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“Maximizing Efficiency: Running React SPA and Python Backend on Azure App Service”

Introduction

Modern web development often consists of separate teams developing front-end and back-end components independently. The combination of Python for back-end data processing and React for front-end user interfaces has risen in popularity in recent years. This blog post will guide you through the steps necessary to deploy a React Single Page Application (SPA) with a Python backend together on the same Azure instance, simplifying the development and deployment process.

Using Azure App Service and Azure Storage

The Azure platform provides several services that help in deploying multi-tiered applications like a React SPA with a Python backend. App Service is a managed hosting service, perfect for Python which is natively supported. Azure Storage Static website hosting is an economical and scalable solution for hosting React SPAs.

Creating Azure App Service for Python Backend

To start, create a new Web App on App Service, selecting Python as the runtime stack. This creates the Python environment without any need for manual configuration. From the deployment center, source control can be set up to automatically deploy changes in the application code from a GitHub repository.

Configuring Azure Storage for SPA

Next, create a new Storage Account and enable static website hosting. The index document name should match the main file of the React App. Azure Storage automatically creates a service endpoint for the website. Build the React app and follow the post-build steps to move all the build content to the blob storage. Enable CORS on the storage account to prevent any cross-origin resource sharing issues.

Bringing it All Together: A unified Deployment

Now, to unify the front-end and back-end on the same domain, use a custom domain with Azure’s full DNS Zone support. Associate the custom domain to the Python Web App. Then, create a CNAME record pointing www to the React App on Azure Storage. This completes the setup with the Python backend on root domain and React SPA served from the www sub-domain.

Securing the Deployment with SSL

Adding SSL to the deployment ensures trusted and encrypted communication between the client and server. Azure provides free SSL certificates for all Apps in the App Service. The certificate also needs to be bound with a custom domain. Azure automates this process when you use Azure DNS Zone with App Service.

Conclusion

Combining a React SPA with a Python backend on Azure simplifies development and deployment, all while providing scalability, reliability, and security. Azure’s managed services reduce configuration and management overhead, rendering seamless integration across every stage of the development and deployment cycle. With Azure, you have the power to quickly bring your full-stack applications to life.

More detailed documentation is available on the Microsoft Docs, and the latest article on cloud products is provided on the official Microsoft blog.

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