Azure Functions

What Is Azure Functions

In this Azure tutorial, we will discuss Azure Functions, What Is Azure Functions, its features, benefits, etc.

Azure Functions

Azure Function is an Azure Service from Microsoft that helps you run some code smoothly without worrying about your application’s infrastructure.

In other words, Azure Functions is an event-based service from Microsoft that helps the existing Azure application platform execute a few lines of code that trigger some events to perform some operations without worrying about your application infrastructure.

In another way, Azure Functions is simply a “Functions-as-a-service” that provides the solution to run a few lines of code or functions in the cloud environment. You need to worry about writing the code—no need to take any headache for the whole application or the infrastructure.

Azure Functions is a serverless computing service ( Serverless means it runs the code without needing to bother the hosting and infrastructure ) hosted on the cloud. The main purpose of the Azure Function is to make easy application development. You will find different types of Azure Functions.

Hoping we are very much clear now about what are Azure Functions, Let’s discuss its features.

Features of Azure Functions

Now is the time to discuss the features of Azure Functions. There are many features available for Azure Functions. Let’s discuss a few key features of the Azure Functions

Multiple Language Support

Azure Functions support many languages. You can write the functions in different languages like C#, Python, Java,Javascript,PHP,Node.js, etc.

Serverless applications support

With serverless, we can create and upload the code for the application, and then we need to define the triggers or events that will execute the function. It reduces the developer’s time and the unnecessary headache of worrying about the infrastructure as a developer.

Pay-as-you-use pricing model 

Azure functions provide the pay-as-you-use pricing model that helps to save a lot of costs. You need to pay for the time the code is run. Microsoft will calculate the charge based on the time the Azure function runs per the billing cycle.

Easy integration with Azure services and other 3rd-party services

Another cool feature of Azure Function is that you can easily integrate the Azure Function with different Azure services. You can also easily integrate with different 3rd-party services like Azure DevOps services, Github, Azure CosmosDB, Azure Event Grid, etc.

Continuous Deployment and Integration support

Azure Function supports Continuous deployment and integration because Developers still need them along with GitHub, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services, Eclipse, etc.

Integrated security

Azure Functions provides integrated security with applications like Azure Active Directory, Facebook, Google account, etc.

What Are The Benefit(s) To Use Azure Functions?

There are many benefits of Azure Functions. We will discuss a few key benefits of Azure Functions.

Development became Easy

With the introduction of Azure Function, the developer task becomes easy. As part of the development activity, the Developer will only concentrate on the coding part. Developers will not bother with the management of the infrastructure.

No server maintenance

In the case of Azure Function, No server maintenance is needed. There is no headache for the server maintenance now.

Independent scaling

Another very interesting benefit of Azure Function is it supports independent scaling. This feature has met with early success in cloud environments.

These are the benefit(s) to use the Azure function.

What is Azure Functions Used For

As we already discussed, Azure Functions makes the app development process easier and helps to process the data, integrate with Azure services and other 3rd party services, Help build serverless applications, etc

Azure Functions are best for many purposes. Let’s discuss a few key usages of Azure Functions.

  • Best for image processing
  • Best for processing orders
  • Timer-based processing task
  • File maintenance activities
  • Azure service event processing activities
  • Serverless web application development and Architectural task
  • Best for the requirement of running a scheduled task
  • Better for Real-time stream processing activities
  • Best for Mobile backend development activities.
  • Suitable for the bot messaging in Real-time

There are many purposes Where the Azure Functions are used for. But out of those purposes, the key uses of the Azure functions are above.

Azure Functions Triggers

Azure Function can be triggered based on the different events from any third-party service or on-premise system.

