Getting Started with Azure Functions Core Tools: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Getting Started with Azure Functions Core Tools: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Azure Functions Core Tools is a powerful framework that allows developers to build and test Azure Functions locally. With its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with Azure, it provides a convenient way to develop serverless functions. In this tutorial, we will go through a step-by-step process of installing and setting up Azure Functions Core Tools on your local machine. We will also explore its key features and functionalities, enabling you to kick-start your journey into serverless development with Azure Functions.

Section 1: Overview of Azure Functions Core Tools

Azure Functions Core Tools is a cross-platform command-line interface (CLI) tool designed to simplify the development and testing of Azure Functions on your local machine. It offers a lightweight and portable environment for building and running functions outside of the Azure cloud. By utilizing Azure Functions Core Tools, developers can enhance their productivity and streamline the development process.

Azure Functions Core Tools offers several key features and benefits:

  • Cross-platform compatibility: Azure Functions Core Tools is supported on major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This enables developers to work on their preferred platform and leverage the power of Azure Functions.
  • Local development environment: With Azure Functions Core Tools, you can develop and test your functions locally without the need for an active Azure subscription. This allows for faster development iterations and reduces potential costs associated with testing in the cloud.
  • Function templates: Azure Functions Core Tools provides a variety of templates to kick-start your function development. These templates include pre-configured code and configurations for different function types, such as HTTP-triggered functions, timer-triggered functions, and queue-triggered functions. Templates help streamline the creation process and provide a solid foundation for building your functions.
  • Integration with Azure services: Azure Functions Core Tools seamlessly integrates with various Azure services, allowing you to utilize them in your local development environment. This includes Azure Storage, Azure Service Bus, Azure Cosmos DB, and more. You can easily connect your functions to these services and test the interactions locally.
  • Local debugging and testing: One of the significant advantages of Azure Functions Core Tools is the ability to debug and test functions locally. It provides a local development server that mimics the Azure Functions runtime, allowing you to set breakpoints, step through the code, and inspect variables during debugging. You can simulate different triggers and input data to validate the behavior and functionality of your functions.
  • CLI extensibility: Azure Functions Core Tools is built on a command-line interface, making it highly extensible. You can leverage additional command-line tools, extensions, and libraries to enhance your development experience. This extensibility allows for customization and integration with other development workflows or toolchains.

Section 2: Installing Azure Functions Core Tools

In this section, we will explore the installation process of Azure Functions Core Tools. We will cover the installation steps for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. You will learn how to set up the necessary dependencies and configure your development environment to ensure a smooth installation experience.


  • Visit the Azure Functions Core Tools GitHub repository ( and download the latest version of the tools for Windows.
  • Once the download is complete, run the installer executable (.msi file) and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • After installation, open a new command prompt or PowerShell window and type 'func' to verify that the tools are installed correctly. You should see the available command-line options for Azure Functions Core Tools.


  • Open a terminal window and ensure that Homebrew is installed on your system. If not, you can install Homebrew by following the instructions at
  • Once Homebrew is installed, run the following command to install Azure Functions Core Tools: 'brew tap azure/functions && brew install azure-functions-core-tools@3'.
  • After the installation is complete, you can verify the installation by opening a new terminal window and typing 'func'. The command should display the available options for Azure Functions Core Tools.


  • For Linux, the installation process varies depending on the distribution. The following steps outline the installation process for Ubuntu-based distributions:
  • Open a terminal window and run the following commands:
curl -sSL | gpg --dearmor > microsoft.gpg
sudo mv microsoft.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.asc.gpg

  • Next, run the command specific to your Ubuntu version:
    • Ubuntu 20.04: wget -q -O packages-microsoft-prod.deb
    • Ubuntu 18.04: wget -q -O packages-microsoft-prod.deb
  • Install the Azure Functions Core Tools package by running the following command:
sudo dpkg -i packages-microsoft-prod.deb
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install azure-functions-core-tools-3

  • After the installation is complete, you can verify it by opening a new terminal window and typing func. The command should display the available options for Azure Functions Core Tools.
Once Azure Functions Core Tools are successfully installed, you are ready to start building and testing Azure Functions locally. Remember to keep the tools up to date by checking for new releases or updates periodically. With Azure Functions Core Tools installed, you can take full advantage of the local development environment and accelerate your serverless function development process.

Section 3: Creating Your First Azure Function

Once you have Azure Functions Core Tools installed, it's time to create your first function. In this section, we will go through the process of creating a simple HTTP-triggered function using Azure Functions Core Tools. We will cover the necessary steps, such as initializing a new project, selecting the appropriate function template, and implementing the function code. You will also learn how to test the function locally and invoke it using various HTTP clients.

