Create and deploy to Cloud Services (extended support) in Visual Studio


This article applies to Azure Cloud Services (classic), which is now deprecated for new customers and will be retired on August 31, 2024. Existing services built with this technology are still supported through Azure Cloud Services (extended support). For new development, we recommend that you use a newer service type designed for your specific purpose, such as Azure App Service, Azure Functions, or Azure Container Apps. For the latest list of available services, see Directory of Azure products.

Starting with Visual Studio 2019 version 16.9, you can work with cloud services by using Azure Resource Manager, which greatly simplifies and modernizes maintenance and management of Azure resources. This is enabled by a new Azure service referred to as Cloud Services (extended support). You can publish an existing cloud service to Cloud Services (extended support). For information on this Azure service, see Cloud Services (extended support) documentation.

Publish to Cloud Services (extended support)

When you publish your existing Azure Cloud Service project to Cloud Services (extended support), you still retain the capability to publish to a classic Azure Cloud Service. In Visual Studio 2019 version 16.9 and later, classic cloud service projects have a special version of the Publish command, Publish (extended support). This command appears on the shortcut menu in Solution Explorer.

There are some differences when you publish to Cloud Services (extended support). For example, you are not asked if you are publishing to Staging or Production, because these deployment slots are not part of the extended support publishing model. Instead, with Cloud Services (extended support), you can set up multiple deployments, and swap deployments in the Azure portal. Although the Visual Studio tooling allows for setting this in 16.9, the swap feature will not be enabled until a later release of Cloud Services (extended support) and might result in a failure at deployment time during the Preview.

Before publishing a classic Azure Cloud Service to Cloud Services (extended support), check the storage accounts your project uses and make sure they are Storage V1 or Storage V2 accounts. The classic storage account types will fail with an error message at deploy time. Be sure to check the storage account used by diagnostics. To check the diagnostics storage account, see Set up diagnostics for Azure Cloud Services and virtual machines. If your service uses a classic storage account, you can upgrade it; see Upgrade to a general-purpose v2 storage account. For general information on the types of storage accounts, see Storage account overview.


If you are targeting .NET 4.8 with Visual Studio 2022, be sure to open the ServiceConfiguration.Cloud.cscfg file and check the value of the osFamily attribute on the ServiceConfiguration element when publishing Cloud Services (extended support). For a .NET 4.8 project, use the value osFamily="7".

To publish a classic Azure Cloud Service project to Cloud Services (extended support)

  1. Right-click on the project node in your Azure Cloud Service (classic) project and choose Publish (extended support).... The Publish wizard opens at the first screen.

    Choose Publish (extended support) from the menu

    The Publish wizard appears.

    Sign-in page

  2. Account - Select an account or select Add an account in the account dropdown list.

  3. Choose your subscription - Choose the subscription to use for your deployment.

  4. Choose Next to move to the Settings page.

    Common Settings

  5. Cloud Service (extended support) - Using the dropdown list, either select an existing cloud service (extended support), or select Create new, and create one. The datacenter displays in parentheses for each cloud service (extended support). It is recommended that the datacenter location for the cloud service (extended support) be the same as the datacenter location for the storage account.

    If you choose to create a new service, you'll see the Create Cloud Service (extended support) dialog. Specify the location and resource group you want to use for the cloud service (extended support).

    Create a cloud service (extended support)

  6. Build configuration - Select either Debug or Release.

  7. Service configuration - Select either Cloud or Local.

  8. Storage account - Select the storage account to use for this deployment, or Create new to create a storage account. The region displays in parentheses for each storage account. It is recommended that the datacenter location for the storage account is the same as the datacenter location for the cloud service (Common Settings).

    The Azure Storage account stores the package for the application deployment.

  9. Key Vault - Specify the key vault that contains the secrets for this cloud service (extended support). This is enabled if remote desktop is enabled, or if certificates are added to the configuration.

  10. Enable Remote Desktop for all roles - Select this option if you want to be able to remotely connect to the service. You'll be asked to specify credentials.

    Remote desktop settings

  11. Choose Next to move to the Diagnostics settings page.

    Diagnostics settings

    Diagnostics enables you to troubleshoot an Azure cloud service (extended support). For information about diagnostics, see Configuring Diagnostics for Azure Cloud Services and Virtual Machines. For information about Application Insights, see What is Application Insights?.

  12. Choose Next to move to the Summary page.


  13. Target profile - You can choose to create a publishing profile from the settings that you have chosen. For example, you might create one profile for a test environment and another for production. To save this profile, choose the Save icon. The wizard creates the profile and saves it in the Visual Studio project. To modify the profile name, open the Target profile list, and then choose Manage....


    The publishing profile appears in Solution Explorer in Visual Studio, and the profile settings are written to a file with an .azurePubxml extension. Settings are saved as attributes of XML tags.

  14. Once you configure all the settings for your project's deployment, select Publish at the bottom of the dialog. You can monitor the process status in the Azure Activity Log output window in Visual Studio. Choose the Open in portal link to

Congratulations! You've published your cloud service (extended support) project to Azure. To publish again with the same settings, you can reuse the publishing profile, or repeat these steps to create a new one. The Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template and parameters that are used for deployment are saved in the bin/<configuration>/Publish folder.

Clean up Azure resources

To clean up the Azure resources you created by following this tutorial, go to the Azure portal, choose Resource groups, find and open the resource group you used to create the cloud service (extended support), and choose Delete resource group.

Set up continuous integration (CI) using the Configure button on the Publish screen. For more information, see Azure Pipelines documentation.