Quickstart: Create a function in Azure with Python using Visual Studio Code

In this article, you use Visual Studio Code to create a Python function that responds to HTTP requests. After testing the code locally, you deploy it to the serverless environment of Azure Functions.

This article uses the Python v2 programming model for Azure Functions, which provides a decorator-based approach for creating functions. To learn more about the Python v2 programming model, see the Developer Reference Guide

Completing this quickstart incurs a small cost of a few USD cents or less in your Azure account.

There's also a CLI-based version of this article.

This video shows you how to create a Python function in Azure using Visual Studio Code.

The steps in the video are also described in the following sections.

Configure your environment

Before you begin, make sure that you have the following requirements in place:

Install or update Core Tools

The Azure Functions extension for Visual Studio Code integrates with Azure Functions Core Tools so that you can run and debug your functions locally in Visual Studio Code using the Azure Functions runtime. Before getting started, it's a good idea to install Core Tools locally or update an existing installation to use the latest version.

In Visual Studio Code, select F1 to open the command palette, and then search for and run the command Azure Functions: Install or Update Core Tools.

This command tries to either start a package-based installation of the latest version of Core Tools or update an existing package-based installation. If you don't have npm or Homebrew installed on your local computer, you must instead manually install or update Core Tools.

Create your local project

In this section, you use Visual Studio Code to create a local Azure Functions project in Python. Later in this article, you publish your function code to Azure.

  1. In Visual Studio Code, press F1 to open the command palette and search for and run the command Azure Functions: Create New Project....

  2. Choose the directory location for your project workspace and choose Select. You should either create a new folder or choose an empty folder for the project workspace. Don't choose a project folder that is already part of a workspace.

  3. Provide the following information at the prompts:

    Prompt Selection
    Select a language Choose Python (Programming Model V2).
    Select a Python interpreter to create a virtual environment Choose your preferred Python interpreter. If an option isn't shown, type in the full path to your Python binary.
    Select a template for your project's first function Choose HTTP trigger.
    Name of the function you want to create Enter HttpExample.
    Authorization level Choose ANONYMOUS, which lets anyone call your function endpoint. For more information, see Authorization level.
    Select how you would like to open your project Choose Open in current window.
  4. Visual Studio Code uses the provided information and generates an Azure Functions project with an HTTP trigger. You can view the local project files in the Explorer. The generated function_app.py project file contains your functions.

  1. Open the local.settings.json project file and verify that the AzureWebJobsFeatureFlags setting has a value of EnableWorkerIndexing. This is required for Functions to interpret your project correctly as the Python v2 model when running locally.

  2. In the local.settings.json file, update the AzureWebJobsStorage setting as in the following example:

    "AzureWebJobsStorage": "UseDevelopmentStorage=true",

    This tells the local Functions host to use the storage emulator for the storage connection currently required by the Python v2 model. When you publish your project to Azure, you need to instead use the default storage account. If you're instead using an Azure Storage account, set your storage account connection string here.

Start the emulator

  1. In Visual Studio Code, press F1 to open the command palette. In the command palette, search for and select Azurite: Start.

  2. Check the bottom bar and verify that Azurite emulation services are running. If so, you can now run your function locally. ::: zone-end

Run the function locally

Visual Studio Code integrates with Azure Functions Core tools to let you run this project on your local development computer before you publish to Azure.

  1. To start the function locally, press F5 or the Run and Debug icon in the left-hand side Activity bar. The Terminal panel displays the Output from Core Tools. Your app starts in the Terminal panel. You can see the URL endpoint of your HTTP-triggered function running locally.

    Screenshot of the Local function VS Code output.

    If you have trouble running on Windows, make sure that the default terminal for Visual Studio Code isn't set to WSL Bash.

  2. With Core Tools still running in Terminal, choose the Azure icon in the activity bar. In the Workspace area, expand Local Project > Functions. Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl - click (macOS) the new function and choose Execute Function Now....

    Execute function now from Visual Studio Code

  3. In Enter request body you see the request message body value of { "name": "Azure" }. Press Enter to send this request message to your function.

  4. When the function executes locally and returns a response, a notification is raised in Visual Studio Code. Information about the function execution is shown in Terminal panel.

  5. With the Terminal panel focused, press Ctrl + C to stop Core Tools and disconnect the debugger.

After you verify that the function runs correctly on your local computer, it's time to use Visual Studio Code to publish the project directly to Azure.

