.php file. Find the <tr> opening tag and replace it with:

<tr class="{{ $task->complete ? 'success' : 'active' }}" >

The preceding code changes the row color depending on whether the task is complete.

In the next line, you have the following code:

<td class="table-text"><div>{{ $task->name }}</div></td>

Replace the entire line with the following code:

    <form action="{{ url('task/'.$task->id) }}" method="POST">
        {{ csrf_field() }}

        <button type="submit" class="btn btn-xs">
            <i class="fa {{$task->complete ? 'fa-check-square-o' : 'fa-square-o'}}"></i>
        {{ $task->name }}

The preceding code adds the submit button that references the route that you defined earlier.

Test the changes locally

In the local terminal window, run the development server from the root directory of the Git repository.

php artisan serve

To see the task status change, navigate to http://localhost:8000 and select the checkbox.

Added check box to task

To stop PHP, type Ctrl + C in the terminal.

Publish changes to Azure

In the local terminal window, run Laravel database migrations with the production connection string to make the change in the Azure database.

php artisan migrate --env=production --force

Commit all the changes in Git, and then push the code changes to Azure.

git add .
git commit -m "added complete checkbox"
git push azure main

Once the git push is complete, navigate to the Azure app and test the new functionality.

Model and database changes published to Azure

If you added any tasks, they are retained in the database. Updates to the data schema leave existing data intact.

Clean up resources

In the preceding steps, you created Azure resources in a resource group. If you don't expect to need these resources in the future, delete the resource group by running the following command in the Cloud Shell:

az group delete --name myResourceGroup

Next steps