Announcing new Azure Functions capabilities to accelerate development of serverless applications

Posted on 23 February, 2017

Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Azure

Ever since the introduction of Azure Functions, we have seen customers build interesting and impactful solutions using it.  The serverless architecture, ability to easily integrate with other solutions, streamlined development experience and on-demand scaling enabled by Azure Functions continue to find great use in multiple scenarios.

Today we are happy to announce preview support for some new capabilities that will accelerate development of serverless applications using Azure Functions.

Integration with Serverless Framework

Today we’re announcing preview support for Azure Functions integration with the Serverless Framework. The Serverless Framework is a popular open source tool which simplifies the deployment and monitoring of serverless applications in any cloud. It helps abstract away the details of the serverless resources and lets developers focus on the important part – their applications. This integration is powered by a provider plugin, that now makes Azure Functions a first-class participant in the serverless framework experience.  Contributing to this community effort was a very natural choice, given the origin of Azure Functions was in the open-source Azure WebJobs SDK.

You can learn more about the plugin in the Azure Functions Serverless Framework documentation and in the Azure Functions Serverless Framework blog post. 

Azure Functions Proxies

Functions provide a fantastic way to quickly express actions that need to be performed in response to some triggers (events).  That sounds an awfully lot like an API, which is what several customers are already using Functions for.  We’re also seeing customers starting to use Functions for microservices architectures, with a need for deployment isolation between individual components.

Today, we are pleased to announce the preview of Azure Functions Proxies, a new capability that makes it easier to develop APIs using Azure Functions. Proxies let you define a single API surface for multiple function apps. Any function app can now define an endpoint that serves as a reverse proxy to another API, be that another function app, an API app, or anything else.

You can learn more about Azure Functions Proxies by going to our documentation page and in the Azure Functions Proxies public preview blog post. The feature is free while in preview, but standard Functions billing applies to proxy executions. See the Azure Functions pricing page for more information.

Integration with PowerApps and Flow

PowerApps and Flow are services that enable business users within an organization to turn their knowledge of business processes into solutions. Without writing any code, users can easily create apps and custom automated workflows that interact with a variety of enterprise data and services. While they can leverage a wide variety of built-in SaaS integrations, users often find the need to incorporate company-specific business processes. Such custom logic has traditionally been built by professional developers, but it is now possible for business users building apps to consume such logic in their workflows.

Azure App Service and Azure Functions are both great for building organizational APIs that express important business logic needed by many apps and activities.  We've now extended the API Definition feature of App Service and Azure Functions to include an "Export to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow" gesture. This walks you through all the steps needed to make any API in App Service or Azure Functions available to PowerApps and Flow users. To learn more, see our documentation and read the APIs for PowerApps and Flow blog post.

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