Microsoft Azure Launches Azure Functions To Compete With AWS Lambda And Google Functions

On March 31, Microsoft Azure announced details of Azure Functions, its analogue of the AWS Lambda function service that allows developers to write code that can be triggered into operating on data repositories from a multitude of sources. Azure Functions automatically provision resources as required when called into action by the requisite trigger that precipitates its operation. Examples of events that activate triggers include designated times using CRON jobs, events in data feeds such as the presence of a hashtag in a Twitter feed or the results of queries and algorithms that operate on streaming data. Developers can code Azure Functions using Javascript, C#, Python, PHP in addition to using Bash, Batch and PowerShell and pre-compiled executable files. Azure Functions also features a rich user interface that facilitates the specification of triggers, input data and output repositories for developers. Like its counterpart AWS Lambda, Azure Functions absolves users of the need to provision infrastructure to store those functions and thereby have earned the designation of “serverless computing” although the reality is that the functions in question reside on an Azure-server in contrast to one provisioned by a customer. Azure Functions is in preview mode and currently brings Azure into parity with the Google Cloud Platform, which launched Google Functions in alpha in February 2016 and Amazon Web Services, which announced AWS Lambda at AWS Re-Invent in November 2014.