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Automate Business Processes with Azure Logic Apps

Posted by Sandeep Chanda on Mar 11, 2016

Still in preview, Microsoft Azure Logic Apps is offered as part of the Azure App Service infrastructure that provides declarative integration services for you to automate your business processes and simplify Enterprise-grade integration. Last month the Azure team released another refresh for Logic Apps which included some major designer upgrades. It now follows a more intuitive top down declarative workflow style approach, a nice change from the rather cumbersome left to right approach that they followed during the first preview. Also a nice change is the intuitive search for connectors built into the designer itself. Earlier, the connectors were available in a pane on the right hand side of the designer and there was some confusion around using them.

In my first few tries, I was trying to drag them on to the designer surface, which didn't work and after a few tries I realized that you have to click it to position it on the designer. Not particularly intuitive. Some other major enhancements include support for Swagger (Open API), and Managed API connections. A set of secure API connections are already deployed that you can search and add during the process of adding a step on the workflow. Deployments are also made simple with this enhancement. In addition, Logic Apps will now have Native Webhook support, allowing you to subscribe to events in a Webhook. You can also trigger one on receive of an HTTP POST and wait for a Webhook in the middle of a workflow.

To create a Logic App, login to your Azure portal and go to Marketplace from the dashboard.



Under Marketplace, search for Logic App as shown in the figure below:

Click on Logic Apps to create a new Logic App. Specify the name and the App Service Plan. It will take a while to generate the Logic App and you will be redirected to the declarative designer to now start creating the workflow.

Not only you can search Managed APIs to kickstart your workflow, but you can also add condition steps to branch out the workflow.

You also have the option to choose Open API end points using the Http + Swagger shape as illustrated below.

To look at the generated code, you can also switch to the Code Window and you will see the JSON schema that forms the workflow definition.

TAGS:

Azure, Business Process Automation, business process management software, Azure App Service


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