Setting Up Dev Environment

If you are using Amazon-supplied VM image (AMI) at an Amazon event, with all tools installed and pre-configured for you, we recommend reading through this chapter without making any changes mentioned on this page.


  • Either MS SQL Server (LocalDB version is perfectly suitable), or PostgreSQL, per Common Prerequisites.
  • MySQL is required, as the goal of the module is to add MySQL support to the app. MySQL Workbench, a MySQL management UI console, is recommended.
  • AWS CLI needs to be configured to point to the desired AWS Region.

For Windows Users Only:

  1. Chocolatey package manager.
  2. The jq utility that parses JSON.

Checking Out Source Code

In a directory of your choice, please run

git clone
cd modernization-unicorn-store
git checkout cdk-module

The “cdk-module” git branch is where the sample app codebase lives.

Building and Running Unicorn Store Application Locally

  • Open Visual Studio solution:

    cd modernization-unicorn-store
  • In VS Solution Explorer, click the Collapse All [-] icon to clean up the tree view and select UnicornStore.csproj as a Startup Project.

  • Choose build configuration for your choice of RDBMS:

Build Configurations Notes
VS Build Configurations You can use either MS SQL Server or PostgreSQL as a database at this point in the lab flow. (MySQL is not yet available at this point as it’s a new RDBMS to add support for as a part of this lab.) When using SQL Server LocalDb, no application configuration setting changes are necessary. You may simply select “DebugSqlServer” build configuration from the drop-down and run the application. For PostgreSQL, please select “DebugPostgres” from the build configuration drop down in the IDE.

Application Configuration for PostgreSQL

You may skip this section if you plan to use MS SQL Server as a RDBMS for the application.

If you choose PostgreSQL as application’s RDBMS, additional changes in application settings are needed for the application to connect to a database other than local SQL Server with integrated authentication.

Notes Secret Manger
Please open UnicornStore project Secret Manager by right-clicking on the project and selecting “Manage User Secrets” menu item. It will open secrets.json file in Visual Studio, where you can make changes as it was the appsettings.json file.

Changes made in “secrets.json” override values stored in the “appsettings.json” files at run time (when application runs locally), without making any changes to the “appsettings.json”.
VS Project Secret Manager Menu

Application setting named UnicornDbConnectionStringBuilder represents properties from RDBMS-specific subclasses of the DbConnectionStringBuilder. Since the plan here is to use PostgreSQL, properties of the “UnicornDbConnectionStringBuilder” section will represent properties of the NpgsqlConnectionStringBuilder class.

  "DefaultAdminUsername": "",
  "DefaultAdminPassword": "Passw0rd!",

   "UnicornDbConnectionStringBuilder": {
    "Password": "<YOUR POSTGRES PASSWORD>",

Please replace the content of the “secrets.js” file open in the Visual Studio, with the code snippet above, and replace the value of the Password property with your local Postgres password. Don’t forget to save the file before moving on to the next section of the lab.

The values of “DefaultAdminUsername” and “DefaultAdminPassword” properties are used to login to the web application - that’s root administrator credentials. Feel free to put any username/password you find easy to remember when you will be running the application later in the course of this workshop.