Introduction to Azure Functions


Course Intro
Serverless in Context
In Context
Getting the Most From Azure Functions
Use Cases
2m 27s
3m 33s
Course Intro
1h 34m

*** A newer, updated version of this course is available here. ***


An Introduction to Azure Functions

Serverless Computing has emerged as a capable and low-friction means to execute custom logic in the public cloud. Whether you're using Amazon Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, or Azure Functions, you have a wide variety of target languages, ecosystem integrations, and deployment mechanisms to choose from. All this while leaving the heavy lifting of server provisioning and maintenance to the experts, which gives you plenty of time to focus on your differentiated application functionality.

In this "Introduction to Azure Functions" course, you’ll learn how to build Azure Function applications in the cloud. You'll discover the core feature set of Functions and see how to integrate with a variety of sibling Azure services. You'll explore Function topics like security, monitoring, deployment, and testing best practices. You'll also learn about ideal Functions use cases and the pricing model. Finally, you'll learn about how we've arrived at the serverless computing model, and where serverless is likely to go in the future. By the end of this course, you’ll have a solid foundation to continue exploring Functions on your own, and incorporating Azure Functions capability into your work.

An Introduction to Azure Functions: What You'll Learn

Lecture What you'll learn
Intro What to expect from this course
Serverless Computing In Context Understanding what serverless computing is, and how we got here
Core Features A high-level overview of what Azure Functions is, and its basic capabilities
Creating Your First Function A demo of creating your first function in the Azure portal
Security A review of security features in Azure Functions
Using API Key Management A demo of configuring an Azure Function to require API key use
HTTP Proxies A discussion of lightweight HTTP Proxy support
Proxying Azure Blob Storage A demo of using Functions' HTTP Proxy support to front Azure blob storage
Triggers and Bindings Event-based triggering of functions and declarative binding of inputs and outputs
Triggering on Queues and Binding to DocumentDB A demo of Triggering with Azure Queues and Binding Function Output to DocumentDB
Testing and Debugging Tools and techniques for working with Functions during the development cycle
Deployment Options for deploying Azure Function apps into production
Deploying From a Local Git Repo A demo of deploying a complete Azure Function app to the cloud, from a local Git repository
Monitoring Tools for monitoring Azure Functions during dev, test, and release
Use Cases A discussion of ideal use cases for serverless compute and Azure Functions
Pricing A review of how Functions are priced, and a demo of determining price using the Azure Pricing Calculator
Serverless in the Future A short discussion on the future of serverless in the cloud
Summary Course wrap up

If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Welcome to Cloud Academy's course an Introduction to Azure Functions, Serverless Computing in the Microsoft Cloud.

This is an intermediate level course that assumes some prior knowledge for the student. Azure Functions is a developer-oriented tool, so this course is geared towards programmers familiar with languages and platforms like .NET, Python and Node.js. We'll demonstrate Functions concepts using all of these languages. To get the most from this course you should have a basic familiarity with cloud computing and Azure. Some prior exposure to the Azure management portal is helpful though not strictly necessary. Finally, a basic understanding of web programming concepts like HTTP verbs and payloads, query strings, and REST API definition will serve as a good foundation for building APIs with Azure Functions. We'll touch on these topics and more throughout the course.

Upon completion of the course you should be comfortable with the following topics: defining relevant use cases for serverless computing on Azure, defining the major features of Azure Functions, comparing the pros and cons of Azure Functions with related alternatives, implementing APIs in Azure Functions using C#, Node.js and Python, integrating Azure Functions with other Azure services, and examining the future implications of serverless in the cloud.

A brief note about your instructor. I'm Josh Lane, a Cloud Academy researcher and instructor. I've been a software developer focused on cloud and data technologies for several years, and have worked around the world for clients in industries such as energy, finance, and more. I was awarded Microsoft's Azure MVP designation for both my development work and my activities promoting cloud and Azure technologies in the technology community. Thanks for attending the course.

Before we start let's review the course agenda. First, you'll learn about serverless computing in the context of what's come before and how we've gotten here. Next you'll review the Azure Functions service and see a number of key features demonstrated. You'll also take a closer look at testing and debugging of Azure Functions before moving onto an examination of deployment and monitoring strategies. After this you'll learn about ideal use cases for Functions as well as the Functions pricing model. And finally, you'll wrap up with a brief discussion of what lies ahead for the serverless cloud model, and how that might impact your application architectures in the coming months and years.

About the Author

Josh Lane is a Microsoft Azure MVP and Azure Trainer and Researcher at Cloud Academy. He’s spent almost twenty years architecting and building enterprise software for companies around the world, in industries as diverse as financial services, insurance, energy, education, and telecom. He loves the challenges that come with designing, building, and running software at scale. Away from the keyboard you'll find him crashing his mountain bike, drumming quasi-rythmically, spending time outdoors with his wife and daughters, or drinking good beer with good friends.