Home Web Development Full-Stack Web Development 5 reasons Node.js developers might actually love using Azure

5 reasons Node.js developers might actually love using Azure [Sponsored by Microsoft]

Why Node.js developers might like Azure
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5 min read

If you’re a Node.js developer, it might seem odd to be thinking about Azure. However, as the software landscape becomes increasingly cloud native, it’s well worth thinking about the cloud solution you and your organization uses. It should, after all, make life easier for you as much as it should help your company scale and provide better services and user experiences for customers.

We don’t often talk about it, but cloud isn’t one thing: it’s a set of tools that provide developers with new ways of building and managing apps. It helps you experiment and learn.

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In the development of Azure, developer experience is at the top of the agenda. In many ways the platform represents Microsoft’s transformation as an organization, from one that seemed to distrust open source developers, to one which is hell bent on making them happier and more productive.

So, if you’re a Node.js developer – or any kind of JavaScript developer, for that matter – reading this with healthy scepticism (and why wouldn’t you), let’s look at some of the reasons and ways Azure can support you in your work…

This post is part of a series brought to you in conjunction with Microsoft. Download Learning Node.js Development for free courtesy of Microsoft here.

Deploy apps quickly with Azure App Service 

As a developer, deploying applications quickly is one of your top priorities. Azure does that thanks to Azure App Service. Essentially, Azure App Service is a PaaS that brings together a variety of other Azure services and resources helping you to develop and host applications without worrying about your infrastructure.  

There are lots of reasons to love Azure App Service, not least the speed with which it allows you to get up and running, but most importantly it gives application developers access to a range of Azure features, such as load balancing and security, as well as the platforms integrations with tools for DevOps processes.  

Azure App Service works for developers working with a range of platforms, from Python to PHP – Node.js developers that want to give it a try should start here 

Manage application and infrastructure resources with the Azure CLI

The Azure CLI is a useful tool for managing cloud resources. It can also be used to deploy an application quickly.

If you’re a developer that likes working with the CLI, this feature really does offer a nice way of working, allowing you to easily move between each step in the development and deployment process.

If you want to try deploying a Node.js application using the Azure CLI, check out this tutorial, or learn more about the Azure CLI here.

Go serverless with Azure Functions

Serverless has been getting serious attention over the last 18 months. While it’s true that serverless is a hyped field, and that in reality there are serious considerations to be made about how and where you choose to run your software, it’s relatively easy to try it out for yourself using Azure.

In fact, the name itself is useful in demystifying serverless. The word ‘functions’ is a much more accurate description what you’re doing as a developer. A function is essentially a small piece of code that runs in the cloud that execute certain actions or tasks in specific situations.

There are many reasons to go serverless, from a pay per use pricing model to support for your preferred dependencies. And while there are plenty of options in terms of cloud providers, Azure is worth exploring because it makes it so easy for developers to leverage.

Learn more about Azure Functions here.

Simple, accessible dashboards for logging and monitoring

In 2019 building more reliable and observable systems will expand from the preserve of SREs and become something developers are accountable for too. This is the next step in the evolution of software engineering, as new silos are broken down.

It’s for this reason that the monitoring tools offered by Azure could prove to be so valuable for developers. With Application Insights and Azure Monitor, you can gain the level of transparency you need to properly manage your application.

Learn how to successfully monitor a Node.js app here.

Build and deploy applications with Azure DevOps

DevOps shouldn’t really require additional effort and thinking – but more often than not it does. Azure is a platform that appears to understand this implicitly, and the team behind it have done a lot to make it easier to cultivate a DevOps culture with several useful tools and integrations.

Azure Test Plans is a toolkit for testing applications, which can seriously help you improve the way you test in your development processes, while Azure Boards can support project management from inside the Azure ecosystem – useful if you’re looking for a new way to manage agile workflows.

But perhaps the most important feature within Azure DevOps – for developers at least – is Azure Pipelines. Azure Pipelines is particularly useful for JavaScript developers as it gives you the option to run a build pipeline on a Microsoft hosted agent that has a wide range of common JavaScript tools (like Yarn and Gulp) pre-installed. Microsoft claims this is the “simplest way to build and deploy” because “maintenance and upgrades are taken care of for you. Each time you run a pipeline, you get a fresh virtual machine. The virtual machine is discarded after one use.”

Find out how to build, test, and deploy Node.js apps using Azure Pipelines with this tutorial.

Read next: 5 developers explain why they use Visual Studio Code

Conclusion: Azure is a place to experiment and learn

We often talk about cloud as a solution or service. And although it can provide solutions to many urgent problems, it’s worth remembering that cloud is really a set of many different tools. It isn’t one thing.

Because of this, cloud platforms like Azure are as much places to experiment and try out new ways of working as it is simply someone else’s server space. With that in mind, it could be worth experimenting with Azure to try out new ideas – after all, what’s the worst that can happen? More than anything, cloud native should make development fun.

Find out how to get started with Node.js on Azure. Download Learning Node.js with Azure for free from Microsoft.