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Create a Durable Azure Function with Visual Studio

First, let's talk about the difference between an Azure Function and a Durable Azure Function. The difference here is stateful vs stateless. A stateless platform does not hold your data. A stateful platform does hold your data.

To give a few examples, Docker containers are stateless. Once that container is gone, the data is gone. This is why (besides performance issues) it's frowned upon to put databases in containers (sure, you can mount volumes for the purpose of making it stateful, but that's off topic). However, LXC (Linux Containers) are stateful and hold your data.

Another example is your computers RAM and hard drive. RAM is stateless, meaning once you turn off your computer, everything held in RAM is gone. However your hard drive is stateful, as in once your computer gets turned off, your data stored in your hard drive still exists.

Now that we understand stateful vs stateless, let's talk about Azure Functions. Durable Azure Functions are "stateful". Let's go ahead and create one.

1. An Azure account
2. Visual Studio (Community works fine)
3. The Azure Development Visual Studio extension. If you do not have this, if you get the executable for Visual Studio and run it, it'll give you an option to add extensions.

Let's go ahead and open up a new Visual Studio project by creating a new project. under Azure Resource Group templates, choose Azure Functions.

Give your app a name and click Create.

For the next part, we can use an empty function with no triggers. If you look on the right side, you'll see "Storage Account (AzureWebJobsStorage).

Click on the drop-down and choose "Browse...". You'll see an Azure Storage window where you can create a new or existing storage account. Go ahead and create a new storage account. I'm going to call mine "mjlapp92storage". I'll choose my subscription, resource group, location, and account type. After you click create, go ahead and click add.

Click create.

Now that my app is created, I'm going to add the Durable Functions Orchestration by right clicking my app clicking Add > New Azure Function. Ensure that you choose Azure Functions.

Under the function, choose the "Durable Functions Orchestration" option and click OK.

Once that is complete, I'm going to right click my app and choose "Publish" so I can publish my function app to Azure.

Click start and under the consumption plan, choose "Create new".

Click the publish button, confirm your settings, and click "create".

Once the deployment is complete, head over to your Azure portal and go to Azure Functions.

Click on your function app and click on the URL. You should see a function app splash page. Every time someone accesses this URL, your state will be saved.

If you head over to your storage account, you'll see that your "state" of your application is being saved.

You now have a stateful Azure function! Thanks for reading.


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