TL;DR;

If you are looking to automate the execution of your business processes across diverse apps and services, Azure Logic Apps is the cloud service you need.
If you are looking to automate the execution of your business processes across diverse apps and services, Azure Logic Apps is the cloud service you need. Logic Apps serves as a gate to other Azure services you may want to employ to your automation solution, delivering new and innovative integration scenarios.

Azure Logic Apps allows you to schedule, automate, and orchestrate tasks. When it comes to integration across multiple services in Azure, there is no better service for extensible, dynamic solutions. Logic Apps are an important component of Microsoft’s Cloud Integration Platform, which aims to democratise integration so that anyone is capable of creating lightweight integrations that are consistent and scalable - without the steep learning curve.

The creation of the Logic Apps platform is part of Microsoft’s push to become an Enterprise iPaaS leader. iPaaS, or ‘integration platform as a service’ describes a suite of cloud services that enable the development, execution and governance of integration flows between cloud-based and on premises processes, or indeed a combination of both. Microsoft’s integration vision involves cultivating a rich ecosystem of many out-of-the-box connectors. For example, they offer several Standard connectors for building automated workflows across popular services such as Office 365, SharePoint, and Power BI. Microsoft also offers a marketplace where third-party ISVs (Independent software vendor) can publish their own connectors, allowing you to integrate popular services outside of Microsoft, such as Salesforce.

Logic Apps are instantiated based on events, and they scale automatically based on the number of events they need to handle. It is a pure, pay-for-usage OpEx billing model so there are no upfront costs to reserve compute resources, resulting in reduced costs to run your integration solutions overall. Another key advantage is reduced DevOps, as you wouldn’t need to take care of OS patching, high availability and so on. By focusing purely on business logic and optimising operations, you team will have a reduced time to market.

Primarily, Logic Apps serves as a gate to other Azure services you may want to employ to your automation solution, delivering new and innovative integration scenarios. Like many other services in the Azure cloud ecosystem, Logic Apps are completely serverless. This means you would not need to take care of the underlying server infrastructure, freeing you from hosting, scaling, managing, monitoring and maintaining solutions built with these services.

Moreover, you can use the on-premises data gateway to create hybrid integrations and connect virtually anything. According to Microsoft, the gateway works as a ‘bridge that provides quick data transfer and encryption between data sources on premises and your logic apps’. The gateway connects to the cloud in a firewall-friendly manner and uses only outbound connections. All data that travels through the gateway is encrypted, meaning you can run complex scenarios and increase productivity for your business with peace-of-mind.

Visual design tools in Logic Apps

A logic app resource is shaped by a workflow. A workflow is a series of steps that defines a task or process, starting with a single trigger and followed by one or multiple actions.

A trigger specifies the condition to meet before running any actions in the workflow. For example, this may be getting an email or detecting a new file in an Azure blob storage account.

Example Logic App workflow in the designer.

You can create visual workflows that define your Logic App using the Logic Apps designer in the Azure portal, Visual Studio Code, or Visual Studio. Note that the above workflow features conditional logic which enables actions accordingly.

A common Logic App workflow is to create a social listening tool using Azure Cognitive Services. This utilises AI to perform intelligent actions and extract value from your data to build holistic integrations from sentiment analysis. When a post or tweet generates a negative sentiment score, an alert can be sent to the person in your organisation to contact the person in question.

Read here to find out more about how Azure Logic Apps work.

Executive View

Logic Apps enable automated and intelligent integrations management. This enables cohesive and centralised solutions which can touch all areas of your business.

Access to a serverless approach give you piece of mind when it comes to availability and cost. The data gateway means that you can choose what information you would like to remain on premises and what can be moved to the cloud, allowing you to fully realise the capabilities of an iPaaS solution.

Logic Apps helps businesses:

  • create dynamic integration workflows using a simple, interactive, drag-and-drop design interface
  • gain access to an ecosystem of over 200+ enterprise connectors
  • better support B2B and enterprise messaging integration
  • get things done sooner with a faster time to market

Business function leader view

Azure Logic Apps is designed to be flexible and extensible, allowing you to implement workflows seamlessly with simple, user-friendly and intuitive tools.

While many connectors for Azure services are readily available, you can also create custom integrations that provide the best value for your organisation and better meet organisational needs - allowing you to access innovative solutions which help bring the best out of your business.

You may need this service if:

  • you use existing BizTalk and on-premises investments and are looking for an easier way of leveraging existing processes
  • your team would like access to faster historical insights from Azure Logic App’s in-built monitoring tools
  • you are looking for a scalable and lightweight service

Technical View

Logic Apps allows technical teams to connect systems across on-premises and cloud, allowing them to get ahead with pre-defined templates for common integration scenarios.

While you can create scalable integrations without coding, your team will enjoy extending default capabilities with Azure Functions through code.

What’s more, since Logic Apps are serverless you wouldn’t need to take care of the underlying server infrastructure.

You can create your Logic Apps as Azure Resource Manager templates to set up and automate deployments across multiple environments and regions. This allows for an efficient ‘Write once, reuse often’ approach.

Logic Apps help deliver:

Get this service if you encounter:

  • problems with automating your integration deployments
  • issues with server-based solutions and would like to move serverless
  • limitations with integration capabilities within your organisation