Sign in to Azure

Before you can create Azure resources or publish your app, you must sign in to Azure.

  1. If you aren't already signed in, choose the Azure icon in the Activity bar. Then in the Resources area, choose Sign in to Azure....

    Screenshot of the sign-in to Azure window within VS Code.

    If you're already signed in and can see your existing subscriptions, go to the next section. If you don't yet have an Azure account, choose Create an Azure Account.... Students can choose Create an Azure for Students Account....

  2. When prompted in the browser, choose your Azure account and sign in using your Azure account credentials. If you create a new account, you can sign in after your account is created.

  3. After you've successfully signed in, you can close the new browser window. The subscriptions that belong to your Azure account are displayed in the sidebar.

Create the function app in Azure

In this section, you create a function app and related resources in your Azure subscription.

  1. In Visual Studio Code, press F1 to open the command palette and search for and run the command Azure Functions: Create Function App in Azure....

  2. Provide the following information at the prompts:

    Prompt Selection
    Select subscription Choose the subscription to use. You won't see this prompt when you have only one subscription visible under Resources.
    Enter a globally unique name for the function app Type a name that is valid in a URL path. The name you type is validated to make sure that it's unique in Azure Functions.
    Select a runtime stack Choose the language version on which you've been running locally.
    Select a location for new resources For better performance, choose a region near you.

    The extension shows the status of individual resources as they're being created in Azure in the Azure: Activity Log panel.

    Log of Azure resource creation

  3. When the creation is complete, the following Azure resources are created in your subscription. The resources are named based on your function app name:

    • A resource group, which is a logical container for related resources.
    • A standard Azure Storage account, which maintains state and other information about your projects.
    • A function app, which provides the environment for executing your function code. A function app lets you group functions as a logical unit for easier management, deployment, and sharing of resources within the same hosting plan.
    • An App Service plan, which defines the underlying host for your function app.
    • An Application Insights instance connected to the function app, which tracks usage of your functions in the app.

    A notification is displayed after your function app is created and the deployment package is applied.


    By default, the Azure resources required by your function app are created based on the function app name you provide. By default, they're also created in the same new resource group with the function app. If you want to either customize the names of these resources or reuse existing resources, you need to publish the project with advanced create options instead.

Deploy the project to Azure


Deploying to an existing function app always overwrites the contents of that app in Azure.

  1. In the command palette, search for and run the command Azure Functions: Deploy to Function App....

  2. Select the function app you just created. When prompted about overwriting previous deployments, select Deploy to deploy your function code to the new function app resource.

  3. After deployment completes, select View Output to view the creation and deployment results, including the Azure resources that you created. If you miss the notification, select the bell icon in the lower right corner to see it again.

    Screenshot of the View Output window.

Run the function in Azure

  1. Back in the Resources area in the side bar, expand your subscription, your new function app, and Functions. Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl - click (macOS) the HttpExample function and choose Execute Function Now....

    Screenshot of executing function in Azure from Visual Studio Code.

  2. In Enter request body you see the request message body value of { "name": "Azure" }. Press Enter to send this request message to your function.

  3. When the function executes in Azure and returns a response, a notification is raised in Visual Studio Code.

Clean up resources

When you continue to the next step and add an Azure Storage queue binding to your function, you'll need to keep all your resources in place to build on what you've already done.

Otherwise, you can use the following steps to delete the function app and its related resources to avoid incurring any further costs.

  1. In Visual Studio Code, press F1 to open the command palette. In the command palette, search for and select Azure: Open in portal.

  2. Choose your function app and press Enter. The function app page opens in the Azure portal.

  3. In the Overview tab, select the named link next to Resource group.

    Screenshot of select the resource group to delete from the function app page.

  4. On the Resource group page, review the list of included resources, and verify that they're the ones you want to delete.

  5. Select Delete resource group, and follow the instructions.

    Deletion may take a couple of minutes. When it's done, a notification appears for a few seconds. You can also select the bell icon at the top of the page to view the notification.

For more information about Functions costs, see Estimating Consumption plan costs.

Next steps

You created and deployed a function app with a simple HTTP-triggered function. In the next articles, you expand that function by connecting to a storage service in Azure. To learn more about connecting to other Azure services, see Add bindings to an existing function in Azure Functions.

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