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Azure Functions Monthly Update – March 2018

Azure Functions

This episode of Azure Functions Monthly Update comes to us directly from #MVP Summit. It is one of those episodes with a special guest featuring Jeff Hollan and Ling Toh from the Azure Functions team, Sean Feldman, Alex Mang and Siavash Ghassemi from the MVP community. Jeff began the session with a huge shout out to the MVP community and with that the latest updates from the Azure Functions team.

New Things in Azure Functions

  1. Run-From-Zip(RFZ) – This feature enables you to deploy an Azure Function (let’s take a JavaScript), all dependencies, and all the packages without downloading it to your local environment. The time consumed to download the file to your local environment can be very taxing and it can give you a really bad cold start working. With RFZ, instead of deploying all the files you can just publish a single zip that has your entire app inside the zip. Now when you spin an instance, all you have to do is grab the one zip file and mount it to your instance. This new feature, you can try out now in the preview (manual mode).
  2. Beta 3 Release – This is the third beta release and contains several important fixes, new features, and breaking changes. The new features from this release are:
    1.  Declarative binding expressions: It is now possible to use binding expressions in activity functions.
    2. Query for orchestration history: You can now get the orchestration history from the statusEndpointGetUrl by including the showHistory=true query string parameter.
    3. Support for synchronous HTTP execution: It is now possible to run an orchestration and get the output via a single blocking HTTP request.
    4. Unit testing support: New abstract base classes have been added which enable unit testing orchestration code and triggers via mocks.
    5. Configurable partition counts: It’s now possible to configure the number of partitions in your task hub in host.json (the default is 4).
  3. The team has implemented some massive improvements in scaling Functions on serverless plants, especially under high loads like HTTP load tests and HTTP load. This improvement is available in almost all the regions.
  4. Doubling efforts on V2 .net core runtime of Azure Functions.
  5. Assembly resolutions in Azure Functions – If you are having trouble using Azure Functions due to assembly loading issues, please take a look at the examples in this repot to see if your scenario is represented. If not, please consider sending a pull request!

MVP Community Recognition

At the beginning of the session, Jeff credited the efforts of the MVP community members who have been doing a fabulous job in the Azure space. There’s actually a community page to nominate yourself or someone else for the MVP title.

Serverless360 Update

We understand that Azure Functions would be an integrated part of many real-time integration scenarios and it will add much more value to associate Azure Functions through Composite Applications. We have the roadmap to bring Azure Functions into the Serverless360 application. As a start, we are working to bring Read-Update-Delete operations ie., you can start, stop and restart a Function App and perform state-based monitoring on your Functions. Serverless360 Private Hosting is free for 30 days, without any limits. Give it a shot now!

Author: Mohan Nagaraj

Mohan as a Product Marketing Executive is responsible for Product messaging and positioning, Sales Enablement, Market, customer, and competitive analysis. He combines his passion for business, technology, and writing to spread the word about Serverless360. Mohan is responsible to work with cross-functional teams to visualize and create product documentation and marketing content. He feels writing is so much fun and it is satisfying to capture the company’s soul & passion and make it live through documentation.