Wednesday 30 October 2019

Debugging Azure functions locally

Actually the title of this post should be "Debugging your serverless apps locally".
I found a utility while working on Azure functions which helps you debug the function locally(if you have the source code, obviously). It is called ngrok. They have a pretty awesome website and very simple docs.

Steps to proceed are as below.
  1. Make sure your Azure function is up and running in your machine and you are able to hit the breakpoint from your local.
  2. Signup on the ngrok website.
  3. Download the ngrok utility(its an exe file). double click to execute. It opens a command prompt.
  4. Connect to your account. Upon login to ngrok website you will get an auth token which you have to use to connect to your account. command to execute "ngrok authtoken <your_token_here>". This step will create a .yml file in your users directory.
  5. Create a tunnel. Use command "ngrok http 7071". 7071 is the port you want to expose. I used it because its the default port for Azure function apps.
  6. Use the url provided by the ngrok utility to hit the breakpoint on your function from the internet.
I hope this was easy. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Getting started with Azure Event Grid

As a human being, every new thing scares us. Same was the case with me when I tried started working on Azure Event Grid. No article I was able to find that works out steps by step. The learning curve looked steep almost vertical ;)
Well in this post I try to reduce those efforts for you. I will try to list out the details required to get you started with Event Grid.

Below image is taken from Microsoft Event Grid documentation website.

Azure Event Grid as its mentioned everywhere, its a way to publish/subscribe your events in an easy way. If your subscriber is down It tries in a Exponential back-off way to deliver the message for 24 hours.

First thing you should know is 'Topic'. What is a topic?
Topic is an endpoint where the source sends the event. To respond to certain types of events, subscribers decide which topics to subscribe to.

Event Grid provides below-mentioned event sources: (Topics are already available, you can subscribe to them easily)
  • Azure Subscriptions
  • Container Registry
  • Custom Topics
  • Event Hubs
  • IoT Hub
  • Media Services
  • Resource Groups (management operations)
  • Service Bus
  • Storage Blob
  • Azure Maps

Below mentioned Event Handlers are supported: (You can receive the events using any of the below mechanism)
  • Azure Automation
  • Azure Functions
  • Event Hubs
  • Hybrid Connections
  • Logic Apps
  • Microsoft Flow
  • Queue Storage
  • Service Bus (Preview)
  • WebHooks

The good thing is that you can publish an event of your own using a schema (Custom topic). what it means in real world terms is you call an api with the data in specified format and it will work as event generated and event grid will push it to all the subscribers of that event.

There are three types of schema available.
In case of inbuilt event providers you can even apply filters to the event, so you will get the event you wish to.

Retry policies can be configured. You can also expire the event after certain time.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Azure functions, A server less compute

First thing I thought about was "What does it mean when someone says its serverless?"

Well I have found my answer serverless doesn't mean it will not run on server first of all. 😉 It means that you don't have to worry about the server resources and other stuff. You just pay for the time your function is executing. If your function executes for 20 seconds per day well then you mostly will pay for that. You  can explore more about the pricing using the links given at the end of this post.

How to get started? Usually that is the most difficult thing to do.

Create a function is as simple as working on a console app. Open Visual Studio. Create new project of Azure functions type and you are done. :)

Make sure you select:
  1. Http Trigger
  2. Authorization: Anonymous
  3. Function Runtime (2.x)
  4. Storage Account (Storage Emulator) standalone installer

You are ready to go. Press F5 to run your solution, you can see a command window firing up (which has lot of node.js work behind the scenes). Wait till it gives you the URL which mostly is http://localhost:7071/api/function1if you have not done any changes in the default out of the box app.

There is a pretty comprehensive documentation available.

Azure Functions pricing

 Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Connect to your broadband using win32 api using RasDial

So yesterday my router stopped working and new one will come in mail by today. Its one day that I was like without internet (not actually). I tried putting LAN directly to my laptop and connect to broadband. It worked like charm,  but the only problem I am facing now is connecting and disconnecting the connection. So, as a person who knows how to Google I tried finding a command to connect to internet by dialing up my broadband (PPPoE connection) and make it as a batch, just double click and it should work.

I found a command line utility called RasDial which is (RemoteAccessService). If you have already a network connection setup in your computer. you can directly open command prompt and type rasdial /? which gives you all the option to connect. If you have not done the setup yet you can check this link and do it.

  1. Connection: rasdial <YourConnectionName>
  2. Status: rasdial
  3. Disconnection: rasdial <YourConnectionName> /disconnect
Pretty simple and straight forward. Please share what you think about it in the comments below.