F# on Azure — Challenge Yourself

F# is an open-source, functional, general-purpose programming language that originates from Microsoft Research and is used by many engineers across the globe. F# is actively developed by the open-source community and Microsoft’s developer division.

One of the great examples showing F# strengths is Azure Storage Type Provider. It helps ensure strongly-typed access to Azure storage blobs, tables, and queues with automatic generation of the schema, and makes programming more efficient and less error-prone.

open FSharp.Azure.StorageTypeProvider

// Get a handle to my local storage emulator
type Azure = AzureTypeProvider<"UseDevelopmentStorage=true">

// Navigate through the containers to a specific file
// and read the contents.
let blobContents =
Azure.Containers.samples.``folder/``.``childFile.txt``.Read()

// Perform a strongly-typed query against a table
// with automatic schema generation.
let results =
Azure.Tables.employee.Query()
.``Where Name Is``.``Equal To``("fred")
.Execute()
|> Array.map(fun row -> row.Name, row.Dob)

// Navigate through storage queues and get messages
let queueMessage = Azure.Queues.``sample-queue``.Dequeue()

F# can be used with many Azure services, including App Service, Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, Azure Storage, and more. For example, there is a great developer reference for that can help you get more insight into using F# for Azure Functions. The F# on Azure guide has many references and examples to help you get started. If you’d like to try F# on Linux, MacOs, or Windows, take a look at the useful quickstart.


Challenge Yourself — Applied F# Challenge

Learn F#

F# Software Foundation has recently announced their new initiative — Applied F# Challenge! We encourage you to participate and send your submissions about F# on Azure through the participation form.

Applied F# Challenge is a new initiative to encourage in-depth educational submissions to reveal more of the interesting, unique, and advanced applications of F#.

The motivation for the challenge is uncovering more of advanced and innovative scenarios and applications of F# we hear about less often:

We primarily hear about people using F# for web development, analytical programming, and scripting. While those are perfect use cases for F#, there are many more brilliant and less covered scenarios where F# has demonstrated its strength. For example, F# is used in quantum computing, cancer research, bioinformatics, IoT, and other domains that are not typically mentioned as often.

You have some time to think about the topic for your submission because the challenge is open from February 1 to May 20 this year.

What should you submit?

Publish a new article or an example code project that covers a use case of a scenario where you feel the use of F# to be essential or unique. The full eligibility criteria and frequently asked questions are listed in the official announcement.

There are multiple challenge categories you can choose to write about:

F# for machine learning and data science.
F# for distributed systems.
F# in the cloud: web, serverless, containers, etc.
F# for desktop and mobile development.
F# in your organization or domain: healthcare, finance, games, retail, etc.
F# and open-source development.
F# for IoT or hardware programming.
F# in research: quantum, bioinformatics, security, etc.
Out of the box F# topics, scenarios, applications, or examples.

Why should you participate in the challenge?

All submissions will receive F# stickers as a participation reward for contributing to the efforts of improving the F# ecosystem and raising awareness of F# strengths in advanced or uncovered use cases.

Participants with winning submissions in each category will also receive the title of a Recognized F# Expert by F# Software Foundation and a special non-monetary prize.

Each challenge category will be judged by the committees that include many notable F# experts and community leaders, including Don Syme, Rachel Blasucci, Evelina Gabasova, Henrik Feldt, Tomas Perticek, and many more.

As the participation form suggests, you will also have an opportunity to be included in a recommended speaker list by F# Software Foundation.

Spread the word

Help us spread the word about the Applied F# Challenge by encouraging others to participate with #AppliedFSharpChallenge hashtag on Twitter!