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The chat “Serverless” is bustling up in assorted accessories and blogs on belvedere casework like Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Both these casework acquire altered requirements, therefore, comparing Logic Apps and Azure Functions is important. In the blog post, “Serverless Computing: Why Should I Accede Appliance It?,” serverless is actual well-explained and both Logic Apps and Azure Functions are belvedere services, and you could alike accede them serverless – no basement to administer (done for you by Microsoft), auto-scaling, and announcement based on beheading or action. If you attending at one of the diagrams Microsoft shows in their presentations, you will apprehension both Logic App and Azure Functions are a allotment of the Azure platform.
You can advantage both Logic Apps and Azure Functions through a burning plan. However, there are differences and depending on your requirements, you can either use Logic Apps, or Azure Functions, or both. In this blog post, we will briefly altercate both casework afore assuming how to use both in a cloud-native affiliation scenario, comparing Logic Apps and Azure Functions, and back to use either one of them.
You can run a business workflow in Azure appliance the Logic App service. The Logic App is a ytic alembic for one workflow you can ascertain appliance triggers and actions. A activate can instantiate a workflow, which can abide of one or abounding activities (actions). For instance, you can activate a workflow by sending an HTTP appeal or agenda a workflow every hour to retrieve abstracts from a attainable website.
A Logic App runs on the basement of an Azure arena (VM’s in a abstracts center), not arresting to you as it is absent away. By accessories a Logic App, you advantage a bit of that basement (indirectly via the Logic App Service) already you ascertain a workflow and the breeze gets triggered. Furthermore, you get billed by some trigger/actions that execute, and ascent done for you – if the cardinal of requests increases, so will the Logic App instances until assertive boundaries are accomplished (see Logic App Limitations).
The Logic App annual runs as said beforehand on a set of infrastructure, and it consists of several components.
These apparatus are:
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Azure Functions are allotment of the Azure Web and Adaptable apartment of App Services and are advised to accredit the conception of baby pieces of meaningful, reusable methods, calmly aggregate beyond services. You can body the Azure Activity in assorted languages like Node.js, C#, F#, Python, PHP, and alike Java. Followed by scripting languages, Bash, and PowerShell – and abutment for Command Line through a CMD or BAT file. Although an Azure Activity can accommodate absolutely a bit of code. They are about advised to serve a distinct purpose and acknowledge to contest in affiliated services.
The WebJobs SDK runtime, a framework that simplifies the assignment of autograph accomplishments processing cipher that runs in Microsoft Azure, is the foundation of Azure Functions. Furthermore, Functions advantage a allegorical bounden and activate mechanism, which works with several Azure casework like Storage, Cosmos DB, and the Annual Bus. Below you see a diagram of the apparatus of Azure Functions.
For added advice about Azure Functions apprehend the Leveraging Functions on the Azure Platform blog post.
In the antecedent paragraphs, we explained both Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Now we will yze Logic Apps and Azure Functions, how both can assignment together. Also, back you should use Logic Apps or Azure Functions. The differences amid Logic Apps and Azure Functions ambit from developer acquaintance to deployments. In the afterward paragraphs, we will abode them.
You can advance Logic Apps and Azure Functions in the browser and Visual Studio. The experience, however, is not the aforementioned – developing functions in Visual Studio is bigger than for Logic Apps – as the admiration of the workflow artist compared to the browser is slower. Furthermore, you accomplish cipher for a function, while you architecture workflow with Logic Apps. Moreover, you can appearance the closing as “no-code” or “low-code” development.
With Azure Functions, you acquire added ascendancy and beneath limitations back you face circuitous scenarios or requirements as coding provides you with abundant flexibility, but additionally added responsibility. Logic Apps acquire predefined triggers (managed connectors) and actions. However, you can advantage variables, congenital expressions, or call-out to an API or Activity (more afterwards in alive with Logic Apps and Azure Functions). Furthermore, you can body custom connectors for Logic Apps if the adapter doesn’t exist. For functions, this will be harder if a bounden is not available.
One of the axiological concepts of Logic Apps is connectors – bringing connectivity to the workflow. The connectors accommodate a agency to activate a workflow and a burden into or out of the flow. Microsoft has congenital an extensive set of connectors ranging from Azure Annual to accepted SaaS solutions. Furthermore, Microsoft continues to advance in developing added and added connectors. In case a adapter doesn’t abide you can build a adapter yourself through the custom adapter arrangement in the Azure Marketplace.
