Microsoft takes the wraps off new Azure Event Grid service

Microsoft is kicking off a preview of its Azure Event Grid, a service to assist programmers building event-based and serverless applications.

Microsoft is starting to roll out in preview a new Azure service meant to help developers who are building event-based applications.

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That new service, Azure Event Grid, is designed to provide programmers building event-based and serverless applications with a higher level of abstraction, so they won't need to worry about infrastructure, provisioning, or scaling, Microsoft officials said.

"We're seeing many apps in Azure being developed around events," said Corey Sanders, Director of Azure Compute. These kinds of apps include Internet of Things (IoT), mobile apps, applications that initiate business processes and more, Sanders explained. And Azure Functions/serverless and Azure Logic apps are increasing the need for these kinds of event-based solutions, he said.

Microsoft introduced Azure Functions, its serverless compute service, which competes with AWS Lambda, last year.

The management of serverless events is what the Azure Event Grid is meant to help address.Event Grid will make events first-class objects in Azure, but will also work with third-party services outside Azure, Sanders said.

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Credit: Microsoft

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The Event Grid will be able to help users track events, such as the creation of a virtual machine or a file being added to storage, as they occur in Azure or third-party services. Event Grid will only launch and run when an event occurs, which means users will only be charged when the service is in use -- which makes Event Grid viable for IoT scenarios, according to Microsoft.

Azure Event Grid goes to preview starting today. It initially will be available in a limited number of geographies (US only to start), with more areas coming onboard over time. Microsoft has a page for Event Grid pricing (during the preview) and more details. The Event Grid documentation also has lots more information about how the service works and how developers can get started.

As of today, Azure Event Grid supports a limited number of services for initiating an event. Those services include Azure Blob Storage, Azure Resource Manager, Application Topics, Event Hubs, Azure Functions, Azure Automation, Logic Apps, and WebHook Endpoints. Later this year, Microsoft plans to add support for other endpoints to the service, including Azure Active Directory, IoT Hub, Service Bus Azure Daka Lake Store, Cosmos DB, and more.

Those interested in all things Microsoft-integration-related may want to note that the Integrate 2017 conference is happening in Redmond at the end of October.

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