What is Azure Functions?

Azure Functions is a serverless computing service providing businesses both an updated infrastructure and resources to run your applications without having to provide the underlying infrastructure. It allows a quick and less costly application development process. Azure Functions removes the need for complex infrastructure in application development.

Designers based Azure Functions on trigger actions. It runs a piece of code or script in response to activities. It is best suited for parts of your application that are executable as separate processes.

You can use Azure Functions to achieve high throughput and decoupling. It's reliable and comes in handy in any production environment. Azure Functions is scalable. It allocates the necessary resources upon an increase in demand for code.

How Azure Functions Works

Azure Functions enables DevOps teams to create event-driven apps that run code when triggered by past events. This service manages all computing resources required in those processes, which allows the DevOps teams to focus on application features and functionality.

Users can rely on custom-written code to connect multiple services in C#, Java, PHP, Python, or Javascript in a containerized environment.

To create functions, you need an active Azure subscription and an active Azure Storage account. As a developer, you create a function whereby there is a logical unit for development and resource sharing.

Besides supporting various languages, Azure Functions also supports multiple scripting options. These include PowerShell, Batch, and Bash. It saves you tike as you can upload pre-compiled executables when deploying apps. No need to write new code every time you change your script.

Features of Azure Functions

Azure Functions has many desirable features that make it a handy tool for developers. These include:

Serverless Application Support

With Serverless, all you need is to upload the application code and then define triggers that will execute functions. Not worrying about your IT infrastructure saves your mental health and stress levels, as well as a lot of time.

Pay as You Use Model

Azure Functions provides the pay-as-you-go pricing model, which saves a lot of costs, as you only pay for the time you run the codes. Azure calculates the charge based on the number of runs per billing cycle.

Seamless Integration With Azure Services

Azure Functions integrates with other Azure services such as Azure CosmosDB, Azure DevOps, and Azure Event Grid for a seamless development experience. Also, it integrates with other third party services like GitHub to provide all functionality you need at your disposal.

Trigger-Based Executions

Azure Functions’ trigger-based executions speed up innovation while saving a tremendous amount of manpower. You don’t have to respond to frequent events and tasks manually, as these triggers are automated.

 Platform Agnostic

Azure Functions is a cloud and platform-agnostic service, which means you can trigger events to another service outside the Azure cloud. Ideally, Azure Functions can run practically on any platform, including containers.

Why Use Azure Functions?

Azure Functions is popular among all types of businesses, from small companies to large multinationals. Some of the reasons why you should implement Azure Functions include:

Simplicity

Azure Functions is a simple service that allows you to create apps without having to provision infrastructure. The serverless infrastructure gets everything done for you.

Speed

Azure Functions allows faster time to market. It takes little time to initialize. Along with that, it finishes executing functions within a few minutes, depending on the task.

CI/CD friendly

Azure Functions is ideal for continuous integration and delivery environments. You can program it to build code automatically on demand. In addition, it integrates seamlessly with Jenkins, allowing to deploy code, trigger container builds, and more.

Some of Azure Functions' common use cases include:

  • File processing
  • Computing backend calculations
  • Scheduling tasks and messages
  • Running background backup tasks
  • Reminders and notifications
  • Processing data streams

When Not to Use Azure Functions

However, not all applications are suitable for Azure Functions. Here are some shortcomings of Azure Functions:

It is not a replacement for Web APIs (application programming interface) but you can use it for specific use cases. Web APIs bunch up data and business logic-related tasks. For Azure Functions, it receives input and runs it to provide output.

Azure Functions cannot carry multiple tasks at a go. It performs one task using as little time as possible.

Azure Functions is not useful for time-sensitive tasks. It usually faces delays when providing responses and can negatively affect your application responsiveness.

The Bottom Line

Azure Functions accelerates app development. The serverless infrastructure minimizes infrastructure challenges, allowing you to focus on code. Just like Google Cloud Functions and AWS Lambda, Azure Functions provides developers with a cloud platform to write and execute code natively.

At nOps, we provide a handy Azure management tool that provides seamless, 360-degree visibility into your cloud environment. You can rely on nOps to rightsize Azure instances, optimize costs, and more.

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