Initialize a new project:

  • Open a command prompt or terminal window and navigate to the directory where you want to create your Azure Functions project.
  • Run the command 'func init <project-name>' to initialize a new Azure Functions project. Replace '<project-name>' with the desired name for your project.
  • Select the desired runtime stack when prompted. For example, you can choose between .NET, Node.js, Python, or other supported languages.
  • Once the initialization is complete, navigate into the project directory by running cd '<project-name>'.

Create a new function:

  • Run the command 'func new' to create a new function within your project.
  • Select the desired template for your function. In this case, choose the HTTP trigger template by typing 'HttpTrigger'.
  • Provide a name for your function when prompted. This name will be used as the function's route and function name.
  • Choose the authorization level for your function. For simplicity, you can select 'Anonymous' to allow unrestricted access.
  • After completing the prompts, the necessary files and folders for your function will be generated.

Implement the function code:

  • Open the project folder in your preferred code editor.
  • Navigate to the 'HttpTrigger' folder (or the folder corresponding to your selected template) and open the 'function.json' file.
  • Customize the configuration settings for your function, such as the HTTP method, route, and other parameters.
  • Open the 'run.csx' (C# Script) or 'index.js' (JavaScript) file, depending on your chosen runtime stack.
  • Implement the logic for your function inside the 'Run' or 'index' function. This is where you define the behavior of your function when it is triggered.

Test the function locally:

  • In the command prompt or terminal, navigate to the project's root directory.
  • Run the command 'func start' to start the local development server.
  • Once the server is running, you can test your function by sending HTTP requests to the provided URL. The server will display the function's URL in the console output.
  • Use tools like cURL, Postman, or your preferred HTTP client to send requests to the function's URL and observe the response.

By following these steps, you have successfully created and tested your first Azure Function using Azure Functions Core Tools. You can continue exploring the various templates and function triggers supported by Azure Functions Core Tools. Additionally, you can customize your function's behavior by modifying the function code and configuration files. Azure Functions Core Tools empowers you to develop, test, and iterate on your functions locally before deploying them to the Azure cloud, enabling a smooth and efficient serverless development experience.

Section 4: Deploying Azure Functions to Azure

After successfully developing and testing your functions locally, it's time to deploy them to the Azure cloud. In this section, we will explore the deployment process using Azure Functions Core Tools. This will cover the steps of creating an Azure Functions app, configuring the deployment settings, and publishing your functions to the Azure cloud. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to seamlessly transition your local functions to a production environment in Azure.

Create an Azure Function App:

  • Open the Azure portal ( and sign in to your Azure account.
  • Click on "Create a resource" and search for "Function App" in the search bar. Select the "Function App" option from the search results.
  • Click on "Create" to begin creating a new Function App.
  • Provide the necessary details for your Function App, such as the subscription, resource group, and unique app name.
  • Select the runtime stack that matches the one you used in your local development (e.g., .NET, Node.js, Python).
  • Choose the operating system, hosting plan, and other configuration settings based on your requirements.
  • Click on "Create" to create the Function App. Wait for the deployment process to complete.

Publish your Azure Functions:

  • Once the Function App is created, navigate to its overview page in the Azure portal.
  • Click on the "Functions" option in the left-hand menu to view the available functions within the app.
  • Click on the "+ Add" button to add a new function to the Function App.
  • Select the appropriate trigger type for your function (e.g., HTTP trigger, timer trigger, queue trigger).
  • Configure the necessary settings for the trigger, such as the route, schedule, or connection strings.
  • After creating the function, go back to the overview page of the Function App.
  • Click on "Deploy" (or "Deployment options") in the left-hand menu to set up the deployment method.
  • Choose the deployment source based on your preference. You can deploy from various sources like local Git, GitHub, Azure DevOps, or other supported repositories.
  • Follow the prompts and provide the necessary authentication and repository details.
  • Once the deployment source is configured, trigger the deployment process to publish your Azure Functions to the Function App.

Configure deployment settings:

  • After the deployment is complete, navigate to the Function App's configuration settings.
  • Configure any additional settings required for your functions, such as environment variables, application settings, or connection strings.
  • Ensure that the necessary dependencies or extensions are installed and configured correctly.
  • If your functions require access to other Azure services, configure the appropriate permissions and connections.

Test and monitor your deployed functions:

  • Once your functions are deployed, you can test them by invoking the provided URL or triggering the configured triggers.
  • Monitor the execution and performance of your functions using Azure Application Insights or other monitoring tools.
  • Set up logging and diagnostics to capture and analyze function logs for troubleshooting and optimization.