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Each adapter you acquire back defining a workflow comes with an API affiliation (connectors are a adhesive about an API and operations) and requires accreditation stored securely. Already you acquire alleged a adapter and done the authentication, you acquire what is alleged a managed API connection, which you will see in the ability accumulation area your Logic App resides. Moreover, you can reclaim these admission in added Logic Apps.
Azure Functions do not acquire connectors, yet await on triggers and ascribe and achievement bindings – like Storage, Accident Hubs, Annual Bus, and Cosmos DB. Bindings in Azure Functions accommodate a way to affix to abstracts with cipher declaratively – you ascertain them by allegorical a affiliation cord and added backdrop depending on the bounden you choose. Furthermore, you can extend the bindings by leveraging the extensions attainable in the WebJob SDK. The annual of bindings is bound compared to Logic Apps.
In the antecedent paragraph, we mentioned affidavit for Logic App connectors and affiliation strings for Azure Activity bindings. Every adapter comes with its aegis depending on what API it exposes, for instance, the Dynamic 365 connector requires a Dynamics Annual to be able to assurance in to Dynamics 365. Or to admission a Logic App via an HTTP endpoint, back you use the HTTP activate for your workflow, the applicant charge accommodate a so-called Shared Admission Signature in the URL – generated via a abstruse key that can be regenerated at all time. Furthermore, you can defended the Logic App by agreement Azure API Administration afore it. See also Protecting Azure Logic Apps with Azure API Management on the BizTalk360 blog and Middleware Friday.
With Azure Functions the aegis is altered – you can defended accessible, attainable functions (HTTP and WebHook Binding) with Authorization keys. These keys are generated back you actualize a activity and can be regenerated. Furthermore, you can advantage affidavit functionality through the accepted ambience with Azure Active Directory, Google, Facebook and others. On top of your HTTP/WebHook triggered functions you acquire the lightweight Azure Functions proxies or API Management.
One of the capital aspects of both Logic Apps and Azure Activity is the administration of exceptions. Administration exceptions in your Logic App or Activity will accomplish them added able-bodied – the administration of exceptions does alter amid Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Logic Apps barring handling is an out-of-the functionality with retries, scopes, and run afterwards configurations, while Azure Functions you can administer the accepted try-catch. In both cases you will acquire to do architecture and assignment to acquire it in abode – it doesn’t appear by itself. Note that with Azure Functions you do not acquire the out-of-the-box retry adequacy like Logic Apps except for Azure Chain and Balloon Storage. For added capacity on absurdity administration with Azure Functions see Azure Functions absurdity handling.
Since the birth Azure Functions are stateless, acquire abstracts from an input, processing it, and again administration adapted actions, i.e. one or added outputs – the activity acts as a distinct software switch. However, this has afflicted with the absolution of “durable functions” or what Microsoft calls “orrator functions.” With Durable Functions, Microsoft provides accompaniment and long-running capabilities for Azure Functions, by leveraging the Durable Assignment Framework. Moreover, abiding functions acquiesce consecutive and alongside beheading of several Functions, abutment long-running tasks with pre-defined timeouts, and provides stateful actors after the charge for alien storage. The accompaniment is automatically stored in through the acceptance Azure Accumulator annual in Accumulator queues, tables, and blobs, which is adversity proof. These long-running and stateful processes are inherently attainable in Logic Apps, except for the stateful amateur model.
The burning archetypal for Logic Apps and Azure Functions accommodate a specific auto-scale capability, i.e. back your bulk increases the Logic App or Activity can calibration with it to a assertive point. Logic Apps can calibration depending on the connector(s) you use, for instance, the Book Arrangement connector current absolute of 100 calls per minute.
Like Logic Apps, Azure Functions can run beneath a burning plan – instances of the Azure Functions host are dynamically added and removed based on the cardinal of admission events. The plan supports the auto calibration – apprehend added about it through how burning plan works. Besides a burning plan, Azure Functions can additionally run beneath an App Annual Plan, which agency allegorical the cardinal of committed VM’s through a Basic, Standard, Premium, or Isolated SKU.
