Azure Kubernetes


Recently we’ve got a project to create an app with API sits on Kubernetes Service. As a startup company, we don’t have any infrastructure guy (we don’t think it’s necessary at this moment 😃), and nobody in our team has any experiences setting up Kubernetes on cloud. Based on that, I’ve decided to give it a try during my weekend.

I’m coming from mobile apps background with minimal experience on how to setup docker and any related infrastructure things, so first things I tried like any developers out there, I googled it. Yes, there are a lot of tutorials covering some parts of the goal that I want to achieve, but I haven’t found out any that covering end to end journey starting from building REST API, build into Docker and push into Kubernetes Cluster. I spent 2 days trying to make this works, and now I’m going to summarise all my learnings and share it with you and make your API up and running within 40–50 minutes long!


This tutorial is intended for beginner back-end developer who wants to build API and deploy it into the cloud with the following prerequisites:

  • Understand how REST API works,
  • Basic experience in Kotlin,
  • Basic understanding of how Docker and Kubernetes works.


Our goal is to make our REST API up and running in Azure Kubernetes Service and can be accessed from anywhere. This tutorial will cover all the following subjects :

  1. Creating REST API using Spring Boot Kotlin,
  2. Build the package into a docker image,
  3. Run the API locally,
  4. Setting up Azure,
  5. Push Docker Image to Azure Container Registry,
  6. Creating Kubernetes Cluster on Azure,
  7. Setting up MySQL on Azure,
  8. Deploy image to Kubernetes Cluster,
  9. Update REST API,
  10. Redeploy to Kubernetes Cluster.

Azure provides a free 30 days trial which is very helpful for us to run and test this tutorial for free 🥳


For this tutorial I’m using:

  • Spring Boot 2.2.2
  • Gradle 6.0.1 using Kotlin Script
  • Azure CLI
  • Docker Desktop
  • JDK 1.8
  • MacOS Catalina


  • IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition (Free)

Now that you’ve downloaded everything we needed, let’s start right away!

Creating REST API using Spring Boot Kotlin

Go to Spring Initializr to bootstrap our first kotlin project by visiting:

Spring Initializr

Create Gradle Project, with Kotlin as Language, create package name, in this example: com.adrenadev.tutorial and set main as Artifact. Click the Generate button at the bottom left of the screen.

Extract and copy the downloaded directory into your project directory. Rename main directory into springboot-tutorial

Next, open IntelliJ IDEA, and select Import Project, and then choose springboot-tutorial and click Open

IntelliJ IDEA Import Project

Next, choose Create project from existing sources, click Next. On the next screen, you can change the project name, or just leave it as default, and click Next to continue, and click Finish.

After creating the project, IntelliJ IDEA will ask you if you want to Import the Gradle project. Click the Import Gradle Project button.

Your project will look something like this

How it works

  1. We start by opening Spring Initializr and bootstrapping our project,
  2. Next, we import our project into IntelliJ IDEA.

Updating build.gradle.kts

Now open build.gradle.kts and add kotlin plugin.jpa inside plugins

And then add update your dependencies by adding spring-boot-starter-data-jpa, spring-boot-starter-web, jackson, mysql-connector-java

Next add developmentOnly script inside your build.gradle.kts

How it works

  1. We add plugin.jpa into gradle script. we will use JPA in our kotlin data class to generate MySQL table automatically,
  2. We also add spring-boot-starter-webThis dependency is useful for building REST API using Spring MVC,
  3. Next, we add Jackson converter to convert our data class into JSON String,
  4. and the last one we add MySQL connector which is self-explanatory.

Creating projects

Now let’s create our data model, create a new package called model inside com.adrenadev.tutorial.main and add a new file called: User

Create another package called repository inside com.adrenadev.tutorial.main and add a new file called: UserRepository

Now let’s create another package called controller inside com.adrenadev.tutorial.main and add a new file called: UserController

This is the final directory structure.

Final MVC directory structure

How it works

  1. We created User data model which contains name and phone data. We use @Entity to set table name and @Id @GeneratedValues to mark id as auto-increment value in our User Table,
  2. Next we create an interface called UserRepository extending JpaRepositoryBy extending JpaRepository we are able to get CRUD functionality by default,
  3. Last we created UserController and add our first REST API that is: creating user. We use @Autowired to inject UserRepository into the controller.


