Serverless Functions reference architectures
A reference architecture is a template of required components and the technical requirements to implement them. A reference architecture isn't custom-built for a customer solution, but is a high-level scenario based on extensive experience. Before designing a serverless solution, use a reference architecture to visualize an ideal technical architecture, then blend and integrate it into your environment.
Common serverless architecture patterns
Common serverless architecture patterns include:
- Serverless APIs, mobile and web backends.
- Event and stream processing, Internet of Things (IoT) data processing, big data and machine learning pipelines.
- Integration and enterprise service bus to connect line-of-business systems, publish and subscribe (Pub/Sub) to business events.
- Automation and digital transformation and process automation.
- Middleware, software-as-a-Service (SaaS) like Dynamics, and big data projects.
Web application backends
Retail scenario: Pick up online orders from a queue, process them, and store the resulting data in a database
Mobile application backends
Financial services scenario: Colleagues use mobile banking to reimburse each other for lunch. Whoever paid for lunch requests payment through a mobile app, triggering a notification on colleagues' phones.
Manufacturing scenario: A manufacturing company uses IoT to monitor its machines. Functions detects anomalous data and triggers a message to the service department when repair is required.
Conversational bot processing
Hospitality scenario: Customers ask for available vacation accommodations on their smartphones. A serverless bot deciphers requests and returns vacation options.
Real-time file processing
Healthcare scenario: The solution securely uploads patient records as PDF files. The solution then decomposes the data, processes it using OCR detection, and adds it to a database for easy queries.
Real-time stream processing
Independent software vendor (ISV) scenario: A massive cloud app collects huge amounts of telemetry data. The app processes that data in near real-time and stores it in a database for use in an analytics dashboard.
Scheduled task automation
Financial services scenario: The app analyzes a customer database for duplicate entries every 15 minutes, to avoid sending out multiple communications to the same customers.
Extending SaaS applications
Professional services scenario: A SaaS solution provides extensibility through webhooks, which Functions can implement to automate certain workflows.
Featured serverless reference architectures
The following featured serverless reference architectures walk through specific scenarios. See the linked articles for architectural diagrams and details.
The serverless microservices reference architecture walks you through designing, developing, and delivering the Rideshare application by Relecloud, a fictitious company. You get hands-on instructions for configuring and deploying all the architectural components, with helpful information about each component.
Serverless web application and event processing with Azure Functions
This two-part solution describes a hypothetical drone delivery system. Drones send in-flight status to the cloud, which stores these messages for later use. A web application allows users to retrieve the messages to get the latest device status.
- You can download the code for this solution from GitHub.
- The article Code walkthrough: Serverless application with Azure Functions walks you through the code and the design processes.
Event-based cloud automation
Automating workflows and repetitive tasks on the cloud can dramatically improve a DevOps team's productivity. A serverless model is best suited for event-driven automation scenarios. This event-based automation reference architecture illustrates two cloud automation scenarios: cost center tagging and throttling response.
Multicloud with Serverless Framework
The Serverless Framework architecture describes how the Microsoft Commercial Software Engineering (CSE) team partnered with a global retailer to deploy a highly-available serverless solution across both Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platforms, using the Serverless Framework.
More serverless Functions reference architectures
The following sections list other serverless and Azure Functions-related reference architectures and scenarios.
- Serverless application architectures using Event Grid
- Serverless apps using Cosmos DB
- Serverless event processing using Azure Functions
- Serverless web application on Azure
- Serverless Asynchronous Multiplayer Reference Architecture
- Instant Broadcasting on Serverless Architecture
- Building a telehealth system on Azure
- Custom Data Sovereignty & Data Gravity Requirements
- Sharing location in real time using low-cost serverless Azure services
Web and mobile backend
- An e-commerce front end
- Architect scalable e-commerce web app
- Improve scalability in an Azure web application
- Uploading and CDN-preloading static content with Azure Functions
- Cross Cloud Scaling Architecture
- Social App for Mobile and Web with Authentication
AI + Machine Learning
- Image classification for insurance claims
- Personalized Offers
- Personalized marketing solutions
- Speech transcription with Azure Cognitive Services
- Training a Model with AzureML and Azure Functions
- Customer Reviews App with Cognitive Services
- Enterprise-grade conversational bot
- AI at the Edge
- Mass ingestion and analysis of news feeds on Azure
- HIPPA and HITRUST compliant health data AI
- Intelligent Experiences On Containers (AKS, Functions, Keda)
Data and analytics
- Application integration using Event Grid
- Mass ingestion and analysis of news feeds
- Tier Applications & Data for Analytics
- Operational analysis and driving process efficiency
- Azure IoT reference (SQL DB)
- Azure IoT reference (Cosmos DB)
- IoT using Cosmos DB
- Facilities management powered by mixed reality and IoT
- Complementary Code Pattern for Azure IoT Edge Modules & Cloud Applications
- Custom Game Server Scaling
- Non-real Time Dashboard
- In-editor Debugging Telemetry
- Multiplayer Serverless Matchmaker
- Advanced leaderboard for large scale
- Relational Leaderboard
- Content Moderation
- Text Translation
- Text to Speech
- Gaming using Cosmos DB