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Azure Functions Live – January 2020

It is really exciting to see the Azure Functions team back again to the monthly live webcast after quite a long time. Here is a bit of introduction about this webcast who is new to the community, the Azure Functions team at Microsoft has been conducting a webcast every month to let the community stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This is a nice way for them to reach out and engage with the community to gain feedback on the features.

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

What’s new? 

  1. Azure Functions 3.0
    -> .Net Core 3.1
    -> Node 12
    -> Future improvements and optimizations
    This is one of the significant updates from the product team and the go-live release happened last month. Also, over the span of this week, the team is about to announce its general availability as well.
  2. Key Vault Reference in the portal – We had this feature in preview for a while and it is generally available now. With this feature, it has become very handy for the user to put the secrets in the Key Vault and use it right into the Azure Functions. 
  1. Durable Functions 2.0 GA – It has got a couple of cool features like Durable Entities and Durable HTTP functions. 
  1. Durable Functions Entity Reminders – With this feature, the scheduling stuff opens-up for a particular entity being created under the hood. It allows you to determine the expiry period of a resource created. 

Community Highlights

25daysofserverless

By the time, I am pretty much sure that everyone would have been aware of this campaign as there was a lot of buzz going on Social Media. It was a wonderful initiative by the advocacy team where each day the team put some challenges which are to be addressed through Azure Serverless technology stack and there are a lot of participants from the community, MVP’s and product team as well.

Kudos to Barbara, Marcus Turewicz, Paweł Haracz, Stuart Leaver on completing all the 25 challenges.

What’s coming?

  1. Durable Functions preview for Python and PowerShell
  2. Refreshed portal UX
  3. OpenID Connect Integration with App service Authentication (Easy Auth)
  4. Python 3.8
  5. Java 11

Upcoming Events

  1. Serverless Days (Nashville) – Feb 27
  2. KubeCon (Amsterdam) – March 30 – April 2
  3. PyCon US (Pittsburg) – Apr 20
  4. ServerlessDays Amsterdam – May 8
  5. Microsoft Build (Seattle) – May 19-21

Get to know about more such conferences (INTEGRATE 2020: June 1-3here at ServerlessNotes. All conferences related to Azure Serverless for 2020 have been consolidated under one roof.

Question and Answer session

  1. Will the OpenId work on Linux once it comes?
    Azure Functions Linux hosting offering does not yet have the App Service authentication and authorization feature and that should be lighting up soon.
  2. Does that update work with Durable Functions v2 and Azure Functions v3 for JavaScript?
    When the go-live release was announced, one of the blockers was that Durable Functions v2 and Azure Functions v3 does not work together in JavaScript. But, don’t worry, the upcoming release has the fix.
  3. Any updates for the binding capabilities? For instance, using the new Cosmos DB SDK, instead of the old one?
    Yes, the plan is in place. The team will roll out in the upcoming releases. Already, the new versions of SDK have been developed for Service Bus and Event Hubs. Storage and Cosmos DB is coming up next.
  4. What is the largest scale current usage of Azure Functions, and how well they scale if an orchestrator needs to handle ~500K activities? What are some scaling guidelines?
    Yes, there are some customers who are really stretching the service to a maximum extend. In short, it is possible to handle 500k requests, but the concern is the amount of time it takes to drain out those five thousand events and it’s significant to choose the right plan where you can get this done. Ref: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/durable/durable-functions-perf-and-scale
  5. Are we going to get some PowerShell examples in the documentation as it’s tough to find anything for bindings?
    Yes, it’s been scheduled, you could see very near in the future.
  6. Will durable entity functions get extension points or another way to encrypt data inside of the entity state/ event log/store?
    As of now, the answer is no. Azure storage is the default storage and it has encryption at rest on its own.
  7. Are Azure Functions v3 fully supported for PowerShell? It’s not able to get the AZ Modules to be detected automatically.
    Yes, PowerShell works in v3.
  8. How will we need to partition our functions regionally, and how will that affect service limits? Any docs which explain this?
    There is a reference document that can be of help. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-scale#service-limits
  9. Will the new version of the Azure Functions F# project template become available on Visual Studio 2019?
    The conversations on this feature are in place and make it to the user voice list to see it in play soon.
  10. Is it safe to do an in-place upgrade to durable functions v2? and if so, is it also safe to roll back to v1?
    The Durable Functions v2 is a bit less backward durable. So, you cannot do an in-place upgrade but a small change to the function code like durable client to Idurable client is required. The changes have been made on the Interfaces and names of APIs.
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".