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Serverless computing continues to gain momentum. The idea of building powerful solutions without worrying about infrastructure resonates with customers for many scenarios.

Today we are happy to announce preview support for several new capabilities for serverless application development in Azure using Azure Functions and Azure Logic Apps.

Visual Studio 2017 tooling for Azure Functions and Azure Logic Apps

Serverless is primarily about making developers more productive and allowing them to focus on their solutions. The integrated tooling provided by Visual Studio makes the serverless development experience with Azure Functions and Azure Logic Apps really stand out.

We are happy to announce that Azure Functions tools for Visual Studio 2017 are now available in preview. Available as an extension from the Visual Studio Marketplace, these tools allow developers to seamlessly integrate Azure Functions development into their normal development flow that includes leveraging 3rd party extensions, testing frameworks, continuous integration systems, etc. For more details, please see the blog post Azure Functions tools for Visual Studio 2017.

We are also happy to announce the availability of Azure Logic Apps tools for Visual Studio 2017. Also available as an extension from the Visual Studio Marketplace, these tools provide full support for developing and managing Logic Apps in Visual Studio 2017. For more details, please see the blog post Azure Logic Apps tools for Visual Studio 2017.

Application Insights integration with Azure Functions

Getting visibility into your app’s performance in production helps you to troubleshoot issues faster, and make your apps better. Azure Application Insights provides an excellent way to do this for your cloud applications. For serverless apps, you might want to understand metrics around number of executions, latency, etc. Or if you are feeling adventurous, you might want to look deep into how your Functions code really interacts with the underlying resources. This is now possible.

We are happy to announce that Azure Functions support for Application Insights has moved from beta to public preview. With this release, we have included support for adding Application Insights at the time of app creation, a direct link from Azure Functions’ portal to the Application Insights blade, and additional settings to configure the amount of data that needs to be collected for the apps. For more information, please see the blog post Azure Functions integration with Azure Application Insights.

Express export to PowerApps and Flow

Building custom logic that can be used inside business apps and automation workflows, is a common requirement among enterprises. Azure Functions is a handy way to build such logic in a serverless manner.

We are happy to announce that we are providing an express option that allows developers to export their Functions based API directly from Azure portal to be used inside PowerApps and Flow. Along with the recently announced OpenAPI (Swagger) support for Functions, this new feature now provides an easy way to create, document, and publish serverless APIs to PowerApps and Flow, all as a part of the regular Functions development workflow. To learn more about this and other API development enhancements in Azure Functions, please read this blog post Azure Functions API development updates.

Azure Functions templates for Common Data Service

Data is at the heart of business applications, whether it is coming from Excel, on-premises sources like SQL Server, or cloud sources like Salesforce, SharePoint Online etc. Microsoft’s Common Data Service brings together all business data in one place so app builders can focus on building apps rather than dealing with disparate systems. However, app developers are invariably required to write custom business logic with this data, to be used in their business apps.

Today, we are happy to announce the preview availability of Azure Functions templates for the Common Data Service (CDS). This functionality allows developers to build Azure Functions based APIs, which talk to data aggregated using CDS, and can then be invoked from PowerApps based apps across the organization. The ease of use of Functions serverless experience coupled with the versatility of CDS provides app builders a powerful tool. For more details, please see this blog post Azure Functions integration with CDS.

Azure Functions Runtime

Customers have embraced Azure Functions because it allows them to focus on application innovation rather than infrastructure management. The simplicity of the Functions programming model that underpins the service, has been key to enable this. We have realized that this model that allows developers to build event-driven solutions and easily bind their code to other services, while using their favorite developer tools, has good utility even outside the cloud.

Today we are excited to announce the preview of Azure Functions Runtime that brings the simplicity and power of Azure Functions to on-premises.  Built on the same open source roots that Azure Functions service is built on, Azure Functions Runtime can be deployed on-premises and provides a near similar development experience as the cloud service. For more details, please see this blog post Introducing Azure Functions Runtime.

We are excited to bring these new capabilities into your hands and look forward to hearing from you through our Forums, StackOverFlow, or Uservoice.

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