Tutorial: Creating Microsoft Azure Function Apps

Tutorial: Creating Microsoft Azure Function Apps

Cloud practitioners and developers often seek out platforms that will enable them deploy scalable applications without having to spend time managing infrastructure. Additionally, if they are already working on other Azure platforms, they want a service that integrates well with the other services. This is where Azure Function apps is a great choice for cloud engineers and practitioners.

By taking advantage of Azure’s serverless technology, developers can package their code into functions and then have them run on demand in response to certain events, which eliminates the need for manual scaling or server provisioning. This makes development faster, easier, and more cost-effective.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn about Azure Function Apps and the step-by-step process involved in creating a Python Function App in Azure. This tutorial will get you started developing your cloud skills. (It’s recommended that you follow the steps sequentially.)

Azure Function Apps

Azure Functions is a cloud-based, serverless application platform that enables developers to quickly and easily deploy scalable applications with minimal effort. Apps provide an easy way to develop event-driven, serverless code written in languages you already know.

Azure Functions integrates seamlessly with other services on the Azure Platform, and apps can be triggered by events from a variety of sources. This makes them ideal for responding to data changes, integrating systems, and processing large datasets without having to manage a traditional server or infrastructure.

With Azure Functions, developers can focus more on delivering valuable business logic instead of spending time managing infrastructure. Additionally, they benefit from the scalability and security provided by the Microsoft cloud platform.

Developers also enjoy a pay-per-use pricing model, which helps reduce costs. Azure Functions can help accelerate development and operations, so organizations can focus on delivering valuable features to customers in a timely manner.

Use Cases with Azure Function Apps

Azure Functions is a serverless computing service that enables developers to run code on-demand without managing servers or infrastructure. It can be used for a variety of scenarios:

1. Automated tasks and workflows: Azure Functions can be used for automating frequent, time-consuming tasks such as data processing, image manipulation, and content management. Developers can create functions that are triggered based on events in other services, including Azure Storage queues and Service Bus topics/queues.

2. Event-driven development: Azure Functions supports event-based programming so developers can react quickly to changes in the environment (such as new files) without having to poll the service constantly. Developers also have access to a vast array of triggers and bindings so they can easily integrate with other services.

3. API development: Azure Functions makes it easy to create APIs that respond to events in the environment, such as HTTP requests or changes in data stores. The serverless computing service allows developers to quickly deploy their APIs without worrying about provisioning servers or infrastructure.

4. IoT application development: with Azure Functions, developers can write code that is triggered by IoT devices, such as connected thermostats or sensors. Developers can quickly create functions that process data from these devices without having to manage servers or infrastructure.

5. Big data processing: Azure Functions makes it easy for developers to write code that processes large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. The serverless computing service allows developers to scale up their applications on-demand so they can handle increased workloads without any manual intervention.

These are some (but not all!) of the use cases and scenarios where Azure is helpful. In the next section, you’ll learn the steps involved in creating a Python Function App in Azure.

Creating an Azure Function App

Creating a Python Function App in Azure is an easy process that requires only few clicks.

Step 1: Navigate to the Azure portal, and sign in with your Azure account credentials. Once you are signed in, you’ll see the following page:

Step 2: Click on the + Create a resource button located on the left-hand side of the screen. This will open up the Create a resource blade, where you can see Function App. Click on the Create button located below it.

This will open up the Create Function App blade, where you’ll specify the required details. First, you will select the subscription that you want to use. After that, you will need to choose the resource group that you want to deploy your function app into. If you don’t have a resource group, you can create one by clicking on the Create new link. In this tutorial, we have specified rgroup1 as the name of resource group, but you’ll have to specify a unique name.

Step 3: The next step is to specify the name for your function. In this tutorial, we have specified TutorialAppDQ as the name, but you’ll have to specify a unique name. For Runtime stack, you can see various options. Select Python, and you’ll see the supported version number gets automaticaly filled under Version. For Region, select the location of your choice.

Step 4: Once you have completed the previous step, you’ll see the recommendations for Operating System. In this case, Linux is the supported system. Under Plan type, you can choose the plan for your app. This basically determines your cost — for this tutorial, we’ll select the Consumption (Serverless) option.

Keep the default settings for other tabs, and click on Review + create. This will open a tab where you can review your configurations and go back to edit.

Step 5: Once you’re satisfied with the above configurations, click on Create button to deploy your python function app. It can take few minutes to complete the deployment; the deployment pane will show the status.

Click on Go to resource, which will open the following page where you can view information about the Azure function you just created.

Creating the Python Function

Once the app is created, the next step is to create the Python function in it.

Step 1: Go to Functions, and click Create.

Step 2: Under Development environ, select the Develop in portal option, as that’s what we will do in this tutorial. Under Select a template, you can see variety of options to create a function. You’ll select the HTTP trigger option.

Step 3: Once you select the HTTP trigger option, you’ll need to provide more input to invoke the function. Under New Function, you need to provide function name. In this tutorial, it’s named HttpTrigger1. Next, select Function as an authorization level, and click on Create.

You can see that the function is created; the next step is to test the function.

Testing the Python Function App

Step 1: Click on Code + Test, and you’ll see sample Python code that’ll be used to test the app. This sample function takes the name as an input under the name variable and triggers a response. Below is a simple illustration, but you can replace this with code matching your app requirements.

Step 2: Click on Test/Run, which will open a side box with Input and Output tabs. Keep every thing as default, and add Dataquest Azure under Body as shown below.

Step 3: Click Run, and you can see the output under HTTP response content. The name we entered is part of the expected output.

Deleting the Resource

The last step is to delete the resources you have created if you don’t intend to use them in future. This is easy to do — the steps are outlined below.

Step 1: Navigate to the Azure portal, where you can see the list of resources.

Step 2: Click on the Azure Function resource you have created; this will open the following page. Click on the Delete button.

Step 3: Finally, confirm the deletion by typing in the name of the function app and selecting Yes under Delete App Service Plan button. It might take few minutes, and then the resource will be deleted.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you learned that Azure Functions is an excellent resource for creating serverless applications with ease. The powerful cloud computing service makes it easy to quickly develop and deploy applications without worrying about additional infrastructure or hardware costs. You also learned how to create, test, and delete a Python Function App in Azure.

This knowledge is an important component for developers in their learning journey as it equips them with the ability to write code that responds quickly and scales up on demand. Additionally, Azure Functions provide great opportunities for developing mobile apps, IoT apps, big data processing, and chatbots. All these features make Azure Functions a great choice for any application development project.

So, are you ready to build powerful and cost-effective applications using the power of cloud computing? To get started on your cloud journey with Microsoft Azure, consider taking Dataquest’s Introdution to Cloud Data with Microsoft Azure course. The perfect starting point for any aspiring or established developer, this comprehensive course will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to confidently develop app solutions in a cloud environment. From setting up virtual machines and data centers to leveraging serverless technologies, you’ll be well-prepared to start building world-class applications with Azure Functions. So don’t wait – sign up for Dataquest’s Cloud Fundamentals today and take advantage of the power of cloud computing!

To learn more about Azure and Cloud related topics, please refer to the following resources:

  1. An Introduction to Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing

  2. The Benefits of Azure for Data Professionals

  3. A Simple Guide to Azure Synapse Analytics

  4. A Gentle Introduction to Databricks in Azure

  5. Azure SQL Database Tutorial for Beginners

This content was originally published here.