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Integration with Azure App Service Suite

Azure App Service Suites have powerful capabilities for integration. Logic Apps is a part of  the new Azure App Services. Logic Apps is the platform that resides in Azure. They are built or designed such that anyone that has access to Azure can build the business processes or orchestrate data not just for Azure cloud, but for all cloud applications.

What is Logic Apps and API Apps?

Logic Apps helps you create business processes and workflows to automate enterprise application integration and business to business processes visually. The implementation of Logic Apps is fast and can be done in no time. Most importantly, all of these end to end designs can be executed totally in a browser. Logic Apps are part of the App Service Suite, so you can create API Apps or use existing API Apps as a connector. API Apps provide the foundation of the connectivity to the Logic Apps platform which provides a very efficient orchestration engine to build solutions. The API Apps supported within the Azure App Service provides additional support that enables you to easily create, consume and call APIs – both APIs you create as well as APIs from other SaaS and cloud providers. Azure App Services also provide out of the box connectors for Office 365, Drop Box, Yammer, Google Services, Facebook, SQL connector, and many more.


Logic Apps can integrate your cloud system, enterprise system, and in house or legacy system. The process of integrating systems is made much simpler with the Logic Apps. To make Logic Apps more powerful, Microsoft included powerful capabilities of BizTalk. BizTalk is Microsoft’s leading platform for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Business Process Managements (BPM). In Logic Apps, Azure’s hybrid connectivity options can bridge cloud and on premises systems, so having this capability, you can solve any application problem from simple to more complex.

Logic App Concepts

Here are some of the key concepts described by Azure that comprise the Logic Apps experience.

  • Workflow – Logic Apps provides a graphical way to model your business processes as a series of steps or a workflow.
  • Connectors – Your Logic Apps need access to data and services. A connector is a special type of API app. It is created specifically to aid you when you are connecting to and working with your data. See the list of connectors available now in using connectors.
  • Triggers – Some connectors can also act as a trigger. A trigger starts a new instance of a workflow based on a specific event, like the arrival of an e-mail or a change in your Azure Storage account.
  • Actions – Each step after the trigger in a workflow is called an action. Each action typically maps to an operation on your connector or to custom API apps.
  • BizTalk – For more advanced integration scenarios, Azure App Services includes capabilities from BizTalk. BizTalk is Microsoft’s industry leading integration platform. The BizTalk API apps allow you to easily include validation, transformation, rules and more into your Logic App workflows. We can find out more on what BizTalk API apps are in the following scenario.


Integration Scenario with Logic Apps


In the above scenario, I have created a Logic App where I am receiving a message in JSON format, and it is being pushed to me. In order to receive that message, I am using the HTTP listener API app and BizTalk JSON decoder API app for converting JSON to XML. Further, in the app, I used the validator API apps to validate the XML message, and I am sending this XML message to the HTTP endpoint using HTTP API apps.

Creating the Above Scenario with Logic App

Click on + (New) in the Azure Portal, and follow the steps as shown in the snapshot.


Let’s give the application a name, called sprmodernintegration, and we will drag and drop API apps to the Triggers and Actions pane as shown below.


Add HTTP Listener Trigger

To get started you simply click on the connectors you want to use. For our scenario we will start with the HTTP Listener exposes web service request to receive requests. Let’s configure the connector and assign the endpoint. We will give the endpoint name myendpoint as shown below.


Add JSON Decoder Action

Now, we need to add our BizTalk JSON Decoder Connector by clicking on it from the gallery. This connector will help us to convert JSON string to XML. We will configure it as shown below.


Add Validate Action

Let’s add BizTalk XML Validator from the Connector to validate an instance, and we will configure an XSD schema to validate the incoming XML messages. Select the Validate action and select @{body(‘jsonencoder1431639466482’).OutputXML} as the value for the inputXml parameter.


Send HTTP Response

Once all the processes are completed, we send the HTTP response with the converted XML message to the appropriate destination. For this, add an HTTP connector from the API Apps list and select the POST action.


To Complete

Every time someone sends a message to the HTTP endpoint, it triggers the app and executes the actions we just created. To manage any such Logic Apps you create, click Browse in the Azure Management Portal and click Logic Apps. Click on your app to see more information.

To see successful completion of each transactions, you can view Operations as shown below.


In Summary

Logic Apps help you deliver powerful integrations in no time and with simplicity. Logic Apps can help you visually create the process flow as well as deliver integration capabilities in web, mobile and API apps. It can also integrate with your cloud and enterprise applications, and most importantly it provides hybrid connectivity.