By following these steps, you have successfully deployed your Azure Functions created with Azure Functions Core Tools to the Azure cloud. Your functions are now running in a scalable and managed environment, allowing you to leverage the power of Azure for your serverless applications. Remember to monitor and manage your deployed functions to ensure their performance, reliability, and cost-efficiency in the Azure cloud environment.

Section 5: Advanced Features and Functionality

Azure Functions Core Tools provides a range of advanced features and functionalities to enhance your serverless development experience. In this section, we will get introduced to some of these features, such as environment variables, triggering options, and binding extensions. You will learn how to leverage these capabilities to build more complex and versatile functions.

Scaling Azure Functions:

  • Azure Functions provides automatic scaling based on the incoming workload. As the number of requests increases, Azure automatically scales out the underlying infrastructure to handle the load.
  • You can configure scaling settings for your functions based on predefined triggers or metrics such as CPU usage, message queue length, or HTTP requests per second.
  • Navigate to the Azure portal and open the Function App containing your functions.
  • Click on the "Scale out (App Service plan)" option in the left-hand menu to configure the scaling settings.
  • Adjust the instance count and other scaling parameters based on your application's requirements and expected workload.

Configuring Triggers and Bindings:

  • Triggers and bindings define how your functions respond to events and interact with input and output data.
  • Open the Function App in the Azure portal and navigate to the specific function you want to configure.
  • Click on the "Integrate" option in the left-hand menu to view and configure triggers and bindings for the function.
  • Add or modify triggers to specify the events or conditions that trigger your functions.
  • Configure bindings to connect your functions to input and output data sources such as storage accounts, databases, message queues, or external APIs.

Enabling Logging and Diagnostics:

  • Logging is crucial for capturing runtime information, errors, and troubleshooting your functions.
  • In the Azure portal, go to the Function App and click on the "Platform features" tab.
  • Under the "Monitoring" section, click on "App Service logs" to configure logging settings.
  • Enable Application Logging (Filesystem) and set the log level according to your needs.
  • Configure log retention, log streaming, or log storage options based on your requirements.
  • Additionally, you can use Azure Application Insights to gain more advanced monitoring and analytics capabilities for your functions. Follow the documentation to set up Application Insights for your Function App.

Monitoring and Diagnosing Functions:

  • Azure provides various monitoring tools and features to gain insights into the behavior and performance of your functions.
  • Open the Azure portal and navigate to the Function App containing your functions.
  • Click on the "Monitor" option in the left-hand menu to access the monitoring dashboard.
  • Monitor key metrics such as execution count, latency, and error rate for your functions.
  • Set up alerts to receive notifications when certain thresholds or conditions are met.
  • Use Azure Application Insights to gain deeper insights into function performance, including request traces, dependency tracking, and custom metrics.

By effectively managing and monitoring your Azure Functions, you can ensure optimal performance, troubleshoot issues promptly, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your serverless applications. Explore the available management and monitoring features in the Azure portal, and leverage tools like Azure Monitor, Application Insights, and logging capabilities to gain a comprehensive view of your functions' health and behavior.

Final Words

In this comprehensive guide, we have covered the essential steps to get started with Azure Functions Core Tools. We walked through the installation process, introduced you to the features and functionalities of Azure Functions Core Tools, and provided a step-by-step tutorial on creating your first function. Additionally, we explored the deployment of Azure Functions to the Azure cloud, along with configuration and management options. Lastly, we discussed the importance of monitoring and managing your functions to ensure their performance, scalability, and reliability.

By following this tutorial, you have gained a solid foundation in working with Azure Functions Core Tools. You now have the knowledge to create, deploy, and manage serverless functions, which can be leveraged to build efficient and scalable applications in the Azure cloud. Azure Functions Core Tools empower developers to focus on writing code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure, allowing for rapid development and iteration.

Remember that Azure Functions Core Tools offer a wide range of triggers, bindings, and integration options. You can explore additional functionalities and customize your functions to meet specific requirements. As you gain more experience with Azure Functions, consider diving deeper into topics like advanced trigger configurations, integrating with other Azure services, and optimizing function performance.

As you continue your journey with Azure Functions, always keep best practices in mind. This includes implementing error handling, following security guidelines, and considering cost optimization strategies. Azure Functions offer a flexible and cost-effective way to build event-driven applications, and with the right practices, you can maximize their benefits.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a solid foundation to start your journey with Azure Functions Core Tools. With further exploration, practice, and creativity, you can unlock the full potential of serverless computing and build powerful, scalable applications in the Azure ecosystem. Happy coding!

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