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# How to perform Serverless operations with Azure DevOps
# Build and deploy Azure Functions with Azure DevOps
Azure Functions (opens new window) are great for running tasks on demand, like processing queue messages or resizing images. They can run serverless, which means that you can run them without having to configure and maintain infrastructure. And with Azure DevOps Pipelines (opens new window), Microsofts' Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) solution, you can easily compile your Azure Functions and deploy to the Azure.
In this post, we'll take a look at how we can use Azure DevOps Pipelines to easily build and deploy an Azure Function to the cloud.
If you want to follow along, you'll need the following:
- An Azure subscription (If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account (opens new window) before you begin)
- An Azure DevOps project (opens new window)
- An Azure Function based on .NET (opens new window) that is deployed and running in your Azure subscription
- The code for the Azure Function committed to a source control provider, like Azure Repos (opens new window) or GitHub (opens new window)
# Creating a build and release pipeline in minutes with Azure DevOps Pipelines
We'll start by creating a build pipeline in Azure DevOps Pipelines. This will compile the code for the Azure Function and make it into a package that can be deployed.
- Go to the Azure DevOps portal (https://dev.azure.com/ (opens new window)) and select your project
- In the menu on the left, select Pipelines
- Now select Create Pipeline to start creating one
- The first step asks you where your code is. Before we give that information, click on the link below that says "Use the classic editor" to switch to the visual designer. This is easy to start with and from there you can still go back into the YAML (opens new window) configuration if you want
- Now tell it where your source code is. This can be in Azure Repos (opens new window), GitHub (opens new window) or somewhere else. Select the right code branch and select Continue
- Next, you can select a build template to start from. There are many templates that come out of the box and you can also create a build pipeline from scratch. Scroll down to the template called Azure Functions for .NET and select Apply
(Select a build template in the Azure DevOps portal)
- You'll now see the build pipeline. It has steps to compile the code, package the resulting files and publish them to a drop location, so that they can be used by another process, like a release pipeline. This all works out of the box and you can configure it as you like and add steps to the pipeline. Select Save and queue and Save and run after that to save the pipeline and start the build process.
(Working build pipeline in the Azure DevOps portal)
Now that you have a working Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline that builds your Azure Function code, we will create a release pipeline that takes the result from the build and deploys that to Azure.
- In the Azure DevOps portal, select Releases in the left menu
- Click New pipeline to create your first release pipeline
- The first thing that you'll see is the Select a template blade. Here, you can select a template to create a release process for one of the stages in your pipeline. Find the template called Deploy a function app to Azure Functions and select Apply
- Next, you'll be asked to provide a name for the stage that you've just selected a template for. You can create multiple stages, like Dev, Test, Acceptance and production and deploy your application through all of them. You can even configure when a certain stage should start deploying and you can indicate that somebody needs to approve the deployment to certain stages. Fill in something like "Production".
- Now click on the stage to drill down into it and configure its steps
(Release pipeline in the Azure DevOps portal)
- We only have one step in the process and that is Deploy Azure Function App. Select the step
- Select the Azure Subscription to use for the deployment. If this is the first time that you use this subscription with Azure DevOps, you need to select Authorize to grant Azure DevOps permissions to use the subscription
- Next, select Function App on Windows for App Type
- For App Service name, select the App Service that you want to deploy your Function to
- Click Save
- Go back to the stages by selecting Releases in the breadcrumb menu and Edit after that
(Release pipeline in the Azure DevOps portal)
- In the overview, click on the Add an artifact tile, and select the results of the build process
- Click on the lightning icon of the artifact to configure continuous deployment. This automatically starts a release when a build successfully finishes
- Now select Create release in the right-hand corner and select Create after that, to start deploying the Function to Azure
- You should see a message that says that your release has been created. Click on the link to the release to see it running
(Release results in the Azure DevOps portal)
After a while, the release will be finished and your Function is deployed to the Azure Function in Azure.
You've just used Azure DevOps pipelines (opens new window) to create a complete Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) solution to deploy an Azure Function (opens new window) to Azure. This was incredibly easy and took just a couple of minutes to complete. You can see how powerful Azure DevOps pipelines is as you can easily point the pipeline to other source code, add more tasks to the pipelines or select other templates, and use YAML (opens new window) to create more advanced pipelines. Go and check it out!