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Adobe LiveStream Event Acquisition

Using Azure Functions, EventHub, and KeyVault

The Function App contains two Functions:

Function Name File Location Trigger Type Description
ClickStreamIngestController ClickStreamIngestController.cs Timer Controls the ingestion Function by placing messages on the queue.
GetClickStreamData DataRetrieval.cs Queue Reads data from the Adobe LiveStream endpoint for the configured duration of time and sends the messages to an EventHub

Dependencies and Setup

Adobe Dependencies

An endpoint must be setup by Adobe to retrieve the LiveStream data. Along with that setup one should receive a specific App ID, App Secret, and URI which are all required to authenticate and fetch data.

Azure Dependencies

The repo does not contain configuration scripts or templates for all of the dependencies. However, the Function App (this code) requires all of them to be configured and available in order to run properly. While the Adobe configuration is more an output of a business interaction, the Azure dependencies require setup. This will not provide detailed setup guidance for the dependencies. An overview below of what is need is provided.

Azure components:

  • Azure Storage
    • Use this account for the Function App Storage and Queues
    • Create a Storage Queue for ingestion operation control
    • The ControlQueueName and the IngestControlQueueConnection string will be needed
  • Azure Function App
    • Use the previously configured Storage Account
    • Use a Consumption Plan
    • Create an identity. I used a System-assigned Managed identity.
  • Azure EventHub
    • Single EventHub
      • Assumes 1 EventHub be sufficient to handle traffic
      • If multiple EventHubs are needed then some rework of the implementation will need to be done
    • No partition key set
    • For testing I used 4 partitions
    • For production I used 12 partitions as 4 lead to throttling when both producers and consumers were active
    • The EventHubName and the EventHubConnection string will be needed
  • Azure KeyVault
    • All of the sensitive configuration values are stored in KeyVault
    • Create an Access Policy and give the Azure Function identity List and Get for Secrets
    • The contains script to provision secrets, but you will need to add your KeyVault name and setting values and ensure that you are logged in.
    • Each of the secret URIs will be needed for the secrets in KeyVault

Runtime Operation

Application Settings

The run-time behavior of both Functions is determined by the following settings that must be present in your local settings file or in the App Settings for the Function App:

Setting Key Setting Value Description
EventHubName [your EH name] Target EventHub for incoming messages.
EventHubConnection [@Microsoft.KeyVault(SecretUri=your URI) or connection string] Used by the Binder to establish connection to EventHub
AdobeAuthURI Used to retrieve auth token. The known public endpoint is noted here, but one should double check there hasn't been a change.
IngestControlQueueConnection [@Microsoft.KeyVault(SecretUri=your URI) or connection string] Used by the Binder to connect to the Storage Queue.
ControlQueueName your queue name Used by the Binder to connect to the proper Storage Queue.
AdobeAppID [@Microsoft.KeyVault(SecretUri=your URI) or AdobeAppID value] Used in the Authentication process.
AdobeAppSecret [@Microsoft.KeyVault(SecretUri=your URI) or Adobe App Secret] Used in the Authentication process.
AdobeURI [@Microsoft.KeyVault(SecretUri=your URI) or your Adobe URI] This is the endpoint provided by Adobe from which to retrieve data.
TimerSchedule cron expression, e.g., "0 */4 * * * *" Used by the Binder to control the firing of the ClickStreamIngestController Function.
ExecutionSeconds duration in seconds, > 0 Used by the GetClickStreamData Function to determine how long to fetch data from Adobe.
MaxReaders number of readers, 0<MaxReaders<9 Controls the number of messages populated on the queue to trigger acquistion Functions. This must be > 0 and Adobe allows no more than 8 concurrent readers.
GapIntervalSeconds seconds visibility delay Used to calculate the visibility expiry for each message on the queue to allow adjustments for staggering and overlapping of the reader trigger. The interval is multiplied by the message count with index origin of 0. A GapIntervalSeconds of 10 seconds would mean that for 3 messages the first message is visible in 0 seconds, the 2nd in 10 seconds, and the 3rd in 20 seconds.

Operational Notes

High-Level Flow

Overall, this is a fairly simple solution as can be seen in the following depiction:

highlevelflow Figure 01: High-Level Flow with Settings Dependencies

When the timer trigger fires the ClickStreamController places the configured number of messages on the queue based on the application settings. As each message becomes visible it trggers the GetClickStreamData Function. GetClickStreamData will retrieve needed secrets from the app settings (KeyVault if configured), retrieve an authorization token, and begin to retrieve data from the data endpoint for the configured amount of time. Each record received is added to an ICollector<EventHub> and at the expiry for the run duration that data is persisted to EventHub by the Binder.

Scheduling and Concurrency

Scheduling and concurrency are managed by adjusting 4 settings: TimerSchedule, ExecutionSeconds, MaxReaders, and GapIntervalSeconds. Never adjust one independently without considering the impact on concurrency and potential overall between running jobs and the next TimerSchedule interval. Additionally, MaxReaders should never be more than 8 as that is the maximum allowed by Adobe.

To understand how the schedule and concurrency work, please consider the following timeline for the settings of:

  • TimerSchedule = 0 */4 * * * * (4 minutes)
  • ExecutionSeconds = 120
  • MaxReaders = 3
  • GapIntervalSeconds = 60

scheduling Figure 02:Scheduling and Concurrency

In this configuration the total run time for each batch of 3 readers is 4 minutes. With a GapInterval of 60 seconds each reader starts in the middle of the 120 second runtime of the previously started reader, but there are only ever 2 concurrent readers retrieving data.

While one may overlapp the end of a batch with the beginning of the next batch, care must be taken to not overlap the timer schedule with the ExecutionSeconds to the degree that would potentially cause:

  1. more than 8 readers to run concurrently as Adobe's max is 8
  2. spawn readers infinitely as the duration and gap interval does not allow for completion of the readers prior completing half of the next batch of readers.

The intent of this implementation is to target a Consumption Plan. Which means that the amount of RAM (1.5GB) is fairly low. Each reader collects records in an ICollector<EventHub> during execution and it is persisted at the end of the excution duration by the Binder framework. To that end, the goal for execution is to keep acquisition readers fairly short (1 - 5 minutes) as to not overrun the available RAM and to spawn them frequently enough as to keep the throughput high.

Security Considerations

The preference should be to use KeyVault instead of direct App Settings for all of the sensitve items. In this implementation KeyVault was used. Additionally, SecureString was used for all things kept in RAM. For example, the auth token is retrieved and placed in a static variable. This provides a level of caching for any instance running on the same host as that static variable will have the value. However, a SecureString was used to ensure that memory could not be dumped and the string retrieved. NOTE that there are some gaps in that the token is retrieved over HTTPS and must be parsed from the response. Until the it is parsed, assigned to a SecureString, and the response object collected by GC it could be dumped from RAM.


Uses two Azure Functions to retrieve clickstream data from Adobe and serialize it to EventHub.







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