Azure functions provide different templates for this purpose as a trigger. Below are a few examples of those

  • HTTP Trigger: Triggers the execution of your lines of code based on the HTTP Request.
  • Timer Trigger: Triggers the execution of your code based on some Scheduled time.
  • Queue Storage Trigger: This trigger responds to the messages from the Azure Queue storage.
  • Blob Storage Trigger: This storage trigger responds to the messages that come from Azure Blob Storage.
  • Azure CosmosDB Trigger: Responsible for processing the documents of Azure CosmosDB when they are getting modified.
  • EventGrid Trigger: Azure Event Grid triggers react to the events delivered to a subscription in Azure Event Grid with the applicable filters.
  • EventHub Trigger: AzurEvent Hub trigger reacts to more events hub events—good for workflow processing scenarios and IoT scenarios.
  • Service Bus Queue Trigger: ServiceBus Queue Trigger responds to the messages from the Service Bus Queue.
  • Service Bus Topic Trigger: Service Bus Topic Trigger reacts to the messages from the Service Bus topic.

The above are different Azure function triggers, as explained.

How Do Azure Functions Work

Let’s discuss an important concept like How Do Azure Functions Work? exactly.

How Do Azure Functions Work

As discussed, we need a valid Azure subscription and a storage account before creating a function.

The developer’s first task is to write the code for the function they will deploy to the cloud and perform the individual actions, such as processing the individual files and handling API calls.

Developers can write their code for the Azure functions using languages like C#, Python, PHP, Javascript, Node.js, Java, etc.

As we know already, Azure Function is an event-driven technology. A developer writes the code into a function, and the rest will be handled by Azure, like patching, scaling, etc

Developers can save time by not writing code from scratch. Azure functions can be triggered in different ways, such as HTTP triggers, Changes in Azure Storage Blob containers, and Azure queues.

A single function will have only one trigger that defines how the function will get executed, meaning the execution details.

The Azure function triggers the code based on the data, playing one more role in accessing and processing that data. That particular data is connected with different input and output bindings. These bindings help the developer access the data sources, and developers do not need to take any headaches to bother about the data flow.

One more way, you can take it as the Developer needs to provide the input as a parameter to the Azure Functions and then after the function processes it and provides the result as the Output.

Developers can configure the triggers and bindings in the function.json file in Azure Portal. The events are monitored, and when the event triggers, the functions are used to process the events.

The cloud provider automatically scales the resources. It can also scale up or down based on demand.

The Azure Functions have different templates containing predefined functions that we have already discussed in the Azure Functions Triggers section.

Azure Functions Pricing

Azure Functions Use Cases

As discussed already, Azure Functions are code-based and event-driven. You can build and test them on our local system. Azure Functions are portable and more flexible for different languages. Some common use cases are

  • Scheduled based triggers
  • Software as a service event processing activities
  • Different service Azure event processing activities
  • Serverless web application and mobile application development.

Azure Functions Versions

The Azure Functions versions are equivalent to the .NET versions. Azure function runtime version 1. x is available, and the equivalent .Net framework version is 4.6. The next Azure function runtime version is 2. x, with the equivalent .Net core 2. x version. The other Azure function version is 3. x, which is in Preview mode, and the relevant .Net core 3. x version.

FAQs

What languages can be used for Azure functions?

As we already discussed, Azure functions support different languages like C#, Python, PowerShell, JavaScript, Java, TypeScript2, F#, etc. You can use a language based on your choice. That is one of the great advantages. The support of the languages is based on the Azure Functions runtime versions.

What is Azure Function App

The Azure function app is an execution context where exactly the Azure Functions are hosted. In another way, if you are creating a project, you can call the Function app the Project where you want to deploy your functions.

As a prerequisite, what we need here is a valid Azure Subscription or Azure Account, and then we need a valid Service plan based on the pricing plan for the Azure Function.

The second thing we need is one Storage account, which must be created before starting with the Function app in Azure. The storage account links to the function app, which internally uses it to store the function code and configuration details.

This is about what the Azure function app is.

There are multiple ways to create a function app. Those use the Azure Portal, Azure CLI, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code.

You can check out How To Create Azure Function Apps In The Azure Portal, Creating an Azure Functions app in Visual Studio 2019 for more information.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed Azure Functions, What Is Azure Function, the Features of Azure Functions, the benefits (s) of using Azure functions?, etc. I hope you have enjoyed this article !!!