Batch Shipyard Site Extension for use with Azure Functions/App Service

The focus of this article is to describe the process for enabling the Batch Shipyard site extension in Azure App Service (e.g., Azure Function App) to be used for processing as a result of a trigger.

Setup and Installation

The following assumes that you are able to interact with the Azure Portal for creating and setting up your Azure Function App with the Batch Shipyard site extension.

Step 1: Create an Azure Function App

The first step is to create an Azure Function App. The leftmost navigation bar, you will see a plus sign. Select Compute > and then Function App.


In the create blade, fill in the appropriate properties for your Function App. Ensure that your Hosting Plan is set to App Service Plan and use the App Service plan/Location to create a new App Service plan (if applicable). Very basic plans may lead to startup delay in Batch Shipyard.


Step 2: Install Python 3.X x64 Site Extension

Now we'll install Python 3.x as a site extension as a pre-requisite for Batch Shipyard. To do this, navigate to your newly created Function App. Select your function app and then select Platform features on the right.


In the next blade, select Advanced tools (Kudu). Do not use the Extensions option as the amount of time given for an extension to install through this method is too short.


Click on Extensions on the top navigation bar and then click on Gallery below. This will load all of the available site extensions from For the curious, the Batch Shipyard site extension nuget page can be found here.


You should select the latest version of Python 3.X x64 that is available. You may have to search for it using the search box under the Gallery tab. Click the + icon to install this site extension to your Azure Function App environment.


Step 3: Install Batch Shipyard Site Extension

After Python 3.X x64 installs successfully, find the Batch Shipyard site extension in the same Gallery area. You may have to search for it using the search box under the Gallery tab. Click the + icon to install the Batch Shipyard site extension to your Azure Function app environment.


Please be patient during this step, as installation may take a while depending upon the App Service plan you have selected. Once the Batch Shipyard site extension installation completes, hit the Restart Site button at the top right.


You are now ready to run Batch Shipyard in your Azure Function App environment.

Note about installation failures: If you receive a message such as Failed to install then it's possible that the installation did not complete in the time allotted (which can happen for App Service Plans which are underpowered). To continue the installation, follow these steps:

  1. Load Kudu, go to Debug console and select CMD
  2. Navigate to D:\home\SiteExtensions\BatchShipyard
  3. Run the command install.cmd. Let this command run to completion (it may take a long time).
  4. Restart your site.
  5. To verify: Re-load Kudu, go back to the Debug console, select CMD and then run %BATCH_SHIPYARD_CMD% --version. There will be a delay, but you should see the version in the output.

Invoking Batch Shipyard in an Azure Function App

The Batch Shipyard site extension automatically attempts to find the version of Python installed via the site extension and links the version found with the Batch Shipyard invocation. As part of the site extension, a global application environment variable is defined, BATCH_SHIPYARD_CMD, which can be used in your (or other function language trigger script). If this environment variable is not available, then you may have skipped the Restart Site step in Step 3 above.

For example, a python trigger script to invoke would look something like:

import os
import subprocess

cmd = os.environ['BATCH_SHIPYARD_CMD']
stdout = subprocess.check_output(cmd)

This, of course, does nothing but invoking shipyard via the BATCH_SHIPYARD_CMD environment variable without any commands and parameters. The stdout variable would contain only the help text.

You can also define Azure App Settings that populate environment variables such as SHIPYARD_CONFIGDIR, SHIPYARD_AAD_DIRECTORY_ID, etc. such that these variables are automatically populated for you when your trigger executes.