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Having an App Annual Plan instead of a burning plan depends on your requirements for added processing ability that exceeds the burning plan, or you charge to abutment scenarios area for instance your activity apps charge to run continuously.
With deployments of assets in Azure, you can anticipate of the Azure Ability Manager (ARM) templates. This additionally accounts for deploying Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Both acquire congenital abutment for these templates. You can automate the deployment of Logic App through the Azure Portal leveraging the automation calligraphy or by using Visual Studio.
With Azure Functions, you can bound set up connected deployments through triggers from sources like Bitbucket, Dropbox, Git, GitHub, OneDrive, and VSTS (see for example Leveraging Functions on the Azure Platform blog post). Additionally, Azure Functions have deployment slots in the preview, acceptance deploying and testing a vNext first, afore you bandy the activated deployment aperture with the accepted adaptation in production.
You can adviser both Logic Apps and Azure Functions with the attainable Azure ecology capabilities (OMS, Application Insights, Log Analytics) and congenital features.
Logic Apps provides a run-history affection enabling you to appraise specific runs in abounding detail. Also, you can clarify this history, based on a aeon and the constant run status. Furthermore, Logic Apps integrates with Operation Administration Apartment (OMS) in Azure – for instance, with one-on click, you can enable integration with OMS, area you can chase for tracked properties.
With Azure Functions you acquire admission to the adviser tab, actuality you can see the beheading history. Besides that, there is a alive accident beck that shows the about real-time processing statistics in graphs. Furthermore, there’s abounding affiliation with Application Insights, area you can booty advantage of the able Analytics queries.
You can additionally advantage a third affair band-aid like Serverless360 to adviser your Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Serverless360 offers alike added capabilities than ecology – you can additionally accomplish and administer Logic Apps and Azure Functions.
Every Logic App would acquire one or added activate definitions which would be followed by a arrangement of run accomplishments that ascertain the workflow. There could be scenarios area the activate would acquire been acknowledged but one of the run accomplishments would acquire failed. This would breach the workflow and actual notification on the abortion of the run activity with capacity would be of abundant advice to accompany the workflow up. Similar would be the claim to get notified on the abortion of an abracadabra of Azure Function. Getting notified on the abortion of Logic App run activity and Azure activity abracadabra in a real-time is now accessible with Serverless360.
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When comparing Logic Apps and Azure Functions, both can run beneath a burning plan. That agency both acquire a pay-per-usage announcement model.
Note: Azure Functions can additionally run beneath App Annual Plan – appropriately a altered appraisement model.
In case you advantage the affiliation annual with your Logic Apps than you should be acquainted of added costs.
A Logic App can alarm a Function, to perform, for instance, a about-face of Euro to Dollars or carnality versa. Assume you’re architecture a Logic App that receives an adjustment appeal via a attainable adverse website affairs items in bounded currency. Already the Logic App consumes the adjustment request, it will charge to actualize a constant bulletin for a back-end arrangement including the bill set to USD. Currently, in Logic Apps, there are no expressions attainable to accomplish this blazon of conversion. Hence, you charge to alarm a function, which performs the about-face for you.
The Logic App and Activity assignment calm to adorn a bulletin with addition bill as apparent below:
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The Activity gets the latest barter ante and converts the EURO bulk to USD (internal currency). The Logic App picks up the bulletin from the chain and passes on acknowledged accessory the bulletin to addition queue. On failure, the bulletin ends up in the asleep letter queue.
Logic Apps are “event-driven” acceptation they run based on a trigger. That is an HTTP request, bulletin on a queue, a balloon created in a container, or schedule.
Typical scenarios for Logic Apps are:
Azure Functions like Logic Apps are “event-driven” acceptation they run based on associated and configured events, or “triggers.” For example, an Azure Activity could be triggered by a simple timer, such as active a action already every 24-hours, by an accident in a certificate administration system, or back a new certificate is uploaded to a SharePoint library. Azure Functions can additionally acknowledge to Azure-specific events, such as an angel added to a Accumulator Balloon or a notification accession in a Bulletin Queue.
Typical scenarios for Azure Functions are:
In this blog post, we discussed both Logic Apps and Azure Functions, how they can coact on cloud-native affiliation scenarios, Logic Apps vs. Azure Functions, and back to use them. Both Logic Apps and Azure Functions are “true PaaS” or “Serverless” and bear amount to your cloud-native solutions.
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