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Azure SWA: A Work in Progress?


I have had my fair share of experiences with various static site hosting services. Most of them are straightforward to use. You point them to your code on GitHub or elsewhere, and voila, your site is live in less than two minutes. However, Azure Static Web Apps (SWA) paints a different picture, especially when you incorporate the serverless backend feature.

My Problem with SWA

Don’t get me wrong, SWA works like a charm if you use the Azure portal. But we’re developers, and we love to automate things. The moment you start being pragmatic, defining your infrastructure as code, that’s when you start encountering errors like “Azure Functions Deployment Failed”. Why did it fail? The error messages are as cryptic as they come. I’ve spent countless hours debugging this, to no avail, until I decided to revert to Netlify.

Reverting back to Netlify

Netlify has been my go-to for many years, and it has never let me down. It’s simple, fast, and reliable. I’m not saying that Azure Static Web Apps is inherently bad, but it’s not ready for prime time yet. If you’re in search of a reliable static site hosting service, I would recommend Netlify for now. Vercel, or GitHub Pages as some of the best options out there.

“Managed” Services - A double-edged sword

This brings me to my next point: Managed services are fantastic when they work, but when they don’t, you’re in for a world of pain. Moreover, you’re at the mercy of the provider, dependent on their willingness and ability to fix issues promptly

As developers, we rely on managed services for their convenience and efficiency. Yet, the dependency becomes a double-edged sword when these services underdeliver. At the time of writing, Azure SWA has accumulated over 500 open issues on its GitHub repository, some lingering for more than a year without resolution. This backlog not only highlights the challenges in platform stability and issue resolution but also raises concerns about the commitment to timely developer support.

So, if you’re looking for a reliable static site hosting service, Azure Static Web Apps might not be your knight in shining armour, YET.

For now, I hope I’ve saved you some time and a headache. Remember, the right tools can make or break your project, so choose wisely

Closing thoughts

Azure SWA is a powerful platform with immense potential. However, for projects demanding bulletproof reliability and a developer-centric IaC experience from the get-go, other options like Netlify, Vercel, or even GitHub Pages might be a better fit at this time.