Creating Azure Solutions with the new Azure SDKs, F#, and Farmer

Creating Azure Solutions with the new Azure SDKs, F#, and Farmer

In this post, I want to focus on three areas that help us fall into the “pit of success”

Deployment and configuration of infrastructure and code into Azure can be challenging – especially when it comes to following best practices in areas such as repeatability and security. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In this post, I want to focus on three areas that help us fall into the “pit of success” when it comes to simple, secure, and repeatable deployments of .NET applications and Azure infrastructure.

1. New Azure SDKs

One of the biggest changes happening right now for .NET developers on Azure is the complete re-design of many of the core Azure SDK libraries. One of the new additions is a self-contained library designed specifically for identity, Azure.Identity.

2. Type-safe and powerful Azure provisioning

.NET developers now have the ability rapidly create ARM templates in an easy-to-understand DSL through the Farmer project, which allows you to safely, quickly, and succinctly create, configure, and deploy entire Azure topologies using trusted Microsoft technologies such as ARM Templates and the Azure CLI.

3. Cross platform, high performance functional programming

Many of the newest developments in .NET (such as .NET Core, .NET 5 and recent versions of ASP .NET Core) have enabled F## developers to write high-performance cross-platform web applications whilst still taking advantage of all of F#’s features that enable the rapid development of safe, simple, and maintainable code.

Securely creating and connecting Azure services with Farmer

Let’s take a common scenario: an ASP.NET web application that reads blob data from an Azure Storage account. How do you deploy and configure the web application to securely access the storage account?

There are a myriad of ways to achieve this, from storing the connection string directly in your application’s source code (please don’t do this!), to storing it in the Azure Website’s application configuration settings (possibly combined with ASP.NET’s new settings library) or even within an external service such as Key Vault.

  • Yet another alternative is to simply not use secrets at all! Instead, a Storage Account can grant permissions to a web application identity. This provides many benefits, such as the ability to provide fine-grained access to individual applications and accounts, as well as revoke permissions without requiring any modification to client applications.

azure sdk farmer fsharp azure

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