In application properties lies all spring settings that we want to use in our app. In this example is our database config.

Go to the resources directory and create a new file called application-docker.propertiesand add the following config

And update the file

How it works

  1. We add a new settings file called and set our database config there,
  2. We update file to point to docker

As you might already noticed that we can create as many as we want. Spring can recognize the properties name after the dash, in this example: docker.

Let’s try to build our project, first remove MainApplicationTests inside test package. Yes, I know this is bad 😅, but we don’t need it right now and it will make our build failed. Next, go to your terminal and navigate to your project dir and run

./gradlew clean build

and then run below script to separate dependencies and application resources in a Spring Boot fat jar file:

mkdir -p build/dependency && (cd build/dependency; jar -xf ../libs/*.jar)

Important: Always clean and re-run mkdir after updating your code.

And we’re done, next, we’re going to use docker to test our API implementation.

Build the package into docker image

Create a new file called Dockerfile in springboot-tutorial directory, add the following script

Create another file called docker-compose.yml in springboot-tutorial directory, add the following script

Open up a terminal, and go to your project directory and type docker-compose up

Note: This may take some time depending on your internet connections.

If successful, your docker windows should show something similar to this

Springboot running on docker

Verify if your images running successfully by typing:

docker ps

You will see your active containers list just like the image below

Container running

How it works

  1. We started by creating DockerfileFor our JDK we are using openjdk:8-jdk-alpine. This image is much smaller than most distribution base images (~5MB)
  2. Next, we copy our BOOT-INF and META-INF directory into app file,
  3. We put our main classes MainApplicationKt into ENTRYPOINT, do note that we use MainApplicationKt instead of MainApplication
  4. Next, we created our docker-compose.yml file and set our API image name called: adrenadev-tutorial:latest, set default port to 8090 and set the default volumes for API,
  5. On build part, we set the context to. (context is relative part where Dockerfile resides) and the name of Dockerfile we’ve created,
  6. Our API depends on MySQL, thus we put depends_on: db, so it should always run MySQL when we run the API Server,
  7. We set the networks to backend for communication with MySQL,
  8. Next, we set up a database, we will use MySQL 5.7 as most of the cloud are still using MySQL 5.7,
  9. We set default ports to 33066 to outside,
  10. We setup MySQL config (must be the same with the one we used in,
  11. Last, we set up MySQL volumes directory and networks.

Run the API locally

Now open up a terminal, and test our API

curl -X POST http://localhost:8090/api/users -H “Content-Type: application/json” -d “{\”name\”:\”Fandy Gotama\”,\”phone\”:\”+62816521323\”}”

Your REST API should response:

{"id":1,"name":"Fandy Gotama","phone":"+62816521323"}

Verify if your data has been inserted to MySQL by running below command (step by step):

docker exec -it yourmysqlcontainerid bash
mysql -u root -p
Enter password: root
mysql> show databases;
mysql> use adrenadev_tutorial;
mysql> select * from users;

Your user’s table should contain 1 record.

MySQL user’s table

How it works

  1. We run curl to make sure that our REST API is running properly,
  2. We check our MySQL database inside the docker container to see if our API has been successfully inserted user data into the user table.

Now that we have successfully run our API inside a docker container, next we will set up Kubernetes on Azure.

Setting Up Azure

Start by registering your account in Azure

and then download Azure CLI from this url:

Open up your terminal and type

az login

Choose Azure subscription ID

az account set -s <YourSubscriptionID>

Create a resource group for the Azure resources used in this tutorial

az group create --name=adrenadev-tutorial-group --location=eastus

Create a private Azure Container Registry in the resource group. This tutorial will push the above Docker Image to this registry.

az acr create --resource-group adrenadev-tutorial-group --location eastus --name adrenadevtutorialregistry --sku Basic

How it works

  1. We set up an account in Azure,
  2. We install Azure CLI so that we can use Azure command in our Terminal,
  3. We login to Azure via Terminal and create Resource Group and Container Registry.

