Getting started with using functions

The steps below describe a generalized deployment step of a function on the VMware Event Broker Appliance. For customers looking to get started quickly, please look at deploying from our growing list of Prebuilt Functions. The functions are organized by the language that they are written in and have well-documented files with detailed deployment steps.

Deployment or development of functions can require the use of the following development tools: git, docker, and kubectl. If you would like some help in how to setup your workstation to use those tools, an in-depth tutorial is available that shows how to do that and to modify and deploy the kn-ps-slack function (Knative powershell slack notification function) as an example. The tutorial can be found here: in-depth function tutorial.

Deployment Prerequisites

Before proceeding to deploy a function, you must have VMware Event Broker Appliance deployed and be able to SSH to the appliance or have access to the kubernetes configuration file (/root/.kube/config) locally on your desktop to authenticate.

Knative Function Deployment using kubectl

Step 1 - Clone repo

git clone
cd vcenter-event-broker-appliance/examples/knative/powershell/kn-ps-echo
git checkout master

Step 2 - Edit the configuration files

  • Edit function.yml to update subject: with the specific vCenter Event. All available events can be reviewed in the vCenter Event Mapping document.
kind: Service
  name: kn-ps-echo
    app: veba-ui
        - image:
kind: Trigger
  name: veba-ps-echo-trigger
    app: veba-ui
  broker: default
      type: com.vmware.event.router/event
      subject: DrsVmPoweredOnEvent
      kind: Service
      name: kn-ps-echo

Step 3 - Deploy function to VMware Event Broker Appliance

kubectl -n vmware-functions apply -f function.yaml

Step 4 - Test your functions

  • Your function is now deployed and available for the VMware Event Router to invoke when it sees a matching event

Knative Function Deployment using vSphere UI

Step 1 - Login to the vSphere UI and navigate to the VMware Event Broker Appliance UI by going to Menu->VMware Event Broker.

Step 2 (Optional) - If a secret is required for a function. Select the Secrets tab and then click Add to create a new Kubernetes secret.

Step 3 - Under the Events tab, search and filter for the specific vSphere Event to deploy a function. One an event has been identified, click on the >> icon to expand and click on Deploy button to begin the guided wizard.

Step 4 - In the Function section of the wizard, users will need to provide the following required parameters:

  • Function name - A name for the function to be deployed

  • Docker Image - The Docker image that contains the function logic

Step 5 - (optional) In the Configuration section of the wizard, users can control the concurrency and scale bounds for the function:

  • Container concurrency: - Specifies the maximum allowed in-flight (concurrent) requests per container of the Revision. Defaults to 0 which means concurrency to the application is not limited, and the system decides the target concurrency for the autoscaler.

  • Minimum scale: - Controls the minimum number of replicas that each Revision should have. Knative will attempt to never have less than this number of replicas at any one point in time. Defaults to 0 which means scale to zero.

  • Maximum scale: - Controls the maximum number of replicas that each revision should have. Knative will attempt to never have more than this number of replicas running, or in the process of being created, at any one point in time. Defaults to 0 which means unlimited scale.

Step 6 - (optional) In the Configure Variables section of the wizard, users can define new environment variables that can be used within their function

  • Name - The name should begin with an uppercase letter and contain only uppercase letters(A-Z), numbers(0-9) and underscores(_)

  • Value - The value for the environment variable

Step 7 - (optional) In the 4 Configure Secrets section of the wizard, users can select specific Kubernetes Secrets that were created earlier in Step 2 for use within their function

Step 8 - Finally, review the summary for the function deployment and click Finish to begin the function deployment.

To verify the function deployment was successful, click on the Functions tab and ensure the function status True for the following:

  • ConfigurationsReady : True

  • Ready : True

  • RoutesReady : True

Step 9 - Test and Invoke your functions

  • Your function is now deployed and available for VMware Event Router to invoke when it sees a matching event

Function Deployment with Kubernetes Secrets

Although the previous examples using the kn-ps-echo function did not require configuration parameters, most functions do require parameters to work correctly. A function author can hard code parameter values inside the function. However, any changes to the configuration parameters means the function’s container image must be rebuilt. By using configuration parameters stored in a Kubernetes secret, a function can be reconfigured by simply changing the secret. This walk-through uses the kn-ps-email function from the examples folder to demonstrate working with secrets.

You can verify whether a function requires a secret by looking at the function’s function.yaml. Below is part of the function.yaml for kn-ps-email. Note the secretRef: section specifying the name of the secret the function expects.

        - image:
            - secretRef:
                name: email-secret
            - name: FUNCTION_DEBUG
              value: "false"

The kn-ps-email function uses several configuration parameters. The secrets file for kn-ps-email is named email_secrets.json.

    "SMTP_SERVER" : "",
    "SMTP_PORT" : "587",
    "SMTP_USERNAME" : "[email protected]",
    "EMAIL_SUBJECT" : "⚠️ [VM Delete Notification] ⚠️",
    "EMAIL_TO": "[email protected],[email protected]",
    "EMAIL_FROM" : "[email protected]"

Kubernetes Secrets - Command Line

To create the Kubernetes secret via the command line, modify the secrets file with configuration data specific to your environment. Then run this command:

kubectl -n vmware-functions create secret generic email-secret --from-file=EMAIL_SECRET=email_secret.json

email-secret, the argument just before --from-file=, is the name that Kubernetes uses to refer to the secret. This name must match the secretRef in function.yaml.

EMAIL_SECRET, the value just after --from-file=, is the function environment variable that the secret gets loaded into. You can find the environment variable the function expects by looking at handler.ps1.

try {
    $jsonSecrets = ${env:EMAIL_SECRET} | ConvertFrom-Json
} catch {
    throw "`nK8s secrets `$env:EMAIL_SECRET does not look to be defined"

Kubernetes Secrets - vCenter UI

If you deployed VEBA with the vCenter UI option, you can create the secret by clicking on the Secrets section, then clicking Add. The Secret Name must match the secretRef in function.yaml. The Secret Key must match the environment variable the function expects, as shown in handler.ps1 above. The Secret Value is the JSON copied from email_secret.json, modified with configuration data specific to your environment. Once all fields are filled out, click Add Secret.

Adding a secret

The secret has been created.

Secret added

What's next?

Extend your vCenter quickly with our pre-built functions

  • See our complete list of prebuilt functions - here

  • Learn how to write your own function - here.