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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Announces Azure Functions 4.0 with .NET 6 Support in Preview

Microsoft Announces Azure Functions 4.0 with .NET 6 Support in Preview

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Microsoft recently announced the public preview release of Azure Functions 4.0 – its Function as a Service (FaaS) offering. The release of this new runtime includes support for .NET 6.0.

Earlier this year, the company provided support for Node.JS 14 and .NET 5, including a new isolated process model that runs .NET function apps in a separate worker process outside the Azure Functions host runtime. The public preview release of Azure Functions 4.0 will support the following language/runtime versions:

  • .NET 6.0 (in-process and isolated process) 
  • Node.js 14 
  • Python 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 
  • Java 8, 11 
  • PowerShell 7.0 
  • Custom Handlers

In a Microsoft Tech community blog post about the preview release, Anthony Chu, senior program manager, Azure Functions, wrote:

.NET 6 is also supported in Azure Functions 4.0 using the isolated process programming model. The isolated model gives you full control over the language worker startup configuration and provides useful features like dependency injection and middleware. Currently, you can use the command line to create and deploy your .NET 6 isolated apps. .NET 6 isolated process support is coming soon to Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

In addition, Microsoft Azure MVP, Mark Heath, wrote the following in one of his recent blog posts on Azure Functions about two programming models for .NET in Azure Functions:

The "in-process" model is the original way .NET Azure Functions ran. The Azure Functions runtime, which itself runs on .NET, simply loaded your functions into the same process. However, all other languages supported by Azure Functions (such as JavaScript, Python, etc.) use an out-of-process model where the Azure Functions runtime talks to your functions which are running in a separate process.

The company plans to release Azure Functions 4.0 to general availability (GA) later in November, coinciding with the scheduled GA release of .NET 6.0.

Source (screenshot):

Will Velida, a Microsoft Azure MVP, stated in his blog post about developing .NET Isolated Process Azure Functions:

Personally, I'm super excited about .NET Isolated Functions! With the increase in .NET version cadence, having the .NET version decoupled from the Azure Functions runtime version will provide .NET devs far more flexibility when it comes to using the latest features in .NET, rather than being constrained by limitations imposed by the runtime.

Currently, developers can try out Azure Function 4.0 locally by downloading the Azure Functions Core Tools 4.0 preview and leveraging the available documentation. Furthermore, Microsoft will continue to evolve the Azure Functions host and language workers during the preview period. Therefore, developers can subscribe to App Service Announcements for notifications on breaking changes and how to mitigate them.

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