How to run Durable Functions as WebJobs

By default, Durable Functions uses the Azure Functions runtime to host orchestrations. However, there may be certain scenarios where you need more control over the code that listens for events. This article shows you how to implement your orchestration using the WebJobs SDK. To see a more detailed comparison between Functions and WebJobs, see Compare Functions and WebJobs.

Azure Functions and the Durable Functions extension are built on the WebJobs SDK. The job host in the WebJobs SDK is the runtime in Azure Functions. If you need to control behavior in ways not possible in Azure Functions, you can develop and run Durable Functions by using the WebJobs SDK yourself.

In version 3.x of the WebJobs SDK, the host is an implementation of IHost, and in version 2.x you use the JobHost object.

The chaining Durable Functions sample is available in a WebJobs SDK 2.x version: download or clone the Durable Functions repository, and checkout v1 branch and go to the samples\webjobssdk\chaining folder.


This article assumes you're familiar with the basics of the WebJobs SDK, C# class library development for Azure Functions, and Durable Functions. If you need an introduction to these topics, see the following resources:

To complete the steps in this article:

  • Install Visual Studio 2019 with the Azure development workload.

    If you already have Visual Studio, but don't have that workload, add the workload by selecting Tools > Get Tools and Features.

    (You can use Visual Studio Code instead, but some of the instructions are specific to Visual Studio.)

  • Install and run the Azurite storage emulator. An alternative is to update the App.config file with a real Azure Storage connection string.

WebJobs SDK versions

This article explains how to develop a WebJobs SDK 2.x project (equivalent to Azure Functions version 1.x). For information about version 3.x, see WebJobs SDK 3.x later in this article.

Create a console app

To run Durable Functions as WebJobs, you must first create a console app. A WebJobs SDK project is just a console app project with the appropriate NuGet packages installed.

In the Visual Studio New Project dialog box, select Windows Classic Desktop > Console App (.NET Framework). In the project file, the TargetFrameworkVersion should be v4.6.1.

Visual Studio also has a WebJob project template, which you can use by selecting Cloud > Azure WebJob (.NET Framework). This template installs many packages, some of which you might not need.

Install NuGet packages

You need NuGet packages for the WebJobs SDK, core bindings, the logging framework, and the Durable Task extension. Here are Package Manager Console commands for those packages, with the latest stable version numbers as of the date this article was written:

Install-Package Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Extensions -version 2.2.0
Install-Package Microsoft.Extensions.Logging -version 2.0.1
Install-Package Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Extensions.DurableTask -version 1.8.7

You also need logging providers. The following commands install the Azure Application Insights provider and the ConfigurationManager. The ConfigurationManager lets you get the Application Insights instrumentation key from app settings.

Install-Package Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Logging.ApplicationInsights -version 2.2.0
Install-Package System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager -version 4.4.1

The following command installs the console provider:

Install-Package Microsoft.Extensions.Logging.Console -version 2.0.1

JobHost code

Having created the console app and installed the NuGet packages you need, you're ready to use Durable Functions. You do so by using JobHost code.

To use the Durable Functions extension, call UseDurableTask on the JobHostConfiguration object in your Main method:

var config = new JobHostConfiguration();
config.UseDurableTask(new DurableTaskExtension
    HubName = "MyTaskHub",

For a list of properties that you can set in the DurableTaskExtension object, see host.json.

The Main method is also the place to set up logging providers. The following example configures the console and Application Insights providers.

static void Main(string[] args)
    using (var loggerFactory = new LoggerFactory())
        var config = new JobHostConfiguration();

        config.DashboardConnectionString = "";

        var instrumentationKey =

        config.LoggerFactory = loggerFactory
            .AddApplicationInsights(instrumentationKey, null)

        config.UseDurableTask(new DurableTaskExtension
            HubName = "MyTaskHub",
        var host = new JobHost(config);


Durable Functions in the context of WebJobs differs somewhat from Durable Functions in the context of Azure Functions. It's important to be aware of the differences as you write your code.

The WebJobs SDK doesn't support the following Azure Functions features:

FunctionName attribute

In a WebJobs SDK project, the method name of a function is the function name. The FunctionName attribute is used only in Azure Functions.

