Analyze the decision criteria

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With two viable serverless options, it can be difficult to know which is the best one for the job. In this unit, we'll analyze the criteria that experts employ when they're choosing a serverless service to use for a given business need. Understanding the criteria can also help you better understand the nuanced differences between the products.

Do you need to perform an orchestration across well-known APIs?

As we noted previously, Azure Logic Apps was designed with orchestration in mind, from the web-based visual configurator to the pricing model. Logic Apps excels at connecting a large array of disparate services via their APIs to pass and process data through many steps in a workflow.

It's possible to create the same workflow by using Azure Functions, but it might take a considerable amount of time to research which APIs to call and how to call them. Azure Logic Apps has already componentized these API calls so that you supply only a few details and the details of calling the necessary APIs is abstracted away.

Do you need to execute custom algorithms or perform specialized data parsing and data lookups?

With Azure Functions, you can use the full expressiveness of a programming language in a compact form. This lets you concisely build complex algorithms, or data lookup and parsing operations. You would be responsible for maintaining the code, handling exceptions resiliently, and so on.

Although Azure Logic Apps can perform logic (loops, decisions, and so on), if you have a logic-intensive orchestration that requires a complex algorithm, implementing that algorithm might be more verbose and visually overwhelming.

Do you have existing automated tasks written in an imperative programming language?

If you already have your orchestration or business logic expressed in C#, Java, Python, or another popular programming language, it might be easier to port your code into the body of an Azure Functions function app than to re-create it by using Azure Logic Apps.

Do you prefer a visual (declarative) workflow or writing (imperative) code?

Ultimately, your choice comes down to whether you prefer to work in a declarative environment or an imperative environment. Developers who have expertise in an imperative programming language might prefer to think about automation and orchestration from an imperative mindset. IT professionals and business analysts might prefer to work in a more visual low-code/no-code (declarative) environment.