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Introduction to Azure Logic Apps

I have been trying to cover all the topics related to AZ-203 exam. This article is part of that series. This article provides information of what are logic apps, how do they work, what are important terms and why they should be used.

So, what are Azure Logic Apps ?

Azure logic apps is a cloud service, that enables you to automate and orchestrate tasks, business processes and workflows. This is very useful when you want to integrate systems, data or apps or services across enterprises or organizations.

Azure logic apps provides a way to simplify and implement scalable integrations and workflows in Azure.

It also provides a visual designer to model and automate your process as a series of steps called a workflow.

Below snapshot shows a sample workflow and hopefully it will clear the meaning of above sentences. Below workflow automatically publishes my tweets on my facebook timeline.

Look for tweets and post it on my facebook timeline

Interesting! So, how does it work ?

This section is to cover how logic app works. While explaining this, important terminology used in Azure logic apps is also covered.

Triggers

Every logic app workflow starts with a trigger. The trigger is fired when an event occurs or when new available data meets some specific requirement.

There are many triggers already defined in Azure and you can use them in your Logic App. Some of the examples of triggers are:

  • New mail is received
  • New tweet is posted
  • New HTTP request is received, etc.

Each time that the trigger fires, the Logic Apps engine creates a logic app instance that runs the actions in the workflow.

Actions

Actions are all the steps that happen after the trigger.

e.g. let’s say you want to send mail when a tweet is posted by you. In this case, posting tweet is trigger while sending mail is action.

Actions can include data conversions or flow controls.

e.g. conditional statement, switch statement, loops, etc.

Each action usually maps to an operation that’s defined by a managed connector, custom API, or custom connector.

Connectors

The logic apps need access to data, services and systems which you need during the workflow. Connectors enable logic app to access the data.

Microsoft pre-built managed connectors can be used to access data, services or systems.

Below are some examples of managed connectors:

  • File System
  • Oracle Db
  • Data operations or Date Time operations connector, etc.

Workflow

Workflow is the visual representation of the steps which are included in the Logic App.

Azure provides a visual designer to visualize, design, build, automate, and deploy business processes as series of steps. This designer is available on Azure portal through browser, it can also be used from Visual Studio.

You can also author the workflow in the code view.

Enterprise Integration Pack

For more advanced integration scenarios, enterprise integration pack provides additional capabilities from BizTalk server. The Enterprise Integration Pack provides connectors that help logic apps easily perform validation, transformation, and more.

Also, Azure Logic Apps are Serverless!

Serverless does not mean that there are no servers. It just means that you need not worry about servers.

In traditional applications, large part of discussions and design time is spent on designing scaling, monitoring and hosting solutions in order to meet the requirements of those applications.

With serverless, these are taken care as a part of solution.

In addition, the serverless applications are based on consumption-based plan. If your application is never used, there will be no charges at all. This helps developers to focus solely on business logic.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I would really like to know your perspectives. Please do comment and let me know.

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