HTTP trigger

The WebJobs SDK does not have an HTTP trigger. The sample project's orchestration client uses a timer trigger:

public static async Task CronJob(
    [TimerTrigger("0 */2 * * * *")] TimerInfo timer,
    [OrchestrationClient] DurableOrchestrationClient client,
    ILogger logger)

HTTP management API

Because it has no HTTP trigger, the WebJobs SDK has no HTTP management API.

In a WebJobs SDK project, you can call methods on the orchestration client object, instead of by sending HTTP requests. The following methods correspond to the three tasks you can do with the HTTP management API:

  • GetStatusAsync
  • RaiseEventAsync
  • TerminateAsync

The orchestration client function in the sample project starts the orchestrator function, and then goes into a loop that calls GetStatusAsync every 2 seconds:

string instanceId = await client.StartNewAsync(nameof(HelloSequence), input: null);
logger.LogInformation($"Started new instance with ID = {instanceId}.");

DurableOrchestrationStatus status;
while (true)
    status = await client.GetStatusAsync(instanceId);
    logger.LogInformation($"Status: {status.RuntimeStatus}, Last update: {status.LastUpdatedTime}.");

    if (status.RuntimeStatus == OrchestrationRuntimeStatus.Completed ||
        status.RuntimeStatus == OrchestrationRuntimeStatus.Failed ||
        status.RuntimeStatus == OrchestrationRuntimeStatus.Terminated)

    await Task.Delay(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(2));

Run the sample

You've got Durable Functions set up to run as a WebJob, and you now have an understanding of how this will differ from running Durable Functions as standalone Azure Functions. At this point, seeing it work in a sample might be helpful.

This section provides an overview of how to run the sample project. For detailed instructions that explain how to run a WebJobs SDK project locally and deploy it to an Azure WebJob, see Get started with the WebJobs SDK.

Run locally

  1. Make sure the Storage emulator is running (see Prerequisites).

  2. If you want to see logs in Application Insights when you run the project locally:

    a. Create an Application Insights resource, and use the General app type for it.

    b. Save the instrumentation key in the App.config file.

  3. Run the project.

Run in Azure

  1. Create a web app and a storage account.

  2. In the web app, save the storage connection string in an app setting named AzureWebJobsStorage.

  3. Create an Application Insights resource, and use the General app type for it.

  4. Save the instrumentation key in an app setting named APPINSIGHTS_INSTRUMENTATIONKEY.

  5. Deploy as a WebJob.

WebJobs SDK 3.x

This article explains how to develop a WebJobs SDK 2.x project. If you're developing a WebJobs SDK 3.x project, this section helps you understand the differences.

The main change introduced is the use of .NET Core instead of .NET Framework. To create a WebJobs SDK 3.x project, the instructions are the same, with these exceptions:

  1. Create a .NET Core console app. In the Visual Studio New Project dialog box, select .NET Core > Console App (.NET Core). The project file specifies that TargetFramework is netcoreapp2.x.

  2. Choose the release version WebJobs SDK 3.x of the following packages:

    • Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Extensions
    • Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Extensions.Storage
    • Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Logging.ApplicationInsights
  3. Set the storage connection string and the Application Insights instrumentation key in an appsettings.json file, by using the .NET Core configuration framework. Here's an example:

            "AzureWebJobsStorage": "<replace with storage connection string>",
            "APPINSIGHTS_INSTRUMENTATIONKEY": "<replace with Application Insights instrumentation key>"
  4. Change the Main method code to do this. Here's an example:

    static void Main(string[] args)
         var hostBuilder = new HostBuilder()
             .ConfigureWebJobs(config =>
                 config.AddDurableTask(options =>
                     options.HubName = "MyTaskHub";
                     options.AzureStorageConnectionStringName = "AzureWebJobsStorage";
             .ConfigureLogging((context, logging) =>
                 logging.AddApplicationInsights(config =>
                     config.InstrumentationKey = context.Configuration["APPINSIGHTS_INSTRUMENTATIONKEY"];
         var host = hostBuilder.Build();
         using (host)

Next steps

To learn more about the WebJobs SDK, see How to use the WebJobs SDK.