Exploring and Evaluating Azure Logic Apps

Azure App Service was announce almost three months back on 24th March but the word “Microservice” had got popularity and gained new interest in Microsoft integration community just after the Integrate Summit  in December last year.

Josh Twist who has recently taken over a product manager role in the Integration area at Microsoft introduced Azure Logic Apps in Azure Friday where he shared how this new service can help developers to automate the access and use of data and business processes across your web and mobile apps.

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He was supposed to do the keynote session in BizTalk Summit 2015 but was unable to make it, so he shared some of his thoughts and offered a Q&A in Integration User Group Event.

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Apart from Josh there are other experts from the product group and from community have shared their thoughts in different events like Build 2015,  BizTalk Summit London, Microsoft Ignite  & Integration User Group

So I have put together a list of all the sessions for anyone who is interested in exploring and evaluating Azure Logic Apps for their integration solution.

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If you have any feedback or ideas on Azure Logic Apps you can send them to Product Group team at http://feedback.azure.com/forums/287593-logic-apps

Related Links

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2015/2-628
http://www.biztalk360.com/biztalk-summit-2015-london/
https://gautambiztalkblog.com/2015/04/06/integrate-facebook-to-twitter-and-dropbox-using-azure-app-service-logic-apps/
https://gautambiztalkblog.com/2015/04/10/api-app-in-azure-app-service/

API App in Azure App Service

In my previous post Integrate Facebook to Twitter and Dropbox using Azure App Service Logic Apps , different connectors (Facebook, Twitter & Dropbox) have been used in the workflow. All those connectors where listed on the right side of the workflow design.

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All those connectors are technically API apps that uses a metadata format called Swagger and REST as pluggable interfaces and JSON as the interservice data format.

REST is of course a service interface that is structured along the lines of HTTP and HTTPS; JSON is of course a human-readable JavaScript object. Swagger, most popular metadata format, is a specification for documenting REST APIs.

API apps in Azure App Service make it easy to develop, publish, manage, and monetize APIs. If you have some capability you want to expose as an API you should deploy it as API App and benefit from scalable RESTful API with enterprise grade security, simple access control, automatic SDK and Access on-premises data using Hybrid Connections.

You can bring your API as-is. You can use ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python for your APIs. Your APIs can take advantage of the features of Azure App Service with no changes.

The API App host takes care of managing authentication for the app, which saves you the headache of implementing it yourself. Otherwise, you can build your own REST interface on a Web App Service if you wish.

You can also connect your apps to popular SaaS platforms. Azure App Service makes it easy to connect to popular SaaS platforms, including Salesforce, Office 365, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, and many more.

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Microsoft has already built a significant amount of API Apps for the preview:

  • Social Connectors: Facebook, Yammer, Twitter, Chatter, Twilio
  • Enterprise Connectors: Salesforce, SAP, Marketo, QuickBooks, SugarCRM
  • App + Data Services: Azure Media Services, Azure Mobile Services, Azure Service Bus, Azure Storage Blog, Azure Storage Table, Azure WebJobs, Box, Dropbox, HDInsight, Microsoft SQL, Mobile App, MongoDb, Office365, OneDrive, Oracle Database, Sharepoint
  • Integration: AS2, BizTalk EDIFACT, BizTalk Flat file encoder, BizTalk JSON Encoder, BizTalk Rules, BizTalk Trading Partner, BizTalk Transformation Service, BizTalk X12, BizTalk XML Validator, BizTalk XPath Extractor, Informix Connector, MQ Connector, Wait
  • Protocol Connectors: File, FTP, HTTP, POP3, SFTP, SMTP

Watch this Azure Friday video about API Apps  with Scott Hanselman and  Scott Hunter to learn more about how to use it. Scott Hunter shows here how this new service helps developers build and consume Cloud APIs and participate in the API.

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You can also try creating an API app by referring App Service Documentation, Create an API app in Azure App Service.

Related links

First Look at Azure API Apps and Logic Apps

How do I run an API App that it’s not .NET?

https://gautambiztalkblog.com/2015/06/18/exploring-and-evaluating-azure-logic-apps/

Integrate Facebook to Twitter and Dropbox using Azure App Service Logic Apps

This post is a quick demo of Logic Apps that includes integration of Facebook to Twitter and Dropbox.

Every time a new post is posted on user’s Facebook timeline, this workflow will tweet the same post  in User’s Twitter Timeline and same will also be delivered in to a Dropbox folder.

Logic apps can trigger based on a variety of data sources and offer connectors to get and process data as a part of the flow. I have referred the App Service Documentation for this demo which can be found here.

To do this demo all you need is

  1. An Azure subscription – Learn here how to sign up for a free Microsoft Azure account.
  2. A Facebook. Twitter and Dropbox account.

The first step would be to create the following 3 connectors

  • Facebook connector  – Facebook Connector lets you retrieve “New Post on User Timeline”, “New Post on Page”, “Publish Post”, “Publish Photo” and so on from your Facebook account.
  • Twitter connectorTwitter Connector lets you post tweets and get tweets from your timeline, friends, and followers from your Twitter account.
  • Dropbox connectorDropbox Connector allows you to upload or download files from your Dropbox account.

Getting your connectors

1. To create a connector you need to open the Azure Marketplace in Azure portal. So click on Marketplace on the home screen as shown below.

