.NET Core application hosted from PaasV1

What?! Why?! These days!? You are probably wondering …

There are many service owners running their services on Azure PaasV1 – aka Cloud services. There are several reasons why it is needed, e.g. compliance requirements.

If you are in the similar space and want to leverage the power of .NET Core runtime read on.

It’s not possible write worker roles on .NET Core. By default, PaasV1 hosts the work role inside WaWorkerHost process which is running on full .NET runtime. If we want to leverage .NET Core, we need to use another path.

Let’s explore the path

The trick is using ProgramEntryPoint from Azure ServiceDefinition file. You can read more about the whole schema here. It’s enough just to add the desired application into the package and then execute it. Azure worker hosting is able to tracks the process.


.NET Core publish command tool is able to export the whole application into a folder with all files needed to run it. What’s more! .NET Core 3.0 preview 5 comes with a possibility to publish just 1 file containing whole application. That’s great, isn’t it?

Ok, we have .NET Core application and it’s running within PaasV1. We need to integrate the application into Azure PaasV1 hosting runtime, in other works leveraging Microsoft.WindowsAzure.ServiceRuntime. In .NET Core, as Nuget package! Not possible.

But there is a way.

There is a package called Unofficial.Microsoft.WindowsAzure.ServiceRuntime.Msshrtmi  filling this need. It’s basically a package containing managed wrappers around native modules and full of P/Invokes. AFAIK, it was not possible to use such so called mixed (C++/CLI) assemblies from .NET Core directly. It looks like the situation has changed with .NET Core 3.0 preview 6 on Windows OS.

That’s all.

Show me the code!

.NET Core application

In the sample application we just initialize Role manager interop and we are able to read the configuration from cscfg, register the callbacks for role status checks, shutdown, etc.

.NET Core publish

This command publish the whole .NET Core application into one executable file.


Azure service definition

See ProgramEntryPoint tag starting the application.



Lines with the prefix WaWorkerHost.exe Information: 0 : NetCoreConsoleApp comes from .NET Core application. We are able to read the configuration settings, response to role status checks, reacts to shutdown callbacks and more.

Complete sample

Whole sample is downloadable from https://github.com/kadukf/blog.msdn/tree/master/.NETCore/AzureCloudServiceNetCore


.NET Core 3.0 rocks! Happy coding 😉