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Tutorial: An Automated reading list with Feedly and Azure Functions

seankilleen profile image Sean Killeen Originally published at seankilleen.com on ・3 min read

I’ve been a fan of RSS feeds for a long time. I love curating a collection of knowledge that streams to me at my pace, and I consider feeds to be a fundamental piece of how I keep up with technology and stay fresh. I currently use Feedly and have been a happy pro user for years.

But something is missing. As much as I like reading, I also like sharing. So, I’m going to build a system that will share my reading list in an automated way so that it stays evergreen.

The Requirements

I think the requirements for this mini-project will be:

  • Only show my development-related feeds. I’ve got a ton of RSS feeds, and as much as I’m sure everyone would like to see my politics 😉, we’ll want to filter the RSS feeds list to only those that would be relevant to developers.
  • Can continuously run with minimal intervention. I need this system to be pretty low maintenance. It can’t be held together with duct tape.
  • Cost-effective. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on this.

Luckily, with the benefits of Azure Functions and APIs, I think we can make this work in a cost-effective way.

The Ingredients

My solution is going to make use of:

  • The Feedly API. Feedly is kind enough to provide a developer API for access to your feeds (I think even for non-pro users?). This is what will give us access to our feeds.
  • Azure Functions is a perfect fit for this. A small, light-weight, cost-effective, easily-deployable solution to interact with APIs. We’ll use functions to keep the Feedly auth token up to date (it needs to be refreshed), and to filter the OPML feed file to to the contents that we want.
  • Azure Key Vault. Since we’re dealing with authorization tokens, I’m not just going to be dumping them any old place, even though it would probably be pretty fast to dump them plain-text into a private Azure storage blob. Safety first!
  • Azure Storage Blobs. We’ll have the function post the current list to a storage blob, where we can expose its contents publicly and link to it directly from this static site.
  • VS Code. This time around, I’m going to try to do everything from VS Code and the command line. Because why not?

Getting Started

Before we get started: I’m here to help! If the example is unclear, or something isn’t working for you, drop me a line in the comments and we’ll figure out a way to get it straightened out.

  • Sign up for an Azure account. You can do it here if you don’t already have an account (I believe they provide 30 days free with roughly $200 in credit, which is pretty awesome.)
  • Get a Feedly API key. You can obtain the key here, which will ask you to sign in, and then will provide you with your User ID and a link to your auth token & refresh token. Place these IDs and tokens in a notepad document or someplace temporary, or in a password manager.
  • Install .NET Core SDK. We’ll be using .NET Core to develop our app. You can get it here. You can get it from https://dotnet.microsoft.com/.
  • Install VSCode. This isn’t a requirement by any means. It’s just an editor, but it’s a mighty fine one and I suggest you familiarize yourself with it. You can get it at https://code.visualstudio.com/.

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