Azure App Service vs Azure Functions – What’s the Difference? (Explained)

Azure App Service vs Azure Functions – What’s the Difference? (Explained). When it comes to cloud based services, Azure is one of the biggest players in the market. But with so many different services available, it is hard to know which one is right for you. In this post, we compare Azure App Service and Azure Functions. These are two of the most popular Azure services. We hope it will help you to decide which is best for your needs.

Technology has always been a major driver of business growth. The faster you can market your product or service, the more competitive you are. Therefore, cloud has been a major game changer in this regard. Hence, it allowed businesses to scale their operations quickly and cheaply.

Well, Azure is one of the leading cloud providers. They offer a comprehensive suite of services to help businesses achieve their goals. 

Let’s start this article blog about Azure App Service vs Azure Functions – What’s the Difference? (Explained)

What is Azure App Service?

When you use Azure App Service, you can effortlessly create, manage, and deploy web, mobile, and API programs. Since that it is a professionally controlled PaaS. Basically, Azure App Service provides a complete platform for developing and hosting web applications and services. It includes everything from web hosting and SSL certificates to automatic scaling and load balancing.

Besides, you may use any language or framework you choose with the Azure Cloud Shell. There are a popular ones are already supported by App Service. These include ASP.NET, Node.js, PHP, and Java.

Remember, the 99.95% SLA backs the service, and you can deploy your applications to Azure App Service in minutes.

Features of Azure App Service

Highly Scalable Landscape

With Azure App Service, it enables you to auto scale your web app or API. In turn, you handle sudden spikes in traffic without crashing. Also schedule auto scaling to ensure your app is always running at peak performance.

On the other hand, the service is also able to scale down your app when traffic is low to save you money. Scale it up or down manually or set up auto scaling to scale automatically, based on pre defined rules.

Diverse Frameworks & Languages

Secondly, Azure App Service contains a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. This makes it easy to begin with the service, regardless of your development experience. Hence, you can use any language or framework with Azure App Service.

Security and Compliance

Security and compliance with Azure App Service is a highly secure. Platform meets all industry compliance standards. In addition, the service uses industry standard encryption and authentication protocols to protect your data. So no need to worry about your data security when using Azure App Service.

Support for Containerization and Docker

As noted, the platform supports containerization, so that you can easily package and deploy your applications. Moreover, Azure App Service also integrates with Docker Hub. That way, it makes it easy to find and use the containers you need. In simple words, Azure App Service provides built in support for popular development frameworks, databases, and DevOps tools.

Reasonable Pricing

The best thing about Azure App Service is its pricing. The service offers a consumption based pricing model that charges you only for the resources you use. Certainly, no upfront cost, and you can cancel the service at any time.

Pros & Cons of Azure App Service

Azure App Service Pros

  • It’s a one stop shop for developing and hosting your app.
  • The service is highly scalable and can handle sudden spikes in traffic.
  • Easy to deploy and manage your app on Azure App Service.
  • The platform is secure and compliant with all industry standards.
  • Supports containerization and integrates with Docker Hub.
  • The pricing is consumption based, so you only pay for what you use.

Azure App Service Cons

  • The service is not available in all regions.
  • You need to have a Microsoft Azure account to use the service.
  • The service can be expensive if you use a lot of resources.

What is Azure Functions?

Developers easily build  small and purpose built apps using Azure Functions. Key point is that it is serverless platform. As a result, these functions can be invoked via HTTP requests, timer triggers, or queues.

Besides, it’s a data processing service lets you execute code instantly. No need to worry about setting up or maintaining servers. As seen, the service is designed to make it easy for developers to write and scale code.

Additionally, Azure Functions is written in a variety of languages, including C#, F#, Node.js, and Python. And because Functions is built on top of Azure App Service, you take advantage of the wide range of App Service features. For instance, deployment slots and custom domain names.

Features of Azure Functions


One of the key benefits of Azure Functions is that it’s serverless. That’s right. Server provisioning and management is not your problem anymore. Instead, Azure takes care of all that for you. The only thing you need to worry about is your code.

As a result, it’s an excellent option for businesses that want to focus on their product or service without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

Scale on Demand

Another great thing about Azure Functions is that it scales up or down as needed. If you have a sudden spike in traffic, Azure will automatically scale your functions to meet the demand. And when the traffic dies down, it will scale back down again. This means you only pay for the resources you use. In turn it saves you money in the long run.

Pay per Use

As we just mentioned, there’s no need to worry about overprovisioning or underutilizing your resources. You only pay for what you use, making Azure Functions a very cost effective option.

Easy to Use

Consequently Azure Functions is designed to be easy to use. As shown, you get started with just a few lines of code. As well as, it’s built on top of Azure App Service, you take advantage of all the features and benefits that App Service offers.


