DEV Community

loading...
Microsoft Azure

Azure Functions, F# and CosmosDB Output Bindings

Aaron Powell
Hi, my name’s Aaron Powell and I’m a Cloud Developer Advocate (CDA) at Microsoft. My area of specialty is front-end web dev and .NET (especially F#), but I enjoy doing silly things with technology.
Originally published at aaron-powell.com on ・3 min read

While building the demo application from last weeks On .NET Live stream I was needing to do some writing of data to CosmosDB and figured I’d use the output bindings. With the docs only containing C# examples (at least, at the time of writing), I thought I’d use this post to show how to do it in F#.

out arguments

One way which we can use an output binding is to have an out argument, essentially somewhere that you’re passing a reference to a variable that the host will send to CosmosDB. Since out is a C# keyword we need to use the F# equivalent, which is outref<T>:

namespace Demo

type ToDo =
    { Id: string
      Description: string }

module CreateToDo =
    [<FunctionName("CreateGame")>]
    let run
        ([<QueueTrigger("todoqueueforwrite")>] queueMessage: string),
        ([<CosmosDB("ToDoItems", "Items", ConnectionStringSetting = "CosmosConnection")>] todo: outref<ToDo>)
        (log: ILogger)
        =
        todo <- { Id = Guid.NewGuid().ToString(); Description = queueMessage }

        log.LogInformation "F# Queue trigger function inserted one row"
        log.LogInformation (sprintf "Description=%s" queueMessage);
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

In this example, we have the outref<ToDo> as the second argument of our Function and we use the <- operator to do assignment to the mutable value (outref is a mutable reference, similar to let mutable makes a mutable binding).

Dealing with async

Here's a slightly more challenging problem, if you're doing something that's requiring an asynchronous process to happen, like reading the request body, and then writing to the output binding, we can't use outref<T>, as the way async operations work (whether it's Task or Async based) means that you can't capture an outref parameter (nor in C# can you use an out parameter in an async function).

This is what the IAsyncCollector<T> is for, it gives us an interface which we can push output to from within an async operation.

namespace Demo

type ToDo =
    { Id: string
      Description: string }

module CreateToDo =
    [<FunctionName("CreateGame")>]
    let run
        ([<HttpTrigger(AuthorizationLevel.Function, "post", Route = null)>] req: HttpRequest)
        ([<CosmosDB("ToDoItems", "Items", ConnectionStringSetting = "CosmosConnection")>] todos: IAsyncCollector<ToDo>)
        (log: ILogger)
        =
        async {
            use stream = new StreamReader(req.Body)
            let! reqBody = stream.ReadToEndAsync() |> Async.AwaitTask

            do!
                { Id = Guid.NewGuid().ToString(); Description = reqBody }
                |> todos.AddAsync
                |> Async.AwaitIAsyncResult
                |> Async.Ignore

            return OkResult()
        } |> Async.AwaitTask
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

In this example, we're reading the req.Body stream and then creating a new record that is passed to the IAsyncCollector.AddAsync, and since it returns Task, not Task<T>, we need to ignore the result.

Lastly, we convert the async block to Task<T> using Async.AwaitTask, since the Functions host requires Task<T> to be returned. You could optimise this code using Ply or TaskBuilder.fs, but I kept it simple for this example.

Conclusion

This post shows how we can use the CosmosDB output bindings for Azure Functions from F# in the two most common scenarios, outputting a single item directly or outputting an item as part of an async operation.

You'll find a much more complete example in the demo app I built.

Discussion (0)