Azure Function Live – February 2020 | Serverless360
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Azure Functions Live – February 2020

Azure Functions team is back again for their monthly live webcast with a lot of interesting updates and community highlights. This webcast was quite special since their announcement on Social Media regarding the new Azure Functions management experience in the portal certainly created a buzz.

In this session, Jeff Hollan, Byron Tardif and Matthew Henderson joined to give us a picture of the latest happenings in the Azure Functions space.

What’s new?

  • HTTP trigger improvements on Kubernetes Deploy – On deploying an HTTP trigger to a Kubernetes cluster, you can notice some additional capabilities has been added to the CLI that will return URL and keys like Azure Functions.
  • VS for Mac v3 + template refresh – You can go ahead and grab the fresh templates now.

What’s coming?

Refreshed portal UX

The cat’s out of the bag. Initially, this feature will go private preview for a short span of time and soon after that, we can expect the public preview in a couple of weeks, fingers crossed.

new Azure Functions management experience

Once you head to the Azure Functions Resource, you will experience the same UI with a link to the new Azure Functions management experience.

On clicking the link at the top, you will head to the new Azure Functions management UI. The below image depicts the new UI where you get to see the Function App metrics like memory working set, Function execution count etc right away in the start of the screen without any drill downs.

new Azure Functions management experience 1

In addition, you will have Functions tab (Function App as per old portal UI) on the left pane where you can create new Functions.

new Azure Functions management experience 2

On creating a new function, a window will pop up on the right of the screen.

new Azure Functions management experience 3

This window contains four tabs namely Code/Test, Integration, Monitor and Functions Keys. Though, the function windows look empty the Azure Functions team has got an idea to fill it up with some significant metrics.

Code/Test

The new code editor will look like the below image where you can still test and see custom logs, but the team has removed the cumbersome scrolling.

new Azure Functions management experience 4

Integration

This tab is quite interesting where you get to see graphical representation into the function on what is coming in and out. Also, you can edit and add input and output right from the screen.

new Azure Functions management experience 5

Monitor

There are no big changes done to this tab and the functions team will work later on this between Public Preview and GA.

new Azure Functions management experience 6

Function Keys

The scope of these keys is down to a particular function. Also, if you head back to the Function App itself, you can notice the App keys which is scoped down to the Function App. It has two types, Host keys and System keys.

new Azure Functions management experience 7

Furthermore, there is another bit of chunk called “App files” on the left pane where you can edit the host.json file. With the refreshed UI, you get to access the Functions runtime setting in the configuration tab.

Java on Linux

You can now use JAVA to write the code with Linux as an OS choice that can be hosted either in consumptions or premium tier.

Scale-out limits per app

Now, you have the ability to configure the maximum scale for every app across every plan. This will be available in the upcoming releases for the consumption plan.

OpenID Connect integration with App Service Authentication (EasyAuth)

Python 3.8

Java 11

Durable Functions for Python, PowerShell

A quick flag set on Durable Functions PowerShell support where you can perform only a long-running Asynchronous activity function.

Hybrid connections for Linux workloads

If you have function app hosted on an App service or premium plan running on Linux, you will have hybrid connections feature in preview.

Community Highlights

Upcoming Events

  • ServerlessDays Nashville – Feb 27
  • KEDA Webinar – March 12
  • KubeCon (Amsterdam) – March 30 – April 2
  • Pycon US (Pittsburgh) – April 20
  • ServerlessDays Amsterdam – May 8
  • Microsoft Build (Seattle) – May 19-21
  • Integrate 2020 – Jun 1-3 (London) Early Bird offers available

Question and Answer Session

What technologies are used to develop the portal UI? plain JS, Vue, Angular?

The team uses a homebrew framework that is provided by the Azure portal which is called Ibiza framework and that what builds most of the menu. Also, the team uses React with fabric controls inside the Functions App screen that is open source.

Is there going to be a way in the new Functions UX to download the app code?

This functionality is something the team is working on and will be released once it becomes consistent across the board.

Will the new UX include live metrics somewhere?

You can expect that in monitoring UI.

Where to get the Azure Functions T-shirt?

The good news is that if you are planning to attend the MVP summit, then you get a chance to grab this t-shirt.

Any plans on Managed Identity connection string support for bindings?

Azure Functions team is working with different teams across the board to bring a great experience. The scope of this support has been planned for messaging and v12 storage SDKs.

How can we load data from Azure storage to Redis using python in Azure functions?

You should be able to use the Redis SDK in a function app to read and write to Redis.

Within durable functions, is app insights correlation across invocations for a single orchestration possible?
We’re working on better distributed tracing for Durable Functions. Currently, you can query logs related to a single instance ID, check the durable functions diagnostics docs.

Any news on the Azure Functions F# project templates for Visual Studio? Maybe they will arrive with .NET 5?

The team has templates repository which has F# project templates and it’s not yet integrated to the visual studio tooling.

Is there a single IP for consumption function?

Nothing immediately planned for consumption functions.

Any idea when App Service regional VNet integration will be GA?

This something internally called Swift VNet which is currently in preview for both Windows and Linux. You can expect GA for windows very soon and it might take a couple of months for Linux users.

Any plans on premium pricing calculator?

Premium now shows up in the pricing calculator as of about two weeks ago.

How to get started with Functions? How to use Redis and python functions?

There is nothing to add by the team, but you can reach out to the community to see if they could add to it.

Also, don’t forget to check out the restructured MSDN documentation. You get to switch between different languages under a single topic.

restructured MSDN docs

Wrap-up

I really liked the new portal experience especially the Integration tab where we get to see a graphical visualization and do let me know your favourite part in the refreshed UI down below. Also, I believe you got a quick overview of what’s new and coming in Azure Functions space. Happy Learning!

Author: Nadeem Ahamed

Nadeem is a Technical Product Marketer for Serverless360. He is passionate about blogging on cutting edge technologies. He believes blogs are the best way to share knowledge among the community and his passion for writing will never end till the last day of breath. He always believes in the phrase "Looks so Good on the Outside, It'll Make You Feel Good Inside".

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