At last, Azure Functions is a very flexible platform. As well as, you start it via HTTP requests, timer triggers, or queues. Thanks to these functions, it is very versatile and gives you a lot of options for how you want to use it.

Pros & Cons of Azure Functions

Azure Functions Pros

  • Scales up or down automatically.
  • Only pay for what you use.
  • Easy to get started.
  • No need to provision or manage servers.
  • Very versatile.

Azure Functions Cons

  • Might not be right for simple applications.
  • More expensive than other options for high traffic applications.
  • Requires knowledge of Azure App Service to get the most out of it.

Differences Between Azure App Service and Azure Functions

Worth noting, that there are considerable variations between Azure App Service and Azure Functions. Even though, they are both PaaS products. At this point, please see the few examples of where they differ.


Azure App Service

On one side, Azure App Service is designed as a traditional platform. By all means, you create separate web and worker roles.  These roles are then connected by a web app or API that facilitates communication.

Azure Functions

On the other hand, Azure Functions is designed as a serverless platform. Generally, this means you create small functions invoked by various triggers, such as HTTP requests or timer events.

Tooling and Developer Support

Azure App Service

Here, with Azure App Service it has many tools and libraries. For example, they allow developers to quickly build and deploy their applications. In addition, it also offers robust developer support, and large community of developers providing guidance and help, if needed.

Azure Functions

However, the Azure Functions also offer developer support and a wide range of tools. But in some ways, the tools are less robust than with Azure App Service. Indeed, this makes it more challenging to build and deploy your applications. However, Azure Function’s performance and cost benefits may outweigh these drawbacks for well versed developers in the Azure ecosystem.


Azure App Service

Even more, with Azure App Service, you take advantage of easy management and configuration features. Set up auto-scaling rules, choose from a range of templates, and automate complex workflows with the help of Azure automation. Likewise, this makes it easy to set up and manage your applications quickly and efficiently.

Azure Functions

Meanwhile, Azure Functions offers much more flexibility when it comes to management and configuration. Automates a wide range of tasks, including scaling your application up or down based on traffic levels. Additionally, deploys your code via Git or other tools, and automates data analysis, testing, and other processes. While this level of flexibility is useful in some cases, it is also a more difficult way to set up and manage your applications.

Price Structure

Azure App Service

Regarding pricing, Azure App Service is structured as a monthly subscription. For this purpose,  pay for the resources you use, and there is a minimum monthly fee to maintain your account.

Azure Functions

In contrast, Azure Functions is a pay per-use service. Well, you pay for the resources you use, which can be much more cost effective for low traffic applications. Nonetheless, you need to maintain an Azure subscription to use Functions, so there is a minimum cost associated with this platform.

Monitoring and Logging

Azure App Service

Monitoring with Azure App Service, allows you to access tools for monitoring and logging your applications. For this reason, it lets you stay on top of performance issues and quickly troubleshoot problems. It also allows you to gather data that is used for testing and optimization purposes.

Azure Functions

In contrast, Azure Functions provides built in monitoring and logging functionality. Given these points, it makes it easier to get insights into your application performance. Obviously, this is potentially a huge time saver when it comes to debugging and optimization. Overall, you must be familiar with the Azure ecosystem to use these tools effectively.


Azure App Service

Both Azure Functions and Azure App Service offer several security features. Authentication and authorization, SSL/TLS, and more. Presently, Azure App Service provides additional features, such as IP filtering and Azure Active Directory integration.

Azure Functions

Overall, Azure Functions is more lightweight platform in terms of security features. Significantly, it does offer some useful security tools, such as role based access control and automatic encryption of sensitive data. In effect, this platform is a good option for applications that need more streamlined security.


Azure App Service

In general, Azure App Service is designed to be a general purpose platform. Ideally, for developing and hosting web applications. As such, it can be more complex and may not be ideal for simple applications. The learning curve is higher.

Azure Functions

In comparison, Azure Functions is an ideal platform for creating simple functions triggered by various events. In essence, often seen as a simpler and more intuitive option, with lower complexity and a faster learning curve.

Thank you for reading Azure App Service vs Azure Functions – What’s the Difference? (Explained). We shall conclude.

Azure App Service vs Azure Functions - What's the Difference Conclusion

Summarizing, it all depends on your needs and requirements. Specifically, if you need something more specialized and cheaper, go with Azure Functions. On the other hand, if you need good tooling and want to use a broader range of languages, go with Azure App Service. In conclusion, both services are outstanding and offer a lot of features.

We hope, that the article about Azure App Service vs Azure Functions, was found helpful and informative. 

Should you want to read a bit more about Azure please take a look at our content here. 

Avatar for Farhan Yousuf
Farhan Yousuf

I am a content writer with more than five years of experience in the field. I have written for a variety of industries, and I am highly interested in learning new things. I have a knack for writing engaging copy that captures the reader's attention. In my spare time, I like to read and travel.

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