Push docker image to Azure Container Registry

Add inside your build.gradle.kts plugins

Add jib script to send Docker Image to Azure Container Registry

adrenadevtutorialregistry is our private Azure container registry we’ve created before, and adrenadev-tutorial:1 is our Docker Image.

Click Apply Context to update your build.gradle.kts

Now login to your Azure Container Register

az acr login -n adrenadevtutorialregistry

Next, navigate to your project directory, and we will push the image into the registry with Gradle in one command

./gradlew jib

If successful, you should get a build successful message.

Pushing Docker Image to Azure Registry

How it works

  1. We updated our build.gradle.kts to add jib plugins from Google. Jib plugins allow you to build a container image and deploy it to your favorite cloud service,
  2. We add jib image location in Azure Container Registry and set default image tag to 1,
  3. We push Docker Image into Container Registry by calling ./gradlew jib

Creating Kubernetes Cluster on Azure

Create Kubernetes Cluster by typing this command

az aks create --resource-group adrenadev-tutorial-group --name adrenadev-tutorial-cluster --node-count 1 --enable-addons monitoring --generate-ssh-keys

This operation may take a while to complete.

When you’re using Azure Container Registry (ACR) with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), you need to grant Azure Kubernetes Service pull access to Azure Container Registry. Run the following script to grant AKS access to ACR.

# Get the id of the service principal configured for AKS    CLIENT_ID=$(az aks show -g adrenadev-tutorial-group -n adrenadev-tutorial-cluster --query "servicePrincipalProfile.clientId" --output tsv)# Get the ACR registry resource id    
ACR_ID=$(az acr show -g adrenadev-tutorial-group -n adrenadevtutorialregistry --query "id" --output tsv)# Create role assignment    
az role assignment create --assignee $CLIENT_ID --role acrpull --scope $ACR_ID

Install kubectl using Azure CLI.

az aks install-cli

Download the cluster configuration information so you can manage your cluster from kubectl.

az aks get-credentials --resource-group=adrenadev-tutorial-group --name=adrenadev-

az aks get-credentials --resource-group=adrenadev-tutorial-group --name=adrenadev-tutorial-cluster

How it works

  1. We started by creating a Kubernetes Cluster in Resource Group called adrenadev-tutorial-group and adrenadev-tutorial-cluster as a cluster name. In this tutorial we only set 1 node, however, in production it is recommended to set at least 3 nodes.
  2. Next, we grant Azure Kubernetes Service pull access to Azure Container Registry,
  3. Last, we install kubectl and download the configuration.

We’ve done setting up Kubernetes Cluster, next lets setup MySQL

Setting up MySQL on Azure

Open up your terminal, and run this command

az mysql server create --resource-group adrenadev-tutorial-group --name adrenadev-tutorial-db --location eastus --admin-user fandygotama --admin-password vzeN_.nn]P9[k]DaMF:$ --sku-name GP_Gen5_2 --version 5.7

This operation may take a while to complete.

Next, we’re going to setup VNET to only allow access to MySQL from our Kubernetes Cluster. Open up, and navigate to adrenadev-tutorial-db and click on Connection security

Azure MySQL Dashboard

Click Adding existing virtual network and enter VNET Information in fields provided.

Enter mysql-vnet-rule for VNET name, select your Subscription, Virtual network and Subnet name from the dropdown list, and click Enable toactivate Service endpoint, and click Create to create Virtual Network.

Next, Disable SSL connection in SSL settings and click Save.

For the sake of simplicity, we’re disabling SSL connection in this tutorial. It’s however recommended to turn on this setting in the production environment.

Below is the VNET settings summary we have configured.

VNET Configuration

How it works

  1. First, we started by creating MySQL instance on Azure. We set Resource Group as well as MySQL username and password. SKU Name parameter consists of 3 parts: Tier (B for Basic, GP for General Purpose, MO for Memory Optimized), Compute (Gen4 or Gen5) and Scale (1–32 vCores). In this tutorial we’ve setup General Purpose Tier, using Gen5 and 2 vCores.
  2. Next we setup VNET (Virtual Network) from Azure Portal to allow access only from our Kubernetes Cluster,
  3. We also disable SSL Connection to simplify the process.

