Date:

Share:

Introducing Serverless Computing with Azure Functions

Related Articles

Azure Functions provide developers with a powerful and scalable solution for building event-driven applications and microservices in the cloud. Whether you’re building a small application or a complex enterprise solution, Azure Functions can provide the flexibility and extensibility needed to meet your needs. In this post, I’ll give you an introduction to Serverless Computing and Azure Functions.

What is serverless computing?

In serverless computing, the cloud provider manages and provides servers you need to run your applications on a per-use basis. This allows developers to write and deploy code on the physical servers managed by cloud providers without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. The developer does not need to reserve any amount of bandwidth or any number of servers and only pays for the calculation.

Advantages of serverless computing

Serverless computing offers the following key benefits to organizations:

Cost Reduction

Organizations can save significant amounts of money with serverless computing because they don’t have to spend on expensive hardware, they don’t have to hire resources to manage their servers, they don’t have to worry about buying operating systems and software licenses, etc. They will only pay for the computing resources used to run their code on demand.

Highly scalable

Serverless architecture allows applications to scale very quickly in response to demand. The cloud provider can increase or decrease resources automatically and developers no longer have to worry about scalability.

Reduce time to market

Serverless architecture allows developers to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to bring applications to market. Developers can add or change their code in real-time and don’t have to worry about the complicated deployment process.

Developer productivity

Serverless computing increases developer productivity because developers have more time to focus on writing application code instead of spending time on traditional tasks like server management and provisioning, booting, etc.

Overview of Azure Functions

Azure Functions is the serverless computing service hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. It allows users to write and host available blocks of code called ‘functions’ that run whenever a certain type of event has occurred. Azure Functions automatically scale up or down compute resources on demand, reducing your cost because you only pay for the resources used to handle incoming requests. Azure Functions code can be written in multiple programming languages ​​such as C#, Java, JavaScript, F#, Python, etc.

Azure Functions

Azure Functions use cases

Below is a list of some common use cases or scenarios for Azure Functions.

Use Case Using Azure Functions
Building APIs for the Internet You can implement API endpoints for your web or mobile applications as Azure Functions and these functions can be invoked using the HTTP triggers.
Processing file uploads You can run certain code automatically when a file is uploaded or changed in the blog storage. You can perform tasks such as converting a file from one format to another, reducing the file size or creating thumbnails of images, etc.
Response to database changes You can run custom logic when a document is created or updated in Azure Cosmos DB.
Running scheduled tasks You can run a code at a specific time or at pre-defined time intervals.
Creating reliable message queue systems You can process message queues using queue storage, a bus service, or event hubs
Analyzing IoT data streams You can collect and process data from IoT devices
Real-time data processing You can use Azure Functions and SignalR to react to data right now
Connecting to a SQL database You can use SQL connections to read or write data from Azure SQL

Azure Functions operators

One of the key features of Azure Functions is its ability to be triggered by various events, such as data storage changes, incoming HTTP requests, or timers. A trigger defines how a function is invoked and a function must have exactly one trigger used as a starting point for the function. Triggers have associated data, which is often provided as the payload of the function.

Below are some examples of common Azure Function triggers

Azure Function Operators Description
HTTPTrigger This trigger allows functions to be executed when an HTTP request is made to a specified URL. This is a great way to build RESTful APIs and process incoming webhooks.
TimerTrigger This trigger allows functions to be executed on a schedule, with the ability to specify a cron expression to control the exact timing of the trigger. This trigger can be used in cleaning or other batch tasks according to a predefined schedule.
Blvd Trigger This trigger allows functions to be run when a new or updated block is detected in an Azure Blob Storage container. This is useful for processing files as they are uploaded or updated.
Turn trigger This trigger allows functions to be fired when a new message is added to the Azure Storage Queue. This is a common pattern for message processing in a distributed system.
EventHubTrigger This trigger allows functions to be fired when events are published to Azure Event Hub. This is useful for real-time processing of data streams.
EventGridTrigger This trigger allows functions to respond to events delivered to a subscriber in Azure Event Grid. It supports a subscription-based model for receiving events, which includes filtering. This can be a good solution for building event-based architectures.
CosmosDBTrigger This trigger allows functions to process Azure Cosmos DB documents when they are added or updated in collections in a NoSQL database.

