Announcing new pub-sub capabilities in Azure Event Grid
Published May 21 2024 09:00 AM 1,242 Views
Microsoft

Azure Event Grid is a highly scalable, fully managed publish-subscribe message distribution service that offers flexible message consumption patterns using the MQTT and HTTP protocols. Our recent efforts have been dedicated to enhancing MQTT compliance, simplifying security for IoT and event-driven solutions, and facilitating seamless integrations. Today, we announce the newest features in these critical areas and their potential impact on your solutions.

 

Event Grid’s MQTT Broker capability

The MQTT broker capability leverages standard MQTT features and secure authentication methods to enable your clients to communicate in a compliant, secure, and flexible manner. This capability is vital for IoT solutions where efficient communication is essential for seamless operations and where security is critical to protect sensitive data and maintain device integrity. We are excited to announce the release of the following features, reinforcing our commitment to these goals.

 

Last Will and Testament (LWT): is now generally available (GA), enabling MQTT clients to notify other MQTT clients of their abrupt disconnections through a will message. You can use LWT to ensure predictable and reliable flow of communication among MQTT clients during unexpected disconnections, which is valuable for scenarios where real-time communication, system reliability, and coordinated actions are critical. Now, you’re able to use will delay interval to reduce the noise from fluctuating disconnections.

 

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OAuth 2.0 authentication: is now public preview, allowing clients to authenticate and connect with the MQTT broker using JSON Web Tokens (JWT) issued by any third-party OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity provider, aside from Microsoft Entra Id. MQTT clients can get their token from their identity provider (IDP) and provide the token in the MQTTv5 or MQTTv3.1.1 CONNECT packets to authenticate with the MQTT broker. This authentication method provides a lightweight, secure, and flexible option for MQTT clients that are not provisioned in Azure.

 

Custom domain names support: is now public preview, allowing users to assign their own domain names to Event Grid namespace's MQTT and HTTP endpoints, enhancing security and simplifying client configuration. This feature helps enterprises meet their security and compliance requirements and eliminates the need to modify clients already linked to the domain. Assigning a custom domain name to multiple namespaces can also help enhance availability, manage capacity, and handle cross-region client mobility.

 

Event Grid Namespace Topic

The namespace topic offers flexible consumption of messages through HTTP Push and HTTP Pull delivery, enabling seamless integration of cloud applications in an asynchronous and decoupled manner. Enterprise applications rely on distributed and asynchronous messaging to scale and evolve independently. Using Event Grid, publishers can send messages to the namespace topic, which subscribers can consume using push or pull delivery. Additionally, you can also configure the MQTT broker to route MQTT messages to the namespace topic to integrate your IoT data with Azure services and your backend applications.

We are thrilled to announce the release of the following features aimed at enhancing integration with Azure services, providing flexibility in consuming messages in any format, and offering a versatile authentication method.

 

Push delivery to Azure Event Hubs: is now GA, allowing you to configure event subscriptions on namespace topics to send messages to Azure Event Hubs at scale. Event Hubs is a cloud native data streaming service that can stream millions of events per second, with low latency, from any source to any destination.

 

Push delivery to Webhooks: is now public preview, allowing you to configure event subscriptions on namespace topics to send messages to your application’s public endpoint using a simple, scalable, and reliable delivery mechanism. The WebHook doesn't need to be hosted in Azure to receive events from the namespace topic. You can also use an Azure Automation workbook or an Azure logic app as an event handler via webhooks. With the support of these push delivery destinations, we are offering more options for you to build integrated solutions and data pipelines using namespace topics.

 

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CloudEvents 1.0 Binary Content Mode: is now GA, offering the ability to produce messages whose payload is encoded in any media type. With this namespace topic feature, you can publish events using the encoding format of your choice like AVRO, Protobuf, XML, or even your own proprietary encoding.

 

Shared Access Signature (SAS) tokens authentication: is now public preview, allowing you to publish or receive (pull delivery) messages using SAS tokens for authentication. SAS token authentication is a simple mechanism to delegate and enforce access control when sending or receiving messages scoped to a specific namespace, namespace topic, or event subscription. While Microsoft Entra ID offers exceptional authentication and access control features, you may still want to use SAS for scenarios where the publisher or subscriber is not protected by Microsoft Entra ID; for example, your client is hosted on another cloud provider, or uses another identity provider.

 

Event Grid Basic

Event Grid basic tier enables you to build event-driven solutions by sending events to a diverse set of Azure services or webhooks using push event delivery through custom, system, domain, and partner topics. Event sources include your custom applications, Azure services, and partner (SaaS) services that publish events announcing system state changes (also known as "discrete" events). In turn, Event Grid delivers those events to your subscribers, allowing you to filter events and control delivery settings. We are excited to announce the release of the following features to enhance integration among Event Grid resources, Azure services, and partners.

 

Namespace Topic as a destination: is now GA, enabling you to create an event subscription on a custom, system, domain, and partner topics (Event Grid Basic) that forwards events to namespace topics. This feature will enable you to create data integrations using a diverse set of Event Grid resources. Forwarding events to the namespace topic allows you to take advantage of its pull delivery support and flexibility in consumption.

 

Microsoft Graph API events: is now GA, enabling you to react to resource changes in Microsoft Entra ID, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, etc. This feature is key for enterprise scenarios such as auditing, onboarding, and policy enforcement, to name a few. Now, you can subscribe to Microsoft Entra ID events through a new simplified Azure portal experience. 

 

Sending Azure Resource Notifications health resources events to Azure Monitor alerts: is now public preview, to notify you when your workload is impacted so you can act quickly. Azure Resource Notifications events in Event Grid provide reliable and thorough information on the status of your virtual machines, including single instance VMs, Virtual Machine Scale Set VMS, and Virtual Machine Scale Sets. With this feature, you can get a better understanding of any service issues that may be affecting your resources.

 

API Center system topic: is public preview, enabling you to receive real-time updates when an API definition is added or updated. This means you can keep track of your APIs and ensure they are always up to date, making it easier for stakeholders throughout your organization to discover, reuse, and govern APIs. With this new integration, Event Grid is now even more powerful and versatile, giving you the tools you need to build modern, event-driven applications.

 

Summary

Event Grid continues to invest in MQTT compliance to ensure interoperability and support of non-Azure providers for IoT and event-driven solutions for flexibility. Additionally, Event Grid is adding more integrations among Event Grid resources, Azure services, and partners, and providing flexible consumption of messages in any format. We are excited to have you try these new capabilities. To learn more about Event Grid, got to the Event Grid documentation. If you have questions or feedback, you can contact us at  askgrid@microsoft.com or askmqtt@microsoft.com.

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