Get started with Google Go in Azure

Microsoft gives Go developers a set of Azure SDKs for Visual Studio, Azure Stack, and Azure itself

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For a language that’s designed for systems-level programming, the Google Go language (Golang) is surprisingly popular. Designed by many of the original C designers, it’s gained a reputation as a tool for developing low-level systems, including many used on Azure. If you’ve run a Docker container, fired up any of Azure’s Kubernetes services, or used the Open Service Broker, you’re using code that’s written in Go.

While Go development began at Google, it’s now an open source project, with a widely distributed development team. Recent hires into Azure’s cloud developer advocacy team have brought several key players into Microsoft, where they continue to work on Go and associated projects. Microsoft is also working with other companies that use Go, like Hashicorp, with its Terraform multicloud infrastructure management tool that helps manage Azure container deployments.

Like C, Go is a low-level language. Unlike C, it’s designed to be safe, with a relatively minimal feature set that makes it easy to learn. Many of its features work well with cloud-native development models, especially its support for asynchronous operations between processes using channels to handle interprocess messaging.

Because Go lets channels to be used by more than two processes, you can quickly construct complex concurrent architectures that let Go applications support many familiar microservices patterns. Processes are implemented as goroutines, which are easy to launch; a big Go application could have hundreds or even thousands of goroutines running at any time.

With that combination of features, it’s no surprise that Microsoft recently released a Go SDK for Azure, with tools for linking Go code to core Azure services and for using Go to manage Azure resources. Available from a Github repository, it’s easy to add it to your development environment—especially if you’re using Visual Studio Code’s popular Go extension. All you need is the Go compiler and a command line.

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