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Serverless Computing

The promise of serverless computing
What if you could spend all your time building and deploying great apps, and none of your time managing servers? Serverless computing lets you do just that because the infrastructure you need to run and scale your apps is managed for you. Focus your efforts on your business. Redirect resources from infrastructure management into innovating and bringing apps to market faster.

What is serverless computing?
Serverless computing is the abstraction of servers, infrastructure, and operating systems. When you build serverless apps you don’t need to provision and manage any servers, so you can take your mind off infrastructure concerns. Serverless computing is driven by the reaction to events and triggers happening in near-real-time—in the cloud. As a fully managed service, server management and capacity planning are invisible to the developer and billing is based just on resources consumed or the actual time your code is running.


Why build serverless applications?

Benefit from fully managed services
Spare your teams the burden of managing servers. By utilizing fully managed services, you focus on your business logic and avoid administrative tasks. With serverless architecture, you simply deploy your code, and it runs with high availability.

Scale flexibility
Serverless compute scales from nothing to handle tens of thousands of concurrent functions almost instantly (within seconds), to match any workload, and without requiring scale configuration—it reacts to events and triggers in near-real-time.

Only pay for resources you use
With serverless architecture, you only pay for the time your code is running. Serverless computing is event-driven, and resources are allocated as soon as they’re triggered by an event. You’re only charged for the time and resources it takes to execute your code—through sub-second billing.

Examples of serverless applications
Web application architecture
Azure Functions can power a single-page app. The app calls functions using the WebHook URL, saves user data, and decides what data to display. Or, do simple customizations, such as changing ad targeting by calling a function and passing it user profile information.

IoT back end
For example, Internet of Things (IoT) devices send messages to Stream Analytics, which then calls an Azure function to transform the message. This function processes the data and creates a new update in Azure Cosmos DB.

SaaS integration
Functions supports triggers based on activity in a Software as a service (SaaS)-based application. For example, save a file in OneDrive, which triggers a function that uses the Microsoft Graph API to modify the spreadsheet, and creates additional charts and calculated data.

Mobile back end
A mobile back end can be a set of HTTP APIs that are called from a mobile client using the WebHook URL. For example, a mobile application can capture an image, and then call an Azure function to get an access token for uploading to blob storage. A second function is triggered by the blob upload and resizes the image to be mobile-friendly.