# Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Azure Logic Apps allow you to create scalable workflows hosted in the cloud. Although each Logic App is self-contained, it is often helpful to share artifacts such as maps, schemas, and certificates among multiple Logic Apps.

An Azure Integration Account provides a container for storing these artifacts.

Creating an Integration Account

To create an Integration Account, navigate to the Azure Portal [https://portal.azure.com], sign in and click the [Create a resource] button (Fig. 1).

IA01-CreateResourceButton
Fig. 1

Search for and select "Integration Account", as shown in Fig. 2.

IA02-FindIntegrationAccount
Fig. 2

The "Integration Account" information page displays, as shown in Fig. 3.

IA03-IntegrationAccountIntro
Fig. 3

Click the [Create] button to display the "Create Integration Account" blade with the "Basics" tab selected, as shown in Fig. 4.

IA04-IntegrationAccountBasics
Fig. 4

At the "Resource group" field, select or create a resource group in which to store this Integration Account.

At the "Integration account name" field, enter a unique name for this Integration Account.

At the "Location" dropdown, select the region in which to store this account. This should be the same region in which your Logic Apps are located.

At the "Pricing Tier" dropdown, select which pricing tier you wish to use. The options are (in increasing order of cost) "Free", "Basic", and "Standard". Only one Free Account is allowed per Azure Subscription. You can change this setting after creating an Integration Account.

Click the [Review + create] button when you have completed this tab. The "Review + create" tab displays, as shown in Fig. 5.

IA05-ReviewCreate
Fig. 5

Review your choices. Switch back to the "Basics" tab if you need to make any corrections. Click the [Create] button to create the Integration Account.

After Azure creates the Integration Account, the "Your deployment is complete" message displays, as shown inf Fig. 6.

IA06-YourDeploymentIsComplete
Fig. 6

Click the [Go to resource] button to open the Integration Account, as shown in Fig. 7.

IA07-IntegrationAccountOverview
Fig. 7

Here you can manage reusable Schemas, Maps, and other Components.

Associating a Logic App with an Integration Account

An Integration Account can be associated with one or more Logic Apps, making components in the Integration Account available to each of these Logic Apps.

See this article to learn how to create a Logic App.

To associate a Logic App with an Integration Account, open the Logic App. The left menu of a Logic App is shown in Fig. 8.

IA08-LogicAppsLeftMenu
Fig. 8

Click the [Workflow settings] button (Fig. 9) under the "Settings" section of the left menu to open "Access control configuration" blade, as shown in Fig. 10.

IA09-WorkflowSettingsButton
Fig. 9

IA10-WorkflowSettings
Fig. 10

At the "Integration account" dropdown, select the Integration Account you wish to associate with this logic app, as shown in Fig. 11.

IA11-SelectIntegrationAccount
Fig. 11

Click the [Save] button (Fig. 12) at the top of the blade to save this configuration.

IA12-SaveButton
Fig. 12

You are now ready to use the artifacts in the Integration Account with this Logic App.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 9:26:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Friday, February 14, 2020

With a Logic App, you can create and run scalable workflows that are hosted in the Azure cloud. A graphical designer and connectors to hundreds of databases, APIs, and external applications and services make it possible to quickly create a workflow using Logic Apps.

To create a new Logic App, navigate to the Azure Portal, sign in and click the [Create a resource] button (Fig. 1).

LA01-CreateAResource
Fig. 1

Select Integration | Logic App, as shown in Fig. 2.

LA01-NewIntegrationLogicApps
Fig. 2

The "Create Logic App" blade with the "Basics" tab selected, as shown in Fig. 3.

LA03-NewLogicAppBlade
Fig. 3

At the "Resource group" field, select or create a resource group in which to store this Logic App.

At the "Logic App name" field, enter a unique name for this Logic App.

At the "Location" dropdown, select the region in which to store this Logic App.

Click the [Review + create] button when you have completed this tab. The "Review + create" tab displays, as shown in Fig. 4.

LA04-ReviewCreateTab
Fig. 4

Review your choices. Switch back to the "Basics" tab if you need to make any corrections. Click the [Create] button to create the Integration Account.

After Azure creates the Logic App, the "Your deployment is complete" message displays, as shown in Fig. 5.

LA04-ReviewCreateTab
Fig. 5

Click the [Go to resource] button to open the Start Page of your Logic App, as shown in Fig. 6.

LA06-LogicAppStart
Fig. 6

On the start page, a video is available if you want a brief introduction to Logic Apps.

Below the video is a set of buttons that allow you to create a new workflow with a common trigger. A trigger is an action that starts a Logic App workflow.

The next section lists buttons for templates to perform some common tasks. Each template contains a trigger and one or more actions.

These buttons help to accelerate your development by providing some of the activities in a workflow and allowing you to fill in the specific properties.

Fig. 7 shows the Logic App designer after you select the HTTP Request-Response template.

LA07-LogicAppsDesigner
Fig. 7

In this article, you learned how to create a new Logic App.

Friday, February 14, 2020 9:20:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Azure Logic Apps and Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) are tools from Microsoft that allow users to build custom workflows.

Each of these tools provides a robust workflow engine with a graphical front-end. Power Automate (PA) is built on top of Logic Apps and it is possible to export from a Power Automate flow and import it into a Logic App. Each provides a graphical interface to add connectors, workflow step, and control logic. Each supports an in-browser User Interface, so you don't need to install anything locally (although a VS extension lets you design workflows from within Visual Studio.) Each ships with a set of connectors to common databases, queues, APIs, and other systems, along with generic connectors to do things like calling a web service. Neither provides a great DevOps story, allowing easy integration with version control, automated testing, and automated deployment.

But there are differences. A primary difference is the way that Microsoft positions these 2 technologies: Microsoft is targeting PA at "Citizen Developers" - users with a strong knowledge of their systems and their business requirements, but without the knowledge or desire to write code. Logic Apps are targeted at developers and IT workers. As these products mature, expect PA to get more features around ease of use, while Logic App gets more focus on increased power.

Here are some other differences:

Logic Apps:

  • are hosted in Azure
  • are more scalable
  • have a code view, making it slightly easier to use source control
  • have more connectors (e.g., Liquid templates, SAP, IoT)
  • Support B2B and B2C Scenarios
  • triggers fire faster
  • have better monitoring

Power Automate flow:

  • are hosted in Office 365
  • includes a "Button" trigger for easy integration with PowerApps
  • provides some simple, common templates to get you started
  • has better SharePoint integration

When deciding between these tools, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you primarily using Azure or Office 365? Logic Apps runs in Azure; PA runs in Office 365. If you are not currently using the appropriate platform, you will need to start doing so.
  • What is the tech level of those who will be maintaining your workflows? Logic Apps are designed for tech professionals; PA is designed for business users with some tech knowledge
  • What are the scalability and performance requirements? PA can handle a lot, but the maximums are greater for Logic Apps.
  • Do many of your workflows read from and write to SharePoint? PA will probably make these easier to write.
  • With which external systems, databases, and APIs will your workflows interact? Logic Apps include access to many more connectors. Verify that the ones you need exist in the platform you choose.

One choice is to begin writing your workflows with PA; and, if you find that you need something more robust, use the import/export functionality to migrate your flows to Logic Apps and begin using that tooling.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 8:49:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)