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2. Select API Apps and then search the connector one by one and create them.

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3. To create the connectors you need to create the following

    • App Service Plan – Create new App Service Plan
    • Resource Group – Resource groups act as containers for your apps. All of the resources for your app will live in the same resource group.

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Starting the Logic app

1. Click on the + New button at the bottom-left of the screen, expand Web + Mobile, then click Logic App. This displays the Create logic app blade, where you provide some basic settings to get started.

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2. In Name type a meaningful name for your logic app.

3. Choose the App service plan you used when creating your connectors. This should automatically choose the Location, Subscription and Resource Group for you.

4. Once you hit the create button the logic app will be created on the home screen.

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5. Once you click on the Logic app you have created you will get the following screen.

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6. So now you need to click on the Triggers and actions link, which will open the design canvas. On the right hand side you’ll see the connector API app we just created earlier.

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Adding a Facebook trigger

1. Triggers are what make your logic app run. Here we will use Facebook connector as a trigger/action for the Logic App.

2. You can drop the Facebook Connector API app into the editor by clicking on the “Facebook Connector” under “Recently used” from the gallery on your right hand side. Click on the Authorize button. Provide your Facebook credentials.

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3. Select a trigger.

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4. Click on “New Post on User Timeline” and choose a recurrence Frequency and Interval (such as once every 1 minute), then click the green check mark.

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Adding a Twitter action

1. In the right-hand pane, find Twitter connector, then click it. After it has loaded, click the Authorize button, sign in to your Twitter account and click Authorize app. This grants the connector access to your Twitter account. A list of possible operations provided by the Twitter connector is displayed.

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2. Click on Tweet. And then select action as “New Post on User Timeline Message Text”, then click the green check mark.

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3. The Twitter connector is now part of the workflow. Now whenever a new post is posted on User’s Facebook timeline, the same post will be Tweeted in User’s Twitter Timeline.

Adding a Dropbox action and create the app

1. The final step is to add an action that uploads a Facebook post to a Dropbox file. In the right-hand pane, click Dropbox connector. After provisioning is complete, click the Authorize button, sign in to your Dropbox account, and Allow.

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2. This grants the connector access to your Dropbox account. A list of possible operations provided by the Dropbox connector is displayed.

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3. Click Upload file. This displays the Dropbox connector settings, which you must set to pass the message text from the Facebook to Dropbox.

4. In the FilePath field, type /tweet.txt

5. In the Content field, click the … button and click “New Post on User Timeline Message Text” option. This enters the value @triggers().outputs.body.post into the textbox.

6. Click the green check mark to save the connector settings. This completes the design.CompleteDesign.jpg

7. Now that the design is complete, click Code view at the top left of the designer, and notice that this is the JSON code that defines the workflow you just created in the designer.

8. Click on Save button at the top left of the designer. This creates the new logic app.

Managing your logic app after creation

Now your logic app is up and running. Every time a new post is posted on user’s Facebook timeline the same post will be Tweeted in User’s Twitter Timeline and also delivered in to a Dropbox folder.

Finally, you’ll see how to disable the app, or see how it’s doing.

1. Click on Browse at the left side of the screen and select Logic Apps.

2. Click the new logic app that you just created to see current status and general information.

3. To edit your new logic app, click Triggers and Actions.

4. To turn off the app, click Disable in the command bar.

 

Related videos:

Watch this Azure Friday video about Logic Apps

AzureAppService Demo – Twitter and Dropbox Integration

Related Links:

https://gautambiztalkblog.com/2015/06/18/exploring-and-evaluating-azure-logic-apps/

Welcome to New Cloud Integration Platform: Azure App Service

Microsoft has just released the public preview of Azure App Service, a new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for web and mobile apps that allows you to build quickly and easily a new integration solutions.

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If you happened to be working on Microsoft Integration platform you should definitely tune in to Scott Guthrie’s Azure Announcement  where Scott Guthrie and Bill Staples introduce Azure App Service and show how you can build cloud scale web and mobile apps faster than ever before and with less code.

After the Integrate Summit  in December last year, the term “microservices” has suddenly gained new interest in the Microsoft integration community.

At INTEGRATE 2014 Microsoft detailed the new Application platform concepts on how they were going to build their PaaS story in Azure around the Microservices architecture and how the integration capabilities would fit in. Today they released the preview for these capabilities.

The proposed platform consist of discrete components (microservices) selected from the gallery, composed within a browser-based IDE and deployed to an Azure Web Site container.

Azure App Service today includes support for the following built-in connectors that you can use to construct and automate your Logic App workflows:

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Combined the above connectors provide a super powerful way to build and orchestrate tasks that run and scale within your apps. You can now build much richer web and mobile apps using it.

Watch this Azure Friday video about Logic Apps with Scott Hanselman and Josh Twist to learn more about how to use it.

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You also might want to check out some excellent write-ups by some of the top integration experts in the world.

Welcome Azure App Service. Some of My Thoughts

Azure App Service: BizTalk Server PaaS Done Right

First Look at Azure API Apps and Logic Apps

Introducing Azure App Service

You can try it all out for free right now… So lets give it a try 🙂

Related videos

Azure App Service API Apps with Scott Hunter
Azure App Service Logic Apps with Josh Twist
Azure App Service Mobile Apps with Kirill Gavrylyuk
Azure App Service Web Apps with Yochay Kiriaty