What is Azure Logic Apps?
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Azure Logic Apps is a cloud-based platform for creating and running automated workflows that integrate your apps, data, services, and systems. With this platform, you can quickly develop highly scalable integration solutions for your enterprise and business-to-business (B2B) scenarios. As a member of Azure Integration Services, Azure Logic Apps simplifies the way that you connect legacy, modern, and cutting-edge systems across cloud, on premises, and hybrid environments.
The following list describes just a few example tasks, business processes, and workloads that you can automate using the Azure Logic Apps service:
Schedule and send email notifications using Office 365 when a specific event happens, for example, a new file is uploaded.
Route and process customer orders across on-premises systems and cloud services.
Move uploaded files from an SFTP or FTP server to Azure Storage.
Monitor tweets, analyze the sentiment, and create alerts or tasks for items that need review.
To securely access and run operations on various data sources, you can use managed connectors in your workflows. Choose from many hundreds of connectors in an abundant and growing Azure ecosystem, for example:
Azure services such as Blob Storage and Service Bus
Office 365 services such as Outlook, Excel, and SharePoint
Database servers such as SQL and Oracle
Enterprise systems such as SAP and IBM MQ
File shares such as FTP and SFTP
The following terms are important concepts in the Azure Logic Apps service.
Logic app - A logic app is the Azure resource you create when you want to develop a workflow. There are multiple logic app resource types that run in different environments.
Workflow - A workflow is a series of steps that defines a task or process. Each workflow starts with a single trigger, after which you must add one or more actions.
Trigger - A trigger is always the first step in any workflow and specifies the condition for running any further steps in that workflow. For example, a trigger event might be getting an email in your inbox or detecting a new file in a storage account.
Action - An action is each step in a workflow after the trigger. Every action runs some operation in a workflow.
Built-in operations - A built-in trigger or action is an operation that runs natively in Azure Logic Apps. For example, built-in operations provide ways for you to control your workflow's schedule or structure, run your own code, manage and manipulate data, send or receive requests to an endpoint, and complete other tasks in your workflow.
Most built-in operations aren't associated with any service or system, but some built-in operations are available for specific services, such as Azure Functions or Azure App Service. Many also don't require that you first create a connection from your workflow and authenticate your identity. For example, you can start almost any workflow on a schedule when you use the Recurrence trigger. Or, you can have your workflow wait until called when you use the Request trigger.
Managed connector - A managed connector is a prebuilt proxy or wrapper for a REST API that you can use to access a specific app, data, service, or system. Before you can use most managed connectors, you must first create a connection from your workflow and authenticate your identity. Managed connectors are published, hosted, and maintained by Microsoft. For example, you can start your workflow with a trigger or run an action that works with a service such as Office 365, Salesforce, or file servers.
Integration account - An integration account is the Azure resource you create when you want to define and store B2B artifacts for use in your workflows. After you create and link an integration account to your logic app, your workflows can use these B2B artifacts. Your workflows can also exchange messages that follow Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) standards.For example, you can define trading partners, agreements, schemas, maps, and other B2B artifacts. You can create workflows that use these artifacts and exchange messages over protocols such as AS2, EDIFACT, X12, and RosettaNet.
How logic apps work
In a logic app, each workflow always starts with a single trigger. A trigger fires when a condition is met, for example, when a specific event happens or when data meets specific criteria. Many triggers include scheduling capabilities that control how often your workflow runs. Following the trigger, one or more actions run operations that, for example, process, handle, or convert data that travels through the workflow, or that advance the workflow to the next step.
The following screenshot shows part of an example enterprise workflow. This workflow uses conditions and switches to determine the next action. Let's say you have an order system, and your workflow processes incoming orders. You want to review orders above a certain cost manually. Your workflow already has previous steps that determine how much an incoming order costs. So, you create an initial condition based on that cost value. For example:
If the order is below a certain amount, the condition is false. So, the workflow processes the order.
If the condition is true, the workflow sends an email for manual review. A switch determines the next step.
o If the reviewer approves, the workflow continues to process the order.
o If the reviewer escalates, the workflow sends an escalation email to get more information about the order.
§ If the escalation requirements are met, the response condition is true. So, the order is processed.
§ If the response condition is false, an email is sent regarding the problem.
Why use Azure Logic Apps
The Azure Logic Apps integration platform provides prebuilt Microsoft-managed API connectors and built-in operations so you can connect and integrate apps, data, services, and systems more easily and quickly. You can focus more on designing and implementing your solution's business logic and functionality, not on figuring out how to access your resources.
You usually won't have to write any code. However, if you do need to write code, you can create code snippets using Azure Functions and run that code from your workflow. You can also create code snippets that run in your workflow by using the Inline Code action. If your workflow needs to interact with events from Azure services, custom apps, or other solutions, you can monitor, route, and publish events using Azure Event Grid.
Azure Logic Apps is fully managed by Microsoft Azure, which frees you from worrying about hosting, scaling, managing, monitoring, and maintaining solutions built with these services. When you use these capabilities to create "serverless" apps and solutions, you can just focus on the business logic and functionality. These services automatically scale to meet your needs, make integrations faster, and help you build robust cloud apps using little to no code.
The following are the capabilities and benefits in Azure Logic Apps:
Visually create and edit workflows with easy-to-use tools
Connect different systems across various environments
Write once, reuse often
First-class support for enterprise integration and B2B scenarios
Access resources inside Azure virtual networks
Each logic app type, which differs by capabilities and where they run (multi-tenant, single-tenant, integration service environment), has a different pricing model. For example, multi-tenant-based logic apps use consumption pricing, while logic apps in an integration service environment use fixed pricing. Learn more about pricing and metering for Azure Logic Apps.