Tutorial: Use a managed identity to invoke Azure Functions from an Azure Spring Apps app


Azure Spring Apps is the new name for the Azure Spring Cloud service. Although the service has a new name, you'll see the old name in some places for a while as we work to update assets such as screenshots, videos, and diagrams.

This article applies to: ✔️ Basic/Standard tier ✔️ Enterprise tier

This article shows you how to create a managed identity for an Azure Spring Apps app and use it to invoke Http triggered Functions.

Both Azure Functions and App Services have built in support for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication. By leveraging this built-in authentication capability along with Managed Identities for Azure Spring Apps, we can invoke RESTful services using modern OAuth semantics. This method doesn't require storing secrets in code and provides more granular controls for controlling access to external resources.


Create a resource group

A resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. Create a resource group to contain both the Function app and Spring Cloud using the command az group create:

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Create a Function App

To create a Function app you must first create a backing storage account, use the command az storage account create:


Each Function app and Storage Account must have a unique name. Replace <your-functionapp-name> with the name of your Function app and <your-storageaccount-name> with the name of your Storage Account in the following examples.

az storage account create --name <your-storageaccount-name> --resource-group myResourceGroup --location eastus --sku Standard_LRS

Once the Storage Account has been created, you can create the Function app.

az functionapp create --name <your-functionapp-name> --resource-group myResourceGroup --consumption-plan-location eastus --os-type windows --runtime node --storage-account <your-storageaccount-name> --functions-version 3

Make a note of the returned hostNames, which will be in the format https://<your-functionapp-name>.azurewebsites.net. It will be used in a following step.

Enable Azure Active Directory Authentication

Access the newly created Function app from the Azure portal and select "Authentication / Authorization" from the settings menu. Enable App Service Authentication and set the "Action to take when request is not authenticated" to "Log in with Azure Active Directory". This setting will ensure that all unauthenticated requests are denied (401 response).

Authentication settings showing Azure Active Directory as the default provider

Under Authentication Providers, select Azure Active Directory to configure the application registration. Selecting Express Management Mode will automatically create an application registration in your Azure AD tenant with the correct configuration.

Azure Active Directory provider set to Express Management Mode

Once you save the settings, the function app will restart and all subsequent requests will be prompted to log in via Azure AD. You can test that unauthenticated requests are now being rejected by navigating to the function apps root URL (returned in the hostNames output in the step above). You should be redirected to your organizations Azure AD login screen.

Create an Http Triggered Function

In an empty local directory, create a new function app and add an Http triggered function.

func init --worker-runtime node
func new --template HttpTrigger --name HttpTrigger

By default Functions use key-based authentication to secure Http endpoints. Since we'll be enabling Azure AD authentication to secure access to the Functions, we want to set the function auth level to anonymous in the function.json file.

  "bindings": [
      "authLevel": "anonymous",
      "type": "httpTrigger",

The app can now be published to the Function app instance created in the previous step.

func azure functionapp publish <your-functionapp-name>

The output from the publish command should list the URL to your newly created function.

Deployment completed successfully.
Syncing triggers...
Functions in <your-functionapp-name>:
    HttpTrigger - [httpTrigger]
        Invoke url: https://<your-functionapp-name>.azurewebsites.net/api/httptrigger

Create Azure Spring Apps service and app

After installing the spring extension, create an Azure Spring Apps instance with the Azure CLI command az spring create.

az extension add --name spring
az spring create --name mymsispringcloud --resource-group myResourceGroup --location eastus

The following example creates an app named msiapp with a system-assigned managed identity, as requested by the --assign-identity parameter.

az spring app create --name "msiapp" --service "mymsispringcloud" --resource-group "myResourceGroup" --assign-endpoint true --assign-identity

Build sample Spring Boot app to invoke the Function

This sample will invoke the Http triggered function by first requesting an access token from the MSI endpoint and using that token to authenticate the Function http request.

  1. Clone the sample project.

    git clone https://github.com/Azure-Samples/Azure-Spring-Cloud-Samples.git
  2. Specify your function URI and the trigger name in your app properties.

    cd Azure-Spring-Cloud-Samples/managed-identity-function
    vim src/main/resources/application.properties

    To use managed identity for Azure Spring Apps apps, add properties with the following content to src/main/resources/application.properties.

  3. Package your sample app.

    mvn clean package
  4. Now deploy the app to Azure with the Azure CLI command az spring app deploy.

    az spring app deploy  --name "msiapp" --service "mymsispringcloud" --resource-group "myResourceGroup" --jar-path target/sc-managed-identity-function-sample-0.1.0.jar
  5. Access the public endpoint or test endpoint to test your app.

    curl https://mymsispringcloud-msiapp.azuremicroservices.io/func/springcloud

    You'll see the following message returned in the response body.

    Function Response: Hello, springcloud. This HTTP triggered function executed successfully.

    You can try passing different values to the function by changing the path parameter.

Next steps