You can see more detailed on sku-name options in this link

Deploy image to Kubernetes Cluster

Now after we set up MySQL and Kubernetes Service, we need to update our database config in our project. Create a new resource called and update the following database config.

Change to point to azure

Rebuild your code by running gradle commands

./gradlew clean build
./gradlew jib

if you get an error when deploying the image to a registry, it is probably that your session has already expired, re-login to registry using this command:

az acr login -n adrenadevtutorialregistry

and rerun jib.

Next, we deploy the image with kubectl

kubectl run adrenadev-tutorial

Now, expose Kubernetes Cluster externally by using kubectl expose command.

kubectl expose deployment adrenadev-tutorial --type=LoadBalancer --port=80 --target-

kubectl expose deployment adrenadev-tutorial --type=LoadBalancer --port=80 --target-port=8080

Once the app deployed, query the external ip address:

kubectl get services -o jsonpath {.items[*].status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].ip} --namespace=default

and let’s try accessing our REST API using curl or Postman

curl -X POST -H “Content-Type: application/json” -d “{\”name\”:\”Fandy Gotama\”,\”phone\”:\”+628111111111\”}”

And that’s it, you can check if your User record has been successfully inserted into MySQL by inserting your public IP into Firewall Rules

Allow access from IP Address

Connect to MySQL using terminal

mysql -u fandygotama@adrenadev-tutorial-db -h -p
Enter password: vzeN_.nn]P9[k]DaMF:$
mysql> show databases;
mysql> use adrenadev_tutorial;
mysql> select * from users;

Your user’s table should contain 1 record.

Azure MySQL User’s Table

How it works

  1. We started by updating to include Azure MySQL settings,
  2. We set an active profile to azure,
  3. Next, we rebuild our project and push jib to the registry,
  4. We deploy our image to Kubernetes Cluster,
  5. Next, we expose our Kubernetes Cluster to the public and get public IP,
  6. Last, we run our REST API and check our User data in MySQL Azure.

Just like any other development cycle, we need to always update our API, test in the local environment, and re-deploy it to Kubernetes Cluster. The section below describes how to do that.


Now let’s add the rest of CRUD API into our UserController

Set back spring profile to docker

Rebuild your project by running gradle command:

./gradlew clean build

Recreate build/dependency by running this command:

mkdir -p build/dependency && (cd build/dependency; jar -xf ../libs/*.jar)

Rebuild your Docker Image, and re-run docker-compose up

docker-compose build --no-cache
docker-compose up -d

Check your updated REST API, try getting a list of users by running this command:

curl http://localhost:8090/api/users -H “Content-Type: application/json”

If built correctly, you should see a list of users response

[{"id":1,"name":"Fandy Gotama","phone":"+62816521323"}]

How it works

  1. We add new functionalities to our UserController to get list of users, get user by id, update and delete it, a full CRUD service,
  2. We rebuild the project use docker to test our service locally.

Redeploy to Kubernetes Cluster

The last step in this tutorial is updating our API to Azure. The process is a bit different between updating and first-time deployment of your image.

Change back your back to azure.

Run gradle clean build and jib to put your image into registry:

./gradlew clean build
./gradlew jib

Update your image tagging inside jib script in your build.gradle.kts

Always update your jib image tag before deploying the image to Azure.

Now run set image command via kubectl:

kubectl set image deployments/adrenadev-tutorial

Now if you type:

kubectl get pods

You will see a new pod is being created replacing the old one.

New pod has been created, replacing the old one

Wait a bit and you should see your new pod is ready

New pod is ready

Now let’s try running our REST API in Azure

curl -H “Content-Type: application/json”

You should see user list response

[{"id":1,"name":"Fandy Gotama","phone":"+628111111111"}]

That’s it! 🥳

Don’t forget to delete all your resources after finishing this tutorial to avoid being charged by Azure.


We’ve done so much, starting from setting up Spring Boot Kotlin, deploying image using docker-compose, and deploying Docker Image to Azure Kubernetes Service. We also learn how to update our REST API and redeploy it to the localhost and Azure.

I hope this tutorial is useful for any developers who just start learning back-end out there. Thank you.

You can check the source code from my GitHub