Azure Functions bindings

Azure Functions also provide bindings, which is a way to declaratively connect another resource to a function. Bindings allow developers to easily connect to different data sources, such as Azure Blob Storage or Cosmos DB, and pass data into or out of the function without having to write custom code to handle the connections. Bindings may be connected as input bindings, output bindings or both and you can mix and match different bindings to suit your needs. Reference data is provided to the function as parameters.

Below are some examples of common Azure Function bindings

Azure Functions bindings Description
Binding in a storage lob This binding allows functions to read or write to an Azure Blob Storage container. It is usually used for functions that process files, images or videos.
queued storage binding This binding allows functions to read or write to Azure Storage Queue. It is often used to build messaging systems or to process distributed workloads.
Table storage cover This binding allows functions to read or write to an Azure Table Storage table. This is useful for applications that require fast and efficient access to structured data.
Cosmos DB Binding This binding allows functions to read or write to an Azure Cosmos DB database. It’s great for building applications that require scalable, globally distributed NoSQL databases.
Event network binding This binding allows functions to subscribe to events published by Azure Event Grid. This is useful for building event-driven architectures that can respond to data changes or system events.

Azure Functions integrations

The use cases mentioned above clearly show that Azure Functions can be integrated with a variety of Azure services and platforms. Below are some examples of the many integrations available for Azure Functions.

Azure service Azure Functions integration
Azure Event Grid This integration allows Azure Functions to subscribe to events generated by Azure services, custom applications, or third-party services, and execute functions in response.
Azure Blob storage Azure Functions can be invoked by changes to Azure Blob Storage, such as creating, modifying, or deleting a block.
Azure Cosmos DB Functions can be triggered by changes to data in an Azure Cosmos DB database, such as creating, updating, or deleting a document.
Azure Service Bus Azure Functions can be invoked by messages sent to an Azure Service Bus queue or topic.
Azure Event Hubs Functions can be triggered by events sent to an Azure Event Hubs stream.
Azure Notification Hubs Azure Functions can be used to send push notifications to mobile apps through Azure Notification Hubs.
Azure Logic Apps Azure Functions can be used as part of Azure Logic Apps workflows to perform specific tasks or actions.
Azure API management Azure Functions can be used to implement custom API endpoints that can be managed and secured using Azure API Management.
Azure Time Series Insights Functions can be used to ingest, process, and analyze time series data from Azure Time Series Insights.
Azure Data Lake Storage Functions can be triggered by changes to Azure Data Lake Storage, such as creating, modifying, or deleting a file or folder.
Azure DevOps Functions can be triggered by events in Azure DevOps, such as code commits, pull requests, or build completions, to automate various DevOps tasks.
Light blue key safe Functions can access secrets and keys stored in Azure Key Vault, making it easy to securely retrieve and use sensitive information in your functions.
Azure Application Insights Functions can be monitored and analyzed using Azure Application Insights, which provides detailed performance and usage metrics for your functions.
Azure Cognitive Services Functions can use Azure Cognitive services, such as Azure Text Analytics or Azure Face API, to add advanced AI capabilities to your applications.
Azure Functions proxy Azure Functions can be exposed as an HTTP API using Azure Functions Proxies, which provide advanced routing, caching, and security.
Azure storage queues Functions can be triggered by messages in Azure storage queues, allowing you to easily process messages and implement distributed workloads.
Azure IoT Hub Functions can be triggered by events in Azure IoT Hub, such as device telemetry data or device lifecycle events, allowing you to process and analyze IoT data at scale.
Azure Functions integrations

Summary

Azure Functions offer support for a wide variety of programming languages ​​and integrations with other Azure services, making it easy to build and deploy applications in the cloud. Whether you’re building a small application or a complex enterprise solution, Azure Functions can provide the flexibility and extensibility needed to meet your needs. With triggers and relationships, Azure Functions make it easy to create event-driven applications that can quickly respond to changing data and business requirements. I hope I have covered all the necessary concepts of Azure Functions in this post. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave your comments below. Don’t forget to share this guide with your friends or community.

.

Source

Popular Articles